01.31.17 Ali Asgar
Ali did a great presentation that combined biography and artist practice. He detailed his life in Bangladesh. He explained his family history in resistance movements. He went on to describe the difficulty of being a middle class, Bangladeshi man who chose to go to Art school. He included his journey from Printmaking to Performance. He talked about the way that his struggle with gender identity and acceptance informed his work. Then he moved on to explain how he came to Maine and his goals as an evolving artist.
I was particularly struck by the movement in his story. It is a difficult thing to move from one style to another but he is embracing that challenge. I look forward to seeing future work.
02.14.17 Caleb Charland
This was canceled due to Snow and was not rescheduled.
02.21.17 John Sullivan
John Sullivan: Reverb Nation
I had a good studio visit with John Sullivan. He was very thoughtful. He was really the first person I got to talk to about my project in a meaningful way. He gave me some good input. It was cool because I had just drawn up a new plan on how to do it and he suggested the same thing before I told him, it validated the idea. He also gave me some links to similar artist’s work. We had a good discussion about learning electronics. He gave me some sources from his own learning process. I have used a lot of them.
The Artist talk was the only music-based talk I have really enjoyed. This is because I actually understood 70% of it. It was more about the interface design than the music produced. He is making body suits that use feedback to interact with the wearer to produce music. He also talked about how he is doing work to sort of unify the process of designing a new musical instrument. I like that. I like the idea of creating systems of rules and processes that help guide development of work. It isn’t that I think you can’t break those rules, I just think that having a system gives you a stronger starting point. There is no reason to repeat all the same mistakes that everyone else already repeated. We should pick and choose when we challenge established ideas. Systems can be good.
02.28.17 Jane Prophet
Jane Prophet at TRAUMA at Science Gallery Dublin
This was the talk I most wanted to attend and the studio visit I was most excited about. However, Studio Visit forms were not sent to the regular G Mail. I did not find it in my first class until a week after the fact. I thought first class would forward everything but it clearly does not. I am sad about this.
I missed the artist talk because I was so tense and upset that I just went home. I wish I hadn’t because I wanted to see her, but I don’t think I could have done it. Studio/Crit Class is producing a lot of anxiety and it all just boiled over for me.
03.01.17 Miya Masaoka
L@TE: Miya Masaoka
I missed this presentation because I thought it was on Thursday. This is entirely my fault. The date and time are bold and it was on my refrigerator. I just wasn’t thinking,
03.04.17 Gedi Sibony
Framing Sculpture: Gedi Sibony
I drove Gedi from the airport, escorted him around town and the IMRC and picked him up in the morning for Studio Visits. I also had a studio visit with him. He is an interesting character. His moods seem to shift from complete disinterest to sudden intensity about things. I found that intriguing if slightly frustrating.
His talk started off very badly. He seemed nervous and uncomfortable. It was extremely boring. Then all of a sudden, he had a very vivid, obvious moment and became animated and interesting and the whole talk changed and got much better. He did a great job after that. He called himself a traditionalist and a minimalist but I am not sure if either of those labels fit. Labels seldom seem to fit artists well. I like the work he did with the trucks. The idea that they are sort of aggressive and confrontational appeals to me.
03.28.17 Sondra Perry
Sondra is so cool. I knew I was going to like her as soon as she started talking. She is so completely herself. She defies labels. She isn’t a “black artist” or a “woman artist” or a “millennial” or a “Geek” or a techno-artist.” She is just who she is. Her work is not like anything else I have seen, and that alone is quite impressive. She is drawing links between things that I would not even have thought of. Using the green and blue colors is super-fascinating. Also, she showed musical theatre and made Superman analogy. That was awesome!
I love the way she is using technology to detail her experiences. I think it represents a successful integration of technology into daily life. It shows us what it can be.
I knew I was too busy but I had to get to know her so I took her to Dinner as my Studio visit. We had a great time. Even if I never see her again, she made an impression on me. It wasn’t anything she specifically said. It was the totality of it. She inspired me to believe that maybe I could be an artist too,
Poor thing, I hope she didn’t think I was too crazy. I was covered in saw dust and metal filings and asleep in Ali’s studio when she came to find me!
03.25.17 Susan Smith
Your presentation was very good. I wish I had seen it at the start of the semester. It was great to see a professors body of work. Its good to know the kind of things that everyone does.
While it may seem that I am disinterested in the type of work you do, that is actually not the case at all. A lot of what you do relates very closely to things I did when I was still teaching. I anticipated doing more of it in this program but I have been distracted by technology. However, I have not abandoned my interest in social engagement. One day I will pick it back up again. Looking at what you have done helped inspire me to make that sooner rather than later.
I particularly liked the “guerilla” art pieces in your work. I love the idea of using wheat paste graffiti to make a statement. I see so many things that could be done with that. I love that you used the exquisite corpse. I have always liked to do things that open up art to people who think they are not really artists. Maybe someday we can do something like that together. Your talk reminded me to slow down and make time to do that kind of work more often.
You said that all art is political. On the surface, it seems a controversial statement because the word “political” means pertaining to “government.” The mind goes straight to the idea of “G”overnment and not all art is about institutionalized government but, I believe that your statement is still true. The origin of the word “political” dates back to Latin and the concept of “citizen government” which acknowledges that government exists in service to the people as a method of guiding the people to live together in productive harmony. Granted, the Romans did not exactly practice what they preached, but the concept is good. When you say that “all art is political,” I understand it to mean that all art has a message that is meant to be conveyed to the citizens who experience it. All art serves as guidance to those citizens. And in that way, all art is political at the core of what “political” should be but seldom is: “a tool that guides the individual into harmony with the group.” Art creates bonds of empathy that allow the transformation from individual to citizen. I think that your work exemplifies this idea. Beneath the specific activism, there seems to be a common call for empathy and connection that fuels the work.
Your practice is worthwhile and I believe that to be worthwhile is one of the highest forms of praise.
It was good to have pre-researched all the artists.
I wish I had done a better job of recording my thoughts about the artist’s work. I am afraid I have more general impressions of them and that is not as useful. Unfortunately, I am not sure I am realistically going to change that much. Tuesdays are just too busy. I doubt I will take time to record thoughts then.