The Final, Final.


A make-shift video recording of my final, final critique as an undergrad photo art student.

I apologize for how terribly inarticulate I sound during it. I had been dreading the last critique in Matthews Hall Room 224, since the moment I realized it would soon be over. I have had every single photography critique in that worn down room for the past five years. The abused and lovingly punctured corked walls became my safe escape, my sought sanctuary. Terribly nostalgic, I feared the last time my photographs would be pinned up on those walls, when my turn would at last, be over.  The conversation would finally come to an end.

And  so, when the moment  did arrive, words got lost as they often do. The critique overall, is rather anti-climatic and average. The class was an unconventional photo class and the final projects were varied and individually based. Just thought I would share the moment.

lately



 

  

 

 

                     

Whenever you’re free, you’re free.


“Boarding the plane today I was a head full of noise. Forced to process some everyday business disaster in the midst of what I’d intended to be a peaceful slipping away; A quiet departure from the brutal, beautiful capital of my endlessly expanding homeland. I felt myself disengage. With my thumb to the red button, pre-flight beverage in hand, and the routine safety belt check nearly completed, my digital Walkman emerged. Discretion is key in moments like this. You know what you need; you need songs. You know how quickly those songs can be taken from you if you aren’t realistic about the potential dangers of rigid flight attendants. You also know how good it feels when a taxiing plane transforms into a metal-winged miracle as you, eyes closed, sit, scoring the soundtrack of your great escape. It’s these moments that inspired everyday people to create moving pictures and sprawling canvases and symphonies. It’s these moments where you, being entirely present for however brief a time, IS in fact, art. With the right Lens, Melody, Paint Brush, Math equation it could be defined and reproduced for all of humanity to understand. How perfect that my cautiously adorned headphones lead me not to hassle, but instead to “Us and Them”. A track, that to me, largely defines the overriding theme of Pink Floyd’s, Dark Side of the Moon album. Somehow, it manages to speak equally to the malaise of a morning interrupted as it does to the general state of the human condition. (At least some human’s condition, I’m guessing). This is the stuff of real art and real music. Dissection. Exploration. Pop music with teeth, an experiment in human behavior and sound. What a fulfilling listen. Drifting off into the daytime, so far from my self-appointed capital, just a slingshot to the future.”- Andrew McMahon, Jack’s Mannequin blog, 06/12/2009

Jack’s Mannequin illustration from http://bit.ly/bY7rNA

In my contemporary seminar class we have been reading a lot of art theory. Now, this class is pretty intense as it’s a small graduate level 3-hour discussion that meets once a week led by Dr. Sara Cochran, Contemporary Curator at the Phoenix Art Museum. Can you say intimidating? Honestly it hasn’t been too bad, I have managed to keep on top of my reading, engage in the turbulent conversation a decent amount, and Sara keeps walking us through the museum telling us about her choices of art pieces and why she decided to put them there. (favorite part!!)

So far, our readings have focused around how to define the language and function of contemporary art along with the various settings and sites it can function in. Simple enough, maybe. Probably not. This quote reminded me of a debate we have about relational and collaborative aesthetics. This is art that is made up of a conversation or of a social group effort. It can be a moment in time, something that only happens at a specific place and a specific time. It can be a collaboration between a gallery and an artist: that collaboration creates a certain conversation that is separate from the actual object, that is art in it self. It can be a social experiment, through community and art. Such as two artists calling a community to participate and contribute equally to create an art piece together.

So the beef my class had with these idea pretty much went like this: Can a moment in time be a work of art? How do you document it? Do you document it? Does it only exist once for those people at that moment and never again? Is everyday life art since moments and conversations can count? What happens when the aesthetics become words,feelings, and time? What is art with out tangible aesthetics? and then once we could (kind of) sort all of that out, where does this kind of work fit? What do you do with it?

Don’t get too excited. Your not getting all my answers to these questions. I think it’s something you got to think about yourself, I will say my class was split into two groups that we referred to as “The believers” and “non-believers” in which I am sure you can figure out where I probably lie. Either way, My point is that I came home from this exhausting debate to read this quote, by Andrew McMahon, my hero in the most admittedly cheesy but sincere way. And it just resonated with me. I think because I’ve had this moment before. Driving away on an empty road, windows down, hair flying, music playing perfectly in harmony with the moment and the feeling. Life just feels free, and I remember in those moments, I do, I do feel like art.

Just some more quotes I wrote down from classes..As always please feel free to leave to leave comments. I’d love to know what you think.

“Art is about a conversation, and about engaging in that conversation.”- Dr. Sara Cochran.

“Think about what the meaning is, and then how to express that.”- Betsey Schneider

Victory Lap


Today, I found myself completely de-railed. It probably comes as no surprise, that I have been stressed about graduating. In the photography world, a MFA is an extreme advantage. It allows you to put into effect all the skills and processes learned in your undergraduate while still pushing your concepts. It gives you a more focused arena to improve as well as introduces you to a strong art community throughout the process. It also holds a lot more weight in the job world, I would be able to teach at a college level as well as gain many more photography opportunities. I have continued to push my photographs and ideas and I have finally reached the point where I think my portfolio is getting strong enough to get into grad school, the catch? Most schools don’t do Spring admission, therefore I have to wait to apply in the Fall to attend in the Fall of 2011.

So I have been faced with this question.. what do I do with myself for an entire year?  The answer was confirmed today. I have decided after much thought to not graduate this May as planned, and instead take the next year to turn my Art History minor into a Major. This is the most sensible option for me in every way. I just became a Docent for the ASU Art Museum and am working on two other internships for the Fall. All three of these opportunities would be extremely beneficial for me both in experience and for my application process. To complete my major I wouldn’t even be a full-time student rather would just have to take 8 classes, spread out over the year. This would allow me to hopefully find a job as well that dips into the art world. I would also be able to keep utilizing the facilities at ASU, and pushing my photography even further, instead of struggling to produce art on my own.  I really am finding that I love to write about and discuss art so having this extra degree would give me a strong advantage as well as open up many more opportunities.

If I have to wait a year for graduate school I much rather be getting a second degree, still producing art, interning, and working, then putting around with a full-time job that restricts me from growing. I am both nervous and excited about this decision. It’s strange to think about, that I am not graduating in May with all my friends, especially when we have all been treating this as a “Last Year in AZ Experience,” but I can’t not take the chance just because it’s going to be different then what I expected. Staying out here while most of the close friends I have made over the past four years leave, will be the hardest part for me. I can’t imagine what it will be like to not have my best friends with me out here, but that is life. We are all on separate paths, heading out in our own directions, but no matter how long we reach or how far we get,  we are all connected, united by those moments shared together. So really I am never too far away or ever truly alone. *

“The lines represent life and the things around you, but like an asterisk everything intersects with each other at some point, not only connecting everyone with everything around us, but also a unity with the universe..”- Andrew McMahon