FINALLY! My thesis is done. Please click on the symposium poster image above to access the Graduate Thesis Work 2014 site brought to you by the California College of the Arts. You will be able to read my thesis abstract there and learn a bit more about my overall project. If you want further details or read it (goddess bless you because I have NO idea who would want to read it other than my committee and fellow cohort – because they were required to read it!), please feel free to contact me via the contact form on this blog site or the email provided on the CCA grad site. Thank you!!
Hello Family and Friends,
I can’t believe the semester is almost over. My research papers on the other hand have yet to be completed. I’m still working on them. Not to fear, they will get done. Feel free to send me messages of encouragement and a reminder to be kind to myself. I’m sure there will be instances in the next couple of weeks where I start hyperventilating because, sometimes, I do forget to do this thing called breathing. In any case, if you’re interested, these are the titles for my two research papers:
Engendered Rhizome: Explorations of Embodiment through the Machine
On the Margins: Comparative Analysis of Bohemian Paris and American Hacker Culture and the Emergence of New Media Arts and Computational Aesthetics
Good times! I’ll probably post excerpts when I’m done with the papers. This summer, I’ll be blogging a lot more (the good stuff). Promise. Thanks for reading and, again, feel free to ask me, “Ummm, what the hell is a rhizome?” Trust me, if I can explain it to you, I’ll be happy. 🙂
We create a community of multi-disciplinary artists who fuse eastern philosophies and practices in their work. This new community engages musicians, architects, visual artists, sculptors, videographers, and others in a conversation and exchange that evokes the spirit of John Cage and his impact on avant-garde art that permeates and vibrates throughout the bay area. ~ Hanna Ragev, Co-Curator
Mathematicians, scientists, and artists are all driven by uncertainty. Chance operations might entail risk but it also lends itself well towards calculated steps. All of these factors drive innovation. As difficult as it may be to relinquish control in anything we do, chance is what helps create substantive work. This is particularly true for artists. But the belief that chance will deliver success is futile. Yet, with these elements, any favorable outcome from chance offers a catharsis from unproductive habits and stagnancy. One of the most notable iconic art figures, John Cage, best known for his experimental methods and approaches to music and art creation takes center stage as the inspiration for current exhibition Get Lucky: The Culture of Chance now showing at the SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco, CA. Curators, Hanna Regev and Justin Hoover, gathered a wide array of talented artists working in a wide range of media paying homage to Cage’s legacy.
Chance operation, which was so boldly undertaken by John Cage as a structural tool for fine art production is often misunderstood as haphazard. It is quite the opposite. John Cage developed exact structures with precise timing, scoring, and rule sets in order to re-frame the relationship between chance and choice in the western tradition. He used a proscenium setting to realize his pieces and yet his influence expanded to all aspects of contemporary and modern art. He largely looked to Chinese and Japanese traditional cultures for influence in how to determine his chance structures and opened the door for a precise indeterminacy. We are much in debt to his playfulness and precision. ~ Justin Hoover, Co-Curator
As Hoover mentioned, the relationship between chance and choice inevitably creates structure as seen in the artworks shown in Get Lucky. From textiles to multimedia installations, the show offers the viewer an incredible look into Cage’s influence on contemporary art practitioners. Michelle Wilson’s edible paper explores creating from a variety of food and vegetable products that look at unpredictability. Michael Bartalos’s cardboard boxes mimic building blocks with words that can be rearranged to create words and phrases leaving it up to the viewer to decide what other viewers will read. Immediately to the left and right, Tony May’s and David Middlebrook’s boat pieces are inversions of the other. One suspended while the other seems held up precariously by what appears to be bamboo shoots. In the midst of all the activity, sounds of Garrett La Fever, David Molina, and Mickey Tachibana’s collective artwork, Memory Web, resonate from the screening room. On the other side of the gallery, Mauro ffortisimo plays impromptu pieces from his deconstructed piano. ZERO1 alumni, Scott Kildall and Tim Roseborough present the idea of chance as a game. Aspects of the opening event harked to the days of Happenings and the emergence of relational aesthetics. As the viewers became active participants in the creation of art, the interplay between creation and consumption between artist and viewer presents another variable in how the art objects evolve.
Exhibiting artists include:
Nick Agid, Kirkman Amyx, Michael Bartalos, Richard Berger, Antonio Cortez, EXCOR (led by Sherry Parker), Mauro ffortisimo, Nancy Genn, Bryan Hewitt, Vita Hewitt, Robin Hill, Janet Jones, Nolan Jones, Theodora Varnay Jones, Jonathon Keats, Scott Kildall, Naomie Kremer, Jon Kuzmich, Garrett La Fever, Tony May, Jim Melchert, David Middlebrook, David Molina, Luke Ogrydziak, Micky Tachibana, Sandra Ortiz Taylor, Zoe Prillinger, Renee Rhodes, Tim Roseborough, Micky Tachibana, Kenneth Wilkes, Michelle Wilson
Originally posted to ZERO1. Please view posting here
In certain types of engineering practices, there’s this idea that the computer and mathematics itself are sort of a-cultural. That they only exist in their own technical and formal world. Every computer system is built within a social and historical context of its time.
~Professor Fox Harrell
Last year, I delved into work and research of Professor Fox Harrell. He runs the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE) Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Click here for an introduction to the ICE lab.
The lab’s most recent work is the AIR Project, which stands for Advanced Identity Representation. This particular project looks at the ways in which end users can actively create a richer, dynamic identity within the virtual world. I’m oversimplifying here but I highly encourage you to visit the project site to read immerse yourself in the details. Although his work is based on computation and artificial intelligence (AI), the focus is on the human condition and our (virtual) interactions. This type of new media art helps shed light on the way we behave, perceive, and inevitably mesh and mold into identities we have created for ourselves. More to follow…
If you’re familiar with David Fincher‘s, The Social Network, adapted from The Accidental Millionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, you may remember the scene where Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, creates Facemash in one evening. [If you’re not familiar with the movie, click on Facemash to learn more about it.] Although comparing women’s level of attractiveness is rather offensive (to many, not all), people do this everyday (yes, break out your Malcolm Gladwell). People are critical especially when there’s a high level of anonymity to the judgement.
OKFocus created ART or NOT, which is a way for you to rate whether something is art or not. Quite honestly, it was challenging for me to rate anything because much of the art experience depends on context. The environment and space around a work is just as important. Or, is it? With so many works of art across disciplines and mediums, anything is art. Right? Well, here’s your chance to pass judgement. ART or NOT allows you to rate works (or non-works) and see what percentage of the population believed whether it was art or not. You will find, soon enough, that you question what you believe and perceive as art. Quite the mental exercise if you ask me. Make it a family activity, if you want to avoid the awkward obligatory holiday conversation, this will definitely be a good discussion topic. Enjoy!
Lastly, Happy Holidays to you! 🙂