At the start of the class we were asked to mention a kitchen utensil we relate to at that specific moment. The first thing that came to mind was a blender, as am really staring to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work for this semester. Not just for IP but with my other fine arts related modules. I have been really stressed lately as I feel like I’m falling behind on every module I have taken and I have also made the dumb decision on taking a lifelong learning class, something that added extra work on top of what I already have. I also feel very lost with this project as i feel like every step is a hurdle. Not knowing anything about sound editing and recording makes it ten times more time-consuming to do the smallest of actions and i really struggle to accept the fact that there is somethings that i wont understand right away. I also started to get very demotivated as i felt i just needed to get longer and more refined recordings of what i already had and then edit for the next 6 weeks, something i really didn’t want to do as it completely goes against my goal og letting the prossess guide me. Idk im just exhausted…
After we had all talked about the utensil we feel like, we had to mention a utensil we would like to be more like. It took some thinking but I eventually decided on a butter knife. This is cause butter knifes do their job with ease. No sharp edges or violent movement. Just a simple tool that gets the job done. I know creating is a lot of hard work, but I wish my project would come together quicker as I feel like the ideas I have don’t work within the timeframe of the semester.
Before starting the lecture part of the class we watched a video by Marina Abramović that shows how we can experience the relationship between our bodies, the cup and water in a different way. We then had to attempt this with our eyes closed for 20 minutes. I found this exercise very interesting as I began swirling it around, feeling the weight of the water and how gravity moved it in the cup. I thought about the temperature of the water and how it differed to mine, slowly becoming the same temperature as it was resting on my tongue for a few minutes. I felt the texture of the cup and even tasted parts of it as it entered my mouth.
this just made me think even more about how we forget to think about how amazing life really is. Something as “simple” as water can become an experience almost similar to wine tasting if we just take the time to experience it. Kind of goes hand in hand with last weeks exercise with the quotidian objects and looking at them in a new light.
After finishing the experience with the cup and water, we were then told to make a small project with the cup sometime during this week.
for the cup experimentation I ended up recording all the different sounds I could get from it and put them together to create an abstract sound experience. i wanted to use the paper cup as a representation of my feelings of being disposable. like the cup i can relate to situations where i give all of me to the point where there is nothing more to give. i think back to relationships where i ended up giving everything, just to be left behind. invisible…
in this installation i decided to light up the cup from underneath in a dark room to keep the spotlight on something that normally gets disposed of. i also recorded sounds from the cup alone and played it through the projector that the cup is standing on. the cup, alone, disposed of, calling for attention, angrily, desperate and hurt.
for the second part of the class we had to, again look at a lot of artwork (paintings, photography, video, text, installation etc.) and draw unsighted. I decided not to think about what I was doing again and just get as many pages done during the class as i can. Some of the artists in the presentation were familiar to me like Damian Horst and Felix Gonzales Torres, but there were a lot of artist that I had never heard about. Some of these were Martha Rossler, Brian Jungen and Jonas Mekas.
We then proceeded to hang these drawings up at the end of class. my wall is quickly filling up with the drawings from this class and the previous classes drawings.
After the unsighted drawing was done, we had to research one artist from the class for 15 minutes and choose one more artwork from the presentation to restart at home.
Martha Rossler: Semiotics of the Kitchen 1975:
in this six minute video Martha Rossler played the role of a housewife in the kitchen, parodying television cooking demonstrations that became popular during the 1960s thanks to Julia Child. Rossler is using aggressive movement to show her frustration and anger against the strict gender roles women had at the time. She is mentioning a different kitchen utensil in alphabetical order ending in a slashing X, a Y that seems like a almost freeing jester, but also ask why these roles have been dealt to women only and lastly another slashing Z. She finishes the video with a shrug to further show her frustration.
I found this piece to be particularly interesting as the topic still has relevance almost 50 year later. As someone who wasn’t born during that time I can only imagine how oppressive it might have been for the girls and women who had to deal with so many restrictions. Just shows how lucky we are to live in the west where there is a lot less restriction on gender (although there is still a long way to go before both men and women have the same opportunities). How can we as humans can be so cruel to someone just cause they are a different gender, let alone someone we love.
Félix Gonzáles-Torres: Portrait of Ross: 1991
having had the pleasure to see this artwork in person at the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, i just couldnt resist including this piece in my notebook.
at first glands it almost looks like someone has just dumped a ton of sweets in a corner of the museum, but after i listened to the audioguide for the piece, i can gladly say this is one of the most interesting interactive artworks i have seen.
Ross Laycock was Felix’s partner, but sadly passed away due to Aids in 1988. this artwork ideally weighs 79kg (the weight of Ross before he got ill), connecting the piece to Felix’s partner. the public is then encouraged to take one candy from the pile and its the museums responsibility to replenish the pile to its original weight.
the candy may be a symbol for love as we often get a good feeling when we get something sweet. the taking away bit is what makes this piece interesting in my opinion. this is cause it could have multiple interpretations. one of which is that we are slowly taking away parts of Ross until there is nothing left, just like the illness did. another one being that we are keeping a part of his love with us.
When I entered Miranda’s office, I was expecting to get a lot of negative criticism for the work I had done the last two weeks, but low and behold, I was overthinking again. Although she enjoyed my main project she also agreed that it’s important for me to go for a project I enjoy creating, rather than a project I only enjoy the vision of, but the actual making. its not like i didnt enjoy making the sounds project, but i kind of lost motivation after a while. im not one to quit very easily so it was a very hard decision for me to work on a new project going forward.
we when’s through different ways of using sound and how I can be more playful using things like the cup, maybe performance and different ways of using breath in my audio. In a way it sad to say that I am walking away from my original project, but it introduced me to audio, something I am sticking with and I am very glad, heck! even relieved to feel the freedom of doing something a little more unpredictable.
I can’t believe how much pressure I was putting on myself to stick to one project and not let the process take me where it wants me to, although that was one of my goals for this semester…
Prior to the tutorial I was increasingly nervous as I felt my project wasn’t going anywhere. I started getting bored of what I was doing and felt a lot of stress due to the high amount of uni work this semester (I stupidly chose to take a lifelong learning course as well), something that really took a toll on my mental health. I felt so lost as my painting project for my painting module also got to a stand still.
sadly due to my current low period i have not managed to be very productive when it comes to progress with my project. i will try to make up for lost time for the next notebook, but i decided i needed some time to reflect on how to balance uni work and personal time as i have been spending full weeks on working on my different uni projects.
i have decided to use everyday objects though, and use it the same way i did with the cup. maybe not exhibit it the same way, but i want to stick to the same way i recorded the audio and overlayed all the different recordings. i am jumping inn to this with no plan in mind, im just going to see where it goes. the only rule i have given myself is to use binned objects as i am currently relating a lot to them #FeelBadForMePLIZ.
I love the film of the cup, curious, strange, strikingly simple, yes go go go with the hunch of thrown away objects – film, audio, performance…use the energy that you made the cup film with, not over thinking, not judging, pressuring yourself, just pure playful enjoyment, trust yourself, the cup film proves you can extract beauty and mystery from very mundane things and non – sensical starting points. Rest over the weekend, treat yourself to things that nourish you.