May 24, 2008

Kari's Artist Presentation

Ok, I am finally getting around to posting a link to my artist. Snorre Ytterstad doesn't have his own site (as far as I could tell), but the Erik Stein Gallery has a lot of his work and information about him on their website HERE and stuff specifically about his most recent exhibition called "On a tightrope a screw thinks shit" HERE.

May 16, 2008

Nolte Hall

Oh, this is so late posting.
I just finished with my thesis. I couldn't eat and sleep for a day. Hahahah.

Anyway, few weeks ago, I visited Nolte Hall.

I carefully watched the stones and light line.
First time, It looked like a river under the ground. However, I couldn't relate that to any symbol of stress level.
Second time, (I went to there several times) I felt like stones give pressure over the light line.
It looked like that the light line was getting stress from the pressure. (just my imagination. ^^ )

These days, my stress level is so high.
Since everything go fast and looks like whole universe wants me to have unlucky days.
This semester, I was depressed (I took Brief symptom inventory my self) and always in high level of stress.

Anyway, next Monday, when I go back to my country, I hope everything be fine.
Oh, maybe not. I have several interviews...................... T.T

It was fun to take this class, (I love seminar class, I felt that I could express self through art piece.)

See you someday, some-day.

(Do I have to post about my artist presentation?)

May 14, 2008

Ree, the Pioneer Woman

Okay, her website is here.

Oh, and I mentioned the twice baked potatoes, right? They just might change your life! :)

Have a great summer, everyone!

Aaron Mcleod

Hi guys!!! Here's the link to the artist I presented in class.

Also, if you're interested in checking out his video just go to and search "4 Days in Iraq" The video on the above website is no longer available.

As Kelsey said, I apologize for leaving class! Hope you all have wonderful summers!

Nicholas Sagan

Here's the website for the artist I did my presentation on. He has his e-mail listed too, if you wanted to contact him about any of his art. He seems like a pretty cool guy!
p.s. How did the rest of class go? I felt bad that we had to duck out before it actually ended, but we had a previous commitment.

Christo & Jeanne-Claude

My artists were Christo & Jeanne-Claude.

Their website is and it answers basically any question you could ever want to know about them and also shows pictures of all of their installations and the planning they did to design them.

May 13, 2008

Artist Presentation: Mary Flanagan

The artist I presented was Mary Flanagan,
Here's her web page address:

Also, if you're interested in downloading [phage] or reading one of the papers written on it check out this part of the website:


May 7, 2008

Hello World

Christopher Bakers piece Hello World! or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise interests me on many levels. Upon approaching the piece I was overwhelmed by the visual and aural stimuli I was presented with. Chris managed to create a landscape of thousands of videos that leads one on a journey of experience. Hmm what do I mean by that sentence? I believe that the experience of this piece is always shifting -- one can attempt to view one video at a time-enjoy the videos as a whole - enjoy the audio- one may chose to look at this piece as a texture Chris has created tiling the white wall in the nash gallery. All of these experiences and more come from this single piece.

What really excited me about the work was the apprehensions I initially experienced when viewing the videos. I felt as though I was evading these peoples privacy looking into their bedrooms and offices. After a moment of unease I realized that these videos are all harvested from YouTube - they are intended to be public for the public to view... This transition from apprehension to acceptance lead me to think of the second part of the title How I learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise

I mentioned above the texture that this piece creates on the wall. I found this to be very interesting. The varying brightness levels of the videos creates a depth it seems as though one could walk into these gaps that have been created on the white walls. Another interesting visual texture that is created can be experienced when you are close to the wall looking down the piece. It seems as though the videos are shingles on a roof--- they have a 3D layered quality to them. These visual tricks remind me that we too, like the poor Mac computer, need to process this information, and sometimes the overwhelming stimuli can trick our minds.

If anyone is interested in revisting this project Chris has it documented here Hello World... Documentation

Leah Buechley and the LilyPad!

I attended as many events as possible during Wonder Women - I had a great time at all of them, but Leah's workshop was the most fun. Leah guided us through the basics of working with the LilyPad which is her elegant response to the arduino (an avr based micro-controller) --- the arduino is very familiar to those who have worked with electronic engineering--- the standard square with a bunch of electronic components laid out in the most efficient manner--- I italicize efficient because that seems to be an idea that commonly divides the art world from the engineering. Here is a picture of the efficient arduino.

Leah has taken this microcontroller and made something that is, perhaps, more accessible. She has broken the traditional rules of engineering and made something that is less efficient and more aesthetically sound with more intuitive interactions. Here is a picture of the Leah's LilyPad --

What I found really great about Leah was her passion for DIY (Do it Yourself)! She was very interested in empowering people to take control back from corporations and to no longer depend on them to fulfill your needs. Instead of buying an expensive light up biking jacket, Leah encourages you to make your own using something like the LilyPad--- What is really great is that throughout the time Leah was staying in Minneapolis I saw her around town sporting her own Light Up Biking Jacker--- She is a person of action- and someone I really admire---

Leah is great at documenting her work and helping people like ourselves jump into the world of DIY! Her website can be found at-- LINK TO LEAH'S WEBSITE

she has a wonderful collection of links for materials at LINK TO MATERIAL'S SITE

and you can buy your own LilyPad at BUY A LILYPAD!

May 6, 2008

presentation guide

The presentation is intended to broaden everyone's awareness of
contemporary artists while providing you the opportunity to investigate one
artist and reflect upon her/his work from the perspective of your primary
discipline, English in your case, and perhaps poetry in particular.

Key facets of the presentation:

An introduction to the artist, including why you chose this person.

The presentation of 2-3 works by this artist.

A discussion of how your discipline-based perspective influences your
interpretation of this creative work.

A question that you pose to the group for discussion, highlighting an
aspect of the artist's work that you has peaked your curiosity.

April 29, 2008

Stress Reflection

Part One:
My stress level was for once not that high on Tuesday. I didnt' have much homework to do that night, and it was a beautiful day outside, so I was in a pretty good mood. I usually judge how stressed I am based on how much school work I have, so I noticed that since I was caught up with school, I was getting stressed about other things, but I wasn't stressed about anything too serious. For being at the end of the semester, I think I had my stress level under control, far more so than at the beginning of the semester.
I went to this little plaza area for the hour we had before the presentation, and found out there's a sun dial in the middle of it. I thought this was pretty amazing because I've walked by this plaza a lot, but I never would've guessed that there was an actual sun dial in the middle of it. I layed down in the grass, which was still a little damp from all the rain, and enjoyed the sunshine. It was a very relaxing experience.
My first experience of the installation was that we were only supposed to look at it, not touch it. Then, I finally gained the courage to go inside of the installation and experience it. Once I realized that it was designed to lower your stress level, I thought it would be more successful if the space was completely closed off. There's just something stressful about trying to relax while other people are passing by, looking in on you.
Part 2:
I would evaluate the Present Moment Project as a very dynamic piece of art, because I think it's one that's open to change and suggestions. Instead of saying this is how it is and how it's going to be, the creators of the project seemed very open to hearing people's opinions and suggestions on improvement. Also, I think this project deserves a little more of an explanation than it received. From the current set up, it's just a white, cut off section of a room, something a lot of people may not immediately associate with a stress relieving sanctuary. I think a brief introduction or description is needed to bring people to the comfort level, where they're going to want to try it.
The Present Moment Project, to me, is art because it's manipulating a space to create something beautiful and with meaning. Just like decorating a room can be a form of art, creating a space for stress relief is a work of art, just a unique medium. Art isn't just a painting on the wall, sometimes it is the wall.
I honestly think that keeping kids inside all day during a beautiful day (especially when it's been such a cold winter) is especially cruel, so I would fight for teachers having to hold one day outside of the classroom (depending on the size of the class) College students are so stresed out that sometimes, we really do forget to stop and smell the roses. So maybe a Present Moment Project set up outside would be a good idea for this campus. Not only is it getting kids to slow down while being outdoors to enjoy themselves, but it also gives them some grounds on which to reflect about their stress. Otherwise, I really like the idea of adding water to any installation for the Present Moment Project; there's just something so calming and serence about moving water.

Stress Reflection

I wasn't in class on Tuesday, so my reflection will most likely differ from the context in which everyone else reflected.

My experience with stress is probably like any other college student who's trying to juggle school, work and having a life. This time in the semester is one of the most stressful times with school winding down. I will admit to getting stressed out easily. This is something I'd like to change about myself, because I think that stress about important things is intensified when I stress about the little things.

I think that people, including myself, don't take enough time to just sit and relax in a calming area. I know I don't, because I don't feel like I have the time and I know that if I were to do this on a daily basis (even for only 10min or so) I would spend the time worrying about all of the things I have to do. I think this is a result of being born and raised in a very high-paced society. Everyone is always in a rush, and I think that this pushes me to stress out more. I worry about not getting things done in time. I've even had nightmares about a project not getting done, or being late to a class.

This entry may make me sound crazy, but ironically I'm not bothered by being stressed. There's always that chunk of time where I'm worried and upset, but once I get past that, I'm very productive. And for me, nothing beats the feeling one feels when they're finished with a big project.

Stress and Reflection

Part 1:

My level of stress Tuesday afternoon was high for a number of reasons. In general, Tuesdays are long days for me in terms of class, but there was some added stress due to dress rehearsals for the show performed in this past weekend. I definitely felt my self go into shut down mode, which occurs when I have a lot of things going on. I feel so burdened with things that need to get done that I sort of stop and watch TV instead. My state of being has been in stress mode all semester, and this is the time when it really starts to peak. I feel like I’ve really been doing to much this semester in terms of theatre, and my paper writing commitments have really been procrastinated. Stress and procrastination go hand in hand for me, and I’m really hitting the wall where I have to use the pressure of that stress to get it into gear and get my work done. This is the time of year that will make or break your grades because the bulk of what your graded on occurs in this last stretch. For me, I won’t be able to think about anything else until its over.
During the hour before the presentation I spent some time just sitting in the lounge at Nolte and journaling about my thoughts on stress and space. One of the things I wrote down about the lounge:
“A comfortable place to do work—and doing work is key right now because every space I’m in gets evaluated on the bases of whether it will hinder or help my ability to get work done.?
After jotting down some notes, I decided to go outside and walk to Northrop Mall. I particularly like the mall space on warm days because it is simply nice to see so many people outside lying in the grass or playing Frisbee. I sat down at one of the tables in front of Northrop Auditorium and continued to write about stress. I often feel guilty about enjoying the outdoors like that because I feel like I should be doing something else. And there are always other things I should be doing.
This nagging thought is always in my mind, so while I enjoyed the instillation, I still felt that the brief pause it provided for me from the outside world was all too fleeting. I certainly felt relaxed in the space, and I allowed my vision to blur as I picked up an especially circular stone and held it in my hand. I only wish I new how to carry that feeling into the world and still harness the motivation to get my work done. As of now, I use the high levels of stress as a motivating tool to get through the end of semester crunch time, and I don’t think that that is the best way to get things done in life.

Part 2:

If I were a student representative for an arts committee on campus, my evaluation of the Present Moment Project would be that the space created by the instillation is something that every student should take a moment to experience. It is, at the very least, a nice respite from everything else going on in the world. It is a space where a person can just sit and breath for a few moments with a blank mind. The rocks in the space ground the senses with the sound as one walks on them, the simple gray color with the soft blue lighting beneath them, and the wonderful feeling on picking them up and hold them in the palm of ones hand. I would say that the Present Moment Project is experiential art. Unlike some art, there is no statement being made or a hidden meaning of any kind. Instead it is art that purely engages the senses for the relief of the beholder. Art of this kind is meant to evoke something within the spectator, which I think is the point of any creation. What is unique about this piece though, is that it was created for the spectator and with their best interests in mind. I like art that aims at a greater good, and the aim of this one to reduce stress is very noble.
If I were to propose a project that addresses stress in student life, I think I would focus on creating a program or event that goes beyond providing momentary relief by teaching students, if it’s possible, to devise ways of reducing stress in the same moment as getting their work done. I think deadlines are a source of major anxiety for all of us on campus, students and teachers alike, and it would be wonderful to find a creative way to empower individuals so that they may reduce stress even during times when it may be quite high. I have no idea what form that might take, possibly a workshop of some kind where participants create an pocket size kit or object that helps them focus and relax without being a distraction.

Stress Reflections

Part 1

My stress level on Tuesday was low. I think that the weather played a big part in that -- when it's nice outside I tend to be in a better mood and dwell less on stressors.

I'm rarely stressed. I know, I know, you all must be thinking that I'm some sort of a freak or something, but I honestly don't feel stressed very often. Some of my friends get weirded out by it -- some of them have said to me in the past they wish I would complain about an upcoming test or paper once in awhile. If they're stressed they like to talk about it. I don't. I attribute my lack of stress to both my good time-managing skills and my relaxed personality.

For the hour before the presentation I made several stops. First, I went to that arc thing (very scientific name) on Lily Plaza and listened to my voice sound weird. I know that it has something to do with physics but I can't remember what it's called. Side note: there's a much bigger arc like that between Ferguson and Anderson halls on the West Bank, although that one is much more humorous because people standing down there always feel compelled to shout and scream at the top of their lungs, causing a good laugh for passers-by. Then I went to Starbucks (have to get rid of that FlexDine!) Tasty drinks relax me. And then I sat in the sun with Miranda on Northrop Plaza and we talked about stress and other things. Sometimes if you're stressed it's good to talk it out. I'm not advocating complainging, just talking.

I liked the installation in Nolte, but it didn't do much to calm me. When I need to destress I want to be alone. In my room. Door shut. No one else. So this project space was a little too open for me; I didn't like the idea that it was so open and other people could watch you. The stones on the ground were soothing--nature tends to sooth me. And I also liked the blue light in the floor; it added kind of a "magical" quality to the space. But overall, I probably wouldn't go there to unwind.

Part 2

I would say that it's a great start, but like the presenters noted in the presentation, the space doesn't work for everyone. Everyone deals with stress in different ways, so if that particular installation doesn't work for you maybe one of the future ones will.

The project has to do with art because it's essentially an art installation, except the key point here is that the viewer can interact with it, shifting his or her role from viewer to user. I love that you're actually allowed to touch it, to interact with it. It brings the museum out of art and puts it into the real world.

I like the idea of the Present Moment Project, but if I were to propose a program to address stress on campus I would propose one that targets stress at its roots, kind of like the commercials for that certain medicine that claim to "stop heartburn before it starts." What I mean by that is I would want to create a program to deal with stress prevention and not just stress relief. The program might include talks about how to budget time, organize, deal with personal relationships, works with finances, or any one of the other issues that cause people to stress. The Present Moment Project is great if you already are stressed and need to relax, but it doesn't address the causes of stress. I'm not saying that it should--it has its specific purpose and fulfills that purpose well--but my proposed program would be more proactive.

April 28, 2008

Stress and Stress Reduction (Lisa)

1) My stress level on Tuesday was very low, especially compared to the rest of the semester. Much of my stress was coming from the knowledge that I had to complete my honor’s thesis before the end of the semester and I wasn’t sure that I had managed my time well enough to do that. But since I turned in my final draft of it the Friday before, I felt like the worst was behind me and I could just relax for the rest of the semester. Add to that the nice weather last Tuesday, and I was feeling pretty good.

For the hour before the presentation, Michelle and Kelsey and I went over to the little amphitheater nearby and laid on the grass and talked and enjoyed the sunshine. It was very quiet there, and very relaxing. That hour went by quickly.

My experience of the installation in Nolte was fairly brief; I didn’t sit down there, I just walked inside and stood there for a little while. My immediate thought was that I wanted to play with the rocks, which after listening to the presentation it seems was a common response. I felt a little bit wobbly walking over the rocks, but I didn’t want to sit down because I didn’t like the fact that people would be able to see me sitting there if they happened to walk past. I wanted to be able to enclose myself in the space and not have that connection to the rest of the room be so strong.

2) I think the Present Moment project is really great. It’s true that just about everyone on a college campus is stressed out all the time, and just about no one feels they have time to devote to classes on stress reduction. Especially in the winter when people can’t go outside, I think it’s very important to have these sorts of spaces to keep people from going crazy. I would be all for having one of these spaces in every building on campus, and I’m disappointed that I will be leaving the U before the completion of this project because I think it would have had a really positive effect on my experience here.

The Present Moment project has to do with art in that it takes scientific ideas and data on how to reduce stress and responds to that data aesthetically, creating something that can exist either as a sculptural object that sparks ideas from afar or as an interactive space that provides each person with a different experience.

I think if I were to attempt something to address stress on campus I would want to organize an open discussion between students and faculty members about the issue—I think that there are a lot of things that instructors can do to help ease the stress of students and themselves, like offering a choice of deadlines for projects. This way students can schedule major assignments during lulls in work for their other classes, plus it spreads out the grading for instructors. Leading an optional mini yoga/meditation session during breaks in long classes might be helpful too.