Category Archives: Project 2 – Time and time-based media

PART 1/CONTEMPORARY ART/PROJECT 2/REFLECTION AND RESEARCH

This project was thoroughly enjoyable, even though it tested me on my research skills where I got a little impatient when I couldn’t find what I was looking for, or hadn’t taken the time to work out how a website worked properly.  The OCA library was a great find, I knew it was there but the first time I tried to use it, something happened and I couldn’t search for anything, not sure what was wrong.  However, I went back to it later and found it to be extremely easy to find what I was looking for and succeeded in finding chapter 2 of Art History: The basics (p.33).   This was additional ‘more in-depth’ reading in preparation for Exercise 2.  I did try reading this piece but found in difficult to take it all in.  I’ve printed it off and will go back to it as I feel it must be important for it to be mentioned.  One for my ‘to do’ list.  I’ve also found The Tate on-line gallery a great website, I’ve been able to locate artists and their work and the meaning of words that I don’t understand.  It is easy to navigate and just full of knowledge of the art world.   On adding a Glossary menu to my website I can easily add words to it for ease of reference.  Quite pleased that I have discovered how to do the menu tabs and now contemplating others like, Artists and their work and a photo gallery of my own photos in relation to Art.

When I tried the link to the Longplayer by Jem Finer (2009) it didn’t work, however I went to you tube directly and did a search and found what looked to be the video that we were requested to listen to and watch.  What was interesting was there were other videos before and after this that showed videos on Jem Finer and other recordings of the Longplayer, I felt it was further research and another in site into the music.  It was amazing to find out that a person wanted to provide a piece of music that would be played in full in 1,000 years time … of course in order to play a piece of music that is 1,000 years long will take another 1,000 years to get to the end of it, if my understanding is correct.  I enjoyed doing the research on this piece and do find the significant link to time and place as very important and have become very excited by the whole aspect of time in relation to art.

The  video of Sam Taylor-wood’s Still Life: 2001 took me by surprise, literally.  I was watching and watching with nothing happening, I was slow to realize that something was happening, just very slowly.  I hope my understanding is correct in that it was about mortality versus immortality.  It really makes you think about things, a little depressingly unfortunately but it is just so fascinating that artists look at time in such an important way.  it made me think of my own photos and I came across one I took at a brunch last year, I loved the colours and the assortment of food, all different cheeses, fruit and biscuits and a silver knife.  It was almost like a coincidence as now I look at this photo and I think of the mortality of the knife and immortality of the food, how it would decay and rot, how the cheese would turn mouldy and the bright fruit turn to grey, black and brown.  The knife would remain the same.

On looking back over my notes and the exercises I realize that perhaps I haven’t made many, if any quotes, and I’m not sure I have referenced things as I should, so another few things to add to my list of ‘to do’s, is to look again at the preferred referencing method and the same for quotes.  Project 2 has really opened my eyes to a whole new outlook to paintings, music and photos, to realise that time is linked to so much of the art world is amazing.   I just hope that my interpretation of what I am learning is how it should be.   I joined one of the hang out forums last week, it was initially set up for those studying abroad, but from what I understand UK students are also in the group, it was good to see other students on the same degree, all trying to help.  I didn’t really say much, in fact i didn’t saying anything, I just needed to see the lay of the land so to speak, but will give it another go.  I was also awarded a badge for being best newcomer for using the OCA forums, so that’s a good start.

I feel on reflection, I have learned so much already and am very excited to now move on to project 3.

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PART 1/CONTEMPORARY ART/PROJECT 2/EXERCISE 2

In this exercise we are asked to consider our response to Jem Finer’s (founder member of The Pogues – 1980’s band) musical piece called Longplayer – 2009.

My initial response to listening to the music is, it’s kind of eerie, possibly religious because of the bells and bongs creating lengthy wavelengths of sound and then silence in-between.  It is almost as if mourning is taking place because of the intermittent silence and swishing of bowls possibly people floating in and out like ghosts.  Looking at the set up, there is a view of circles on the floor with different sized bowls placed on these circles, most likely representing the solar system.

My reaction to the actual idea of the piece is wow, incredible that someone would want to create something that others will benefit from once you are gone … having just typed that out – I’m realizing that’s what a lot of artists do, especially painters and sculptors, they are normally more famous once they are dead.  Perhaps this is Finer’s aim.  I had never head of this piece of music or the planning around it, or the fact it is in London.  I have also learned that it was initially 1,000 minutes long, representing a musical piece  1,000 years long, it will eventually be, as from what I understand, music will be added along the way until there is 1,000 years worth of music.  It will be incredible to think what will be added, will music or mankind still exist.  We know technology has changed so much in the past 30 years, it does  make you wonder how would the music sound in 1,000 years, will it sound different and what could it be heard on, we once listened on vinel now its our phones, we just don’t know what the future will be that far ahead.

My main key words would be: bells, bowls, eerie, space, ghosts, circles, space, plants, moons, stars, church bells, religion, hand held bells, brushing sounds, sound travel, gongs, calm, monks.

What do you think about the sounds in the piece?

I thought the sounds were eerie, calm and as if bells were being rung or gongs being banged, along with the brushing of a drum

Why do you think Finer has chosen these particular sounds?

I think he has chosen them to represent the plants, each sound of a bell is a planet, each swish of a bowl is a planet or star moving, a bang on a bowl means a plant has moved and disappeared into the distance.

Find out what ‘site-specific’ means in art.

Refers to a work of art designed specifically for a particular location and that has an interrelationship with the location.

Strictly speaking longplayer isn’t site-specific because it moves to different locations and has a strong online presence.

Analyse the performance of the piece, looking at how it’s presented to the audience.

The quality of the sound used – Sharp, clear, exact

The choice of singing bowls – Tibetan religious bowls – they create different sounds depending on how they are used, by banging, tapping, swishing with a brush.

The positioning of the bowls – The bowls are positioned randomly around the 6 concentric rings, different sizes representing planets.

The positioning of the spectator – placing a spectator is showing a connection between human life and the solar system

The time length of the piece – The time length was originally 1,000 minutes but will extend to 1,000 years without repeating any of the musical pieces until 1,000 years has passed.

How the piece is performed – It is performed by 6 people, but up to 12 people who know exactly when to play the notes.

Write a short interpretation of Longplayer – 250 words.

In September 2009, Jem Finer of The Pogues, created the Longplayer, a four piece musical performance situated in Roundhouse, London.  It consisted of various sized Tibetan singing bowls, placed strategically around six concentric circles.  Six to twelve performers would then play the bowls by tapping, banging and swishing them with a brush.  The sounds representing the planets moving amongst each other, side by side or disappearing into the distance.  Other performers moved amongst the ‘planets‘ linking humans to the solar system and perhaps showing there is more time available in space than there is on earth due to how long humans live for, whereas planets are known to exist for millions or billions of years. Finer made the initial performance last for 1,000 minutes, a representation of the musical piece lasting for 1,000 years. The notes are played at exactly the right time and will not be repeated until the year 2999 has been reached and then it will be played in full. That is to say if there is anyone on the planet to play it, and what would the music consist of then. Time will play an important part as we don’t know what technical implications will happen along the way or if there is enough interest to continue for 1,000 years, with Finer long gone by then, who will continue the legacy. Human life may be extinct by then, but will the music continue along with the planets. Only time will tell.

244 words

EXERCISE 2 – INTERPRETING VIDEO ART

In Exercise 2 we are asked for our response to a video clip of Sam Taylor-Wood’s Still Life (2001) and to write in 250 words our understanding of this piece, and to question what Taylor-Wood wants us to think about or experience from watching this.

My main key words would be: fruit, bright colours, peach, pear, apple, bic pen, mould, rotting, decaying, mortality, immortality, beautiful, depressing, orange, yellow, red, black, grey, brown, sadness, time.

My initial response after first viewing

My initial response is of sadness and depressing thoughts, the beautiful plate of ripe apples, pears and peaches, turned into a pile of rotting skins.  The colours of yellow, green and orange, replaced with brown, black and grey.  Once picked from trees and bushes they immediately start to die.  In contrast the bic pen showed it had mortality, it didn’t die in that time frame and most likely won’t ever unless it is damaged in some way.

The media and form of the piece

The piece was filmed using 35mm film.  I’m not sure if this means each frame was a single picture at different stages and then joined together.  Or if it was a running video film taken over time and then shortened by splicing the film.

Contextual information – what do you think has influenced this piece? Have a look at some of Taylor-Wood’s other work.  Does this piece fit with those?  Are there other artists working in a similar way.

Mortality has influenced this piece and the passage of time, that the fruit is not immortal, unless action is taken to stop its decay, perhaps freezing it.  Looking at his other work, Taylor-wood seems to be filming musical videos, some containing dancing and also erotica films, the Still Life doesn’t seem to fit into the same type of genre.

How does this piece comment on ‘time’?

The ‘time’ element is the length of time it takes for the fruit to decay and rot.  Once fruit has been picked it is not long before it will start to rot, especially if it is kept in a warm atmosphere.  There is no mortality, like the human body, eventually it will die, depending on the environment and conditions leading to death.  The only possibility of mortality would be for the fruit to be frozen.  The pen did not start life as a seedling, it was manmade and has a much longer life span due to what it has been made out of, it is not likely to rot or decay unless it is damaged in some way.

EXCERCISE 2

In Exercise 2 we are asked for our response to a video clip of Sam Taylor-Wood’s Still Life (2001) and to write in 250 words our understanding of this piece, and to question what Taylor-Wood wants us to think about or experience from watching this.

In 2001 Sam Taylor-Wood filmed a still-life piece using 35mm film as a single screen projection.  The image consisted of a beautiful display of fruit, apples, peaches, pears and grapes displayed on a woven plate.  The colours of reddish brown, red and yellow were prominent.  Alongside the display was a blue bic pen.  The film progressed very slowly, a small mist of grey started to appear on the table, slowly creeping on to the fruit, until it eventually covered it all.  As time moved on, the fruit began to decay and rot until it was eventually just a small pile of dead skin.  The colours had now changed to brown, black and grey.  A feeling of sadness and depression crept over me.  In contrast the pen was still as it was at the beginning of the film, nothing had happened to it.  This makes me believe that Taylor-Wood is wanting us to think about immortality and mortality, the world we exist in today, the likes of fruit and human life there is only mortality, our skins decay over time and eventually dies.  Whereas the bic pen symbolizes immortality, exempt from death.  It still had the same shape, size and colour.  It makes me think if humans can produce something that doesn’t rot and decay then why can’t it stop the process of fruit or humans from dying.  The question is will freezing the human body become a normal occurrence in the belief we will become immortal.

246 words

 

 

 

PART 1/CONTEMPORARY ART/PROJECT 2/EXERCISE 1

In this exercise a list is given of the fourth dimension stating

1 dimension – the dot

2 dimensions – the line: drawing or painting

3 dimensions – the cube: sculpture

4 dimensions – time: sound, film, video, performance

Not quite sure yet what this means apart from the part that we are asked to make notes in our learning log regarding our own personal thoughts on time.

Time to me means looking at my phone or watch to see what the time is, or to set my phone with a timer when cooking, to set the alarm to wake me up at a certain time.  It is obviously something that is past, present and future.  As in time in the past would be ‘I remember the time when I bought my first home”.  Time in the present “I am writing this blog post  on my laptop at 8.15pm on Saturday, July 14, 2018”.  Time in the future “Shall we meet at the train station at 4.00pm on Wednesday”?  I noticed after writing these sentences that each one also included a place,home, my laptop, train station.  This surprised me to find a link between time and place.

The following questions were also asked

Have you thought about time in relation to artwork before?

I have to admit I haven’t thought about time in relation to artwork before.  On reflection, I recently visited Florence, Italy, and enjoyed the incredible art scene, the statues, paintings, architecture and street art they all depict a period of time but I know it didn’t cross my mind to study any in great detail to specifically think about time in any way.  Apart from realising the paintings and statues were all historical not contemporary.  I wish I had paid more attention, I took photos of statues and paintings that stood out to me and will now investigate further to see whether I think time was related in any way.

Have you already come across pieces that explore what time is?  Write a little bit about these pieces in your learning log

One of the paintings I loved was a fresco (a painting made on a wall whilst the plaster was still wet) inside the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.  Domenico di Michelino, Dante and the Three Kingdoms, 1465.  It caught my eye as soon as we walked into the  famous Cathedral, I had no idea what it was about and now have looked in more detail, in short it would appear to be Dante’s journey through through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio), and Paradise (Paradiso).  Therefore depicting the journey as being a length of time getting from Hell to Paradise.Dante and The Three Kingdoms 1465

Another area I enjoyed visiting in Florence was the Loggia del Lanzi which was an area in Florence displaying several statues of extreme interest.  The one that stood out to me was Perseus with the head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini in the period 1545-1554.

I understand from reading further that Medusa was capable of turning men into stone, which makes me think that Cellini was causing time to stand still in the actions of Medusa.  I’m really not sure and possibly grasping at straws but Perseus beheaded Medusa whose hair had turned into snakes.

Perseue with the Head of Medusa

On reflection this exercise has really made me think about art and its links to time.