Week 16 by MK luff

Artist Presentation Abstract

I am a multi-disciplinary visual artist. Sometimes my work is still, sometimes it moves. Sometimes it is digital and sometimes it is physical. It is not limited by a medium, but rather uses each new medium as a means of exploration. I am striving to create physically interactive installations that help bridge the gap between the digital and the physical by creating emotional connections. My work is about exploration and emotion. It stems from a curiosity of human emotion and memory. I investigate emotions - the way we process them, our relationship with them, and the way we reveal and project them. Our emotions are intimately intertwined with our memory, but our memories are malleable. I am curious about the ways we can manipulate our memories, and my work examines the ways we deconstruct and reconstruct memory as well as the ways in which we use those memories to create new layers of self. My work often utilizes a simple and clean aesthetic to encourage contemplation and help the viewer explore the spaces they occupy and their relationship with that space.

Artist Abstract PDF

Presentation Outline

Presentation

Week 13 by MK luff

Bruce Nauman at MoMA and MoMA PS 1

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Overall I preferred the exhibit at PS 1 over the exhibit at MoMA. While there were some great pieces at MoMA the setting made the work feel sterile, and completely removed from all the context in which Nauman created. In contrast the works at PS 1 blended seamlessly into the various rooms within the museum, and allowed for a much more intimate experience of Nauman’s work. Much of Nauman’s work feels like rough experiments, the lines are not perfect, the sketches are done quickly and often iterated on multiple times and with a variety of materials to experiment with creating new forms from a single idea. At PS 1 you are guided through those experiments because of the setup of the museum, but at MoMA the presentation felt flat and too clean.

The one piece I really enjoyed at MoMA that also felt appropriate in the space was Days. In contrast to Nauman’s older work Days is much more meditative and refined. Its presentation within a large white walled room added to the way in which it disrupted our concepts of the passage of time. The thin flat speakers perfectly aligned and created a neat and refined corridor for visitors to pass through, which then became disorienting as the array of voices listed off the days of the week but in random order. Nauman took a sequence that is fundamental to how we organize our lives, presented it in a clean and precise way, and then turned it on its head making us question the somewhat arbitrary way in which we define the passage of time.

For my exhibition proposal I wrote about Nauman’s corridors, and upon viewing them at PS 1 they did not disappoint. Nauman does an incredible job at making us hyper aware of the space we occupy - how our own physical being fills up a space and interacts with it. I tried to get the key for Nauman’s corridor at MoMA, but unfortunately the list was already filled for the day. I can only imagine it would have been one of the better experiences in that exhibit as it would have allowed you a moment away from the white walls of the museum, encapsulated in a strange tight corridor all alone, yet surrounded by the hundreds of museum goers only a foot away on the other side of the wall.

Stelarc The Body is Obsolete

Do we really want to reduce ourselves down to purely functional robots? To become immortal by removing the inadequacies of our physical forms. We learn from those inadequacies, those are what often push us to find new solutions. This idea of post-evolutionary strategies that Stelarc mentions is fascinating. Instead of being formed by the world around us we are striving to become the puppet masters who have unfettered control over every aspect of life in order to “perfectly” craft it. This feels like something unique to the modern human species, this idea that we will not become extinct like most other species before us. This idea that in our short existence as a species we have developed rapidly enough to outwit the universe. Maybe we have. Maybe our technology will allow us to manipulate evolution in such away that allows some version of this species to carry on indefinitely. But at what point is that no longer human? All of this just reminds me of Don Herzfedlt’s World of Tomorrow. Our bodies are inadequate vessels so eventually we will just upload our minds into the ether where they can safely survive and evolve without the physical limitations.

Week 11 by MK luff

Exhibitions, Institutions, Communities, Collaborations

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What attracted me the most to pursuing a degree in digital arts/Interactive Arts were the ideas of collaboration and community. It seems that in digital media, perhaps more than in other mediums, there is a high level of collaboration. I think the nature of the work alone encourages this due to the often complex skills required to bring together many of the great pieces of digital art. While developing as an individual artist is important, I find learning how to develop as a collaborative artist and an artist that’s part of a community is even more important and offers you even greater potential for the work you can create. This chapter reinforced that idea for me, and showed how many opportunities there really are for collaboration and community building within digital arts.

Leonardo/ISAST

I’ve heard about this journal for a long time, but only after reading this section did I start to dive further into the kind of content they offer. Until my subscription is activated I can’t access most of the content, but even just reviewing the abstracts for all the different articles has piqued my interest. It seems like an excellent intersection between the advancements in arts and technology and the collaborations currently happening. I’m interested in finding even more resources like this as I do my research for my own projects.

American Museum of Natural History

I think the AMNH still has a version of the exhibit referenced in this book still running, but I haven’t seen it recently. We did a behind the scenes tour with their creative technologist at AMNH the other week and saw some of the projects that are currently in development. I’m fascinated by what the museum is doing in order to bring creative people in to create more engaging exhibits. But while some seemed wonderful and engaging other parts felt a little gimmicky. It felt like the technology wasn’t being used to it’s fullest extent and sometimes felt superficial. But I’m also curious about the outcomes of all their user testing and how that has maybe driven to some of these more superficial uses of technology to create interactive installations within a science museum. It seems like there must be ways to make more interesting interactions, but perhaps the behaviors of the museum goers winds up really limiting what interactions are defined as successful or not.

Week 10 by MK luff

Faiyaz Jafri

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In terms of pop art I enjoyed the first videos Faiyaz showed. The way he creates new representations of “evil” by combining iconic characters from popular culture was effective. It didn’t matter to me that the models weren’t elegant because I was interested in what they came to represent through their mashups. However, I don’t feel like this translated well into his piece about 9/11 and the collapse of the towers. I think he had an opportunity to create a really interesting piece about the towers but instead removed all the nuance he was trying to reflect upon. By changing the falling positions of the Bambi’s, or making the collapse of the towers into one smooth collapse I think he could have created a much more powerful piece. Instead with the way he rendered the collapse it almost seemed to play into the conspiracy theories that the buildings were blown up in sections rather than collapsed.

Artist Presentation

Artist Statement Mind Map v1

Artist Statement Mind Map v1

Initial Artist Statement

I am a multi-disciplinary visual artist. Sometimes my work is still, sometimes it moves. Sometimes it is digital and sometimes it is physical. It is not limited by a medium, but rather uses each new medium as a means of exploration. But it only occasionally uses audio. I’m not great with audio.

My work is about exploration and emotion. It stems from a curiosity of human emotion and memory. I investigate emotions - the way we process them, our relationship with them, and the way we reveal and project them. My work often utilizes a simple and clean aesthetic to encourage contemplation and help the viewer explore the spaces they occupy and their relationship with that space.

Our emotions are intimately intertwined with our memory, but our memories are malleable. I am curious about the ways we can manipulate our memories, and my work examines the ways we deconstruct and reconstruct memory as well as the ways in which we use those memories to create new layers of self.

Thoughts

My work is not quick or responsive. It is slow thoughtful and deeply emotional.

It is about our relationships with ourselves, with others, with the spaces we inhabit

It attempts to create moments of introspection through active engagement

It demands exploration.


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Generative drawing project. Meditative as you watch it draw itself, but also allows a user interaction.

Variation

Variations was a set of surreal portraits I created that represent changing emotions through the manipulation of portraits

Week 9 by MK luff

The realms of hyperreality that have manifested have the potential to take over reality. According to Doug Mann Baudrillard 

“concluded that in the postmodern media-laden condition, we experience something called "the death of the real": we live our lives in the realm of hyperreality, connecting more and more deeply to things like television sitcoms, music videos, virtual reality games, or Disneyland, things that merely simulate reality.”

Media definitely began down a path where simulated reality became something we began to relate to more than actual reality. It painted a picture of the reality we desired to be in, and could visualize ourselves in. But as technology has evolved and we are able to more deeply interact with this media is it merely simulating reality? Our digital selves are a reality now. The connections we develop and the interactions we have through technology and media aren’t just simulating connections, they have become connections that are deeply intertwined into the rest of our lives. We are in the ‘Third Order of the Simulacra” according the Baudrillard where we can no longer truly distinguish what is ‘real’ and what is ‘fake’, since everything is dominated by simulations.

In Borges short story we see these ideas played out through the use of a map. In our attempts to extensively understand and perfectly reflect reality through art (or mapmaking), we simply re-create a new reality that is indistinguishable from the former reality.

This piece reminds me of another short story from Borges called “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote”. This piece is written as a critical essay that discusses the imaginary writer Pierre Menard’s attempt to rewrite Don Quixote. Through it’s perfect, line for line imitation of the original Mernard’s version is said to bring new life to the original. Because the author has such a deep understanding of the original his mimicry adds layers of information and understanding. But it is simply a word for word copy. This short story brings up the ideas of authorship and interpretation. I’m interested in this as we discuss art especially in the VR space, and what value does mimicry have in VR. If we are creating perfecting simulations of reality - what is it’s real difference from reality, what is it really providing us as the viewer? Once we create perfect imitations of reality in VR where do we go next? I think there is value in mimicry when it comes to understanding. Learning how to sketch life like representations of people in drawing classes is a valuable skill, but I think the more interesting work happens when after we have made that perfection imitation we begin to break it down, abstracting the forms and seeing how we can manipulate them after we’ve perfectly mimicked them. I’m curious to see where we go next after we feel like we have perfectly simulated reality in art.

Week 7 & 8 by MK luff

Dan Sandin The Oort Continuum 1994-96

The environment Sandin helped create for this project is aptly named the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment, or the CAVE system. The name also refers to Plato's "Republic" and "The Allegory of the Cave" where he explored the concepts of reality and human perception. Appropriate for a technology that completely manipulates and alters our perception of space and creates an alternate reality within a physical space. I think the strongest VR experiences are those that truly take into consideration how our experiences within a headset alter our behaviors in the outside reality, and don’t just simply leave us as passive viewers of an alternate reality.

Char Davies Osmose 1995

I can imagine the physical interaction occurring within this piece is what makes it truly memorably. Instead of just passively exploring visuals representative of several archetypal realms, the viewer controls the experience with their breathing. Allowing users to control their location through a semi-automated bodily function has big implications for the work. While most of the time we are barely aware of our breathing patterns this piece would force you to take control of this process, making you more in tune with the virtual reality presented to you. In order to experience it, you must focus on it. This piece seems like a great way to get people to slow down and really experience a piece of art.

Mary Flanagan [domestic] 2003

I am really curious about how you visualize shooting “coping mechanisms” at a wall? Maybe it’s simple, maybe it’s just like a normal video game where you shoot a ray of light and it’s labeled as xyz coping mechanism. But nonetheless I’d love to see how all of that was visualized. Memory and space seem deeply tied, with sometimes the smallest physical reminders being able to draw you vividly back into a memory. While this was created as a video game I think this also shows the potential for VR to allow us to re-shape our memories as a tool for therapy. If a VR world can create cues that invoke certain memories it may be possible to manipulate the emotions tied to those memories by re-experiencing the event in a slightly different way, perhaps one where you are better able to control the event, ultimately reframing the memory. I find it fascinating how memories are not really us remembering an event, but are us remembering the last time we remembered an event. Memories can be fluid, and although in some cases that is to our detriment, could also be to our benefit.

Digital Museum of Digital Art - VR Experience

DiModa is a digital museum that presents artwork in a VR space, and it’s everything I find underwhelming about most current VR exhibits. In theory I like the idea of museums you can access from anywhere, but the content presented in these museums has no added value by being viewed in a VR space. I could just as easily go to a website to view most of this artwork and the impact is the same. When I experienced this VR museum in person the space was loud, hot, and the VR artwork felt like glorified video game worlds. But with all that being said I am still interested in how you could explore and push the boundaries of creating a VR museum. Perhaps this is the right place to create hyper real VR content that allows people to spend as much time as they want with artwork that can only be viewed in over crowded museums? Or maybe there is another interaction we can add that makes viewing this art within a VR world more impactful than just viewing it on a computer screen.

Exhibition Proposal

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Abstract

Our form of reality is mutually constructed by our perceptions along with their limitations. Intuitive Spaces  features works by James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama, Bruce Nauman, and Hovver. Each piece challenges our perceptions of space as well as our awareness of ourselves within the space, and through this experience brings into question our relationship with ourselves and our surroundings. With this exhibition we move beyond the traditional canvas and tools for art creation, often utilizing light and it’s projection to manipulate a space to create a disorienting experience. At times the difference between walls and floors disappears, allowing us to move freely as if levitating in an expansive space, or in contrast the extreme constriction of space makes us even more aware of our existence within a space. The most important piece of each artwork in this exhibition is the viewer’s position and experience within the unique landscape.


Full Exhibition Proposal

Week 6 by MK luff

Willa Köerner and The Creative Independent

Although she is not a practicing artist, I found Willa’s talk both interesting and helpful. She has found ways to carve out her own professional space that not only still allows her to be creative, but allows her to provide support for other artists. Seeing her process for problem solving and creating a place of her own in the professional world is important as I figure out what paths my own creative practice could take.

She also brought up some interesting questions about art in the digital age, how art exists on digital platforms, and what does it mean to share peoples art in a digital space. Museums are limited in the artwork they can curate and show. During her time at SFMoMA, Willa began reblogging and sharing sharing artists whose work she found interesting. This was immediately controversial and the museum wanted to limit it, but Willa argued the importance of sharing an abundance of creative work considering the limitations the museum had for actually showing physical work within the museum. Her SFMoMA blog required little from the museum, but provided a huge platform and credibility to up and coming artists. It easy to see how she transitioned from this to creative platforms like the Creative Independent.

Throughout her talk Willa kept referencing how at different points in her life when she found herself unhappy with a current position she would sit down and ask herself a set of questions to get to the core of what she wanted and how she could get there. A reminder that we need to be constantly circling back to reexamine our core if we want to be continually creating. This life practice even made it into the logo for The Creative Independent - a spiral.

Atsuko Tanaka

Electric Dress

Tanaka’s Electric Dress was an audacious display of the convergence of technology and the female body. While women were still expected to maintain traditional roles and stay out of the spotlight, Tanaka made herself a spotlight with this neon garment. It could be argued that the true value and meaning of this piece was in the performative aspect of its display. Which raises the question of how impactful this piece still is as just a sculpture and not a performance. Especially with digital art I think we have to really consider the lifespan of a piece. How will it change as it degrades, as it moves from interactive or performative to stagnant. Is there still meaning in the physical form of it? or a new meaning based on how it’s displayed? or is it’s meaning that it is a representation of a time past? As a stagnant sculpture Tanaka’s Electric Dress is decontextualized and no longer immediately provides the same impact or statement on women and advancements in technology, now it is more representative of this important historical moment in art.

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Chris Burden

Photography is incredible in the way it can create different truths. When I first started taking photography classes it seemed like an almost objective medium for documentation. You were simply documenting the moment as it happened in front of you. But this image is a perfect example of how photography can manipulate a moment. This photo is stunning, with the lights illuminating Burden’s serene and meditative expression; however, nothing about this moment was peaceful. If anything it was tense and violent. Art has an incredible amount of power in how it can present and manipulate context.

Stelarc and Antunez Roca

Both performers depict the relationship between the body and technology as well as depersonalization in the age of technology. As technology advances it is becoming even more a part of us, not just something we occasionally use. We spend our days constantly monitored by our devices and connected to others with devices. We have a growing responsibility to understand how our actions involving technology can effect and manipulate others. Both Epizoo and Ping Body, are performance pieces where the audience was able to manipulate the artists bodies in a depersonalized way. Through technology they are able to dictate very real physical reactions. Our online technological self is now deeply connected to our physical self. But, this deep connection is extremely impersonal.

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Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell’s piece is simple yet effective. A reminder that while most tasks can be simplified and done by technology, sometimes our use of technology completely undermines the reason for the task in the first place. If our only goal when approaching a task is to complete it, and not to truly experience it and understand it, we have to question what is the real value of completing the task.

Week 5 by MK luff

Hans Haacke “News”

This piece reminds me how absolutely overwhelming the news is. Perhaps when this piece was first installed the number of news sources to pull information from was smaller, but imagining attempting to print out news like that today when we have a constant stream of updates: you would be buried alive under computer paper within minutes. . The world we live in influences the art we make, and we can not isolate ourselves from that. We must interact with the world we are surrounded by, but with how technology has evolved the thought of continuously interacting with news is draining. At some point we need to set boundaries with the world around us, for our own sanity.

Necro Enema Amalgamated “BLAM!”

Aggressive, spastic, vulgar - I wish I could have experienced BLAM! as an interactive piece and not simply as video grabs. The video drew me in, but I’m curious about what the seemingly antagonistic interactive experience would have been like. More choice, more interaction always seems like the way of the future: The way we should be experiencing everything as technology evolves, but BLAM! hits us over the head with how often the idea of more choice is really just a fallacy we’ve bought in to. “Giving a use more buttons to click is like giving extra links to a dog chain”. The fallacy of choice is a tool used by the oppressor to placate the oppressed and make them think they have gained power.

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Johannes Gees and CALC “Communimage”

I enjoy the way in which Communimage is a constantly evolving piece of artwork based on community involvement. Just like communities offline grow this artwork continues to evolve and grow based on the new uploads. As the content it is made up of increases it almost resembles some sort of organic, living organism, or like a tree with roots. Drawing a parallel with how often the connections in life and nature can seem random, but when you look closely everything is very carefully interwoven with distinct direction.




Week 4 by MK luff

Lecture: Ariel Noltimier Strauss and Emily Hoffman

It’s clear after screening their films how incredibly talented Emily and Ariel are when it comes to animation and storytelling. But it’s not just their raw talent that makes me think they will find a great deal of success. Emily discussed the idea of networking laterally rather than networking up, and I think this mentality will take her further than those who are just talented. While working over the past decade I’ve seen this idea put into practice and how it’s helped elevate artists to the next level. I’ve realized that instead of trying to network with the most talented (or connected) person in the room, it’s more important to strike up conversations with those around you whom you find most interesting and have genuine connections with. Finding the ways in which your artistic passions overlap and how you can help one another always seems to lead to better work in my experience.

But you still need talent to back up the networking. I was in love with the models Ariel made, especially for her piece Circadian rhythm. They were not flawless, but they were elegant. The bodies moved fluidly and the imperfections in the models highlighted their flowing movements. Especially in animation, I think there is something special about emphasizing imperfections.

Taezoo Park

Taezoo Park humanizes technology through his Digital Being project. The lifeless forgotten pieces of technology pile upon each other, but instead of remaining as “junk” the pieces and carefully formed together to create digital creatures with personalities all their own. This makes me think of how as humans we’re always looking to assign certain qualities to things around us, trying to give them as much life and personality as possible. For me it also brings up questions on how do we create unbiased technology. We’re discovering more and more the ways in which we program our own biases into technology that we assume can’t have opinions or personalities because it’s simply a machine. Digital Being raises some of those questions when you hypothetically think about the ways discarded code could interact to form it’s own new code. If it became conscious what would already be written in?

Stickymonger

Similar to Taezoo Park’s work Stickmonger brings life to the lifeless. She builds worlds where they didn’t exist through her giant vinyl murals that completely overwhelm a space. The illustrations are beautiful and flowing, but when you look closely you are constantly being invited into darkness in her murals. In her piece Cosmic girls her characters stare into missing faces filled with other worlds or just single eyes staring right back at them. I appreciate the way her work draws you in with it’s size and playfulness, but continues to hold your gaze as you realize the content isn’t as child like and whimsical as it first appeared.

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Daniel Rozin

I love the way Daniel Rozin creates physical pixels, blurring the lines between digital and physical with his mirrors. Having seen his wooden mirror several times over at NYU’s ITP the part that still stands out the most to me is the sound. As you stand in front of the mirror, waving your arms around in amazement as all the tiny panels of wood flip back and forth recreating your likeness just by manipulating how the light hits the wood, the pleasant sound of all the little pieces of wood flipping back and forth fills the space. It makes the experience of a mirror almost meditative for me.

Exhibition Proposal

Topics:

As Katherine Brice puts it “As humans, our senses limit us to believe reality is the way we perceive it”. For this exhibition I am looking at artists who’s work challenges our intuitive experience of a space, and brings into question our relationship with ourselves and our surroundings. Thinking about how we outwardly project our own interpretations of reality.

Artists:

James Turrell “Ganzfelds” 2013

“A Ganzfeld is a German word used to describe the phenomenon of total loss of depth perception as in the experience of a white-out.” Turrell’s light installations play with our depth perception, creating seemingly endless spaces. This work calls into question our relationship with the space around us and how easily it can be manipulated into something endless. While part of our understanding of reality insists there are walls around us Turell’s manipulation of light tricks our brain into seeing a new and endless reality.

“Breathing Light” 2013

“Breathing Light” 2013


Bruce Nauman “Live Taped Video Corridor” 1970

Nauman’s interactive piece explores paradoxical situations involving space and time. As participants move closer to the monitors at the end of the corridor their own image becomes smaller and smaller. This interaction creates a heightened awareness of your existence within the space, and how you are being surveilled while participating in the space. The action involved in experiencing this piece is disorienting considering our standard perception of reality is that when we move closer to an object it becomes larger and doesn’t appear to be further away. In order to experience the artwork participants must become part of the artwork, which is a subtopic (the blurring of lines between art and audience), I am potentially interested in exploring in this exhibition.


Alan Dunning and Paul Woodrow “Einstein’s Brain: Mnemonic Body” 2000

In this interactive piece participants physically interact with ALIBI (Anatomically Lifelike Interactive Biological Interface). ALIBI is a life-size cast of a male human, filled with sensors that react to touching, speaking and breathing. These interactions produce corresponding images that can be seen on an HUD worn by the participant and also by an audience as the images are simultaneously displayed in the gallery. The images created are in constant flux - “a living phenomenon that evolves in infinite space and time and responds in real time to a participant's mental and physiological activity. What a participant sees is a real time manifestation of brain and biological activity.” This specific artwork reminds us that reality is in a constant state of flux influenced by our own specific perceptions and interpretations of that perception.

Hovver Studios (Katherine Brice) - “Liminal Spaces” 2018
Liminal Spaces is an immersive installation by Katherine Brice in collaboration with Hovver Studios. This piece focuses on the unseen qualities of light and asks us to consider what might be beyond our perceptual horizons. Like the other pieces I’ve selected in challenges our intuitive understanding of a space and reality. This piece manipulates light to present an alternate view of reality, challenging our idea that reality is simply the way we perceive it.

Mr. June Urban Interventions 2018

Mr. June produces murals that layer three dimensional effects on to architectural structures.. Although this is not digital art, I consider it relevant since it alters our perception of a physical space and therefore our potential relationship to it. It would be an interesting way to have people begin their journeys through the exhibit before they even walk in the door.

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Week 3 by MK luff

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One Hand Clapping

The artists featured in this exhibition highlighted the tensions created by our rapidly globalizing economies and the ways in which technological advancements bolster that. I found myself extremely drawn to Wong Ping’s animated film which presented in a risque manner the divide between generations and the relentless advancements in technology as seen through the eyes of the aging population. Ping also brings up the idea of how we will be preserved digitally after we die. Already our digital presence will outlive us, unless someday we reach a point where we are able to upload our consciousness to the internet and simple exist there with our memories.

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Lin Yilin

Lin Yilin’s combination of performance videos and VR experience was one of the most successful VR as art experiences I’ve seen so far. Often I have found a lot of VR experiences to be underwhelming. Many times the content presented is beautiful, but could be just as easily experienced on a computer screen - the VR headset offers no real addition. And since only one person at a time can participate the people waiting are usually just watching what the person in the headset is doing on an external screen - it’s like watching friends play video games while you just sit there waiting for your turn. But with Yilin’s exhibit participants are engaged through the whole process leading up to putting on the headset by the films projected on the walls. I was pleasantly surprised when I put on the headset and the experience was entirely different than what I was anticipating. Instead of being in the museum I was transported to the basketball court and in an unexpected perspective. Since I had seen the drone/basketball video while waiting I knew that at some point the basketball in the VR world would be hitting the ground, which created this tension while I sat through the VR experience.

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Samson Young

Samson Young’s disorienting soundscape sculptures created a beautifully immersive exhibit. His exhibit utilizes the impossible by playing sounds from instruments that only “exist” in the imagination. Using NESS (Next Generation Sound System), Young created sounds from fantastical instruments like 20 foot long trumpets, and bugles that only work at 300 degrees celsius. These sounds challenge the idea of what an instrument is and can be. Paired with the flower sculptures, the room feels other wordly.

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Alberto Giacometti Retrospective

I love seeing retrospectives at the Guggenheim. I think the shape of the building lends itself really well to viewing the progression of an artists work throughout their lifetime. Starting on the ground floor are Giacometti’s early experiments with cubism - Thick, flat, plaster sculptures that then transition to beautiful fluid statues representative to of the human form, and ultimately to thin, anxious, exaggerated sculptures representative of isolation and devastation of World War II.

Isolation seemed a key theme to much of Giacometti’s later work, and it manifested in several ways. Obviously in his iconic statues with long exaggerated bodies, but I was also interested in how it manifested through his sculptures that became smaller and smaller during his time of exile.

Visiting the Guggenheim brought the Glenstone article back to mind. While the exhibition was incredible it was almost impossible to truly sit and enjoy anything as the constant crowds of people jostled around. Phones were everywhere (including myself), as everyone tried to document what they saw. I found myself trying to take quick pictures so I could potentially revisit the work because it was too stressful to spend too much time looking at any one piece. Which at that point would it have been better just to view on online retrospective? I wouldn’t have seen the texture or the scale of the incredible pieces, but I would have had a little more quiet while viewing them.

Mariko Mori

I love the way Mariko Mori juxtaposes natural landscapes and spiritual imagery with electronic manipulations. She builds these worlds that are serene yet strange. A lot of futuristic artwork I’ve seen lately is very distopian emphasizing the potential harm of technology, yet Mori’s images create almost a utopian future where the traditions of the past harmonize with the quirky advancements in technology. Especially with Nirvana, she reminds me of Cindy Sherman. Reinventing herself with every self portrait and finding ways to look towards the future while holding on to the past.

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John Cage

Cage’s control over his artwork is his complete lack of control. It challenges our ideas of control and ownership in creative work. His instruments are not traditional, but he draws from ancient books on wisdom and prophecy to guide his compositions. Similar to Mariko Mori he uses the past to influence the way we interact with future and technological advancements.

Tony Oursler

We are completely surrounded by technology day in and day out, but know so little about how most of it works. Certain technologies feel shrouded in mystery, almost as if they are more magic than tech. Oursler’s parallels between the super natural and the technological emphasize how we are as equally mystified, and even somewhat scared of, the technology around us as we are by the unexplained super natural. But often there is an explanation for all of these things if we’re willing to search for it.

Week 2 by MK luff

This new museum doesn’t want Instagram or crowds. Does that make it elitist?

One of the benefits of modern technology is the ability to discover countless pieces of art with total ease. A few minutes of scrolling through instagram, if you follow the right people, will introduce you to new visual styles, images of distant places, stunning animations, and maybe a few good memes to mix it up. Internet art sites have become digital museums and in a way democratized art consumption, allowing those unable to view the art in person to access it from anywhere they have access to the internet. However by viewing art this way we have also set it up for rapid consumption. At most we spend a few seconds with each image, and that behavior has spilled over to how we consume art in person. In the article about the Glenstone Philip Kennicott sums this situation up well saying “The problem isn’t just crowds, or noise or distraction; it is the annihilation of one of the essential components for viewing art, which is extended individual contemplation.” With the rapid rate at which we consume information on the internet, and the way that has influenced our behaviors in physical spaces we no longer get the benefits that come from spending an extended period of time in contemplation.

I think it is important that experiencing art is slowed down, and limiting crowd sizes could definitely allow for a more pleasant viewing situation. But as museums limit crowds it is imperative they don’t also limit their audience, removing art from those who aren’t privileged enough to wait in long lines, travel distances, afford expensive admissions, etc. The rapid sharing of art has opened it up to people who may have never had access to it before. Perhaps instead of trying to just limit the number of people in museums, or ban cameras or selfie sticks so we can control how people interact the art, we can find ways to use technology and this culture of posting to once again create that extended period of contemplation.

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Olafur Eliasson

When I create artwork my first impulse is to always hide the methods used to create it; only showing a well polished finished piece so people can experience that without the distraction of the process. Eliasson challenges this idea with his Weather Project where viewers bask in the artificial sunlight, but are also reminded of the construction of the moment by the presence of wires and mechanical mechanisms. I like the idea that the presence of the wires force people to evaluate the situation more instead of just being lost in the romantic sunset. Letting the viewer in on some of your process can create tension and potentially a more meaningful interaction with the artwork.

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Jenny Holzer

If there was a purgatory I imagine this is what it would be like. Sitting around in a solemn circle, watching life be described in short bursts that capture everything from the humorous to the depressing.

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James Turrell

I love the way Turrell uses light to alter our perception of a space and to manipulate how we interact with it. He is creating an alternate reality right in front of us. We tend to react based on what we perceive but through this work he challenges us to think carefully about that since what we are perceiving is not always the true reality.

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Tatsuo Miyajima

Eternity is constant change. I think Miyajima does an incredible job of capturing our obsession with counting and quantifying time, which ultimately is not something we can have control over. Time is in a constant state of change that we must embrace. Despite the ways our perception of it can change it is always steadily moving forward.

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Jean Dupuy

I think interactions that engage multiple senses are extremely compelling. Dupuy’s piece uses the viewers own heartbeat to manipulate the artwork creating what I imagine would be a very eerie feeling as you hear your own heartbeat and see a visual representation in the floating dust. When the art requires participation in blurs the lines between the artist and audience. Although Dupuy created the artwork it would not really exist without the interaction of the audience members.

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Eadweard Muybridge

When I first studied photography I was fascinated by Muybridges work and the way he captured movement as collections of static images. He changed the way people viewed simple actions by freezing them in time. Perhaps this relates to the desire to slow down the museum experience and slow down the way we consume artwork. By reducing all the chaotic movement to a few static frames we’re able to see all the tiny details we missed in the chaos.

Week 1 by MK luff

Still from "April28_Chlorine.mov" - Blake Marques Carrington

Still from "April28_Chlorine.mov" - Blake Marques Carrington

Pratt DDA Faculty Show

As an artist, how much context and instruction do we need to give to a viewer for the art we are creating to be impactful? Without the context, does the art become less meaningful or does it allow the viewer a better chance to engage with the work and develop their own personal connection to it? Viewing Blake Marque Carrington's projections at the DDA faculty show raised these questions for me. While the video projected was aesthetically pleasing and almost entrancing, there was little context for the content of the videos and how they were being created. Was it interactive? Were we able to manipulate the projected video because of an unseen sensor? After the show I looked up Blake's website to find out some more information. The video projections are generated from sound – an audio recording of a psychoanalysis session between the artist and a therapist. According to Blake the "Inspiration comes from a debate active in theoretical physics called the Information Loss Paradox, where scientists argue over whether information can truly be lost if it falls into a black hole." Knowing this information completely reframes my experience of the art piece. Now I engage with it knowing it is a representation of the loss of information. Viewing it again with this framework it makes me question the ways we communicate and the ways we remember. How memory breaks down and our break downs in communication when we try to articulate certain thoughts and emotions. The video is projected in a similar format each time, making consistent use of simple materials like black and white tape and the angle of projection, but the content changes every time even though the source audio stays the same, similar to how we express our memories over time. Often the basic framework of a memory may remain in tact, but as we retell the memory, and the actual event becomes more distant, the content changes with each recollection and retelling of the memory. 

When I first viewed the projection my appreciation of it was superficial. I found it visually pleasing and interesting. Since I didn't have any context about the piece while initially discussing it I was forced to look for meaning and have discussions around the materials, projection angles, etc. but again it all felt to be a on very superficial level since I had no other context with which to frame the projections. Reading more about the piece enhanced my experience of the projection significantly; however, if I had all of that information before viewing the piece I probably would have viewed it much more passively. I think providing context for art is important, but forcing someone to discover that context on their own instead of readily presenting them with it also allows them to have an an extended engagement with the art that could be even more impactful. 

 

The Year We Made Contact by Blake Marques Carrington

 

MoMA PS. 1

Fernando Palma Rodriguez

Palma Rodriguez's work makes you uncomfortable from the moment you set foot in the room. The crude construction, with sculptures made from repurposed materials and with wires hanging everywhere, plays into his narratives discussing the violence and environmental crisis occurring in his native Mexico. 

Viewed as static sculptures, his work is already impactful, but when the dying horse slowly begins to move and paw at the ground it spurred visceral feelings towards the animal and the pain. However, as with sculpture and many of Palma Rodriguez's other sculptures it was difficult to determine to what level the viewer had control over the motions of the sculpture. It begs the question of how much instruction should the artist provide the viewer? Is it important for the those consuming the art to understand exactly how they should be interacting with the art (or at least how the artist intended for them to interact with the art)? 

I've also noticed how adults are often afraid to interact with art unless there is clear instruction. There was a child in the exhibit at the same time as me, who fearlessly ran up to each installation waving his arms trying to understand how each piece worked and how he would influence them. When I think about the work I want to create I wonder what the right balance of instruction will be in order to encourage adults to play and experiment as fearlessly as that child, but without giving them step by step instructions on how they are supposed to play and control the artwork. 

Zhang Huan and Li Binyuan

On the other end of the spectrum 'Land', an exhibit focusing on the performance art of Zhang Huan and Li Binyuan provided ample context for the various pieces exhibited. Each piece was accompanied by in depth explanations providing context that often helped bridge cultural gaps for me. While some images and videos were striking without context, the information provided by the curator or artist gave me perspective that often moved the images from beautiful to meaningful. 

In particular in Zhang Huan's performance where he continually climbs a bamboo tree and attempts to slowly lower himself back to the ground, having a description of the attempts encouraged me to spend more time with the piece. Without the context I probably would have watched a single attempt and then moved on, but with context I stayed to watch as he repeatedly climbed struggling with each repeated attempt. Even though I knew the ultimate outcome because fo the description I was almost more engaged because of that information, waiting in anticipation of the final outcome. Watching as he attempted to matched the strength of nature, showing power over the bamboo he bent, but ultimately the bamboo only bent while his own body broke causing him to fall. 

 

Seth Price

Seth Price's larger than life prints of human skin create this deep sense of intimacy with the subjects while being completely anonymous. At first glance the images felt like sprawling landscapes, when in reality they were extreme close ups. Price's images reveal very little about the subject. While the exhibit lists the names of the subjects it is still unclear which image correlates with which name. Skin can often provide context for artwork. It can represent identity, culture, be a canvas for personal expression, but in this exhibit it has been abstracted to such an extreme it does not even feel like skin anymore. All the usual associations we may have with skin have been stripped away leaving us only with these contradictory images that provide incredibly intimate details about a person in the most abstract way.