This Coway Air Purifier caught my attention. It is one of the air purifiers on sale in Courts, but the rest all looked quite bulky/bulbous. This one caught my eye because it has very clean and sleek lines and can easily blend into the living space, which is what you want a air purifier to be.
the other thing that caught ( or court. get it? ahha) is this SodaStream. This again is another sleek appliance that is completely unnecessary in the house. The use of the white and silver allows the appliance to look clean and futuristic in some sense.
Iina Vuorivirta: my chosen designer.
She is based in Sweden (duh.) Her designs are not the conventional flatpack furniture you would usually associate with Ikea but she has added a handmade touch to its products.
one of which is this limited edition collection of vases in 2017. This is a modern approach to the old technique of glass blowing, and by having the coloured glass and its streaks, there is a strong dynamic feel to it.
this is another one of her prototypes (not sure whether it made to production), and I like how she played with the use of modular forms to allow stacking of the objects to allow users to have multiples uses for one product.
Jenny Holzer is a neo conceptual artist who lives in New York. Many of her works are installation based, but uses a large variety of media to broadcast her works. While she is based in New York, her work has had global influence through her text based works that have political and feminist influences.
Red Yellow Looming, Jenny Holzer
“Red Yellow Looming” was displayed in Whitney Museum of American Art, and is now at the Met Bruer, a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art in New York, in an exhibition named “Everything is Connected”. The work consists of a series of 13 horizontal LED tickers running across a narrow space between 2 walls.
The work bathes the small restrictive space in a red glow on one side of the tickers, and on the other side of the tickers, yellow. As the viewers walk up to it, they are overwhelmed by this as it is the only light source in the space, and they are drawn in. The thirteen tickers are placed in ascending order, almost like a set of stairs that leads to nowhere.
While the work doesn’t actually interact with the viewer like many other works shared by the class, I believe Jenny Holzer’s works gives a very strong physical immersion experience for the viewers. Instead of giving the viewers an option to alter the words on the tickers (like for Truisms, where viewers choose a truism and change a word or phrase and post it in a list), she completely immerses the viewers in the red/yellow LED lights. While it is not like Virtual Reality (VR), the person is in a constricted space flooded with the strong lights and is confronted with the moving words on the tickers. The viewers might even struggle with concentrating on just one set of tickers because of the constant movement. It leaves the viewers feeling like they are not the ones in control as they have no idea what the tickers will show next. It almost instills a sense of expectancy and confusion in the viewers as they wait for the next line to appear on the ticker.
The content displayed on the tickers are actually excerpts from the United States government’s documents on Iraq. The red and yellow background only helps to emphasise on the urgency of the matter that Jenny Holzer wants us to focus on. In addition, the high speed at which the words travel across the ticker also makes the viewers focus solely on the content and not just on the bright surroundings.
The use of the thirteen digital tickers also have a significance. Tickers are usually associated with the stock tickers and stock market. By using the digital tickers, Holzer is trying to associate the importance of the Iraq War that has claimed many lives between 2003 and 2011, of which the United States was heavily involved in, to the stock market in United States. There is evidence in the direct correlation between the Stock Market dips and the country’s involvement in wars globally.
Despite Jenny Holzer’s lack of use of ‘high’ tech gear so to speak, she manages to pull off a very successful work where she brings her viewers to a holt to focus on the problem she has identified. Even without the physical interaction which creates a physical output immediately like a Dynabook, it brings you on a journey through her creative process.
As previously mentioned, the artist I chose is Jenny Holzer. A conceptual artist living in New York. She mostly uses text in her works to express her ideas which sometimes includes feminist ideas. She stresses social consciousness or the lack thereof in today’s society, and her single liners are meant to trigger conversations about the issue at hand.
Minimalism was birthed out of the need to differentiate from abstract expressionism in the 1940s and 1950s in post war American Art. The whole premise of abstract expressionism was to have gestural and emotion-filled brush strokes on a fairly large canvas, like in William de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko’s works.
Unlike for abstract expressionism, in minimalism the individual author is removed from the artwork as much as possible.
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU SEE. – Frank Stella
What Frank Stella shared about minimalism is the line that completely encompasses the purpose of minimalism. What you physically see with your physical eyes, is what you understand literally in your mind. It does not try to be what it is not, unlike the Old Masters paintings where chiarosuro is used to “trick the eye”. It goes straight to the point that the objects will just be what the viewers are meant to see and understand. The author is usually not represented by the work presented, or even reference his own train of thought through the title of the work. For example, Donald Judd’s works are all ‘Untitled’, and that does not reference anything to the way he was thinking when creating the work. The only point of reference is the year that the work was created in, leaving the viewer with only the actual work to appreciate and understand the premise of which it was created.
The works in the Minimalism realm (apart from the paintings) were mostly made with readymade objects and were not manipulated very much. Things like Plexiglass, aluminium panels became part of many Donald Judd’s works and remained one of his signatures. The only thing done to them were putting them together, and sometimes painting enamel paint over them. The works confronts the viewer with the materiality of the space- how the very simple materials and the collection of right angles have manipulated the way we look at the space differently. The viewer no longer just looks at the box itself but the space in which the space interacts with the material of the box itself. By using readymade objects and not manipulating the objects very much, it takes away the traditional notion of the ‘artist’s touch’ in many old paintings- the stylistic signatures of the artist are not present in the object itself. It somehow creates a impersonal distance with the works, and makes it feel factory made and clinical. The works were not created to connect with the viewer, it was just to interact with the space and the space in which the viewer is in.
Another step taken to close the gap between the work and the viewer and the space they occupy is the fact that the works are not on pedestals or plinths. By placing them directly on the ground, the viewers are able to experience it fully- they can walk right up to it (not necessary touch it- it is a gallery after all) and they don’t have anything anything separating the two. This is the phenomenology that was mentioned in the presentation. The viewers are able to study the work up close and observe how the work is presented and how it is experienced. The work is the space it occupied, not the illusion of space that paintings used to try to convince you about. The presence of the work is three dimensional, not a two dimensional work trying to tell you that it is three dimensional. This is a radical move that changes the way the works interact with the viewer.
The interaction between the viewer and the work itself also determines the way the work is interpreted and related to the viewer. The viewer cannot rely on someone else to interpret the work for them, but they have to take on the work themselves. For example, the whole series of Equivalent by Carl Andre is made of the same material- firebricks. The only thing that changes between the work is arrangement of the same number of firebricks. To interpret it properly, you have to physically confront the mass of firebricks and the way that it interacts with the environment it sits in, the wooden flooring and the white walls around it. While it is possible to see it through a screen (a computer/mobile device), you would not be able to observe the physicality and materiality of the firebricks, the way it sits in the gallery floor.
The problem with minimalism is that everyone thinks its so simple that anyone could have done it.
I could do that. – Everyone.
But you didn’t. – The artist.
But you didn’t think about it before. And you didn’t present it as a piece of minimalist art. And you didn’t live in Post war America to experience the wave against abstract expressionism. So no, you couldn’t have done it. 🙂
For the final project, my group wanted to relinquish our control over our digital identity, and let the ‘world’ decide our day in our life. We managed to do this by allowing our instagram followers to send in suggestions for the project, on where we should head to, or what we should do next.
At first when we came up with the idea, we wanted it to be a two team event, where we allowed each other’s team to decide what we should do. Eventually, we did away with this two team idea because of the confusing and unnecessary logistics that we would have to deal with, instead of focusing on the essence of the project, which was to relinquish our control over our digital identity. Another idea we had was to use our personal accounts for the project, but after much deliberation we decided that spamming just one group of our friends (we all share different groups of friends) was unfair to them, and would be quite rude. So we decided to create a brand new account for this project: a fresh slate of digital identity that the followers could shape. All five of us shared our trailer (inspired by Carla Gannis’ Until the End of the World) via our personal instagram and tagged the Project Social Life (PSL) account: the people who were interested would hop over to the PSL account to decide our fate for the day. This was a win-win situation where people who were interested who be able to follow this fresh account, where the five of us share a digital identity, and people on our personal accounts wouldn’t be spammed unnecessarily. More than 110 people viewed our very first story, and almost 50 people followed through our entire journey throughout the day.
I think it’s interesting that all five of us share the same account- all five of us were using the same account to document different parts of our day, but all of it was going under the same name. The digital identity of this account was undergoing very different changes throughout the day- from the font that we chose to use, to the way that we film or what we chose to film/document, all of this was getting shaped by five of us. What’s intriguing is that some people may be more dominant in the account than others, and would sway the digital identity closer to their personal digital identity.
We tried getting back our control over our digital identity but deliberately ‘ignoring’ certain requests that we got from the people following our adventure via Instagram. Some were pretty ridiculous like climbing a tree and exchanging tickets for the number of the staff at the arcade, and we were really hesitant about them. This experiment only goes to show how much we value our identity in public, even though we will probably never see the strangers on the street again.
Overall, this final project forced us to get to know each other as a group, as well as our limits on what lengths we are willing to go to for fear of our digital identity.