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Reports & Essays: Music & Art - Art

"AND""OR"

An Artistic Pastiche
First off, I need to propose my theme that will encompass the majority of my art works in my stated media. Out of painting, print making and sculpture, I am choosing to work with the latter for two main reasons. One, I'm not that great at capturing visual ideas on the somewhat two-dimensional surface of paper or canvas. Adding to that I thought that sculpture would allow me to have a greater release of creativity as my work can explode into the third dimension with many added features. After pondering upon ideas for a theme, I hit upon four major factors that I want to incorporate within my work. Firstly, I want it to make a definite immediate visual contact with the viewer through use of thought provoking forms and features. Next, I may wish at times to incorporate audible stimuli to further draw the viewer into my work. Thirdly, I want some interaction of the sculpture with the viewer, so that they can make a more intimate contact with the piece through tactile and kinesthetic action, and begin to experience some of the passion & feeling that I put into my work. As a title theme for my year's work I have come up with "Multifaceted Interactive Involvement With The Electro- Magnetic Spectrum." This includes many different forms of radiation, light and waves. I am also integrating sound to give an added dimenstion. Some practical project examples that I intend to carry through and actually construct can be found in ideas 11 and 12. As my topic theme is fairly limiting, this is quite challenging, but great, as it allows me to create many different forms of work, all tied in to a common specific point. I thought it also might be interesting though if I deviated slightly from the main theme and as a secondary little theme chose something to do with the people in the class surrounding me. There are six in total, including myself and the teacher. There are six sides on a cube and this gave rise to an idea for a project. The final result of this co-relates to idea number 9. Soon after, idea 10 followed as I got to thinking about the "average" student of art. This can also include the teacher, because no matter what level we are, we still may always learn more. One thing I seem to find is that by working around the late night/early morning period, my creative juices just seem to flow better and I get a lot more productive work done. Also I need many special tools and thus maybe I will spend the majority of my project time in my room where I have all the things I need all around me and can also work in bits and pieces, working whenever I get the inspiration to do so. This way, my art will benefit in the fact that it was made in the most fruitful portions of my labor. It can also be made more enjoyable this way, if I know I don't have to work within a structured time on the project. Maybe the time I spend in the classroom can be used on finishing touches with paint and other items that I don't have available in my room. Also I can do sketches and drawings of improvements and modifications to existing proto-sketches. I have had considerable difficulty finding a main mentor, first of all because I think my style is fairly obscure, and I also use such a variety of materials, that I couldn't seem to locate an artist wiith whomt I could relate By a twist of fate, while looking through Canadian Art magazines, I came across an article titled "The Body Electric." This article describes Jana Sterbak, originally native of Czechoslovakia. She came to Canada in 1968 at the age of 13. She has been educated in New York and Vancouver, having lived in boh places. She frequently commutes between Montreal and Toronto and frequently exhibits her work in both cities.. In a way she appears to be similar to Van Gogh in that she creates her work for herself, and then attempts to impress the vigor and zest that she feels with her work upon others. She utilizes many different forms of materials, and likes to use electricity to bring some life into the piece. One piece of her work that I really enjoy is entitled "I want you to feel the way I do." This sculpture, while seemingly relatively simple, is associated with a lot of strong feelings of the artist, and through her work she is attempting to impress them upon you, the viewer. As you approach the piece, a motion detector senses your movement and activates the power to the projector and the nichrome wire that encircles the wire mesh frame. The projector shows a message on the wall that helps convey the feelings of the artist while the nichrome wire surrounding the wire mesh heats up like a toaster, giving off a wave of heated air towards the viewer. If this doesn't draw your attention to the piece, not much else will, and it serves its dual purpose quite well. Another mentor, Rockne Krebs, who was born in 1938, has used different gas lasers to produce another much admired piece, called: "Day Passage." This work uses several red helium/neon and blue/green argon lasers and mirrors to reflect beams. This creates a constantly changing light show in an L-shaped corridor. An artist with a similar style to mine is Sebastian, a Mexican born in 1947. Like myself he is interested in the production of transformable sculptures that the viewer can manipulate and change configurations within the piece. Another artist who also uses light and shadow forms in his work is Robert Irwin. In 1968, he created an untitled piece that effectively hides a plexiglass disk within the shadow patterns of light and color that are projected on the wall through the use of four lights to provide illumination from behind the disk. Len Lye, is anther artist who uses similar techniques and illustrated movement through art. He created several pieces that either moved through the turning of cranks by spectators or by electrically driven motors. At the age of 64, he created a kinetic sculpture with stainless steel wire mounted in a wood base. The base rested on a motor, and rocked gently back and forth creating the effect of grass blowing in the breeze. Thus, the composition is entitled: "Grass." These artists' use sound, light and movement in new ways. This could be described, as Kinetic Intermedia. Here are some random ideas for projects: 1. An interactive laser system, whereby users may control various beams of light through the manipulation of motors and mirrors, to create their own personalized light art form. 2. A light box with many different openings and cut-outs, allowing projection of various light and shadow forms and their interaction upon each other. -Possibly add color filters and a creative surface upon which these light forms are to be projected, creating a greater contrast and giving rise to many imaginative patterns and pseudo-three dimensional light sculpture. 3. Is a true three dimensional light sculpture actually possible using our current technology? Sure maybe with multi-million dollar real time holographic laser projection systems, but is it possible to create a compact photon form relying on using scrap parts and ingenuity? Would it have a definite projection surface, or could it be visualized in plain air space, maybe relying upon condensed carbon dioxide vapour in which to carve traces and impose visual phenomena upon? 4. A fiber optic (just thought of: possible sculpture title: "Fiber Optrix") sculpture, through which many different wavelengths of light could coarse, in either a steady or a variable frequency oscillation pulsed state. Could incorporate a fixed or variable speed motor to vary the rotation of the whole piece of work. 5. Robot head. Either purchase a department store styrofoam wig display head, or make one from clay (probably too heavy for purpose, but could be hollow), or by wadding and taping newspapers into the form of a head. Then transform it through such methods as silver metallic spray paint or aluminum foil, to give it a metallic base, and adding found objects such as electronic junk to create a dazzling three-dimensional sort of surrealistic artwork. Some of the electronics could be functional, and provide even more exciting visual, audible or kinetic effects. 6. A sound sculpture made by collecting various materials and objects that produce different sounds. The work could then be arranged as to be visually attractive, and could be sort of "played" by the viewer, somewhat like a music instrument, or could be electrically operated upon the viewer arranging some sort of built in puzzle that is a piece of the art. 7. "Self Recycling Energy Light" or something. Needs a better title, but could use the idea of a small light that draws its power from the current produced by a solar cell. The solar cell could be "generating" current from the light that was falling upon it from the lamp. So this is sort of a perpetual motion sculpture drawing upon an impossible concept. Maybe incorporate something as to convince the viewers that it is really working. e.g. When they cut off the light path from the light source to the solar cell with their hand, the light goes out. When they withdraw their hand, the light returns. But this kind of defeats the concept, as even the simplest theory of this would show that the light would require an external source to start up the process. Anyway, I'll spare the details, but the point of all this, is trying to brainstorm as many ideas for projects as I can, no matter how trivial or complex. Then later, I can review them, and either discard them or build upon them to create a viable project design. 8. Some sort of novel supreme interface, where there is no physical sculpture at all, but merely a hookup that allows the viewer to connect themselves to it, and adjust the controls for maximum overall visual effect. Would provide visual phenomena without the use of photons as it directly stimulates the optic nerves via self-structured neural impulses coupled either inductively or conductively. Similar in theory to what researchers have call "flashing of the brain," in which we may thus produce intricate colour fractal like patterns in the form of phosphenes. Maybe aid the work with a powerful audio soundtrack to assist in visualization of desired objects. This is probably the highest form of visual medium, because it paints extremely detailed pictures in your mind with your own imagination. 9. A sort of modified "Rubix Cube", with the six faces of the people in class pasted on each of the six sides. Although this does not quite fit into the main theme, it has aspects of it, as it is certainly multifaceted, and allows interactive involvement as the viewer may pick up the sculpture and turn and rotate the columns and rows in each of the three dimensions. 10. The pictures of the six people in the art class transferred onto acetate or similar, so that they may be projected onto a screen through the use of an overhead projector. Now we have pictures one through six, and they may be layered down on the projection surface one at a time until they all are aligned with and over each other, thus showing a combined image of the six of us. Here many common physical characteristics blend, and we see what might just be the "average" student in our class. As this idea is not very time consuming, it could be combined with idea nine as well as a possible third idea to create one project. 11. This "Interactive Digital Sculpture" or IDS for short, relies on the effect of human body capacitance to vary the frequency of a tone as the user molds the mountain-like form of a putty-like substance. This incorporates a device similar to that made by RCA in the 1930's to produce eerie effects for movies and concerts. I have thought about what substance to use inside the elastic form, so that it would be sort of like those stress buster nurd things you see in some stores now-a-days. I would want it to slowly creep back into its original form after handling. Several things came to mind as a filler, including: silicon, not unlike that used in breast implants, a mixture of cornstarch and water to form a colloidal suspension, play-do, to even mashed potatoes. Perhaps I shall settle with some form of putty as the others are either impractical in their cost, or they may rot. Although I know some art isn't made to last, maybe mine could only last the length of time it took the filler material to go bad. The attached sheets will enable you to visualize the final product. 12. This sculpture gives the illusion of a rotating ellipse around a cylindrical form. The mechanism is hidden from view through the usage of a clever backdrop, and the motor which controls the "fall rate" of the ellipse has a variable speed control. Refer to attached sheets. 13. A sort of "cyborg" robot form, constructed with mixed media. The materials intended to be utilized will include: circuit boards, chicken wire, wire, styrofoam, plastic, aluminum foil, paper, and anything else useful that I may find lying around. Some enamel and spray paints will also be applied in the finished product. This sculpture may or may not move, but most probably will include some aspect of electricity. Refer to attached sheet. 14. A spherical or elliptical bottle filled with multicoloured undulating globular spheres, similar to that of a lava lamp of time past. In this modification to the original design, the globules will change color through the use of colour filters, and the light which provides illumination to the bottle will have a variable frequency rate from approximately one to sixty hertz. It should be noted that a frequency above about fifty-five hertz gives way to flicker fusion, and the lamp appears to be constantly on. Possibly an audible beat could accompany the light pulses. 15. A high-tech futuristic weapon, sort of like those constructed for use by the army corps in the movie "Aliens." Would be mixed media, including PVC piping to give the effect of the multi-barreled weapon. Now I know how to put those spent CO2 cartridges to good use. Some silver and black spray paint would finish off its appearance, to look futuristic, but heavily used.

 



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