Friday, April 11, 2014

Reflections on Performance 5

For my fifth and final performance in my intermedia class, I decided I wanted to stick with the theme of "breaking out" (like in my plastic and frame piece). I was inspired by Kate Gilmore's work. She has many different pieces of her breaking out of uncomfortable situations. She had a piece called "Every Girl Loves Pink", which was the main source of inspiration.

I wanted to place myself in a corner, surrounded by pink. I liked the sound of cardboard paper, so I put all of the pink and white cardboard paper in the corner with me. I wrapped my legs in pink lights, put on pink sparkle heels, and worked to get out of the lights, and out of the boxed up corner.

This did not go as smoothly as I intended. The lights kept coming unplugged, and the boxes fell over too early. It all ended very fast. I feel like this performance needs to be thought out and tweaked a little more.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Reflections on Project Four

Food for thought. Our assignment was to incorporate food into our performance in some manner. I honestly struggled for days after reading the assignment to figure out what I was going to do. After days of deliberation, I decided I wanted to try something in the style of John Cage. This is a new concept for me. I have tended to do more work that deals with social issues. In this piece, I wanted to try a style that is based on the deconstruction of high art. I picked foods that I figured would make some kind of interesting noise. I then found a randomizer online to pick an order for them. To finish my score, and figure out how long I would play each "instrument", I used a deck of playing cards, and played a second for each number that the card displayed. At class, I sat up all my "instruments", pulled out my score, and started playing my song Music of Meals

Looking back on it, I should have had some official way of keeping track of time. I just did it in my head, but John Cage used a watch, or a timer. A kitchen timer would have had an interesting effect on this piece. I also think it might work better with another person, so the food could be played simultaneously instead of one at a time. Another way to change this piece, is to give it more of my personality. One suggestion was that I try to do this in the style of the food network. I thought that would be interesting, and more in tune with my style of art.

Laurie Anderson

Last week, we as a class went to Iowa City to see the artist Laurie Anderson give a lecture. We were introduced to Laurie's work a while back, particularly her "Oh Superman" piece. Going into the lecture I assumed we were just going to learn more about her work like that, but it turns out I got a lot more out of her lecture than a recap of her old performances. Laurie showed the audience that there was no need to label herself as "a painter", or "a singer", or any other specific art style. She said no one ever asked her what kind of artist she was, so she never felt the need to define herself. By doing this, Laurie has been able to break through many different medias and styles to create what is artistic to her. What I found interesting, is that she never looks at one of her pieces and says "yes, that's it! I'm done!". Her art is always evolving. I found this quite relatable, since I too don't really feel like my work is ever exactly right either. She then proceeded to show us her work in progress (which I found very brave of her). I was really a fan of her story telling. She was talking about her dog in a cute silly manner, and then ended the story with 9/11. It was amazing to see how she can switch the mood of a room so instantly. She has stories that you can't make up, like how she put on a concert for dogs, or that her dog plays the keyboard. She showed us a clip from a movie she's working on, where the view was the city, and her voice was super low, telling stories. It was a very interesting dynamic to put together. I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to see Laurie Anderson's lecture. It was insightful, and inspirational.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reflections of Performance 3

*Video Coming Soon*
Distortion Through Plastic

Performance 3 was a very new experience for me. I felt like I was definitely putting myself on the line. I was inspired by the idea of breaking out of the frame, as well as distortion of the image of the body. I started out covering my old mirror frame in tin foil, so that I could leave impressions of myself in the frame before I scratched it open to emerge from the frame. The morning of the performance though, I looked at it, and realized that it was too easy. All I would have to do is simply run my nail down the foil, and breaking through would be a simple task. However, historically, women breaking out of the frame has clearly been much more of a challenge- we are still talking about it today! Knowing that, I wanted to do something more endurance based. I ripped off all the foil on my frame, and replaced it with a cut up plastic garbage bag. This would allow me to really distort my image to the audience, as well as create a much bigger struggle when trying to break through.

I had a couple difficulties when performing this piece. First off, my frame was definitely too small. I knew that going into this project, but I used the materials I had. The frame was not big enough vertically or horizontally. My frame was also slightly broken I started this piece. I thought that by taping it together, it would hold for the performance. Unfortunately, the plastic bag did such a good job or restraining me, that instead of the bag ripping, the frame broke. I felt like I could have gone for longer if my frame did not break, which would have emphasized the endurance aspect of my piece even more. Finally, I was unsure of what to wear for this performance. I went simple, and chose a nude color top with black pants, but I'm not sure if that was the best choice. Should I have dressed up more to fully embrace the idea of femininity and women breaking out of the frame? Should I gone even more basic? These are questions I have to figure out for Live Art Night.

I was very nervous about this piece. I tried talking about it to my friends who aren't in this class . They all thought it sounded weird (some said artistically weird though, which gave me some hope). I knew that squishing my face against a plastic bag would look strange, maybe even be uncomfortable to watch. I don't usually put myself out there like this, it's a very new experience for me. This class is helping me feel more comfortable about my ideas and doing the weird things. Its new, and I like it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reflections on performance two

For performance two, two of my classmates and I created a piece based off of the human language. One classmate had a small journal with a list of words, some known, others very strange. In this piece, we took turns reading strange words from the journal, and then let the book be passed around so the audience could take their chance and read. The piece ended with us finishing up the list and short speech from one of my classmates.

This piece was not my favorite, but there definitely were aspects I enjoyed about it. The repetition in the reading of words and walking the notebook to the next person, I found to be soothing. I also appreciated the strangeness of trying to read those words, and hearing the audience read some of them for the first time.  

I did feel that this piece seemed to drag a little bit. There needed to be an element of surprise or strangeness. If not, then it just needed to end sooner. The concept was good, but the execution could have been better. 

Maybe next time!

Reflections on My First Performance

Stained With a Kiss
residue from performance 1

For my first performance, I decided to do a piece that shows femininity, simplicity, the obscure, and surprise. I was dressed in a knee length black floral dress, which gave an over all feminine appearance. To give a softer over all essence, I dimmed the lights. I wanted everyone to be able to see, and to be in a close environment, so I placed all the chairs very close to each other in a half circle around the table. From there, I proceeded to "gracefully" climb on top of the table. I had a mostly gone roll of toilet paper and a tube of lipstick with me. At the time I was not exactly sure where this performance was going to go. I had a lot of different options that I had planned out. In the moment though, I am happy with the path I chose. I put on a thick layer of lipstick on my lips, ripped a single square off the toilet paper roll, kissed it, and placed it gently on the table. I repeated this action, ritualistically, placing the individual squares in a grid like form on the table. As I did this, the lipstick on my lips faded, showing on the toilet paper. Eventually, my kiss marks stopped showing up on the toilet paper. However, I continued to do this ritual. At the end of the roll, the squares were not easily rippable, and I was left with a rectangular piece, which I decided to kiss twice. This ritual created a steady beat visually (the grid), through the sound (rip & kiss), and through the process. I found it relaxing, and it really matched my aesthetics. However, at the end of the piece, I decided to take the cardboard center of the toilet paper roll, and blow through the hole, turning my fading lipstick grid into a scattered mess. I then proceeded to get off the table quietly and join the audience.

There were many reactions which I did not think about when coming up with this performance. Some people said it was cute and sort of romantic; toilet paper has never had a better outcome.  Others said it reminded them of fading love, or blowing kisses. I was given suggestions to give out the kissed paper, or end in a different way.

Overall, I was pretty happy with this piece. I was super nervous going into it, I could see my hand shaking as I ripped the toilet paper, square by square. A couple times it caused me to rip imperfections (which I think made my grid look eclectic, like me). After the performance though, I felt really great, and I was excited to get the feedback from people. I did not know what to expect out of a first performance. I feel slightly more prepared now, but I don't think those nerves will ever go away.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Music is art. Music is made up of different sounds. Sound is everywhere. Art is everywhere. Listen.

Song #1
The Morning After: A Song of my Suite in a Resting State

I live in a very active suite. Other than myself and my three (rather loud) suite mates, there is always at least one other person who occupies the suite. It is a strange morning when I wake up to an empty living room. For some reason, on Saturday morning, I woke up at 7 a.m,. So instead of falling back asleep, I took the time to just listen to my resting suite, while relaxing on my futon. 

A softly snoring friend, asleep on the couch.
The on again/ off again buzz of my fridge.
My own heavy breathing- steady and rhythmic, like a solid beat.
My friend flips over, making a soft rubbing on the couch.
She grunts, then goes quiet
Someone's awake at the end of the hall. 
Two voices, soft but disruptive to the quiet suite.
Mostly a high repetitive noise.
A phone buzzes on the couch - dulled, but still audible.
More silence.
Someone is awake above me. 
Feet walking across the floor,  unintentional stomping.
Quiet Quiet Quiet
The hallway door next to me opens, and closes quite loudly.

Song #2
Laundry Day

I hate Laundry day. While I don't mind the processes folding my clothes and putting them away, it is such a hassle to actually go through the long processes of waiting and cleaning clothes. But today, I listened.'

Synchronized wooshing.
Chaotically organized.
Machine one wooshes while machine two swooshes.
Dryers are aggressive.
Loud vibrations on the floor.
The same noise from each machine.
But all at different times.
A chorus of wooshing .
A buzzer goes 
The room is one machine quieter.
Woosh Swoosh Woosh Swoosh.
A door opens.
Footsteps of a shoeless girl.
Her plastic laundry bin hits the metal of a washer.
A forceful click and clank of the door opening
Soft clothes pushed intro the dryer.
The door is moving, creaking on a hinge.
A thud and a lock, the door is closed.
Cha ching, the quarter dispenser slides, clicks, and is released.
Water wooshes.
Barefoot footsteps out of the laundry room.

Song #3
Soft Serve and Basketball

Let's try a different situation. A busier place, with hustle and bustle. A crowded venue where I am serving ice cream. This is not how I want to spend my Sunday... No wonder I got such a head ache after this.

Loud Loud Loud
Rumbling and Buzzing ice cream machines
I turn it on, and it groans louder.
I stop pouring ice cream, and it becomes softer, eventually.
Two machines, surround sound buzzing.
Like a low pitched ambulance.
Customer complaints
Customer orders
Customer laughing
Fans cheering, roars, simultaneously chanting.
Chanting letters, words, phrases.
Claps Claps Claps
Register "cha chings" open.
Quarters jingle.
Dollars swish each other.
Register crashes close.
Overwhelming music.

Who Am I - An Artist's Statement

As an artist, I aim to create interesting pieces of work. I want to do the unexpected and challenge conventional ideas about art as well as life.  I want my art to reflect my interests, passions, and beliefs. I often find it difficult to speak my mind or explain the way I feel. Through my art, I am hoping to have a stronger voice, and show the world who I aspire to be.