Monday, March 7, 2011
Open to currently enrolled undergraduate college students in Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas.
Building a Turf Bench: Michael Bond Final Project
Turf benches were a popular addition to medieval gardens. They provide a comfortable place for one to rest with the comfort of grass as a cushion. Typically they were either rectangular, curved, or in circular shapes, sometimes wrapping around trees. I would like to make a turf bench that reclines in a soft “v shape” that fits the contour of a reclining person. A combination of recycled bricks and wood should make a nice structure. I am choosing a perennial ryegrass because of its resistance to bugs and temperature fluctuations.
This painting by Hans Helming illustrates in this detail how a turf bench can be incorporated into a garden.
My first step is to sprout the seeds indoors until it is warm enough to move the grass outside. For this I will need a container with a screen at the bottom to drain from. For this I will use scrap plywood. Once the grass has sprouted and grown a few inches I will have to transplant it into the bench structure. I am still a bit unsure about the soil type and where I will get the soil from.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
And Merce Cunningham
I've always wanted to make outfits where someone is forced to be moving awkwardly connected to a 2x4 or a strange constructed architecture. To me this is a good project to do for green sculpture as a way to bring up our immediate physical relationship to our surroundings, as thinking about it more could be beneficial.
Now that I am refreshed on crocheting thanks to Zach’s wife’s presentation in class, I’m thinking of this as a way to process materials. I made a small piece after that workshop and I like the way the knots look as a drawing.
I was thinking I could make a tapestry from plastic sort of in the fashion of Anni Albers...
I use building materials a lot in my studio. In seeing Sara’s trash Island project and how they used trash as a building material, I’m thinking I could also use this elective to build building materials out of debris that I could use in the future in my studio.
These are some of the ideas I have. I’ll talk to you guys Monday.
Also, here's an interesting thing that is going on: LEED. This program deals with the effective use of materials in architecture and design.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Tonight the Kansas City Art Institute held a lecture from a member of an art collective called Temporary Services. I thought their marketing of themselves was a little transparent and unknowingly trendy (it seemed like the group wanted to capitalize on the idea of a zine shop and guerrilla art). I thought their work was amusing and sometimes pretty (like the public phenomena project), but I had problems with the implications of what they were doing.
The collective promotes a democratic framework for art and have managed to benefit from being anti-institutional and ignoring conventions of art. In continuing this tradition of the Fluxus movement and demonstration art in the 60s and 70s, they do charming projects like slipping art into shelves of the public library, puting drawings of inventions made by a prisoner into a gallery, and placing punkish passive-aggressive signs with handles around a city to be moved wherever by the people.
In their project "Public Art Opinion Poll 2000" and a more advanced "Public Art Opinion Poll 2009", the group presents a critique of public art through the voices of anyone who wrote them down on a clip-board the group pinned to a telephone pole next to the pieces. The people's ideas were "it sucks", or "it rocks" and got more elaborate in the second running. I think the project was an entertaining gesture because bad art does suck, but the idea was to allow these examples to be part of a broader critique.
The rep tended to sound self-righteous in talking down people who spend money on art and commercial galleries who represent artists. He put himself in a typical position of implying fine-art is bullshit. The man called funding for art frivolous spending in talking about Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate in Chicago. It’s true that not everyone wants to see any purpose in abstract art or fine art but that doesn’t make it irrelevant. I believe the art world has moved past that basic disapproval and found ways to deal with promoting the right conversations that involve a distinction between artists and ceo's, and placing a value on art. I found myself disagreeing with Marc Fischer, because I believe in the effort of fine art and the value of formal critique.
I also felt like maybe the work inadvertently surrounded making a spectacle of whomever they’re trying to advocate. I imagine that for people in prison and people who have to make basketball hoops out of milk crates, that these creations (although formally beautiful) are oppressed desperation. To exploit this as clever and funny and re-contextualize it without regarding the tragedy in these things, seems maybe shallow and demeaning.