Of all the videos we watched, I feel that Mel Chins resonated the most with me, namely in the use of plants to remove toxins from the soil and return the earth to what it once was as a completion of an art project. The technique of using plants and the earth itself as a medium i find intriguing, and while I’m aware it isn’t the first time the World itself has been the medium, it seems to be the first one I’ve seen focused on repairing damage caused by man, not just making more. http://doublenegative.tarasen.net/double_negative.html
That and the repurposing of burned out houses as worm farms as sorts is also intriguing. How many forms or restoration can actually be considered art? What makes it different from other social or ecological reforms? Is there a difference at all?
John, so are you saying that you see the “Earth Art” of the 60’s and 70’s as damage (link to Heizer piece an example of “damage”?) If so, I think I can see where you’re coming from, but to play devil’s advocate, one could argue that it would sort of be a stretch to conflate “damage” with “modification” or “displacement” of rocks. Heizer is known for critiques on environmental damage. Does the displacement of specific rocks or minerals in his work actually leave a negative environmental imprint? Or is your interpretation metaphoric? Please explain.
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The videos posted for week six were very interesting. I enjoyed getting to hear the artists point of view and purpose for each work of art. My favorite Artist was Mel Chin. His functional art piece, “Revival Gardens” was thoughtfully beautiful. It gave not only an aesthetic purpose but it is intellectually beautiful for how the plants give back to the planet. We would benefit from having more artists like Mel Chin!
I am going to ask a question from the reading that was assigned for week 6. In the textbook, Prebles’ Artforms pages 95-99, I read about Formal, Sociocultural, and Expressive theories. I am a little confused as to why these are considered art criticism. How are theories criticism? I just thought they were different views of analyzing a painting or any artwork for that matter.
I thoroughly enjoyed the video on Egyptian history. I love how the video brought a fun and colorful outlook on the history of Egypt! It kept my attention and introduced me to information that I never knew. Their depiction of the human body in their art work is fascinating because despite it’s unrealistic angles it still exhibits features of each person portrayed (though they appeared very similar). I think the fact I found most interesting is that they had their animals walk upon the ground that they just planted the seeds into to penetrate the seeds into the ground. Overall, fun video that well informs the viewers.
I never realized how long the Egyptian Empire truly lasted. It is simply astonishing that they were so prolific for such an extensive period of time, yet their art work remained so static and unchanging. One would think that after a period of over 2500yrs their art and depiction of the human body would have changed, but it didn’t and it wasn’t meant to. Really amazing, yet also sad that such a astounding empire came to an end and along with it all its cultural and linguistic intricacies.
I thought that the video of Mark Bradford was really creative. I never know there was a type of technique that went into making a collage. I always preferred collages because I thought it was a lot easier then most art, but after watching his video my theory was put to rest. The way he explained his process was really informative and creative. I really enjoyed learning his process!
I agree with you it’s awesome how he took signs from the neighborhood and turned them into his own masterpiece. His technique is very complex in the way of using the sting and the back of the billboard paper. I love that his collages are so unique and inspiring.
I would have too agree with you guys. I liked how he brought street art into his own personality and his idea broight a hole new prepective on street art
After watching the videos required for homework. I was blown away by Alfredo Jaar. His dedication to try and bring horrible tragedies to light of the public is something I respect so much. How he challenges the desesitization of the public and sees how people will react to his strange yet powerful art. I applaud Jaar for not only his art but his films too.
I really enjoyed the video of Mark Bradford. I had no idea what really went into making a collage. I had this preconceived notion that it was going to be simpler, or easier, than creating a painting. I loved the piece that was map inspired. There was so much going on and it offered so many interesting little things to look at I paused the movie to look at it for some time. I also found the juxtaposition of the two videos, the video of the Martin Luther King Day parade and the Muslim marketplace in Egypt moving. I enjoyed his explanations and creative process a lot.
I found all of the videos very interesting, and attempted to find a somewhat common theme. If there is one thing I took away from all four videos, its a new perspective of space. Like we have discussed in class, the context of where you the art can change your perspective of it entirely.
Mark Bradford was able to make a political statement by simply placing video footage of an egyptian market place parallel to a US parade. Had Bradford put the video clips perpendicular to one another, it would not have conveyed the message he was trying to send. Like Bradford, Allfredo Jaar is an expert in utilizing the physical space around him. A good example is about 9 minutes into his video. You can see photos that are not fully depicted, or “hidden” is his words, behind larger portraits of the ocean. Jaar calls it his attempt to capture magic, which he was successful doing in my opinion. By depicting portions, like faces and hands, the emotional content of the photos are highlighted.
Paul Pfeiffer was a different take on the use of space. Instead of utilizing the space of the exhibit around him, the space itself is the art. The recreation diorama of the Amityville horror house is an example of how Pfeiffer does not set the mood by arranging his work in a space, but instead creates a space that is the work itself. Perhaps even more interesting is Mel Chin’s utilization of space. Like Paul Pfeiffer he created a space of his own. However unlike Pfeiffer, his space is not a physical one. The video game art was very interesting to me because it gives you such expansive space far from reality.
I found Mark Bradford’s way of making art to be unbelievably creative. Bradford would take old street signs that he has collected from the ghetto, sand them, paint them, etc., and then made a massive, wall size collage out of them. The way he constructed the collage was very unique, he plastered all the signs on a large wall so they can demonstrate the conditions of that particular place. Bradford shared other artworks of his that all carried the same creativity, imagination and all demonstrated a message or a place. I am curious to know if this type of creativity and art making is something one can learn from years of schooling, or if this is just a fantastic natural ability of Mr. Bradford?
I agree! I found Mark Bradford’s technique really innovative. I had no idea the time and effort that went into making a collage. I also found the process of the street sign collage to be quite impressive. I think he pushes the boundaries of what can really be seen as art with his work. I really enjoyed this video.
Thanks for the link Lindsey! It got me asking some questions about stereotypes and myths about artists.
Because serious neurological and psychotic disorders are so close to home for me and my family, I feel that there is a tendency to throw these terms around too freely, and to romanticize these disorders as a scapegoat or easy explanation for why someone is socially dysfunctional, “odd” and/or “genius.” It’s almost as if some people want to believe that anyone who is that exceptional must have some physical disorder or handicap. I also wonder if it is a way to excuse or explain away socially dysfunctional behaviors that are not due to genetic disorders. I mean, there’s “OCD” as in “I’m a super clean freak and perfectionist” and then there’s “OCD” as in “I can’t leave the house until I count all the tiles in the bathroom or I’ll have a panic attack.”
I’m not saying there’s no way Picasso could possibly have been autistic, I’m just saying that to say that he was is a stretch, that perpetuates the common myth and stereotype of artists as being idiot savants or autistic, when in actuality they’ve developed obsessive and/or neurotic behaviors without having a genetic and physical neurological dysfunction. The thing that stuck out to me is that the historically significant people the article lists as being “suspected” of having autism are conveniently dead. It’s pure speculation. To be fair, I can see how someone might suspect Picasso of having autism by looking at his notoriously egocentric behavior and tendency to use people like tools, but that’s about it. Further down in the article, autism expert Simon Baron-Cohen is cited as stating that that “imagination […] is very limited in people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome.” Both Einstein and Picasso were exceptionally imaginative and creative. This isn’t to discount the fact that many artists and intellectuals truly do have disorders. My question is: Do people throw around the term “autistic” like people throw around the terms “OCD,” “ADD” or “ADHD”?
As someone who has studied and read extensively about Picasso, no where in several different biographies is there any indication that he may have been autistic. Picasso was extremely creative and imaginative, and is known for continually changing his “style” because he philosophically didn’t believe in stasis. He was very shrewd and calculating as well as a businessman. Cubism is an artistic revolution he invented along with Georges Braque, an artist friend of his, that is at its core physically and philosophically deconstructs the whole into parts, but without losing sight of what that “whole” is.
I genuinely appreciate that there is a noble attempt to destigmatize autism, I just think we need to be careful about our speculations. After all, the ABC article admits that “We will never really know if Newton, Einstein, Mozart or van Gogh had Asperger’s syndrome.”
why would a critic say that because of Californias spiritual and cultural impovershment, that Robert Arnesons work could never have no serious depth or meaning? Prebles artforms, pg 183-184
I’m not sure… the book isn’t specific about who this New York critic is, and what he said. What I’m about to say is a gross generalization: The Eastcoast is much older than the Westcoast, with a much longer history. Because of this, the Westcoast has been seen by Eastcoasters as a place that lacks history and depth, because it is so young, and because California is associated with what many feel is the superficiality of Hollywood. Also, because the weather here in CA is so mild and ideal, some people from other regions see us as spoiled and wimpy (probably because they’re really just jealous). Perhaps that New York critic is saying that because so much of Arneson’s art embodies Californian culture and humor, it lacks depth because he feels California lacks depth. That’s my best answer. What do you think?
It’s amazing how Francis Alys can pour paint down the road as a political maneuver and it is turned in to art by outsiders perspective. It makes one question what can be achieved just by thinking outside the box…
I personally enjoyed Mark Bradford and his extremely unique yet fundamental creation of collages. I enjoyed listening to his odd perceptions of artwork and the experiences one may take away from it. I especially enjoyed his very unorthodox approach to basketball- where he put on an “antebellum hoop skirt” and incorporated a “struggle” into playing the game.
I liked Mel Chin. His idea of hype accumulators plants to remove toxins from the earth is genius, so relative to today’s environment, I struggle everyday with how to live with a lessor carbon footprint…do you ever think about your own effect on your environment?
Paul Pfeiffer’s technique was amazing, the boxing scene was great. I thought his statement about “do we make images or do they make us” was profound because we do watch sooo much television.
Alfredo Jaar is a very courageous man to go to Rwanda.
Mark Bradford is a genius also. “keep going..always make the shot”
The 4 videos we were assigned to watch varied among greatly with complexities among the conception of art through different artists. I thought that it was very interesting how each artist used polar opposite ideas from one another and expressed their influence from universal, or personal situations. I particularily favored Mark Bradford’s video, and his techniques used to portray his ideas of art. I especially like his thoughts about a sense of meaning towards acheiving your goals, regardless of cultural, gender, or racial issues.
From the reading it would seem like “modernism” could have gone on forever if it wasn’t for some elusive event, an event the book hardly goes in depth about. It’s all put down generally as relating to the inflation of desire to break the rules and it’s deflation as this becomes the norm. I don’t know the intent behind this type of dictation, but it seems superficial and lacking; it kind of guts the story. Of course, this book isn’t an intimate account of artist’s reactions, but after making historical connections to the emotional charge related to “postmodernism”, it seems too isolated to say that artist’s of this time were merely discontent with the “modernism” styles and what they stood for, consequently embracing its total opposite. I watched the “Postmodernism” lecture from Stephen Hicks (“Modernism” lecture by him in video files), and I could appreciate the aspects he connected to the emergence of “postmodernism”. It spurred my interest to research more.
I agree with you about the idea of the artist’s being “merely discontent” with the style.
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