Week 8: History tends to repeat itself – Museums are living proof

I’m sure you know by now that I love to travel. One of the main reasons is that I love to look at historical monuments as well as historical facts. During my EuroTrip I went to many museums to learn about each individual country. I plan on going to Europe again later this year to other countries so that I can expand my knowledge. Thus, this weeks event turned out to be a pretty cool activity for me. I was able to bolster my knowledge yet get credited for it as well.

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I visited the museum in Long Beach on Latin American Art. Nothing really sparked my interest much there except for this picture. It reminded me of a similar poster that I’ve seen numerous times growing up. Instantly as I saw it, I realized the importance of the Latin American community here in California. Aside from the constant option for Spanish translation here, they’re history and culture has slowly started to influence the Californian culture significantly. Growing up I always saw this poster as a significant deal to the American history as it showed the women’s movement in the working place as majority of the men were off to fight the war.

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I also liked this peace of art as well as it pertains to animals and looks like a cave drawing. These always fascinates me as I have a real big soft spot for animals so anytime I see these it really gets me excited and I can get lost for a long time in an art peace like this.

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Week 7: Janet Cardiff

The other Side of Sound- Janet Cardiff

ARTS-08-F1/ARTPRIZE COLOUR Ottawa-03/07/01- Janet Cardiff has won the National Gallery's $50,000 Millennium Art Prize for her installation of 40 speakers throughout the Rideau Street Convent Chapel. Photo by WAYNE CUDDINGTON, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

Janet Cardiff belongs to Ontario Canada and has studied from prestigious institutes such as Queens University and University of Alberta. A rather rare phenomenon in arts, Cardiff does not work alone but in collaboration with her husband, George Miller. Cardiff also does not indulge in contemporary art, rather she creates sounds aimed to awe and entice her audience.

An audio walk is created by manipulating sound and sound installations. The importance of audio in how we perceive the world around us cannot be underestimated. By using scattered and altered sounds to distort the three dimensional perspective of audience, Cardiff has been creating audio walks which have a remarkable impact on the audience’s perception of reality.

The first walk Cardiff created was two decades ago in 1991. The Forest Walk from Banff-Centre, Canada, although inconsistent with technical details contained a lot of raw energy and art and laid the groundwork for Cardiff’s future works.

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Cardiff’s most popular venture is Forty Part Motet in which the artist arranges 40 speakers in a series of 8 different groups and every speaker plays recordings of Thomas Tallis’ Spem in Alium. This arrangement is not at Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This acoustic experience allows the people who attend it to listen to the distorted sound reality as they walk though continuous space. An immersive effect is created through the converging sounds.  The artist’s most appreciated work is enjoyed in an oval formation and is spread over fourteen minutes containing a 3 minute spoken interlude.

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An extension of Cardiff’s art, getting immensely popular is her video walks. She created her first video walk in 1999, “In Real Time” and it would take place in Carnegie Museum’s library. The auditory spectator would put on a pair on headphones attached to a small video camera. For the next eighteen minutes the participant would be asked to look at the screen and focus on the audio. This work drew its kick from the discrepancies between the actual realities of the library in contrast with what’s visible on the screen.

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Janet Cardiff has created some great works in collaboration with her husband. The Dark Pool was the first in this series of works. A dimly lit room was planted with multimedia installations, ancient artefacts and objects which would be filled with sounds of lost stories, conversations as the visitors moved amongst them. Their recent collaborative works include the Paradise Institute, with a crime scene is played out in reality as well as on the big screen.

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I think Cardiff is as much of an artist as anyone can be. Instead of doing the art everyone does, she created something new altogether that challenges how we see and perceive the world. Her ability to stir emotions and moods with sound manipulation is creative as well as powerful. I also really like that instead of just viewing or listening, her creations give the audience a chance to immerse in them creating an unforgettable experience.

Janet Cardiff also gives Audio a different meaning than what it has become today. Instead of being a tool singularly to media, audio has its place in arts and in the very basis of how we perceive the world. By focus on sound manipulation, Cardiff has given future artist a lot of room to experiment and impress.

Week 7: Let’s chat and snap

I use snapchat frequently, mainly to look at what other  people posted. I post stories a couple of times throughout the week but only if I’m doing something fun or eating something good or if one of my freinds is being silly. I rarely post a picture of myself or take those selfies. Of course if I’m all dressed up for a wedding or something then I might post a picture but it’s rarely. If I’m at home and not doing anything then I’m not going to just post a picture of my room, even though I know a lot of people do.

I think for next semester’s activity I would recommend doing something similar. Where you have the class add everyone to their snapchat and ask them to post about their daily lives throughout the week. This will be similar to our instagram activity but should flow more easily as I feel snapchat is very easy to use versus instagram. Then just like the instagram activity have them write about what they say and how their lives are different or similar to others.

Another thing you can do is add the same stipulation for them. Have them add another paragraph at the bottom and letting you know how they can improve this activity or another method/activity that would work better.

Nikki S. Lee

The Woman With Countless Faces- Nikki S. Lee

Nikki S. Lee worked as David LaChapelle, the fashion photographer’s assistant as she delved in the studies of commercial photography. However, rather than pursuing a career in commercial photography, Lee went a very different way. Some of the popular themes in her work include recognition of self and the fluidity of identity, which shows how a person can be extended to many different forms and natures. Fortunately, Lee’s art was quick to climb the ladder to success and she became widely acclaimed soon after her very first exhibition held in New York. Currently, her works are at many museums including: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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Nikki S. Lee, although based in Korea, got attention for her project, named Projects Series, spread over 4 years which documented various American sub cultures. She would immerse herself in a group of hippies, drag queens, senior citizens or urban youth while acting and expressing the same way they do. A simple point-and-click camera would be given to another member of the group or a random passerby and they would take pictures of the artist. These pictures were stunning in the way they recorded Lee’s interaction and blending in with different sub-cultures we generally think are extreme. As an artist, Lee worked to reveal that identity is a very fluid concept and is susceptible to change- she showed her artwork in the Projects Series as honest extensions of herself.

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A more recent venture by the photographer was her Parts series which took place from 2002 to 2005. Parts had a different theme attached to it. In this series of artwork, Lee explored how a relationship affects people and their sense of identity. The series consist of candid shots of her with a man where the man has been crudely cropped making it impossible to see who he really is.

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Lee has also spread her wings beyond photography and directed the film “A.K.A Nikki S Lee”. This movie was groundbreaking in the sense that it combined fiction with a typical documentary, giving it a lot of zest and flavour. To top things, Lee played two different roles in the movie. Drawing on to her theme of identities, both of these roles were versions of her original self.

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I think Nikki S Lee is a brilliant artist in all senses of the word. Her art goes way behind the skill of taking a good photo. She uses her camera to find out the essence of people and how fluid it is. Living in a world of extremism and intolerance, Lee’s work is a ray of light showing we’re all not that different. The way she focuses on the essence of a photo rather than using professional cameras and effects is really amazing. I’m also a big fan of the fact that she has diversified herself beyond a photographer and can act, as well as direct, with grace and effective communication.

Week 6: Let’s play God

My neighborhood is a pretty nice area to live in. It’s basically a cul de sac which is has a a section of grass in the middle. Around it there are  houses all around and across the street we have an elementary school – which of course was very convenient for me when I was younger. I love my area dearly and there isn’t much I would change about it. But hypothetically, if I had the power there would be some minor changes I’d like to do.

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First, I would take out the grass section in the middle. We have parking problems as there just isn’t enough space. I would use that section to make more parking spots available. But since we are removing the grass section, I figure we should add tress next to some of the houses to keep it lively. In addition to, we can add a small pond towards the back end of the cul de sac. By adding the pond it will bring some wild life and make the neighborhood look nicer.

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Of course with all things there is a negative downside as well. By adding the pond, it could attract some wild life that is not wanted – well by others. I really would love it as I’m a big animal person. But the pond would also cause more flies to be in the area and if not maintained properly, it could be a big liability. Removing the grass area from the middle would also take away the space kids use to play. Growing up we’d play baseball, cricket, kickball, and many other fun sports in that area.

If nothing were to be done though, I would still be completely fine with my neighborhood. Thankfully, I’m lucky to have such a safe and secure environment. And to me that’s all that matters.

Week 5: Victorine Meurent

Two Sides of a Painting- Victorine Meurent

It is seldom that one is lucky enough to be art and an artist but Victorine Meurent had such luck. Born in 1844, she became a popular model at a young age. Even though she’s better known to be Eduaord Manet’s muse, Meurent was a painter herself as well. Her paintings were of class too, and were regularly exhibited at the prestigious Paris Gallery.

Meurent was a colourful character. At the age of sixteen she was modelling for artists and was also learning arts at a women’s institute. Her artistic relationship with Manet started in 1864 when he saw he saw her in the street carrying her guitar. Meurent was very petite which led to her nickname being: The Shrimp.

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Manet’s first painting of Meurent was The Street Singer. One of the main reasons behind Manet’s attraction to Meurent was that she wasn’t the typical beauty of that era. In The Street Singer we see Meurent with a guitar tucked under her shoulder, apparently in a rush. The hem of her skirt is damaged and showing which gives away the fact that she isn’t financially well off. The way she’s cramming cherries into her mouth is also evidence of her distance from the refined women of Paris. The way she looks in a hurry also makes it seems like maybe she has another performance lined up and cannot spare the time to have a proper meal. Unlike the popular paintings of that time, The Street Singer was very different. It did not portray biblical women or extracts from mythology, but a real life woman with real dynamics of life.

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Meurent also became a part of rather controversial paintings by Manet.  In Le Déjeuner Sur l’Herbe she could be seen naked at what seemed like a picnic with two fully clothed gentlemen sitting beside her in the woods. There was a lot of public outcry on this revealing painting. But Manet and Meurent were far from done. The next painting, Olympia, depicted Meurent as a Lady of the Night who just had intercourse with a client and with a professional nonchalance, was waiting for the other client. Whereas the first painting had no sexual hints, Olympia was obviously sexual.

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Victorine Meurent art was impressive too. Although most of her art was lost through the years, Palm Sunday remains a highly acclaimed piece. Palm Sunday is a profile of a young girl with a small green bunch in her hand. The young girl in the picture seems to be lost in her thoughts, rather unbothered with the bunch she’s holding.

I think Victorine Meurent was a one of a kind artist. She knew art from the masterpiece’s perspective as well as the artist. It was through the honesty and bravery of her character that Manet was able to break the monotony of religious and mythological art. In a time when women who diverted from the norm at all were looked at with scorn, Meurent took a courageous step by posing nude and portraying to the public what real life is. I really like her as a model and as an artist because there is a truth about her, which gives any painting she’s associated with a raw and definite power.

Week 5: Spray it, Don’t say it!

I’ve always wanted to use spray paint and make something cool. Thanks to our activity this week, I finally got that opportunity to use spray paint. The objective of this week was to produce my name via spray paint onto a canvas, or a board, or a wall.

I started this process by first figuring out a way to write out my name. I tried to do that free handedly like the pros but that was a complete disastrous fail haha. I realized I would have to make stencils and use those to make my name. That honestly seemed like the hardest part initially. Until I started using the spray paint and first sprayed too close to the board then I sprayed too far away from it. Took me several of practice tries to finally get that right.

The next problem I came across was that my stencil paper was too week and that the paint kept bleeding through to the other side making it look like a blob. I found some thicker paper and had to recreate my stencils. Getting that bubble shape to come out was almost impossible and when I tried to blend the 2 colors together, it looked like the bottom color was always dominant. Maybe it was because of the colors I chose (black and blue).

Overall it was a pretty fun process and I was kind of sad that it was over. I wanted to do more but ran out of cardboard. I thought about doing it on the side wall of my house but that wouldn’t have sat well with my mom. Haha.

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Week 4: Joseph Cornell

Joseph Cornell- A World Inside the Box

Joseph Cornell was a pioneer and one of the most successful creators of assemblage. His work has an immense sense of wonder and hidden beauty. Despite having no formal training in creating art, the masterpieces Cornell created are still looked upon with respect and are the harmonious union of assemblage and surrealism. Although the two art themes are very conflicting, Cornell managed to bring them together in a way that amazed art critics. He also contributed in surrealist films with his paintings.balloon

The most popular and most amazing of his art works are his “boxes”. Through his artistic genius, Cornell successfully created an amalgamation of moods and pictures in small simple boxes. The artist finds beauty in the commonplace with ease, placing everyday objects in a different light for the audience. These objects however, are not trash or cheap but the fragments of faded away beauty and precious collectables. The artist had several Surrealist friends and the influence is easily observable in his artwork as he ushers memories from the past along with irrational juxtaposition in his work.

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One of Cornell’s highest recognised work is Soap Bubble Set, created in his early art years in the 1930s. It was made for the Museum of Modern Art and was also his first attempt at a shadow box. Despite trying, the objects in this shadow box seem vague and unrelated and are a classical Cornell Juxtaposition. The objects contained in this box are a doll’s head, a glass, bubble pipe, and a picture of the leaning tower of Pisa. Some critics have interupted that the box is in fact a portrait of Cornell’s family, where he’s the doll head, his mum is’s the egg, his dad the clay pipe and the blocks at the top of the picture depict him along with his siblings.

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I find Joseph Cornell’s work very interesting. Though I don’t have a very highbrow sense of art, I find art beyond paintings and sculptures very liberating. Ironically, even though Cornell’s art is confined in boxes, it allows the onlooker to look at it from a million different perspectives. I also think that it’s absolutely remarkable, how Cornell managed to transform a box- usually associated with confinement, into something that sends the imagination on a rollercoaster ride.  By leaving seemingly irrelevant things together in a box, sometimes from different eras altogether, Cornell gives the audience a chance to interpret whatever they want and relate to their own lives. I also really enjoy the sense of nostalgia and bittersweet feelings his boxes bring. Even though at the first glance if found the objects unrelated, on closer inspection they evoked feelings and memories and I was able to look at my life through it. I find his work very poetic, like an exceptionally well written bedtime story which allows its characters to achieve amazing feats. With so much scientific innovations and more and more tolerance towards surprise, Cornell is able to give back a sense to wonder to the everyday objects we see as a backdrop to our lives.

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Week 4: Have a seat!

Creating a virtual chair was an interesting process. Initially I was pretty lost when I was trying to work with Sketchup. However, after some guidance from my peers and playing along with the tools then I started to get the hang of it. My cousin is becoming an architect and I asked her if she was familiar with the software, which she was, which helped me better understand some of the tools and shortcuts which made my life easier.

The actual process of creating the chair once the tools were figured out was pretty easy. Used a few shapes along with the pencil option to connect lines and make the design. I used the paint option to fill in the chair with a light wood option which resembled close to the color of my chair.

 

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I chose a fairly simple chair because I didn’t want to make it too complicated and not get stuck on the process and get discouraged. My objective was to learn this software and be able to have some success with it. I think this software is pretty cool and I can see myself using this in the future. Now, if only I can get someone to supply me a 3-D printer. Haha.

Overall, I can sit here all day and criticize the look of my chair as that is my nature of being a perfectionist. However, I had to go past that in order to get to the objective I was looking for which was to have success with the program. I feel like with some more practice and working with the software in the future, I’ll be able to master the program and be able to create some perfect figures.

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Week 3: Snap Snap! Instagram

On a random Thursday I was able to post some pictures of my activities through out the day. I first started the day off at work on a 7 hour shift that began at 7 AM. Luckily it wasn’t very busy so I was just able to chill at work. I put my feet up and took a nap and got paid! That is one of the best feelings to have that type of job.

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Then after I work, I did my trip to the gym and worked out. I’ve started going consistently for a few months now and have started to see some results. I’ve worked hard and have been dedicated not only with the gym but also with proper supplements and dieting. Cut out a lot of junk food and carbs.

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Then I proceeded to go home and eat some grilled chicken and watch one of my favorite TV sitcoms, Friends. Then I wrapped up the day with some delicious Korean BBQ – which I consider is healthy since I only eat the meat which is all protein and don’t touch any of the rice or any other carbs.

Comparing my day with others, I was able to see some delicious posts of shabu shabu it seems. It looked like some people prefer some good food as much as I do. I also, did see that a lot of people were catching the NBA Finals in action. WHich is something I would normally catch but it was conflicting with my KBBQ schedule and of course good food is likely to win out most of the time. Haha.

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I did see some folks have pets and I myself have a cat that I leave at my parent’s house. I adore my cat and would do almost anything for it. In general I have a strong fondness towards animals – except for birds as you’ve read any of my other blogs you should already know.

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