Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mid Term Image

I am two days late with this, but hey, I have been in a Vicodin-induced haze.
Sad but true.
Anyway!!! I wrote my mid term paper about Chapter Two, Video Art. (And I am pretty sure most of these people know about drug-induced haze, the woman in this photo does for sure.)

This is a photo of a video art piece, TV Bra for Living Sculpture, that was created by Nam June Paik. The cellist is Charlotte Moorman.

Hey, you know me well enough by now to know I am amused by "boob tubes."

~Spring Atkinson~

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

John Baldessari

It seems that I am yet again a day late in response.... I really need to get this together!

I tend to think that most conceptual art is basically just a lack of talent coupled with bizarre ideas. For example, I'm sure you all remember the video of the artist whose work was to paint the white floor of a gallery black with hair dye, using her hair as a brush. I'm sure that anyone with half a brain can connect this weird "artistic idea" to some overarching feminist thought; that much is all too easy....
John Baldessari though, on the other hand, actually makes me laugh with his concepts! His goal, as far as I know, is to make the art world appear absurd---thus he gives us absurd art! This doesn't always work with a conceptual artist who is attempting to take themselves overly serious while, say, painting a floor with their hair....

Take for instance Baldessari's The Pencil Story. Here he makes "art" out of the extremely mundane, and almost presents the story as some obsessive need to right the repulsive wrong of the dull pencil. Even yet, despite this obsession, despite seeing and loathing it every day, he succumbs to that most familiar of human traits: laziness---that is, until the obsession resurfaces and he cannot take it any more. The pencil must be sharpened, the cosmic order restored to its once great and absolute place! And then, to top it off as all "real" artists must, who have something dire and ultimately important to say, Baldessari tells you that this might be art.... But in the end he's not sure. Hahaha!! Genius!

"If I saw the art around me that I liked, then I wouldn’t do art."

-Bryce VanHoosen-

John Baldessari: Video Art

I did my paper on Chapter 2: Video Art and admired John Baldessari's work and influences of video art throughout the chapter. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Otto Muehl

Otto Muehl was a member if the Viennese Actionist school whose performance art pieces were excursions into the deprivation of humanity. The subjects of his pieces were often dehumanized, sometimes in front of onlookers, but mostly in front of a camera. One of his best known works is Shit-Guy from 1969, in which acts of corprophilia are engaged in. This particular piece, and for that matter the majority of Muehl's other work, is quite disturbing....

-Bryce VanHoosen-

John Baldassari

This guy was interesting since he used humor to portray art in a very moving way. As you can see this photograph simply displays humor--however he has a deeper connection to his work that you must understand... in his work he is known to give the viewer not only what to look at but how to make selections and comparisons, often simply for the sake of doing so.

I did my paper on Chapter Two. This is a picture of the guy who shot himself.

Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson considers himself a cinematographer more than a photographer. I feel this title is only semi applicable as the term cinematographer has only been applied to the realm of cinema. Cinematographer implies the use of motion pictures. Where a photographer takes one lasting frame, a cinematographer must consider much more in a spatial sense, and take into account movement of both camera and subjects, and a cinematographer works with 24 to 30 pictures per second.

On the other hand, photographer may not be the correct term either. Though deeply involved in the preparation of a photograph, from storyboard to smoke machines, he is not necessarily the one behind the camera, releasing the shutter.

Maybe a photographic director would be a title best appropriated to this artist. Nevertheless, Crewdson's photographic works have an impact on the viewer that is strongly ambient as well as haunting.

Jeff Wall

Jeff Wall's photography pulls from art history as inspiration for his projects. Though he has used traditional photography as a medium, some of his work is an excellent example of how powerful digitally altered photography can have.

Jeff Wall is also an art theorist. I found an interview where he was asked about expressions in art versus art theory:

"I think that there's an intellectual element, an intellectual content to art, or an intellectual content to the way we relate to art. There's also what we call aesthetics, which is a philosophical attempt to understand the experience of art; that's something I've always been somewhat interested in, if not necessarily in an academic way, but just in a reader's way."
~Jeff Wall

Podcast Interview-Adobe Lightroom: Maggie Taylor & Jerry Uelsmann


The three videos we watched in class were very cool about how the artist can to be in there field of work. The artist I liked the most was John Baldessari. He had a interesting take on life and how his art effected the people around him. He use common things in his art. There was a picture with a story about a pencil. I thought the was kind of weird at first but as the video moved on i saw how it was a important part of the body of work.


by Sarah Richards


At first, I was a little critical of Gregory Crewdson because his photography doesn't actually involve him doing much with the camera at all.  That was a short-lived criticism, however... He is a great example of the fact that so much of photography is the idea behind the image and the knowledge of light and the technique that goes in to making an image.  The thought process, the detail, the hard work, and of course the money are all huge elements in one of his images and the final product is simply stunning.  All of the effects that he accomplishes in an image could be done in a few hours on a computer, but Crewdson uses real light, real people, and real places, all manipulated in the moment to create a great image.  A perfect example of real art that doesn't go overboard with technology.


The chapter i choose was chapter four. I found this chapter to have the most meaning to me.
Walter Benjamin’s essay The Work Of Art In The Age Of Mechanical Reproductions, is an essential reference that addresses issues of art in the age of technology. His issue is where is the art in reproducing a picture, either from a still photo or from any movie camera image. This raises the issue of value that a piece of art holds when it is the only copy.

by Jeff Wall

By Sarah Richards

Mid Term

So my mid term is on chapter 2: Video Art. one of the artist that stuck out most is Chris Burden. For the pure fact that he would go to great length to produce his art. Its one thing to crawl on the ground over broken glass, but to shoot your self and record it might be over the top.

Crewdson, Wall, and Baldessari

So I really liked the Gregory Crewdson piece. This photos are so elaborate and detailed that it is like he is shooting a film, but that film only recorded an instant in time. The way he use light and shadow reminds me of and idealized scifi movie or show. Also the fact that he use some older technology to take his photo shows that he is able to interpret his concept and change his surrounding to meet that need. I feel that he could make the switch to cinema and it would be an easy transition. Jeff Wall had some real ground breaking ideas. It made me think back to Richard Prince and how he photographed a photograph. the only difference is that Wall is actually recreating his photos in some case compositing them together. Where as Prince just took a picture and did some editing. Baldessari was a very interesting individual, he had an interesting perspective to his art, and the way it was presented.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jeff Wall, Gregory Crewdson, and John Baldessari

Watching the three movies one really stood out in my mind and that was on the one with John Baldessari. He didn't make much sense to me in the movie. I would watch and listen to him I got to think, does this guy really know art? I couldn't quite wrap my brain about what he was saying, then I had to dig deeper into his art. It is all about perception. He takes items that would be magnificent art and seems to add something to it: may that either be good or not is in the eye of the beholder. At the same time he really makes you wonder, what is considered art??? I think the more we dive into it the more difficult that answer would be.

Mid Term Response

Since we had to write a paper on one of the chapters for class I did a response for mine on Chapter 2. The reason is was Wolf Vostell. He is able to put what he was feeling into a picture. His opinion about art and the video world is one that is very interesting. I wouldn't have stumbled upon him without reading the book. Well there are a lot of artists I wouldn't have known about. At the same time I did see a lot of advertisements that I didn't know that were previously art works (ie. Target). What else is effected by art of the past?

Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson's work is probably my favorite work that I've seen in this class. I don't feel like I'm looking at photographs when I see them. They look like concepts for/ screen shots of an X-Files episode. When I look at them, I feel like there is a story behind every photo, like Crewdson wrote a script for every photo he takes. For example, the picture i posted. When I look at it, I think that Crewdson's "script" would have talked about a fog moving through a small town and mysteriously making everyone but the person in the car disappear.

Midterm Response

In writing my midterm I made note of Julia Sher and her work.  To me, her work is provacative and imposing, and is very powerful conceptually.  The means in which she uses surveillance in her video installations, quite literally exposes the dominance within surveillance.  Her installations, through which visitors can view themselves, spy on, or reversly be spyed on, creates the experience of what surveillance is, and the irony of it all.  For anyone wanting to experience something similar, I suggest going to the Chuck E. Cheese in the Vancouver Plaza.  I know it sounds funny but they have a whole system of cameras and monitors, through which the children can watch live video of themselves and other people in the restaurant.  You can even control the view of a camera which is shown on a TV visible to everyone.  Overall, it makes you think about surveillance, and how you are constantly being watched everyday.

Midterm Artist Response... Bill Viola

Bill Viola is an artist that uses various medium including water-filled tanks that nude models float in, and slabs of black granite as reflective surfaces, and video projectors to display his work. The picture above is from his piece called "Stations". This installation measured 20 feet by 50 feet x 40 feet. It had 5 black granite slabs, 5 projection screens, and a dark room.

This is pretty progressive work for the time he did this (1994). Further works all involved fire or water as the main focal point, and stood from everything from life to death.

His work is worth looking into, in my opinion, so take a look!

Video Response to Jeff Wall, Gregory Crewdson & John Baldessari

This video was very informative, showing off Jeff Wall's recreations and mimicry, as well as Gregory Crewdson's impressive & expensive "photography", as well as John Baldessari's work.

For me, I chose to respond to Jeff Wall's work, mainly because of something he said in the video. He said that he took no liberties with his imagery and that it was 'true'. And yet, he never shot something at the moment it existed. He re-creates it later as he remembers it, then takes liberties with it to remove someone from it because he thought that even though originally there were 4 people, he felt it looked better with 3.

So at no point was he "true" to the original as he saw it. He saw it, recreated it in his head as he chose to make it, THEN shot the picture with other people to re-enact what he chose.

So, if the original idea behind photography being that what you see is the truth, then looking at his work would mean that what you see is all completely a lie.

My question to the class is, do you feel that Jeff Wall took liberties and was untrue to the original? He seemed to contradict himself several times in the video!

Gregory Crewdson

Of the three artists I think Gregory Crewdson had the most interesting work, it was visually appealing and had a very erie, but almost voyeuristic quality because the images were often private moments that it feels like weren't meant to be seen. But they are portrayed so beautifully that its almost impossible to look away. 

-Jessica Stockton

Midterm Response

With Pollock’s No. 1 the art world was revolutionized and life was once again infused in art. As Allan Kaprow wrote in Art News in 1958 that “Pollock’s near destruction of this tradition [painting] may well be a return to the point where art was more activity involved in ritual, magic, and life” (p. 36). 

-Jessica Stockton

Gregory Crewdson Production

Upon viewing Gregory Crewdson's work I was immediatley fascinated and drawn to it.  The extent at which a whole production is created, much like a movie, is quite astounding.  The difference is, Crewdson has the ability to create a whole entire story in a single image rather then a film.  His work does indeed have a mysterious, and creepy vibe to it.  It intertwines the comfortable and uncomfortable, and the familiar and unfamiliar.  In an almost mystical way Crewdson brings the viewer into the piece, confronting them with something disturbing.  Therefore, the viewer is forced to engage and interpret the content.  In a way he's making people confront and analyze their own fears.  I chose the above image because of its appeal and familiarity. The image below it is from the film No Country For Old Men, which has a very similar look and feel.  In fact, I swear the small town shot in Crewdson's piece is the same setting from No Country, in which the villiam blows up a car outside of a pharmacy.  In all it appears to be a mishap in Anywhere U.S.A.
What is more powerful, film or photography?

Midterm: Ken Feingold

This work by Ken Feingold is very interesting because the viewer controls the images within the clock by moving the globe. This is a very interesting idea and would be great to see in person.

Jeff Wall

The video about Jeff Wall was very interesting, I really liked the way he takes old paintings and recreates them into his own work. The time and money he put into the work with the paper flying around was also interesting. Its hard to believe how much time and money he put in for one photo. The only question I have is which style of photography does the class like better true or staged photography?

Midterm Response

Hannah Wilke made me think about the definition of art. Not her work itself in terms of subject matter but the nature of it. Her work "Gestures" is fairly simple. She distorts her face and makes obscene gestures and expressions in a critique of the way that society views women. I can understand and agree with the idea behind this piece and therefore appreciate the idea as artistic. However, the part that makes me reflect on my own definition of art is the fact that this film could be completely reproduced and honestly does not require any talent (I refer only to this one piece and not her work as a whole). Therefore, I was forced to question whether or not talent has to be a part of the equation that determines whether something is art or not. Kind of shook my definition of what art should be...

Gregory Crewdson

I found Gregory Crewdson's work to be the most interesting and aesthetically pleasing of all of the photographers that I've seen thus far in this class. Though his images are often eerie or even disturbing, they are also beautiful in a very alien fashion. The use of light is very strange but captures the eye almost immediately. If ever I were to be a photographer it would be in the vein of Gregory Crewdson (albeit at a much smaller scale). He pursues one of my favorite thing about art; the ability to capture reality, and then, surpass it.

Midterm Response

In chapter four Rush mentions the artists Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher. They are in the section about digitally altered photography, their art is interesting to say the least. They are the artists that edited the faces off of people, making them look alien. It's interesting to me because not only do they edit out the eyes and the mouth, but they keep the bone and skin structure of them. They art is slightly disturbing, but to me it is the future of the art world.


Like i said in Class Crewdson has kind of a Tim Burton feel to his photos that I really dig. When you're looking at his work it seems to try and keep the middle ground between the real world and dreaming. Which he pulls of very well through the style and how he makes/stages the shots. Most of the pictures that I looked at while searching through images of his work seem to have a story behind them that the viewer has to come up with.

Gregory Crewdson

I liked the art of Gregory Crewdson the most of the artists we saw in class. His photos were my favorite so far in class. I liked the sort of eeriness that his photos had. They took time to plan and make, not to mention the large amounts of money they took. His use of contrast, between the light and the shadows, had a lasting effect with me. The photos were well thought out and visually pleasing, even if they had a weird sense of dread.

Derek Klayum

Gregory pretty much a badass.

At first when watching the video about this artist I wondered to myself if he was circumventing part of the difficulty in photography by creating his scenes. Then I realized that is exactly what he (and that enormous crew) are doing and its awesome! I love the way so much of the work captures light. Coming from the engineering dept before switching to DTC I still have a fascination with physics in general and light in particular. Light is such a paradox in so many ways: constant relative speed, wavelike in nature and yet also particle like. The particles are apparently massless and yet they (photons) are particles so it seems mass must exist in at least some infinitesimally small amount. It is mind-blowing how so many of Gregory Crewdson's photographs capture this ethereal 'substance' and make it stand still for you to observe.

Midterm Response

The artists that I really enjoyed from the textbook reading were the artists that manipulated the art done by the former masters (da Vinci, Picasso, Monet, etc.). I thought that by taking an image that is so well known to the general public and tweak it enough that it becomes something almost a little strange is genius. Lillian Schwartz and Jean-Paul Yvaral were two names mentioned in the reading and I am sure that there are more artists like them out there. The picture of Mona/Leo brought back some of my art history classes; the infamous postcard L.H.O.O.Q. created by Marcel Duchamp. I thought that this was a perfect example of the difference of something created my manipulation and an image that was just simply drawn on with pencil. Both if these images use da Vinci's own art to try and see deeper into the artist. Imitation is the strongest form of flattery.

-Racheal Johnson-

Chris Burden and the midterm paper


Chris Burden is an artist from chapter 2 that made what I would call experimental videos. Burden is a video artist that has made a few films that gained notoriety. The first being called "Shoot" where he shoots himself in the arm and the other "Through the Night Softly" where he was hog tied wearing only his underware and drug himself across a path covered in glass. As I read more about him, his goal seemed to be to ask questions about voyerism and pushing the envelope for what people will watch no matter how uncomfortable and to really scare people into paying attention. This is by no means a new idea in art but a Burden does it in a new way.

Gregory Crewdson


I was inspired by Gregory Crewdson and his take on mixing photography and cinematography. Being a huge Tim Burton fan I see the same qualities in Crewdson's work that I love about Tim Burton. The intense imagery mixing the comfortable with the reality of the uncomfortable. I went on an internet hunt searching for more of his work after class and I am so glad that I was exposed to his work. Crewdson really make me rethink all the things that I thought brought value to a photograph or a shot in a movie.

Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson is an artist that goes beyond beauty. Yes, his photographs must be beautiful but, he is looking for that underlying edge – whether it is anxiety, fear, or isolation. Crewdson is a leader in the use of staged events and constructed models in his photography. He uses these big stages to conduct these moments in the narrative, he likes that a photograph restricts him to only capture one moment of the story. His photos encourage the viewers to imagine and wonder that has just happened and what is coming next. I like that all of his pictures are rich with color; there are so many different aspects to the photograph that your eye has to wander the whole image. Crewdson is very aware of every inch of his photograph which makes these images so interesting and beautiful.
- Racheal Johnson-

Gregory Crewdson

I, like others, am intrigued by Gregory Crewdson. I think what captivates my attention the most about Crewdson is the amount of money he spends on his work. In the movie we watched in class it was mentioned that one of his pieces cost one million dollars to produce. I do think he takes amazing pictures but for that cost I do not think they are striking enough. It is true that he can capture a mood that is heavy and sad. Looking at the picture I have attached here, it is gloomy and depressing. It is a picture that I can't look at for too long without feeling dark and anxious.
-Laura LaVergne

Mid-term response: Gilbert and George

For my mid-term response I decided to focus on the art couple Gilbert and George. In chapter 4 the two artists were briefly touched on and their piece Cool that was a part of their Perversive Pictures exhibition. Cool can be found on pages 194-195 in the class book. In their galleries they have many manipulated photos with hip hop culture being their main influence. Gilbert and George are known to provoke outrage and create photos that confront human issues from daily struggles. The photo I have included in this blog is called The Wall and was created in 1986.
-Laura LaVergne

Gregory Crewdson

I really liked Gregory Crewdson's work. I think that the way the he captures stillness and time is amazing. All of his images that I saw were very visually appealing even if they may have been dark subject matter. The was he stages his photos are so perfect, every person is in their specified location and the light works with them so well. The sense of mystery and beauty he portrays is so captivating.

Midterm Response: Oliver Herring

I particularly liked the work of German artist, Oliver Herring. I especially like is sculpture of Gloria  (2004). He asked his friends to pose for him and give the sculptures the title of their first names. "Among his early works were his woven sculptures and performance pieces in which he knitted Mylar, a transparent and reflective material, into human figures, clothing, and furniture" (art:21). 

When I first saw this image in the textbook, I didn't realize it was actually a sculpture. It first caught my eye because I couldn't tell what it was made of/with.


Video Response: Wall, Crewdson, Baldessari

Of the three artists we looked at in class, my favorite was John Baldessari, mostly because some of his work was pretty humorous. 

But to be honest, I don't consider much of these artists' work 'art'. Personally, I just don't like nude photographs, it's almost too real for me; it's not necessarily pretty to look at. 

What stood out the most to me about Baldessari's work is that in some instances, he didn't need any images to convey a message, sometimes art can be just words. 

But shouldn't there maybe be some kind of guidelines as to what is considered art?