Fall’17 Blog Post #3

Walker, S.R. Artmaking as Sensation. pp. 1–47.

The reading introduced a new idea into our course regarding the role of sensation or affect in art and artmaking. The painter Francis Bacon refers to sensation in art as something that is experienced through the nervous system rather than intellectually through the brain. Sensation, according to Deleuze, is first experienced unconsciously and then consciously experienced as emotion or feeling. Every form of communication where facial expressions, respiration, tone of voice, and posture are perceptible can transmit affect, and that list includes nearly every form of mediated communication other than the one you are currently experiencing (Walker 13).” Artists like Alfredo Jarr and Richard Serra’s work rely on people’s bodily reactions and reactions on the senses. After this reading during our discussion it was asked if I knew of an artist that also played on the senses and I brought up my recent field trip at the time with my class to DIA Beacon. The piece in particular, was “Untitled (from Ten Vertical Constructions [rust red variation], 1977-79) by Fred Sandback. The work made my students uncomfortable. They made my students ask “can I step over it?” “can I walk through it?” and then I watched them (along with myself) cautiously step through the squares and over the thread like we were tip toeing around a sleeping bear. When walking around the thread you question if it is a glass panel, and you move your body cautiously around them. It was a very interesting experience for my students and I. This theory made me think of all other past artwork from my art history courses and visits to museums and how those artworks affect the body and the senses. This reading also gave me another way to challenge my students and their thinking.

Ingold, Tim. “Chapters 1 & 2 .” Making: Anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture. , Routledge, 2013, pp. 1–45.

This reading was one of my favorites during this course during fall semester. The title, “Knowing from the Inside” is appropriate for this introductory chapter because it introduces the concepts that Ingold was taught when starting out in his field. He was told to learn through the process of being. Through a process of self discovery, “from the inside.” Through this chapter we learn what he was introduced to and how one learns not from facts themselves but what they get us to learn, study and explore. He writes how the world itself teaches us and we learn from our experiences. He introduces terms in anthropology that follow that thought process. Throughout the reading I made connections between his processes in anthropology and the ways that artmaking can be practiced. Art making is a very active learning process. Artists also learn from within. We take in information from our environment, experiences, and people and then we create. We also learn by participating in the process. Learning new mediums by creating and learning about art and art history by experiencing and taking in all that is around us. “One makes through thinking and the other thinks through making (Ingold 6).”

Kaprow, Allan. “Just Doing.” The MIT Press, vol. 41, no. 3, 1997, pp. 101–106.

The purpose of this reading is to think more critically about the everyday and how it might become a source for artmaking. The reading considers the fact that the everyday often goes unnoticed, but through artmaking might gain our attention and raise questions about aspects of our daily lives that go unnoticed. Kaprow writes that anything can be used to create new art; paint, chairs, food, electric, dogs, pretty much anything an artist decides is art. There was a line that I really loved “Young artists today need to longer say, I am a painter or a poet or a dancer (Walker 6).” I really loved that, that you aren’t defined by your medium or process. Through the reading, Kaprow tends to go through trial and error with his expansion in his artmaking process including his materials. He expanded into happenings using people, places and new experiences as his art materials. The role of control also evolved through Kaprow’s work. As Kaprow evolved the Happenings, later simply referring to them as ‘activities’, he modified his approach with less rigorously scripted scores that permitted greater simplicity and open-endedness. I liked this reading because I felt it was very relatable for my high school students. High school is pretty much four straight years of trial and error for them so I feel this reading and the artwork inspired by it can be very reassuring and relatable to them.

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