Reflections on everyone's final projects (Laura B.)

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The only two categories that seem relevant are "final presentations" and "reflections" but I haven't found a section for reflections per project. So I hope these get found.

1. Subterrania
I thought this piece was successful overall and that the suggestions made during the critique would help it become more fully realized. I would like to see it installed in flat ground without the pvc but instead just a hole in the ground, and for the stop motion animation to be directly related to the site in which the piece is installed. I liked Diane's idea of the arboretum being a good context for this type of work. The pious aspect of kneeling before the piece, especially with the board to kneel on, was potent. Consider whether this is intentional or not. I do like the concept of revering soil, but perhaps that is a whole separate piece?

2. Cave installation
This was a very effective transformation of a transitional space. As I mentioned, the climate in the cooridor really enhanced the piece. I think Terez's comment about it feeling either aquarium-like or ice-cave-like is accurate. I would have liked a little bit of sound programmed in regardless of any causal sound created by interactors. I thought the filtered light from the projectors with the covers over them were more effective than those without. I didn't like the overly geometric digital aesthetic of the first light as we entered. I did not mind the industrial nature of the space but feel the orange extension chords were intrusive. While there is just sound input in one location it might have been nice to put speakers all the way around the curve so that someone in a different part of the space can create sound that reaches another person elsewhere. I think they should definitely keep it there!

3. Mechanical Animal
I most liked the inventiveness of the creature that was a hybrid of multiple figures and the articulation of the legs. I know you intend to do this, but I would most like to see the figure actually functioning of its own accord with wind. It would be great if it could have some articulation in its head and neck that give it a personality depending on the movement of air around it. I actually like the cardboard aesthetic. Imitation cardboard could prove to be intriguing. Or it could become more sveldt with some higher-end materials. It depends on what you're going for. Good luck with the mechanics.

4. Lamp
The lamp came out nicely. I think the clear-glassed- light bulb was a good choice as is the old brass lamp. I did want to reiterate what Kate said about creating the discs with the nylon thread embedded in them to minimize weak attachment, now that you have a template built. It has both a quaint and a scientific feel to it.

5. Lichen shirts
I thought these were effective as sculptural objects (and liked the undulation and character they took on) but would like to have them feel more living. I know they currently cannot work as clothing but I did like the idea of living fabric and feel it would be worth exploring interlacing a living material with a mesh that would allow for growth. Required moistness could continue to pose problems, however. Perhaps the concept of making lichen fabric is interesting enough. It could be made into various objects and "planted" outdoors, possibly returning collected lichen to the site from which it came.

6. Hydroponic Curtain (NA)

7. Life Breath (Laura's piece)
I am glad it was an effective way to expand your thought process about your creative medium through another creative medium. I think this project could be expanded upon by incorporating participaion and living plants. An interactive facet such as the interchange of breath between someone and a plant as they sing into a plexiglass mouthpiece (or something) would be quite poetic. I think your notation of breath is also an intriguing idea and aesthetic. It could also be expanded upon furthur through the notation of breath when singing or speaking conceptually relevant words, whether it be theorists statements about breath, reading one's journal aloud, or weather reports about wind. I hope it remains productive for you to continue exploring in this way.

8. Death Shroud
I feel this is the most successful piece that came out of this class. I appreciate the thought that went into the ceremony, integrating the shape in the glass with the shape of an enshrouded body, thinking about light and ecoli as a life force (and the concept of capturing someone's cells and preserving them or making them live on both literally and metaphorically through the GFP modification and encapsulation, which seems like an ethically viable reason to use GFPs). Personally I would have appreciated silence during some components of the ceremony but do feel it was effective to have a leader in the process. I like that I would have been able to keep the glass piece as a memento and that it would be comforting to hold, like a worry stone. In a genuine death scenario everyone would have shared a story but it felt a little contrived because we all know it was staged and also because it is a gloomy subject matter. Artemis' point about considering how the body comes and goes is worth discussing. I haven't been to many funerals but feel I would very much prefer being a part of what you designed than many other rituals I know of or have experienced. Lastly, I think the piece could work as a performance piece simply to create thought about death, to put people in a place where they essentially have to practice handling death. It could be a way to prepare an individual for their future in both dealing with the death of others as well as the inevitability of one's own death.

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