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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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For my third project, I utilized the idea of making a music video inspired by the way in which people dance. I feel it was executed to my liking, however, I could have improved on attaining a message to a more broad audience by simplifying the piece through using less filter editing.

Through various filming sessions and music selection, I was able to shoot various clips of female youth which play a large part in my life here in minneapolis. I am from Michigan, so I have no connections or family in minnesota. I nanny and have a boyfriend who has many relatives as well. These individuals seen in the video are all girls which I role model for and also help me to become a better individual as well. They are "family" for me and give me a sense of meaning and purpose for where I am at currently in my life.

I film them all dancing to the same music in different settings of their own homes. It is really fun to see how each of them interpret the music they are listening to through their body movements. I try to capture this in emphasizing the moves which I found most original to their particular personalities as individuals in each little dance clip. Despite the use of my many filters, I feel that overall, it was fairly successful. I will admit that eliminating some, if not all, of the filters might improve the piece. But, that can be done again. I might try to do this.

As for the outcome of the piece, I showed it to many people. All of whom enjoyed seeing these girls act goofy and express themselves behind the scenes in a way most people may not have envisioned them. The girls really enjoyed watching themselves in the final video and it was a type of positive motivation and result they got to see from themselves. I felt they had a boost in their self confidence. That in itself was very rewarding to me.

Brett Westgor Project 3

Media Mill Video

Minutes after the class was assigned project 3, I started writing down different ideas. Since I had the freedom to do almost anything I wanted, I was excited to start the project as soon as possible. My first idea was to write an episode for a fake humorous “fishing show.? I thought it might be an interesting idea since it was unheard of and original. I then changed my direction to a fake documentary and thought that might be funny to work with too. I then thought of different friends who might help me with my project and remembered that one of my friends Mandy was going to school to be an actress. I asked her if she would be up for the challenge and she said yes. I started writing that day and came to the conclusion that it might be funnier if I had her make stuff up. So we created this “character? for her to act as and she began talk about random subjects as I filmed.

We had ideas of what she was going to do in her “normal day.? I filmed her waking up in the morning, making breakfast, eating, putting on make-up, going to an audition, hanging out at a friend’s house and going to a coffee shop. I originally wanted other people to interview and have them talk about her. I was going to have them talk about how they were only her friends because they felt bad for her. Yet, by the end of the shooting, I only had one friend that I had time to interview. So with only one person interviewed, I thought it might be better to focus on only Mandy.

The camera shots were hard to get because the camera always fell out of focus. I knew I had to work really hard with my shots to make sure they didn’t look out of focus. After I recorded a good hour of footage, it was time to edit in final cut pro. This part of the project took more time then anything else. I was working on editing my project for hours and hours. At one time, I was editing from 2:00pm-9:00pm in a single sitting. I had filmed so many shots that It took me more than an hour just to cut them up. After I had finished editing, I felt great. I thought the project turned out just the way I wanted it to. My beginning and end intention of the project was pretty similar. It was definitely the most fun project I had done at the U of M.

Jonathon Robbins Project Three

Media Mill Video

Jordain Chinander Project Three

Media Mill Video

December 8, 2008

Emmanuel Project 3

Media Mill Video

For my final project I stuck pretty well to my original project proposal of a creating a mockumentary about experimental film makers. The movie starts off with a cheesy credit sequence for a public-access style arts program, titled "The Artist's Corner." It progresses to the same aesthetic of public access style interview, with the direction for my friend Adrian, the interviewer, to "just suck up to the film makers as much as possible." I wanted him to have a James Lipton "Inside the Actor's Studio" brown-nosing quality. He proceeds to interview my friend Alex and myself, and I inter cut the interview with scene about what were talking about.

This project was the most fun for me to create, but also the most labor intensive. Because there was no formal script, but rather an outline which we all improvised around it was difficult to keep a straight face. Therefore I ended up with roughly an hour and a half of footage which I had to edit down to about 9 minutes. The editing process therefore became quite intensive, with sorting through the clips for good takes, editing jokes together and trying to keep the pacing correct. After my rough draft review I decided to do two separate cuts of the movie, one which runs longer that Katinka had said was a little confusing, but featured one of my favorite jokes, and the cut that I posted here, which does a better job at keeping the pacing.

I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to animate something in after effects. It's funny how I had such a grand idea in my head about what I wanted the opening credits to look like, but without knowledge of the software I was left flailing in the water. Eventually I was able to create some sort of semblance of an intro, but it still doesn't match the million dollar budget idea in my head.

The intent of this final project for me was to take what I learned from the previous two projects and use the techniques and skills that I learned to put together a (hopefully) funny movie. I think the first stop motion animation really helped me with the pacing of my project, and the remaking of the Royal Tenenbaums scene really prepared me for editing as well as the lighting effects and soundtrack portion. I tried to create a funny situation that sometimes was a flat out joke, but other times the humor was more obscure or existed rather in the awkward pauses or pacing of the interview. By this point I've watched it so many times during the editing process that I don't find it as funny as I used to, so I am really looking forward to the critique to see if it illicits any laughter from the audience.

Another aspect that I am actually very happy about how it turned out which I tied to this final project was the menu of my DVD for this project. I worked hard again in After Effects to create an animation, then reimported all of my movies and the After Effects into Final Cut to create the background menu for the DVD. I think it has a very polished finished look to it and adds more interest than just a gray background.

Overall I am really happy with how this project and the DVD turned out and would like to continue honing my skills in all of the areas and programs that we were introduced to in this class.

Tyler Project 3

Media Mill Video

For my third project I copied a lot of the assignment for the first project. I made a stop motion documentary type of project that presents the question, what is art. I spent hours driving around both my community, surrounding cities, and downtown minneapolis (everywhere that I knew the streets) looking for objects, paintings, and really anything that could be art. My project challenges what is art and what is not art and how one makes that decision. In the end, my project tells the audience that art is what you make it and it can be very different for each person. Personally, art has to do with the intent of the creator. If I am making a display for christmas, am I doing it to represent an ideal or story, or do I do it to sell as a decorative piece. Either way you could argue that it is, or is at least the product of, art.

I believe that I got a good mix of objects and enough of each to show that it is not just a unique installation but that they are all objects found spread thoughout cities. One of my favorite objects is a motorcycle that is made of all sorts of hardware and engine pieces. This may be an example of art as a craft whereas the sign that says defend marriage and shows a picture of a man and woman could very easily be seen as art representing an idea.

Although my third project does not delve to deep into my personal thoughts on art (I'm still not sure where art provides meaning to my life - I have not thought about it all that much until this point and a couple weeks has not allowed me to really find my lifes art perspective), I think that it does represent my view that art is a very personal activity. I know that art is also a uniting force but I think that meaning is a very personal thing with art and that great art can only be made from ones true feelings.

What I would most like people to get from this project is the sense that even if they do not have a great appreciaition for art, or have never really paid much attention to it (like me until recently), you are still influenced by art whether you realize it and accept it or not. As my project ends: Art is everywhere. It may not be in everything... But it is up to you to find it.

lauren project 3

Media Mill Video

Extra Credit Reflection on Gallery Visit: Emily Burchell

The exhibition I went to was "Millions of Innocent Accidents" by Hardland/Heartland and "Unconventional Wisdom" by Mike Elko and Ruthann Godollei at the MEAP Galleries, Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
From my gatherings, the exhibition was a group exhibition. It was titled by one person but more than one name appeared in the works throughout the entire exhibition. The media which were used were paints, newspapers, digital imaging and screen printing, charcoal, household objects, random materials and objects not specified, sound systems, wood, and visual projectors/TV's. The exhibition was arranged sort of in a random order but most of the artists were grouped together by similar authors.

The main theme which I gathered from the exhibit was graphic arts combined with a black humor featuring a combination of war, politics, corruption, various countries, and American disasters.
It was designed to showcase the work of individual artists while at the same time displaying a common idea presented in each section of the exhibit, which I talked about above.

One image in particular which I thought was interesting was by Ruthann Godollei - Earplugs, 2000 Etching with Screenprint. An image showed an green iPod set in a black and white background. The screen of the iPod displayed: "podcasts-Pretend there's now war, stick it in your ear"...which then showed the headphones which were attached to the iPod as the main subject of the message which engaged the viewer. I believe that the artist was inspired by the economy and politics of the 21st century.

If I was to invite a friend or give feedback on the entire installation, I would tell my friend that the exhibition is visually loud and has various audio sounds as well to accompany the visual images. Somewhat striking, not very easy to describe, it's better to be seen in person to fully understand the concept of the artist and receive the full experience. The concept contains various alternative views and is playful with serious issues regarding the world today. Gave the sense that Americans are oblivious and uninformed with a dramatic effect. I also thought it was kind of scary and didn't really enjoy that part of the viewing. Intimidating is what I might call it. Hard concepts to understand and fairly abstract.

Extra Credit Artist Paper: Emily Burchell

Matthew Barney was born March 25, 1967, in San Francisco. In 1989, he graduated from Yale University, New Haven. The art which he creates combines sculptural installations with performance and video. His inspiration for creative process utilizes the physical aspects of sport and the various ways in which man can be involved in movement to find any limits of the body pertaining to sexuality. By doing this type of investigating, Barney's work reflects his own past as an athlete, while also contributing to the topic of the body often seen in the work of many contemporary artists. Barney’s actions are exposed in various hybrid spaces that are often in the form of an athletic center and medical research laboratory. Often, these spaces consist of wrestling mats and blocking sleds, sternal retractors and speculums, and a range of props often molded into, or coated with, substances such as wax, tapioca, and petroleum jelly. Indeed, his earliest works, created at Yale, were staged at the university’s athletic recreational center. The use of this atmosphere for creation, Barney’s visual presentations (such as a man dressed up in costume and Barney himself absolutely naked or dressed as a transvestite) further display figurative movements and dancing to distinguish sexual differentiation.

Barney’s fascination and artistic representation of the body is inspired by the athlete and human development. He utilizes the idea of physical struggle and resistance by giving the illusion of muscular growth through the ripping and internal physiology existing within the body during exercise. The end result is a stronger, healthier muscular function. This articulate relationship between the idea of wanting something, self discipline, and the action of actually being productive is the basis for Barney’s thoughts on the differences between sexes.

A work in which Barney is most known for is his Cremaster cycle, which he created in 1994. Similar to the Star Wars trilogy, he did not follow any sort of chronological order with his creations. The first production was Cremaster 4, in 1994, then Cremaster 1, in 1995, followed by Creaster 5, in 1997, Cremaster 2, in 1999, and finally Cremaster 3, in 2002. The Cremaster cycle takes the form of feature films, all of which are written and directed by Barney. He also partakes in acting as one or more characters in his own films, along with the creation of sculptures, drawings, and photographs which he ties into the series. The concept that Barney is trying to embody with this work is the male cremaster muscle. This particular muscle controls testicular contractions in response to various external stimuli. I feel that he is successful in presenting this because his imagery is somewhat grotesque and intrigues the viewer to investigate the situation, even if the viewer might feel slightly uncomfortable or threatened. This results in the idea that the viewer would possess a slightly defensive reaction, thus embodying the function and actions represented by the cremaster muscle. Through the creation of this cycle, Barney found a way to look beyond biology as a way to explore the human creation, utilizing other sources for structure and artistic presentation, such as biography, mythology, and geology.


An artist which I would compare Matthew Barney to would be Catherine Sullivan. Both Barney and Sullivan use film to evoke various emotions of curiosity and hesitation from the viewer. By displaying a series of awkward body movements and distorted visual appearances, I find they are both successful in creating a type of bazar artistic point of view. The human body is a main focal point for both of these artists. They both utilize the manipulation of natural movement and control of the human body to create an illusion of a loss of control and bodily function.

I would recommend a friend to view the work of Matthew Barney because it is very interesting. The art he creates is not a vision that can be seen any other way. The work provokes curiosity and triggers the mind of the viewer to experience various emotions that are fantastical and indescribable. The work is as if it were a dream. Also, I would recommend a viewer because I have never seen another art form which comes close to that of Matthew Barney's presentations.

lauren project 3

For my final project I followed my proposal pretty closely. I continued working with the humor theme from my other two projects and recreated a scene from Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush. The scene from The Gold Rush is about three hungry men in a cabin seeking shelter. However, when the owner of the cabin finds the two other men loitering in his cabin a comedic fight ensues. I chose this scene because I felt it had a lot of slapstick elements and it also plays off of my second project where there's comedy in a possible tragedy; Chaplin could have been shot. I also chose this scene because when I first saw it in the movie it straight out made me laugh - hopefully with the version I made others will see the humor in it as well.

When deciding to make this particular scene I was really concentrating on story and sound. I feel that with any project I make that story is the most important aspect in turning out a good product. With movies - if they have excellent special effects that's great, but it's still a bad movie because the storyline falls flat. So with this scene I really wanted it to be a mini story with a beginning, middle, and end so that it would make sense out of the context of the film which is something I had to work around in my last project. I also wanted to work on sound and improve on it from my last projects. So that also factored into my choice of a Chaplin film because sound becomes very important with a silent movie in directing the audience's mood toward characters and the situation. I took the original soundtrack from the scene and rearranged it, cutting and adding, so it would fit well with my shots as my recreation is not exactly the same as the original.

When shooting the scene, since I'm an awful actor, I instead paid more attention to the setting and other details in order to create a more believable experience. I used a 3-season porch for it to look more like a cabin and also because it allowed us to actually enter and exit the scene and not just walk off frame. Other details that I focused on in order to create a Chaplinesque experience was to make it in black and white and to add the old film effects. With the effects it was hard to tell how much was too much before it looked really fake or distracted away from the story. If I had more time I would have liked to play around with it more and also I would have liked to speed up the film and add at the beginning a projector sound and some flickering black and white so it would seem like this was actually film and had to be run on a projector.

Overall, this was a really fun project to make for me and for future projects this has really helped me see where I need to improve and spend more time on.

December 6, 2008

Dane Thomforde - Project 3

Media Mill Video

December 4, 2008

Extra Credit Artist paper, Jordain Chinander

Yoshitaka Amano, an Artist of True Inspiration
Written by: Jordain K. Chinander

I am writing about my favorite contemporary artist, a person who is an endless inspiration to me, Yoshitaka Amano. Yoshitaka began as a professional artist at a young age and has continued to produce new works and generate fresh ideas ever since. Amano has a style like nothing else I have ever seen. He has works spanning the artistic gamut. Be it illustration work in books and graphic novels or film and animation pieces, Yoshitaka can draw, paint, or design for anything thrown at him while still staying true to his own unique style, and that is what makes him an artist worthy of admiration. I hope to someday be as successful and fulfilled as he in my own career as a visual artist.

Amano was born in 1952 a small town at the base of mount Fuji in Shizuoka Japan. He showed interest in drawing from a young age. As a young child he would waste the day away drawing endless pictures on large rolls of paper that his older brother would bring home for him from the factory that he worked in.

In 1967 at the age of only 15, he boldly marketed himself to the Tatsunoko animation studio while visiting a friend of his in Tokyo. The studio was so impressed with the paintings Amano presented to them that they instantly put him to work on a series they were producing at the time. The show was called “Space Ace and Mach Go Go Go.? From the work he did on that series he was promoted to work on additional series like: “Gatchaman,? “Hutch the Honeybee,? and “Cashaan: Robot Hunter.?

After fifteen years with Tatsunoko studios, Yoshitaka began a career as a freelance artist. By this time he had already gained a huge following in Japan and his work was a continued success. From here he began to produce paintings and drawings for many well-known books and graphic novels. Some of his best know works were his character designs for the “Final Fantasy? games and his illustrations done for Hideyuki Kikuchi’s “Vampire Hunter: D? series and Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman: The Dream Hunter.?

Besides his work on T.V. animation series and in books and graphic novel series, Yoshitaka has also had great luck and much fame with him own private works. He has traveled all over the world showing his pieces in some of the best galleries and museums. He has shown in New York City’s Puck Building and at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. His work has been exhibited in the Tokyo Uenonomori Museum, were it attracted an unprecedented record of viewers. He has shown work in Los Angeles and the list goes on and on.

I first found myself attracted to Yoshitaka Amano when I fell in love with the “Vampire Hunter: D? series and movies. From there I began to research his work and found more and more paintings and illustrations that made me love this man’s unique style.

Amano does work in an often very dark and fanciful sort of dream-like manner. His characters always have an airbrushed quality about them and are very often done in way resembling ancient Japanese drawings and paintings. He will sometimes contrast a very dark and silhouetted character with some minimal vibrantly colored detail in the background or somewhere on the character or subject of the piece.

I would have to say what is most breath-taking for me about Yoshitaka’s work is the uncontrollable sense of depth and emotion in the purest form that is inherent in all of his work. I am always taken with each piece of Amano’s that I look upon. He is truly an inspiration for me.

I have never in my life been so attracted to another artist’s style and ability to produce such a variety of work while remaining true to himself and his form of expression. Yoshitaka is in my mind the epitome of what every working artist should strive to become in their own careers. He is true to himself and to his vision. He can draft you a character for a video game, illustrate you a book, design you a clothing line, build you a theatrical set or animate you a movie or T.V. series. He is a true maverick and a brilliant visionary. I hope to someday look back on a career as successful and fulfilling as that of Yoshitaka Amano’s.

December 3, 2008

Mark Beasley-Visiting Artist Review: Emily Burchell

Beasley best exhibits what curators do and their compassion to their work. From people paying money to be kidnapped, to the elephant, Mark shows devotion and hard work in what he does. He does what he loves best. Beasley’s background is of an artist and curator. 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.

I feel that Mark goes beyond that as a hard working and easy going guy who is open to new ideas. Mark described how all producers are curators and with that, they are one true voice. The curator’s voice should be heard equally to the show. Without curators, there wouldn’t exactly be a show for the viewer and audience, but rather there would be more of just a display. Curators impact how we see art in today’s world. There are more and more expressionist and modern art exhibits than in the past. With their visions and capabilities in putting exhibits together, more audience viewers are able to be amazed at what curators can do. Therefore, the artists are able to show their masterpiece in the most effective way that can be imagined.

Right away, Beasley opened the talk with a picture of Malcom from the Sex Pistols. I found Mark Beasley to be an entertaining man. Much different compared to other artists which I have encountered, but it was fascinating to learn of the many obstacles and experiences he has encountered throughout his work. His life revolved around thinking about art and finding new and unique opportunities. This backs up the passion he feels in what he does.

Mark grew up where artists did everything themselves like getting money, space and word out about their projects. His first project was $200 or less and called a fluffer piece. Needless to say he has more potential than just working with the Sex Pistols concepts.

Beasley brought about the “do it yourself? punk ethic and how it is very possible for artists to find or create their own venues in order to show work. With the traveling exhibit around England, they found kids that didn’t have much space for display in their community to exhibit their talent. Beasley was sufficient in his job but also had an influence on these kids to help them grow as perspective artists. With his spoken word projects, he seemed quite enthusiastic and excited giving the impression of endless possibilities. In addition, his collaborative efforts with musicians, visual and performance artists were very interesting. This, again, leads to the quality of his unlimited sense of possibilities.

Amy Project 3 Final Writeup

Media Mill Video

My final project ended up following my original idea. It ended up being a tribute, social action piece, and documentary. First, it was a tribute to my mom. It highlighted her yearlong fight against ovarian cancer. Second, it was a social action piece. The project prompts the viewer to take action and be proactive with their health. Third, it serves as a documentary in the sense that it brings in still images that documents her cancer treatment and survivorship.

I approached this project deciding to keep it shorter in length. As it serves as a social action piece, I wanted it to be shorter so that viewers would stay with it to get the full message. My approach to the project centered on a storyboard. There were many still images and a lot of different points of her story I could choose to hit on. Therefore, I felt it was necessary to storyboard the project so I could finesse the main points. I filmed in Studio B in order to use their black screen, teleprompter, and microphone. I wanted a black background so all of the focus would be on my mom as she spoke. I used the teleprompter so she would be looking into the camera, speaking directly to the viewer. Additionally, the microphone was necessary, as I needed her voice to be extremely clear. I also experienced a lot of camera noise in my second project, and I wanted to cut it down in my final project. In terms of music, I had a lot of different clips I considered using. However, many of the clips had words, which I wanted to avoid. Therefore, I chose sections of different instrumental pieces that were emotive but not distracting. Finally, I incorporated text. The text was used to help tell my mom's story and the project's message.

I wanted the piece's significance to be forefront and obvious in order to clearly reach the viewer. Cancer is something that touches each and every one of us. I have been very involved with cancer research, prevention, and fundraising throughout my life. Throughout my involvement, I have come to realize that many people don't understand that treatment is not the only option; prevention is also a choice. Thus, while I personally realize the importance of awareness and prevention when it comes to the disease, I wanted to spread the message.

During my rough draft review, it was suggested that I add another meaning or element to the piece. Therefore, I chose to tie together my title and end quote. Instead of simply writing the same message twice, I used the AHD pronunciations in the title. I chose to do this because it makes the words initially unclear. This was important for two reasons. First, ovarian cancer is nicknamed the Silent Killer because the symptoms are often hidden. By being proactive and listening to your body, you eliminate the hiding aspect and bring everything out into the open. Second, after my mom presents the message, the unclear title becomes clear, appearing once again as the final quote.