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?