Colaborative Projects.

I enjoyed reading the article about Colab and their metamorphosis. I especially liked how in the beginning the group started as just meetings for artists, then bolstered by common thinking and mutual respect the group realized that they had a call to action. They had something to say as a group and the public needed to hear it. Despite being a large group with many different media, everyone could participate and add their creative thoughts. Colab was not only collaborative, they were building a commuity.

Another aspect I liked about Colab was their choice to bypass alternative spaces and to register as a non-profit agency in order to receive funding. Even as an alternative group they understood that in order to spread their message they would need to "play the game". I feel as though today artists who take pride in being "alternative" feel that a lack of audience validates their "alternative" status. But many times alternative artists are only reaching their friends and like minded individuals. I think it is even more impressive to be an alternative group and to be able to deliver an alternative message to the greater public. Maybe the public will disagree and maybe they wont get it, but the more people you reach out to the better chance you have of being heard. I feel like the fact that they were a recognized non-profit gave some validity to the collaborative. These weren't just some crazy artists with ideas that they were spewing out. They had funding, they had a name, they were organized and had the ability to work together to produce works of art and a message.

I also thought it was interesting, I read the Colab article and an article about a band "Of Montreal" on the same day. The band describes having to come up with different forms art in order to sell their music (beyond the traditional T-shirts and music videos). In a way this is kind of the same idea as Colab. A group gets together expresses their artistic vision in a variety of media. Maybe their are more collaborative art groups out there that aren't even aware of following in the steps of Colab.

0 Percent Positive

All Color News was my favorite portion of the article. The most exciting characteristic of Colab is that they function as a structured group that is involved in the community. The examples that they use to comment on social injustices, and social class barriers are poignant. I was really moved by the approach to the people on the subway from different socioeconomic backgrounds. A remote voice peaks through the stillness and attempts to address the non-interactive posture by telling the passengers to speak to one another. I wonder is the distant voice intended to mirror our self-conscious thought. I was recently talking to someone about the social structure of our society. How can people stand within one foot of each other on an elevator and not speak, smile, or deliver a kind gesture like holding the door open so the oncomer can get on safely? The person I was speaking with commented on a similar environment: the Metro. She said she often wondered why two people sitting so close to each other never exchange words. From reading the article, Colab commented on the different social classes of people clustered together like a mob. Probably so close, they can see little details. It sounds a little too close for comfort. With the mp3 player, cell phone, book or "Do not talk to me" blank stare as a shield, there is no need or desire to socialize with people that coexist in the environment.

I also enjoyed the comment about the mainstream news. There is rarely anything positive on the news. A few years ago I would watch the news daily. When school shootings like Columbine occurred I stopped watching the news. I was speaking with a friend about the news very recently. After agreeing that the news can negatively alter our perception of the world around us, we began to share ideas of how the news can become 100 positive. We both believed that the news should be more about uplifting the community. I would like to hear about Johnny making honor roll or Kim winning an essay contest for a scholarship. Or maybe even a 1 or 2% decrease in gun violence. I met a woman, who native language is French. She told me she never watches American news. She has cable and orders the French news. Apparently, the French channel is uninhibited. She told me the channel broadcasts news from other countries and news about America that is not shown in America. I do not speak French, so I can not validate my source just yet. But it is fascinating.

Colab was a sincere collaborative group that embraced people of both gender. The group was structured with a purpose. Colab opposed an hierarchy and welcomed a team-like environment. Each member worked together to ensure that their goals were accomplished and the mission was remembered. Colab impacted the community in a great way. They attempted to educate people about violence through the aggressive nature of the X Magazine and bridge separate communities together.


Inherent differences

In core art education class today, Annie made a statement that I found very interesting. She said, "Making art as an individual and making art as part of the collaborative are inherently different" This was a part of a conversation we were having on lesson planning and the enduring understandings our professors wished to impart in their classes. For me this really struck a chord. Is collaborative art truly different than individual art making? For me it most certainly is. Already in this course of study I have considered forms of art that I never would have explored on my own, whether it was because I thought they were uninteresting or that I was not good at them. I now have not only started to collaborate on pieces out of my comfort zone, but have brainstormed and began projects on my own that I would probably have never conceived in my old line of thinking. In other words, the collaboration has changed my view of art and my own personal art making. Who knows if this change will stick, what impact it will have on my most used medium (photography), or how it will effect the work I produce both in the darkroom and out, but it at least has me thinking differently for now.

Working as part of a collaboration has made me feel like my inadequacies are not as significant. Perhaps it's because I feel that among the collaborators at least one of us will have the natural talent or technical skill to pull off what we have envisioned (or at least many minds to think of a way around the obstacles that arise) As we continue through the semester, I am excited to see what we produce, I will be even more curious to see what other pieces my classmates produce this semester as this class weighs in on their psyches.


Exhibiting a painting?

I've been thinking about about John Baldessari's painting since it was discussed on Friday. Well, actually I've been thinking more about the frame of "Exhibiting Paintings" more than the paint itself.

My curiosity piqued when a Hirshorn staff member told an anecdote about the painting. Apparently a museum patron complained to an employee about the typos on the sign downstairs. Hirshorn staff later realized the "sign" in question was in fact Baldessari's painting.

I can begin to see how the patron mistook that painting for a sign. For this confusion, I blame the frame.

Consider this: if the painting was hung sans frame, it would reveal itself as a canvas. A canvas then signals 'painting.'

If the frame existed by was thicker, more ornate, colored differently than that "landlord" yellow, it would read more as a 'frame.' A frame then signals with a painting is within it.

However, "Exhibiting Paintings" was a presented with neither of these options. It had a frame- but it was hardly noticeable. It is a thin, less than one inch thick, straight-edge, wood frame. It is a natural light wood color, somewhere between the white of the walls and yellow of the canvas.

Ultimately, it is rather aesthetically insignificant. I would not be surprised if I was the only one there who considered its role.

The frame did not have the presence of a frame. It was indeed more like a signpost that houses an informational sign.

I assert that, by removing or replacing the frame, "Exhibiting Paintings" would register more as an exhibited painting. (One that note: I think if this piece was more painting-like spectators would be more understanding of the "typos" - like this blogger in particular.)

Now, the question is, who chose the frame? Is this frame part of the intellectual/aesthetic design of Baldessari himself? or a bizzaro choice by a Hirshhorn curator?