Week 1: Location, Location, Location

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Heather Benning, The Doll House, 2013

Welcome to Week 1 of your new on-line Foundations class! Each week you will be presented with videos, a reading, and instructions for written reflection and projects. Your homework is due each week at 11:59 pm on Sunday. Please post all of your homework to your individual WordPress blogs. * if you are unable to post to your blog please contact Angie. Kat has also put together a quick guide for documentation Documentation Tips that will be helpful as you are photographing your work.

For this first week you will be considering and exploring your new physical location. Many of you have traveled away from Alfred to stay with immediate family, relatives or friends. There are also a number of you who have chosen to stay in Alfred for the short term as you weigh options for what to do next. Regardless, we are all in very different circumstances than when we began spring break more than 2 weeks ago.

Homework

1. Read this excerpt from author John Berger’s ” And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos.” John Berger Reading

2. Watch the following 4 videos of Artists who either work from home or whose artwork deals with the theme of domesticity. After watching the videos choose one to Write a  reflection — “How do you connect to this artist, what correlations do you draw between their perspective on “studio” and your own at this moment?”

Louise Despont Louise Despont

Lucas Blalock Lucas Blalock

Latoya Ruby Frazier Latoya Ruby Frazier

Laleh Khorramian Laleh Khorramian

Bryan Zanisnik Bryan Zanisnik

3. Make a Field Guide to your Environment:

Now that we are no longer in our traditional studio spaces, we must begin to look to our personal spaces as a site for art-making and idea-gathering. For this assignment we want you to make a brief Field Guide. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_guide

While a traditional field guide deals with the natural environment – think about what makes your field guide singular to you. Start exploring your new environment/“ecosystem”. This could mean your yard, your bedroom, your closet, your pockets. What do these objects in your environment say about you? How does a collection of objects add up to a narrative or portrait of your space?

A Field Guide of:

Your houseplants?

All the buttons on your shirts?

The stuff collected from jacket pockets?

Your refrigerator?

Your parent’s medicine cabinet?

All the dust bunnies under your bed?

Be inventive. Avoid cliches!  Choose objects that are specific to YOU and your environment!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Choose at least 12 items from your environment for your personal field guide. 
  • Using drawing as your medium- document these objects- these can be drawn in whichever style you want and with any drawing tool/ medium
  • Write a brief description of each object – what is it and how does it fit into your “ecosystem”
  • Photograph/Scan and upload images and text to your individual blog.
  • ** if you have time or want to expand the project to make it more interesting you could consider making a map for your field guide.

Some info/inspiration:

The traditional and epic Audubon and Peterson Field guides:

https://www.audubon.org/national-audubon-society-field-guides

https://www.hmhbooks.com/series/peterson-field-guides

Artist Mark Dion’s Field Guide to the HighLine https://www.thehighline.org/art/projects/markdion/

Artist Kate Bingaman-Burt’s Daily Purchase Drawings 

https://www.katebingamanburt.com/daily-purchase-drawings

 

Lastly — remember that each week’s activities are meant to help you access your Art Brain. Each week’s activities can be done in any order and it is up to you to decide how much time to devote to the work. You’ve all passed the class and will be receiving an A grade for B block just by participating.