[Realism Now!] [Perf Art MAIN page] Greetz inner circle of frentic fanatic "artists" ! PRELIMINARIES Well, lots of things to say to *ya'll* - if you can either send me Jim & Anna's email or forward this onward also.. gORAN: at the end of most of my emails are the links to my pages. maily i use angelfire.com for my many web sites which are usually inter-linked (it's limited but they DO allow all contents, so i can put .html but more importantly .doc (WORD), .mov, .pdf, etc - other "free" providers restrict what you can link to - even though their ads are better behaved (ie, no pop-ups), give you more memory, etc. BEGIN MEAT-AND-POTATOES-SECTION - an old programming comment! This (being a structured e-mail) - i'll show them!!!! is broken down into the following areas. 1. ABOUT ATEC 2. ARTISTS ARE WE? IF NOT, THEN WHAT/WHY/WHERE ARE WE? 3. THE GOOD STUFF - ARTISTS ONLY!!! (CLASSIFIED - TOP SECRET - EYES ONLY!) 4. PAY AS YOU EXIT; coda. PLEASE: Feel free to skip down to the areas of interest, return to then when you have time, are restless, insomniakical, etc. =================== 1. ABOUT ATEC =================== INTRODUCTORY BLURBLE AND WHINE-ING ---------------------------------- This guy Mihai Nadin (Dr. Nadin, natch) is one of the main clock springs in the whole ATEC conception. What is it is (and i *still* think it's a pretty cool idea) is to create "a bridge between the arts and technologies" views of things. Well that's the official blurb. He's got a LOT of publications, including a proof (which he mentioned, but never sent to me) that "PI RANDOM" isn't as random as what we might call "RANDOM RANDOM" - you know me ant maths!!! Well, he and a couple of others put that "I've got the doctorate and you don't" stuff out there -- pretty well re-caps my old days in physics: If you *really* are on the ball, it doesn't matter what degree you got, or where you got it - I've had some really top notch conversations about physics with a couple of people who are "world class" but you'd never know it. Maybe i'm just being overly sensitive since i've literally got nothing (i guess i should just go ahead and do the paper work for my MA "diploma" and go off and cry to myself -- very melodramatic here. But you know me: WHATEVER I (you, her over there, etc) are we are what we are, or as Greg Metz always sez: WHATEVER YOUR ART IS GOING TO BE, ITS GOING TO BE (regardless of where you go, what degree(s) you get). Of course he's always implying that if you study with (eg, Zatroosian) then you're sure to find out stuff from him -- just like all of us are "a lot like Don Taylor" or "David Newman" since we studied with them, and leared *their* way of LOOKING AT THE WORLD -- hey, isn't that one of those things that artists do????? And finally (in the whining section) an appology before the fact. Now, don't get me wrong the profs are all TOP NOTCH -- best in the field, world class, etc. And all are pretty decent teachers (ooh, that word again) - but we all know that working with a genius type isn't all that good if they can't really connect and then also lay the ego to the side. Yes, even i have trouble squelching my ego - dad rat the darned thing! THE ATEC PROGRAM AS SUCH ------------------------ As far as i (and a *lot* of the other artists (art at the very least "artist types" i mean one of these *supposed* artists does welding sculptures, but for all i know he's not a real artist and purchased them off of e-bay!!! (enough with the sarcasm) Anyway most of us view the program as: TTTTT EEEE CCC H H N N OOO L T E C H H NN N O O L art & T EEE C HHHHH N N N O O L T E C H H N NN O O L T EEEE CCC H H N N OOO LLLL ... etc First of all, there are pretty much a set of required courses although officially the program only lists TWO required courses - prob the first two that they put together - there are so few course (esp at the GRAD level) that you end up taking pretty much everything that's offered. It would be like if in a BFA program they had only ONE art history class, one in painting, one in sculupture, and NONE in PRINT MAKING or CERAMICS - ie, the "classics". -- thus, you end up taking classes over (which are spuriously labeled "COURSE XYZ, II" or "advanced" -- but, are really just "more of the same, with a special project". Now note well (before i get ranting about all of this) I think the program IDEA is great, and it's going to get there -- IF they keep their projected course CLEAR. Also, there are CLEARLY WAYS to fix all of these problems and i'm working on a course outline and sort of teachng guide-lines as well (what audacity!!!! who does he think he is!!!) But, hey: It ought to be pretty damned clear by now, that i'm not your "usual" or "ordinary" student. I have those skills that i have, and i know the ones that i don't have. Taking to heart "Drity Harry's" dictim: A man's always gotta know his limitations. Anyway the main probs with the program are: 1) Growing pains. Let's face it, not only is this particular program new. But the whole idea is new. From a few googles through out the past couple of years, there are only about 10 or 20 (maybe more - iceberg only 10% visible?) in the entire world. It's a great idea, but still no one really knows which way the thrusters fire, and so far we've just been skittering about in space using the ATTITUDE ADJUSTERS (which are meant for docking, guys!) And then since it's a new program, and the ACADEMIC STANDARDS are relaxed (gee, i get a real deja vu feeling about having written almost this exact paper in the past - and a lot of the people in the program prob wonder why i use the name "Frank Leeding" instead of my legal name; oddly, enough NO ONE challenges a rap/slam artist GNO (Geno) - i don't even bother to ask him what his real name is - of course, there's ALWAYS (sorry, Thomas) the old HIDDEN PREDJUDICES out there: GNO happens to be black! Go figure. So, what are we going to do with EINEM, FIFTY CENT, ETC???) So, part of the problem is admitting that ART CLASSES are just as legitimate TECH courses. Well, officially, but i sure as Joht! don't see many of their techie types signing up for painting, drawing, and def no scupture or design!! Looks pretty much "one way street to me". 2) The courses all sort of "dump you in" to the TOOL that is featured. For example, (and we have to quote Mihai here) "I don't think that we should give a course which teaches you to program." -- pretty much an exact quote. And this spills out into all of the systems. Part of this goes back to the "techie" view of the whole program. Thus, we don't have acourse which teaches you: DOOM 3 - the main game-environment engine. Or its equivalent (Half Life, Real-Life-2, etc). MAYA - the main CHARACTER generator. ANIMATION MASTER (or equiv) - the main way to take the "skelleton" of one of the characters that you've created and get it to move - think "marionette" here. MO-CAP - (motion capture) - so, part of this HAS to be tutorial - the main prof here is Midori from Japan, a v. well established, talented, affable teacher/researcher. Treuly a gem - to bad the student's don't treat her with more respect. Imagine a few techie types in the MAC lab and Chu teaching surrealist drawing. In this case (and i'e noticed in most of my classes) when the prof is talking, most of the class is doing their own thing. The classes are 99% held in the computer labs so people are logging on, blogging, or whatever. So, this "learn the tool" policy (and yes, it's almost like an actual PUBLISHED policy) is pretty absurd when WE think about it. For example, when i took painting I (yes, even me) i didn't know what the hell "gesso" was (I ketp thinking they were saying "Just SO"). And that's part of the prob - you have ONE class, nothing like PAINTING I, II, III, IV. So, everyone one is dumped into the same class - same as PRINTMAKING and CERAMICS. Now notice the similarities in the pedagogical / didactical natures of the subject matter. That is "pedagogy" - literally how we "walk" down a course/trail of knowlege to teach it. Didactic - literally what we CAN teach and HOW we can teach somethig. Of course both of these terms have LOTS of "baggage" - both positive and negative associated with them. In the case of printmaking (or Doom3) the one lab is all we have. We don't have a BEGINNNING LAB or an ADVANCED LAB. Notice that this would NEVER work in CHEMISTRY. In chemitry 101, the students don't know a buchner funnerl (read that as "gallery wrapped" canvas) from a regular funnel (read that as "student grade, stappled on the side" canvas). Thus, you can't just let them start using a $1 MILLION US NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) - essentially a much smaller scale MRI thing that they scan your body with in a hospital, but used to scan individual molecules with. So, you "break them in" by teaching them the basics. Now "lab-wise" i don't really see much difference here between C/S (tech) and CHEM (wet-lab-tech) -- really its all the same in analog PHOTOG as well. Beginning to make sense? If they had some way to "test out of" CHEM 101/102 (which (ahem, ego time!) *i* did in college - i'd attended a summer workshop in qualittative analysis - read that as advanced printmaking where you learn proper professional techniques in handling paper, lab prep, allignment, as well as curatory pracitce. Who knew? i was a science geek and really turned on to actually be using Zinc Uranyl Acetate (pronounced like a certain Chess Player's fountains origin) - but it actually HAD URANIUM IN IT!!!! -- turns out one of the FEW ways to *chemically* differentiate between SODIUM (Na) and POTASSIUM (K) !!! With a $$$ Mass Spectrometer it's trivial. So, the internal structure of courses will HAVE to evolve (i can't see much of any other way) -- evolve or die! (as we darwinists say) 3) TEAMS. What a horrible joke. Of course in the gaming world, you have to do this all the time. What happens is that you end up with (look at the credits at the end of SHREK or FINDING NEMO !) lots of different people with different kinds of talents. No problem. But, of course the courses are designed to teach EVERYONE the same skills. So, you're essentially COMPETEE-ING - and then you have to work on TEAMS ?????? (scene missing) - edited for violence. [director's/editor's cut:` First off, you get people working on an MA (like i was/did) then on an MFA - still not at all sure what the diff is in this program (eg, i can't imagine some one in an MFA in photog whose area is planographic printing, having to take a course in relief printing (digital re-mastering yes, that makes sense), and then PHD students. So their focuses are necessarily different: Phd in Art taking the class in Doom 3 doesn't make sense! In theory they would have taken that in BFA/MA/MFA right? But, what if they wanted to "get a feel" for the aesthetics of Doom 3 so that they could see how this fits into their dissertation area of "the evolution of realism" and its impact before and after the camera. Makes sense. But, the PHD student shouldn't be held to the same standards as the MFA (they should be held to the same standards as the MA) student. In fact an AUDIT by the PHD student sounds better - but, then enters the $$$$ and DEGREE PLAN and TIME LIMITS of the whole university system. (I can't for the life of me imagine one of my prof friends being tied to such things that ended up taking 6-1/2 years jsut ONE particular area of her PHD work!!!) The "i want this degree" to get a job with PIXAR crowd. I'd say that this is 90% of the TECH group. It's the same as if you put GRAPHIC DESIGN + FINE ARTS people together: Our focus is different. And of course the "view from the outside" is: Well, at least the graphic arts people are more practical, what they know they can use to get a job." -- yeah right: Have any of those nimnils even looked at how competitive the graphic arts industry is???? And that's not even talking about SKILLS, AESTHETICS, PERSONALITY and other focuses. Sure, i have a pretty lousy colour sense, but when it comes to JUXTAPOSITIONS, FLANGES, and EDGES i've got it nailed. I still can't figure out R-G-B from a black hole - which is easy in R-Y-B !!! But, then sound FX, camera CUTS yes! The idea is that a TEAM is built out of DIFFERENT skill sets -- something sadly missing. If i need help with sculptural thinks i'm going to ask a sculptor type (3d), colour -- hey, i have no prob going over to the painting lab (and this actually happened) and asking HOW DO YOU MAKE ORANGE???? pride, evny, embarrasement, ignorance, limitations - all part of the mountain that we mistake for a mole-hill. ] Bottom line: Teams only work well, when they've worked well in the past. ============================================================ 2. ARTISTS ARE WE? IF NOT, THEN WHAT/WHY/WHERE ARE WE? ============================================================ Breiefly, since "we artists" (what a phrase) - i actually don't use that phrase (and def not the way it was *apparently* used in the response from Mihai. I usually just say 'we' - it's actually something that i got out of a writing course that i took: 1) Don't talk down to your audience. Assume they are pretty much like you. If you use an obscure technical term, then go ahead and define it. If it's something that over half of your intended audeience should know don't be-little them by definig it. If you use a terms in an unusual way, use double quotes marks about it and then *briefly* indicate how you are using it differerntly from common practice. 2) You don't have to use "sophisticated words" or references to sound more important or like you *really* know what you are talking about. This happens most often when you need to talk about some simple idea in a complex or unusal manner. For example, if you are talking about children's building blocks and you want to discuss how they are used then you may have to discuss the fact that they are often coloured in partciular ways. All of the arches are red, the long pieces are white, the cubes are blue, etc. The edges are all rounded off so that they are safe to handle. Just get on with it, and then tie it in with what you want to say. "What this means, is that the constructs can't be really geometric. You cant' bring the sharp points of two squares together the way that you cn in geometry and have them share a single vertex point - they touch at the edges of a small curve; giving them a "softer" contact dynamic. And the colour scheme can create contrasts that detract from the pure geometry of the design. Many times, it would be better to create 'customised' blocks all the same colour." 3) When expressing something, describe it as you would to an intellegent 12-year old. Big words and obscure phrases more often than not just get in the way of clear discourse. Then there is the point that we all know about and try to ignore: Like there is some CERTIFICATION PROCESS we go through to become artists. What really happens is this: We start painting (sculpting, drawing, etc) and at first we sheepishly say "well, yes i paint" or "i dabble" or "i find it relaxing". And then (sooner or later if we continue long enough) we find that *somehow* we have BECOME an artist. A degree can't make you an artist, selling your stuff is not guarantee either. What ever it is that we artists are it just sort of happens. And then we still feel a bit sheepish, but we know that what-ever the transforming moment was it has happened, and CAN'T be un-done. We see an idea in our mind, we mull it over (or not) and then we pick up a brush (again, i'm using a paint brush for a pen/pencil, burnisher, clay loop, etc) and begin. It's really a wonder and a very odd one at that. And yet (like levitation) we somehow find ourselves just doing it. And then comes the "outside world" - with all of its WESTERN TRADTIION and even worse its AMERICA IS NUMBER ONE weights and measures and scales. So, as a potter friend said about the whole "is it art or is it craft" junk (the equivalent to "a real artist has shows and sells paintings" or "you can tell real art - it looks like it took a long time and it looks like what it's suppoed to be", etc). "You know, i'm so busy doing art, that i really don't have time to enter into your discussion. Have a nice day." (i added the flipant last line - but we all think it: Why not say it.) And the bottom line is this (these): 1) Artists have to do what artists have to do (or as i put it in the words of one of our greatest philosophers "I yam, what i yam, and that's all that i yam" -- Popey the Sailor "An artisk's gotta do whatsk an artistk's gotta do". If we don't then who will? 2) Fuck the success shit. Van Gogh sold 2 paintings, he was fired from his day job (The prestidgeous Guptal Gallery in Paris) when they found out what kind of art he did. For almost 20 years the ONLY place you could see a van Gogh or a Ceszane, etc was in the back storage room of Pere Tanguy's art supplied shop. He would often give art supplies to artists. Gorky was often accused of "just" copying Picasso or Miro. The thing is that they were COPY-ING a technique, a movement. Just becaus Miro became the most widely known example of bi-morphism doesn't mean he created it. Even ART PROGRAMS on TV/CABLE get it wrong: Picasso didn't invent collage. It's been there as "flower arrangements", "place settings", "family scrap books", "quilts", etc, etc, etc. It turns out that at almost at the same intsant in totally different cieites Picasso and Braque "discovered" - tap-ed into the "truth network" of ideas and started doing collage. It only serves the "neat little package" idea of "art" in the public eye to say shit like that. That's part of what we have to do. The gratest achievement of Alessandra Comini isn't her art, or her teaching - but the fact that she "dug up" Egon Shiiele - and without her book "portraits" (that is mistook for "poets" with my eyesight) i would never have probably known of his work. Saved my soul, it did. We are all Gorky - that's the tragedy. We are all Picasso - that's the absurdity We are all Cassatt - that's the sadness. And we are all doomed to be Egon unless we change the way that the world - or at least those that *can* be saved - look at art. What ever that is. ========================================= 3. THE GOOD STUFF - ARTISTS ONLY!!! ========================================= (CLASSIFIED - TOP SECRET - EYES ONLY!) and other WEAPONS OF MASS ART INSTRUCTION!!! (fill this space in) What ever that is. ========================================= 4. PAY AS YOU EXIT. ========================================= coda: Well, that's pretty much it for this time. I'm tired. I stumble off my horse and prop my lance against the door so that the trolls who track me can not get in without waking. I feel as if Mihai has dealt me a death blow, and yet when (undressed and standing in front of the broken mirror in my underwear looking at my broken, old body) i can't find the wound. Good night for now, Frank Xihote, the foolish old knight errant. (and then these words come to me - i found them by accident looking for another book in a library) BEGIN RAW EXTRACT OF A "B" (grade) PAPER While we must conclude that by the formal and scientific definition of shaman the artist shares only indistinctly some of the characteristics, we are struck many similarities. The shaman selflessly undertakes to bear much of the responsibility of keeping the community in good health. Similarly, we take it upon ourselves to carry on the tradition of art through the ages, with little real hope of reward. Alternatively, the shaman is well integrated into their community entirely. But the artist is rarely so well integrated into any society or even with themselves. Indeed as Bayles and Rolland put it: Do artists have anything in common with each other? Like any good question, that one quickly generated a flurry of relatives: How do artists become artists? How do artists learn to work on their work? How can I make work that will satisfy me? ... It's an odd cluster -- not arcane enough, perhaps to interest scholars, but too elusive to attract pop psychologists. Perhaps, that's just as well. We live in a world where the ready-made observations about art making are typically useless, frequently fatalistic. ... How do you describe the (reader to place words here) that changes when craft swells into art? Artists come together in the clear knowledge That when all is said and done, they will return to their studio and practice their art alone. Period. That simple truth may be the deepest bond we share. The message across time from the painted bison and the carved ivory seal speaks not of the differences between the makers of that art and ourselves, but the similarities. Today those similarities lay hidden beneath urban complexity - audience, critics, economics, trivia - in a self-conscious world. Only in those moments when we are truly working on our own work do we recover the fundamental connection we share with all makers of art. The rest may be necessary, but it's not art. Your job is to draw a line from your life to you your art that is straight and clear. [Bayles & Orland] When all is said and done, the half-truth that we tell ourselves that we are shaman sustains us and allows us to go into our studios (alone), and pick up the brush. Bibliography Bayles, David and Orland, Ted (1983). Art and Fear. Capra. Santa Barbara, California. Bierhorst, John. (). The Mythology of Mexico and Central America. ---------- (1987). The Naked Bear: Folktales of the Iroquois. The William Morrow Company. New York. --------- (). The Sacred Path: Spells, Prayers, and Power Songs of the American Indians. Choay, Francoise. (nd). "Jackson Pollock" in Dictionary of Modern Painting. French Academic Press (trade reprints; nd). London. Clarke, Arthur C. (1980). The Fountains of Paradise. Ballentine Books. New York. Freeland, Cynthia. (2002). But is it art? Oxford University Press. Oxford. Gardner, Helen. (1970; 5th ed) Art Through the Ages. Harcourt-Brace. New York. Langer, Susanne K. (1957, 3rd Ed.) Philosophy in a New Key - A Study in the Symbolism Reason, Rite, and Art. Harvard Press. Cambridge (Massachusetts). Matossian, Nouritza. (1998). Black Angel – The Life of Arshile Gorky. Chatto & Windus. London. Nehru, Sri Jawaharlal Nehru. (1962). Address to Ceylon Association for the Advancement of Science, Colombo Sri Lanka. As quoted in [Clarke, P. iv]. Roberts, J. M. (1992). History of The World. Oxford University Press. Oxford, England. Bibliography Armstrong, Robert Plant (1981). The Powers of Presence: Consciousness, Myth, and Affecting Presence. Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania Press. Deflem, Mathieu. 1991. “Ritual, Anti-Structure, and Religion: A Discussion of Victor Turner’s Processual Symbolic Analysis.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 30(1):1-25. [web-ref] Eliade, Mircea. Myths, Dreams, and Mysteries. 1957. Trans. Philip Feldman, Edmund Burke (1996). Varieties of visual experience. Grimes, Ronald L. (1996) Readings in Ritual Studies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Lessa & Vogt. (1970) Entry: “Shaman” in Man, Myth & Magic: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural. Vol. 19. Richard Cavendish, ed. New York: Marshall Cavendish. Parezo, Nancy J. (ca 1983) Navajo SandPainting: From religious act to commercial Art. Tuscon, Ariz. University of Arizona Press. Rappaport, Roy A. [Grimes: Pp.427-440] The Obvious Aspects of Ritual. Grimes: OpCit. Saint_, Toni (2001). "Liminality and Altered States of Mind in Cyberspace" "email@example.com". [web-ref] Smith, Johnathon Z. [Grimes, P.478-481].The Bare Facts of Ritual. Grimes: OpCit. Silvester, Mary Nicole. (2006). The Artist as Shaman: Madness, Shapechanging, and Art in Terri Windling's The Wood Wife. Downloaded on Nov. 21, 2006 from http://www.mythicjourneys.org/passages/septoct2003/newsletterp10.html Staniszewski, Mary Anne (1975). Believing Is Seeing: Creating the Culture of Art. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents. Turner, Victor W. (1967) Symbols in Ndembu Ritual. Grimes: OpCit, Pp. 520-529. Turner, Victor (1969). "Liminality and Communitas" in The Ritual Process. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. Van Gennep, A. (1960). The Rites of Passage. Chicago, Ill: The University of Chicago Press. +==================================================== || night, all. || || Frank. The artist *still* known as "The" Richard T. || the poet 't' || and of course: jim || +===================================================== --42-- ==== Frank's signature signature, Frank R.H. Leeding; "Leeding" - pronounced like the mineral Pb. When any idea is banned, no one is safe. Sheesh, the internet is such a wonderful thing: You can surf along at Two Hundred Thousand MegaPixels per hour -- but to where?? Check out my web site: http://www.angelfire.com/art3/fleeding Also: http://www.myspace.com/frankleeding (almost daily blog) vids: http://www.youtube.com/frankleeding most recent weirdness: http://www.angelfire.com/planet/iconosphere-zix/index.html --30-- ==== THIS HAS BEEN AN XTAL PRODUCTIONS PRESENTATION === NOTE: No fractals, ducks, or iconospheres were harmed in the making of this work. Peace to all, frank.