October 23, 2008


I'm also very interested in the responses to my work...they are always varied depending on the group or person. I was excited that many of you seemed to respond to the piglet experiments. TJ's recommendation to spend time in a pig barn is intriguing...I'm considering it. Thanks for the additional and repeated comments on the blog regarding my crit...they bring up many important points of the critique that become a little bit of a blur for me when there isn't enough time to write notes on your comments.

TJ...Your installation worked well to create a distinct narrative about your personal history. The relationships between one piece to the next revealed something about the previous. This strategy will serve you well in the future! I enjoyed the combination of found materials with crafted objects.(My favorite piece is the gun rest.)

Meng...I can't wait to see your complete film. Keep exploring painting, digital media,...give sculpture a try. I agree with wanting to see the video on a projected screen, so we can all experience your work. Do you have other films? I would enjoy seeing these as well.

Chad...I agree with the comments surrounding the projected image. This size seems very suitable to the thesis of this work. The strangeness of the compiled landscape imagery with parking lot lights is a strong comment on our treatment of nature. Keep exploring these relationships...I'm drawn to both the realistic photographic compositions and the "drawn" imagery over an existing photograph. You have many bizarre photographs...let these inform you process.

October 10, 2008

The Furious Four (of last friday)

Jessica, pigs and missiles. It seems that there is something different there with the overall empathy brought out by the pig and the limp-ish missile. Making things that are not so tight and clean like the big pig and the purses is eliciting different reactions. I wonder if that is good or what you want to get at. If it is all about mass and production, maybe empathy does not help. Regardless I was struck by the difference and think that is great.

TJ you are my hero as always at making something that I would feel like an impostor if I made yet it is sincere when you do it. It always looks (and feels) like art, and I dont mean that in a derisive way. It is curious to read the Sontag article now because it feels like there is always this interpretation of your work in a way that is different from how we talk about other work. I say hells yeah.

Meng I too appreciate the question about what is art or what are you supposed to me making in Art School. I think in some ways it took all of my first year to come to some bit of terms with that, which still overtakes me sometimes. I played table tennis with a guy tonight that is some engineer at 3M who upon finding out I am in art school expressed his jealousy, wonder at how artists think. That is all you need to do; think.

Chad I guess since I am in 'photography' ha, I have to be the voice of that medium. Not really but I guess I do think that the more you push it beyond being a different way of presenting photos on a wall the better. In the way that the photo with the rock and the path worked, or even the big projected one. I also am just now wondering about the plywood, I understand why you are using it, but does it always have to be new?


Jessica your little clay piglet sparked interesting reactions and emotions. Ones of sympathy, sadness, a weird sort of empathy, and unsettling. I wonder if you can dial in on some of those emotions so that it can be even more powerful. I am also curious how the pieces in your studio could work in an installation. I know you were interested in this before but I wonder how the objects in your studio would work, instead of finding other materials. I also do believe that your mistake pig could have an interesting relationship with the one that is made out of clay. I think the new work allows for more of your emotion in it and it would be interesting to see how you express it.

TJ, I have to be honest when I saw you the day before your crit and you said you were not going to say anything, I wanted to kick you. :) Mostly out of selfishness because I don't think I have heard you really talk about your work before. However I rather enjoyed the conversation that happened when we enter your space and the investigation into what it all meant. I also found it interesting that we not only were trying to figure out our relationship with the objects but also yours. Although some objects were more charged than other, the installation I agree was poetic but I think more lyric poetry. I promise not to kick you but I sometimes sense that your holding back.

Meng, it was nice to see clips from your film. I am really interested in the content of the piece. The relationship that you have now created fictionally with this woman that you saw but in reality there was not even recognition of each other. It could become a really interesting investigation into peoples body language and physical appearance, compared to what the individual is thinking or what you narrate them to be thinking. I am looking forward to seeing it farther along and projected!

Chad, if I am remembering correctly, at the beginning of the semester you made a comment that you were overwhelmed with sorting through the photos you had taken because you had taken so many. It will be interesting to see if less is more. I say this maybe because one was projected so big but it really did express the essence of your ideas. On the other hand creating an installation where each object is connected by a walkway gives the viewer the same experience of travel and discovery. I guess I see them as two different pieces and I am curious to see how they will be completed. I wonder if the larger image can be connected but also on a larger distances.

Jessica, Meng, TJ & Chad

I might admit that is is kind of challenging to make comments about 4 different critiques, specially because each studio visit is a real unique experience that brings out so much ideas and questions to think about. I know, I know, it sounds like I'm "taking the easy way" to avoid making specific comments, so here are my thoughts and/or questions.

Jessica, have you ever checked out María Teresa Hincapié's artworks? They are mainly performances and there is one in particular related with the idea of belongings accumulation, objects repetition, consumerism, infinite. The name of the work is "Una Cosa es una cosa" (A thing is a thing). Here is a text she wrote about this piece.

“...movement here. then. in the corner. in the center. on one side. near him. very far. further. very far. very, very far. here are the handbags. here, the pocket. here the bag. here, the box and over it, the pocket. at one side, the box. in the corner, the pocket and the bag; in the center the paper bags and very near, the box. leakage. dispersion. everything getting empty. everything disappears. everything scatter. disseminate. blend. stop. organize themselves in a cue in a random way. they mark a space. they separate in groups, one beside the other. common groups. where they are similar. because they are white. because they are made up of fabric. because they are dresses. because they are made up of plastic. because they are large. because they are covered. because they are ceramics. because they are jars. because they need one another as the toothbrush and toothpaste. but also because the paste is by itself and the toothbrush is with other toothbrushes or by itself. all the flowers here. the dresses are extended. the black ones are near me. the pink ones here. the towels by themselves. the coverlet by itself. the blankets by themselves. the bags by themselves. the pencils by themselves. the dresses by themselves. the colors by themselves. the broom by itself. the onions by themselves. the carrots by themselves. the corn by itself. the sugar by itself. the wheat by itself. the plastic by itself. the handbag by itself. the rubber bag by itself. the box by itself and empty. the mirror by itself. the shoes by themselves. the socks by themselves. the herbs by themselves. I, alone. she, alone. we, alone. they, alone. a space alone. a place alone. a line alone. one sock only. one shoe only. everything is alone. all of us are alone. a mass of rice. a mass of sugar. a mass of salt. a mass of wheat. a mass of coffee. a mass of different things?.

Chad, have you ever considered taking your landscapes images from Google Earth or Google Maps? I know that this probably doesn't make any sense to you, but the connection with land art plus the idea of the "fantastic landscape" drove me to the "fantastic virtual reality" offered by these technologies.

Meng, I really appreciate your honesty and humor while asking "what is art?" and "What should I do to be considered an artist or to make art?". I say so because I think must of us have exactly the same questions in our minds, it is just that is so much opportune and refreshing to remember that art is not already built, and there are some many different ways to approach it. I do believe that you should explore other media if you enjoy to do so, but it is also exciting to have someone with the film background you have in our program. One advise, next time you're planing to show a video/film to a group of people (more than 3 people), try to use a projector, TV screen or something that makes it bigger, so people will easily engage with your work. I can show you where you can find those resources.

TJ, please read the other post called "TJ's Critique", this is already too long...

TJ's Critique

Just to add another ironic element about the "white male" idea of "macho", the English meaning of this term doesn't match at all with the meaning of the real Spanish term. To summarize, in Spanish "macho" just means "male", that's it! It's a neutral term, not good, not bad. Now, it seems to me that the way "macho" is used here is a stereotype which gained a strong negative connotation mainly based on stereotyped Mexican males. I'm surprised how easy language reveals the "unrevealable", and how difficult is to step out from preconceived ideas and values. Right TJ?


(Del lat. mascŭlus).

1. m. Animal del sexo masculino.

2. m. mulo (‖ animal).

3. m. Planta que fecunda a otra de su especie con el polen de sus estambres.

4. m. Parte del corchete que se engancha en la hembra.

5. m. En los artefactos, pieza que entra dentro de otra.

6. m. Hombre necio. U. t. c. adj.

7. m. Tronco de la cola de los cuadrúpedos.

8. m. Cada una de las borlas que cuelgan en la indumentaria de los toreros, en especial las que sujetan el calzón a las corvas.

9. m. Estrofa, por lo general de tres versos, que se canta después de ciertas coplas de estilo flamenco.

10. m. Arq. Pilar de fábrica que sostiene un techo o el arranque de un arco, o se injiere del todo o en parte en una pared para fortalecerla.

11. m. Cuba. cerdo (‖ mamífero artiodáctilo).

12. m. coloq. Cuba. Grano de arroz con cáscara.

13. adj. Fuerte, vigoroso.

14. adj. Valiente, animoso, esforzado.

15. adj. C. Rica. Dicho de una persona: De pelo rubio o claro. U. t. c. s.

~ cabrío.

1. m. cabrón (‖ macho de la cabra).

~ de aterrajar.

1. m. Tornillo de acero, sin cabeza, que sirve para abrir tuercas y tiene a lo largo tres estrías más o menos profundas, para dar salida a la materia que se arranca o desgasta.

~ de cabrío.

1. m. cabrón (‖ macho de la cabra).

~ del timón.

1. m. Mar. Cada uno de los pinzotes fijos en la madre del timón, que encajan en las hembras situadas en el canto exterior del codaste.

~ de parada.

1. m. El de cabrío enseñado a estarse quieto para que el ganado no se desparrame ni extravíe.

~ romo.

1. m. burdégano.

apretarse los ~s.

1. loc. verb. coloq. Prepararse cuidadosamente para una empresa difícil.

Retrieved from REAL ACADEMIA DE LA LENGUA ESPAÑOLA dictionary.

October 8, 2008

TJ crit

Modernism fell to 50 years of critique.
I still connect to the transcendental genius artist
I drink beer and have moments of blissful enlightenment
I pride myself on being able to climb mountains with a heavy pack
How do I make work that is relevant?