Monday, November 16, 2009

an obvious post

i'm in the midst of learning an important lesson in art making: mail order is completely local at all costs!

unfortunately, i was not able to find what i wanted locally, so i am a victim of back orders and slow shipping. what i thought would be some end of the term fall projects are going to end up being beginning of the term winter projects. alas.

i've been doing so much research and reading, but i also feel the need to be DOING. so i have started some drawings as pretty immediate interpretations of what i've been thinking about. the result of just diving in is perhaps that the content of the work is a bit "obvious". but work begets work, especially for me. tell me, dear reader, do you believe that obviousness is automatically negative? i don't think i do, but it merits more thought. it reminds me of the video that lori posted, of david foster wallace talking about fluff words.

here are somethigns i have been thinking about and/or researching:
-english gardens/versailles/history of house plants
-democratizing art
-novelty nature
-a quick phone conversation from 6:31pm-6:55pm about chaos theory
-laurel nakadate's discription of her work as "hilariously sad"
-"people want relationships to be everything or nothing...but in between, there's a lot" -laurel nakadate
-the benefits of limitations
-the willing suspension of disbelief

i also moved this weekend, so that destroyed my studio time. i still have no images to post as a result of my still broken digital camera. i also no longer have internet at home, so i find my entertainment from raccoons peeking into my windows at night.


  1. i dont know if its kosher that i post on here (so lemme know if its just for PSU peeps), but i wanted to respond to this:

    "tell me, dear reader, do you believe that obviousness is automatically negative? i don't think i do"

    As my first name is Dear and my last name is Reader, I assumed you were asking me specifically.

    2 Cents:

    I agree very much. I'm all for ambiguity if provocation of interpretation is the intention, but i think theres nothing wrong with obviousness.

    In fact the only thing I find distasteful about "obviousness" is the word itself. The idea of presenting symbols/imagery which are immediately aparent in their connection/relationship to an idea/POV, is a totally valid strategy.

    what i so disslike about the word 'obvious' in this context is that when used as a pejorative description of a work it implies that the change neccesary to better the work is to simply further mystify the relationship between the symbols being used and their referents. it seems like such an arbitrary approach, and a totally dissingenuous process.

    this is not to imply that dissemblance or irregular logics are arbitrary or dissingeuous, but to just say that the idea that all art is improved by simply further abstracting the ideas, is.

    maybe im inclined to say this cause my own work has become utterly obvious and non-referential, but the truth is i remember being put-off by this notion of art-and-the-terrible-no-good-very-bad-obviousness as an undergrad. and a few years into the real world and I still come across it from working artists, and am still put-off.

    art isnt supposed to be a muder mystery. i dont want symbols or images to be clues to draw me to the conclusion of "oh, this thing i didnt understand is about the holocaust, now i get it. case solved!"

    i realize there are many ways of talking about the idea of obviousness, and you may or may not have been thinking about anything to do with what ive been saying, but its just what came to mind, as I think the whole obvious/ambiguous paradigm for art is a poor one, and not a worthwhile guage for a work's success.

    liked your post, hope you're well and enjoying the new crib!

    - Dark Fantom aka Dear Reader Jr.


  2. Thank you for your thoughts, Dear Reader! I accepts comments from "peeps" within the PSU program, as well as without.

    You did hit the birdcage on the pinky toe (going for more obscure symbols than the cliche of nail and head) with your interpretation of my concerns. Thank you for articulating them the way you did.