Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Studio Visits and Critiques

There has been a lot of feedback as of late, with a studio visit and a long critique involving grads, professors, and undergrads. I was asked a lot of questions in the individual visit, one of my favorites so far asking if I am offering a solution for this disconnected communication, or if I am simply pointing out an impossibility. That was a good one to ponder. I would say that certainly I do not have an answer. I am more representing the fact that there is no connection. There is no one on the other end. It is just an object that can only contain the ghost of what passed through. It somehow contains an energy of potential, yet remains still, with that energy sort of vibrating in a perpetually frozen state.

I also enjoy the notion of coming across objects and not quite knowing what their original use was. That is a main reason for exploring abandoned places. It is almost a post-apocalyptic scene of coming across artifacts from some long-gone civilization and wondering what they could have possibly been used for. That is all that is left. There only remain a few clues with answers few and far between. There is something I like about that object that holds so much mystery, and how its form could look like something completely different- something far from its original use.

Some other observations in the critique were that the telephone is the only image that is highly enlarged. The bull horn speaker could be actual size, or even smaller, so there is some confusion of scale as to whether I am really enlarging everything or not. Perhaps that is not it. Maybe I am just making things about the same size in relation to one another in order to make strange connections. Some were also confused about the glued tracing paper. I seemed to defend it and most agreed. There is something about the puckered, fragile, glued together surface that seems to barely hold together. The only thing I am not sure of is that they are glued in a grid. Perhaps I really need torn and irregular paper rather than more or less clean rectangles.

Some also liked how charcoal dust would accrue in the crevices of the glued pages. It was suggested that I draw them on-site so that the dust accumulates on the floor. I agree. That is something that I like happening in the studio that I could not transport along with the drawing. There was also a question about drawing directly onto a wall. I have considered it, but that fixes and stabilizes the image somehow. I prefer it with shadows and transparency, floating away from the wall and moving every time someone breathes or walks by. That makes the objects more ephemeral.

So those were many thoughts to ponder. I do think I am onto something with these pieces. I am still also working with two typewriters that try to communicate, or perhaps two phones. I also wonder if that should be a part of the large drawings as well- two rendered phones or speakers attempting to connect.

Another crit with the grads in a few hours. I will be interested to hear more on these thoughts.

An image of charcoal dust accumulation under the drawing

Something interesting happening with a film still projecting onto the drawing from sunlight- an unintentional effect

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