Monday, May 17, 2010

Visiting the MoMA in San Francisco

Currently at the MoMa in San Francisco there is an Anniversary Show celebrating its 75th yeas as a pioneering force in art, locally and globally. There are many different pieces from some of the most amazing artists, it brings together more than 300 works from the collection, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, videos, photographs, architectural models, and design objects. The exhibition highlights moments when the history of the museum has intersected meaningfully with the history of art. There is a rage of artists from Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns and many more amazing artists who made an impact in the art world. This anniversary show allows the visitor to see the evolution of the museum through photos, correspondence and videos. There is a piece at the museum that really made an impact on me; Untitled, by Barry McGee. The reason why this piece impacted me was because it is so different than any other installation at the museum. It is a collection of paintings and photographs framed and placed on the wall to look like it is bulging out of the wall. It is a huge installation. I have not seen a piece like this before and again, like the performance piece by Marina Abramovic’: The Artist Is Present, it made me think of different ways of approaching art. Art does not have to be on one canvas made with paint or pencil; art is what ever you say it is.

Visiting the MoMA in New York City

(This is a logo of the MoMA done by Tim Burton for his exhibit)
The highlight of my Spring Break trip was going to the MOMA. My Friend, Madeline, and I spent the entire day there. We went to every room and stared at each painting for a long period of time. I was totally calm and at peace when I was there, there are so many beautiful and inspirational pieces of art there it is unbelievable. I was able to see the Tim Burton exhibit which was amazing… to be able to see each step in his drawings before he turned them into film was great. But the most interesting thing at the museum was a special exhibit done by Marina Abramović called The Artist is Present. This was a performance art piece. Abramović was sitting in a chair in the middle of the museum with a table between her and another chair. Anyone was able to sit in the other chair facing her. She would sit there all day and stair at any person who decided to sit across from her. I wanted to sit in the chair… but there was an unbelievably long line. This was a performance art piece that I have never seen before. Abramović literally say in the chair all day with very few breaks. She placed cameras all around her to film the reactions of people around her and the people sitting in the chair across from her. I have never see performance art like this. It was like you can become apart of a piece of work in the museum. It is definitely a different way of looking at what art is. After seeing this performance, I now see that there is really no limitation on what art can be.
I have attached some links to view the performance. One is of the artiest speaking about the reasoning behind the piece and the other is to show the performance. (Marina Abramović talking about the piece) (The performance itself)

Visiting the MET in New York City

Over spring break I went to New York City with my good friend and we visited the MET, along with many other museums and galleries. At the MET, there are many beautiful and inspirational paintings. We spent more than half the day walking around the museum. I found that I walked fairly quickly through the African Arts, Sculptures and Renaissance style paintings, but I took my time in the modern art section and the impressionism. While I was walking around the museum I was not really thinking of what art piece or pieces relate to this class, but after reflecting upon it, I instantly thought of the painting by Jasper Johns, White Flag (1955). I believe this painting somewhat corresponds with the culture-jamming project that we completed in class. The reason I thought of this was because America is run by predominately white people (men) and in painting the American Flag white, in a way represents the white rule. It totally changes the meaning of the American flag for me. It is supposed to symbolize equality and unity, but with it painted on only white… to me, it shows equality and unity only if you are white, not other ethnicity. There were many other paintings that made an impact on me, but this one definitely stood above the rest of them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Improvable Monument: Community Seesaw

I am going to make a giant Seesaw and place it in front of the Flower Conservatory in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It will be made from non oxidizing metals so it does not rust or lose it’s coloring. It will be large enough for at least 10 people to fit on either side of the Seesaw in order for it to work. The reasoning for this is that I want something to bring the community together for no reason other than just pure recreation. This monument is for fun only. There will be only one handle on either side of the Seesaw, which will be located toward the center, meaning all the people on it will have to hold onto each other to make sure that the will not fall off.
There will be hands engraved in the body of the Seesaw, not only for decoration and design, but also not make the surface of the Seesaw less slippery. It will give the riders more of a grip when they are playing.
The reasoning for placing it in front of the Flower Conservatory in Golden Gate Park is because it is already a relaxing place where people go to enjoy a lovely day with their family and friends. And adding a sculpture that is purely based on the concept of fun, I believe will fit in perfectly with this environment. Also, there is a lot of space in front of the Conservatory that people picnic on, so there will be space for the monument and still space for people to enjoy their picnic on the grass.
Stainless Steel Spring: (Spring for the Seesaw to move) Is a low allow, medium carbon steel or high carbon steel with a very high yield of strength. This allows objects made of spring steel to return to their original shape despite significant bending or twisting.
Platinum: (Body of the Seesaw and on either side of the spring and the handle bar) As a pure metal, platinum is silvery-while in appearance. It does not oxidize at any temperature. Platinum’s resistance to wear and tarnish is will suited for making fine jewelry. The meal has an excellent resistance to high temperatures and had stable electrical properties. Platinum is an extremely rare metal. Price of platinum, like other industrial commodities, is more volatile than that of gold. This year the estimated price will soar to 675 dollars per ounce.
Spring Steel:
Thickness: 1.0 inches’ (polished)
100 Ton: $600 (200,000 pounds)
1 Ton= 2,000 lbs
I will be only using 300lbs of steel, but unfortunately you have to buy at least 1 Ton. So there will be a lot left over to resell.
$675 per ounce
200lbs= 3,200oz
$675 x 3,200 = $2,160,000
Would be no less than $3,000 due to the size and detail.
Charged for total labor and material cost per pound of deposited welded metal. Cost would approximately be around $1,000.
Total Price:
Approximate cost of sculpture: $2,164,600 (not including moving and transportation)
Platinum Body:
25 feet long
1.5 feet wide
2 inches thick
Stainless Steel Spring:
1 inch thick- multiple coils so it is sturdy enough to hold the Seesaw with weight of people.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Final Project: The Community See-Saw

I decided that I am going to go with my See-Saw idea. I liked the fact that it is not only a big object in a public space, but that it is actually functional and useful. Also, I like the concept of it needing a bunch of people joining together in order for it to work. Bringing the community together for recreational purposes only. I believe that there are so many things out there with the purpose to teach or to bring awareness to, which is fine and great, I just think that there should be things out there that propose nothing but fun. There is no deep thinking involved, all you need are other people to join in on the fun.
This will be made out of some type of metal. I don't know the exact type yet, but something that will not rust or pose a safety hazard... for this piece will be of all ages. Also, I would like the material to be sustainable, I do not want anything that would be hazardous to the environment over time. I need to do more research on what type of material would be the best to use.
The See-Saw will be large enough to fit at least 10 people on either side. There will only be one handle, which will be the seat closet to the middle of the See-Saw. I thought of this so that people would have to hug each other to make sure that they don't fall off, not them relying on a handle. I want this piece to bring unity within the community.
It will be placed in the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco. I am thinking right in front of the Conservatory of Flowers. There is a large grassy space there where people of all ages hang out. Also, there is already a friendly vibe there because of all the beautiful flowers and just the fact that it is not by busy road so it is quieter than other areas of the park.
The design is not going to be very creative. It will look like a normal See-Saw... just a lot larger. However, there will be etchings within the metal of the See-Saw. I am thinking hand prints of all sizes. I have not totally decided if I want it to be all one color (like silver or something) or if I want the hand prints to be different colors.
I still obviously have a lot more figuring out to do, but I have my basic idea and I am really happy with it.
My next step will be to figure out what the best material would be to use, how much this would cost, the dimensions and that color or colors the See-Saw will be. Then I will be creating it on Photoshop and virtually placing it in front of the Conservatory of Flowers at Golden Gate Park.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Final Project Ideas

Some ideas:
1.) A giant dollar bill on top of the San Francisco Mint. It would stretch across the whole top of the building. Most likely made out of copper so it would turn green over time. I am not really sure what the significance would be other than showing people that it is the mint and that is where our money is made. Just to bring awareness to what the building is.
2.) A giant See-Saw in the middle of Golden Gate Park. It would only work if you have at least 10 people on either side. It would be there to bring people together for for recreational fun, either strangers or friends. The material would be something very durable and sustainable.
3.) A giant treadmill in the center of the Pan Handle of Golden Gate Park. It would be placed where all the runners are to show that some people are running for fitness to stay looking a certain way rather than recreation and being in nature. I still need to work on the significance of the piece, but it would be along those lines. The material would be the same as a normal treadmill.
Obviously all my concepts work around something giant and in public space. When I imagine these monuments I visual them as being very gaudy and kind of an eye sore. Not so much for the See-Saw, but that would still have it's gaudiness.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Intervention at Dolores Park

Dolores Park in San Francisco is a wonderful park where local San Franciscans go to relax and enjoy the sun with the family and friends. But it was not always a happy hang out for youth to elders. At Dolores there were two Jewish Cemeteries here before they moved to San Mateo County in the late 1880's and early 1890's (Hills of Eternity and Home of Peace Cemeteries). They actually were the first to relocate south of The City, mainly because new land was impossible to find after the Gold Rush happened.
There was a totally different vibe when Dolores was a cemetery not only in that area, but within the entire city. We wanted to bring to attention to the people who love being at Dolores that it was not always the happy place it is now. We placed grave stones at the park to represent the bodies that were once buried there. Many people that we talked to had no idea that Dolores was a cemetery and they had different reactions. Some people did not care and said "Oh, I did not know that. Cool." While others wanted to learn more about the cemetery and the reason for its relocation.
We found this project very interesting because we were able to bring back into attention to the people that Dolores was a cemetery and not always the hang out that they have grown to love.

We were able to talk to a bunch of people carrying around our grave stone asking them if they know that Dolores Park was a cemetery and that it was relocated to San Mateo.
The grave stone reads... "R.I.P. In the 1880's Dolores Park was a Jewish cemetery. The cemetery was relocated to San Mateo after death was no longer allowed in San Francisco.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Making my Own Sign

I made a Caution sign warning people that there are Crying Children Ahead. I did this because there are so many signs telling people they have to stop doing things or be more safe because there are children in the area. I wanted to make this to warn people that there are children in the area, not for the safety of the children, but for their own safety. If someone has a headache, or hang over or they just really don't like kids, they know that they are coming into a kid zone, and they should approach with caution. I am planning on putting this sign up next to a day care or a play ground.
I used Illustrator to complete this project and I was difficult, but it was not as hard for me was the Culture Jamming project. I got a hang of Illustrator and I think that I will be able to do other projects with less frustration.
The pictures out side are the photos that I took of my sign if front of a kids school near my house. While I was taking the photos one of the teachers came out and asked me what I was doing. I explained to her that I am taking a picture of a sign that I made in front of the school and I would not be leaving the sign there. She asked to see it and when see got her hands on it, she did not like it and told me that she was going to throw it away and I could get in trouble for vandalism. I nicely told her that she can have that and I already got all the pictures I needed for my project. It was a very interesting conversation.

Culture Jamming

To the right is the original Ford logo and below is my edited version. For some reason a broken black border is surrounding my image. It does not show up on Illustrator, only on this blog. Unfortunately I could not get ride of it. I hope that it does not take away from my Culture Jamming piece.

I found the idea of this project to be very interesting. Taking a logo or symbol and changing it, so it is still recognizable, but totally changing the meaning. I took the Ford automobile logo and changed the letters around to read "Fuck!". I did this to show all of the problems that the Ford company is having with their cars. There have been many accidents due to a faulty gas pedal and some deaths have occurred. I believe that my piece shines a light on this issue with a some what comical sense.
To transform the original logo to my culture jamming one I used Adobe Illustrator. I have never used Illustrator before and I had a lot of difficulty navigating through the program. It was very frustrating for me, and all I wanted to do was to go back to Photoshop. After a little bit of kicking and screaming I was able to complete the project. I don't think I will use Illustrator as often as Photoshop or other programs, but I am really happy that I know how to work it a little bit better than before.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Seeing the Past in Present Tense by Paula Levine

“Monuments and memorials can activate you, awaken and open your present, by reintroducing ideologies that have lapsed or require considering again. They can defy physics, allowing your past to occupy the same place as your present”
This article is trying to convey that monuments are not only a thing in a public space, but they can trigger different emotions and memories with people who visit it or they can tell a story of the area the monument is located in. “Public monuments helped to celebrate and cement this progressive narrative on natural history… memorials to heros and events were meant not to revive old struggles and debates, but to put them to rest.” So not only do monuments preserve a place in history for fallen heros or an heroic event, it shows that something great was accomplished and will bring forth the memory of that said event to the viewer.
I was recently in Washington DC and I came across the Lincoln memorial. I was surprised to notices that I did not only admire the scale and the skill put into making this statue, but it made me think about all the turmoil in the American past and even in the present. I remembered everything I have learned in my past history classes while gazing upon this monument and then compared it to my ethnic studies classes on racism today. I came to think about all of this just by looking at a stone statue of a man. After reading this article I remembered this event happening to me, which allowed me to understand that Levine was talking about on a personal level.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Eiffel Tower by Roland Barthes

The Eiffel Tower is famous symbolic icon of France. If there is merely a photo of the tower, I as do many others. instantly think of France. To many it is not just a building, they become part of it when visiting, as did Barthes. What Barthes tries to convey within this article is that one may not only become part of the Tower, but the may become part of the dream that the Tower presents. He describes his notion of the natural; first one would have to look at the object, in this case the Eiffel Tower, integrate the obvious and then look at what is natural. There can always be a connection to what is man made and created to what is natural. This article could not keep my attention as needed, so I did not read it very diligently. But what I got from it was that the symbionics of certain objects carry great meaning.

Interview with Eva Sutton on Unnatural Science

This article gives a clear description of what a hybrid actually is in the eyes of an artist. Sutton genetically engineers natural animals with other natural animals to make an unnatural creature that does not resemble anything on earth. “It's creating an animal that in parts is recognized as a natural animal and yet, when it's hybridized in its totality, it's completely unnatural. And, in fact, it's monstrous. Sutton views herself both as an artist and a scientist; she never wanted to have to make the decision to become one or the other. So her found the medium of the two; “ Science states meaning and art expresses it.”
The piece that she shows on her website of Unnatural Science is of a hybrid of at least three different animals. The head is of a goat with a bubble like connection to a torso of a colored enhanced bird of come sort within an egg shaped bubble connected to the rear of either a hippo of some type of pig. They are all connected by what looks like to be a small bone within clear bubbles. It is very interesting and does not look like anything that one could find in nature. And if it were to be found, it would be extremely frightening.

Here is the link to view the Hybrid piece:

Culture Jamming by Mark Deny

I really enjoyed reading about the concept of Culture Jamming; “a media hacking, information warfare, terror-art, and guerrilla semiotics, all in one.” I have always seen art pieces that have transformed a well-known symbol or icon into something with a different meaning while still keeping the resemblance to the original piece. “Culture jamming, by contrast, is directed against an ever more intrusive, instrumental technoculture whose operant mode is the manufacture of consent through the manipulation of symbols.” I believe this quotation describes the concept of culture jamming head on. The idea of jamming is to do anything that steps in front of the culture one lives in, to stop the flow of media. Like a slap in the face, or to knock a person into sense of what is really going on around them and what the media and “people in charge” of the media is really trying to sell them. I found by reading this article there are many artist who have used culture jamming to bring a point across, I just could never give there art a categorization until this article.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Indeterminacy Project

My Recipe:

First deciding what medium I will be using:
Numbers 1-3 in a hat:
1- paint
2- marker
3- a mixture of both marker and paint

Second, seeing what color I will use:
For the background: close my eyes and reach into a huge bag of paint or markers
or both (depending on what number I chose in step 1)
Heads- blue
Tails- black

Finally, figuring out which shapes I will be drawing.
Every time I hear a car horn honk- a line
Every time I hear a person yell- a figure 8
Every time a weight loss add comes on TV- a spiral

I will draw all of this within a 30 minute time frame.

Unfortunately I did not have a partner for this project, that is why my recipe is bias for my location.
This assignment made me paint something that I would normally never paint. It was hard for me to stay to the recipe because I wanted to add different shapes and colors. I got frustrated with the repetitiveness of the piece, within my usual pieces, I try my hardest not to repeat anything.
After completing this project I realized that I did not add into the recipe where I would be placing these shapes, I just placed them where ever I liked or thought looked best. Which I understand is not totally by chance.
I did enjoy this project because it showed me a new way to go about painting; not everything has to be planned out to a T. And there was no stress involved while doing it, I did not have to fret about what color to use or what design should go there...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Interview with Eva Sutton on Unnatural Science:

This article gives a clear description of what a hybrid actually is in the eyes of an artist. Sutton genetically engineers natural animals with other natural animals to make an unnatural creature that does not resemble anything on earth. “It's creating an animal that in parts is recognized as a natural animal and yet, when it's hybridized in its totality, it's completely unnatural. And, in fact, it's monstrous. Sutton views herself both as an artist and a scientist; she never wanted to have to make the decision to become one or the other. So her found the medium of the two; “ Science states meaning and art expresses it.”
The piece that she shows on her website of Unnatural Science is of a hybrid of at least three different animals. The head is of a goat with a bubble like connection to a torso of a colored enhanced bird of come sort within an egg shaped bubble connected to the rear of either a hippo of some type of pig. They are all connected by what looks like to be a small bone within clear bubbles. It is very interesting and does not look like anything that one could find in nature. And if it were to be found, it would be extremely frightening.

Here is the link to view the Hybrid piece:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Google Earth Project

I am going to be mapping all the places that I have road a bike in my life. I was going to map all the places I have lived, but since I have only lived in two places, I figured it would be boring. But, I have road a bike many places around the country and in Mexico.
The tour starts where I first learned how to ride a bike, in the back yard of my home in Laguna Beach. I am going to map all the places I have road a bike chronologically, from where I first learned to where I went mountain biking down a mountain and almost everything in between. This tour is going to map where I road bicycles and dirt bikes, not any other motorized bikes.

Where I plan on mapping:

Laguna Beach, CA
Littleton, CO
Morro Bay, Ca
Catalina Island, Ca
Greenwich Village, NY
Strasburg, CO
Mammoth Mountain, CA
San Francisco, CA

This project did not turn out well for me. I was unable to upload all the pictures in the matter that I wanted, As a result, the idea of my project changed as I kept failing to do what I wanted within Google Earth. My original idea, showing all the places where I road a bike, was scratched to tour of San Francisco. I started out at the Golden Gate Bridge and then went to the Oakland Bay Bridge and then made my way through all of the main tourist spots in the city. This idea was more fun for me and for some reason it was somewhat easier. But then of course when I went to put the whole thing together, it did not work and all my images were lost and apparently I did not save it correctly. So, once again I was left with nothing.

Finally, I decided to go super simple and document the Olympics in Canada. I just took a few pictures of skiers, snowboarders and ice skaters and placed them in the area where they would be performing. It was a very short clip with not much detail. But of course, I did not save the images right and lost the whole thing again.

Overall I was unable to come out with a complete Google Earth movie of my bike riding adventures, a tour of San Francisco or even of the small documentation of the winter Olympics in Canada. I made several attempts complete this project, but it ended up being extremely stressful and aggravating.

Links Related to Google Earth:

This artist used Google Earth to show the wonders of the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. They took outside shots of the museum with Google Earth and then zoomed inside the building all the way up close to an individual painting. The artists also added in video of them making the Google Earth video. I found this very interesting because it showed me that Google Earth does not have to be used just for showing different locations in a movie, but it can be informational for a specific place.

Google Earth Blog, by Evert Schut:

This collection is very interesting. It does not use Google Earth for making a movie at all; the artist takes snap shots from the Google Earth application from outer space and then paints that image using different mediums. The Artist Evert Schut is a biologist/ environmental expert BIJ education and trade, but he says he an artist at heart. He is from Gelderland in the Netherlands and until he discovered Google Earth and it's potential for new art forms he painted landscapes with a tendency towards abstraction.
(I was unable to embed this blog onto my blog, so this is the like to view the art)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sol Lewitt on Conceptual Art

After reading Sol Lewitt's article, I gained a better understanding on what Conceptual Art actually is. "Conceptual Art is made to engage the mind of the viewer rather then the eye or emotion of the artist." I thought this to be interesting because most artist try to convey a message or feeling to the viewer through their piece, but with Conceptual Art, the artist is just making the art with the idea in mind that "different people will understand the same thing in a different way."
There were a lot of interesting facts and sayings through out the whole article which allowed me to grasp the thought process of creating a conceptual piece. At one point Lewitt mentioned that the thought process of the piece is sometimes more interesting than the final product, which I agree with. I have always enjoyed viewing the artists sketches, drawings, models, and notes on a certain piece more than the final piece of art. It has always been humbling to me to see that even the best artists mess up and have little crappy doodles and that they are not afraid to hand them up next to their final product.
There is one question that Lewitt asks in the article "What size is best?" I instantly connected with. I never know what size my painting should be. This has always been something I struggled with, not only because I have a limited amount of work space, but because I just don't know what size my pieces should be.
I am going to end with a final quote from Sol Lewitt, " Conceptual Art is only good when the idea is good"... like that is not intimidating at all.