Saturday, September 26, 2009
Question: where do the male ants come from? If they’re only alive for a day, how do lady ants birth male ants and then reproduce with them? This I must find out. Or if the queen is the only one to reproduce, how does she lay eggs in the first place? I like that the question of the chicken or egg came up, I feel my question is in the same category.
I’ve read Jane Jacob’s Death and Life of American Cities and, in all honesty, it is boring, and rather uninsightful. She states things that seem obvious; observations that anyone living in a city could make (e.g. parks are useful because of the businesses and housing around it; if it’s just a park, no one will use it).
This reading definitely switches gears from participatory art, but it is not quite clear where we’re going next. I think I mostly retained information about ants after this reading.
I'm definitely interested in doing another participatory art exercise, but I'm not sure which one would work best.
After completing Nick's participatory exercise we took a look at the Arcades Project website. As discussed in class, Arcades were thought of as a series of stores and shops, that would give you access to an array of things. The Arcade Project website was originally developed as a literary project that used quotations and ideas from different writers and put them together to describe our culture. The idea to distribute all products of cultures to everyone is similar to the dissemination of information that takes place on the internet daily. The URL is : www.e-arcades.com
Thursday, September 24, 2009
My idea for our class interactive art would be a responsive game designed to learn a little bit about everybody in the class without the use of words. Verbal and written information is excluded from this activity so we can explore communication without the use of our common vernacular. Okay. So the general idea is that there are two sides of the room. One side is the side of agreement. The other reflects an attitude of disapproval or disagreement.... To what?... An overhead projector or some other method of displaying a visual aid. This visual aid will be one of many globally controversial people, ideas, conflicts, etc. For example... If the picture displays Fidel Castro and his Communist Cuban regime, then those who agree with the man and his movement will move to one side while the others stand to the other side.
There should be a clear divider of the room as this next part is important. The degree to which a person may agree or disagree is also important to the detail of this project. Touching the far wall of the one side will show that one (dis)agrees strongly with his/her opinion. And of course the reverse to that would be that standing/sitting close to the divider may suggest a less aggressive stance on the topic.
And finally, the third rule of this participatory experiment is installed to give credit or not to give credit to ones opinion. This part is also left to the honesty of the participants. One may stand, squat, kneel, or lie flat on their belly. Each persons physical posture will resemble how much they REALLY know about the subject presented to them. For example... If I knew nothing about the topic of Fidel Castro, then i will lay flat on my belly (and should therefore probably be close to the center too) If i know a bit more then I'll kneel. The taller my physical stance, the more I am claiming to know about the provided topic.
These three rules/actions may only take a couple minutes each, so this can be accomplished for a number of topics. We can learn about each others views on different worldly matters while taking part in a unique learning experience. We are also being artistically expressive.
-by Nick Stango
Walter Benjamin argues that “The mechanic reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses towards art.” In photography, images could be fabricated by the use of studio tools. This shows that in photography the work of art lacks its authenticity. With the use of mechanical reproduction, our experience on the work of art is expanded by using these new tools. We use these forms of mechanical reproduction to find ways of creating work of art either for entertainment or for personal purposes.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
As I was reading the article i discovered a paragraph that described the entire article in a neat little package and I believe it is very helpful for everyone to read it in this short concise package in order to fully understand the ideas being conveyed.
An analysis of art in the age of mechanical reproduction must do justice to these relationships, for they lead
us to an all-important insight: for the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the
work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual. To an ever greater degree the work of art reproduced
becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility. From a photographic negative, for example, one can
make any number of prints; to ask for the “authentic” print makes no sense. But the instant the criterion
of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic production, the total function of art is reversed. Instead
of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice—politics.
Monday, September 21, 2009
However, Benjamin also feels that bringing these works to a mass audience could alleviate some of the mysticism and untouchability of these classical works and make art more accessible. The fact that everything is a copy of everything else in some fashion makes the "originality" of a work seem less important.
The only thing I didn’t quite understand was the segment where the dancers were absent from the stage and there was only blocky, pixelated fragments of images shifting around on the screen while various phrases were broadcasted to the audience, most of which regarding something about the technology behind the show. Most likely nothing more than a segue, I still thought it was somewhat odd, in an ominous, 1984 sort of way.
Altogether I found the experience to be - admittedly, a tad surprisingly - very enjoyable and a fine way to spend part of an afternoon. All the hard work that undoubtedly went into putting the show on definitely paid off.
Walter Benjamin is saying that our experience of the "art object" is diminished by the tools of mechanical reproduction. I believe that it is better that it gets mass produced even tho it may loose its Aura. More people can see it. Cameras have changed art so much that it even makes art a little less valuable because the average person could easily pick up a camera, point and shoot and have an instant piece rather then hours of hard work for one painting. Just like Benjamin's reason for saying photo or video reproduction will diminish its Aura. The value will be much less
Similarly, works of art that were created hundreds, even thousands, of years ago have a different "aura" than they did when they were first created. Cave paintings, to use Benjamins example, were meant for the spirits or Gods that cavemen believed in at the time--something we can now only imagine. We can only compare our own current religious symbols to those paintings to only partially know the meaning of those paintings on the cave walls.
We may know what has happening at each point in history when a work of art was created, but we will never completely understand it because we haven't lived during the time period. Things are different in so many ways: culturally, socially, politically, economically, etc. Even today, a work of art has a different meaning to different audiences. An ancient Chinese painting has a completely different meaning to a Chinese citizen than it does to an American and vice versa. A Native American legend won't mean the same to someone of Cherokee descent as it does to someone of Flathead Salish descent, let alone to someone of a completely different culture like the Chinese.
Technology has made such an impression on art. In a sense, technology is an art in of itself. A still photography and films are works of art, but the subjects they portray do not do them justice. A documentary on Italy will never help us to completely understand what happened in the Colosseum or Pompeii thousands of years ago. Neither will a still photograph of the current city. Yes, both are art, but both are not an accurate representation of the culture as the subject. The "aura" has been changed.
Benjamin however also does say that mechanical reproduction can expand our experience of the art object. It's something I believe comes back to participatory art. Basically although taking a snapshot of something is a very easy and repeatable task, photographs can also be used to manipulate images, focus on specific things, such as distort or blur the view for the purpose of communicating a whole new message to be found in the original image.
Though anyone can really just pick up a camera and take a picture, it really does take a special eye to make a work of art in the field of photography and film. The photographer is able to enhance an image, or to make the viewer see the subject in a new, never-before-seen way. Does this not make the subject in itself new? Won't the image produced be original in its own accord, i.e., a work of art? It will exude its own aura, different from the subject. It does not necessarily lessen the value of the original, the subject. Nor is it to be considered inferior to the subject or original.
Though Benjamin claims that our experience is mostly diminished by mechanical reproduction through photography and film, they also serve as a way for art to reach the masses in ways though impossible. The speed at which photography and film is produced and brought to the masses is phenomenal. In other words, they bring art to the people on a large scale.
Benjamin goes on to point out that the same tools of mechanical reproduction have also opened new doors for the "art object" as well. While the photograph may take away from an object's aura, it can be reproduced and distributed world wide. It can change our perception of the object, notice small details in things like texture that our eyes could not show us previously.
Blog Questions: In what ways is Walter Benjamin saying that our experience of the "art object" is diminished by the tools of mechanical reproduction (photography and film)? In what ways is he saying that our experience of the art object is expanded by these new tools? Blog your response to these two questions by "commenting" on this post, or on each other's comments.
Posted by Sarah Drury at 9:16 AM
Benjamin feels that the tools of mechanical reproduction has diminished art's aura via the distance that photographs produce between the viewer and the piece of art. He explains that the uniqueness of experiences through art is lost through the repetitive association in photography.
In what ways is he saying that our experience of the art object is expanded by these new tools?
Benjamin admits that photography is an "important visual activity within itself" and that its strong bond with art is only natural. He also explains that photography, although he feels it diminishes an art object's aura, has made the art object more accessible to the masses and allows the art object to have a chance to gain recognition.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
First off, the interpretation of the article really seemed to help make the concepts a lot more clear to me. Benjamin is saying that with the "new technologies" like photography and film, the art and the viewer are now separated by this medium. He says that even though a photograph isn't forgery or a fake that it somewhat robs the original "art" of it's aura. I don't necessarily agree with this. If anything, pictures can show us a different angle or perspective, that we wouldn't have seen without the use of a camera. That kind of intertwines with what Benjamin says about how the "art object" is expanded by film or still photography. He talks about how in a picture the texture or details aren't seen as if they would without the camera between the art and viewer. He does seem to be less pessimistic when it comes to talking about film. He talks about how it sharpens the viewers "optical and auditory impressions." Overall Walter Benjamin seemed to be quite negative on the use of photography and film in the art realm. However he did seem to have some leeway on it's potential positive aspects.