Monday, April 7, 2014

The Show is Up and.........

Two academic years have passed and the moment I had been anxiously and wondrously waiting for has come and the big night has gone. It was a great journey to get there and I am very happy with the work I have created. I am pretty shocked at how much change has taken place the last two years. Graduate school really has been the experience I was hoping it would be. I have to thank Ric and Molly for being the back bone and facilitators of this program. You two really make this art machine function. I also have to thank Shannon for being my fantastic mentor for the past year and a half. I have grown so much intellectually because of her guidance. I also want to thank all of my cohorts who have been there for advice, venting, consoling, confiding, and critiquing.

As far as the work that was created for my thesis show I am at a point where I think I know where I am at with it. I guess writing the paper will be the test of that. I think the one aspect is that I need to concretely determine what the flat photo like photos in my show mean to the piece. That is maybe something I will talk about for my final critique. How about that, my last seminar critique, weird.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

With Five Weeks Left

So there are five or so weeks left until the thesis show and since my last critique I have mainly been in production mode. Since then I have completed the bookshelf I was making and am now part way through creating the piano. The piano will be the last object I am making and it has definitely been the most difficult. I had a studio visit with Ian Berry that went well and was encouraging towards the direction I am wanting to go. After the feedback from my last critique I was in a situation that the work had possibly became too abstract and the message wasn't being received. It felt strange at the moment but I realized this is where I want the work to be. I had to try and step back and assess the work objectively with the help of other studio visits to make sure the work is where it should be. I think the subject matter I am working with and the origins of the work can start to get to a place the becomes Jason's Selfie Photo Booth, which I am absolutely staying away from. For critique this week I am going to print one of the back drops to see what the reaction is to it when placed with one of the objects. As far as the images of the textures I presented last critique I decided I really want them in the show and I will present four of them portrait orientation and the size I am unsure of. I like these photos as a representation of the ability of images to skew perception. Both the simulacrums and the printed textures show two levels of disconnection from the real life objects. The simulacrums are highly deceptive due to the use of photography and its ability to accurately represent reality. When these images are arranged in a way that mimics reality it becomes harder to distinguish between the two. Then using the same materials as I use for the simulacrums, the prints tell a different story. This is due to what I consider being the use of cropping to recontextualize the simulacrum. I believe it mimics the use of cropping and selective perspective used within the selfie on social media. That is about it for now so here are some images of what I have been creating.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The End is in Sight, Unfortunately

So its the beginning of the final semester of grad school and it will be a wild ride. It will definitely be the busiest semester of grad school so far. With the combination of teaching, creating my thesis project, writing the thesis paper, and SPE coming up in March it will be intense to say the least. Everything is in full production mode right now and the pieces are starting to be finalized. At the moment both the fireplace and the refrigerator are done and a good amount of the pieces for the bookshelf are created. I am now starting to think heavily about how this is going to come together in the space. For critique this week I am going to be looking for feedback on two newer elements to the piece that I have been thinking about. One of them is pictured below and is an aspect I had thought about a lot throughout this work and that is the concept of composition and cropping. It is common language when talking about photography and it is used in every form of it, even the selfie. When composition and cropping is utilized in selfies it is a conscious choice to leave elements out or include elements that help give meaning to the purpose of the selfie being posted. Composition and cropping are aides in constructing an identity on social media sites. With this new element I want explore the idea of cropping and how the context of an image can be changed drastically. It is a fairly basic concept that is learned in photo 1, but I think it is important to bring up because of the references to conscious decisions made to deceive in some way that social media is loaded with. I want to use the same building blocks for each piece (the fireplace, and the print of brick) to create two iterations of the same materials. They are both Ink Jet Prints on Foam Board but through cropping and construction a different story is told. I want this to reference heavily the capability of the lens of a photograph to flatten and recontextualize subject matter. Here are are few images of what has been being created.

 The refrigerator completed

The faux wood for the bookshelves 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Keep on Keeping on

It is getting towards the end of the semester and the weight of graduation and the thesis show is starting to get quite hefty. There is a lot to think about, make, and write, but I am at a point in which I am getting very close to what I want my work to become for the thesis show. I know what all the elements will be as of right now. There are a few technical issues that need to be resolved and then a lot of making. Then to accompany the amount of making I have to do, it has come to my attention that this work is quite conceptual and is going to involve a lot of writing. I think this is even more daunting then the creating of the work for me right now. Some of the things I have been reading right now are a piece by Rosland Krausse titled Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism, Roland Barthe's The Structuralists Activity, and Susan Sontag's On Photography. The Krausse essay is becoming really important for me because of how she talks about the medium of video being one that uses the human psyche as a conduit of the message the video contains. The use of video seems to refer to something more human than other mediums. This is probably largely because it is capturing life in a manor that closely resembles how we experience life, through mirroring and the capturing of the passage of time. It isn't a snap shot like almost every other medium. It still allows for reflection like say a photograph, but it also embodies the notion of time. Which is something that is inescapable and video's ability to capture time is something that resonates with us in a more true fashion then other mediums. This is important for me in this work because I am trying to create a moment for viewers of my work to reflect on their position in the subject I have brought forward. The most important part in the essay for me is when Krausse refers to video's ability to both capture and transmit at the same time. This ability allows for the viewer to be placed in between being viewed and viewing. With the wireless cameras I am going to be using, this is exactly what I intend to create. The difference is that the moment when the viewer is aware of being viewed and also being able to view is going to take place on a smart phone. It will hopefully make the viewer hyper aware of their position in the subject I am referring to, but with an awkward tension because the context of the interaction with the individuals smart phone becomes less private and more intrusive. With the writing from Barthe I was interested in how he talked about the simulacra. He refers to it as "intellect added to object, and this addition has an important anthropological value, in that it is man himself, his history, his situation, his freedom, and the very resistance which nature offers to his mind". For me the simulacra will become a place of reflection chosen by and filtered by the artist to accentuate the subject being displayed. I will have a few simulacra forms in this body of work. The fireplace being one of them.

As far as what I have been making I have finished the fireplace for the most part. It just needs the picture frames and images to go in them. I brought it out into space yesterday and saw it for the first time free standing and I am happy with it. I am also going to be making a refrigerator and a book shelf. I chose these objects because they are traditionally used as places to tell stories about the individual who owns them. The fireplace tells the story of loved ones, vacations, family, all with the use of photography. The refrigerator is a place to show achievements and details of a person everyday life. The book shelf is a place where an individual gets to compose a story that hints at intelligence, friends, family, and life interests. These are now being replaced and/or added to by the use of image sharing on social media. The images we share tell of these stories and are just as highly composed as the traditional objects. I am now having to decide if the prints of spaces are going to join with the three dimensional objects or if the two are going to be separate. The drawing below is a quick sketch of what it would look like if they were together.

This is what the fireplace looks like as of right now.

Then this is the wireless camera I am going to be using in the show. I haven't gotten to test it out yet so fingers crossed on this one.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Progress and Shows

       These past few weeks have been particularly busy but really fantastic. Some of the highlights were a trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art to see the Carrie Mae Weems show. It was fantastic, it was 3 decades of work ranging from photography, installation, video, and audio components. Another highlight was that I framed a piece for a show in Alexandria Virginia. It was the first time I had shipped a piece which was a bit of an awakening on the price of shipping. I'm really excited to be part of this show. I have a the show's evite later in this blog post. Then about two weeks ago I was contacted on Instagram by a guy named James. We had a little conversation about some of my work I had posted and he then invited me to do an online performance piece for a show called "light grey" at his artist run space called Jahz Project Space out on LA. Jahz is a really great artist run exhibition space that focuses on giving emerging and experimental artist a place to show their work in a formal setting. I haven't met them in person but their collective seems to have a ton of energy and focuses all on putting on events for people to enjoy what they all enjoy so much. Once I have a bit more documentation of the performance I will share that but for now I have a few images of where it took place in the studio space as well as what it should have  looked like on the LA side.

     As far as the thesis project goes, I am starting to work on smaller pieces that explore elements of my interest in social media. I want to create a few works that are smaller and faster to flush out ideas that I will then hopefully have a solid grasp of these ideas to integrate into my thesis piece. One of those smaller pieces is flushing out the use of the lightbox I had been using before with still images. I am now putting a monitor behind the obscured plexiglass. I really like it so far, it adds a more relatable and voyeuristic element that the stills didn't quite have. I am going to try a few physical variations of it to see what may work best. It may possibly be a false wall that will have holes cut the size an iPhone that will have the monitors set behind the false wall. So as for now I am exploring the micro aspects of this thesis project in order to better understand the macro.

He are a few images of what has been happening. We all love images. 

This is what it should have looked like from the viewers point of view

This was the set up for the performance in the studio space

A detail of the set up

This is a short video clip of what the performance should have looked like on the LA side

This is the evite for the Disconnect show in Alexandria Virginia

The piece all framed up and ready to be shipped

and the horrible process of framing it myself

These are the two light boxes I have created. The one on the right is the still image and the left is the video.

And lastly is just a little fun construction that may make its way into the final piece, but playing a bit larger of a role in the message. 

Thanks for looking and we will see you next time


Monday, September 16, 2013

Thinking and Making

Trying to find the balance between thinking and making. It is an interesting task and I think it will switch between which areas sees more concentration though out the semester. There has been a lot of thinking leading up to this weekend that just passed. It has set me in a direction that I think is a good place to be. I got around to making a bit this weekend and I remembered how enjoyable that time is. I am very much looking forward to doing it more this year. So what my thinking has provided me is a preliminary thesis statement/question. It is as follows:

With the growing popularity of images on social media as a medium for individualization and social flag planting, what effect does that have on the social commodity of the "selfie".

I have also laid out three areas of research I am going to focus on. Those are the history of the photographic self portrait, digital anthropology focusing on image sharing, and contemporary issues in sociology that lead to our constant need to reformat our identity via social medias.

Some artist I am influenced by for this work are. Pipilotti Rist, Guy Ben Ner, Olaf Bruening, Thomas Demand, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, and Yasumasa Morimora.

Then as far as the physical aspect of this piece, I have for the moment settled on a form that I'm excited about. This form is going to be an installation piece in which I create a living room inside the gallery. I am going to make fake walls that are approximately 4 feet in from the gallery walls and the fake walls will be photographic prints. These prints will depict the interior walls of a living room with all the decorations that adorn them. Then within the living room space I will lay down carpet and place some functional furniture. I will also then make my own furniture pieces out of a non functional material that is made to look like its real life counter part. Within the space there will be numerous self-portraits of me to push the narcissism factor. While people move around the space they will be recorded by a video camera hidden within the room that when the people move into its frame the image being captured looks like an actual living room setting. This image will then be able to be viewed on a computer that is behind a small wall creating a private viewing area and also on a smart phone via an app or direct link to a viewing website. Participants will be encouraged to screen capture the image and send it out to the web with a specific hashtag attached to it. I will then be able to retrieve these images and archive them. The role of the poster of the image will be flipped and the decisive moment is taken away from the person being displayed in the pseudo "selfie. Hopefully this all works out the way it looks in my head. I know it probably won't but thats the fun part in some ways. I have a surveillance camera that Shannon lent me to play for for a bit until the one I ordered today comes in the mail. The one I purchased today actually sends out a wireless signal and gives the video feed an IP address that is accessible on pretty much any device that has an internet connection.

Here are some images of things I have been making.

TV monitor behind obstructed plexiglass. This may be a viewing option for the installation. Either way I like how it is turning out. It needs to be framed though.

There is space between the monitor and the plexi so you can look in to reveal the full picture.

Trying out a green screen for my back drops to hopefully make my life easier. Not the right color green but it was a mistint at Lowes so I'll give it a try

 This is a print for a group show in Virginia I am a part of. Still needs to be framed and shipped.

This is part of the setup I am going to have for crit on Thursday. The fun part isn't set up yet.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to the School Grind

So it has been quite a while since I had blogged last. The end of last semester started amping up quickly  and I wasn't finding the time to blog about what I was up to. To summarize, my project for the spring 2013 semester went really well. I found a subject that I am excited about and I think will be a good topic to make work about. After the semester was over summer hit and it was great to take some time off. It didn't equate into taking much physical time off because I ended up scheduling myself to work every day of the week, but the mental time off was great. During the summer I had applied to a few shows and ended up getting into two of them. One is a solo show at ROY G BIV gallery here in Columbus and the other is a group show at the Target Gallery in Alexandria Virginia. I am very excited about these two shows and it will definitely be an even hotter fire under my ass to get making work. In the last few weeks of summer I got the fantastic news that I would be teaching a Foundation Studies Design class in the fall semester. That basically takes me to where we are now at the beginning of what is sure to be a long a busy year. But one that will hopefully be full of many rewards.

As far as the project I am thinking about for my thesis year, it is going to still be focused on our use of social media. I am in the process of narrowing down the exact focus the thesis show will be about. It is bouncing between a few areas of social media that I find interesting of problematic. One is the disconnection between the users we label as "friends" or "followers". Another is the act of viewing images on social media sites contrasted to the decisive moments chosen by the people who are posting the images. I am always interested in the constructed identity that is made so easy by these technologies. Its now going to be time to try and start to narrow this topic down so I can focus on relevant things to research.

Below are some images from last semesters work:

The title of this series of work is "Post Identity"

Videos From the series

Installation Views