Lecture 2 Review

Peter Whittenberger: Like This and the Nature of Things to Come

Peter Whittenberg, a MFA student at UNR, presented his thesis gallery today. In his lecture, he focused on his work and the conceptual purposes of it. Whittenberg presented many different aspects of his work, starting with work from years ago to contemporary work. All of his work focuses around social practices and he uses interactive art and cooperation as a way of portraying this idea of routine and social connection.

Two of his projects that caught my interest were “Permanent: My One And Only” and “Trace: Editioned Signature Diary”. “Permanent: My One And Only” is simply a spoon that Whittenberger carries around with him at all times and it is the only spoon that he can use for the rest of his life. It began as a representation of his wife and has quickly turned into something that has attained a whole new representation. It has become a part of Whittenberger’s everyday routine and it is now a part of him. The significance of this spoon is not only about his faithfulness to his wife, but also represents every promise that he ever made. “Trace: Editioned Signature Diary” is a small booklet in which Whittenberger catalogues every place that he ever signs his name. This project, just like the last one, is a lifelong project. This project is a self-inflicted invasion of privacy because, like Whittenberger stated, almost everywhere he purchases something from will be documented and there will be nothing to hide. This work is significant because he posts his work online for the public to see, so there isn’t a purchase that he can hide (unless he lies and starts paying for things in cash). These works don’t necessarily question our lives and our daily routines, but they do make the viewer reflect on their daily lives.

Whittenberger’s work made me wonder what my daily routine was. It was an interesting way of discussing our everyday, normal lives, and it gave the audience a sense of comfort or uneasiness depending on their own views of their daily life. Overall, Whittenberg’s work was an intriguing way of looking at our daily conventional practices.

Peter Whittenberger’s Work

Lecture 1 Review

Aaron Reed: The Blue Lacuna

During the week of the Perspectives. 09 showing, I attended a lecture at the Joe Crowley Student Union that featured five artists. The artists were Georgie Roxby Smith, Christina Corfield, Sarah Soriano, Joe Cantrell, and Aaron Reed. Each one of the artists had a chance to introduce themselves, describe a little about their education, tell us the ideas behind all of their work and then show us their work. Each artist their own original style and all of them were engaging lectures, but the most memorable one for me was Aaron Reed’s work and lecture.

Aaron Reed is a Graduate student studying at the UC Santa Cruz and has already created one of the longest online interactive novels available, Blue Lacuna. The most interesting thing about Reed’s work was the intense passion that he had for his work. He loved speaking about his work, and his lecture was enthusiastic and it kept the audience fully engaged. He knew, in detail, about everything that he was involved in. After he introduced himself and told the audience a bit about his past, he really went into depth about the way a story in constructed. He explained all the different types of story structures and made it clear that every decision in a story will change the story. That was his main point of interest and he focused on this for the majority of the lecture. Reed’s story structure that he uses in his interactive novel his called something to the effect of a inter-weaved structure. Which means that there are a few major decisions that must be made and every one will lead to the same outcome. I learned a lot from Reed’s discussion and I even downloaded the game for myself to give it a shot. It’s a basic format, but I enjoyed trying the game for a while.

The Blue Lacuna

Final Writing Assignment

Public Art Comes in All Ways, Shapes, and Sizes

Art has been displayed in public settings for thousands of years. From ancient Egypt until now, public art has been an asset to the culture of art. Public art in our culture has changed in a variety of ways and especially in the way in which it is displayed and its purpose. Now that technology is much more advanced than ancient Egypt, it is far easier to create large public art. There are many different ways in which large public art is created, and the motives behind artists’ work is also diverse. Four artists that are recognized worldwide for their large public artwork are Krzysztof Wodiczko, Christo and Jeanne-Claude (partners), and Jenny Holzer. Wodiczko, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and Holzer all create large public art, but they use different types of technology and create their artwork for different purposes.

Krzysztof Wodiczko is a projection and electronic media artist born and raised in Warsaw, Poland. He studied art in Poland and graduated with a degree in industrial design. Wodiczko’s art utilizes his knowledge of building and architectural design because he uses video and slide projections against buildings and monuments. His work is politically driven and most of his work is controversial due to its content. Wodiczko uses his projections in a public setting as a way of trying to heal people that have been victims of traumatic experiences. It allows the victims to share their experiences with others that have endured similar incidents and gives them a chance to cope with their pain. For example, one of his most recent works, titled “Veterans’ Flame”, is a form of memorial that projects a flame on a brick wall of Fort Jay at Governor’s Island, New York City (Fort Jay has been in existence since the early 1800s and has held soldiers from past American wars). Along with the projection of the flame is an audio recording of Iraqi War Veterans telling their stories and reliving their experiences at war.

Krzysztof Wodiczko’s “Veterans’ Flame”

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are two European-born installation artists that have created massive sculptures around the world. Christo studied art in Bulgaria and Jeanne-Claude studied Latin and Philosophy at the University of Tunis. Their work is completely funded at their own expense, and the public works that they create are very expensive and time consuming projects. Their giant installations have been placed around the world and have used public buildings and places as their canvases. Some of their works have been controversial because of the amount of money, time, employment and space that they occupy. One of their most controversial works was “Running Fence”. This work was a 24 and 1/2 mile, 18 foot high fence that ran through the farmlands of a California city north of San Francisco. The work was controversial because it ran through the land of 59 ranchers, across 14 different roads, and a few hundred feet into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The work took: “forty-two months of collaborative efforts, the ranchers’ participation, eighteen public hearings, three sessions at the Superior Courts of California, the drafting of a four-hundred and fifty page Environmental Impact Report and the temporary use of hills, the sky and the Ocean.”

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “Running Fence”

Jenny Holzer is an American conceptual artist that was born and raised in Gallipolis, Ohio. Holzer attended three different schools to obtain her education and has three doctorates from three different schools. Her artwork is unique in the sense that it is usually only text. Some of her work utilizes projection technology and is displayed in well-known, and heavily traveled areas; while other types of her work are LED sculpture displays, painted on walls, on condoms, and a variety of other public places and things. Holzer’s work is not intended to be beautiful and it can be argued either for or against in that area. Holzer’s works are usually controversial and that is her intention. She publicly raises questions that most people think about, but will never ask or discuss. Her work has evolved over the years, and in recent years, has moved from projections of her own words, to the words of authors and poets. A collection of her work that has sparked a lot of attention recently are the projections done in the streets of Chicago in 2008. This work focused on “war, survival, grief and loss” and was displayed over a span of six nights.

Jenny Holzer, Chicago Projections, 2008

These four artists mentioned above are contemporary artists that were born and raised in different countries, educated in a variety of institutions, and created their work for various reasons and to appeal to a variety of audiences. The differences start with the very basic motives that each artist has created their artwork. For example, Wodiczko created “Veterans’ Flame” not only as a sort of healing process for the veterans, but also as a way of conveying the difficulties of the war in Iraq to American citizens. Christo and Jean-Claude’s work “Running Fence” was created purely for the reasons of relationship and beauty. Wodiczko’s work is made with the intent to heal the victims in the audience (or participants in some cases), or to reveal the truth behind traumatic events such as war and rape, whereas Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work was intended to show the relationship between the land and the man-made structure that was created as a compliment to the natural beauty of the land. Holzer’s work differs from both Wodiczko and Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work because it was created to question the politics behind war, analyze the struggles of survival, and to learn ways of dealing with grief and loss. Another way in which the four artist’s works differ is the way in which their work is presented. Wodiczko’s work is projected onto carefully selected monuments and usually incorporates a real-life aspect of sound or image to help convey his motives. An example of this is his placement of the projection “Veterans’ Flame” in the desolate hallways of Fort Jay accompanied by the actual stories and voices of veterans. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s works are primarily made by draping, hanging and/or constructing materials and fabric over carefully selected sites and pieces of land. “Running Fence” was specifically plotted out amongst the land and Christo made every sort of preparation possible to create this piece. Holzer’s work is projected or displayed using LED lights and it is always text; when the text is publicly displayed, the location is carefully chosen, but not necessarily for a particular reason. Holzer’s Chicago Projection exemplifies these practices because she used projectors that constantly scrolled text written by famous authors and poets. She selected different buildings around the city to display her artwork on, but for no specific reason other than their popularity. These differences are just a few that set these artists apart, but they also have a few similarities, as well.

There are similarities that can be seen through two of these artists, and there are also similarities that can be identified with all of them. There are some similarities that can be seen between Wodiczko and Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s works, but not many. One similarity between their work is the size of it. This is a given, but it should be recognized as important in the history of public art because they used this size as a way of questioning size versus content. And the other similarity between these artists’ work is that it brings people together to appreciate the work in their environment, not a gallery space. The only similarity between Christo and Jeanne-Claude and Holzer’s works are that they both large. Again, this is an obvious observation, but it is a relationship that most artists don’t share, and it just so happens that all four of these artist share this relationship. Wodiczko and Holzer have more in common than Christo and Jeanne-Claude did. Both of these artist utilize contemporary technology, such as projectors and lights to display their artwork. They also shared similar ideas and concepts in their work.  For instance, both artists used their imagery (in Holzer’s case the visualization of text and its relationship to architecture) to convey emotion in the viewers. They also both strived to help viewers find a sense of peace, as well as raise interest to topics that might otherwise be overlooked.

Public art is something that remains a large impact on society and it will continue to grow as technology grows. These four artists have used technology, new and old, to create pieces of public art that have made an impact on society. Their similarities are what draws their ideas together, and their differences are what sets them apart. Overall, the similarity that they all four share is the most important because it is a relationship that not many artists can say that they share, and that is the idea that they all create art that is larger than life.

Gallery Review

Sail On: Jane Kenoyer

Jane Kenoyer’s show at the Sheppard Gallery this semester was very successful. The work that she displayed was incredibly well done, and the entire setup and showing was great, as well. As an aspiring Bachelor of Fine Arts student, Kenoyer’s show was inspiring.

Kenoyer’s work has a lot of conceptual meaning to them and, along with her flawless touch, the sense of nostalgia that she portrays is soothing. A few of her paintings, like “Sail On” and “Shanghaied”, had a very strong sense of nostalgia and, at the same time, a feeling of wonder for what the future holds. All of her work utilizes a fairly muted color palette which helps to create a peaceful, serene scene. How Kenoyer lays down the paint is important, too, because the soft and flowing feeling of the paint really accentuates the tattoos that frequent the figures bodies. These tattoos, once again, also add to the nostalgic feeling because tattoos represent something that one obtains in the past, and more than likely symbolizes something that happened in the past. Another great thing about her work was how well the entire set of paintings matched so well. The theme was apparent through all of the works and this helped strengthen her work. My only criticism for her work is the lacking of detail for the stories within the paintings. There are some visual and textual clues, like the tattoos and the titles, but other than that, the story-lines are vague (but maybe that was intended).

This gallery showing was my favorite showing of the semester because it touched on something that I am really passionate about: love for family and friends, and really cherishing those relationships . Overall, Jane Kenoyer’s work is touching, memorable and describes the passion and attachment that people have for their loved ones.

Jane Kenoyer’s Work

Final Project

For my final project, I’ve created seven clips for Man With A Movie Camera. I selected to create clips for these sections of the film because: 1, no one had contributed clips to those parts of the film, and 2, because they sparked my interest visually. I used the mediums of video and still photography because I enjoy these mediums and I felt that they fit best with the film. Contributing to this worldwide project was a great opportunity and, one day, I think it would be a great challenge to recreate the entire film. Enjoy!






Final Project Proposal

For my final project I have decided that I’m going to recreate a scene/s from the global project Man With A Movie Camera. I want to use video, primarily, but some photography and animation might also be used. I would like to utilize the film technique of stop motion because it has the same eerie feeling as the original film did. As far as the scene/s that I’m going to recreate I am uncertain, but after viewing the entire project again, I will decide which scenes I will do.

Second Life Self-Portrait

HUD Self-Portrait


The Big Bang

Project #1

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