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April 11, 2008

My Crash Course in Art

I don’t know much about art. Compared to most people I don’t know anything about art. I’m a neuroscience and GWSS major. Science is definitely my strong point. I took this class because it seemed interesting, and I was going to have to push my boundaries a lot. I found this to be a correct assumption, and this trip to the Walker was no different.
After an incredibly stressful week, I was pressed for time to complete this assignment. I had to find a feminist art showing in a city where I constantly felt lost. I took the city bus system for the first time (a feat I would never recommend doing alone) on what quite possibly could have been the day with the crappiest weather of the year. After many wrong turns I finally found the Walker Art Museum. As soon as I entered the doors my luck changed.

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April 1, 2008

Assemblage - some reflections

For this assignment, I visited the Assemblage website. The first piece I read, or rather, explored was Wendy Battin’s “Poetry Is Sense, Sensed: A Hypertext Poem.? I liked the format that she, as far as I know, has created for her poetry. Her poem is broken up into pieces, each with its own page. The user begins by clicking a link that sends you to any one of the pieces, at random. One page, for example, reads, “Poets have voices the way mountains have hermits.? That page contains two more links to different pages. I liked the fact that there seemed to be no correct, definitive way to read this poem; the reader jumps randomly from one piece to another, often coming across the same piece of text a number of times. It mirrors the way I tend to read: My eyes dart all over a page, and often fixate on certain passages. It also removes linearity from the narrative, so that its progression feels more like wandering around Wikipedia than reading a novel.
I actually became somewhat less impressed with this piece when I read more about Wendy Battin and her formidable credentials. “Poetry Is Sense, Sensed? looks crude, like a personal website from the mid-nineties, and I was surprised to learn she received her master’s degree (in the University of Washington’s Creative Writing program) in 1981, has been published numerous times, and has been the recipient of a number of prestigious fellowships and awards. Her poem feels more like the work of an amateur than a fulltime scholar of creative writing. I was also a little disappointed to see a linked “plain text version? of the poem, which displays the text in a traditional format. This made me think that, rather than making a poem whose structure would be different for each viewer, she had merely inserted an existing poem into this new format. I much prefer the idea of a poem that was written with this randomly-jumping structure in mind, but that does not seem to be the case with “Poetry is Sense, Sensed.?

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9-11 and the Mysterious Tracey Benson

I followed a Tracey Benson link through the website and found a huge collection of 9-11 collaborated pieces. They were very cool. I searched through a lot of sites before I found one that was even able to be navigated. (I understand the “art? thing… but certain rules must be followed if you are going to effectively reach people online… I’m sorry, you just must) All these pieces were very different, but very effectively placed together. Tracey’s was among them.

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Naomi Kawase at the Walker

I was able to attend the Women With Vision: Past/Present exhibit at the Walker Art Center. I went on Thursday March 27th, because Thursday nights are sponsored by Target and admission is free. The film that I saw was Birth/ Mother by Naomi Kawase. Her film was about the traditional Japanese birth of her son and about her relationship with her 90-year-old great aunt.

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March 31, 2008

Making Trouble

I was able to attend at the Walker Making Trouble, which was part of the Walker Art Center’s Women with Vision 2008: Past/Present film screenings. The film showcased many women in Jewish comedy not just today but as far back as Sophie Tucker, Fanny Brice, and the early days of Joan Rivers. The movie was interesting in that it was centered on 4 Jewish women comedians in a deli, discussing other Jewish comedians. The four women provided excellent commentary on women I knew little to nothing about and gave insight as to what it is like today to be a stand-up female Jewish comedian.

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Feminist Event Write-up

The first few…dozen or so websites that I visited, I did not understand. Even the two I have chosen to write about for my reflections don’t really make all that much sense to me. I understand them more than the others but I still don’t exactly get what meaning(s) they are trying to convey. The two I have chosen are These Waves of Girls and Postcards From the Feminist Utopia

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Mutum at The Walker

I went to see Mutum on March 28th, a part of the Walker Art Center Women With Vision series. The film was based on the book Campo Geral by João Guimarães Rosa who was a Brazilian writer and diplomat. His most famous work grapples with existential issues and uses the landscape and people of Brazil as metaphors. I had trouble finding information on this specific novel (in English), but I can see how it connects to those themes. Sandra Kogut, the film maker, is well known for blending documentary styles of film making with fictional plotlines. She was born in Brazil and currently lives in Paris.

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Lemon Yellow

After failing to accurately pinpoint a time to visit the Walker, I decided to visit the Assemblage site. Sites like that are dangerous places for me to visit, as the collection of links provides a very effective means of watching the time slip away. However, it was interesting to discover the very diverse links that existed as I scrolled down. I visited one link that provided a commentary on what museum paintings do by night. There were a number of event links and write ups I noticed, and I read an abstract and some information on a woman’s dissertation regarding Xena and the web.

I also viewed lemonyellow.com. I looked around the site, and located a link to a film that intrigued me. However, due to the nature of the Assemblage site, I found it fitting to look into an article that was also posted on the page in reference to lemonyellow.com. The article was published in the NY Times by Katie Hafner, and is entitled “I Link, Therefore I am: A Web Intellectual’s Diary.? Reading this article made me look again at lemonyellow.com.

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March 30, 2008

Feminist Media Event Reflections

for my event and reflection, I decided to visit the assemblage website, and tour the womens media gallery. the idea of the site really appealed to me, where the rest of the choices seemed to be elitest type of events, they are hard to get to, expensive, and not well known. but as the assemblage's main page points out, the pieces are incredibly accessable. "take your time in the rooms of this gallery. Read, or ignore, the signs. Meander. Retrace your steps. Manhandle the artworks. Stop. Stare. Play. Return again and again. Admission is free and all are welcome".

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March 25, 2008

Category 5. Feminist Media Event Reflections

For this assignment you are to attend EITHER:

Wonder Women :: Art & Technology / culturing nature :: culturing technology exhibit (details below; March 6th post)
Note: this event is FREE, but you must RSVP to willow@umn.edu for FRIDAY, MARCH 14th Events (Studio Action Workshops, Panel, etc). The Gallery is free and open to the public.

OR

Women with Vision at the Walker Arts Center (details below; March 6th post)

OR

Visit Assemblage: The Women's New Media Gallery

OR

Another feminist media event (talk, gallery, video screening). Note: You must EMAIL me for an approval of this event!


BLOG POST WRITE-UP INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Attend the event. Take NOTES! You will need DETAILS to do your reflection post.
Note: If you choose to write on Assemblage, you must watch/visit at least 5 of the sites, and choose 1-2 to write about. Your viewing (navigating the pages of the site/show) will count as your attendance. Think about how "traveling" and viewing media on the Internet affects your experience.

2. Research the artist(s) you intend to discuss.

3. Write a 500 - 1000 word reflective write-up of the event. In your post, you must:
- Share the CONTEXT (a bit about bg of the artist) of the work (the who, what, where, when ?s)
- Reflect on the CONTENT (the subject, issues, themes... explored in the work
- Discuss details of the FORM (aesthetics, materials used, technical stuff...) of the work

Post this write-up by Tuesday, APRIL 1 at NOON!