Ideas I am looking at

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-mainly caught by the rejection of universal morality and the dialectic

-“Ironist’s cage” use of irony as a means of distancing oneself from the pragmatics of political struggle

– Interesting rational for disruptive and divergent practices

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SOURCES I AM MADE CURIOUS BY

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http://www.juxtapoz.com/news/magazine/elisabeth-higgins-o-connor-the-dog-days-are-over/

-associations with use of fabric

-use of materials/material creativity in shanty towns as equivalent to engineering  for  art objects (makes sense that equal recognition of diverse and industrial materials for use in art objects could lead to an increased recognition of the importance of the variety of crafts associated with those materials)

http://bombmagazine.org/article/4913/luis-camnitzer

“Yes, art thinking should have the same overarching role that logical thinking has. Art has slowly deteriorated to become primarily a form of production instead of a way of shaping culture. Thus, it is viewed as a discipline and not as a methodology. I see art as the area where one can and should make “illicit” connections, connections that are not allowed in disciplinary, fragmented thinking. Art illuminates them through questioning and allows (though not necessarily) for their possible affirmation after a critical and imaginative evaluation. This should be art’s social function, but it has been degraded by commerce.”

-would new sensory as well as material processes and investigations help this goal?

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/whats-inside-the-womens-bags-russia-876

-continuation of personal object interest as well as interest in portable/nomadic spaces. Particularly interested in non-useful objects.

http://www.vice.com/read/photos-of-zombies-werewolves-and-puritans-made-using-a-1950s-monster-makeup-guide-v23n5

-Love the last image of the man dressed as a cardboard horse. This reminds me a great deal of the project I collaborated with Sarah and Dan on at the beginning of this year. This corresponds with my interest in personal transformations through amateurish costumes (the material becomes a metaphor for the creation of discord and transformation out of the mundane substrate of everyday life).

-I wonder if this could also connect to Higgins’ work and the glorification of industrial materials resulting in a more expansive idea of creativity. The resulting work would not be industrial or KIPPLE SPACE objects; instead they would be a result of the home/domestic scene, thus infecting that space with divergent creative possibility. (LEBENSRAUM)

– I’m talking domestic voodoo and witchcraft. Start keeping sage in your cupboards and using windex for holy water. I also think that the home environment itself is an important space to consider how art is “activated”.

-I have heard many people talk about paintings in terms of weather or not they would look good in their living room. This often goes unchallenged as the last protected expression of shitty/shallow/common personal taste. We also rarely investigate WHAT MAKES A GOOD WORK TO PUT UP OVER THE COUCH. What are the effects of a piece of art when we live with it? What constitutes a “good” effect? I find it incredibly helpful to live surrounded by my work, interesting images and other art objects both as a source of inspiration for my work and as a means of personal investigation, pleasure, etc. I also believe that few people would seriously suggest that the aesthetics of one’s domestic environment has no effect on its inhabitants. Public spaces are being defunded in the face of a growing private sector, while many of the interpersonal functions of these spaces are taking place online. More and more, one’s home environment is transformed into a hub of social, economic, and even spiritual activity. Therefore it is of increasing importance that we address the aesthetic choices, materiality, politics, and identity of the domestic space.

Pen drawings in prep for sculptures

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I’m thinking about a thinking or unthinking body (embodied cognition? or maybe something less technical?) I’m also thinking about smaller sculptures that recall charms/religious objects/personal art objects using clay. I am very attracted to the idea of lived-with art objects. Not because they are useful, but because their meaning/value can exist independently of the white cube (in fact it invalidates it as the “native space” or the art object). The personal “lived with” object also has greater opportunity to serve as the object of  reflection, and can do so in multiple spatial/temporal/relational contexts (what does this object mean in the palm of my hand at the store? What does it mean placed on the windowsill at sunset? What does it mean when I chuck it out the window?). I am also attracted to how personal objects hint at their own unknowable personal history interwoven with people’s memories and desires.

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Tibetan Tsa Tsa and stamp

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A fascinus from Pomei used as a charm of protection.

 

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A Japanese netsuke and inro. The inro refers to the small decorative container worn at the waist. The Netsuke is the decorative weight used to hold it in place.

 

 

Fabric

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(Christo | Valley Curtain )

I have, and have always had, a sensory obsession with fabric. As child I loved collecting large sheets in different colours and textures,half for the beauty and half for the utility. I was fascinated by the feeling for cutting fabric. Delicately and carefully closing the scissors, I observed the sensation of individual threads breaking and forming a single sharp line of destruction.

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But fabric has it’s own ability to cut. It separates space and bodies (clothing and curtains) not only through occlusion, but also by symbolising division (maybe this is why transparent lingerie is more seductive than nudity. It hints at a moral boundary that begs for transgression). The curtains on a stage are the chrysalis of the invisible 4th wall.  The cut and colour of our clothing  creates a powerful barrier that enables us to   brave the elements while at the same time situating us within social categories (this is such a powerful means of indicating relationships we have not yet fully eliminated the use of clothing as a false justification for rape and sexual assault, “well what did you expect when you wrap yourself in fabric that way? Maybe if you weren’t so careless in how you used textiles… etc. etc.”) cockcon-men-s-gay-sexy-vest-t-shirt-sleeveless-transparent-clothes-breathable-gym-bodybuilding-undershirt-mesh_640x640

Cloth also is remarkable in the way it divides space without actually restricting movement. We are typically physically capable of bursting through a fabric devision without much difficulty, a movement that would require great pain, effort, and stubbornness with most other materials. however somehow we mostly respect these delicate partitions, and often take great solace and comfort in the symbolic protection they provide (Remember the magic charm to eliminate monsters: cover yourself with your blanket and 502de272465103097fcc265e16fbeef2_basementgamers-560-cmaintain the seal until dawn. This charm can also be used by children to create a sense of separateness and self-determination in the spaces controlled by adults and other powerful forces). 

Another important quality of cloth is how easily is can be transported. Silk, cotton (those soviets love American Blue Jeans), wool, and fur have been important trading items for millennia. The demand for textiles has helped sustain travel and trade between otherwise isolationist cultures (there is a whole history here as well in the technology of dying and designing fabrics) Cloth folds, it can be compacted and bent. It won’t shatter or spoil. This makes it a perfect material for nomadic enterprises. Mongolian yurts are the first example that springs to mind but fabric has also been used as housing for the ancient Israelites, Romans , Beduins, Mughal princes, as well as American occupations (think Civil War, think Afghanistan).  

 

Another interesting example is use of fabric to create spiritual materials that can travel with practitioners. Thangkas, paintings on fabric of buddhist scenes/imagery used for meditation and worships, were easy to package and transport with minimal damage and difficulty (particularly in comparison to a Bernini sculpture). Blessed scarves, knots, and prayer flags are other examples of fabric as spiritual technology.

Fabric was often my only tangible way of creating a sense of home. As a child I often traveled, and even moved from country to country. What I could easily pack in my suitcase became my sense of place and belonging

(my home was clothes, blankets, canvases, towels)

The last point I would like to make at this time (I’m sure there will be many more, there are always n+1 points on a trajectory) it the geometric appeal of cloth. The line, point and plane are the main tools used to visualise an equation. A line is an infinity of points, a plane an infinity of lines. However in cloth we see labour manifesting a plane (fabric) out of lines (thread) using points of intersection (knots).

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It’s structure is maintained by an equal distribution of tension and force. Pull one thread and the whole cloth becomes misshapen, make one stitch and everything is changed.

witchy woman

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prophets. Revered, powerful and abject. her gaze is violently destroyed. Unlike other female figures where the eyes are politely cropped out, the violence of blindness is apparent. The annihilating organ peers out from a gaping mouth; the source of alienating language (carrier of the patriarchal virus)

 

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I’m currently working with the tension between idealized human form (and the enlightenment/humanist concepts that support it) vs disruptive biology and difference. This piece focuses on female ejcaulation and the controversy around it. Though some say it’s just urine and some say it’s a separate substance, the attempt to nullify female pleasure through scientific discourse is a common and historic tool of patriarchal oppression. the placement of the fluid blurs the lines between female and male ejeaculate while the constancy recalls honey rather than urine. The image conveys beauty, and self possession that defies the need for tyrannical taxonomy.

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networks disrupting bodies, not human not animal never whole.

Powerful Women

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Returning to nudes that reflect images of women I used to draw when I was 11. The figures were often thick strong mythic figures, nude but not sexualised. I want to continue creating images of strong female figures which reflect my own ideals, rather than ones imposed upon me. I have always felt uncomfortable as a woman. The roles we are meant to play are so ingrained and so related to a specific physical “type” that my profound discomfort with my inability/disinclination to conform has alienated me from my own body. this is doubled by the “male gaze” which approaches women as mysterious objects rather than empowered presences. When one is constantly confronted with images of you form as empty unreliable vessels for other’s pleasures how can you see your experience of agency and humanity as something that is recognised/valid?

pinkbuttspaceoditycrouchin This is also return to figurative work after devoting a good deal of time to doing backgrounds for my recent collaboration. Composition and depth has become much more of a concern, and my use of colour and line had definitely improved.

Playing with Zines

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After my research seminar with Linda Stupart I was excited to try zine making. In particular I was fascinated by the process of creating a mini- zine.

Myra Dracopoulos and I wound up co-creating a zine that incorporated some of the ideas Linda introduced in her seminar:

  • Juxtaposing found material
  • Creating a folded zine with a poster on one side and content of the other
  • Minimal text
  •  appropriation of formal/stereotyped language

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Text reads: “An Informative Pamphlet” (front), “Thank you (back)

Each page of the zine explores a different construct (Nature, celebration, warfare). The categories are simplistic and general; the images,disjointed and banal. Looking at it it creates a double sense of quick recognition and a lack of understanding. The images are bookended by text evoking protocol and established power (informative pamphlets are typically official publications steeped in false objectivity). The poster on the back is an enlarged photo of Shirley Temple. The picture in and of it-self sets a playful tone. Much like the images within the zine. She is a relatively recognizable figure, the archetypical sugar-spice-everything nice screen presence. But also like the other photos she embodies a contradiction as well as a category. After her film carrier, Shirley Temple became a U.S. diplomat to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and Chief of Protocol of the United States. Her diplomatic work is far less well known and almost completely divorced from her pop-culture identity (mirroring the subversive dissonance of the other images).

I made a second e-zine on my own developing some of the themes found in An Informative Pamphlet. How to Use a Phone deals primarily with themes of work, fantasy, fractured social categories, found text,  informative/objective/imperative writing, and the hierarchy of images/image making techniques. The text is borrowed from a wiki-how article on how to use the phone. The advertisements are also found, collected from various London telephone boxes. The composition borrows its aesthetic from the shapes and colours of Matisse’s cut outs. The double text also forces the viewer to literally read “in-between the lines”. It’s a terrible visual pun, but hopefully protects from the even greater danger of being taken too seriously.

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