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October 30, 2003

3 1/2 weeks left, panic?

I officially have a space over at Boundary hall. I went to go see it today. Right now, you have to travel through a maze of storage to get to it. I plan to go over and rearrange some things this weekend to make the space workable. It must be at least 14x14'. They have some nice rolling partitions over there that I'll use to border my area off from all of the junk back there. The hula piece will go over there. I also got introduced to the new woodshop supervisor for that building. I think his name is Ken. He seemed like someone I could get along with very well. He made some really stupid joke about being born "a broad" as opposed to being born "abroad". I don't remember the set up.

Now that I have the woodshop at my disposal, I'm reexamining what I have going. I might want to go back and start over on my leaning platform piece. Then I would probably put the palm shooter on hold. I can't seem to gauge how much I can get done by the end of the quarter. I'm getting nervous about the end coming up so quickly. I want three done.

I really hope to catch the UPS guy tomorrow when he brings my canvas from Dharma for a last attempt. There are about four things left to do on the wall. I need to install the canvas hangings. I need to figure out where the light switch is for the fluorescent light. I need to resolve the pedal and I need to screen print instructions on it. Here's what I've settled on:

1. You are safe. Keep your arms down at your sides.
2. Place your right foot on the pedal .
3. Press the pedal with some weight.
4. You are safe. Keep your arms down at your sides.
5. Push to reset. Repeat if desired.

After talking with Ms. Susan Quinn and getting an in-progress crit from my class, I plan on making some changes to the palm shooter whenever I decide to work on it again. First I plan on extending the divider to at least cover all of the possible areas to which someone could stretch from the chair. That was a good point brought up by Susan, that a normal person would want to just peek around the side of the divider since it is so easy to do. In crit, Brian brought up that I should enclose the place where the arm rests. This would prevent people from getting curious and just reaching around away from where their hand is supposed to go for the ball to hit it. I also plan on enclosing the back of it with some netting that is easy to see through but still able to catch the balls. I like the idea of them scattering, but I think it'll be better when they are concentrated inside a certain area. This might also help to draw people in. I would hope to have a day's supply on the balls loaded into the shooter so you would only have to reload every night. I've still got to figure out how I want to paint it. I need to get my window fixed.

Posted by cliff at 11:05 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2003

palm shooter

I started another piece on Saturday. Like the last one, the wall, it was a quick decision to start. The day started out in an odd mood. It felt like a day to take a trip out to the south side to walk around and think. I went to the bookstore and walked around the mall. I found some cute foam rubber balls at the dollar store. I went to eat at Zaxby's even though I wasn't hungry. They have the best ice in town. It's the same kind you get from the Varsity in Atlanta. I took an old sketchbook in with me to look through while enjoying my beverage. Those foam balls, like the kind they use for the elastic paddle ball game, made me want to figure out a machine that I had had an idea for a week or so earlier. The idea was to present an example of a small movement experience. I just wanted to shoot harmless small objects at people's palms. The palm is the most sensitive part of the body that it is, at first glance, feasible to shoot things at. Maybe I'll do something aimed at the lips one day. Mmm… sounds fun. So, my initial hang-up was that I couldn't come up with a powered way of shooting an object that could be easily repeated with the addition of a cache of projectiles, like a paintball gun. I thought about modifying a nerf ball gun. I doubt the mechanisms would have worked out. They usually require pumping or setting stiff spring. I wanted a trigger that didn't need more than moving a lever or pushing a button. I put aside for a few days until I found those balls.

I came up with a new mechanism while I sat there. It's not new actually. Nothing I come up with could be called completely new, ever, as far as mechanics are concerned. This one works the same way a pitching machine does. A motor with a wheel attached spins over a flat surface. The ball rolls towards the wheel under the power of gravity. The ball gets caught and drawn under the wheel. The wheel squeezes the ball between it and the surface and flings the ball out the other side. Remembering that made the sculpture instantly doable. I needed something to mount everything to. I went to a sad looking Goodwill and couldn't find a table to my liking there. I went to Wal-Mart to see if I could find one there. The only one I liked was too expensive ($30), made out of hardboard (not good to mount to), and colored a pale blue (not the color I wanted). So, I went to Lowes to get supplies to make my own table.

The table is 48x24x31" (LxWxH). I built it very sturdy with exposed tie plates holding everything together. The participant sits at one narrow end of the table. Four inches of the tabletop are exposed in front of him. A 24x24" vertical divider separates him from the rest of the table. A hole is cut in the lower left-hand side of the divider, like a mouse hole. Some graphics or text on the face of the divider instructs the participant to place his left arm through the hole. He sits the heel of his hand on a padded rest on the other side as if he were making a "stop" gesture with his hand about six inches above the surface of the table. The right forearm is to be put on the table, crossing the body to find a trigger of some sort next to where the hole is (not a bob dole reference). All of the mechanisms are separated from the person by this divider. The participant can engage the trigger. This releases one ball down to the motor, which flings it to hit his palm at high velocity. I'm still playing with where I want to shot balls to collect. For the moment, I plan to just have them bounce off the hand and scatter throughout the room. The participant will be able to shoot himself several times.

I want the divider to obscure the view of what is happening. Vision seems to be the best thing to subdue when you are trying to bring out the kinestetics. Through the graphics and seeing the system before sitting down, the participant should be able to visualize how it is working in his mind. The analysis that takes place when you are forced to visualize something provides a wonderful state of mind to start from when first noticing movement. Whenever I think about a movement, I visualize at a macro scale. I'm seeing the shift in orientation of elements, the impacts, and the change in balances. Putting the participant in control facilities this. They will know when to pay attention. There is not an element of searching for what they are supposed to notice. What they notice comes up and smacks them in the palm. The surprise of the first hit can cloud the full experience. Through several shots, a deeper investigation can be made.

Posted by cliff at 03:04 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2003

why art? II *

After talking with Susan and doing some thinking of my own, I have a first draft idea answering the question "why?" So, it kind of goes like this:

I believe that learning so many things is not worth it unless you pass it along. You spend your whole life gathering knowledge and there exists so much more potential for that knowledge when you share it with others. I'd like to give something back. I want to spread knowledge. I value all of the experiences that I have had. I've learned many things from them. I pick through them all and bring my best to hand back. I do this in a way unlike any other source. These are things that I learn or apply first hand. I'm not preaching from a textbook. Art provides a unique arena in which to present what fills my head. I have to let other people know in order to give myself the validity to go on.

This idea came about long before I started making art. This has always been the reason I've felt drawn to teaching. I wanted to teach long before I knew I wanted to do art. Only recently, have I realized how that applies to my art. In my art I don't express emotions, I'm not making a comment on anything, no politics exist, I simply teach. The fact is what I want to get across. The things I add beyond that just facilitate the lesson. Why didn't I make this connection before?
*revised 10/30/03

Posted by cliff at 01:08 AM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2003

dinner at susan's

I went and had dinner with Susan and Steve and Joe tonight. Krista came by later. The evening started off with Steve showing me what he has been working on recently in the studio that he and Susan share. He has been working on some small-scale inflatable architecture that would serve as an emergency shelter of some sort. He also makes electrical systems that work off of a battery that can be charged by pedaling a bicycle. Joe showed up about a half an hour after I did. After having a harsh critique of Joel's show, we went and had a lovely dinner. We made fun of scad and talked about the g8 summit. We then went in to the other room where we ate cookies and watched my documentation video of some of my pieces. The three critiqued the work fairly positively. I feel better about it now. Susan then took Joe and I out to the studio to show us how to braze. I wish I had known it was that easy long ago. We then said goodbye to Joe, who had to leave to meet some people who were coming in town. Steve put in another video of some work done by a friend of his from grad school. Krista showed up towards the end. Then I had the three of them giving me advice about grad school for the next hour or more. It was fun. I'm going to start to meet with Susan on a regular basis now, so I can get things together for applications. She also offered to ask about me getting a space over at Boundary hall to make a piece in. That saves me from having to squeeze into some corner that someone else is already using over at Henry. I have to go write some rules. I'm not even sure I said anything in this post.

Posted by cliff at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2003

vestibular system

I've got a strange feeling. Today I got out of class early and had ridden my bike back to my house. I put my bike away and walked into the other room only to promptly think of somewhere else I needed to go. So I rode my bike down to Harris hall to turn in my graduation application. I made a couple of other stops while I was down town and went back to my house. After ten minutes or so, I realized that I needed to return some books to the library, where I am now. I decided to drive my car. I drove down to O-house, where I parked and walked the distance to the library. During my walk I got this slight confused feeling. My head was spinning a little bit and my balance seemed impaired. None of this affected me enough to cause any real concern.

While this is more likely the result of dehydration or a bad diet and exercise, I think it might come from something else. The three different types of transportation movement that I had just experienced had been very different. I experienced each one for at least ten minutes at a time. I also went through them nearly back to back. For a third similarity, I went through very similar parts of town in each, if not the exact same places. My idea is that my body had become acclimated to each one of those movements. The abrupt switch between them may have confused my body. I don't think most people would notice things like this. People ride out to the mall all the time, but you don't see people stumbling out of their cars too often. The only common event I can think of that is similar is getting out of the car after a several hour car trip. The reason why I feel it now is that recently I've become extremely in tune and aware of how my body responds to movement and balance. This constitutes about half of my research for my current work. First hand knowledge is working out quite well for me. This particular event seems to affect my sense of balance the most. That makes the most sense actually. It's probably some sort of residual effect of the liquid that provides you sense of balance in the inner ear. Like the same feeling you get from spinning around in circles and getting dizzy and sick.

Posted by cliff at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

if i'm writing about art, i'm not thinking about the bad things: Xu Bing lecture etc.

I'm kind of weird again tonight.

My drawing three class met at the library today. We critiqued for about an hour before heading across the street to a lecture by Xu Bing. He seemed pretty interesting. It was hard to understand his English sometimes, but most of his ideas came through just fine. He had some humor every once in a while, but I also felt like there was a joke or two that the crowd missed because we weren't sure what he said. I heard the word "cute" to describe him as a person a couple of times (whatever connotation it was used in). His work mainly dealt with printmaking and language and written characters. He has lived here in the US for the last ten years or so. One piece I particularly liked, The Living Word, used a transition of characters, from modern Chinese to pictographs, symbolizing the word "bird". These characters start off lying on the ground and begin to rise up into a flock of floating symbols. If anything, it was pretty. I'm just writing to keep my self from freaking out, so that's what you get. At the end, they let him take four or five questions. About two of them were worth asking. It took a while for some of the questions to be explained to him with his limited English. That made the dumb questions all the more excruciating. During the question, you could look around the room and watch all the people staring at the floor, grimacing, because they know that it's a stupid question and they still have to sit through several more sentences before it doesn't get across the first time and it has to be repeated. When the information finally would get there, every one would perk up and pay attention to the speaker again. That might have been the best part of the night. And tomorrow night, Horacio Pagani is speaking. Hopefully I'll remember to go to that too.

I finally get to have dinner with Susan and Steve and Joe and Krista on Friday. One of these days I'll start differentiating between the two Susan's I mention on this site. You'll just have to use context clues for the time being. I'll get a crit of some sort from them. I also need someone to advise me on grad school applications. There must be lots of things I don't know and I need to do it soon, so I can get reference letters taken care of. There wont be much, if any time after we get back in school before deadlines start popping up. I'm a little bit overwhelmed by it at the moment, among other things. The hula machine is getting started this weekend. I have to keep going. I'll explain that one some other day.

Posted by cliff at 12:53 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2003


Three essays of note from this site:

Shaping a Visual Language for our Times
Excitable Tissues and Virtual Worlds: Art, Science, and Technology
From Femtoseconds to Attoseconds

Posted by cliff at 01:09 AM | Comments (0)

interdisciplines : Art and Cognition

I haven't gotten a chance to read through most of this, but it looks extremely promising. It comes from some sort of online conference organization that organized one on art and cognition. This particular conference is now inactive but all the papers and comments from it are available online. I need to be more motivated to read.

Posted by cliff at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2003

motion in martial arts films

Article: Violent dances in martial arts films

Ultimately, any understanding of physical movement requires some understanding of the culture and context from which the movement itself derives. To read movement as dance requires the additional step of first and foremost recognizing these movements as "intentionally rhythmic, culturally patterned sequences with value in and of themselves." And acceptance of kinesthetic theories requires a further level of intellectual understanding, which recognizes concepts of beauty and revulsion as multiple and individualistic. Perhaps here my discussion of cultural aesthetics through movement should end. Any definition or theory of aesthetics, especially in regard to forms as ephemeral as human movement, must have at its core much which is purely and unabashedly subjective. If memory, and therefore comprehension, is unique in some way to each individual body, then any appreciation for beauty or revulsion for abnormality truly exists only in the eye — or body — of the beholder.

Posted by cliff at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

concept, form and context: perception

ART 131 at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. An excerpt from the syllabus:

This studio course will focus on an investigation of human perception within a range of contexts-physiological, cultural and technological. Through a series of studio projects, readings and discussions, and perceptual experiments, we will enhance our understanding of the mechanics of perception and our awareness of the relationship between sensing, perception, understanding and interpretation. In particular, we will consider how these understandings can inform the very nature of creative work.

Over the course of the semester, students will complete assignments in which they conceptually develop, design, and implement projects that use space, time, and the body as their primary focus.

Over the last 40 years, creative work in the visual arts, technology, design, and architecture have increasingly addressed the perceptual needs and desires of its audiences and users. People desire and demand "smart" devices and environments (with user recognition, emotional intelligence, wireless networks, etc.), the flexibility of choice, convenience, and interactive selectivity (non-linear narratives and games, "design-your-own X" (shoe, house, car), interactive film/tv, etc...) as well as "experiential culture and entertainment" (video/interactive installations, VR games, wearable and portable technology, art that can only be understood through a BODILY experience). This increased hunger for perceptual devices, experiences, and interactions calls for a cultural "worker" who is learned in perceptual problem-solving.

Posted by cliff at 12:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2003


My wall is almost done, or rather, it's at least coming along nicely. I still need to make some decisions about the graphics for it. Here's the plan for the moment. I want to have the graphics/ directions in three parts. The first being a left shoe print with the text "step #1" and "place". The second, on the pedal, a right print will have "step #2" and "press". The last will probably become part of the title "step #3 - push to reset". Place, press, and push, cute. Screen printing it seems like a good option. I want to print out some different options on the computer and get some opinions when the time comes. Michelle and I did stuff tonight. She came over to see the wall. She posed the question as to if I need the graphics at all. My answer at the time was that it might be important for safety to have the left foot placed back away from the wall prior to pressing the pedal with the right. I may be able to get away with just some grip tape on those two surfaces. When you approach it from the back I would think that you would be inclined to step on the back one first just because it's the first thing you come to. That is, only if you knew that they were something to be stepped on. I would still need the directions for " push to reset" somewhere. I want to make sure they read that before they do it. They don't have to know exactly what it means until they have the opportunity to put two and two together, when they realize something happens that can be reset. I might also have to separate that space off and only allow one person in at a time. It might function like my meditation on movement that I did over the summer. The group of waiting participants might have only the sound and the people coming out from which to gather what goes on in the room. That Michelle, she's a thinker. She'll have to come talk more often.

Posted by cliff at 02:04 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2003

why art?

I talked with Doris recently about some advisement things. We got to talk about grad school applications and such. One of the main things she wanted me to figure out is why I make/do/like art, because that's a big thing to include in your statement of purpose. The "why art" question. This question makes me a little scared. Before, when asked this, my answer "mainly, because they let me". A lot of that stems from the fact that I can't grasp how the whole idea of how art works. Why would somebody buy art? Why do people care about art? Does it actually matter? I've learned how to make art. I'm pretty good at that for my experience. I like to make things. I like to think. It's fun. So I make art. On top of all of that I get to make up my own rules. Something else that prevents me from figuring this out is that I don't have strong feelings for many things. I also hate being sappy about things. I hear people say that they just " have to make art". That makes me want to puke. Maybe I'm just mad that I can't feel things like that about my own work. Occasionally, I really feel like I'm getting away with something. I don't feel like I'm working hard enough. I get surprised that they let me do this kind of this thing in school. It's all too easy for me. Even when I'm working really hard, it doesn't feel that hard. Shouldn't something be boring sometimes. Maybe I do it for the attention. More to come on this some other day. Crisis?

Posted by cliff at 02:11 AM | Comments (0)

lets try it again tonight

On occasion I listen to music as I go to sleep. I've found that it helps to not think as much, mostly when anxious thoughts fill me up. Recently I've had to do it a lot more. Last night something went particularly well though. I had a new playlist of music going and accidentally left it on repeat, so it played all night. I had a wonderful dream with bicycles and bamboo arrows and tunnels and marking tape and a porch and a hug and drying and holding and breaking and vials. It put me in such a good mood to start the day. I actually felt like waking up just to enjoy that feeling. Now, if some of that would go beyond the dream.

Posted by cliff at 02:10 AM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2003

fire from ice

Primitive technology, traditional skills, and hand-made tools. One tutorial shows you how to make fire using an ice lense.

Posted by cliff at 01:05 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2003


I just went and added some comment functions. You can comment on individual posts now. Please comment. I'll take any and all points of view. I'll even respond to them in a timely manner. Nothing like a little discussion, eh. It could certainly help me route out what's important to other people, beyond the scope of my head. Thanks.

Posted by cliff at 09:55 PM | Comments (0)

excerpts from inside the front cover of my sketchbook

top to bottom. no particular date order:

-Follow through
-List of kinesthetic enhancements
-Kinesthetic communication
-Kinesthetic experience
-Unspoken argument/agreement
-Silent situations
-Body language
-Operator as guru
-Obstacle course
-Symbolism vs. connotation
-Social lubricant
-Sensory deprivation
-Tara Donovan
-Tom Doyle
-Janine Antoni
-Inherent intelligence of materials
-Feeling more when the body is under tension
-Nonvisual communication in visual fields
-Reference past by keeping visual element
-Visual reduced to gimmick and craft
-You can pay more attention if you're not in control. Passenger seat on a road trip
-Good feeling of conservation of movement
-Flag pole and dirt ramp building
-Sensitive parts of the body
-Do it again
-Anticipation breed analysis
-Alice Neel

Posted by cliff at 01:47 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2003

read regular

A typeface made for persons with dyslexia.

Posted by cliff at 04:09 PM | Comments (0)


How cool is this. Some guys got together and made a raster printer that hangs by two cables and uses spray paint can as it's printing media.

Posted by cliff at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

found magazine

People find odd things just lying around; notes, lists, drawings. These people have put together a magazine filled with these findings. You can even send in you own contribution.

Posted by cliff at 12:09 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2003

the milwaukee brace

This site is where the inspiration came from for Alison's project that i'm consulting on. These are oddly beautiful and disturbing all at the same time. It's worth a look at to add to your visual vocabulary.

Posted by cliff at 12:54 AM | Comments (0)


Today I actually did some work of my own for advanced two. I nearly felt like an artist again. But none of the reasons I hadn't been into working have been fixed. So, we'll see how long this sticks. Susan was encouraging. I made a 12' x4' wall today. Susan and Sarah were kind enough to help me carry it up to the top of the stairs where I'm going to install it. Did I mention how beautiful, nice and on top of that, buff those two are? I'm very thankful to have them both in my life and they keep coming back. That's more than most people.

The wall was for a project I haven't really told anyone about yet. Pretty much, only Sarah and Susan have heard it. I just kind of finalized the idea today. Before then, it wasn't worth hearing. It felt good to just jump right into it. I'll let Deborah in on it on Monday. I got frustrated with my other project and sat down to think a while, and made a quick trip to Lowes. The main subject of it is this wall, 12 feet tall, sitting next to the room wall in the space. The wall sits nearly vertical. A light hangs just above it casting a spot or sheet of light down it. At the bottom you see a left shoe print on the floor about 18 inches away from the wall. The right shoe print is on a pedal that leans up against the wall.

The scenario goes like this. The participant walks up to the wall. He is compelled to place his feet on the designated spots. Looking down at his feet he presses the pedal. What he might have been unaware of is that the wall wasn't attached directly to the other wall behind it. It was actually just barely leaning on it. While he looks at his foot, the wall falls forward. A bell rings above his head. That prompts him to look up just in time to find the wall falling towards him only to be caught by two anchor cables at a certain angle away from the wall. The shock of this is enhanced also by the light. The light now shines behind the wall creating a back lit, more ominous image. The bell also serves as an anticlimactic event. With this large motion happening, the signal that this is taking place is just one ring of a tiny bell. The person could follow some placed instructions and push the wall back to reset it.

The idea is to put the person in a situation where the outcome is not clear. The period of time the person is pressing the pedal is what I'm concerned with foremost. That instant, the feedback you feel, the changing resistance of the pedal constitutes the only foreshadowing of what will happen. The natural focus is at your foot. Because of the pivot point of the wall, that area has the least amount of movement. You may not even notice that the wall has moved until the bell ring. When you look up, what you may or may not have noticed about what was happening becomes magnified. The small movement at the bottom of the wall was a large movement at the top. The wall hovers over you as a shock and makes you take a step back to figure out what just happened. This "event/ analysis" scenario is something that should come naturally. From there, I want to give them an opportunity to reset it and try it again. It's important for validation of how you think it might work.

Posted by cliff at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2003

if i'm writing about art, i'm not thinking about the bad things: responding to movements

So a lot of my ideas stem directly from my own observations. I constantly play around with things. It's probably just as much a nervous habit than anything else. I'll pick things up and throw them in the air to see how they react. I push things around on an unusual axis to see where their balancing point is. I often come across things I like. I write them down and move on, but to return to them another day. I'm responding intuitively to most of these. I don't know why something in particular catches my eye, but I go with it. It's taken a while just to start figuring out how that process works for me. Initially, I know they just feel right. Most of the movements I enjoy, I like to call "conservative movements." I refer to them this way because they conserve the motion and energy of the movement and usually have soft endings and beginnings. Some common place examples are, for one, an experienced raver doing some of the interesting spinnings with glow-sticks, and another, in some cases, ballroom dancing, particularly the waltz. Those are usually some sort of continuous motions. Another type I've noticed is shorter and has harder starts and stops. These types seem to focus more on balance and weight shifts. A nice one of this type is to take a long board and set one end on the ground, holding the other in your hands. You can then throw your end of the board up to flop the board over. For this, I'm not really interested in the end, the crash part. I'm responding to the control of the throw and the state of limbo when the board is no longer under you control and it might flop over or fall back towards you. I like the idea of extending this limbo as long as possible. To do that simply takes practice and making yourself aware of how the throwing motion feels compared with the results. In theory, in a perfect environment, you could get good enough to throw it just right, to make it balance on end. At that moment, I believe you have kinesthetic enlightenment. It's bound to whack me over the head one of these days.

Posted by cliff at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2003

five six self-portraits

Drawing one- 2000
3d design- 2001
Intro to ceramics- 2002
Intro to fibers- 2002
Screen printing- 2003
*Update: Intro to photography 2001

Posted by cliff at 04:12 PM | Comments (0)

if i'm writing about art, i'm not thinking about the bad things: elements of my kinesthetic experiences

If it's not visual communication, and it's not audible communication, and it's not written communication, then what is it?

I'm concerned with the feeling of experiencing my work, not an emotional feeling, but the physical one (though you can't completely separate them, another topic for later perhaps). For the moment, I'll call them kinesthetic experiences (kinesthetic communication?). While the experience is the main subject, the act doesn't stand alone. Several other factors contribute to the outcome. It's possible to remove these other factors and nullify the meaning and leave just the shell of a fun ride. First, these experiences have to happen in the context of a preexisting art setting. I wouldn't take my work out in the middle of a field and expect people to get the meaning. In an art space (i.e. gallery, museum), the participant approaches it already primed to think by being in this environment. I'm not one to trick the audience. I want my art to be approached knowing that it's art. That hints on the next element: approachability and guidance.

Most of my pieces would need to be attended by someone to prep people on how to use them. I've actually found that people are afraid and do too little, rather than unknowingly going too far with an apparatus when they don't know anything about it. These guides can ease some of these fears. They can also guide a mindset. Some of my pieces are merely to be played with, while some have a very specific set of movements to go through. Participants feel better when given permission to play or given, at minimum, an action to start with.

The last element for me is the visual aspect. The visual comes secondary to the action many times. I use this in several ways. Because I know not everyone will get to, or be able to try one of my pieces out for themselves, I consider how the setup and action looks to a viewing audience. You can get a good sense of what my pieces are about just from watching someone else go through the act. However, I want to keep it primarily an interaction, rather than a performance. As it goes, "doing is better than seeing." Another way I use it is to aid the mindset and approachability. These pieces exist in an otherwise blank environment, so their appearance creates much of the feeling of the space on it's own. Lastly, trained as a visual artist, I just have a need to make things pretty. Of course, it's all subjective, but I certainly don't want any aesthetic choices to be overlooked for fear of detracting from the concept.

Posted by cliff at 01:18 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2003

Ned Kahn

Ned Kahn is making about the most drop-jaw stuff i've seen in a while. He has a degree in Evironmental Science and is a 2003 Macarthur Genius Fellowship recipient.

Posted by cliff at 01:47 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2003

not drawing

It's so hard for me to work lately. I want to get past this. I need space. I need people to talk to. I need to get out of the clutter of my house. My pie didn't turn out very well. The printing was decent enough. I should have made some different opacity choices and added some more solid layers. The note is very readable. I'm pretty much going to have to explain it at face value now, as opposed to totally making up some other frou-frou "positive " concept. It'll all be fine though. As always, it's not likely to look like any other project in the crit. I tried to draw today. I only got one done though. Fifteen more to go. I'm hoping the added pressure of deadline will kick in about Tuesday afternoon and I'll just do it all in one day's time. I've got some good ideas coming up that'll look good on a grad school application statement of intent. I'll get to those soon. Maybe if I let Sarah in on it all, I'll feel better. That'd be a start. A meal would be a start.

Posted by cliff at 09:22 PM | Comments (0)

scaning faces

So this weekend has gone well. The First Friday galleries were good. This is nearly the busiest I've ever seen the Starland community. I guess the advertising for it worked. Joel sent out a message about it to the entire faculty of scad. That type of situation might be odd for those new student who are seeing their first show in Savannah. It had the feeling of a theme park attraction. Homogenization. A mound of people waited and squeezed their way to get in. upon entering you were greeted by the first of many players that guided you through the space. They all wore white and had dust masks. Some attempted to speak in a very smooth tone of voice. One sounded very much like the "pleasant" voices used in futuristic films for the computers or other body-less announcements. You first walked up on to an elevated pathway. To either side of you were pieces of cloth stretched in weird way. On these, flashed rear-projected images, mostly of fifties-style advertisements with their emphasis on perfection and all. This pathway lust seemed like an extension of the waiting line. It might have been more effective if the crowd wasn't so large. But that waiting did give you more time to look at the video. The path descended back to ground level, at which point Joel greeted you. He met with each person individually. Some people were straightened, or checked over. For others he would grab you on both shoulders and lean in to softly speak words, like "happy" or "yum", into your ear. After that encounter you would walk through a giant tube-frame milk bottle. On the other side you were offered a small sample of milk. A player would then guide you towards another giant milk bottle to enter a back room. This was a long dark chamber that you entered from the middle and walked paths through it. Sounds of an improvisational rap poet filled the space. In one corner a mic was set up for the poet to perform live at certain times. at the other end of the chamber , an area was set up for the band ARTillery Punch to play too. You exit the same way you came into the room. You set your empty cups down on the way out in a hole built into the wall by the door. The last transition was a walk thorough another giant bottle, lying on it's side, split in half, to create a path. From there you exited off to the side of where it had all started. It all seemed very ambitious for this town. And if anyone can pull that off, it's Joel. He's an extremely smart fellow. I thought it turned out pretty well. I don't know if I paid enough attention to it to judge it too much. I'll have to catch up with him about it sometime to hear some of the logistics of it.

The other galleries were nice too, of course. At the first show I went to, Cynthia White's thesis, I ran into Allison. We got to talking, and one thing led to another and now she's my "mentor." Actually, she just needed to find an undergrad to mentor for her graduate painting professional practices class. So I don't know what that entails too much right now but I think Susan, wants to hit some of that mentoring action too. Alison asked me to help her build something, hopefully in time for exhibition at open studio on the 18th of October. We are reproducing a strange apparatus used to align the backs of scoliosis patients while a plaster cast is put around them to keep that alignment. We'll see how that goes. It's really hard for me to think right now. Lots of things getting in the way. Something just needs to happen. I think it'll happen soon though and that'll make me feel better.

And one last thing, I'm making a pie for my first screen printing assignment. I'm printing layers of a pie onto one-quarter inch Plexiglas sheets, then stacking them to create a 3d screen-printed pie. The assignment was to come up with something from the concept of "Tibetan Prayer Flags", our well whishes for the world. That makes me want to puke. So my pie subject goes for the same idea as a means of delivery of good tidings (i.e. "welcome to the neighborhood, have a pie"). But the pie is full of lollipops. Buried several layers into the pie is a printed image of a postit note. That note reads " Suck on it"

Posted by cliff at 03:13 AM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2003

MIT OpenCourseWare

500 classes worth of MIT course material available online... all for free
18.S34 Problem Solving Seminar, Fall 2002

Posted by cliff at 03:34 AM | Comments (0)