This week we delved deeper and deeper into the abstract, where we found a plethora of interesting and boundary-pushing artists ripe for exploration. I realized that technology has really made it easy for us to express ourselves if you think about it (albeit its questionable authenticity); whatever you visualize, you can more than likely create it with a few clicks of a button, or you can easily find someone else who’ll do it for you via the web.
I suppose the closest you’ll get to seeing something through the eyes of many different people would be our series of group works inspired by David Hockney’s Cameraworks; a work named brushesreduxphotocollages.
“It takes time to see these pictures—you can look at them for a long time, they invite that sort of looking. But, more importantly, I realized that this sort of picture came closer to how we actually see, which is to say, not all-at-once but rather in discrete, separate glimpses which we then build up into our continuous experience of the world.” –David Hockney
This quote from Hockney is the essence of what we tried to replicate in our work. We took pictures with an Ipad via a program called Brushes Redux. We then started to augment the picture by drawing, tracing and coloring over it. After this,we then pieced all the pieces together to view the image as a whole once again. We glimpsed the world around us and then we hoped to share those unique glimpses. This piece is a combined effort of the many different and creative minds that reside in our class, where each one of us put a unique spin on an image we viewed as a whole. We augmented reality through our own eyes and we created our visions in place of (or mixed with) our perceived surroundings. This idea of personally augmented reality gives dimension and depth to works, and I feel like the viewing of them is more personal, and thus more memorable.
For research tin class I read The Blue Guitar; a collection of etchings by David Hockney, inspired by the words of Wallace Stevens, who was inspired by paintings by Picasso. I felt liken this string of inspiration really resonated with me, because you can see how each piece and each artist affected each other, and with myself I take great inspiration from other artists. This research helped me understand that it’s not a bad thing to be greatly influenced by someone else, and that often it’s actually beneficial.
- Hockney, D. (1977). Manhattan Rare Books. [online] Available at: https://www.manhattanrarebooks.com/pages/books/1538/david-hockney/cameraworkshttps:// %5BAccessed 20/03/2017]
- Cava101&102, 2017, brushesreduxphotocollages, Ipad Image
- Hockney, D 2017. The Blue Guitar, book, [Accessed 20/03/2017] <http://file.kysakai.blog.shinobi.jp/blueGuitar.jpeg>.
All artists and practitioners seem to have an idea of what is ‘art’ and what is ‘not art’. Some dare to push the boundaries of these supposed closed boxes. One such creator is Allan Kaprow, and this is one of the practitioners we have studied this week. Through studying the likes of Kaprow and Marcel Duchamp, we discussed the technique of ‘framing’ a piece,and how something such as a urinal can become aesthetically pleasing. These discussions have urged me to think far more about the abstract than I think I ever have.
Kaprow was a great innovative mind active in the art world of the 1960’s. His series of Happenings are great examples of ephemeral art; art that is appreciated for a short time, then disappears without a trace. We studied his piece called Fluids, and we aimed to come up with a piece which was inspired by its transitory nature.
My group and I came up with a performance piece which ended up being a lot more confronting and deep than I think we intended. It kind of evolved from the group before us; they engineered the idea of alienation and division, and we sort of took the idea and ran far far away with it. We sat on some stools, adopted a standoffish stance and scrawled the words “Name Here” on a whiteboard. As one by one our audience walked in, they took the cue and wrote their names, only to have them rubbed out again in silence by one of our group members. One by one they left confused, and slightly berated. After we finished, I think some of the other members of the class thought we hated them (or they hated us!). It was a really fascinating experiment, because we had no idea how the audience was going to react! It was interesting to see some people fight back, and others just leave, disinterested. This is the point of a piece like this; it urges us to think deeper and more personally about the effects of the work, and it tests our understanding of art itself as an experience; which is much like Kaprow’s ephemeral piece Fluids in its cause and effect.
Another activity that we participated in was a recreation of 4′ 33” by John Cage. In this piece we were asked to sit and just observe something for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, and I decided to observe a dirty old picnic bench with doodles on top. What I found during this time was that I got bored easily, I got sleepy, but I also became much more aware of my surroundings, and was hyper aware of the sounds around me. To me, this was the beauty of the piece, because not only was I examining someone else’s penmanship on this bench, I was also appreciating the sound of silence and rain more than I ever have. This is where the change happened; this is where I began to actually ‘get’ what we were talking about, and it felt empowering.
- Marcel Duchamp 1964, Fountain, Procelain, Unconfirmed: 360 x 480 x 610 mm, Tate Modern, Britain.
- Hopper, D 1967, Allan Kaprow, Fluids happening, 1967, photograph, viewed March 2017, <http://www.flickr.com/photos/52355315@N08/5757476385/>.
- Kaprow, A 1967, Fluids Happening, Performance art.
- Cage, J 1947-1948, 4’33”, musical score.