The second group I saw as first a series of 4 pieces that had a narrative quality to them and that best displayed my intentions for them and were the most complex in their ideas and in their visuals. The adjoining part to the second group is a series of 7 pieces that also contain a narrative that I wanted to distort the fabric of my imagined cityscape. With the idea being that a utopia and dystopia are not so different. The façade of a place alone can be used as its definition. This is, in a way reminiscent of post cards which typically show the best or the utopia of what a city has to offer, and in older post cards the images were just of things that the city possessed, nothing flashy but nothing harsh. However no one ever sends a post card that highlights the dystopian aspects of a city. Even though a city is made up of utopian and dystopian elements a like. No one ever sends you a post card of Venice that portrays it slowly sinking into the water. Even though that is no less true of an image and a fact as a bright colorful image of St Marco’s square in Venice. So, ultimately I would like these more narrative pieces to evolve into a series of dramatized utopia and dystopia postcards.
I have to agree with Becca’s commentary about the physical space within which the Day of the Locust exhibition was presented. The clean, modern gallery space allowed for the viewer to take in each piece individually. I was surprised by the the small amount of art that was displayed in the gallery, but I appreciated the restraint. This was the first time I had visited this type of exhibition and it was definitely an eye opening experience. The piece that I found most intriguing and was drawn to for the most amount of time was The Body Song by Jonathan Horowitz. I was very interested int he way the piece was presented. I viewed a lot of video pieces when I visited Venice for the 2011 Biennale, but many of them were projected onto large screens so many people could view them at once. The way the sound was projected through one pair of headphones created a sense of intimacy with the piece. This intimacy was strengthened by the size of the screen and the length of the cord connecting the headphones to the television. The subject of the video appeared to be very complex and I almost felt entranced by the audio that accompanied it. After watching the video for a few minutes and I assumed that it was many clips spliced together. After talking to the woman working at the gallery I learned that it was actually Michael Jackson’s video presented backwards. This piece proved that a good concept, executed impeccably, can make a statement no matter how “simple” it may appear.
Project Prompt: Utopia / Dystopia
These two prints explore the idea of transparency, in form and in subject. We have the ability to retrieve mass amounts of information regarding political opinions, Government decisions and international news through print media, internet sources, and word of mouth. This work imagines a distopic world in which the Government allows information to be distributed in one, highly controlled form. In addition to being censored, the information presented is in no way relevant to what the government is actually involved in. The Government edits and reuses past journalism to strategically distract the American citizens from the Government’s current actions and influences. The Government has successfully creeped into every aspect of our lives and we are to trust it completely. There is no other option, as individual opinions and election are things of the past.
Materials used in this project include recycled, collaged newspaper, ink, matte medium, plexi-glass & photocopies
Humanitarian and “save-the-world” type messages surround us in the form of repetitive, generalized language calling us to action. We are not evolutionarily programmed to think outside of our immediate surroundings to help others and preserve resources far away. Therefore, the repetition of these messages act as our artificial programming that we form for ourselves (or that these organizations, activist groups, etc. are forming). Slowly, the repetition of these phrases is programming our minds, our hearts, and our actions, either individually or as a collective community unit. If we are all programmed this way, to get these images into our minds an hearts, and if we’re all programmed to help each other and save resources, this is a utopian end.
My rule! Was to be optimistic – I made a decision not to say anything resembling a complaint for a whole day, once a week. Those days end up so much happier! It worked almost until the end of the project period…
dystopia, consumerism, food additives, advertising aesthetics, takeout containers, styrofoam, implosion clouds, collagraph, monotype, collage, loose execution, experimentation, discomfort.
When we drove up to the building, I was impressed with the space. A simple rectangular building, not connected to any others. but the artwork on the outside suggested that it had something special to it. I thought the space itself was very engaging and it made me want to go and look at all the pieces. I found all of the pieces exciting to look at, but we only had the titles in front of us, and no explanation other than that. My favorite visually was the one titled “Red Splash” although that is all the information I know about it. I couldn’t figure out what it was about just by looking – I wish the artist had been there to explain. My favorite piece was the one titled “A Catalogue of the Estate of Rochelle F.” I felt the emotions of destruction and nostalgia coming from the piece. I liked that there was a story written into the piece itself, but what seemed more effective than the actual words were the scrawl that they were written in. The handwriting itself added to the overall emotion of the piece. The piece that was most confusing to me were the simple drawings on graph paper, framed in a much larger frame than one would expect for such a drawing. Though I found the framing and the fact that the drawings were up in a gallery space interesting, I could not figure out what they were about and I wanted to know more.
Staff: an artificial stone used for covering and ornamenting buildings. The temporary properties of staff that covered the hastily constructed buildings of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair inspired my exploration of the utopian and dystopian themes that are the underlying structure of such a fair. Through this project I explored the questions: what if the world’s fair was to return to St. Louis in 2012 and would it have progressed. Historically world’s fairs are used to showcase the progress of technology, by showcasing such inventions as the tabletop stove, dishwasher, and even cotton candy. The issues that affect present day St. Louis have changed, but the city has not progressed forward.
I found that the representation of the fairs on posters were the most significant indication between the conflict of utopia and dystopia. The imagery on these posters highlight the cliches of innovation and a utopian future. Yet the fairs were actually held in temporary buildings constructed out of plaster and hemp thus, displaying the dystopian reality. I found that the medium of a poster was effective in portraying the truth of dystopia in a society that pretends to be a utopia.
Have a great winter break and spring semester everyone!!
In class today we will briefly go over a few methods for transferring printed images to secondary surfaces. What follows is a tutorial I found online which explains how to matte medium transfer. We will be doing this in class, but I thought it woud be good for you to have access to this for the future as you move forward with your projects.