Archive for the ‘art 2840’ Category

art 2840: reading 8

November 3, 2010

This reading was from Lea Vergine’s The Body As Language, and was accompanied by two videos of performances by Maria Abramovic and Chris Burden. In class we have been looking at various performances using the body. I watched Abramovic wildly (and sometimes violently) brush and comb her hair while repeating, “art must be beautiful, artist must be beautiful.” Sigh. Just like other performance art, I was really on edge because I was afraid she was going to cutting her self, I am not a fan of blood. Watching her brush her hair while saying that was frustrating, she was beautiful then (and still is, it’s like she’s barely aged) so I feel like rolling my eyes hearing another beautiful girl with some sort of statement about beauty all the while being BEAUTIFUL. I was also worried the entire hour of the video was her brushing her hair… but no, now she’s FREEING THE VOICE. She’s moaning. If she’d add a little variation she could work a haunted house. The thing about performance art is that it occupies a space of artists doing things that are sometimes ridiculous and without an artist statement on why, it’s hard to take it seriously. (I would give Bas Jan Ader as an example. I watched a video of him falling slow-mo off of a house and I laughed till I cried, but he had his own reasons for doing it.) For Freeing the Memory, a list of words. She kind of looks like she is broadcasting from outerspace. Now to free the body. I can buy this. I think there’s no better way to free the body than through dancing and dancing naked is the ultimate freedom. The mask is strange, I don’t like it, it makes it less fun and more like a hostage situation.
Now onto Chris. MOUSTACHE. I am going to admit, I am a bit nervous about watching this because Chris has done some crazy things. My name is Chris Burden. I noticed you’re admiring my guyliner and moustache. Please, there’s more to me than that! Let’s look at my work.
I am SO GLAD he is explaining the pieces. The simple act of an explanation gives me so much more insight and respect for pieces created. I think it adds a lot to hear what the artist intended.
First piece: “220” HOLY BALLS. Flooded gallery, ladders, ELECTRICITY. Kind of reminds me of Jaws. I feel tense just looking at this set-up. Here comes “Shoot” This is a piece I have already seen, but it’s so strange because I am expecting something extremely violent everytime. Bloodspatter, some kind of pained cries, but there is none of that. “Bed Piece” 22 days of being in bed. He brings up the aspect of the people providing him food had to deal with him as an object and a person, and that is an interesting thing to explore. He occupies their space, but he isn’t speaking to them. The next one has road flares and Burden was arrested. It’s interesting to me that he was frightened by the process of arrest and trial, but he takes all these risks to his body.
Smoking dope and watching tv is up now. This was seems less interesting. He’s wearing stolen pants. “Icarus” Awesome glass and gasoline. The vapour ignited beautifully. B.C. Mexico. Vicarious participation. That makes sense as an access point. “Through the Night Softly” Gorgeous, the opening comment about broken glass as stars touches me because I love stars and I also have a thing for broken glass scattered across parking lots. I know he is getting cut up, but I don’t feel any of the tension. I feel like, “WHAT A STATEMENT” I know he hasn’t mentioned anything of the sort, but isn’t there someone in your life that you would wiggle across broken glass for? I do feel uncomfortable for him though. SHEESH, that looks sharp. This TV Ad thing is so honest, he just wanted to be on tv. Oh, Chris!!! Real TV. Haha, and now he’s requesting volunteers and it doesn’t sound like anyone is just jumping up to do it. I am not surprised in the least. Oh yikes… pushpins. This one is more tense, is the volunteer gonna do it? Just a few, but they did it.
By using body, Burden and Abramovic are able to access a media that EVERYONE has on them at all times: their body. Maybe you can’t paint or draw, but you have a body and most people have a fascination with watching terrible things happen to others. Seeing one person’s body injured gives you that cringe/chill of your imagination feeling it for a second happening to your own body.


art 2840: reading 5

September 20, 2010

This reading was on spectacle. Spectacle dates back to Greek tragedy, and relies on using emotional and visual ties to entrance an audience. Spectacle can be positive or negative and flows across a variety of media. With recorded technology, the way spectacle is viewed changes. The temporal and spatial effects of spectacle have changed with advent of recording technologies that allow the spectacle to be viewed across time zones. Spectacle can be used for pleasure, or for shock, as Foucault mentioned through the use of public executions as a show of power to the spectators. The spectacle seems to be more and more becoming something of a consumer item, with the use of television. So much of what we see is could possibly oversaturate us with the spectacle, with images of good things next to bad things, displayed within seconds of eachother and with such ease we hardly notice the difference.
Ummmm. Spectacle. I would suppose that I have been experiencing spectacle since April. I have been working on a part performance art piece called “The Voyage of Fatima.” It involves carrying a boat sculpture around taking photos of people and places. The experience has been significant for me in making new friends, meeting tons of people and being a source of entertainment. Physically at times it can be wearing to carrying Fatima around. She isn’t heavy but she is awkward and navigating crowds has become something of an art form. Emotionally it has brought a lot of joy to me. Every single time we go out and someone agrees to be in a photo with her before I explain her, it makes my day. The fact that people are willing to help a stranger based on “it’s an art project” warms my heart. Psychologically I may be losing it because I have grown attached to the boat and refer to Fatima as “her” and I have said “we” quite a few times in my statement. It can be overwhelming, especially when I am in a place that I cannot put her down or hide her if I get tired of the stares or questions. I hope that counts. Here’s the project: The Voyage of Fatima.
Oh and my senior project was also based on spectacle, but I am past the word limit!

art 2840 reading I

August 30, 2010

This reading was from Techniques of the Observer by Jonathan Crary. Fascinating to me was the efforts in formulating theories of “persistence of vision.” Work with figuring out how long after images would last in the retina helped with developing instruments that utilized the persistence of vision to create the illusion of motion. One such instrument was the phenakistiscope. Developed by Joseph Plateau, the phenakistiscope used a wheel of still images spinning viewed through slits. As the images spun past the slits, the persistence of vision gave the appearance of the images being in continuous motion. With technology like this being developed, the role played by the observer was changing. The observer was becoming more actively involved becoming a part of the machine that they powered to view images, also moving from viewing static things to experiences that involved involvement, such as dioramas that caused the viewers to move their heads and eyes to see an entire scene.