September 27, 2003
September 22, 2003
one something in the morning
Bob came by on Friday and did some documentation video for me. It turned out pretty well, I think. Much better than anything I'm capable of alone. But the more I look at those pieces the more I dislike them. I'm at a point in my line of thinking now that makes the way I tried to go about those ideas seem really unsuccessful. I think they are nice ideas still and some things could be done to improve what's there. I want to start to make new things. I should wait until after I talk with Susan and Steve though. They came by Friday while we were shooting to see the work in person. They didn't stick around long because they didn't want to be bothersome. Susan invited me over to dinner and a little crit sometime. Just from the little they mentioned while they were there, I'm looking forward to discussing my work and art more with them. Susan seems really set on getting me into a good grad school. It's nice to have a teacher that takes that kind of personal interest in you.
I have no idea where or how I'm going to work now. The things I had to move out of the studio now take up the little space that may have been available in my house to work. My house now seems cluttered. That's not going to help my creative impulses either. I'm going to have to take over a corner in 102, I think. I have nearly no other choice unless I can find some really cheap studio space. I'll just go buy my first sheet of plywood for this quarter and follow it, and see where it decides to live. I'll set up shop there.
September 21, 2003
movement with consequence
I want people to have a good sense of what I want them to get out of one of my pieces by nothing more than the form, and a scenario. I would like the entire interaction to be implied. The form of the piece should have a commonly discernable relation to the body. The participant should know what to do. I want other "smart" characteristics that will help give the scenario a beginning, middle and end. I working towards getting a completely non-verbal, non-written means of instruction. Right now, things are getting less and less instruction. In some cases it may still be necessary. Most often, I made need just a small set of instructions, to get people started, that would have an ending implied only through what they discover during the interaction. I'm running through some other types of devices that I can use to define the interaction better. For one, I could give them a consequence that is directly affected by a movement I want them to examine. Something I've seen in this vein is a plant that is watered by means of pedaling a stationary bike. In a piece I described earlier I try to use sound, in this way, as a more immediate effect. Also something else I'm playing around with is setting a time limit. Sometimes the consequence that might fit well with movement is too distracting from it. People might get caught up in the goal, or what the affected thing means too much to notice the movement. So, if I set some time limit for the interaction, that will provide for a nice ending. In some cases, I'm thinking that a timer will be set and that will just signal an abrupt end like at halftime at a football game. In other cases it a very similar way, but more indirectly, have a timing mechanism or some sort of counter that stops the consequence that they have been interacting with, like a pay phone call being cut off after your 10 minutes are up. The two aren't that different.
September 19, 2003
no more studio
They decided that graduates need more space. So the seniors no longer have any sort of dedicated space. But as a lovely consolation prize, they will offer us first dibs on lockers. I'll be needing a shrink ray with that locker, please.
September 16, 2003
Classes start tomorrow. I'm ready to go but during the last couple of days I've been having this weird sense of dread. I'm pretty sure it's not art or school related though. I've had some decent ideas and progress over the break. I want to work as well as I did in the final two weeks before last quarter's critiques. I plan on running with the leaning platform idea. I'll have to talk to Cayewah and see what she has to say about it. I'm also looking forward to catching up with Doris. I think she'll be pleased with what I accomplished this summer. I also want to go ahead with the leaves with chicken pox piece. I need to produce a super-large volume of work this quarter for grad school portfolios. Maybe I'll feel better once I see some people. The hurricane is coming. The wall should be done tomorrow.
September 15, 2003
During one of my critiques last quarter, Cayewah mentioned some subtle humor she had seen in one of the pieces I created. She then said that maybe I should push that a little bit. She thought the humor made its self more apparent in my writings than in my work. I hadn't ever really thought about it before. When I look back on some of my previous works, it seems that humor existed more in the assignments that weren't something I liked, or something that I had to rush through because of procrastination or some mental block. I think used it when something started to not be fun. It helps to balance me out when the thinking gets too strenuous. So I'm pushing it. The idea is that if I start out with predisposition to mixing humor in there to aid my ideas, then I'll have something to mentally fall back on when things get rough. Plus, I think it will add a smidgen of approachability to it all. I want to get past anything that seems too snooty to have any wide-ranging audience. It feels freer to let that part of my thinking come out more. This should help me from getting too bogged down in the "artiness" of how I think my pieces will be viewed. I think I get caught up sometimes in making sure my work falls well under the art category. This extra layer certainly doesn't move my work out of the art range. So I'm running with it. Just as long as I don't let the funny take over and forget the underlying ideas, I should be fine. I'm going to try some more descriptions of my recent ideas soon
So I have an idea. I want to create a leaning platform for people to lay on. The platform would only lean in two directions. The person would lie with the pivot traveling the length of their body underneath them. I want to keep them from spreading their legs too far out, so the platform will only be about two feet wide plus outriggers at the top and bottom, so the platform angle doesn't get too steep. Sort of like a giant letter "I." I want the participant to lay on the platform and be able to reach up and hold onto two ropes hanging above them. By using these to pull on, the person should be able to balance themselves over the middle, with only th pivot touching the ground. To help them figure out what I want them to do, I want to use sound as a reward, positive reinforcement type system. They should be wearing a pair of headphones. When balanced over the center, all they will hear is some sort of nice music ( la cucaracha maybe?). When leaning over to the left side a buzz or beep will be in their left ear, with the same happening to the right when leaning on that side. The scenario goes like this. The person lies down on the board and puts on correctly oriented headphones. They might put on some sort of blind fold too. I haven't decided. The person reaches up to grab a rope in each hand a little more than shoulder width apart. The sound could be constantly on or turned on at this point in the process. The participant should know generally that they can lean to one side or the other by pulling on the ropes to shift their weight. So, while trying this out for the first time, they would probably just flop over to the other side. Part of the initial motivation is to see if they can get away from the sound that is coming from that side. But on their way over, they would catch just a brief moment of solace away from the annoying sound in their ear. At this point, they would realize that the way the sound is coming from the headphones relates directly to their position. They would probably notice the same pleasant music (in comparison) again when they figure out how to flip back. Hopefully, like training a dog, the person would then feel compelled to figure out how to keep themselves balanced in the middle. This should provide for my ultimate goal of heightening their awareness of the kinestetics or internals feelings associated with movements.
September 13, 2003
My hands are dirty from nothing more than standing around for over eight hours today. Since I cant post photos here. I'd like to direct you to photoisland where you enter the user name "treechew" and enter a guest password of "reversal". At the bottom of the album page you will find three photos I took of the installation in progress. It's going slow, it took a big chunk of their time today to set up the scaffolding. Tomorrow it should only take them a half-hour or so to raise it up another segment. They told Yves and me that they plan on using a forklift to get the bricks up there. That should be exciting. But I have gotten a lot of reading done. I picked up my first issue of Mental Floss yesterday and I am very impressed. It reads kind of like a kid, encyclopedia type fact book. It's got a bunch of interesting snippets around general subjects, not necessarily written in paragraph form. This issue was their genius swimsuit issue. Lots of great minds of the past century in bathing suits, fun. I'm going to wash my hands.
September 11, 2003
Today, I went and, quote unquote "supervised" what the masons did today. They are the ones that are putting up the wall at Clifford hall that we carved over the summer. Being the first day, and still trying to figure out the situation, they didn't get very much laid. At one point, one of the masons came up to me and asked me about how we learned to carve like that. I've thought about that before. I told him it was just practice, I guessed. You just have to get in there and do it. I'm not so sure that's the case really. I wonder how much of it is just innate talent on my part, and how much of it is just working three dimensionally for several years even without a concentration on carving. I wonder how well someone with no art experience could be taught to do that. How long would it take? How long did it take me, if you add it all up?
I was also reminded of how people outside of the art bubble view art. He seemed very impressed with the how well the things were carved. Being so close to the situation, I see too many mistakes to think that. The design of it all is just a little cheesy, kitsch for me. Him asking me about it makes me feel better about it at least. I hope I haven't crossed that art snob line. I just want to see this stuff done so I can finally get some space and time between it and me. I'll probably like it in a couple of weeks. Probably.
Right within arm's reach of my computer sits a tireless bicycle wheel. The quick release handle is stuck down into the top of a pipe that's part of my drill press. This way, the wheel freely rotates about two feet off the ground. The quick release works nicely. I found it in some bushes one day. I constantly reach over to spin it. It spins well; more than a minute for each good, hard spin. Very addictive and calming. When it slows down, a few turns before it stops, you realize that it isn't perfectly balanced. One hole is drill in the rim. It coincides with the light side but I can't tell for sure if that's the only factor. Directly across from it is the seam where the two ends of the channel were connected together after it was bent into the shape of the rim. So I don't know if that's a heavy spot or not. I would guess so.
I want to do something with it. Maybe something like a water wheel. I've been wedging pennies in it like slats, then making it rotate by dropping more pennies on it. I don't have any good ideas yet. It has always got that nice gyroscope thing going on. That's a nice property of movement that you can feel but it's too obscure from daily life for me to make something of that element. The clicky, ratchet sound is still fully intact on it. We'll see what happens. If I continue to play with it as often as I do now, I'm bound to come up with something of decency.
I've got books. I just need to read them. I've got one that's libel to give me all sorts of insights about how, neurologically, the brain perceives movement. If i read it, that is. It's been sitting around aboutt two weeks, now. I'm also still have to go find a computer with photoshop so I can figure out the color separation thing for future use in screen printing, since I don't think they teach that. I fully plan on subverting any and all assignments in that class to suit my needs. I dare her to give a scarf assignment.