Monday, May 7, 2007




Ashley Meadows during her presentation talks about how her life has been a world of collection. She states that while going up, her family has been involved in finding and collecting different man made objects which later on became a tradition. Going up with these different collection, Ashley states that the process became a part of her.
In her SMP, she sewed different patterns recognizable and unrecognizable which became a collection itself. Sewing she illustrate as a family tradition in which her mom would always make her dresses. Incorporating such fascinating events into her work, made it much more appealing to the viewer.



Reena Willis Davis talks about her art work as a self portrait. She states that when she was a little girl, she was diagnosed for depression. In her SMP, Reena explains that ever since her diagnosis, everything that she does in life is shaped and constructed by her sickness. She indicates that her sculpture represents her sickness and how she struggles with setting her life straight.
Overall I think her work was amazing. I definitely did not read it the way she interpreted it. When I first saw her project with the red lines I thought it had something to do with how you try to aim for a successful life but you can never get it right.


The Mural Arts Program/Education is held in the city of Philadelphia. Mural Arts became known for its name in 1996, but before it was known as Antique Network. The artist states that this piece of art work is all community base and working with or in partnership with communities. She believes that it is a way of giving a voice to the community in order to learn about their culture, history and background etc.
Mural Arts she explains is used for beautification, tool for community engagement, collaboration and many others. One of her biggest and most rewarding projects was one that she did with a group of people who totally transformed a school. This school was called Mckinley. She this piece the courtyard and illustrates the condition of this school before and after the chances had happened. In Philly, she further indicates is a place where there is a lot of poverty, especially in the ghetto and this school was apparently right next to a coke house. The school, she further indicates, was used during the night for a drug spot where people would sell and buy drugs right out on the fence.
The goal of her project as an art education was to give the children new skills, job opportunity and try to engage them in something fun rather than letting them wonder off in the streets. The principle she quotes said that after the project was done it was a transformation from “prison to paradise”.
Another piece of art she showed us that I found interesting was the one made out of tile piles and graphic drawings. She said that her other artistic means to Mural arts is to work with children and they would do a series of paintings and drawings and She would incorporate them in her piece. She states that it is not typical of Mural arts but she likes having children as young as possible to do the work that is going to be on their wall.
Her Mural art painting are done using nova color, which takes time before it fades away, if it does.


On Activism: “There’s a tragic tendency these days to equate cynicism with art, as though nothing hopeful has weight. I think that’s a narrow view. Activism is inherently hopeful- you have to believe that change is possible or you wouldn’t waste your time talking about it and working for it. The fact is that we’re all changing the world everyday whether we like it or not. The question is in which direction.”

David LaMotte a singer and songwriter, who writes songs about anything, states that the easiest definition of an artist is someone who makes Art. Activism he considers is something you do to take action. He states that when people hear about activism they think of big delegation of people protesting, but there are different forms of protesting and different forms of activism. He considers himself an activist because he tries to write and sing about things that are true. He further states that even though he is trying to aim for the truth he can never get to what is called the universal truth, but comes down to his own truth or what he considers as true.
As an artist, he is always trying to find new ways of looking at old and new things. David talks about how America is a country where people speak out what they think is right to them “freedom of speech” but he illustrates that what always comes along with that is if people are willing to listen. He thinks that the opposite of talking is listening and the opposite of listening is to formulating a response and for a person to develop that skill (to listen) is a part of art. When you make art, you are putting out your ideas and getting something in return.
David indicates that perceiving, looking and or listening is all part of art and it is the same thing as activism. To be able to persuade a person is to find a commonality and that is exactly what his songs illustrate. What songs do, he explains, is that it touches what is already found inside of you, it does not put anything that was not there before; like grief, pain, etc.
On his final word, he briefly explained about his project about helping people in South America. The purpose of his project is to help those many children that cannot afford to have a proper education due to many factors. David states that people always say “well you cannot change the world” but to him everybody makes changes in the world, you cannot be in the world and not change it. He indicates that everything you do changes the world, even the little things that people don’t think matter.


Fereshteh Toosi, a new media artist, talks about her work, means of acquiring data and how she is not influenced by the information out there. She relates her works with media but however mentions that just by working with or on the computer does not indicated that you are a media artist. In other to be an artist there has to be a thought, purpose and the involvement of others in some way. Fereshteh states that even though she is considered a new media artist in nowadays society, she thinks that calling it “new media” may not be the best title because in years to “media” as we know it might no longer be new. In her line of work, Fereshteh demonstrates that most is personally related but as well involves
She also talks about the principles of computation in use by new media artist, which she states as the interactivity, the algorithm process, networking and reproduction. As a media artist, Fereshteh uses humor to get around issues that people are not comfortable to talk about to obtain information.

The first work that she presents was “Saddam’s Birthday”. The project got inspired by the fact that in Saddam’s country, there were a lot of people that looked like him and when the time comes for him to come out in public, these people would be the ones that came out to represent him, this was a form of protection. In this project, there were two people that dressed up like Saddam and went into public. They walked around talking to people and took pictures.

The second was when then walked around going along with the claim that there was another river. This I thought was interesting and funny. It showed how people would believe in things or information that is handed out to them instead of investing about it. This was the main goal of the project, investigating information that is out in the public. Fereshteh states that a lot of people influence and play some sort of role in her line of work; she mentions Emili Golden and Angela Davis amongst others, who are very important people to her and with that note she wants to show their lives and what they have gone through. A project she discussed in relation to this was a van that they made which contains books of different artists that would go around in towns offering to people knowledge and also bringing them together. She quotes Emili Golden “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful radiant things”.

Lastly, Fereshteh gave us a sneak peak into her own artist work. An installation of a genie bottle made out of Afghan blankets, had a video at the top of the bottle that projected smoke which is suppose to come out of the bottle and placed in a gallery space. The genie bottle she states is a form of protection. She further states that taking things out of their schematic setting and remaking them was one of her goal with this piece.

Even though I would have loved to see more of her work, I adored the fact that she was quite different from the rest of the artist talk that I went to this semester. She focused on her thought of work and how she made her research to obtain information to work with. I felt this was very rewarding to art students, especially me because it gave me a better understanding as to how I can and will be able to be a better artist.
I would like to see more of her work in full details, especially ‘Saddam’s Birthday’ which I understand that there was not much time to see it in full details.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Here are the sketches of my three ideas and how they would look in an installation!




Monday, April 2, 2007

The topic of My Installation is IMPACT

The title war scares a lot of people in the sense that it makes them uncomfortable to see it or talk about it. While growing up the knowledge of war has been part of my every day history classes. I have not only come o learn about it through the media, but also through relatives and friends that have been victims of this tragic events.

James W. Johnson a contemporary artist is one of the many artist that portrays the issue of war and the different effects it has on nation as a whole. While being primarily a painter, he has produced a large and complex body of work which includes over 1800 unique pieces in a wide variety of mediums such painting, video, drawing, sculpture, etching, digital, mixed media and furniture. James in his line of work shows death in many forms of media. With his video installations James illustrates the war between the U.S and Iraq. He shows the horror of war and how some people do not really care as long as it doesn’t affect them or their loved ones.

One of his many video installations that I got attached to was Horror War. In the video, even though you the viewer cannot really see all of the images, you can hear the sounds that they make. I think that the whole idea behind James work is the blurriness between how we see war and what is really happening. One may not know how war is until they become victims or are affected one way or the other.

To view James Johnson line and work and the piece I peresonally got atracted to visit his website here

Even though James had inspired me to carry out my own installation art piece, my investigations might be different because I’m not only going to demonstrated war in different countries and the problems that our governments tend to create but the impact it has on me as an individual.

My first possibility for this project is to have a heart shaped sculpture with an audio inside it producing a heart beat sound, it will end with a beep noise. This sculpture would be installed in a white space. Also there would be a projection of war images that would portray my feelings. these images would be shown inside a any given space and they would be illustrated on the ceiling of the room/given space.

My second idea is a heart beat coming out of a clock. Instead of have it tick it would be a beat. This clock would be hung anywhere, but most preferably in a long white hall way. Shoes of people from different age groups would be placed in this hall way. Images of war might be hung on the wall.

My last idea is having a video installation that would show the respiration system of individuals dying by the second like (a heart monitor). The lines shown of the wall would go along with the heart beats of the individual watching and listening to it. The noise would end with the white lines going on a straight line and the heart beat or the noise accompying the lines would fade away.

Paying attention to the time that determines when a person dies and how they die is very intense. I would like to show how every beat of a heart represents or is equivalent to every tick of the clock hand.

Monday, March 19, 2007

But is it Installation Art?

Claire Bishop is an art historian and critic based in London. In her article she focuses on the issue of how the plainness of art works drew attention to the space in which they were shown, which gave rise to a direct engagement with this space as a work in itself. She explains that since the time that this had happened the distinction between installation art and an installation of works of art has become blurred. She states that both point to a desire to heighten the viewer's awareness of how objects are positioned (installed) in a space, and of our response to that arrangement. Claire also claims that there are important differences.

Different artists go for different concepts, some might make an installation mainly for the object itself otherwise might make an installation that is set in a specific environment to complement the art work. Either way artists make the visitor feel aware of the space they are in but placing more emphasis on the viewer's active participation to generate the meaning of the work. The variety of works demonstrated over the years by different artist show that installation art means many things. But, their values concern a desire to activate the viewer - as opposed to the passivity of mass-media consumption - and to induce a critical vigilance towards the environments in which we find ourselves. Claire however states that other artist have turned installation art into a branch of interior design and one could argue that once a person enters a decorated room, their sense of feeling is totally changed as if they where just supposed to enter a plain room.

Claire states that the best installation art is marked by a sense of opposition towards its environment, a friction with its context that resists organizational pressure and instead exerts its own terms of engagement.