Report From Italy Response:
Contemporary art is not just important in a society for its own sake, it also gives power and meaning to historical art. By producing contemporary art it creates a continuum of creative expression past to present such that the historical works are not just beautiful historical objects but a point in expression that brought us to where we are today. It is a significant bummer that Italy does not have more stages for contemporary art because more could really bring all the historical wonders to life. I have been very impressed by the contemporary art that I have seen here in Italy, and I think this work is well articulated because of the rich local art history supporting it.
Booklet Project: Connecting Past and Present
Walking through the streets of Siena, I find myself drawn to all the creatures that “watch” the street, be it pigeons, gargoyles, fish or other pairs of eyes living and stone. I love the watchers, and imagine they see a the city in a different light, so for my booklet project I wrote a little guide to the city centered on the creatures. The guide includes drawings of the creatures, their guidance, and the paths that they watch people wander when moving through “their” space. This book is a difficult guide to follow in a practical way, but it more serves as an invitation to see the space through a new set of eyes.
Reading Response: All Together Now
I think there is an important element of presence in many crafts that makes the experience of appreciating them more personal and thus more difficult to globalize in comparison with other visual art. A craft is something brings expression and beauty through the care and expertise that it was created with. This shows through a more tactile exploration of the object and a personal interaction with the object and not something that is well transmitted through the internet. Visual artists that can push a strong concept through more simple and transmittable visuals succeed easily in a globalized art market and are part of the reason craft is sometimes overlooked as art.
I have always found maps intriguing and love creative maps that attempt to represent things that are non-objective non-geographical. However, these maps only seem to bring more intellectual insight rather than an intuitive understanding of the subject represented. I agree that the landscape plays an essential role in the social, emotional, and thus artistic lives of human beings. However the qualities that are so important cannot be represented in ways of mapping. Large-scale maps themselves remove a lot of the human connection with the landscape with their inhuman orthonormal perspective. Maps also often represent space that cannot all be seen at once, which is a useful feature, but again removes a human perspective that is crucial to understanding our relationship to the land. It is easy to intellectually describe a landscape, but the unique, beautiful, and ugly relationship humans have to the landscape is better described by methods that come from a human perspective such as landscape painting.
Blue of Distance reflection:
For me, the Blue of Distance deals with becoming aware of ones comfortability in the movement of time. Looking into the distance and being able to appreciate the beauty of what is far away independent of the desire to get there is metaphorically someone who is comfortable with their place in time. Being comfortable with time and distance are particularly important for makers of things, because things will change in time as well, and some of the most beautiful works of art are in conversation with their own place in time. The beauty of the blue of distance to me comes across as a mental health message to meditate on ones place in time and make an effort to enjoy the distance and impermanence.
Intro Unit Project: Tempo Zulu
One thing I love about the streets of Siena is how they are treated and function as a living thing; always changing and growing while still keeping the same bones and heart. With the Tempo Zulu project I want to express the live aspect of the city with a “breath” in the sidewalk. I initially wanted the curvature of the road to be changed slightly as the stones are replaced, and have the road actually move up and down as if it were breathing, but this as an art installation would be difficult to experience as a viewer because of the timescale. I settled on a ripple in the stones to express this breathing motion in a way that can be experienced in a shorter period of time. However, as the stone wears down from traffic the breath will shallow.
Art – Craft reflection:
The distinction that I see in the readings that is being used as the difference between art and craft is whether or not some expressive value is seen in the work. As discussed in the extengency of margins reading, mediums that have been traditionally labeled craft are traditionally done by people that aren’t traditionally labeled “artists” only because the expression of those people was not sought after. The shift that we see in moving more “craft” mediums to be considered fine art is not a change in the general opinion of the material, but a shift in whose expression is valued and celebrated. There is a practical difference between craft and art, witch is to make an object for practical purposes, or to make an object for expressive purposes, we have just historically ignored a lot of expression that was labeled as craft. If anything, the lines between craft and art are becoming more distinct because making something by hand is no longer the most practical way do work in most cases, so doing so is some sort of expression or statement.
Intro Unit Project: Walk of Destiny
Julia Denlinger, USA
I grew up on Bainbridge Island Washington, a small island off of Seattle with good dirt, trees and views. I currently am studying Physics and Visual Art at Oberlin College where I am a third-year. I study physics and visual art simultaneously because they both allow me to see and explore the hidden and unseen. Through my art practice I hope to visualize hidden truths. Although a lot of my work is done in traditional oil and egg tempera fashion, I love found objects, and the character and texture they bring.