Monday, September 26, 2011

Rauschenberg Erases de Kooning

Robert Rauschenberg talks about his Erased de Kooning piece.

Stop! Keep it to Yourself!

It seems like the more often you ride public transportation, the more often you hear about people's personal lives. And not just what stop they're getting off at and why, but who in their family they hate, what they said to their boss after they were fired, or which sexual positions they prefer.

I consider myself to be a private person, so when I hear these detailed, sometimes graphic conversations, I try to turn a deaf ear. But it's difficult when either two people are talking at high volume or if one person is yelling into their cellphone.

I guess we all have our own methods of tuning it out; you pretend like the Facebook page you're looking at on your smart phone is incredibly interesting or the graffiti on one of the outside buildings has a deeper meaning. You don't want to hear it, but you abide by it. People are sharing these truly intimate details, but are they doing it for their benefit or our own? That is to say, do they WANT us to listen?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Technology in Art Museum Setting

I just came across this article about using a 3-D technology to enrich the art viewing experience. Artists and researchers at Indiana University worked with the Indianapolis Museum of Art to develop this project.

Click to view the article

Monday, September 12, 2011

Staged Photography

The Art Institute has an exhibition displaying the photographic work of Ralph Eugene Meatyard. The collection is being called "Dolls and Masks" and it mainly depicts people in grotesque masks and arranged doll parts. While I can appreciate the formal elements of the collection (balance, composition, deep contrasts in value, etc.) I have always questioned the content of deliberate or staged photography.

At its best, photography focuses on truth--the act of capturing a moment in time. A painting can also depict this moment, but it lacks the immediacy of a photograph. Some of the most powerful photographs I have seen capture fleeting moments, as if the photographer possessed the right amount of talent and luck to get the image on film.

When I see photographs, for example, of children wearing masks with distorted faces in abandoned houses, it produces a definite response. It's strange and unsettling in its content, yet it is content that was prearranged. Like a film, I can recognize the expressiveness and thought that went into its creation, but it remains a single, two-dimensional image. So, the question I always ask myself when I see staged photography is: would it be more poignant or powerful as a painting?        

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Shamless Self-Promotion

In light of the attention paid to the SAIC website, I was hoping to get some feedback on my own website. I have maintained an online studio gallery for myself for several years now. When I purchased my first Apple computer, it seemed logical to retool my website through iWeb. It has gone through a few transformations, including the addition of a video page and a graphic design page.

The trend for websites seems to be clean formats with mostly white backgrounds. I wanted to add some personality to my website, so it may appear a bit colorful by comparison. If you have the opportunity, explore the website and let me know what you think:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Learnin' about Cuba; havin' some food."

I ate in class today--not just a snack, but a small meal. It was a freedom I had yet to experience, even when I was an undergrad. Although graduate classes tend to illicit a more relaxed learning environment, they still have the basic classroom elements: students, teachers, learning. These are elements that take me back to elementary school, where the concept of eating and learning is close to obscene.

However, today in my "Doing Democracy" education class we watched a full movie--also unheard of in public school--where I pulled out a sandwich and some chips and enjoyed the show. Granted, it was a 90 minute documentary about violent student protestors of the 1960s, but as I ate my sandwich and an image of Fidel Castro flashed across the screen, I couldn't help but think about Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Sean Penn's character has a pizza delivered to his history class, where he's "learnin' about Cuba; havin' some food."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Midwest by Way of Southwest

It’s been really interesting this past month living in an environment with so much history when you come from an area of the country where it’s like things are just getting started. In the southwest—Phoenix in particular—everything is so spread out, expanding and constantly developing. The houses, apartments, and freeways all have a new quality to them you don’t usually find in the Midwest.

In Chicago, there are houses and apartments a century old, places with real historical significance that anybody with the right money can live in. Many of these dwellings are not even considered public landmarks; they’re just potential real estate. In Phoenix, there are always new properties to choose from. Living in a home with history suggests the hassle of upkeep and remodeling. Homes a century old are potential tourist attractions.

On a smaller scale, visiting Chicago by way of Phoenix is almost like visiting ancient Greece or Rome, except you can rent space in one of the ruins.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


One of greatest gifts of the internet is the gift of information. Whether you want to know the history of an ancient tribe, how to install an air conditioner, or the name of an actor from that movie you saw when you were twelve, the web has the answers.

For me, IMDB eliminates hours of searching my mental database for some useless bit of movie trivia. If  I want to see a list of movies by a specific actor or director or get dialogue from some 80s sitcom, IMDB gives me the gift of instant information. It still amazes me that people are responsible for researching information that is so precise and so unnecessary at the same time.