Archives for September, 2010
John lent me the book “Dice” by Ricky Jay and Rosamund Purcell. Not only do I find the idea of decaying dice completely fascinating, but Purcell’s photography is absolutely stunning. After coming to the grand conclusion that I need to work more with material constraints, I decided to scan and print out photos from the book and do a few collages with them. I chose 12 photos and realized in printing them out that they seemed to be grouped by color (6 sets of 2). When I realized I had 6 groups of photos I decided to do 6 collages for each side of a die.
On the same evening that I was reading “Dice” I was doing some homework for Art History (Art since 1945), and had the great fortune of reading the following words written by Carl Andre on the work of Frank Stella:
Carl Andre ‘Preface to Stripe Painting: 1959
“Art is the exclusion of the unnecessary. Frank Stella has found it necessary to paint stripes. There is nothing else in his paintings. He is not interested in sensitivity or personality, either his own or those of his audience. He is interested in the necessities of painting. Symbols are counters passed among people. Frank Stella’s painting is not symbolic. His stripes are the paths of brush on canvas. These paths lead only into painting.”
I was really struck by this simple and to-the-point description of Stella’s work (quite refreshing after reading so many convoluted and tiring artist manifestos), and decided to use this simplicity and the idea of stripes as a jumping-off point for my dice collages.
Here are the results:
Last year in Design Stories we read some writing by Georges Perec, a member of the Ou(voir) de Li(ttérature) Po(tentielle) or OuLiPo. This group of writers and mathematicians would come up with constraints and then work within those constraints to create a piece of writing. My favorite example (which I just ordered and cannot wait to read) is “A Void” by Perec, a French novel written entirely without the letter “e”. We’ll see if I can make it through the french version. Expect to hear more on OuLiPo from me as the semester progresses.
But back to collage…basically, after a long discussion with John, it seemed clear that I needed constraints within which to work. That evening in my book binding class, a small pile of paper scraps were leftover and as I was about to throw them away, I realized that that little pile of paper was the perfect material constraint. So here are my first three constraint collages (bookbinding constraints #1-3):
The idea for my magazine has changed. Instead of having many artists in this magazine, this will be a magazine of just my work. A portfolio of my work in the form of a magazine. Each issue will be different and have different themes/topics.
My first issue will be about the space between the letters/ the negative space.
The first idea I had for a collage (after my false starts mentioned earlier), was about all of the materials I have access to and the total lack of inspiration I was feeling. After talking to John about the idea of material constraints (I will post on that topic tomorrow), I stumbled upon the perfect constraint in my collection…I had an envelope filled with figures that I had cut out for use in the future collages, so I decided to use them all.
Part of why I think I was feeling so stuck at the start of the semester was because I have so many materials to work with. I mentioned this to John and he suggested photographing everything in my collection of collage stuff. It took a while, but here is an idea of why I was feeling so overwhelmed:
Starting off this semester I was feeling a little stuck. To help work through the general sense of paralysis I felt, I thought I would do a few exercises to get myself back into collage. I thought it would be helpful to do a series of collages based on basic design principles (balance, unity, scale/proportion, emphasis/focal point, rhythm)…I made it through 3 (balance, focal point, rhythm), and then got a bunch of great ideas, so that is where I stopped (for now). I think I will come back to these later, but here is where I began my journey (more or less). Lots more posts to come…
I’ve been doing a lot of research on different book sites lately. I’ve been trying to figure out if I am going to set this thing up and make my own book, or make up an InDesign document and send it to lulu.com. Within the next week or two I’m going to go down and take the pictures. I haven’t decided if I want people to be included in them or just have images of the buildings. My main goal is to do this all in one take instead of traveling down to the beach multiple times. It would make it quite difficult especially concerning film panoramas. I am very excited to see how everything turns out!
I am going to hunt for more machines soon. I’m still accepting donations, of course, but I am going to stalk Craig’s List, and also go to some thrift stores to see what I can find. I also plan on beginning the process of cleaning up the parts, and then I can begin to do some drawing/exploring.
Hopefully I will also be adopting the studio space across from mine. I’m finding my current space to be a little too small. It would be excellent to have one space for the disassembling, and one space for drawing/sculpting/etc. There’s some paperwork I have to fill out before this becomes official, though.
Also, I plan to re-write/revise my thesis statement again. After having a talk with John, I’ve realized that the path I was taking was making me uncomfortable. That’s all I wish to say about the subject.
After reading a verse from one of the poems John sent me from George Lunt, I became heavily inspired and decided to take a walk along the shoreline of the beach. Keeping the words in mind, I ventured out with my camera to try to get a shot that felt like it belonged with the verse… This was my final product.
As summer twilight soft and calm,
Or when in stormy grandeur drest,
Peals up to heaven the eternal psalm,
That swells within thy boundless breast;
Thy curling waters have no rest,
But day and night, the ceaseless throng,
Of waves that wait thy high behest,
Speak out in utterance deep and strong
George Lunt, “Hampton Beach,” in Poems (1839)
I am in the preliminary stages of creating books based on building structure and their architects. I have been looking at books on significant architects and on buildings in Boston. Here are the buildings that I am interested in working with. The list may change and probably shorten.
Steven Holl — Simmons Hall, MIT (1999-2002)
Eero Saarinen — Chapel (1955)
Frank Gehry — Stata Center (2004)
Alvar Aalto — Baker House (1947-48)
Le Corbusier — Carpenter Center for Visual Arts (1964)
Diller + Scofidio — Institute of Contemporary Art (2006)
Behnisch + Behnisch — Genzyme Center (2003); and
Machado & Silvetti — Boston Public Library, Honan-Allston Branch (2001).