Main | July 2008 »

June 30, 2008

20080805_Quarters Gallery

“Why you belong?�

A second viewing at the Universities Quarters Gallery.

Photograph by Sonia Peterson.

The lone figure caught by the camera in the grove of leafless trees at night...held my attention and forced me to question this moment captured by the camera...the subjects expression does not clarify the moment...the hard quality of light on the figure and the rich black of night - beyond the trees, enhances my sense of mystery...who is this person...what is their relationship to the photographer...is this a disruptive moment of an intrusive voyeur...or two friends at play? These questions engage my mind...and leave me wanting more...

June 27, 2008

what is 1601










time and interactivity

Assignment 1











The Meaning of time and Interactivity










June 19, 2008

n1278840092_1944228_9221.jpg

June 18, 2008

Carl Ostlund

ostlu044@umn.edu
blocktower copy.jpg

OToole

cousins.jpg

Steve Murphy

murph739@umn.edu
SVM_195608.3.jpg

Willson Borchert

borch069@umn.edu
Willson and John R.jpg

Jenelle Duvio

duvio001@umn.edu
DCtrip.jpg

Neil Fahlstrom

fahl0028@umn.edu
Photo-0042.jpg

Joanna Harmon

harmo069@umn.edu
little joanna blog

June 12, 2008

cheryl wilgren clyne

clyne003@umn.edu

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/clyne003/resume//


June 1, 2008

Thoughts on Diane Willow's Presentation

I thought her many pieces were interesting, especially because they all seem to place an atmosphere of calmness and tranquility to the observer or interacter. The SEAt and the giant cylinder formation where people could go and sit in the structures were especially interesting because they not only are enjoyable but also help to relieve ones stress. I think sitting on a rocking chair and hearing the ocean would be a great way to take your mind off of stressing events and could help students get away from studying for a bit or just get the chance to relax and enjoy the sea closer to home. The giant cylindrical structure which a student can enter and sit on the rocks would also be a great place to meditate, relax, or study in a calm and quiet spot. The area seems to make it possible to block out all surrounding noises and distractions and allows a person to focus upon their own thoughts or studies. I think that by adding lights to the inside of the structure along the walls and under the rocks could make the atmosphere seem like and underwater cave or some other calming environment.

Rosalux Gallery

I thought the pieces in this gallery were interesting and made me think about how humans view certain things. In one piece in particular, Chad Rutter's "View from Above the Bins Looking South" was a piece that depicted a farm with indistinct cows all in the middle of silvery burger wrappers taped together. This piece makes me think...is it trying to show the origin of where our food comes from? I thought the cows were made indistinct because it might show that few humans ever truly wonder about where the meat of a burger comes from. Even the picture of the farm and surrounding country can portray the way life was before humans got lazy with new technologies and foods. I thought this piece was very inspiring and loved looking through all the pieces of the gallery.

About Me

I am originally from Louisiana and moved here to Minnesota about 8 years ago. I enjoy playing the violin, swimming, camping, drawing, singing, and irish dancing. Growing up in the south and by the Gulf of Mexico, I was always interested in aquatic life. I remember the first books I read on dolphins and how those stories further inspired my love for marine life. When I first entered high school, I was always trying to take classes that would help me learn more about aquatic ecollogy. I practically loved anything to do with water. I joined my school's swim team and Math League. I started coming here to the U of M when I started my junior year of high school and now only have another year and a half to go before I get my bachelors degree.
I have always enjoyed drawing as a past time and have been interested in computer animation since I could remember but never had the time to really learn much about animation. I want to learn how it works and how to make animations of my own. The most experience I even have with such things is taking a clip out of an episode using windows movie maker. I want to learn how to make animations to bring my friends and my own imaginations to life.

The photography exhibition

There were many pieces that were interesting and visually intriguing, but the one that I would like to choose to write about is the piece that shows the inside of a building that is being constructed. There are blankets, food, shoes, soap, and other random objects haphazardly laying on the floor of an unfinished building. I initially did not find this to be that interesting of a piece, but I later found the stories that might match the scene to be what made this piece strong for me. The rapid industrialization and modernization of Chinese cities often is seen without the background story of who might have built all of the buildings and how they might have been built. The unfinished look of the building as furnished with random household objects all create a transitional atmosphere from the perspective of the builders. The changes that are happening in China carry a very different tone in this piece; a tone of uncertainty and desolation.

Paintings with no names Gallery

There was a painting of a little boy standing on some railroad tracks with a small town mounted on a hill in the background that I really liked. The entire picture reminded me of how peaceful and simple our lives could be. Those people in the picture appear to have no need for bright city lights or 'advanced' technologies to go through life. Everything walks free just as the cow in the picture. The hill on which the town is located on makes me think the surrounding landscape is beautiful. Children don't need computers or advanced things to live a happy life. I really thought this painting portrayed what life was like before advancement of certain practices, and how life is still just as interesting and fun without all the 'new' things in life.

Chambers Gallery

I found the Chambers Kitchen and Gallery to be a very relaxing and interesting place. I loved the many artworks and sculptures around the restaurant area itself and the different pictures in the gallery. One picture I found really interesting was Chen Ping Ping's picture "Bliss" which depicts two women in white dresses sitting or lying down in a room covered in cotton. It gives the idea that bliss is indistinct, simple, and fuzzy. This picture seems to give meaning to the phrase "ignorance is bliss." There is little color other than pink flowers and silver necklaces. The picture implies a simple lifestyle with few material possessions. I thought it also implied that bliss was relaxing and allows one to lay back and not worry about anything. This picture among others appear to hold many meanings and I thought it was pretty interesting.

20080624_Diane Willow

Diane Willow’s art inspires me.
Diane integrates: “nature - technology - community� in her art work.
Historically nature and technology were often viewed as two opposing forces; today with the accelerated advances in technology and the strain on nature it is critical for technology to support and embrace nature.
Diane Willow’s work uses technology as a vehicle to contemplate our natural surroundings and provides the viewer a connection to the calm, healing power of nature.
Diane’s art is constructed as interactive installations. Everyone’s experience of the art is unique because each installation is designed to respond to the distinctive interaction of the viewer.
Her scientific and playful installation using plankton as a light source was an important reminder of how little we know about the diversity within the natural world.
I am fascinated by her new work which constructs serene environments. Her piece with the stones illuminated from below reminds me of the lava fields of Hawaii - where life erupts from the ocean...
As technology continues to advance it is critical that we recognize and integrate nature into our evolution. Diane Willow’s work illustrates this thought process and directs our attention to the benefits of an integrated life in balance.

20080622_Lost Menagerie

DARWIN'S TABLE

Walking into the Form + Content Gallery I lost my sight.
The Gallery was illuminated 3.5 stops less than the bright street I left behind. Slowly my eyes adapted to the darkness and I began to see luminous bell jars nestled into the surface of a long wooden table. The jar in front of me pulsated with a cool blue light; I looked into the jar and slowly distinguished a glowing shell...mesmerized by the iridescent form, I quietly walked around the table to view the specimen from different angles. Approaching the opposite side of the table the shell morphed into the beak of large tropical bird...since this gallery experience, I have been thinking about Darwin's Table...

Art that resonates within me, prompts me to question and ultimately may expand my point of view.
1..Beyond “Origin of the Species� and his scientific inquiries who is Darwin? What compelled his thirst for knowledge?
2. How have the Galapagos Islands changed since Darwin's time? Would Darwin recognize the terrain?
3. How has Darwin influenced humanity? What have we learned?
4. What is my relationship with Nature?
5. How do I teach my young son?

Christine Baeumler’s, Lost Menagerie is well thought out in her concept and execution.
It was passionate and effective to see her ideas expressed in different media. I would imagine she has countless notebooks filled with sketches and notes. The choices she made for this show were persuasive in illustrating her thoughts.

Darwin’s Table is a powerful representation of our relationship with Nature.
The darkened gallery and the illuminated bell jars are a powerful way to direct our attention to Nature and face this relationship.
Physically, Darwin's Table is sculpture. The media within the bell jars promotes the sculptures point of view and stimulates a thought process in the viewer. A dialog is created, questions are asked, answers may come with time...

Reflecting on Darwin's table made me aware that I long for the ocean, it’s powerful expressions, the salty fragrance and vibrant color palette of life along the equator.
Being removed from the direct experience of Nature and observing it within a bell jar inside a darkened room made me sad...It created a desire to take off my shoes and sink my feet into cool mud; to stop and listen to the songbirds surrounding me each day; or quietly pause to watch the queen bee dancing from flower to flower...

The stimulating panel discussion: “Envisioning a Sustainable Environment in a Changing Climate� challenged me to reflect on how I have been educated by artists exploring our interconnection to the environment:
The following four artists express life in and out of balance with Nature.

1. W. Eugene Smith’s photo essay on the mercury contamination of a Japanese fishing village; from a factory upstream.
http://www.masters-of-photography.com/S/smith/smith_minamata.html

2. Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance. Collision of our modern world and the environment.
A film by Godfrey Reggio, 1982
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFBijDU8PpE

3. Powers of Ten
By Ray and Charles Eames.
“ A film dealing with the relative size of things in the universe.
And the effect of adding another zero.�
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBsOeLcUARw

4. mike + doug starn:
Gravity of Light.
“ The Sun pulls the planets around itself; the back porch light pulls the moth from the darkness. Trees, made from light, grow towards it. The gravity of light is so broad and vast it is not noticed.�
http://www.starnstudio.com/


Rosalux

It would be difficult to understand the significance of Russian icons, for example, without some historical knowledge of the time and place they were produced, because they are not a part of American culture today. Should contemporary art likewise require some academic study of time and place when the time and place is the present? For many of the artworks currently on display in the Rosalux Gallery, I felt as though I was coming from a time and place alien to wherever they came from. I didn’t feel as though I had the proper tools to connect with them. The sculptures of Tim Roby, for example, baffled me. All I could think of were The Flintstones. What context were these sculptures born out of? One different from the one I live in.

could imagine some of the art works being more intriguing in another context. The Caroline Kent piece of white sheets of paper covered with what looks like doodles out of the notebook of a high schooler, is one example. I attempted to read the words and derive some meaning from them, but after a minute of not finding any connections, I decided to move on. Perhaps had this art been the endpapers of a hard-bound book cover, I would have been more interested in reading and discovering each little part. In a location like the inside of a book cover, where little artistic attention is usually given, it would have stood out as something special, because I would not be expecting to see much beyond plain white paper. The unexpectedness is what would have intrigued me.

Form + Content

The exhibit meant something more to me after hearing the panel discussion. We need artists to show the beauty in the world so that the viewers of art feel a personal connection with the environment, and who will then, therefore, feel the need to personally protect it. I agree that artists can have this powerful ability. Through the exhibit alone, however, my eyes did not sense the beauty of the Galapagos. For me, the images themselves were not beautiful. The choppiness of the video repulsed me. It hurt my eyes and frustrated me. I know from what I have been told in the past that the flora and fauna of the Galapagos are magnificent. I could have imposed that knowledge on the video images I saw underneath the glass jars on the table. I could have then interpreted the neon glow of the moving images contained within the bell jars as mysterious and precious. I could have then concluded that there are precious things in the world that need to be protected from human destruction. All of these conclusions would come from a very cerebral place. A place of “I think� rather than “I feel.� Should one be required to bring specific historic or scientific knowledge into an art exhibit in order to interpret it? I don’t think so.

Form and Content

I really enjoyed the trip to Form and Content Gallery. Despite being squeezed into a very small space, the exhibition was very powerful, providing a surreal perspective on the intersections in life between the human and animal worlds, both the same and very different from each other. The table in the center of the exhibition space, “filled� with jars of video specimens of various exotic animals, turned the lens of perceived roles around a little bit, as it seemed like the animals “inside� the jars were looking out at us, observing the humans. This shift in my perspective made me think about the whole process of visiting culturally significant places such as galleries, and the highly public atmosphere that is created by this. The intersection of societal elements, such as art and technology, with the organic, natural world, has the potential to really blur the boundaries between public and private space.

20080630_"Why You Belong"

20080630_Chambers Exhibit

Today I visited the Chambers Gallery to see the exhibit “Why You Belong�.
I was drawn to the idea of Beijing Film Academy and University of Minnesota students addressing the question “Why You Belong� - photographically.

Three pieces captured my imagination and left me wanting more:
Christopher Bakers piece “My Map� was a intricate mandala of influences in his life; surrounding an internal arc of fire.

“Loneliness floating in the memory� by Wang Yan Shu invites us into a dream... a saturated dream...red yarn unravels on the tarmac under an infinite sky. A lone figure grounds the piece, providing perspective and a point of reference within the surreal landscape.

Cheryl Wilgren Clyne’s photograph “when two were three� offers an intimate vision of childhood illuminated by the cool glow of technological tools. Young girls exhibiting both intense concentration and awe while working at keyboards...combining precise technical skills with youthful creative expression can manifest awe inspiring moments.

Throughout the exhibit I found the influence of Robert Frank, Cindy Sherman, Hannah Hoch, Ed Ruscha and Robert Longo. Technology is rapidly connecting the globe; the tools and techniques for photographers are becoming universal. A distinctive expression of self is challenging as process and technique are fed through computers and rendered in pixels. Artists with compelling concepts supported by innovative technique do offer a unique expression of “self in the 21st century� whether they reside in Beijing or Minneapolis.

form+content

The darwin table really stood out to me. It most of all I think was unavoidably the most noticable peice in the space. It was more than just a picture on a wall, or a movie. It took up space, and things that take up space get noticed. I really liked the idea of it. the specimen jars that did not contain specimens, but rather, a sort of connection to the specimen by way of the video. It was clearly a message to me about not wasting out natural resources, he can make use of them without killing, or ruining things. The weirdest one was the eyes jar. It didn't seem to fit with the rest, which basically encompassed whole animals. But this was just eyes. The linking of humanity to wildlife and nature? eyes are the windows to the soul.

Form + Content + Dolphins!

I thought that the Form + Content gallery was very interesting. It was a simple room but it had character. Those old wood framed brick buildings sure do make an interesting venue for the arts. And I like that it's a smaller gallery. I love photography and would enjoy having an exhibition at a place like that one of these days. My favorite piece from the exhibit has to be the audio/video presentation located in the back of the gallery. I think that most of the world is tragically disconnected from truly important issues of the day because they lack that tactile experience that shows them the issue first hand. It's honestly hard to read about an issue like dead zones in the ocean and be able to grasp the true scope of the problem. Not that everyone can do this, but it would really help people to understand the problems of the world or appreciate things of beauty if they were able to see them up close.

The dolphin presentation really helped me to feel like I was there on the boat, standing on the bow, watching them ride the wake of the ship. The addition of the aqua phone recording helps the viewer to relate with the dolphins even more. They were communicating, and I think seeing that helps us realize that they are intelligent, and something to be cherished.

Rosalux

I was glad to see the exhibition as a whole since there were really interesting works, but I was gladder to see the works of Gregory Euclide and Tony Sunder because Euclide was my high school art teacher and Sunder graduated from my high school a few years before me.
I feel like "...Whose Protection of the Trough Was Selected Scenes and Sediment" by Euclide is similar to what he previously created when I used to see his work everyday in school, but different in that it incorporated various media and definitely has a sculptural component to it. He is moving beyond the 2-D surface and providing new experiences regarding the environment through his new choices in his art making practice. I am interested in seeing how far he will take this approach.
Sunder's work is drastically different than what I remember seeing. Of course, it was high school, but I think even after high school, he worked mostly in painting. I feel like by working with installation pieces, he is presenting himself as an artist in broader terms. I would like to know what triggered him to try installation after doing years of painting.
As for the exhibition as a whole, I liked the variety of media that artists who were presented were working with. There were works made with fast food wrappers, hair, beer cans, along with more traditional media.


About Me

Growing up I was very shy. School was very difficult for me at times because I just didn't have the tools and the self esteem to carry myself. Classes like math were very hard for me. I found some comfort in the various art projects that my classmates and I got to do. I once did a water color painting of my family's boat, and to my surprise, later found it on display at the local community center where I was taking piano lessons. My teacher had never even told me about it.

Later on it was discovered that I was colorblind. That came as a shock, but it explained why my classmates sometimes inquired as to why I chose to use certain colors in my artwork. In Junior High, I got to try my hand at sculpture. We got to make pots and sculptures. My scary 6' 8" art teacher Mr Alexander really liked my work. He even put one of my sculptures on display for the whole school to see. Then I took another ceramics class in high school. I created a wild looking sculpture that started in an organic, rounded form and ended in a boxy sharp edged form. I gave it to my parents and later found out that my mom threw it away! Thanks mom!!!!

Since High School, photography has been my passion. I love going outside and capturing images of interesting vantages and landscapes. I have honed my skills over the past 14 years and feel that I have captured some beautiful shots. In the last few years, I have also come to enjoy expressing myself through writing and other forms of electronic media. I've created a website, designed graphics that compliment the layout of documents and even assembled some photos and music to create a sort of music video that expresses my concerns regarding the state of things in our world. In this class, I hope to learn even more valuable skills that will both help me to express myself and make me more marketable in my chosen career.

Rosalux and Chambers Galleries

Open Door

Rosalux on Washington Ave.

There was quite a variety of pieces at the Rosalux gallery. There was a shredded denim work shirt accompanying a painting (?) that was based or stenciled from the original shirt. I happened to like the pieces that were on the opposite wall from the denim shirt. It was an interesting idea sending current through colored foil while its resting on paper.

There were about four sheets of paper that the artist created. Though it was a good idea, I think that the pieces could have been a little larger. The sheets were too small and the designs seemed a little too simple. Having said that, I think that the idea of using electricity to create designs and produce colors is very interesting.


Why We Belong

Chambers Gallery

The “Why We Belong� exhibit gave us Minnesotans a look at the art of the people of China, and some pieces showed China itself. It was an interesting collection of different media. There were a number of items that looked like they were manipulated photos. I would’ve described them as “Photoshopped� but I’m not sure if Photoshop is the world standard! I liked the manipulated photo of the woman that portrayed her as both gigantic and smaller. I’m not sure what message she was trying to relay, but it was interesting and her image gave us a view into her culture.

Surfacing

The repetitive motions of the dolphins as they swam through the waves were unlike what I would have previously imagined such scenario to be like. The video’s quality seemed to be a bit like stop motion, which made the waves appear non-undulating. The ocean seemed more like March slush that we have in Minnesota, the kind that is composed of snow, ice, dirt, and random debris of the bygone winter. At first, it was startling to see the dolphins emerge from such type of water that seemed to me to be so unnatural and mechanic. The leaping spinner dolphins were the only indicators that allowed me to know that the sea indeed was filled with life beneath the slow, jerking surface that I was seeing on the screen. The music supported this sort of a realization as well. There was an overall calming quality to the sounds, but the details that fleetingly floated up and down in scales supported what the dolphins seemed to represent. To me, Surfacing indicates that only the living forces such as the leaping dolphins can give us a sense of connectedness beneath the deceptive visual surface of the ocean; it magnifies the simple idea that the sense of life also exists beneath the surface.

Diane Willow

I was glad to have Diane Willow come and speak to our class on Tuesday this week. Her work involving public spaces, and transforming these spaces from stale, to more intriguing and intimate spaces, appeals to me very much. As a student of landscape architecture, I am in favor of organic and aesthetic elements intertwined in our most public, and constructed places, so as to keep the cyclical balance that humans have with nature, a focus of everyday life. Climate and energy issues are talked about all the time these days, but the issue is kept very one-dimensional, always about oil. Bringing the discussion into the smaller scales of everyday life can be even more important, as it directs people’s thought in subliminal and emotional ways to a more understanding perspective.

Chambers

I like the idea of having the art work exist in a restaurant setting. It allows people to approach art less as an object to be just stared at for a little bit, but more as something that one is always aware of or surrounded by.
Yet, due to the fact that it is more of an upscale place, I feel like it is not that accepting of an atmosphere, although you are free to enter and just view the work as you please. It feels more intimidating than just visiting a public museum.
I liked Morimura's piece called "Blinded by the Light", which was a photograph. It reminded me of Mannerist paintings with the exaggerated movements. The photograph satirizes the Japanese consumerist culture and the artist ties it to Bruegel's "Blinded by the Light". I think the reason why I liked this piece was because it juxtaposed what I feel like was a Mannerist style with a criticism of modern Japanese culture.
The exhibition as a whole did not directly deal just with personal self-identity, but with the idea that "self" cannot be explained without the greater society at large. Like Morimura's piece, "Other Thing" by Gupta " is a personal commentary on his society regarding the dichotomy of the advantaged and the disadvantaged in India by turning the common chapati tongs (kitchen utensil) into an object of art. He described that his pieces demonstrates "riot of steel. An intense silence as well as intense shriek"
This exhibition made me feel like the environment that I live in and the society that I grew up in becomes more personal to the level of even prescribing a set of identities that you attach yourself to.

Presentation: Diane Willow

Before I saw the presentation, I did not know that Diane Willow was the one who created the rocking bench that was in Regis before. That did not previously fit in with what I thought time and interactivity meant as a field of study. Diane Willow seems to have done many things that may call for a broader definition of interactive media or time and interactivity or whatever you would like to call this field of study. My favorite piece by her was the one with leaves that were connected and made sounds without breaking into bits. When I asked her about whether she would be a installation artist, a video artist, or have some sort of a prescriptive title, I found out that naming this field of study is also still a working process even for people who are practitioners of it. I like the fact that it is such a broad area of study, for it encompasses variety of projects that are seemingly unrelated.

Form and Content Gallery

I thought the Form and Content Gallery was going to be a like a large art museum with blistering white walls and so much room that makes the entire place feel cold and empty. I was surprised and awed when I walked into the gallery to find a nice cozy room with a darkened and relaxing atmosphere. The first thing I noticed was Darwin's Table with five bell jars. The outer two jars on either side depict creatures from the Galapagos Island and the one of the turtles and the eye made me think how we were all born from the Earth. The clips of the turtle’s foot made me think of large rocks lying in the dirt but then it changes to show that it is actually the front foot of the turtle. The video of the fish eye changing into a human eye helps me see even more that we are born from mother nature and that so many creatures have come from the world of the sea.
In the back of the room, there was a video of spinner dolphins jumping from the water and racing at the front of a ship. I found this work to be the most amazing as the video itself was actually many still shots being displayed for a few seconds then the next one would show. Added to the video is the sound of waves splashing and moving and the dolphins leaping out of the water coupled with light music. With both the soothing sounds of the ocean and the swirling blue waves in each shot, I truly believed many times that the dolphins and the water was truly moving freely. The entire work induces a calm trance and helped me relax that I was surprised when it ended, only to start over again in a constant loop. The different works of art truly makes me believe that we are born of the ocean as we feel that calming effects the ocean gives back to us, reminding us of our origins. I wonder if Darwin felt the pull of the ocean as well on his voyage.

Thoughts on Erins Presentation

Even though there were some technical difficulties, I found that learning a bit of how the class was in the past is interesting in seeing how far the class has come. When she took time and interactivity, it seems they focused more upon motion sensors while it looks like we will be focusing more upon animation. I thought the clip she showed about a sensor that keeps lights constantly flashing to be interesting. The lights appear to be covered in feathers and when the room is completely dark, the flashing lights remind me of an intense lightning storm. The many feathers appear as dense clouds in the dark and the lights as sudden lightning. You wouldn't know that it was just a bunch of light and feathers on he ground until the light is turned on to reveal the little project.

20080718_Self Reflection

Self Reflection

The seed contains the tree. The boy contains the man.

Looking back through my life I arrive at the young boy who manifests the essence of who I am today.

In the childhood image I submitted to this weblog: at two years old I sit atop a toy tractor on the shore of Lake Minnetonka...dark curls crown my head. I look directly into the camera. No forced exuberance nor awkwardness at being photographed...I maintain a direct connection to the camera.

My life has been a path of deep thought and activity with surges of creative impulses providing new energy and direction.
Curiosity has been a defining attribute that has led me down interesting roads.

Today as a father to my young son; I reflect on my life and what qualities I would like to nurture in him...
- a developed heart and mind with a unified spiritual core...
-a reverence for life combined with the ability to be lighthearted, relaxed and confident in seeking adventure. Adventures in the exploration of self, new friendships & lifelong learning.

“What you put your attention to grows strongest in your life.�
-Vedas

20080710_Chambers Hotel_ MCAD MFA Exhibit

“Battlefield� drawing by Debra Breurs, 2007

The deliberate, black & white charcoal and pastel lines on the 5’ x 7’ paper drew me in...I wanted to follow each line and reflect on the intricate beauty of each passionate stroke...depicting innocence on the edge of darkness...I could live with this work and appreciate it deeply each day...at times it feels dark and foreboding at other times it feels hopeful...the work resonates with me a week later... I Googled the artist but unfortunately did not find a link? This suprised me; that an MFA Student would not have a link to view more work and receive commission inquiries...


Gorilla

A beautiful night in the city...a modern hotel with an open air courtyard, home to an enormous gorilla who shares his space with a lively mass of humanity who've ventured out to see and be seen...the gorillas presence is formidable and one cannot forget he is present; no matter how interesting the conversation...or visually stimulating the crowd may be...I think of Diane Fossey in the jungle...silently looking through the banyan trees...as a Gorilla grooms himself in the coolness of the shadows...the Chambers is far removed from Gorilla habitat...yet this beautiful sculpture reverberates with the essence of humid oversized vegetation and the screeching of exotic birds...I pause to escape...

OToole: About me

I have worked as and audio engineer for almost 15 years. Before that I was an auto mechanic. I majored in English Literature in college. I think that I was looking for an inherent truth in the books, but I never could distil one.

I have an awkward relationship with and the artistic process. I am always taking things apart mechanically. I don’t feel in touch with the creative process and I am challenging myself to explore my disconnect by taking this class.

I have a great respect for people who seem to have a natural eye, hand, and voice. I am very good and structure, planning and timing, but I don’t feel like I have a knack for the original. My goal for ARTS 1601 is to experience not being solely tech support for the arts.

phillip

Quarter Gallery

Being a person with the travel bug, I always like seeing different cultures and hearing different points of view. China seems like a great mysterious country that has all of the sudden thrust onto the world stage because of their new economic policies. Their population is around 4 billion (or more?) and their government has been known to be heavy handed. (Not that the US has been too stellar in regards to human rights either of late)

With that in mind, I was almost surprised to learn that the U of M has been actively collaborating with Chinese artists in a free and open environment. I enjoyed the works that sought to project or imply ideas into the views mind. The piece that showed the woman in the picture on the left and just a dress on the right side was not in any way was simple but it illicits a feeling to the viewer. Since we Americans are on the conservative side when it comes to nudity, it makes me wonder what the Chinese think of the piece?

Autobiographical Image Text

Although I consider myself to be a generous and compassionate person, I also know that I often conceal my true feelings by wearing a sort of “mask� when interacting with others. Often I feel the need to hide my true thoughts and emotions to avoid conflict. Whether I want to disguise myself in order to appear “cooler� or “smarter� or “stupider,� anything that portrays me as someone other than who I feel I am, the “mask� is still my face. I think that I can fool people if I dawn this imaginary façade, but my teachers in the actor-training program I attend all assert that “the body does not lie.� No matter the appearance of the face, the body speaks the truth. Maybe it is that as much as I may think that I can pretend to be someone else, actually, I do not succeed, because I cannot conceal beyond my face. Much of my acting training has been learning how to calm the muscles in the face and find the expression in the whole body. In some exercises, we cover our faces with masks in order to isolate focus on the body from the neck down. Without the crutch of facial expressions when wearing a mask, my body feels exposed. I am not accustomed to relying on my body to present myself. Vulnerability, a quality of most great actors, is one of the scariest and therefore most difficult things to allow myself to have.

Quarters Gallery

Two of the pieces in the quarters gallery really appealed to me.
The pieces themselves, one created by a student from the Beijing
Film Academy, and the other by a student from the U of M, were very
different in technique and concept, but had some similarities in
their visual elements. The first piece was unobtrusive, a large
print mostly in gray and light tones, showing a construction zone
with sand and tarp strewn over the ground. When viewed more
intensely though, an object in the background, which I later
learned to be the Beijing Olympic Stadium, drew me in closer and
closer to the photograph, with its intricate, overlapping arcs. I
was mesmerized by this object, and the photo was made so intriguing
by the limited amount of the structure that was visible.

A second piece that appealed to me showed a black background with
swirling orange and yellow lines, forming an elaborate, but
confusing design. It started to make sense as I saw the many names
connected by these arcs, and noticed my class instructor’s among
them, with a significant concentration of arcs. While I did not
know whose work this was, it was apparent that the connections
between people were being emphasized, and it made me think of the
web, and connections and community formed by cyberspace.