Project 3: Research Point 2

We are asked to read an article on the Tate website, make notes, and highlight any artists we might want to look into further.

This is not the original article, as it has been taken down, but one detailed in the course errata. All the same, it was a very useful introduction to many artists who use text in their work, and the different types of text usage. Here are some notes I made:

‘Found’ Words: Printed Packaging, Labels and Layers

  • Add visual interest to work
  • Kurt Schwitters added bus tickets, sweet wrappers and other scraps to his works
  • Pop
Read the rest

Project 3: Exercise 2 – Developing Your Research Skills

This exercise asks us to look at the work of Katie Paterson, particularly her piece Vatnajökull (the sound of).

We are asked how we would define this piece in terms of media, and told to make notes on the different layers of existence, the forms it has been displayed in, how it’s a genuinely site specific piece (unlike Longlayer from Project 2), and on Vatnajökull’s relationship to place, as well as Paterson’s use of text.

Firstly, I would categorise the original piece as mixed media. It is a sound installation, but there is also the neon phone number displayed … Read the rest

Project 3: Place in Art – Research Point 1

We are asked to:

Make a list of the artists mentioned in Dean and Millar’s essay. Look up at least one piece by each of the artists mentioned whose work incorporates text. How many of these pieces are relevant to the theme of ‘place’ and how do they reference place? Make notes in your learning log.

There are quite a few artists mentioned:

  • Caspar David Friedrich
    Known for landscapes featuring contemplative figures.
  • John Constable
    Famous for his landscapes of the Suffolk countryside.
  • Ian Hamilton Finlay
    Finlay was a poet and writer, as well as an artist (and gardener). He has
Read the rest

Project 3: Exercise 1 – Place

This first exercise asks us to read the opening essay in Place (Dean and Millar 2005, pp. 11-26). We are told to try and get an idea of what the authors are saying, to reflect on how we found the exercise, whether we agree with what the authors are saying, and whether the piece has expanded our understanding of what the word ‘place’ can signify.

Firstly, I found this exercise difficult for various reasons. At a basic level, I have never read such a long piece of writing relating to art in the way this one does, and the vocabulary … Read the rest

Exercise 2: Interpreting Video Art

This exercise asks us to watch the video of Sam Taylor-Wood’s Still Life here: http://samtaylorjohnson.com/moving-image/art/still-life-2001 [accessed 13/03/17]

The main aim of the exercise is to write down our understanding of the piece in 250 words and explain what we think Taylor-Wood wants us to think about or experience from watching this?

There are a few questions we are told to think about:

  • Your initial response after first viewing

It took me a while to realise what the piece was about. Not a lot happens in the first 44 seconds of the 3 min 44 sec video and I fast forwarded … Read the rest

Case study Interpreting sound – Longplayer

This case study looks at a piece by Pogues member Jem Finer. It’s really a musical work, but could also be considered an installation and a performace piece. It started playing at midnight on the 31st December 1999 and will play for a thousand years. The ‘song’ is made up of 6 different versions of a 20 minute, 20 second score written for Tibetan singing bowls. One of the pieces is the original, and the others are transpositions. One is an octave below, one 7 semitones below, one 5 semitones below, one 5 semitone above and one 7 semitones above. … Read the rest

Project 2 – Exercise 1: The fourth dimension

This exercise asks us to make notes about our thoughts on time in order to know where we’re starting from.

An interesting point I came across on this art education website, was to begin the process of incorporating time into art by thinking about things that happen over time. Examples from the site include things growing or deteriorating, and things moving from one point to another. One student explained her time-based water and sand artwork by saying:

“Time can erase memories in a negative sense, but the passage of time is also very healing. As time goes on, our anger,

Read the rest

Exercise 5: Finding Out More

This exercise asks us to watch/listen to a discussion from the Khan Academy on Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde piece (here).

We are asked to make notes, paying particular attention to the following:

• Hirst
• the piece
• Hirst’s other work
• information on other artists whose work is concerned with mortality
• references to ‘time’

There is a transcript available under the video, so I won’t type up all of my notes, but I will mention the information relevant to the ideas above.

With relation to Hirst and the piece itself, a lot is said about … Read the rest

Exercise 4: Looking at Context

This exercise asks us to look at Damien Hirst’s 1991 piece title The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. The work is essentially a steel and glass tank filled with blue formaldehyde and a suspended shark. The piece is also referred to as ‘the shark in formaldehyde’.

We are asked to answer to following questions:

• Write down a few words giving your first reaction to the piece.
Weird. Scary. Ugly.

• Do you have an emotional response to it?
The thought of the formaldehyde makes me feel a bit queasy. The work in general … Read the rest

Exercise 3: Reading About Art

This exercise asks us to read an excerpt from Art History: The Basics by Grant Pooke and Diana Newall (2008, Abingdon: Routledge) and make notes of anything interesting, as well as writing down any new terms or words we come across.

The first thing that struck me was the amount of words that I normally know the meaning of, but had to actually look up to see how they were being used in this context. Here’s a list, along with some other definitions that were new to me:

Arbitrary: Founded on or subject to personal whims, prejudices, etc.

AestheticRead the rest