Monday, February 28, 2011

02.28.11 : Artist Entry : Charity de Meer

Charity de Meer is a dedicated fashionista shooting weddings, editorial assignments, and other fun things. Charity was raised with her nose buried in fashion magazines. This exposure to great images and ideas at such a young age has instilled in her a keen fashion sense but with an individuality all her own. Charity likes to document what’s happening. Her travels have taken her to the Bahamas, St. Lucia, Vermont, Connecticut, New York City, New Orleans, Napa Valley & most recently, Brazil.

The concept is simple, your pet and your favorite pair of shoes shot from the waist down. The idea is to portray your pet as part of what makes you fashionable. The result? One ultra-stylish photograph with you and your best friend. The images can be purchased at Jonathan Adler New York City and Miami retail locations.

“This project started when I was walking around New York City, alas, without a camera. I saw a girl in parachute pants and red spike heels walking her toy dog. I lamented about what a great shot that would have made. A year or so later, I was in Key West and saw a woman standing under a streetlight in a short red skirt, high black heels with a Pomeranian on a leash. It reminded me of the NYC girl, the contrast of the outfit with walking a dog, the fact that our canines have been elevated from ‘pet’ to fashion statement. Thus began my slight obsession…” - Charity de Meer

Charity combines the idea of fashion and dogs with her pet portraits. This is a project I have considered doing without the fashion twist. My shots would be drastically different with more unity between leg positioning and more emphasis on the pets themselves. I do however think she does a good job of using the dogs as accessories of fashion. I do not just focus on the dogs but also the positioning of the legs and color pallet as well.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

02.24.11 : Idea Entry : Membrane

1. any thin pliable sheet of material
2. a pliable sheetlike usually fibrous tissue that covers, lines, or connects plant and animal organs or cells
3. biology a double layer of lipid, containing some proteins, that surrounds biological cells and some of their internal structures

A membrane can be a layer of material which serves as a selective barrier between two phases and remains impermeable to specific particles, molecules, or substances when exposed to the action of a driving force. Some components are allowed passage by the membrane into a permeate stream, whereas others are retained by it and accumulate in the retentate stream.

K Office

"The flow of the curves is alternated with iron openings in the translucent membrane and large moveable panels in black coloured wood. Reducing to essentiality the variety of the surfaces and materials, glass, iron, wood, resin the formal rigour continues from the offices into the inside space to the conference rooms where the opal surface lets in natural light expanding the whole. Architecture inside architecture: a translucent glass dimension as solid as it is transparent." - Lapo Ruffi Architetto

Translucent membrane
Uršula Berlot

"[Berlot] simply allows the paint to drip through the membrane - she often uses two simultaneous layers. The paintings are always completed (coagulated) very quickly as the crystallization and polymerization of the compounds takes place in only a few hours. Because of her use of these special compounds which dry very quickly, she must have a systematic plan before she begins working, though she also allows for accident and chance. For this reason, the individual shapes created in the transparent membrane are ceaselessly emerging and the artist allows the transparent compounds to run into the colored compounds as they flow over the plexiglass surface where they become part of the whole." - Tatjana Pregl Kobe

I was thinking about membrane in relation to my project. In my images the glass or fence that stands between myself and and animal is not impenetrable. Though glass can not easily be passed through or broken, it still doesn't prevent us from interacting and reacting to one another. Fences can be more persuasive when referring to these barriers and cages as membranes. A human being can easily put his or her hands or fingers through the cage to interact the the animal, which is more membrane related. Even so, I think the membrane between species is like an unspoken barrier that only certain events and action can accrue between the two.

Video Instillation

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

02.23.11 : Guest Lecture Response : Christopher Ho

Bio : Christopher K. Ho (b. 1974, Hong Kong) has had solo exhibitions at Winkleman Gallery (2010 and 2008) and GALERIA EDS in Mexico City (2009). He was included in the 2009 Incheon Biennial, the 2008 Busan Biennale, and the 2008 Chinese Biennial. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Queens Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, Dallas Contemporary, MASSMoCA at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art; and internationally at the Freies Museum in Berlin, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Srpska, and the Other Gallery in Shanghai. He received his B.F.A. and B.S. from Cornell University and his M.Phil from Columbia University.
Favorite Quotes :
"There is a generational biased against the gallery."

** This is a subject that I was not aware of. Some generations viewed the gallery as holding one back in his/she work or hindering you from being successful in a commercial aspect. I never viewed a gallery as being negative no matter what field of art you may be in.
3 Words : Redefining Non-criticalist Regionalism
I learned about the importance of working projects and the feedback you can get. He was open with the students about his uncertainty of how to describe his project, "Regional Painting" and were he want to go with it. He almost used up as a feedback session to bounce ideas off of and make a more concrete idea of what he wanted to say or not say with his project.
What is "Regional Painting"?
He described regionalism as a kind of eddy or side guard adjacent to but coterminous with the mainstream. In its relative calm, absent the need for criticality and originality alike, intuitive painting emerged as a salutary alternative to conceptual, polemical art.

Who is E.P. Rothko and why is he important to your work? Is there a difference between you and Rothko?
Rothko is a anagram that represents Christopher Ho and the year he spent in the shed in Colorado. “Regionalism is not a style, but a mode of and model for making. It not so much suspends the viewer’s disbelief as it enables an artist to suspend his selfconsciousness. The respite from criticality opens a fictive space where a conceptual artist can be a painter, a painter a writer, an art dealer a publisher.... Regionalism is the protective shell that allows us to be real artists again." - Rothko
My favorite project that he presented was called "Emptied Treasury." In 'Emptied Treasury,' a newly constructed wall that seamlessly blends with existing drywall partitions at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Residency Program seals off one of 12 studio spaces, rendering the space physically inaccessible. Inside, 12 industrial fans, blow 1,971 bits of paper—cut from the stock pages of the Wall Street Journal to the size of US currency—in the air. The circulating bills are visible through a 3 1/2-foot clerestory between the top edge of the drywall and the ceiling, as well as through the window from the adjacent public courtyard of the bank Brown Brothers Harriman. A small peephole at 3 1/2 feet allows a glimpse into the room. 'Emptied Treasury' is inspired by the residency's proximity to the New York Federal Reserve, which gained influence after the United States went off the gold standard in 1971.

I enjoyed this project because of the amount of detail Ho put into the work. The face that he but out 1,971 piece of paper to represent the United States going off the gold standard is impressive to me and something I would have never considered. In addition, his work is surprisingly simplistic for the message he is trying to send. To build a room, put fans in it and cut out dollar bill sized newspaper does not seem like a large task to but together but when you understand the meaning behind each object it become important and retains value. Looking through a peek hole is also very important in that it is like we are looking into a room we are not supposed to and exposing the secrets within. I like how well thought out everything in his projects are.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

02.22.11 : Guest Lecture Questions : Christopher Ho

What is "Regional Painting"?

Who is E.P. Rothko and why is he important to your work? Is there a difference between you and Rothko?

02.22.11 : Reasearch Presentation : Working Finals

Friday, February 18, 2011

02.21.11 : Artist Entry : Tamara Kenneally

Tamara Kenneally is an award winning, animal based photographic artist situated in Melbourne, Australia. She has a passionate interest in animal behavior, animal rights and animal welfare which greatly influence her work. She has a degree in Media Arts (fine art photography) and post graduate qualifications in Animal Welfare.

She hails from a film photography background and has a passion for creating her images within her camera, this means no cropping and very little post processing on her images. Tamara likes to work with natural light and settings. She believes that animals do not belong in the studio. Tamara has also worked in photographic retail for 10 years and is an experienced photographic printer as well as having a total of 5 years uni/tafe photographic education.

Animal rights and welfare are one of Tamara's main passions in life and most of her work revolves around an animal welfare theme. She is currently working on a series called “No walks today” about neglected suburban dogs.

"The beauty of animals captivates me. Their truth, instinct and innocence grounds me. All I ever wanted to do was to be surrounded by animals, they tell you exactly who they are through their eyes and their behavior. Humans create so much pain for so many animals and without a voice they can’t tell their stories. I try to speak for them through my images.I produce bodies of work which look at animal issues whilst also portraying the beauty of the animal." - Tamara Kenneally

"I like to represent my subjects as the individual souls and personalities they are. All animals are worthy of a happy, enriched life. All of them. The dog chained up in the backyard next door. The chicken at the factory farm. The bird in the cage. The tiger at the zoo.The pig in the sow stall. All of them." - Tamara Kenneally

I researched Tamara as a juxtaposition to my own work. While my work addresses the captivity of animals, it is not meant to speak as an animals rights protest as her work clearly does. The differences in our work is really important to me. I do not want my work to be read in the same manner as her work is meant to. While I agree with some of the ideas regarding animal rights that she addresses, I would not approach it in such a direct manner or style.

Tamara Kenneally

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

02.17.11 : Idea Entry : Capturing Animals

Capture : to gain control of or exert influence over; to take by force
Encloser : to surround, as with a fence or wall; to shut or hem in; close in on all sides

Methods for tapping insects :
  • Beating tray : Insects that frequent plants are often reluctant to fly or run, preferring instead to remain still and rely on their natural camouflage and small size to escape detection. Beating tray is a simple affair made of white cloth stretched over a frame of two crossed sticks. It is held or placed under a shrub or tree branch, to which you deliver several sharp blows, taking care not to damage the plant. Insects having taken refuge there will fall onto the beating tray and can then be collected by hand.
  • Pitfall traps : Pitfall traps are effective in catching insects that scurry across the ground rather than fly. Simply dig a small hole and sink a jar. Use yogurt pots with drainage holes and check every few hours. Place three or more strips of wood radiating from the rim like the spokes of a wagon wheel; these will guide insects into the trap.
  • Bait traps : One of the major pastimes of insects is searching for food, and many species can be lured with bait. Pitfall traps or small containers suspended from a tree branch make excellent bait traps. Cover them securely with a large-mesh screen. A mixture of equal parts of molasses and water, fermenting fruit, or meat scraps all makes a fine bait. Cloth strips soaked in a bait mixture and suspended from a tree branch will attract larger insects, such as nocturnal moths, that cannot fit through the screen covering your other bait traps.
Live trapping is an effective animal control alternative that is both humane and earth-friendly. Whether you are successful in catching a live animal depends on choosing the right bait and location among factors.Many people use live animals traps to capture animals like chipmunks, mice, rats, squirrels, rabbits, possums, raccoons, armadillos, groundhogs etc. They are usually made up of a rescue cage, divider, door hook, and burlap cover with some type of bait in the cage to attract the animal.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

02.14.10 : Artist Entry : Elaine Duigenan

Elaine Duigenan is a Fine Art Photographer based in London. She received her BA (Hons) Art / Art History, at Goldsmiths College, and University of London. She has collections at Victoria & Albert Museum (London), and The Museum of Fine Art (Houston).

These images are from a series called Mysteries of Generation. The images were taken over the course of three years at the Royal College of Surgeons, London. They are of 200 year old animal specimens which were preserved by pioneer anatomist John Hunter (1728 - 1793). All together the Hunterian Museum at The Royal College has 3,600 specimens.

“For me, photography has become an ‘act of preservation’ and objects I focus on become the locators or igniters of memory. The traces and remnants we find in any landscape can spark recognition. They can even invoke a presence.” - Elaine Duigenan

"She is fascinated by what she has begun to term 'intimate archaeology'. This arises out of a passion for both 'sense of place' and collecting/unearthing treasure. We all keep or preserve things as mementoes and Elaine is able to discover symbolism in the most mundane of objects. Her work invariably has an air of mystery and ambiguity which is often heightened when subjects are placed in a particular light or landscape. " - Watermark Fine Art Photographs & Books, September 2007

Since I have been having problems finding new places to shoot, I am thinking about bringing my project in a different direction. I have been thinking about capturing and enclosing animals myself in jars. These images are really striking not only because of there content but also the manner in which they were shot. The lighting on the jars themselves are dramatic and the subjects are really intriguing.

Elaine Duigenan

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

02.10.11 : Idea Entry : Mason Jar

A Mason jar is a glass jar used in canning to preserve food. They were invented and patented by John Landis Mason, a Philadelphia tinsmith in 1858. They are also called Ball jars, after Ball Corp., a popular and early manufacturer of the jars; fruit jars because they are often used to store fruit.
The Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company began manufacturing fruit jars in 1884 in Buffalo, New York. After a destructive fire in the Buffalo plant, however, the five Ball brothers and their families relocated to Muncie, Indiana, where their business has become known worldwide.

Mason jars have screw-on rings. The ring holds the lid in place during the canning process, which creates a partial vacuum, sealing the lid until opened.

The Mason jar was also used during warfare. The safety pin of hand grenades would be pulled and the grenades would be placed in glass Ball Mason jars which would hold back the safety lever. The safety lever would release upon the shattering of the jar and the grenade would detonate. This particular improvised explosive device was popular with chopper crews in Vietnam, who would use them as improvised anti-personnel cluster bombs during raids. They were easy to dump out of the flight door over a target,and the thick Ball Mason glass was resistant to premature shattering in the air.

Today they are used for a variety of reasons. They can used for lighting or chandeliers, a vase, food preserver, drinking glass, bug jar, storage jar, ingredient jars, etc.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

02.07.11 : Artist Entry : Steve Poxson

Steve Poxson is fascinated by the way the photograph can confuse the viewer, turning their beliefs and ideas on their head, which has inspired his series ‘Abnormal Beauty’. In this series he displays conventionally beautiful items, such as flowers and butterflies, juxtaposed with objects which do not conform to our typical ideas of beauty including animal skulls and offal, to create a striking image.

In the age of digital photography Poxson is reinventing this form by emulating the early processes of the photogram. To create his alluringly decorative images, the photographer places the objects that interest him on a flat bed scanner, through which he is able to elevate these objects into something extraordinary, whilst questioning what a photograph really is and how we understand the medium of photography.

The objects are scanned at a high resolution preserving a density of detail that is beyond the limits of the human eye. This places them almost into a hyper reality where the viewer feels like they can almost reach out and touch them.

" My latest work is a continuation of a earlier project using a flatbed scanner to capture various objects with a hyper real level of detail, turning these images into intense patterns." - Steve Poxson

His work appealed to me because I have been thinking about capturing animals myself and photographing them. I have been trying to come up with different methods of photographing them and this artist caught my eye. These scans and unique and are aesthetically pleasing. I am thinking about capturing animals in jars and photographing them possibly in their natural environment, or in the studio with a white or black backdrop.

Steve Poxson

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

02.03.11 : Idea Entry : Are Animals Self-Aware?

The mirror test is a measure of self-awareness, as animals either possess or lack the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror. Animals that have passes the mirror test are all of the great apes (bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, humans, and gorillas), rhesus macaques, bottlenose dolphins, orcas, elephants, pigs, and European Magpies. Dogs, cats, and young human babies all fail the mirror test. Humans tend to fail the mirror test until they are about 18 months old.

Such self-awareness is rare. Scientists previously believed only humans, apes and dolphins possessed self-recognition skills. All of these animals are highly intelligent and seem to feel empathy, a quality that likely is linked to self-awareness. Many other animals possess self-awareness, a multi-faceted, complex phenomenon, which seems to manifest itself at different levels.

Christian Ziegler

"It may be freely admitted that no animal is self-conscious, if by this term it is implied that he reflects on such points, as whence he comes or whither he will go, or what is life and death, and so forth." - The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Charles Darwin

"Nevertheless, the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind." Thus, there are shades of gray and not black-and-white differences between humans and other animals in cognitive abilities. So, while animals might not ponder life and death the way humans do, they still may have some sense of self. - The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Charles Darwin

After decades of studying animals ranging from coyotes, gray wolves, domestic dogs, and Adelie penguins and other birds, Marc Bekoff, writer of Minding animals: Awareness, Emotions, and Heart, come to the conclusion that not only are some animals self-aware, but also that there are degrees of self-awareness. He argues that a sense of body-ness is necessary and sufficient for most animals to engage in social activities that are needed in the social milieus in which they live.