We successfully completed our first show. Honestly, it didn't come out anything like I had imagined it would. In my head I think I had pictured something, well- neater? The outcome was surprising, but I liked it. The finished pieces are interesting to look at. I wonder if they are as interesting to look at if you weren't a participant, or if you don't know the premise. Hopefully we can get some feedback from our classmates and teachers who view it over the weekend.
I think one of the most interesting aspects of the piece was getting to watch people interpret the music. We all commented that we perhaps should have videotaped it. The dancing, bopping, quiet contemplation was perhaps the best part of the day. Many people commented that participating was therapeutic- an aspect I hadn't really considered until it was up. I can't help thinking that it helps people regress to childhood- coloring on walls.

Another interesting aspect that came from this piece was that the separate drawings really began to take shape and mimic the music they were set to. They are remarkably different pieces, though they are essentially the same marks and ideas set on paper. It was also interesting to see that the dissonant track seemed to confine people, that they reacted to the boundaries the music was setting.

I'm going to take them down tomorrow night, I wonder if there will be any new additions to them...

Image: Airwaves, interactive-collaborative piece by Elana, Farolyn & Jenna at CCA+D; photograph by MCB.


collaborative art-VIEWING

After being at the Hirshorn last Friday, I couldn't help thinking about the upcoming "After-Hours" this coming Friday night at the museum. Actually, I was doing more thinking back on the last After Hours I attended last spring. It was a new experience for me to be at a museum for such a big social/art-viewing event. The combination of lighting, music, crowd numbers, and of course, alcohol made for an almost overwhelming scene outside the museum. Once we ventured inside, however, I had a museum experience that was completely unique. There were so many people moving through the museum and the featured exhibit that the crowd was forced to move at a certain pace. As I thought back on this experience after being at the Hirshorn again, I realized how much it felt like some kind of collaborative art-viewing experience, if that exists. While one could argue that visiting any museum involves looking at art in the company of others (unless you have the museum to yourself), navigating the Hirshorn during the After Hours event was very different than the usual museum experience. I felt more connected to the others around me by both time and location. We were all participating in a specific event at the museum and our presence alone meant that some degree of advance planning had to be involved in the visit.

There was a stronger connection between us than I usually feel to other museum-goers. And so what does this mean? Did this "collaborative" viewing experience effect understanding or perception of the artwork? Did it effect the meaning of the art for some? I think it's an interesting topic to consider. I can't help but wonder if the artists ever imagined their work being viewed in such an environment?



I think the Hirshorn is my favorite Smithsonian museum. It has taken me some time but I have really grown to appreciate conceptual art. I think what most people don't understand about conceptual art is that, well, it's conceptual; that one needs to understand, or at least know, what the concept is to appreciate it. The design is not in the aesthetic like "normal" or picturesque art.

Going to the Friday gallery talks has really helped me to understand this. For example, this past week's talk. When you first look at the singular work, it is slightly underwhelming, but has an overal pleasant calming effect. But when you look closer you see that the "ripples" are made of numbers, which is intriguing, and made me appreciate the effort and time that it must have taken to create the work. But only after having learned the context of the work (that it is part of a life long series), and the nature of the artist does the artwork truly come alive. I like this aspect of conceptual art. The more you learn about it and the more you discuss it the more it comes alive. I think this is why I love art education. Helping people to ask questions and understand why works are as exciting as they are is really exciting for me.

Another work I found really inspiring from the art education context was the "Condensation Box". It just allowed me to imagine showing and discussing with a group of young students, how it was built, how the condensation stays in there, etc. Then being able to take those ideas and apply them to a science class. It helps me to see that art can be collaborative in many, many ways, and the more we collaborate, on specific works, in our own education, and while educating others the more rich each art experience will be.

putting all the pieces together

Well, our group's project is coming up (5 days to be exact) and it seems like it is pretty much coming all together. Having been in charge of the music portion of the collaboration I hope that the work I have put together meets with the expectations of the group. Though I suppose if it isn't- we've still got 5 days to hatch it out.

The art we saw at the Hirschorn Museum on Friday was pretty inspirational for me. I don't know what it was about the current show that was so eye-opening for me. Perhaps it was the full use of the room, scale, simple geometry? I'm not quite sure, but whatever it was certainly had me creating all weekend. After a pretty expensive trip to plaza I spent the better part of Saturday working on art projects that have been slipping through the cracks for the past few months. It felt good to get some new things out- well, started at least. Now they are staring me in the face so I have to complete them (not just sketches in pads and notebooks). Hopefully I'll get some done in time to bring to class for some input.