December 15, 2008

Kiki Smith Extra Credit- Brett Westgor

Kiki Smith is one of the weirdest artists I've ever heard of. Even during her interviews, there is an ambient type of music that plays in the background. Kiki Smith grew up in New Jersey but was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1954. Her father was an American sculptor named Tony Smith. When she was a young child, she helped her father make cardboard models for his artwork. Now to this day, Kiki Smith creates many different sculptors, drawings and prints. What I really like about her artistic view is that she creates stories in her artwork. What grabs my attention about these creations is not only the story behind the work but the way it is told inside out. She likes to tell stories involving death, organs, cellular forms and the human nervous system. She has done work about dead animals like crows, as well as her own dead cat. I find this hard to swallow because the subject of death can be very depressing and to create a piece of art that involves a death in your life (ex: her dead cat), I feel that it would be too much negativity from the past to hold on to. Yet, she does not always involve her personal life with her art work. Kiki Smith has received many awards and medals for her work including the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 2000. The amount of work put into her projects is huge and she seems to be one of the best (yet strangest) artists I've ever heard of. I would love to see her artwork in the future. To this day, Kiki Smith lives and works in New York city.

Jonathon Robbins Artist Response/Pierre Huyghe

Recently I decided to choose Pierre Huyghe for my artist reflection and had an interesting time looking over his work. The majority of the pieces I saw from him were either instillation pieces or computer animation/setups. Over viewing his work, I noticed a strong connection with technology and possibly a reflection of what modernity means.

Some of the exhibits I looked at were slightly more confusing than a simply reflection on technology. For instance, "Celebration Park", a piece exhibited at both Paris and Tate Museum contained a large number of neon signs with different phrases on them. The use of neon signs might say something about technology in the world, but I found the saying often used to be cryptic and confusing. Many focused on the idea of not owning or being something, such as "I do not own the death star" or "I do not own modern times". With further thought I can't understand his true meanings behind the exhibit, and suspect it says something about individuality, society, and perhaps our population. It's super ambiguous and hard to decipher.

A simpler piece to understand was his exhibit titled "This is not a time for dreaming". This piece contained various puppets which had strings attached to them, even a Darth Vader puppet. I'm sure by this point Star Wars is simply something that influenced his childhood. As for the puppets the narrative is easy to get as, for a puppet is usually connected to manipulation and control. The puppets were also controlled by larger puppets which might say something of a hierarchal system. This piece had an interesting narrative and well crafted aesthetics.

It was interesting to take a look at his work and perhaps I'll see more of him in the future.


umm... I turned this in by 3:30 pm, but it says something like 9pm.

Jonathon Robbins Project Three

Project Three Proposal/Reflection

For my final project I went through a few ideas before I chose my subject matter: clearing your mind. Grappling with the concept, I came up with the idea to illustrated this feeling by lighting stuff on fire, a very effective way to clear something if you ask me. With that concept in mind, I elaborated on it by decided to use some of my old journals as the tinder needed. With the proper medium, I figured it would be easier to understand that the piece was connected to the thoughts of the mind compared to just ignited papers.

The process was actually a bit more dangerous than I had anticipated, I'll describe it from the beginning. With the paper's chosen from my old journals, I need to tape then to a back board in order to hold them in place while I started them on fire. With that set up and my back board ready, I then duck taped it to my bathroom wall. I laid down a wet towel for the ashed to fall on and opened a window for the smoke and such.

When I final began the process the camera was set up to simple watch in one position, and I began to light the paper on fire. Starting out slow, I light a few pieces and then tried to blow them out as fast as I could. As things went on I ran into something I didn't anticipated as the entire room was filled with smoke, not clearing as fast as I thought it would. The only problem with that is that I was taking giant breaths of air trying to put out the fires I had started and began to get a little lightheaded.

In the end things worked out and nothing started on fire, even though my bathroom was now a despicable mess.

In the editing process I wanted to attempt to illustrated the state of mind more than the physical properties going on in the movie. I used music and sound effects, with some blurring effects, to accomplish this. Looking back I wish I would have had my music track fade out until the entire end, a large symbolic meaning of clearing your mind.

Overall, this was my favorite project, and enjoyed the process.

Wishing all a happy conclusion to this semester,


Dane Thomforde Extra Credit: Potter

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Do-Ho Suh extra credit- Brett Westgor

Do-Ho Suh’s work caught my eye within seconds of watching him. Without knowing anything about him or his projects, I was already sucked in. He was born in 1962. He grew up in Seoul, Korea and went to school at Seoul National University. He earned his BFA and MFA in oriental painting at SNU and later moved to the United States where he continues to study at Yale University. Do-Ho Suh is known for sculptures and installations that challenge conservative concept of scale and site-specificity. One of the things I like about Do-Ho Suh's work is that it creates awareness to the ways viewers engage and occupy public space. Personal space is a pretty big subject that I feel isn’t often talked about. He has always been interested in space and I think the idea that he becomes so specific with that is more interesting for the viewer. Many artists use “space? in a majority of their work but Do-Ho Suh is very different. His perception of personal space has also changed over the years as he continues to follow his obsessive interest. Many people have different lengths of personal space and I think Do-Ho Suh’s ability to challenge that is astonishing.

Another thing I find interesting about Do-Ho Suh is that his pieces are not exactly what you would imagine them to be unless you honestly saw them. The subject of personal space is specific yet broad in many ways. His point of view on personal space does not force him to create these projects that are all over crowed in every way. Some of his projects need time to absorb before they are more clearly understood. I do like the finished designs of almost all the work I’ve seen from Do-Ho Suh. One thing I find difficult to except is that his pieces are all very closely related. Yet, they are still complex enough to the point where you need to take one thing in at a time. The pieces have different meanings in my point of view and it’s harder for me to understand what the artist is trying to show or explain. I feel if I had enough time to see one of his projects up close, I may better understand what he has created. Do-Ho suh has had projects all over the world and his sculptures continually question the identity of the human in today’s global society.

Dane Thomforde Extra Credit: Roberts

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Dane Thomforde Extra Credit: Nelson

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Emily Burchell: Extra Credit curator thoughts

I previously mentioned in a recent post dealing with Mark Beasley, a few of my thoughts regarding curators. To define a curator I would best explain it as one that keeps history and tradition alive by putting their mind together to become an artist. To emphasize on this idea in more detail and description, I would like to go into the topics of historic art and traditional art seen in the eyes of the contemporary artist. Curators usually specialize in a particular area, whether that be museum archeological purposes, or contemporary and historical art, there are many various categories for which curators might fall under. I'm focusing on the art curator.
In contemporary art, the title curator is given to a person who better produces knowledge and better picture of any situation. This might involve finding a strategy for display. Thematic, conceptual and formal approaches are all prevalent. In addition to selecting works, the curator often is responsible for writing labels, catalog essays, and other supporting content for the exhibition. Such curators may be permanent staff members, be "guest curators" from an affiliated organization or university, or be "freelance curators" working on a consultant basis. The late twentieth century saw an explosion of artists organising exhibitions. The artist-curator has a long tradition of influence. Curators serve the practitioners in their field, but they also serve the public at large. In this way, curators are like publishers. They must look both ways, be sympathetic in two directions, be loyal to the artist but also to the visitor. A curator will often be required to perform as an editor, aspiring to refine an exhibition or book to the benefit of artist and audience. Installing exhibitions is itself a minor art form. Curators must also serve the past and the future as well as the present. And they must attempt to be fair to all comers and not succumb to prejudice. They may wish to lead public taste but can only do so by selecting those artists who seem to bear the creative flame. Curators cannot simultaneously work in the public domain and collect privately, or work as artists: these roles could be fatal to the requirement that the curator aspires, like an independent critic, to objectivity, impartiality, and, in the end, justice. If that seems overweening, let us temper it by recalling that the mission statements of most museums usually include the word ‘enjoyment’ as well as ‘understanding’.

Emily Burchell: Extra Credit

The artist, William Kentridge is from South Africa. He works in video and drawing mediums primarily, usually mixing the two, as in his relatively well-known “Felix in Exile,? which can be found on Youtube along with other videos of his. He has also produced tapestries with drawings on them, though the bulk of his projects are video animations of sorts. The ‘classic’ Kentridge work is a video with animation that, unlike traditional cell-based animations, show the drawing process, as Kentridge makes visible erasures on the same drawing, then redraws the figures, moving the action along in his films.
Most of Kentridge’s work deals with political and social themes, coming often from a highly personal point of view. Coming from a tumultuous political area, he he is inspired by the personal struggles of people in this setting, and being a white man from South Africa shapes his viewpoint. Perhaps his most famous series of films are centered around two semi-autobiographical characters, Soho Eckstein, an “avaricious businessman,? and Felix Teitlebaum, the “romantic and somewhat lost soul.? In these pieces especially, it doesn’t seem that he is trying to entertain so much as take the viewer deep inside some mental state. He uses strong visual symbols in his pieces, and reality doesn’t contain the sometimes fantastic things that happen to characters in his films. It does seem he’s motivating us to see the world differently, as a sad but mystical place where emotions kind of reign supreme. There is also quite an existentialist aspect to his work, most of which is focuses around the travails of the individual in the context of an oppressive socirty/environment.
Compared to Lorna Simpson, an artist who also works in film, Kentridge is quite the other side of the spectrum. Firstly, Simpson background is is photography rather than drawing, which may be part of the reason why her films feel more theatrical. Also, Simpson’s movies do not deal with history, at least in such a strong way as Kentridge. His work is deeply rooted n the history of his region, political history especially, and the same can not be said for Simpson. Simpson’s work is more geared toward a gallery space than a single screen, as she has several installation-type pieces that create a sense of environment.
I would definitely tell a friend about William Kentridge, I find his work compelling, and perhaps more importantly, I really enjoy his aesthetics. His drawings look good to me, and his films can be disturbing, but are excellent. He is artist that clearly thinks about his work a lot, and about life a lot, but also that works a lot, which I admire and which shows in his work.

Visiting Artist Response-Brett Westgor

The person I wrote my artist response on was Gabriel Orozco. He likes to deal with the logic of an object and how it works. I like how Gabriel thinks about his projects and art pieces. I feel I understand him more then most artists because I have a connection with a more logical point of view along with my creations in art as well. I feel art can become more twisted within a logical aspect and have a sort of stronger psychological connection that is almost subconscious.

Normally, Gabriel doesn’t do public work. The project I really liked of his was his “Mobile Matrix.? This project is a type of sculpture in a public library that he considered to be a major project. A library in Mexico City asked him to create something inside when the library was finished being built. He replied by saying he would create something after he had had some time to think about some ideas. So when the library was finished being built, he was ready with a few ideas.

One of his ideas was to have this skeleton of a whale in the center of the building. He explained it as “a floating whale in the center of the book shelves.? I love the idea of this because the library is all about using your imagination and creating something huge within your mind. I feel the whale acts as something that can be created with a little imagination within the human mind. Many stories and mythologies also have a whale and it can be related to many different books in general.

From different centers of the skeleton, he drew circles. He started drawing from the joints within the whale and grew out as the circles crossed one another. The circles touched in many different surprising ways and created this giant ring that was seen throughout the entire whale itself. He had to take the bones apart and color the lines in with graphite. He later connected the pieces to re-create this completely different, yet logical, style of art. I felt he was easy to understand immediately. His work and presentation can be read quickly and I feel he can spread his message and understandings. I feel some artists have to many directions in which you can read their art. If the artist is looking for only one direction then they don’t always get the reaction they are looking for. With an artist like Gabriel Orozco, the message is clear and the ideas are still brilliant. He is an inspiring artist and hopefully ill catch his next major project.

December 14, 2008

Jordain Project Three write up

Arts 1601
Jordain Chinander

Final Project write-up

I signed up for this class because I wanted to learn how to create a cartoon animation and I knew that at least one of our projects was an animation project. I learned a lot from my first project and that project gave my enough confidence to try to make a fully cartoon animated project. Having had some experience from my first project that I decided to make my final project a cartoon project inspired by early Disney cartoons. I began this project knowing full well that it was going to be very difficult and time consuming, and yet it has been a dream of mine since childhood to create a cartoon animation, and so I accepted the challenge. Despite the inability to apply the music I would have liked without compromising the quality of the cartoon, I was very satisfied with the final outcome. I think with more time I will be able to further push this cartoon and so I think I will continue to develop this project over my Holiday break. Cartoons, though difficult they may be to create, I have found to be a real passion for me. I believe there will be several more projects like this one in my future.

I initially signed up to be in this class because I wanted try my hand at creating cartoon animations. I wanted to first see if I liked to make one and if so I planned on signing up for the animation class during one of the semesters to come.

I was indeed able to make a couple of cartoon animations in this class and they were very fun and also very difficult and time consuming to produce. I began by creating a sort of “composite? animation for my first project and I found that I really liked to process of creating it.

Based off of the insight I gained from my first project I decided to use the skills and methods I learned from the first animation and push them a little further for a final animation project.

My final project I decided was going to be a cartoon starring myself as an early Disney-esque styled cartoon character. I created the cartoon in a more or less traditional cartoon manner, however I set it in a modern setting as a reflection of my own frustrations with work and the pressures I have felt in today’s poor economy. It was a bit of a challenge to blend the two worlds and still stay true to an early animation style.

I knew based upon how much work the first animation was, that this project was going to be a lot of work. I soon found out after I began, however, that this project was quite a bit more difficult to produce than the first.

The first project was a visual collage of still images/photos and drawn then imported characters. These elements were then animated in Flash on the computer. This project was composed entirely in Flash. First the characters were hand drawn and then imported into Photoshop and then into Flash. Next in Flash I re-drew the characters and gave them a set also drawn in the Flash program. Each character and set component was laid within it own layer built up one on top of another. This allowed me to individually move and alter each figure keyframe by keyframe without disturbing any of the other images.

Though the animation was only some thirty seconds long, it was composed of hundreds of keyframes set in many layers. It was quite a feat just trying to keep all of the layers straight, let alone alter each one in appropriate succession to give the appearance of fluid movement. On a positive not however, I found that even though it was confusing and a lengthy process, as I continued to add on to the animation I became quicker and quicker at altering each keyframe. I believe that with more practice at this process I will become much faster and more efficient at making cartoons.

I initially wanted to lay a soundtrack in this cartoon, although I found that Flash would not recognize the song I had selected from my iTunes. I was able to import the song into Final Cut, however when I exported the Flash cartoon into a QuickTime and then imported that QuickTime into Final Cut, I had lost a considerable amount of visual quality from my cartoon. After the cartoon had been exported from Final Cut then quality of the project had dissipated tremendously and was no longer worthy of submission.

I felt upset at this setback at first and so I went back to my inspiration for some reflection and answers. I re-watched the original Disney cartoons and found that none of them had a soundtrack either. Next I looked to see if they incorporated any sort of text, and there was none. As a result I ultimately decided not to add in text either. Instead I wanted the outrageous facial expressions and the exaggerated gestures of the characters to tell the story.

I think despite the shortness of the animation, it was a success. I am very proud of this project and I think it demonstrates how far I have come since that first project I created. I have strong hopes to continue working on this project during the holiday break and further develop it. I also intend to create many more cartoons from here on out. I would very much like to figure out how to remedy the music and soundtrack issues that I have been faced with in Flash and once I have found a way around it to use music and dialogue in my cartoons in the future.

I have learned so much this semester and I plan to take this knowledge and use it to make many more video and animated projects in the future. I am proud of the work I have created in this class and I know there will be even better projects to come.

December 10, 2008

Emily Burchell Project 3

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Brett Westgor Project 3

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Jonathon Robbins Project Three

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Jordain Chinander Project Three

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