Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thesis Hypothesis

My thesis is well under way but this is what I was thinking in the beginning of the semester and where it is now. The first things I worked on were a combination of wetland conservation and the invisible people and it certainly shows in the first prints. since then my work has become more matured and the invisible people are no longer a part of my work. I want to work with the beauty of the wetlands because I dont believe that people care to conserve things they are not attracted to. Within my sculpture I address the issues happening such as our building over them to make condo's and such.


Individual critiques: 1. Kim -Sep 20th
2. Nathan - I dont remember the exact date but we discussed my prints and boat while it was leaking
3. Kim - When you came into town for a few days
Group Critiques: 1. Not sure of the date, Involved Paul, Kim, Brittany, and later Therese, Jeremy, and Trisha
2. Group critique with class final week

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Art Market

In the essay by Christine Mehring,"Emerging market: Christine Mehring on the birth of the contemporary art fair, 2008." She speaks about what would be considered the first art fair. The fair took place in germany and was called Kunstmarkt 67. It was a huge success and included dealers of both German and American art. The article mostly speaks about the history of this market and its main founders, Rudolf Zwirner and Hein Stunke. The article also goes into detail about the politics behind the art fair and the controversy that arose with the refusal of certain art dealers into the fair. It goes into detail of how gallery openings are no longer the norm for selling large amounts of art and how art fairs have opened the door for stroller toting mothers to get into their cultural side.

This article is fitting given that the Ringing seniors and juniors are embarking on a trip to Art Basel this week to experience the art fair in person. It is also an eye opening view on the real way to get your art into the world. Not necessarily by openings... but with the ever popular art fair.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Foot Prints

I dont know why they follow me
Blindly following their creator
They know nothing of this world
Only the organized line they stand in

They wait for me to walk
I assume they think this is amazing
because there are always more of them
they must be telling their friends

They trust me as their creator
that I would never destroy them
If only they knew
I lead them to their death along this shoreline

Mindless fools

Jack Burgess explains contemporary art, 2010

This is one of the best simple explanations of modern art I have ever watched, and very entertaining. I do not have much to say about this video it pertains to my art in the most obvious way, that we are working in the contemporary art world. I wish I had more to say about this fun little video.

The Birth of the Big Beautiful Art Market, Air Guitar 1997

I will be the first to admit that my mind was drifting while I read this chapter. This review may not hold the big picture but it embodies what I came away with. This chapter from "Air Guitar" is a very straightforward way of letting us know just how much the art world mimicked the other markets of the world. Speaking specifically about the car industry. As a kid Dave Hickey loved cars and to him they were a work of art. He wanted his art to avoid being categorized and like so many artists want the response of, "[a] subtle jolt of visual de-familiarization as a prelude to delight." He calls to our attention the similarities between the different markets, and his ability to glide between them because of these similarities. Hickey also drifts into the realm of conceptual art (art that does not always need walls.) These ideas, installations, and portable art came about because of one reality. The walls are full. This chapter feels familiar. I remember my freshman year someone telling me that no matter what kind of art I make someone will love it and want to support it. I want my art to sell but many of my decisions are those that I would enjoy still. A personal question that I am working with and have been for a while is, 'Am I working within the world of modern art?'

1. If we work for the market is it selling out?
2. Can we compete with the original market?
3. Has the market died?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Frontline: Digital Nation Video, Feb 2010

Recorded only this year is a video called “Digital Nation.” This video addresses the pros and cons to the technological revolution sweeping the world. It touches base on the virtual worlds people are living in including, Second life, World of war craft, and other Internet based games. It also discusses the idea of people becoming addicted to technology like alcohol or drugs. Not all technology is seen as bad however. While some will complain that students are less focused, and loosing their abilities to read, write and comprehend. Others are arguing that our generation simply learns differently, and that the upcoming job market lends it self towards our learning style. We will need to be up to date on technology in order to survive in this job market.
This is an interesting part of my work. Because technology has come so far, you can experience things right from your own living room. I work with conservation and if one only experiences these environments from their home they will miss the big picture. The styles I work in are also out dated, wooden boats and 17th century style printing will not make a comeback in anything in this world but art. I would say technology has done a lot of good, but I appreciate not being allowed to watch television as a child and not having a phone until I was older. Taking vacations with my family where we were completely disconnected from the world was a blessing. I would not appreciate nature or craft the way I do if I were raised in a more technological household.

1. Why do we continue to push new technology away when it has shown promising results in the past?
2. Are older generations simply stubborn to new learning methods, and therefore behind the curve themselves?
3. Are we overwhelmed as a culture by images and distractions, and becoming unable to focus?

Unknown Known, or Iraq's initiation into Democratic Practice

In Rumsfeld’s “Unknown Known,..” it begins to open our eyes to the violent culture we live in as Americans. It points out the connection between the humiliations in the prison camps and our own hazing rituals to gain entrance into sororities, secret clubs, gangs, or nearly any inner circle. The difference however in the humiliation and our own hazing is the reasoning behind it. Our hazing creates camaraderie within the groups, where the humiliation in the prisons lets them know they are different and not part of our group. Throughout the essay he also mentions the measures taken to stop this torture. These include, renaming them (ex: long exposure to bright light is referred to as visual stimulation,) outsourcing them (sending our prisoners to other countries where they can torture them for us,) and lastly simply not allowing cameras in the prisons so these actions cannot be recorded. I do not feel that this article pertains to my art even in the slightest. This is a political information piece directed to enlighten persons on the events that are taking place in our country and how they also affect others. My art may be try and be persuasive, but it does not address the direct behavior of our culture like this essay does.

1. Does the prison torture really qualify as torture if it mirrors the same humiliation we inflict on our own, or is it simply hazing?
2. How did we become a violent nation?
3. If all you had to do was torture a man to save your entire family would it justify the means of retrieving the information

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ziek and the crossdressing to the sound of music

In Ziek and Cross dressing to the Sound of Music the author is summarizing the video of another man expressing how much the movie "The Sound of Music" mimics the Nazi agenda. The movie is set in a similar home town to the one that Hitler grew up in, and includes the idealization of the blond hair blue eyed woman and children.
This also does not have much to do with my art. Mostly because this essay is only speaking about double meanings and hidden agendas. I would like to think that my art is rather straight forward.

1. Is this man out of his mind?
2. Is the over interpretation of this movie a step to far
3. Do the video and the movie have separate meanings, or are they exactly the same in that their relational aesthetics are only meant to bring joy?

The sound of music

In the four minute video in the metro station the crowd breaks out in a group dance to the "do re mi fa so la ti do" number from "The Sound of Music." Who knew so many people were professional dancers in Antwerp. It is a social piece involving all of those in the station. While only some are dancers, even the persons of the crowd seem to jump in and enjoy the dance.
This piece really does not relate to my work at all. Mostly because it is a piece to create surprise, and a performance. This moment truly feels as though it is just intended to make the crowd happy.

1. Is this relational aesthetics?
2. Is it rude to play such a stereotypical song in the country the move was played in?
3. Does the involvement of children make it slightly inappropriate?

Monday, October 4, 2010

In Claire Bishops 2004 essay "Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics" she speaks about current trends in art and how to view them. It is no longer the 60's and we cannot view art from that point of view any longer. We must keep in mind the world we are living in and how it is effecting the art produced. Our society has shifted from goods to service based, and is reflected in many modern artists work. An example of this is Tirananija. He cooks curry for his visitors, but the focus is not on the food itself but the involvement of the audience. There is an emphasis on the use of the piece rather than the contemplation of it.
This topic opens up all kinds of questions about functioning art. This debate has been going on for some time now, and something I have to address in my own work. My prints and my sculptures both fall into the category of having more than one purpose. My prints are intended to make you think about the beauty of something but are also intended to hang on someones wall. Does that give them a double function as fine art and decoration? My prints on the other hand are just purely fine art but the boats themselves could be fully functional in the way they are created.

1. Can art be both decorative and fine art?
2. Does performance art border on the edge of functioning art because at times it can be beneficial for society.
3. At what point are you considered a sell out?

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

In Walter Benjamin’s writing, The Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936), he touches upon key points discussing the influence of mass production, photography, and film. A byproduct of mass production was the loss of uniqueness within art. A single piece now has the ability to exist in more than one location, taking away its exclusivity. However, the removal of this exclusivity allows the work to be viewed by a larger audience, reactivating its importance. The invention of photography brought with it new ways of viewing the world. Photography has the ability to capture things unseen by the naked eye. Film was the next step in mass production. It had, and still has the capacity to express dreams and fantasies as reality. The only thing separating our minds from the fantasy of film is the unseen equipment used in its production. The ability of art to be seen by a larger audience due to mass production created a more progressive environment for artistic change.

As a printmaker, my work is considered one of the earlier forms of mass production. It is interesting to think that because I work in multiples, my art may not carry the same influence as a painting. I feel however, that because of my ability to work in editions, I can match the influence exuded by painting simply because my work can reach a larger audience.

1. Do the pros of mechanical reproduction outweigh the cons?

2. Does film separate ourselves too far from reality?

3. Is traditional lithography still considered mass production within a culture of laser-jet printers?

Artist Statement

My work revolves around the eco-culture of a Florida native. With printmaking, I express the natural details of wetlands that may have been overlooked, and issues of their destruction within my sculpture. My respect for Florida wetlands spawns from the nostalgic experiences of my life, and is represented by the craft and aesthetic sensibilities in the work. With the sale of my artwork, I hope to contribute to wetland restoration projects, help care for my home, and preserve these experiences for others.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Among the Inept, Researchers Discover, Ignorance is Bliss, Erica Goode 1/18/2000

Can anyone really be sure of their skill set? This article challenges how we perceive ourselves. Studies have shown that those more inept at completing tasks tended to overestimate their abilities. While others who were talented at their given tasks tended to underestimated themselves (the false consensus effect). Even when shown they were not performing as well as others the inept did not loose confidence in their abilities. As the researcher David Dunning also fears; are we all inept because we believe we are above average in certain tasks?

1. Can we really know if we are any good at anything?
2. Because of social etiquette will anyone let us know we are not funny/good at what we believe were good at?
3. Did anyone else get a good chuckle out of this article?

How Marina Abromovic's Red-Velvet rope at MoMa works 5/24/2010

This article discusses a performance piece shown at the MoMa by artist Marina Abromovic and the problems its creating. The Piece is in high demand and drawing a large crowd, but because she only allows one visitor at a time and some folks stay upwards to an hour; The line nearly never moves. There are special Vip's that have gotten in early but because of complaints from museum guests the museum director has put this to a stop. It is a balancing act between the artist, the crowd, and the museum to create a fair viewing environment.

1. Should the artist control who views their art?
2. Should the artist ever change a piece to appease the general public
3. Is a piece like Abromovic's turning art into a mockery or just a spurt of fame?

process picture from first sculpture

The beginning of the base for a sculpture

Why I do what I do

I have loved making art for most of my life, but the decision to make it my focus came in 11th grade when I switched high schools so I could have access to a dark room. That was the same year I decided to make Ringling my goal. I joined the fine art department because I wanted to be a painter, but in realizing I enjoyed building my canvases more than painting on them I decided to try sculpture. I love sculpture, the technical processes, and measurements, and the problem solving. My real passion however is printmaking, and after sophomore year I was hooked. I am an artist because I lose myself in my work. I believe that if you do a job you love you will never work a day in your life, and I don’t plan on working now.
I have had a hint of my thesis plan in my head since freshman year. It has changed and molded, but I keep coming back to water. It was an unexplained love so I started to research my obsession with this element. As most people know I am a kayaker, and I like kayaking almost as much as making art. Why I had not combined them sooner I have no idea. I realized over the years my favorite places to kayak were disappearing, and this lit my fire. My thesis is about protecting the environments I hold dear to me. I am focusing specifically on Florida wetlands because this is my home, and these wetlands have played a special role in my upbringing. I have never lived anywhere else and have a sense of pride and urgency to protect my state.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First edition of the semester

here is the first print pulled this semester. It is a combination of lithography and screen-printing.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Semester Plan

This semester I will be focusing on images of the wetlands. Specifically working with bald cypress swamps, because of the cypress knees they grow along side themselves. They are beautiful twisting structures that are often over looked. The images will be represented in a loose high contrast style of drawing, but in a realistic manner. They may seem abstract because of the nature of cypress knees but I will be working directly from photographs. I want these images to be striking, and attractive. I have a firm belief that people generally do not preserve things they see to be ugly, and most swamps are seen to be rather ugly. I want to show them through my eyes; bringing out the details many over look, hopefully to spark interest in the destruction of one of Florida’s most precious resources.

For research I plan on continuing with scientific research on the swamps themselves, as well as immersing myself in them for inspiration. What elements truly stick out to me when I visit these places? How much damage are we causing with their destruction? Much of my research will also be on the Internet. I plan on taking most of my own pictures but will also turn to other resources from time to time if I cannot visit the actual sites.

I will be working in both print and sculpture. Most of my works will be in printmaking using the techniques of screen-printing over lithography. I hope to achieve seven editions of 10 for the semester. For the sculptures I will be working with wood, foam, water, environmental elements and possibly resin and cement. The size of the prints will be around 10x30” on tan paper. The sculptures will range from 1’x3’x3’ to 2’x4’x5’ and any version of those measurements in between. Because printmaking is my main focus I will be working more on those and the number of sculptures I hope to achieve is still undecided. One for sure, 2 if I can achieve my desired outcomes.

I plan on having a print done at least every two weeks, and hope to have critiques when I have two completely finished. I do not have set dates for my critiques but I do plan on having one every month, or sooner depending on how quickly the project progress.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Death of the Author, Roland Barthes 1977

This paragraph may be a bit short, as was the essay. It was an interesting essay, but not one that kept you on the edge of your seat. I will also admit I am writing this review about a month after I read it. Within his essay the author speaks about the weight the authors voice carries within his own work, and quote: "Writing cannot begin until his voice loses its origin." I enjoy this idea, and the realization that when I am reading an article I always try and take into consideration who the person is. In a few of these essays I have read I have also gone back and done research into the author and it immediately curves my opinion, but back to the essay. The author is a rather modern figure showing up in the middles ages, before that many of the authors were anonymous. It is now a challenge to allow the work to speak for itself. This idea is mirrored in the surrealist idea of automatic writing. You have no real control of where your mind is going your just writing. My apologies for skipping around on ideas, but Barthes also mentioned that critics love a solid author. If you know someone and what they believe you can pin them down, the writing has a solid end point. If on the other hand there is no author you have the ability to interpret the piece any way you want depending on the reader because there is no solid truth. I love this idea, that a piece of literature will never lose meaning because for its life it will be continually reinterpreted. Fabulous period. This is an idea that more authors should strive for in their work, the inability to be pinned down. Pick a really ambiguous pen name.

1. Does a work of literature lose its meaning if the author is removed?

2. Are our minds challenged enough without an author because it is open to our own interpretation?

3. Should all authors be required to use a pen name in the observation of equality?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Group One Overview

After reading the essays of the first group (“Against Interpretation, Challenging the literal, Chaos, and Interview with Agnes Martin”) they all have a common theme of concepts within art, and the interpretations of them. In “against Interpretation” The author argues that art is now over interpreted and form is lost, while “Challenging the literal” states that interpretation is impossible anyways because of a difference in personal associations. Part of the fun of conceptual art is digging into the head of the artist, and part of the fun I enjoy in making art is leaving clues for the viewer to follow. In the art world it is common knowledge that everyone interprets things differently. Not that I am in argument of these essays I have to say I agree with both of them and enjoyed the message each had to say, but both were like beating a dead horse (simile: like a metaphor but using the words like or as) compliments of challenging the literal. These essays both had a reasonably clear point and made them well. I can’t say the same for the Chaos essay. it rambled and rambled about topics that did not pertain to the subject at all, to the point that I don’t particularly want to speak about it, so moving on to the interview. Agnes martin challenges the first two essays with her idea of inspiration. If art is made with her ultimately pure form of inspiration it cannot be misinterpreted. That is if we as humans all have the same root emotions and the same signals for them. She claims that her art is so pure that she does not have a hand in it at all, but that inspiration tells her hand where to paint and what to paint. There are no ideas behind her work. So while it contradicts both essays it also reinforces “Against Interpretation.” She is bringing back pure form and color to her pieces. Maybe Agnes and the author of the first essay should have gotten together and had tea they would have hit it off.

Interview with Agnes Martin, 1997

I’m pleasantly pleased to add Agnes Martin to my list of artists I enjoy. Her interview was a breath of fresh air. Agnes is an artist that works entirely with inspiration, specifically the inspiration that is without cause. The example she used was; when you wake up in the morning and your happy for no reason it is an emotion with no cause. Those are the emotions she paints about. An interesting thing said was her view on music, considering it the highest form of art. Music is the highest form of art because of the emotions it elicits. These pure emotions that inspiration should come from. Agnes enjoys a clear mind for thoughts to bounce around in. She has given up theory’s, and ideas with a belief that ideas simply clutter and confuse inspiration until the inspiration is no longer visible in the art. She also approaches her work in a humble manner explaining that the education system is wrong. Education tells us we can do anything, but Agnes believes that when you come in believing you can achieve anything, you can really only repeat what has been done. As a person one needs to let experimentation happen.


1. If you feel inspired by something should you continue researching the topic in search of more inspiration or will this cloud the initial response.

2. Are artists overly concerned with how their work is displayed?

3. Agnes states that artists do not deserve credit for their work that the inspiration does. Where does inspiration come from? I know what I believe.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth, Elizabeth Grosz 2006

In Elizabeth Grosz’s essay she begins exploring the origins of conceptual art from the view of a philosopher. Not a philosopher attempting to interpret finished work but to show the similarities within the processes of science, art and philosophy. She starts off her essay with the line, “Art does not produce concepts, it addresses problems”. I can’t agree with all of this. Yes its understood that concepts are not created they are more fallen into during ones life, and represented in the artists work. To say that art addresses problems is a huge umbrella to place over the entire art community. Much of art made today expresses nothing beyond form. She goes on to speak about art as the ability to create a sensation out of chaos. This first step is the framework of the art. Frames are represented in nearly all forms of art: music, painting, performance, etc…. Architecture in particular is a great example. We use frames, in forms of walls floor and ceiling to reterritorialize our world, creating for us a livable space out of chaos. These frames are also repeated in our windows, simple frames allowing the outside to come in the space, blurring the distinction between interior and exterior. Also in our furniture is the mimicry of our territory frames in tables, mirrors, and beds. Even before these frames emerge there is the root of art. Nature serves as the root of art it does not come from man itself. Being that I am an artist of nature I tend to agree, but a counter statement can be said of whether man also belongs to the broadened category of nature. I fully understand that Grosz has been studying philosophy for a good deal of time now, but this essay seemed to be reaching and over analyzing just to fill space. Of the entire essay I believe the last few pages were the most enlightening. “Art produces sensations never before produced,” This is a great line. Art is making visual the invisible, making audible the inaudible. Pulling from chaos a small portion of chaos to create a sensation. That is the talent of the artist.

Having said all of that I think the idea of chaos needs to be addressed. Chaos is an idea of opinion, and something that I do not believe exists. As an artist I seek to represent the magnificence expressed in nature around me. I do not feel I am plucking out a slice of chaos to represent as it has not been represented before. I aim to take the awe I feel and translate it into art. That awe I feel does not come from chaos it comes a divinely engineered environment.

Three Questions:

1. Does combining Art and Philosophy over complicate art?

2. Should all art create a sensation?

3. Why are artists credited with being able to pull basically comprehensible ideas and images out of chaos? Is that not what our eyes do anyways everyday?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Challenging the Literal" Daniel Chandlers, 2002

Daniel Chandler gave an extremely thorough grammar lesson in chapter four of his book, and a new way of looking into things. He speaks about the impossibility of universal language, the improbability of two different phrases having the same meaning, and defining the differences between metaphors, synecdoches, irony, and metonyms. These tropes could be easily translated into art speak, and aid the artist in their quest for universal concepts or towards the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Chandlers speaks both in a literary sense and a visual sense using photography and advertising as his examples. A truer statement could not be said that when something is seen it must resemble something. Every time there is a critique of artwork, especially abstract works the words, “It looks like …” nearly always come up. I had never stopped to think that literary devices could translate directly into visual ones, something I should have known since I make art in English, and metaphors plague my work. They are inescapable; completely ingrained into our world. As mentioned in the essay even when I call someone bright it is simply a substitution for intelligent that many take for granted. At the same time a metaphor like that one will not always translate to other cultures. This is the idea behind Connotation. Connotations are the personal and cultural associations to a metaphor. An example of this is in America the car is a sign of freedom, but of all these metaphors, a synecdoche will be my personal favorite. A synecdoche is a type of metonym where only a portion of said object is used to represent it. An example as mentioned in “Challenging the Literal” would be the use of the word sails to replace ship (“we have ten sails on the water”). This has got to be a literary device that translates the most into the visual arts. When a picture is cropped your mind uses that one portion of the image to fill in the rest. Freshman year I was told not to use metaphors in my work, that it was over done and old hat. This essay politely states the impossibility of that task. coming away from this essay I feel that metaphors should be studied further, and a sharp eye kept out for metaphors within your own art that you might not catch, but a viewer will.

From this my three questions:

1. Because metaphors are so easily mistranslated or over analyzed should we as artists worry about their meaning beyond our own experiences?

2. Is the use of metaphors within art destroying its original meaning beyond the literal object.

3. As a culture we are now over saturated with imagery. Is art being over interpreted because of our ready memory bank of visual associations?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Against Interpretation," Susan Sontags 1964

After reading through this essay with a dictionary I whole-heartedly agree with everything Susan had to say. The function of art has changed a great deal since its conception. In some cases it is still used as a ritual/magical tradition, but modern art has evolved into a theoretical monster. This theoretical monster is causing artists to defend themselves as well as their work putting content in the front seat and form on the back burner. So much so that we as artists search out content in pieces that have none, completely choking out form and furthering the idea that all art must have some underlying secret idea. Art is a powerful tool in evoking emotion. By forcing interpretation on everything it is made manageable, comfortable, tolerable by the viewer. What happened to the sensory experience of art? I particularly enjoyed Sontags statement on an old movie scene of a tank rolling down an empty road. “Those who reach for a Freudian interpretation of the tank are only expressing their lack of response to what is there on the screen.” Since the turn in art to become all about content there has been a movement to avoid it. Susan says art isn’t running but it really is. With abstract, pop, and even minimalist art they want no interpretation beyond the literal. A shift needs to be made that all art can be appreciated again from the transparence of the piece.

From this essay I raise my three questions:

1. Why almost 50 years after this article was written are we still struggling with over interpretation?

2. I take a question straight from the essay: is it possible to make art just what it is?

3. Since interpretation is not law, and varies from viewer to viewer, why was it ever elevated to the status it is today?