Friday, July 27, 2012

Phase 1 - do/make the work, intro

Phase 1: Do/Make the work

"Do/Make the work" is a good place to start* because it gets to one of my fundamental beliefs - that thinking art requires action.
*Actually, there's a "pre-rec" principle, "know thyself," without which it wouldn't be possible to evaluate life-improvement, but this one got it's own project, "word-image," (   

Contemporary Artist Center, Troy, NY
 (skip this section if not super interested in theory) 
To me, thinking about art is not the same thing as doing/making art.  Don't get me wrong, thinking about art is a wonderful thing, but it's philosophy, which is a wonderful, different thing.  
Why? because art, to me is a form of communication and philosophy is not.  That's not to say that philosophy can't be communicated, but I don't think that makes it a form of communication (Example:  Imagine I have a theory derived through thinking (philosophy) that eggs are the ultimate food because they allow us to negate the potential of death and consume the potential for (re)birth (not my actual thoughts on this, btw, just an example).  I can write about my philophy, or I can talk about it, or I can draw a picture (egg + pacman + skull and crossbones Xed out = happy face).  The 'egg theory' can be interpretted different ways, but there is a general idea at its core which does not change even as the form of communication changes from words, to speech, to pictures.  A form of communication, on the other hand, can say anything, and that's one of the things I really like about art - it is inexhaustible.  I could paint something new every moment I was able to  forever and there would be no fewer possibilities (infinity - anything = infinity).  Anyway... a long (potentially very boring - sorry!) tangent, but to summarize: to me, art is a form of communication and therefore requires action to exist.  

In order to get the project jump started, I applied for and was awarded a residency at the Contemporary Artist Center in Troy, New York (yay!)  My goal was to make 10 pieces in 3 weeks (total, including the time to prepare supports at the beginning and document at the end).  It's a goal that does border on "hmmmm - um ok, well, alrighty then..." (spoiler - I did it!) In keeping with the project's theme, I wanted to use my time and space as efficiently as possible to test the limits of productivity under focused conditions.  

For this phase, I hypothesized that maximum productivity requires presentness, and I tried to reach a state of presentness quickly by managing my space in a way that engages all my senses (not just sight):

taste - studio - safe food - gum and mints - I went with cinnamon and peppermint
smell - real, not synthetic, not too closely food related (or it will be distracting) - Eucalyptis, Peppermint, Lavendar
sound - (always very important) instrumental music 1600's to 2012
touch - I found a pillow which looks like grass and feels like soft fur - it's intriquingly hideous, and I like it.
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