Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Slippery Slide

Instructions: Create a 1-2 minute performance/concert using ordinary tasks and using FLUXUS ideas. Sound must be primary. Found sounds are everyday - both naturally occurring and man-made, machine-made. Must be collaborative.

For this project, my partner, Zoe'e, and I thought about the rhythmic sounds that the hand clapping game, Slippery Slide, makes. Zoe'e actually taught me how to play the game because I had never played this particular one (I have played others). During our performance, we had our audience sit in a circle, facing towards the outside. We sat in the middle of the circle, and proceeded to play the game. We didn't want the audience to watch us because we wanted them to only focus on the sounds and imagine how we were making them. As the game progresses, it gets a lot harder because there are more "claps". For example, round 3 has 3 claps for each move, etc. We messed up a lot of times, laughing when we did, and had to start over from the beginning. Our goal was to make it to 15, but we messed up at 11, and just gave up because it was getting a little bit frustrating. I was also worried about the audience getting bored because they weren't actually watching us. Despite the ending, I think it went well. After it was over, someone mentioned that it would make a good video performance, with the camera just focused on the hands. The video could then be projected on multiple walls. This idea was particularly inspiring to me because I can see how the audience got a little bored because the rhythm was very repetitious, especially because the game couldn't be seen in our performance. I think that watching the hands move and make sounds would be very interesting.

Tea Time

Instructions: Do something YOU KNOW: A Task - use real materials, objects, no pretending. It is not representing, not recounting, not re-enacting, but simply doing. This should be something that makes sound. Use minimum language or none at all. EXPERIMENT. Short. Simple. Direct. SOLO.

For this project, I began by thinking of everyday sounds that I hear. So, I thought about the annoying sound that my tea kettle makes when I boil water and the sound of a spoon clanking around in a ceramic mug. I had absolutely no idea how to make a performance out of making tea. The task seemed to fit all of the criteria given to me, but I thought that it would be a stupid and boring performance. Nonetheless, that is what I did. This being my first performance, I felt pretty nervous, especially because I was unsure of it and because I didn't no what I was going to do with my body when I was waiting for the water to boil. Basically, I just tried to look really bored and impatient by tapping my fingers, folding over onto the table, and blowing the tea bag wrapper onto the floor. I'm not sure if that came off to the audience. It felt a lot like acting to me, which is not one of my strengths. Plus, performance art isn't even about acting; it is about doing. Once my tea was made, I took a sip, looked at the audience, and walked out of the room. Overall, I didn't like my performance, and it felt weird and silly, but I got some good feedback from my audience. One suggestion was made to have lots of tea kettles and lots of actions going on that have to do with making tea (like putting honey in or having things to eat). That would surely make this performance more interesting, and the sound of a lot of tea kettles would be cool. Another observation was made that my performance kind of looked like a painting. This inspired an idea to make a performance of recreating paintings/sculptures with my body and other props.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Sounds of Environments

Sounds are constantly occurring in life. Life is art. Listen to the art around you.
The following are the sounds I heard in various locations.

Environment #1: Upstairs in the Thomas Commons of Cornell College at 4:00 p.m. on 3/20/14
Spraying of a spray bottle and the squeaking of wiping on glass.
Lots of distant conversations.
Yelling that echoes from the kitchen.
Click-clack, click-clack, click-clack. The sounds of computer typing.
Footsteps on the tile floor.
Scuffs of someone dragging their feet.
A different type of click-clack. Sounds like a rubix cube.
Crinkling of paper.
Footsteps up the stairs.
Jingle of keys.
Someone, a man, coughs.
Clicking of a pen.
"What if we get to the point where we are out of coal? What about oil? Coal and oil are the same thing. Do we use corn? What about water?"
"Oh sorry." "That's okay."
Door opens and closes.
Something that sounds like a whipped cream can coming from the kitchen.
Zipper sound and rustling in a bag.
"Frieeeeendss! What's up?"
Background noise echoes and starts to get louder.
"I have your i.d."
Someone blows their nose.
"What does that have to do with the question?"
"That is too perfect."
Rattling of metal dishes in the kitchen.
"But, yeah."
A deep voice laughs.
"But then there was like a..."

Environment #2: Fuel at 9:30 a.m. on 3/21/14
Moving of wooden chairs.
Conversations that I cannot hear.
"Hi, what can I get you?"
Music plays softly.
Water pours.
Clanking of metal.
Suction sound of the rubber bottom of the door scraping against the ground as the door opens.
"Hi! How are you?"
"Excuse me."
"Would you like a copy of your receipt?"
Jazzy music plays.
Glass dishes being placed on a table.
Chair creaks.
Bell dings.
Silence, except for music playing.
"Thank you!"
Sound of the milk frother.
Steam sounds.

Environment #3: My room at 10 p.m. on 3/23/14
My roommate rustles in her bed.
A door close by opens and closes.
A couple of people yell outside, but I can't hear what they say.
The wall makes a sound (someone/something making noise next door).
Heavy breathing by my roommate sleeping.
The sound of my hand moving across paper and the tip of my pen touching the paper, as I write down what I am hearing.
My roommate rustles again, shifting positions, and makes one heavy breath.
Soft murmurs and beats (might be someone playing music in another room).
My nose sniffles.
I shift positions in my bed, rustling my own sheets.
My phone makes a ding noise.

Artist Bio

Who am I as an artist? When I first began to ponder this question, my mind seemed to have absolutely no idea. Having grown up with art being a large part of my life, which has led to my decision and desire to major in the subject, one would think that I would be able to answer this question quite easily...

I guess I would say that I am an artist who focuses on the elements of design, composition, and iconography. Art that encompasses these elements speaks to me the most. I have always had a strong interest in architecture and interior design, which helps explain why I value design. When I make drawings, paintings, or photographs, I start out by figuring out what the best composition is. Even when I am not making art, I tend to frame the things that I see everyday with my eyes. While the visual appearance of my art is important to me, I also value the meaning behind it. I have noticed that a lot of my art has a hidden iconography behind it, in which most people would not understand by just looking. I find art that has no meaning or purpose to be pointless.

That being said, there are times when I have not understood and appreciated performance art, which is what this blog is about. It is an art form that is pretty new to me, but I hope to be able to comprehend it and value it for what it is and what I can do with it. I believe that it is essential for artists to continually explore life in order to find out who they are as an artist. I often compare this to hiking, where cairns are placed to mark a path. Each cairn represents a different discovery of artistic expression.