Monday, December 13, 2010
I also attended Anja Marais' talk the same day, and the pieces were a bit strange. Many of Marais' works give the feeling of something that doesn't originate from our world, and several involve water. This theme of unfamiliarity and the ocean is quite important to immigrants, who must face the initial hardships of even getting to another place before being seen as a complete outsider. While some of her pieces don't reflect this quite as much (I'm not sure what a vomiting kraken is supposed to represent), the piece with patterns drawn into a man's back seems to fit much better. Turned away with unusual, visible marks, the man does not seem familiar. Hanged Man also fits somewhat as immigrants might feel as if they're trapped in their old culture and can't get out to learn a new one. I can't make any statements from experience though.
Friday, December 10, 2010
The parallels to the class lie in the interaction that place has on the person. In this particular situation a person projects meaning for the place, and the place reflects the identy of the person.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
The particular part that I really liked was the "view" pieces. The fact that the art could look like something, and usually smudges, random designs and then at the turn of the art the image began to develop. It was amazing to me and surprising at how an image and such creation came alive at just the turn of the piece. I did enjoy the films and they peaked my interest in the subject.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I have always been enamored with stop motion, ever since I first learned about it after watching Wallace and Gromit. My friend and I would experiment with our toys but as you can imagine, nothing very epic came out of it, I have learned that stop motion is extremely easy to mess up. The changes in lighting, if you move a limb to fast... And a little kid's attention span can only stretch so far. But the nice thing about stop motion is that it's relatively easy (just tedious) and the product is always fun to watch. In fact, when Caiti told me she wanted to do stop motion I showed her my favorite stop motion movie (which probably wasn't such the best idea because it is rather intimidating...) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=240Vq6tIxio << The end product of this video required over 6500 pictures (and you can watch the number counting during the video).
Looking at videos like Wallace and Gromit, the youtube video, and the films in class are just couple of examples of all of the avenues one can go in with stop motion if they simply have the patience to do so. As for the films in class, I didn't really understand the story or meaning behind some of them... but that wasn't as important as studying the creativity and ideas behind the stop motion itself.
The most interesting points I observed from these films were little details. For example, there is a scene where the picture of someone's face becomes desaturated. The color just fades away... The use of color and lighting in stop motion is important. This reminded me that the picture's lighting must remain the same in every single shot in order to make it look like a real film. Though, this is not always true, for you can change the lighting between night and day, but such changes must be gradual keeping in mind that you want it too look natural. In the natural world there aren't these kinds of dramatic changes shifty strobe light changes in lighting. The same happens in the youtube video I linked too where one girl is holding a flame and it lights up and burns up the screen but really he's just taking a light and exposing the picture to it slowly and slowly until it looks like her fire is burning every thing up. This most likely required practice through trial and error a couple of times in order to learn how quickly to turn up the lighting. Just as the scene is stop motion, the lighting and colors must also be considered "STOP" motion as well.
Considering this, it is obvious that stop-motion artists require a great deal of creativity to think about what move they are going to do next and how exactly to make things move so naturally. How small their adjustments must be...
I also liked how instead of filming the characters in one scene he filmed them through the orb. I found this incredibly interesting, as they were able to capture the stop motioned movements through this orb instead of directly filming them. I could try it with a mirror on my own time and see what kinds of things I can do through that.
And I'm going to have to cut this short because I need to leave for break now.
Monday, November 22, 2010
The Politics of Representation:
Art and Human Rights in Latin America
Honestly, when I went to Dr. Giunta’s talk I was unsure as to what to expect. I was not sure how Dr. Giunta would use her knowledge of Latin American Art to talk about politics, although I did know that there are many topics that combine art and politics. However, my confusion was immediately thrown out the window when Dr. Giunta began her talk and focused in on her topic: Abduction and Disappearance. I was really interested in how Dr. Giunta described abduction photos in Latin American newspapers as “ghost-like.” This was simply a description that I had never really thought of before and it was interesting to see how right Dr. Giunta was; the images had a haunted look to them, even though the photos were taken before any of their subjects had vanished.
On of the works that Dr. Giunta showed and described during her talk, and the work that I found to be the most moving, was the work by Gustavo Germano Ausenc’as. Ausenc’as work consisted of a pair of images right next to each other, one is the original image (with the missing person in the image) and the other is a new version of the photo, with all people in the same position, which emphasizes the missing individual. I thought that this work was extremely complex because it not only deals with the issue of abduction and disappearance, but the photo pairs also evoke all of the emotions and details of the other people and the place where the photograph was taken. I found these photograph combinations to be the easiest to connect to because, even if I knew nothing about the people in the images, I could try and put myself in their shoes and feel the sense of loss that permeates the new image of the pair.
Some of the other works that Dr. Giunta discussed that I found very interesting were works by Luis Camnitzer and the Buenos Aires Memorial. The work by Camnitzer was interesting because it represented the people who have disappeared by showing them as blank lines in a phone book, giving no contact information for those who have disappeared amongst the regular list of phone numbers and addresses. The Buenos Aires Memorial was also very interesting because Dr. Giunta described it as a “visual record”; a continuously updated memorial, that as new people are listed as having been abducted, their names are added to the list on the memorial. All of these works helped me to understand the connection that Dr. Giunta was making about art and human rights: that even though these people have disappeared, they have in no way been forgotten.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I also really enjoyed Hannah and Elise's piece. I thought it was hilarious and on-point, and it did a really good job of bringing the stark landscape of the ARC to life.
Narration-both the ARC and Historic videos used narration. While the narration from Historic was a continuation of two people talking, in a story form, the ARC used narration but more in a dialogue fashion (manipulated dialogue).
Movement-while the ARC podcast included pictures, on site pictures, to flash movement, to contrast with the dialogue, the Historic podcast also used movement. However, this particular one had video rather than still pictures.
Reactions from people of that site-While listening to the video in the Historic podcast, you can hear certain reactions to the site such as descriptions and labels, as they call it a beautiful view. While walking through the site, we are getting a first hand reaction that the videographer is feeling. The ARC podcast, too used reactions from people from that particular site. However, those reactions were not on site, the viewer does not experience the reaction with the person, rather, they are being told later.
In contrast, Hannah and Elisa's piece deals much more heavily with the human element. By integrating individuals thoughts about the experience, the arc gains meaning by what individuals perceive or label it as. This gives is a rather comfortable feeling for it correlated strongly with my previous perceptions of the place. It was cool how they molded it by providing tension between opposing views, which created a small game of tug of war with my ideas.
In conclusion the arc as done in Natalie's work addressed the arc as almost an individual in itself, while Hannah and Elisa's viewed it as an extension of the individuals who use it.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Similar to Caiti’s response to the Justin Bates memorial, Danie’s response was also very colorful, and fanciful. However, Danie’s podcast took on a much more personal tone. I thought it was interesting that she not only incorporated other’s stories into her podcast, but continued to add her own personal thoughts, and stories about the memorial.
The two podcasts also had some simularities. Both featured stories of how objects placed on the memorial got there. This was the main focus of Caiti's video, and Danie's podcast included a story of how a piece of driftwood got placed on the grave. Both showed how the place is connected with people. Caiti's showed how people change the memorial, like by contributing items to it, while Danie's showed the memorial can change people, like by bringing back memories.
This was unlike Caitlin's which told a story. Don't get me wrong, it still had feeling, but it wasn't the same feeling. It was less of a feeling of meditation (like Jamie's) and more like the feeling one gets when watching a movie. You got to see the place changing through time, the different people (and animals) interacting with it and leaving shells to be remembered. It was a history, it was a tale to be told, while Jamie's was a feeling, something that has no time or place.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
After reading Space and Place, I gained a new view on what is space and what is place. I now view space as that which is open, new, untouched by experience, and place as that which is known and touched by experience. Whenever I visit a new space, it seems large, vast and confusing to me, even if the actual size of the space is not that large. However, as I familiarize myself with it and begin to associate memories, experiences, and thoughts with the space, it becomes a place. Then, as I visit, it no longer seems so large, vast, and confusing. It has a purpose and a meaning. In this way, Berlin and the Baltic Sea can evoke a sense of openness and infinitude. Yes, they are two very different spaces; however, when one first visits them and they are new, they seem vast, exciting, and endless. They are large spaces to begin with as well, so there is much to explore. One may find a few places within the vast space, and not be able to make the whole space a place for a long time. Only parts of Berlin and the Baltic sea may be familiar and full of experience and memories. Other parts may remain undiscovered, new, and untouched for a long time. It takes time to recognize and decipher space to make it become place. As Tuan says a child will not know that a triangle is a triangle until he or she deciphers the corners and shape. They gain meaning and become place, and thus the triangle becomes identified as a shape and place, rather than a space.
Tuan also discusses much about how our feelings and sense effect our perception of place. A newborn child cannot perceive the world the way an adult does; thus, a newborn child’s perception of space and place is vastly different than our own. Much more seems to be space to the child, until associations are made and the senses decipher and associate meanings to the object, room, building, outdoor space, etc. For example, children are not bothered much by dead or decaying things even though they have a strong smell. They will play with trash and will be greatly curious about dead animals. However, as people grow older they begin to associate negative feelings and experiences with the smell. Trash is considered dirty and untouchable. Death is considered disgusting and scary. People who know or have faced death remember that when they smell or see the dead animal. These cultural and personal associations begin to shape those spaces and make them places full of strong emotional responses and meaning. Experiencing a space or place involves more than just one sense, it involves all five. Sights, smells, touches can all become associations with a space and make it a place. For example, every person has a smell. We often do not notice or associate people with these smells when we first meet them. When we meet them they are mostly space. We may see some familiarity in them; however, overall they are new, novel, and seemingly infinite in internal depth. However, as people get to know each other, especially couples, they will begin to associate that person with a smell. If a girlfriend sleep’s at her boyfriend’s house one night and leaves the next morning, the boyfriend can remember and associate her with that place by smelling her scent on the pillow, or sheets, or bed. She becomes part of the experience. Her smell leaves a lasting emotional and memorable impact.
Space and place is always in our lives and it defines and shapes how we view the world. Space becomes place through experience and senses; these factors shape our perceptions of the world.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Anyway, without further ado... My reaction.
The first thing that came to mind during the reading and our discussion in class was a concept we had discussed after reading The Ways of Seeing, and that is how experience not only affects artwork, but also affects words in artwork. I noticed how the author pointed out that "I see" also means "I understand" in the English language which is not it's literal definition... This is similar to how he treats the words "Space" and "Place" giving them a meaning beyond their practical definition. These definition can only be created with experience. Artwork has the power to change the definition of a word like that. By pairing a word with a piece of artwork -giving it a title- you change the idea of the piece and the definition of the word. For example, Colby brought up the urinal that an artist tried to show in a gallery and that he named it "Fountain". The definition of "fountain" has changed, and so has the idea of the urinal.
Another thing that piqued my interest was later on when he was discussing how infants learn the world around them. I wonder if an adult goes through the same process upon discovering a new "space" and through that process it becomes a "place". I'm sure you could compare the two. For example he pointed out how when you ask a younger child, "Where do you like to play" they answer simply, "Outside" or "Inside" and when you ask an older child they will get more specific, "in my room", "in the basement". I'm sure that adults act similarly to unfamiliar and familiar places.
For example someone could ask a St. Mary's student, "Where were you today?" and a first year might reply, "I was in the campus center." but after a couple of months they will most likely get more specific, "I was in the grille/quiznos/bookstore/cole cinema/etc."
And of course, last but not least, the vantage points. Along with where you are standing I feel this also has to do with everyone's personal experience. For example, I am short, my mother is tall. If I am standing in the backyard of the house she grew up in, I am not only seeing it from a different angle than her because I am physically different but I am EXPERIENCING it differently from her since she grew up there and I did not. It made me realize that everyone looks at a space/place differently. No two perspectives are the same.
Monday, November 1, 2010
It was interesting for him to include animals idea of place. What that made me think of was warthogs and thier bunkers. The behavioral differences illicited by a warthog when in the bunker and when away from one are incredibly. One place directs a warthog to be more aggressive, while the other does not.
As for his discusssion on an infants experience, he makes claims based of research that has recently been disputed. As for and infant not being able to "distinguish familiar to unfamiliar faces", hes is incorrect. This statement is a far different from claim then stating an infants distress when with a stranger. Further more, when drawing conclusions from infants drawings, he fails to encorporate the possiblity that the drawing may not be an actual measure of their capacities. Instead the drawing may reflect the inability to draw said concepts by simple artistic deficiency and not conceptual deficiency.
One part I thought was really interesting was the difference between how a child views places, and how an adult views them. An adult can see an image of a place, and associate it with an emotion or sentimental memory. Children are generally very imaginative, so its fascinating that they do not see places in this way. This is because children have less of a past then adults, so they focus more on the present and future. Its interesting that adults imagine something, which children do not, about places. This imagining almost makes adults come across as being simular to children, just in thier own different way.
The section of Tuan’s book that struck me was the end of his “Experimental Perspective” chapter. It is in this section that Tuan begins to explain how “places and objects define space” (17). Additionally, Tuan explains, “An object or place achieves concrete reality when our experience of it is total” (18). Therefore, since experience defines objects and place, and objects and place define space, experience helps to define space. This concept, though confusing at first, becomes clear by the end of the chapter. Though a person may “know” a place through pictures, movies, or stories, it may still “lack sharpness unless we can also it from the outside and reflect upon our experience” (18). It is the experiences one has with a place or an object that makes it a unique space. For example, senior year of high school I visited many colleges. Through tours I was able to get a general vision of each college. However, since I had to pick only one school, I view the other schools I visited “through the eyes as tourists, and from reading about it in a guidebook” (18). It is my four years of experience at St. Mary’s that make this a unique space for me.
Tuan mentions that sound is a space. When I'm editing some audio, though my body is in my room or studio, my mind is in the space where that audio was recorded. If I personally recorded the files, then it becomes a place because I know how everyone was acting at the time, along with the location, time of day, etc. This changes how I work, but it's a bit hard to explain how exactly. Conversely, a place without sound feels unnatural and even creepy. Sometimes it can even be disorienting if you are able to hear in only one ear, if you were to stand right next to a soundproofing panel, for instance. One major example of a soundless place, though I can't remember the name, is a large, perfectly soundproof room with just a small catwalk so people can walk into the middle of the area. You can hear your heartbeat in your ears, and if someone faces away from you and talks, you can't hear them. There's a feeling of unease but also if intrigue, so this soundless space becomes a sort of place.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Throughout this book, I was reminded of my Cultural Studies class. We discussed a theory about spatial text and how it is arbitrary. If a person has an interaction with a certain place or space, it is completely arbitrary because a different person can have a completely different experience, based on his or her personal senses and past experiences. The fact that a place is the same (doesn’t change for different people) but can create different meaning for people, amazes me. When we think about how we interact, as humans, with all of our senses, with our environment, it is amazing to consider how our individual differences shape our experiences in different places. For example, if we think about a place like the ARC, it could create different emotions for different people. An athlete may gain an excited feeling from the ARC, especially a basketball or volleyball player. However, if an athlete from a different sport (that does not use the ARC arena), may not get those same excited feelings. People how do not enjoy sporting events may get negative emotions when entering the ARC. Thus, though the ARC remains the same, it is different for all people, based on personal senses and past experiences.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
This is the wall with the pictures of the five basketball players. Each person is striking their own pose and we thought it would be a great idea to juxtapose these 5 "macho" basketball players with 5 people (preferably of smaller stature) from the ARC.
We asked people that were working out to come pose for us. There were some rejections to our idea, but we managed to find women of smaller physique to come pose under these photographs for us. We also decided to find a guy similar to those guys in the picture as the centerpeice of our work.
For our project, we used people to create our work, so it was very temporary. As we looked for people to pose in our photographs, it was easiest to find the petite women running in the cardio room and we were able to find the male in the center in the weight room lifting. This photograph shows all five of our people lined up with the pictures. Each person copying the pose of each basketball player they are under. We purposely chose the more petite women so that it was a comical comparison of 5 of our tough basketball players and the 4 petite women. The guy in the middle was chosen also as a comparison to the women, because it is easier to see the comparison of a bigger guy in 3D rather than the photographs to the smaller women.
We often relate the gym and ARC to more masculine characteristics and the photographs of the basketball players in their tough poses do not help but support that idea. However, we found there were more women in the ARC at the time that we went. There were more women in the cardio and abs room and more males in the weight room. We find that juxtaposing the smaller women doing the same poses as the photographs as comical. It is due to the societal norms that it is strange and funny that women are acting tough and posing in manly stances.
As we worked on our project, we began to emphasize the idea of connection between all students on campus whether they be male or female, or from the past or present. We bought long shoelaces and long white elastic bands, and tied them to old shoes that had fallen off the tree. Then, we threw the shoes back up and used them to connect the bands to the branches.
Then, we wrapped the bands around the center trunk of the tree, resulting in this branching out effect from the trunk. We connected each branch of shoes as one whole, uniting all the trees participants, and more metaphorically, uniting the sculptures meaning: life, interaction, sex, and new beginnings. From here we decided to expand on the ideas of people interacting with the tree, keeping the sculpture alive. We created cardboard footprints that we put on the trunk as if they were walking up the tree. We used cardboard from the Daily Grind to further reflect the fact that the tree represented the life of St. Mary’s.
Then, we created chalk footprints, some all the way from the dorms, some starting closer to the tree, and had them all walking towards the tree, showing its role as an interactive place, and showing its unity: all these different students came to the same place.
Finally, to really focus on the ideas that the metaphors stemmed from the whole tree, we took leaves and wrote words on them such as sex, love, life, and new and placed them at the little hole in the base of the trunk. We made it look like the leaves were spilling out to emphasize that these metaphors are so strong they literally pour out of the tree. We chose to write on the leaves because they age and change over time, just as the tree does as some shoes get old, and new ones are added.
As we finished in the late afternoon, the end effect was stunning. Our sculpture had made the tree evolve: it added to and emphasized the life that was already there. The shoe tree will always connect the students of St. Mary’s together and it will change, grow, and evolve just as they do.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
When our group thought about the grind, we thought about the feelings that go along with the environment. Because the grind (and the area in front of the campus center) is a walking area, we thought about the constant movement filled with people trying to get to their final destination. People walk by to get their mail, to the dining hall, to buy things at the campus center, or to go to the grind. Though it is filled with tables and chairs, there is a constant form of movement throughout the grind. However, because the grind is a coffee shop and because there are tables and chairs set up, there is an element to the grind that invites people to stay a while.
When creating our project we wanted to show both feelings of movement and tranquility. We wanted to express the juxtaposition of stationary and moving people. To show the movement we placed painted footprints along the walkway. At the end of the walkway, where the room separates, we put an enlarged coffee cup to show the elements of a coffee shop, where one stays and sits for some time. To attempt to slow people down we placed a quote on the “steam” of the coffee. We put a quote from Gandhi that says “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” We found this quote appropriate because it deals with the movement and speed that is gained both from the grind itself and the caffeine from the coffee.
The next day our project was gone, so we assume it was thrown out.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
The work of Heather Harvey is something that goes beyond sculpture, and art in general, it morphs the line of where inspiration and meaning start and where they end. The thing that jumped out to me about Heather Harvey’s talk was her belief that her work was composed up of a “fragile interweaving of ideas”; her work is open to our own interpretation and our own ideas. However, she was quick to point out that it is dangerous for any artist to not to try and convey their own meaning behind a work. She explained that failing to provide your own meaning will invite people to give a meaning that was the complete opposite intention of the artist’s.
The way that Harvey explained how she found meaning in her work was very interesting because she explained her work in terms of meaning as being similar to poetry. She explained that poets have an initial “trigger subject” that compels the poet to begin to write, however, the poet should allow the poem to grow and shift as necessary, without doing so will cause the poem to become stale, contrived, and boring. Harvey explained that it is this “shift” in subjects, the zone between what is known and unknown, that intrigues her and helps inspire her work.
Another interesting point that Harvey brought up in her talk was of how she saw her sculptures and the wall on which they are fixed to. She said that she sees the wall as meaning to be fluid and tangible, and her sculptures, these wire-like and amorphous protrusions, portray the wall as seeping into the environment that they enclose. Also, it was interesting, and a little bit unsettling, to hear her talk about her use of materials (wax and plaster) as having a connection to the human body, by representing bones and flesh. However, this was the best way to think about the pieces because they are coming off of the wall and into a human environment, so it would make sense to see these “forms” as containing elements of what makes up a human being.
Finally, I have to admit that it was really cool to see an artist who describes some of their work as being part sculpture and part drawing; this was a combination that I had never really thought possible before. But now that I have seen examples of Heather Harvey’s work, I can see how interesting and thought provoking just such a thing is. Her work, like she said, blurs the line of what we see and what we think we are seeing.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
To start furthest back chronologically, I find a connection to the luminist paintings of the Hudson River School, a collection of 19th century American artists who aspired to capture nature in all its honesty and beauty. The works of Heade, Church, and Cole have always piqued my interest, but I think this painting by Samuel Coleman best encapsulates what I love about 19th century American landscape painting:
This painting shows the revolution of the century - Industrialization. It was a common foe of the Hudson River School mentality. In this picture, I see a sense of loss at the intrusion of modern, smoke-emitting technology in an otherwise serene landscape, but there is also the excitement of advancement. In these four samples of art, technology and science play a recurring theme, because my mind has always tilted in that direction. I am curious not just about the world, but specifically mankind's place in it, and the push and pull between how we affect the world and how it inspires us.
Okay, this is a bit of a leap, both chronologically and... in terms of realism, obviously:
This is a screenshot from the videogame Myst. I purposefully chose a screenshot with crude graphics, as opposed to the more refined graphics of the later games in the series, to explain that this was the blocky and unrefined imaginary world I essentially grew up in. No screenshot could convey the experience of playing - though exploring and analysing would be more accurate terms - in this game, which is quite literally a place made entirely by man - with both naturalistic and manmade structures within it. First-person adventure games like those of the early Myst series demonstrate man's ability to fully transport ourselves through imagination and technology. In this way, we can fully imagine ourselves through places - we have the capability of fabricating imagined places of our own. I find that this idea can be applied far less literally all over the world.
(THIS IS WHERE I RAN OUT OF TIME AND I WILL EDIT THIS LATER. I'll be going on to talk about "Do You Realize" by the Flaming Lips and developmental art from Pixar, specifically the work of Lou Romano. Ciao! <3)
Margaret Muller Kempson, 2008
Margaret, aka “Molly,” is an artist from Charleston, South Carolina who currently resides in Gainesville, Florida. She graduated from Agnes Scott College with a degree in studio art in 2009 and continues to make artwork wherever and whenever she can, lately focusing on staining and painting wood. This is one of her screen prints.
I chose this piece because I resided in Atlanta for a short period of time, but while I was there I witnessed two separate tornadoes. This is from the first one, and shortly after the picture was taken the second struck. I remember seeing Cabbagetown, which is a small community just shy of downtown, the day after the first tornado and I remembered when I was a child growing up in Reisterstown, Maryland when our neighborhood was also struck by a tornado; the mental images I have are somewhat similar of these two places that are hundreds of miles apart.
Margaret Muller Kempson, 2009
This is the same artist as the first image.
Henryton is a very special place for me. I grew up on the opposing side of the Patapsco River from Henryton and ever since I was a child, I was mystified and terrified at the same time by the abandoned institution. 1984 was the last time these buildings had seen any official business and by the time my friends and I began to explore the halls, it was 2002. When we first arrived, we began spending every day exploring the buildings and there were only traces of human activity; a few shoes, a pillow, writing on the chalkboards that indicated the police had used it for training, etc. By the time I had left for college, the place was nothing like what it used to be. I returned after a few years at school only to discover that the theater had been burned down by arson and that was when it became painfully clear how time had worn down the place that I used to wander day and night with my friends. This is an image of the Henryton Sanitorium after the fire had taken place.
I have two songs to share because music is my favorite form of expression; however, since I can not post these I will bring them to class.
I have two songs to share because music is my favorite form of expression; however, since I can not post these I will bring them to class.
Esmeralda’s Eyes, 2009
Evan Chapman, Alex Jimeson, Mike Chappell
Esmeralda’s Eyes is a progressive rock trio from the Marriottsville, Maryland area and made their first debut at a talent show at Marriott’s Ridge High school back in 2008. Shortly after, they started playing shows around Baltimore and saving up what little money they had earned. After the summer ended, all their savings went straight towards studio time in Philadelphia with producer Justin Chapman to record a six track EP, and this song is from those studio sessions.
I chose this song because I know all of the people from this band and they are all good friends of mine. I have grown up with some of them since the tender age of 6 and have explored Henryton with them and even played music with some of them and their older siblings over the years. We all started playing music together and when I returned from Atlanta, they had just begun the process of writing their first songs. I went to all of their shows and the music they played always corresponded to exactly what my friends and I were in search of. This song is also a bit of an inside joke, so it holds a very special place in my heart.
“Mother and brother”
Aaron Mirenzi, 2010
Aaron is a friend that I made here at school in the first few weeks of freshman year and we actually used to play music together back then. However, we only garnish a few opportunities here and then to actually play together these days, and now Aaron has taken his music in his own direction and I believe this was the first recording he ever made.
This song has such a great feeling to it and I remember the first time that I saw Aaron perform this at a coffee house; I was blown away. I had known that he was working on music and I definitely did not expect it to be bad, but I most certainly was not anticipating it to be this catchy and aloof even though I had heard Aaron play before (never a song he had finished writing, though). He recorded this inside of the school’s library on the third floor and this song just makes me think of all the time that I have spent at this school growing into who I am today.
Castle in the Sky
I love the sky and wind, and I always have, and there is an artist who shares the same appreciation for the sky, flying, and the wind as I, and that is the director Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki, most known for his movie Spirited Away, has had a fascination for the sky and flying his entire life, as he would doodle planes, zeppelins, and other flying machines his entire life, and even named his studio, Studio Ghibli, after the Ghibli, an Italian airplane model. His love for the sky and flying has definitely be reflected in his movies especially the movie this painting is from; Castle in the Sky. Though this picture has nothing to do with the actual storyline, I love this depiction of the sky, a woman (most likely a goddess) blowing the clouds along. I want to be that woman in the picture, overseeing the sky and blowing the clouds along. I love the wind; I love sailing and feeling the wind push you, even flying a kite is exciting to me. I have been utterly smitten by the sky and the wind. Even in third grade when we were all sharing what we wanted to be when we grew up, I didn’t say a teacher or a doctor, but I told the class that I wanted to be a witch, just so I could fly away on a broomstick. (Yeah, the class laughed at me…) I still wish that when a breeze rolls in, I can just lift right off the ground and go flying away with it.
Scotland the Brave - Song
When you said we needed to collect a piece of work concerning a place that is a part of us, bagpipes, fairies, and the Renaissance Festival were the first things that came to mind. Scotland the Brave, the unofficial Scottish national anthem, is one of the first things anyone thinks of when they think of Celtic, Scottish, and the Renaissance Festival. I can’t give much of a bio on it since the history of this song is very vague… Nonetheless, it represents everything I have been raised on; fairies, kilts, bagpipes, and other celtic folklore which was something I believe my entire childhood and even a little now even though I am an adult. I chose this specific rendition of it because it is played by my favorite band at the Renaissance Festival, thus this particular song holds a place in my heart and some of my favorite memories.
Unfortunately, I cannot recreate this piece (but I do have a picture) as it is a Landscape Garden, also known as a Zen Garden located in Kyoto, Japan. It was first created around 710 – 794 by the Zen Buddhist Gyoki, and has been maintained ever since. The garden has of course changed though, and more recently has been known as “the moss garden”. These gardens are in fact works of art that are carefully put together by Zen Buddhist designers with very careful planning and just as careful maintenance. They are meant to be an escape from the world humans have created and be one with nature. I would escape to such places, the woods behind my home for example, to feel one with nature. I completely understand the meaning behind Saiho-Ji (and other landscape gardens) and that is; nature is where we were all born from, what we are a part of during our lives, and where we go when we die... and we should never forget that, and it is easy to forget in our busy lives on the computer, on the bus, trains, at school and work... This is the philosophy which I have been raised by, which is why I have added Saiho-Ji to my list of places.
Searching for Fireflies
This is a picture taken by my mother, Elaine Reinhold, who was a professional photographer for a while but has just recently began to do it more for recreation than for a career. When we watched Sally Mann, it reminded me much of my own mother as we have many pictures that are similar to Mann’s children. Just as her children would stop and pose, I too have gotten used to stopping and posing whatever I might be doing. This picture is one of my sister, Madeline Reinhold, walking down the street of my hometown, Frederick. This picture is very haunting to me as my mother took it and uploaded it a few days after I moved out for college. The dark lighting, my sister walking away from me, it’s as if this picture is symbolic of the life I once knew saying goodbye. Goodbye Frederick…
Untitled (The Red Room), by William Eggleston is probably my favorite image of all time. Eggleston was an artist who worked outside the artistically accepted medium of the time, (black and white photography) and instead chose to work in color, a medium reserved for commercial work. What I find most powerful about The Red Room is the sense of menace that emanates from the picture. I first saw it at the William Eggleston exhibition in the Corcoran, and to view it on a computer screen really does not do it justice.
McLean, Virginia by Joel Sternfeld is an image that continually manages to stun me. What might not be apparent from first viewing is that Sternfeld uses an 8 x 10 camera, a camera that takes upwards of 5 minutes to set up and focus. It is large and unwieldy, and yet somehow Sternfeld manages to take a perfect snapshot-esque picture. This is also a direct inspiration for me, because I am currently trying to work in large format color photography. However as I am finding out, the money factor practically discourages people from taking photographs like this.
The first photograph I chose for my Place as Self is Steer, Slaughterhouse, Amarillo, by Richard Avedon, from his book In the American West. I first took notice of this image about 2 years ago when my photography teacher left out the book and I was scanning through it. To put it simply this image stayed with me because it was way hardcore. I’m definitely drawn to things that explore themes of death.
The next source I chose is the visual aesthetic of the band Salem. Although they could hardly be considered influential aurally, the way they present themselves, and their image, is something numerous bands have hijacked. Salem combines disparate elements of black metal, hip hop, and white trash culture to come up with something entirely new. In a way Salem is a post-modern reinterpretation of the goth culture that first arose with bands like Joy Division and The Cure. Salem is quite similar to Steer by Avedon in that their aesthetic is formulated around the various concepts of death.
Another picture that I chose as a source for my Place as Self project is the Market Woman of Rissani, by Irving Penn. In a way this picture ties back to Salem and Steer by Avedon, in that it’s an exploration of darker themes. To me the women appear as a trio of shades, emulating the fates of Greek mythos. Irving Penn’s style of strict formalism has appealed to me, ever since my aunt gave my sister a book of fashion photography. Like a child sneaking candy, I would take the book from my sister’s room and gaze at the pictures taken by Avedon and Penn, and admire their strict still-lives.
These first two pieces are by John Frederick Kensett. John Frederick Kensett was a 19th century landscape painter. He lived from 1816 to 1872.
This painting is named Sunset and it was made in 1872. When I saw this it made me feel like I was on a Caribbean cruise. The image is so calm and tranquil. It’s quite simple and plain, yet stunningly beautiful. The power that comes from the image’s simplicity amazes me. Also, sunsets have always been a place for me to think. It’s like they are the connection between reality and a dream world. Whenever I view a sunset I get lost in it, temporarily entranced in its beauty. I become something else like a placid lake or a cool breeze summer breeze. I am calm, at peace. In those few moments of bliss I forget that I have a body. I forget that ultimately, I’m firmly grounded on the Earth, in reality.
This painting is named Lake George and it was made in 1869. This particular image reminded me of the ski vacations that I had with my family every year. I was always awed by the majesty and curves of the mountain. The rugged, rough landscape both entranced and excited me. This painting brought me a quite different reaction that the sunset one. Even though it is tranquil, to me it is full of the energy that I experienced every time we drove up the mountains to the ski resort; the energy of looking out from the top of the mountain right before whipping my way down the slopes; the energy of feeling free as I viewed so far into the distance. The painting is the calm right before the storm, the tranquility right before the explosion.
Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park
My next piece is actually a song by Linkin Park called Shadow of the Day. Linkin Park is an American Rock Band. They formed in 1996 and have been making music ever since. Shadow of the Day was released in 2007.
I think the nature/sunset theme is beginning to become obvious. In the chorus of the song they say the words “And the shadow of the day, will embrace the world in grey. And the sun will set for you.” I take this phrase as bittersweet. The song is so beautiful and melodious, yet the lyrics are somewhat melancholy. Again, this reminded me of the state between dreams and reality, where reality begins to slip away and the world temporarily feels like a completely different place. It’s an escape. When they day wasn’t that great I just looked at the sunset and was taken away. As it set I became rejuvenated, a new person, ready to take on another day. The sun did set for me. It still does.
My last piece is actually Fallingwater made by Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright lived from 1867 to 1959. He was a great architect as well as a worshipper of nature. He created over a thousand art pieces in his lifetime. In Fallingwater, he flawlessly combined nature and architecture into one being. He Nature became part of the piece, and the piece part of it. In my life, nature represents many sides of me as well as being my source of inspiration. I can’t live without it. I notice the trees, the water, the air. Even my bedroom is made to look like it is outside with its Hawaiian theme. In my life, one flows into the other just as nature flows into over and around the house.