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.