Art

Artwork #3: Intervene (Public Artwork)

Project Description and Setup:

For my intervention, I left a prompt on a canvas in a public space, which allowed for people to interrupt their daily routine to draw whatever they would like.

  1. Find a public space to display a whiteboard or surface to draw on
  2. Write a prompt which invites people to draw or create whatever they please
  3. Return to the board in 24hrs to see what has been created

At first, my idea was to sit on the centennial common with a whiteboard and ask people to come and draw whatever they’d like to. This idea posed a few problems though. Firstly, I had discovered that allowing people to draw without others observing produced much more creative and interesting results than if there had been others around. Secondly, I do not own a whiteboard large enough to get peoples attention without asking them if they would like to participate. Since this is an intervention piece, I did not want to have as much of a role in the users’ experience as I would have had if I were to camp out on centennial. Therefore I modified my original idea so that I could use a larger canvas in a less public and crowded space. Thus, I chose to setup my intervention in a study room in my dorm building (West Village F). This allowed for participants to take a break from studying to draw whatever was on their mind. The results from this were unique to say the least.

Canvas before:

Canvas 24 hours later:

Upon first observing the changes, I noticed that there were not nearly as many drawings as i’d hoped there would be. All though this was saddening, I was still able to appreciate kirby, a volleyball, bubble tea, and a very awful drawing of spongebob dubbed “spong”.

The results were pretty indicative of the current mental state of those residing in my building. Although stressed by workload around midterms and nearing finals, students were still able to have fun in expressing themselves and displaying their work to others.

The Movies (Final)

For my intervention I plan on going to the movie theater.  I will pay for a random movie (the movie doesn’t matter). Once the movie starts I will bring out a book and read it throughout the film. Watch how the other movie goers and theater staff react to you reading a book instead watching the movie, which everyone expects.

Documentation: I went to see the 12:35PM show of the Young Messiah at the AMC Loews Theater because I expected there to be a fair number of people at the theater at noon time. I sat in the front row of the theater so that everyone in the theater could see me. I pulled out my book as the movie started and began reading. It was dark so I assumed that it would take other people in the theater some time to notice that I was reading a book. However, it seemed like the other movie goers were far more interested in the movie. I only observed three people who actually seemed to notice that I wasn’t watching the movie, but reading a book. There was a man who was sitting next to me that was the first to notice. He glanced over but did not seem surprised or seem to care at all. A few moments later he went back to enjoying the movie. Half way into the movie two old ladies left the theater. As they walked towards the exit they saw me reading.  They gave me funny looks, but did not question me about it. No one at the theater seemed to really care or notice, which was a little disappointing. I was expecting people to ask questions, but they did not.

 

Young messiah

 

Artist Statement:

The original concept for this intervention was to watch a Netflix movie at the movie theater. However, I realized that that would not be possible as the theater I was in did not have wi-fi. I wanted to do this because I thought it was interesting to see how people reacted to me interacting with a media at a setting created for the specific consumption of a different type of media. In any given social setting people have a certain idea of what is acceptable or the “norm.” I wanted to do the complete opposite of the “norm” and see how people reacted.

I was inspired primarily by the Dada artist who created art out of pre-existing things. I created something new out of a pre-existing process which is similar to what the Dadaist did. I was particularly influenced by Marcel Duchamp’s piece The Fountain. The Fountain was essentially a bathroom urinal that Duchamp sent to an art society contest. The society believed that the urinal was a joke and not really art so they rejected the urinal. The society was expecting more conventional forms of art such as painting or sculptures. However, Duchamp decided to do something unconventional and surprising. It inspired me to do something that was unexpected and unconventional. It inspired me to go against what the expected norms were and do something completely unexpected. In this case the expectation was to watch the movie, but by reading instead I went against the established norms like Duchamp.

Arthur Ganson Video Links

Arthur Ganson’s machines are on special display at the MIT Museum in Cambridge (in their “Gestural Engineering” exhibit). He hand-makes the machine aspects of these kinetic sculptures (even the gears are hand-made with welded wire), and they’re fascinating to watch in motion. Brilliant pieces of engineering as art.

Below are a few of my favorites that utilize found objects and create whimsical scenarios with common materials. There are many more, and I highly recommend going to see them at the museum in person.

Machine with Wishbone

Machine with Oil

Machine with Roller Chain

 

 

White Stuff

Make a freshly-packed snowball.
Throw it at a red brick wall from 10 paces.
Trace the outline of the snow that sticks using colored chalk.
Repeat, using different colors of chalk for each snowball, until the chalk begins to run or you run out of colors.
Leave your art for the world to admire.