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Saad Hussain- Week 2

Class work.

In this weeks class we started off by choosing one of the following objects each.


-Mechanical bird


-Flower pot



-Cherry tomato


after we had picked out one object each we had to describe it as if we had no idea what it was or what its function is. I picked the mechanical bird and described it as:
something fragile yet sturdy. Colourful and reflective. It has eyes that seem confrontational. Morbid as there is a part that goes into the object. It has moving parts that make a clicking noise. After we had all described our objects we had to put two objects together to see what happened. We eventually put all of the objects together to create a small, but interesting artwork.

although it’s hard to describe this task through text alone, I found this to be an interesting exercise as it just showed how everything can be a work of art if we just strip away our previous knowledge about it. We often forget how interesting everyday objects can be cause its something we have seen many times before. Yes the mechanical bird might not be the most common household object, but looking at a ruler as a weapon or glasses as something with arms might make the everyday experience a little more interesting.

for me this exercise is something i am going to try incorporating in my daily life to see how my world view changes. i want to just look at one object a day giving myself some time to just look at something in a different way.

for the seccond part of the class we had to draw unsighted whilst looking at different artworks (Films, installations, sculpture, chapters from books, drawings, etc.). At the end of the class we stuck these drawings on the walls, something that is eventually going to fill the whole room at the end of the semester.

We also had to research two of the artworks from the class.

artwork research:

Marcel Duchamp: Fountain (1917):

I have previously seen this image thinking it’s a strange piece, but I have never really looked inn to why it is as famous as it is.
Only after a short read I realized the impact this artwork has had on the artworld.
this piece was made my Marcel Duchamp for the Society of independent Artist. They had a policy that states that they accept every artwork as long as the application fees are payed. Duchamp wanted this artwork to be anonymous so he signed it with Mr. Mutt. Although the application fees were payed, the artwork got rejected as it was redeemed as a practical joke rather then art. Little did the society know the artwork was made by Duchamp who was a part of the board. He resigned soon after they rejected his work.
this artwork started several debates on what “Art” really is, something that is still being questioned more then 100 years later.
This work alone with Duchamps “Bottle Rack” 1914 became quintessential of what is called a “readymade”. This is everyday manufactured objects that have been designed by the artist as a work of art.
Duchamp, along with his friends Henri-Pierre Roché (1879-1959) and Beatrice Wood (1892-1998) made the first Dada periodical in New York named , Blindman, no1, April 10th 1917.

this replica is all that is left of the original as the actual urinal has been lost. It was originally placed on its back, something that changed its original purpose and may have started thoughts on what it’s new purpose is.

Annette Messager – Eux et Nous, Nous et Eux, 2000:

Made with gloves, coloured pencils, mirrors, stuffed animals and plush toys.

The name translating to “Them and Us, Us and Them” makes you think about the relationship between the odd figures and us, the viewer. the figures made of taxidemied animals with heads made of plushies are neatly placed on top of mirrors that face down, making the viewer see them self whilst looking at the artwork, effectively making us (the viewer) part of the installation.

Messager uses fragmented images/objects and a wide range of different media to explore the personal and collective issues of identity. this piece might make the viewer think of who we are on a world filled with strange creatures. what is our purpose and what is theirs? are the hands reaching down towards us to help us, or are they reaching out for help?

there isn’t much information about this artwork out there, but from what i found Messager explores a lot of themes around the human body and identity, often including taxidermied animals and plushies as well as photography and abstracted shapes representing human intestines.

Personal project development:

This week I have been playing around with different sounds of the everyday. I recorded settings where there was an overwhelming amount of conversation as well as static sounds and heavy breating. I did manage to capture heartbeat with my phone, but now that I finally have gotten a hold of microphones I will start to play around with getting better quality heartbeat sound as well and more crisp breathing.
I have also began playing with editing an editing software called sound trap, but am still looking at different editing softwares that might work better for this project.

the microphones I have gotten are:

-RØDE NTG2 dual powered directional condenser microphone.

-AKG C1000s

-RØDE podcaster

I also got a MARANTZ PMD661 MKII recorder to connect with the NTG2 and AKG microphones as they can’t directly connect to my MacBook.

I did however find out how to create the background noise I was invisioning by lowering the recordings of the conversations and having a slight reverb in order to distort them. This created an effect I am really happy with as the breathing is becoming the main focus of the audio, something I really want to emphasise as I (and others with anxiety) often become overwhelmed in these situations and often hear my breath as louder then it really is.

something I found particularly difficult was moving different recordings from one device to the next and insert them to the editing software. Something I ended up doing as a quick solution was to play the sounds from my devices and record them through the Podcaster, but I need to figure out how to transfers audio files in a better way as some audio quality is getting lost.

Sadly I have not found out how to get these recordings added to the notebook, but I will get a tutorial with Cliff as soon as possible to figure this out.

I also started reading the book Sound by Artists, by Dan Lander and Micha Lexier.

So far the book has been really eye opening. It made me realise how big the sound art world is, even if there has been no major movement within the discipline. It also got me thinking that this is the only medium that can be exhibited and heard anywhere at any time as long as someone has headphones or a speaker as well as their phone. I found this to be increasingly interesting as we sadly won’t have a winter show this year. Maybe this notebook can be the way I exhibit this artwork to all of the readers?
I had originally thought about having a visual aspect to this project but I am thinking of just exhibiting it in a dark room so no visual aspects distract from the audio alone. This also makes it so anyone one who is following this project gets to experience this artwork in their own homes, Something that completely juxtaposes with the setting in the audio.
I know this project is now meant to be made for a hypothetical winter show, but why not adapt it to a home setting as well?

1 thought on “Saad Hussain- Week 2”

  1. yes absolutely make this work for the Project Room and for this notebook for people to access at home. You can develop it with ambition and purpose without having to show it this semester, you might have opportunities to show it another time or sand build upon it next semester. It is a shame you couldn’t post any of your results this week but it is excellent to see that you are making progress and the ideas are coming together and the process is exciting you and leading you. Excellent that the books are also providing not only inspiration but a context for sound art, this is important as you move more deeply into sound as your medium. Have you researched the Bruce Nauman ‘Get out of my Head’ piece yet –

    its such a great example of a stand alone sound piece, utterly moved me, surprised me, shocked me when I came across it in Berlin.

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