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.