Week 9

01 Nov 2009

Good morning, Mad Mafia!

So, another busy week. I am rested and back to work in the studio. Had a few critiques last week. Before I go into the actual crits, I would recommend the Critique Handbook by Buster & Crawford for some winter reading material. It is valuable as a way to help think out how to get the most out of a critique.

Buster sketch Often times, students waste a lot of time in a critique rambling on about nonsense and personal experiences. Tuesday, Sam and I crit’ed with Gayle, Aris and the sculpture grads. It seemed like an odd critique. I have not fully pinpointed it but will try as we move through this. Sam’s crit was, in my opinion, a bit rough. People were picking apart his work which is generally expected. Most people were concerned with the symmetrical divisions of his work in the space. It was arranged like a giant face. A tower built from air-conditioners and old tires dominated in height. It was located in between two reconstructed trees mirroring each other. Opposite this minimal composition was a train of individual sculptures leaning against the wall from one end of the gallery to the other. Everyone had their opinion that went something like: “Did you consider separating the items into groups?” or “It is too much for the space.” Or “It is not enough in the space.” I guess to some degree, these considerations can be helpful. Luckily, everyone limited their personal comments. I don’t believe that five minute speeches on how someone else would do your work is helpful. We have all heard that in crits before. As in the Critique Handbook, many opinions are productive when posed as an abstract question. i.e.: “How did you arrive at the decision to arrange the gallery symmetrically?” The oddest part was that Sam made no alterations. I applaud him for defending his work. I have watched people want to change everything that someone tells them from time to time. Sometimes, critiques move better when the artist does take a strong stance defending their work. If not, students tend to pile on like a pack of wild dogs.african_wild_dog_pack

After Sam, the class critiqued my Battlesapien piece. I have talked with enough people that I knew what to expect concerning technical difficulties in front of a live audience. If you were not there that night, we had some grid layout problems. So, that is technical, I am glad that we did not spend too long on that part. I knew that once it began, I would not have much chance to make any changes. I did learn two positive things about the performance. First, was the idea of not using professional actors. We are in school and we are each others most affordable performers. I am fortunate that everyone helped me see it through. The crit said that the generals were not serious enough. They were also a bit nervous and none of us knew what to expect. The crit panel also noted that it was difficult to read the crowds laughter. People I have spoken with all have their opinion on the laughter. I still am unsure of the amusement level but it did spur great questions on colors of blood, cinematography, and related ideas of perceptions of violence. I am going to research it more. Tarrantino came up and a few artists that used blood and how the color and texture of blood affects people emotionally.tarantino_blood The most exciting thing was when Gayle asked me “what’s next?”. I am not totally sure but I decided to tackle that question backword. I will start with the result that I wish and try to build a piece or performance to guide people to the answer similar to a movie as opposed to creating the piece then altering it forward. My crit provided some good ideas on my art as a whole, instead of just a piece of it.

One of my favorite critiques is the mini-crit. I called together some of my cohorts Thursday as I was working on the Children’s Tactical Vehicle for the Seminar show. I asked them for a quick mini-crit before I started. It was just like a regular crit except I showed them the item that I planned to modify and asked them ahead of time questions like such: “how much should I paint to modify the vehicle?” “Should the piece be more practical or more artistic?” Everyone was very helpful as I could think about things ahead of time as opposed to spending ten hours working on something that I did not really have to do. So, by Friday, I got the jeep all stripped out and repainted. I also painted and modified the gun. When I first saw the Nerf Vulcan gun (which was named after a real high-rate-of-fire gun) I was taken that they make bigger badder nerf guns each year. They are testosterone laden toys that are advertised as fun to allow children to practice their killer instincts. I got online and looked for information on this gun which shoots three rounds per second through its belt fed clip. I quickly found kids of all ages modifying this gun already. One kid had a you tube video on splicing ammunition belts together. Others, made realistic sounds, some had rounds counters and a lot of people re-wired the gun to increase its rate of fire. That is the mod that I chose. They were simple instructions and hopefully, with fresh batteries, I will shoot it during the reception at a rate of 500 rounds per minute or 8.3 rounds each second. I may use this piece for some video next spring. I am not sure yet. Everyone keeps asking if the gun is real and I don’t immediately answer. I have to think for a minute while letting them contemplate its physicality. And to redeem children at an early age, I also built my Children’s Ejection Seat. That way by two years old, toddlers will be able to eject themselves from a violent society before they start taking in the violence in our culture.

I have had some studio visits with fellow students last week. I am looking forward to this Wednesday as I have a visit with Jack Damer. I will leave for now.Rocket Glide Plane by Jack Damer



3 Responses to “Week 9”

  1. Dale Kaminski Says:

    Hey sandy, I am glad to be writing your comment even though it is a bit late. First I would like to say what a pleasure it has been so far to work with you. I appreciate your hard work and enjoy talking about and thinking about the rather strange dichotomy you have within you.I just hope you don’t go postal anytime soon 🙂
    I am getting the footage together from the interstice show, I just need to get a decent export to show you guys. Final cut is not cooperating. The crits I have had so far have been bebighn to harsh, You have been there for those. I think the stuff with Doug is worked out so maybe there will be a different atmosphere that should help. I thought the piece that malissa did the other day was kind of lame but seeing doug looking lecherously through the long lens from the deer stand we all were in was kind of interesting.

    Kombucha is not rotten it is grown in tea and ferments over a couple of weeks then it is consumed. Like beer. I like it and drink it often.

    I will talk to you soon


  2. courtneylynnhall Says:

    Critiques can be really frustrating when people babble on about personal shit that has nothing to do with what you do. I always go with the, “talk about what’s there” rule. My friend in undergrad had a critique about her drawings, and a sculpture girl was like, “yeah but what if you did them in leather?” She was like, “Because I did them in marker on paper.”

    I like Sam’s show, but I did think the one wall was a little heavy. The objects were beautiful by themselves, I’m not sure they needed groups. But, I liked the way he utilized the space. It’s a pretty difficult space to curate.

    I wish I could have made it to the performance. I can understand why people found it a bit comical. The action of dropping “blood” on people’s faces is reminiscent of slap stick pies in the face or getting slimed. I’m not sure how much of it was about the level of violence or the tolerance of violence. It’s always helpful to get feed back and bounce ideas off of people before you waste time doing it one way then having to go back. I’m glad that you get good suggestions. The piece turned out really nice. My boyfriend was a fan!

  3. queenki Says:

    It’s first time to leave a comment in your blog, but I guess while I was reading your blog, time flied. I was feeling like watching a movie when I was reading the whole story of your background. Every artist has a somewhat outstanding unique background, I think, which is very influential, making a unique color of oneself.
    I have no kid now but when I have one I bet he or she will influence me a lot.
    I feel so jealous that you are getting so much feedback and helpful crits every time! Why don’t you share some with me? haha.
    Tomorrow is THE humanities studio day so come and visit metal studio too!
    I can’t wait people visiting my space and talk about art and getting feed backs.
    I’d love to see more of yours,too!

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