Sunday, March 29, 2009

SMP Images

For now you can access my St. Mary's Project e-portfolio here:
Thanks for inquiring!

Femme (l'Ange)
Fall Semester

Spring Semester

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I suppose you'd like to see how Temple looked, eh?

The quality of the painted fabric was just perfect - opaque at an angle and sheer from straight on. After much experimentation, the meat turned out exactly how I imagined.

In hindsight, I allowed debate over use of words to influence the final product...I would have liked to see how the words would engage people differently.

Three painted rocks were taken.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Final Project Proposal: IS YOUR TEMPLE


red blood cells

connective tissue

Proposed SITE: Upper Deck Hallway of the Campus Center.
Concept: A curtain of materials combined reference connective tissue or red blood cells in a vein will be hung in the window (between window & counter.) On the counter top three settings of rocks "dressed" as steaks each on its own sheet of handmade paper.
On the papers are written the words: "IS" "YOUR" "TEMPLE".
Vegetable matter
Paper pulp
#3 Gravel rocks
Handmade Paper

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Final Project: Research & Ideas

Class Topic Offered: Animal, Vegetable or Mineral
Choice: Animal, Biological Identity

Felix Gonzalez-Torres uses multiplicity of material to illustrate "identity" as including multiple parts of a whole. This perspective can philosophically be applied to any range of subjective relationships, people composed of cells composed of molecules composed of atoms composed of particles... yet it is a viewpoint that has been subverted by the enormous implications of itself.

Gonzalez-Torres' candy piles have their own identities - by way of inviting the audience to partake of the candy, the identity lives in a state of flux and decay. The sculpture engages the audience physically and mentally, taking candy represents human desire, sensual pleasure, or reward - laden with guilt and potentially sickness.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Untitled, 1991

Untitled, 1991 (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991

Untitled (Beginning),1994

Images Source:

Barbara Kruger

Untitled (Your Body Is a Battle Ground), 1989

Image Source:

I plan on blending Gonzalez-Torres' expressions with the work of Barbara Kruger. Conscientization is the goal - to make the audience aware of their personal, subjective biological context as it reflects the societal context of biology it is situated within. Specifically with regards to blood, meat or muscle= animal + mineral.

While my ideas similarly relate to transubstantiation, unlike Gonzalez-Torres I am not prepared to address change or decay. I am going for awareness of self-composition and the correlation of flesh=flesh.

IDEAS: Desired location is a portion of the window-seating in the hallway of the Upper Deck, Campus Center.

1.) Dinner settings: Dishes and flatware made from paper pulp and food made of various rocks, all painted in a fashion to "dress" the materials in their new context, (without entirely covering their original material identities.) Menu listing elemental components or biological data of food composition.

2.) Fabricated steaks laid on a "table runner" made to resemble sewn blood cells. Menu listing elemental components or biological data of food composition -or- 1-3 word message in contrasting value underneath tablerunner.

3.) Curtain of cells backlit (burgundy) by sunny window with 1-3 word message in contrasting value through the curtain.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Site-Specific Art

Response to the reading Introduction: Site Specifics
From the book Site-Specific Art by Nick Kayr

In this reading, the idea of 'site' as 'place' is explored. A preoccupation lies with deconstructing the term 'place' with regards to movement and temporal change. Much effort is spent in defining what 'place' is NOT. Mention of Auge's notion of non-place sums up this philosophical writing - " Auge describes it...non-place is relation to place, even as that relationship is one of displacement." (11)

Things, spaces, and their order are all dependent on relationships and interaction.

"Place and non-place are rather like opposed polarities: the first is never completely erased, the second never totally completed... identity and relations is ceaselessly rewritten." Auge (11)

As Kayr is focused on the traveller's movement through space, his traveller's eye can be compared to the art audience eye. The traveller's movement has "also a parallel movement of the landscape which he catches only in partial glimpses...and, literally recomposed in the account he gives them...constructs a fictional relationship between gaze and landscape" as the viewer gazes upon art.

The most valuable ideas I extracted regarding site-specificity is related to Kayr's discussion of de Certeau's idea of "'place' as an ordered and ordering system realised in spatial practices."(4)
SPACE = practised place = place of USE
Example: language space = text
So does art space = the object?
Site-specific art includes location space as part of its USE, thus:
site-specific art space = object + location

Q: Do temporal forces make everything perishable?
Q: What has more bearing on a place - the subjectivity of the traveller or the relationships that define the space?
Q: Does art space = the object, or it's geographical and temporal place?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Installation Art Considered

Response to the class reading: INTRODUCTION the museum problem by Graham Coulter-Smith

Walter de Maria's, Earth Room, first executed in the Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, 1968. De Maria filled the gallery with soil to a depth of 56cm (22 inches)
Pictured here is The New York Earth Room, 1977

In this reading, the roots of installation art are traced back to the 'tansgressive aesthetics' of Dada and Surrealism which also inspired radical avante garde art of the 1960's.

The ideas and values of these artforms emphasize issues of immersion and deconstruction of traditionalism. Walter de Maria's Earth Room models these concerns addressed in the reading:
Involvement between the viewer & the art by engagement of multiple senses. (2)
Activates the viewer to think. (2)
Uses non-traditional material. (2)
Integrates art with life-praxis, read personal account linked below. (4)
'Plays' with the institutional identity of the art gallery by transforming the space. (4)

Coulter-Smith argues that transgression or deconstruction are embodied by other movements, avante garde of early-mid 20th century and contemporary decontructive art respectively. A shift of meaning from transgression towards the idea of 'play' is credited to Jacques Derrida(1981) "who also introduce the term 'decontruction' into cultural theory." (4)

"Most installation artists play with that fabric[of the art gallery/museum] rather than trying to genuinely critique it...transgression has become a civilised activity to be protected and preserved by the art museum...installation art graphically illustrates the gallery-bound and socially segregated character of fine art at the turn of the millenium." Does this artform deconstruct deconstructionism? Coulter-Smith identifies the separation of art from life as a problem for deconstructive art to overcome. (5)

To read a personal account of The New York Earth Room go here:

SMP Midterm Critiques

The SMP Projects that most interested me at this midterm critique were Jeannie's figurative sculptures and Ashley's collections.

Jeannie greatly shifted scale and texture this semester. Revised from life-size objects that hinted at human identity to smaller, 2'-3' female figures, she abandoned surface adornment for the innate texture of the materials she used, plaster coating wire superstructure and where the figures are 'wounded' we see that structure along with new materials appearing as insides bursting, oozing or gushing out. The pain of these figures is more immediate than last semester's sculptures, and movement is more evident in these new figures as well. Whereas last semester's sculptures offered the impression of evolution or rather devolution and disintegration over years, the new figures' struggles appear to culminate in action now, as we observe.

Ashley's collections are an intriguing diversion from last semester's embroidered portraits. She reworked the autobiographical content, from portraits of acquaintances using fabric from her mother's collection, she now presents portraits of collected items of her mother and father(spoons and oil cans respectively.) While her people portraits last semester increased greatly in size from one critique to the next, this new work presents the aspect of size in a new way that leads one to question its consideration. The spoons collection presents actual-size spoons. The oil can collection shows miniature portraits, and the button collection contains many individual buttons portrayed larger than life - 3"-4"(?) each contained in their own paper handmade shadowbox. The button collection brought to mind the fetishism behind the idea of collecting, and the careful attention people can ehibit with regards to these fetishes. I also got a small feeling of the artist fetishing her own labor, which may or may not be a layer of meaning behind the familial context of her collections of embroidered portraits.

After the considerable developmental advances these artists and the others have made over the school year I am intrigued to see the final exhibition.

Skillshare: Papermaking

Hannah and I presented the very basics of paper/pulp making from recycled paper, on the small scale. Here are the supplies & materials we used and the basic steps we demonstrated.

**Using a congealing substance helps with working with pulp sculpture, and I had forgotten that very important point in class(sorry!). Poor hippies like me use cooked flour paste, but we made due by adding two handfuls of Claycrete papier mache.

REMEMBER: The quality of your product reflects the quality of the materials. You can use an acid removing additive to help adjust for the use of recycled/unknown material, but be sure to research well any additive you use or mix.

Blender (dedicated to pulp, not to be used for food ever again)
large, shallow tub (plastic sweater box)
screen frames & screen shapes*
tons of newspaper
2 felt soakers per sheet of paper
paper scraps
hot water
flour(for pulp)
Optional Ideas:
natural fibers (onion skins, dryer lint)
construction paper (or dyes)
dried flowers or flat objects/paper shapes
laser printed photo (or ink-jet if you want to get funky)
*small shapes cut from screen make shaped pulp decoration
toothpicks (to make beads)

Demonstration Steps:
Prepare drying table for paper or armature for pulp sculpture.
Prepare pulp slurry, thin for paper or thick with added congelant for sculpture.
Dredge the papermaking screen and sculpt beads or sculptural forms.
Drying the paper or sculpture.

- Boil plant fibers like onion skins or flower petals in water and add that to the blender or to the slurry tub.
- Construction paper dyes the water and white scrap paper while colored copy paper retains its color. These make a great combo for multiple colors.
- Dried Flowers, paper cutouts, laser-printed photos and other flat objects can be sandwiched between 2 thin layers of fresh wet paper.
- Shapes cut from screen can be dipped in the slurry and turned out to decorate a fresh wet piece of paper for a 2D composition.
Make a love letter
Cover a book
Bind your own book
Cover a frame
Make a lampshade
Make some beads
Make some art, 2D or 3D.

An excellent resource for Papermaking Beginners:

Also, I love Dick Blick:

Michelle Samour

From Earth ro Sky

Article about Michelle Samour: SMFA Boston Faculty; Michelle Samour, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2007

Visiting Artist: Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman's lecture was stimulating, and increased my interest in digital media(the dark side of the force.) He discussed three of his works and some more concepts in development, as well as aspects process of making and some driving issues and societal concerns that motivate his work. What I like about the work he showed us is that it stimulates multiple senses and the labor is evident. He descibed the making of Modern Times as years of collecting ideas, vignettes and graphics, and weaving them together and collaborating with George Cicci for sound. Thoughtful attention to detail on multiple conceptual levels results in a work that continues to engage even familiar audiences.

It is interesting how artwork, espially installation work, takes on a new life after it leaves the studio. Audience interaction and consideration changes purpose and meaning over time. Coleman told the anecdote about this regarding his work Spatiodynamics which includess a room-sized machine comprised of fans and fabric landscape, in addition to a live video feed of the landscape located in the hall outside the sculpture. To make the machine appear light, Coleman suspended it from the ceiling. As an unexpected result, some of the audience apparently lay on the floor underneath the work to observe the simulated changing landscape.

A most interesting conversation starter gleaned from Coleman's lecture is his point that we are more concerned with our "data bodies" than our "physical bodies". He suggested the choice between allowing a single change to your credit score or a slap in the face and most people would choose a slap in the face. Your face will recover, you'll put ice on it and the pain will go away. But you have no control over your credit report, part of your data body. This led to technologies such as fingerprint and retinal scans incorporating themselves into society. Hmmmm Thanks for that one, Chris Coleman.

Coleman's Site

Modern Times

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


Conclusion of the Marriage: Hope Chest Project
Presented at the St. Mary's College 2007 Women's Studies Colloquium: HITCHED!
Behold a divinely inane but entertaining device: look, touch and enjoy!

After much deliberation the committee decided to invest in Psyence.

For the purpose of divining our readiness for commitment, Moderne Teknologie enhances the effectiveness of our intuition.

Inquirers, place yourselves at each end of the machine looking in directly through the center. Together, grasp the lever on top to move it back and forth, turning the lens. Observe variations of perception facilitated by this progressive device.