Lauren Ferrara

Arts & Crafts Reading Response

I personally believe that craft stands at the same level as art. My main reason for this is craftsmanship. In order to craft an object you must understand the medium. You can do this through experimentation and studies and seeing the responses of it. If the craftsmanship is delivered poorly it takes away from the piece as a whole and alters the meaning of the work. If the craft is delivered well it creates an overall strong and cohesive piece. Overall, I see craft as an art form itself because there is a meaning behind the method, process, and end form.

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When Art Defines a Social System Reading Response

Throughout this reading there were two projects that caught my attention. The first project that caught my attention was the Baku project. I thought that is was so amazing to have an architectural art piece that helped the environment to aid with water shortages or to be put in place as a long-term development plan. Being extremely interested in art pieces that talk about environmental issues or pieces that use the environment in some aspect, I am really intrigued that this piece addresses present environmental issues and makes a positive impact. The second piece that really intrigued me was the project titled, Reverse. A quote from the reading that explains the project states, “Reverse is an architectural and urban project that aims to produce negative information and a negative information environment… The field of action is the same: electromagnetic space, but the direction is reversed. Our bodies change from being receivers to being transmitters”. Being a computer science and studio art double major this project was so fascinating in its use of technology and data. I find it so interesting how the art piece literally makes the viewers body react to it using electromagnetic space. Overall, I found these two architectural art pieces to be extremely fascinating in there interactive sense to the environment and the viewer.

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Mapping the Intangible Reading Response

I thought it was interesting how they talked about mapping the intangible things including wellbeing and tranquility, acculturation and identity, and aesthetic feeling. I think it was interesting how they explained how spirit or feeling is what is essential to defining or accentuating a singular feature of a specific place. One quote that really stuck out to me in this reading was, “… making progress in knowledge of the intangible values of the landscape is really a trip to the centre of humankind, of our desires and emotions, of our reference, difference and identity”. I agree with that statement because I tend to personally map things in my mind based on where certain experiences happen or what specific vibes or feelings I get from certain places. For example, I can make a map in my mind based on places that I feel nostalgic towards or a sense of desire to return to. Overall, I thought that this reading was very interesting and made me think of my own experiences and thought processes.

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Blue of Distance reflection: 

I thought the idea of this reading was very intriguing when talking about their interpretation of the color blue. One quote I thought was interesting was, “‘Longing,’ says the poet Robert Hass, ‘because desire is full of endless distances.’” Another quote from the reading that I found interesting was, “Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in, for the blue world.” I found it relatable in a sense, when they were talking about always looking toward the horizon and always longing to be in that blue world. While reading this I came to realization that I sometimes find myself wondering about the blue horizon and longing to just jump across the distance into that blue world. Another question about longing and desire that was brought up that I found interesting was, “I wonder sometimes whether with a slight adjustment of perspective it could be cherished as a sensation on its own terms, since it is as inherent to the human condition as blue is to distance? If you can look across the distance without wanting to close it up, if you can own your longing in the same way that you own the beauty of that blue that can never be possessed?” I found this question interesting, for it really questions our human nature to desire and long for certain things and asks what would occur if we were to simply change our perspective. I feel if one were to do that and change their initial perspective, it might result in one being more content and satisfied where they are at in that current space and time. Another point that the reading states is, “… in this world we actually live in, distance ceases to be distance and to be blue when we arrive in it. The far becomes the near, and they are not the same place”. Therefore, from the reading I can conclude that in order to change our perspective about longing and desire of the unreachable blue distance, we must become content with where we are in our current space and time and accept the inevitable truth of the unreachable horizon. Overall, I thought this reading was very fascinating and brought up some interesting points about atmospheric perspective and the human nature of longing for the blue horizon.

Intro Unit Project: Walk of Destiny: 

After reading the chapter (Shape of a Walk) by Rebecca Solnit I went about my “Walk of Destiny”. For my project I created sketches of points along the way that I experienced. In order to fully portray my experience I gave myself 5 minutes to complete my sketch. When finished I took a photo of the sketch I created in the location that it was created as well as the location itself. This experience and technique really pushed me to get down what I was experiencing in that particular moment as quickly as possible and to document my journey along this walk. Something that I experienced was starting the journey solely on my own. But at the final stop of my walk I happened to cross paths with a friend. This experience relates to the reading in which it states “walking as art calls attention to the simplest aspects of the act… the way urban walking elicits unpredictable social encounters”. Just following the simple act of walking and taking in the small things that the environment had to offer I really connected to the message of the reading.

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Lauren Ferrara, USA

Bio statement: 

Student, Mount Holyoke College