Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Night In

A documentation of my dinner plans with a retired botany professor and perhaps another student. In this project I hope to push the boundaries of "social art." I will also be expanding on the main theme that I have been exploring throughout this term of making "everyday life" into a work of art.

I decided to do this as my final project because I have been experiencing a lot of anhedonia this term and I realized that what makes me feel good is making other people's days, or just making them smile (cheesy, but true). I was also hoping to expand on the main theme that I've been exploring this term of everyday events becoming art. The song used in this video is called "Redbone" and it's by Childish Gambino. I chose it because I think it's an awesome song and the timing of the beats went well with the video. If anyone has any questions please comment on my blog! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

art talk: Amélie Prolux

Amélie Prolux is a modern ceramicist, all of her work includes porcelain along with another media. She started out by talking about what crazing was and how much it fascinated her. Crazing is when glaze and porcelain expand and shrink at different rates with varying temperatures which results in really intricate cracks and produces a sort of eerie sound (kind of like wind chimes).

This "crazing" is what really inspired Prolux into experimenting with sound and is the basis for most of her work. After realizing that porcelain makes really cool sounds, Prolux started producing many kinds of porcelain structures that made some sort of noise. She made one piece called "Sounds of Porcelain" (I think, but all of her titles are in French so I'm not 100% sure), it involved hitting several porcelain bells and other objects with one another from different angles. She stated that "you can really hear the tension" in this work. 

Another one of her projects was supposed to imitate the sound of a rain cloud. She said she asked several scientists at various universities what a rain cloud sounds like. Then she sculpted hundreds of ceramic "water drops" and suspended them from the ceiling and made it so that they all hit each other and make sound which she describes at "clicking sounds of snowflakes colliding." Below is a picture of it.
Amélie talkled in depth about a lot of her pieces, many of them were interactive and made sound. One of my favorites was the "River of the Dead."  For this piece she wove thousands of porcelain pieced together using a loom and mechanically something to move the woven porcelain and placed it in the ground (like literally excavated the floor of the gallery) as a rug. She said she wanted it to resemble both a river and the dead.  (Piece found below.)

All in all, I think Prolux was a good artist to be introduced to while taking New Media in Art. The reason why I say this is because a lot of her work involves several different types of media and her work also involved the use of electronics and mechanical engineering, which is pretty cool.

The Medium is the Massage Research Report

The Revolutionist:Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is one of the most celebrated artists of our time. He has received all kinds of awards: several Grammys, an Oscar, a GMA Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Nobel Prize for literature, he had been inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he has even received a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bob Dylan receiving the Medal of Freedom.

Clearly Dylan has gotten a lot of recognition over the years, but what makes Dylan so great? Well, there are a number of factors that play into Dylan's significance and distinction. Before the 60s, rock and roll was mostly about love songs and dancing. Then a new era of folk came along, led almost entirely by Bob Dylan. This new genre of music in the 60s experimented with a lot more than just love songs; these new songs told a story in a very real way. This kind of music is in direct relation to McLuhan's notions of "allatonceness." Folk songs like "Where Have all the Flowers Gone?" and "Blowin in the Wind" not only tell a story, they bombard us with a surge of emotions, thoughts, and images. This was very relevant and necessary during the 60s. All sorts of things were happening around the world in 1960, two of which the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. Bob Dylan was a peaceful activist during this critical time. 
Here's a video of Bob Dylan (and his good friend Joan Baez) performing during the March on Washington in 1962--you know, the one that MLK gave his super epic "I Have a Dream" speech at. 

Okay, so he has super genius lyrics that tell a story and are relatable/a voice to a generation's ideals and apprehensions... So what? SO WHAT?! SO WHAT!! Well, I guess the facts that he's a lyrical genius and a politically explicit poet aren't the only reasons why McLuhan included Dylan in his book. In his book, McLuhan speaks a lot about the avant-garde and what it means to be an avant-garde. Bob Dylan completely embodies McLuhan's notion of avant-garde. He was a nobody from a small (BUT FREAKIN AWESOME) town that's WAY up in northern Minnesota, called Duluth. He came up with his own way and style of being a musician. He was completely unorthodox and extremely experimental, and from many he was highly criticized for it (he was even booed while on stage). He proved that anything is possible. One example of his avant-gardeness is his talking style of singing in the song "Talkin' New York." 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

everything we do (is music) soundscape

The purpose of this project is to respond to the "soundscape" that surrounds me in everyday life. Well, here's a voice recording of my family and I singing one of the greatest songs ever written, "Puff the Magic Dragon". While we may not be as talented and glorious as Peter, Paul, and Mary, we certainly have just as much (or even more) fun when we all get together. Especially when we make fun of my dad for getting way too into things.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


"It had to do with life more than with art, you know?"-Robert Frank

McLuhan states that, "The interplay between the old and the new environments creates many problems and confusions. The main obstacle to a clear understanding of the effects of the new media is our deeply embedded habit of regarding all phenomena from a fixed point of view." (69) This immediately got me thinking about human manipulation of the environment, probably because I'm taking Genetics this term. Humans have been manipulating other species' DNA for thousands of years to create a "better product" with the most desirable traits. The earliest human manipulation of the environment in action was breeding and domestication. One example of this early human manipulation is the domestication of the auroch. Aurochs are massive (and dangerous), wild cattle that have gone extinct. Ten thousand years ago, humans domesticated these animals to get some practical use out of them (the auroch was domesticated into what is today the zebu cattle and the taurine cattle).

For this project, I decided to photograph a bunch of drugged (put to sleep via Eythl Ether) Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) that I have been manipulating genetically all term. These flies exhibit varying phenotypes due to several different mutations. Click here to view them.

Monday, January 23, 2017

dynamic of transformation and tradition

Anne Harris, a medievalist and art history professor at DePauw,  spoke of "how to uphold tradition while transforming." Mainly, she spoke of the importance of transformation and where it comes from. She stressed that transformations are the results of entanglements. Thus, entangling is important. She told us that we are all transforming here at Lawrence (students, faculty, and staff) because we are all "coming together and entangling" with now another. 

What she spent most of her time talking about was these truly fascinating ancient rocks in France (possibly the Carnac stones). These massive stones were erected from the 4500 BC to 3300 BC. Over the centuries, these rocks have been dismantled and re-erected several times. Anne tied this in with the dynamic of transformation and tradition. 

When do ordinary life events become extraordinary?

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.-Ferris Bueller

When I was younger, I lived in a culture that literally took time for daily "siestas" and regularly had three to four hour meals. One of the first things I noticed when I moved to the USA, is that everyone is always on the go. There is a constant demand for more activity, more time, and more stress. In this anxiety-prone culture, it's hard to take a breather and appreciate the beauty of everyday life.

car trip (1-21-2017)

As a response to McLuhan's notions of time becoming the new space as we "march backwards into the future" (p.63), I thought of a car wash (in reverse). Going through a car wash is an ordinary life event, but a car wash can become extraordinary depending on your point of view.