This week’s art activity was quite interesting! I had never even thought of the possibility of using the app Snapchat to do art! Personally, I simply use Snapchat as just another means of communication between friends to add a little extra visual as to what I am doing throughout my day. Occasionally I will post to my Snapchat story a photo that I have tried to take artistically, but I never really put that much effort into it since it is gone within 24 hours. I really do think this is an interesting and cool activity to do. It is a refreshing change from the typical drawing or sculpture activities that an art class would do.
For my Snapchat activity, I not only snapped my usual group of friends that I send updates to, but I also snapped a few new people from the class as well, which was pretty fun! I did the usual updates of my day, which included a selfie and a picture of my coffee that day. However, I also wanted to do something similar to our artist of the week Janet Cardiff! I wanted to incorporate some sort of “tour” of where I was one day this week, which is super easy to do with the video feature on Snapchat! On Saturday, my younger sisters and I took a trip to the California State Fair, and I thought that would be a fun place to capture my video! WordPress won’t let me attach the actual video that I took, so I guess I will just have to explain it. I took the video while riding the swing ride at the fair, so the video is basically a 360 degree video panorama of the entire fair, which I thought was pretty cool (and I got some great feedback and replies to it as well)! You could also hear all of the sounds that go on around you while you are at a fair in the snapchat video, which made it feel like a very condensed version of one of Cardiff’s “tours”. I really enjoyed using Snapchat as my medium for art this week!
What I propose for a Snapchat activity for this class would be to create and tell a story with mini “tours” like the ones that Cardiff constructs and the one that I just described above. I think that this activity really meshed well with the artist of the week, as the form of art is quite similar, so I believe the learning and retention of information about the artist AND art form would be so great if the two were connected like this. I find it so interesting to see what my classmates are up to in their day to day lives (some people do the coolest things and travel to the coolest places!). So, by having them create mini “tours” it allows them to try out and play around with this type of art and to also learn about their peers! I think it would be a super fun idea and I’m glad that someone gave you this idea in the first place!
Janet Cardiff’s form of art is one that is quite unique from anything else that we have looked at during this class. This type of art is a multi-sensory experience. Her art serves as a sort of mini tour of different environments. These tours are not only visible to the eye, but there are also components to it that are able to be heard. These sounds give a whole different dimension to the art and allow the audience taking it in to experience art in a way that we don’t normally get to. If you take away the visual aspect of the art and just listen to the audio (maybe even with closing your eyes), it has a very different feel to it (one interesting observation made by a couple of us in the discussion board was that it reminded us of something similar to Pink Floyd). It is most definitely a much different experience taking in the art solely through sound. Your imagination paints its own picture of what it believes the sounds are telling it, sort of like a dream, when you are trying to fall asleep and taking in different sounds.
Cardiff’s “tours” are much like some exhibits that I have had the privilege of observing in the art galleries at CSULB. These exhibits are almost interactive in the sense that they are not only visual, but audio pieces as well (most of them play different mixes of music), and the audience is able to react in different ways to the how the installations make them feel. Music in particular has a way of bringing out certain emotions from people, and I believe that incorporating it with the visual arts is a beautiful combination.
In addition to the sounds incorporated into Cardiff’s work, there are many outside factors that play a part in her art as well. For example, there are many people that move around and go through the scene in the background of her “tours”. Some might suggest that Cardiff just set up the camera and randomly shot where she was, and didn’t take too much into consideration the surrounding activity. I, however, believe that she did take these into consideration, and placed them where it would work aesthetically into the tour. I don’t believe that an artist would be that nonchalant about their work.
Personally, my favorite piece of Cardiff’s was entitled “FOREST (for a thousand years)”. This “tour”, as can be deciphered from the title, is of a forest and people inhabiting it. The thing that I love most about this specific piece is that it shows every different aspect of the forest, and it is not just a single snapshot photograph of a forest. She pans all around with her video camera, showing the canopies of the green trees and the sky peeking through, down to the trunks, and all the way to the forest floor with all of the different debris and some wildlife. Next, she focuses on a group of people gathered all around each other sitting on tree trunks. The interesting thing about this group of people is that they are almost completely still, only a couple people move. I find this to be quite odd, however she must have some personal meaning to why this is the case. Finally, I greatly enjoyed the sounds of the forest that you hear in the background. This piece really makes you feel as if you are standing there, walking through the forest with Cardiff.
This week’s artist that we focused on was a photographer, which I found especially interesting because photography is the type of art that I love the most. In high school, my favorite teacher and my mentor was a photographer teacher. She taught me so much and it made such an impact on me and I still love it. Photography is such a versatile art form that you can do so much with. Also, what I found this week with Lee’s art is that the quality and type of art can vary as well.
At first glance, one might not blink twice at Nikki Lee’s photographs, I know I definitely didn’t. On the surface level, these photos merely look like they were taken on a disposable camera that you would buy at Rite Aid. However, after learning more about Lee and the content in her photographs, I admire her greatly. The way that she puts herself into her own photos and adapts to the stereotypes of the cultures she is trying to portray is so interesting. She is trying to send the message that no matter what culture, race, or stereotype we fall under, we are connected in some way, and we have more in common than we think. She truly is creating a sense or community with her art, which I find so unique and admirable. My favorite of her works is the one that I have attached. The culture that she is getting into character to portray is so different than her own, which I believe really exemplifies the message that she is trying to get across. There is no one stereotype or category that people fall under. We are all very similar and more alike than we could even imagine. We are told to believe that we belong to a certain category or type of people just based on the way we look, which is not true. I really admire Miss Lee’s art and I’m glad that we all got the opportunity to see her work and hear your lecture on her, Glenn.
This week’s assignment was one that I enjoyed a lot. I liked the way that we were able to take a place that means something to us or that we are in on a regular basis, and change it in a way to make it more efficient/to our liking. For my location, I chose the Belmont shore/2nd street area of Long Beach. This is a place that I am frequently in, as I do most of my shopping and eating on this street. I also recently just moved to an apartment right off of second street so it especially is an important location for me.
One main issue for this particular area is the parking. The only parking that is available to visitors of the area is street parking either at the meters or in the surrounding neighborhood. This causes a lot of inconvenience for the people who call Second street home. It takes me at least 10-15 minutes to find parking every time I come home, which I find to be absolutely ridiculous. Also, the one way streets throughout the neighborhoods are quite inconvenient and cause people to have to go out of their way to get to their destination. These two issues are what I focused on in my drawings.
I would like to start by apologizing for my lack of artistic ability, I spent so long trying to make sure that it represented the neighborhood somewhat accurately, I just cannot draw to save my life. The first drawing is of the neighborhood of Belmont Shore as it is now, and the second is the way that I would change it or the way I (and probably many others) wish it was. By putting in actual parking spots along Second, it would reduce the congestion and lack of parking throughout the neighborhood for residents. I also got rid of over half of the one way streets, as I just don’t see any need for them. This project was especially enjoyable because it had to do with something personal to my life and I liked being able to decide how to make things better in this area.
This week’s Artist of the Week was Joseph Cornell, who creates art out of “boxes”. This artist was extremely enjoyable for me to learn about. I think that creating art out of these sorts of boxes that hold memorabilia and cherished items or even random items that barely have meaning, can be so inspiring. There are so many different interpretations that can be thought of when observing this type of art. The reason why this art form and this artist connected so much with me personally is that my grandmother used to make art similar to this to display in her house. These boxes contained different pieces of memorabilia stored away from different trips or things from their childhood or when their children were growing up. This is similar to Cornell’s boxes because although the things he put in his boxes may not be from his actual travels, they hold sentimental value because they represent things that he believes in, his interests, his past, or places he wants to go. This type of art speaks to me specifically because I place such a high importance on traveling and the imagination. I find that your travels, whether they be actual travels around the world or “imagined travels”, can bring you a whole different perspective on life. The experiences and insight you can gain from traveling is unlike any other. Some of my most treasured possessions are those that I’ve gotten on trips or those that represent places I want to go.
My favorite piece of Cornell’s is a box that he created with a book! Cornell’s use of a book as the box could possibly mean that there is a connection between Cornell and this book and that he finds special meaning with it. Or, he could have no connection to the book at all and just thought it looked cool! That’s what I love about this art, there are so many interpretations for it. Inside of this box are little objects and photos, which I believe have some sort of connection to his family or the way that he was brought up. This piece seems to have sentimental value, which is why I admire it so much.
This week’s activity proved a little challenging for me. I am not the most technically savvy person when it comes to virtual design or editing (photoshop, software such as this, etc). That being said, I still mostly enjoyed playing around in this program (I used SketchUp). I tried learning the toolbar, but everything was pretty confusing and the tutorials on the side really didn’t explain things well. But, I used my basic understanding of how to use graphic design programs and did my best attempt at creating a 3D chair. Here are a couple pictures of my attempt:
I used to play computer games quite often when I was a kid (games such as Sims), and as I got older, I came to appreciate the design that went into making all of these games. The graphic designers who come up with computer and video games are extremely talented (I can’t even make a simple chair on a free editing software!) This truly is a unique art form and I admire those that are successful in it. I find my chair to be extremely amateur and some of my classmates did an incredible job on their chairs! Each of us has a different skill level with certain art platforms, and I suppose this just isn’t one of my strong skills! I still enjoyed getting to use this software though, it is a much different way to approach art as opposed to just simply drawing, painting, and sculpture.
I also tried to put my chair onto the Cal State Long Beach campus using Google Earth. I tried doing this over and over and over again for about an hour with little to no success, I tried putting it in and the chair showed up on campus, but it was so huge that it took up the entire CSULB campus. I fixed the scaling of the chair in SketchUp, but when I tried plugging it in again, it was no where to be found time and time again. I really wish that this had worked for me in the end, because I worked and worked at it for what seemed like forever. Overall, it was an interesting activity that I enjoyed, and wish I had been able to succeed like the video at.