[MALT]  [^^home]  

Portfolio vid 01

A link to the assoicated vid on youtube:

Portfolio vid 01

On this page: {Intro} {Stuff} {Original Script - Scene 1} {Performance Art - Intro (cloned copy)} NEW!! 2008.09.14 {} {Refs} {Links}


Note: The video can be viewed at any time. It's about 7 minutes long. -[
]- There are literally two ways of being "an artist". The first of these is the public persona that each artist chooses to portray. Ever since "Lust for Life" (Vincent Van Gogh), "Pollock (Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner)", "How to draw a bunny" (Ray Johnson), etc, etc, etc.... The public awareness of what an artist "might be like" is now part of the "cultural literacy". Next is the artist as themself; and often by themself. Between these two poles (absolute antipodes in a way that perhaps only the deaf or the blind understand in any way) is the "life lived". And that is a part of who we are and what we do. But, beyond this is the idea of teaching art. Oddly enough (or not really) some of the best artists make the worst teachers - unable to "teach" what they do or what "an artist is supposed to do". Curiously enough (and not too surprising), some of the worst artists do make the worst teachers - as if since they haven't got "it straight" in their own work, they somehow feel compelled to "spread it around". Usually, this last group is the ONLY group of artists (if we can call them that without gagging) who actually make money at "being an artist". In modern society (especially, American wiz-bang, in-your-face, film-at-eleven, oprah/jerry-springer/etc YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE WORTH), artists must compete for existence like a fish gulping for air at the top of a tank whose water aerator has gone bad. Gasping for air. Everyone that *i* know has a day job and then does art, as that IS their life. We keep either bumping into each other (or into someone who is a mutual friend) at art shows, book stores, and of course museums. And for what? For having the self-satisfied smugness that we haven't "sold out"? Hardly, given the choice i think that any of us would sell out (what-ever that actually means) at the drop of a hat (what-ever *that* means, as well; too: Of). So, we go on - we bring the focus of our life and times/culture/training/etc to bear on what we are trying to say. And oddly enough (like written works) art allows to look at it and study it and try to find the something in it that we put there. For you. So, as a teacher what do we do? Or rather (since overtly, this IS supposed to be part of a portfolio) what do i try to do? It's like Betty Edwards says in her "Drawing on the Artist Within" - Everything is easy, once you get past the first 5000 mistakes. I try to keep the student from falling appart as they are battered too and fro on the 5000 shocks and ups and downs that they must endure to - if they finally decide to - become an artist. And like many crafts (here i'm thinking of the Navajo tradition of letting children "play at" art right next to the master crafter - making mistakes and starting over: All part of those 5000 mistakes) We teach by example. My favorite scene in recent times is that one scene in "Ghost" at the potters wheel. That is really how it is done; well, usually not with the sexual overtones. The potter sits across or beside the student and places their hands outside the student's and for usually about 15 to 20 minutes they guide by touch alone. But, even that is a "calling". If the potters wheel "calls" to someone, then they will take that path. Others (like me) are "builders" - as opposed to "throwers" who use the wheel. For me, the way that each piece attaches, every scratch that i make - again line, not colour - seems to be calling out from within the clay that it must BE. Of course, Michaelangelo (Lodoviccio) said that he was simply freeing the statue that was inside. In every art form (so much like pure mathematics) we don't know what is in there until we start exploring the structure of the matrix at that particular point in time and space - and of course in mind. And yet, every path has been trod before, and it is our duty (as guide and shaman) to take our own lessons and pass them along to the next generation. And yet even that is only a partial truth - the interaction of artist to student and back again is along that same way of how the art material becomes the artist - since in the end, all we (or society) has is the work itself. And what it tells us. And the key to that is what the artist saw and what they felt. We can only too readily judge art by the cannon: How long did it take? How complicated is it? Does it look like what it's supposed to be? etc, etc, etc. But, it is that elusive goal of seeing the art in the context of the artist and their time and their way of being - and that can only be illuminated by the artist and art history. Of course, this way of "seeing" is just as painful as any of the other falterng 5000 mistakes thru which any artist must pass to find their way to their own voice in the time that they live in, in the way that they live their life. My favorite quote (found as with so much else that we do, by complete accident) is by two artists in their book "Art and Fear", 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. ... Your job is to draw a line from your life to you your art that is straight and clear. [Bayles & Orland] Make no mistake, the most fundamental thing that we know - that we must teach - is to not be afraid and to not give up. Of course, we have to make it clear that to choose to be an artist is artist to be certain that your work will only be appreciated by other artists and that you probably won't be making a million dollars at Southby's. Well; until after you're dead - amazing what that does to prices. - later, frank fleeding @ hotmail.com


Original Script - Scene 1

...( single actor - face forward to fixed camera. will need two voices. The first one should have that "NewsCaster" type voice. And the second can either be the actor's "normal" voice or a made up voice. But, it shouldn't sound made up. note the CUE - NORMAL VOICE ---- etc. ).... ...( C U E - B R O A D C A S T E R S VOICE).... Hellow, g ood eve-en-ing and welcomb viewer... Art is at once the simplest and one of the most complex of human behaviours. As far as we (well, they...) know MAN is the only creature that makes art. That is something which (although it CAN have, it is not limited to) having a purpose. That is not just useless art - like so much garbage or old poetry - things which are created just for the sake of BEING art. Take this for example. After all, what you see before you is a fairly typical Earth person. He is a male, 6 feet tall (or so he would be with lifts). He is short, stocky and of mixed descent featuring blood lines that (apparently) include Korean, Irish, Cornish, and the so-called "Native American" . ..(slightly asside)... What? How many will be watching. Really? Hmmm, ..(...?...)... Oh. Hello yes. ...(soto)... We'll edit that bit out. ...(clears throat)... ...(asside, some-what out of frame).. What? ...(then not 'getting it')... Live. ..(...)... Live! I thought that, well... I thought what? oh. oh. ...(clearly a bit disturbed) oh. ...(STILTED).... uhm, uhh. ...(as if reading a telepromter).. and so-called native americans. amerr. americans.. ...(following, stumbling, and with a wee bit of nervousness, throat clearing, etc - but still low key).... native americas native americans ..(bit of big sigh, then begins more "fitted in" / professional)... He is an ape descended life form who would rather die that he descended from anything that .. than than admit that he was decended from anything other than the purest of angels. In fact, the whole idea of evolution leaves him feeling rather like picked-over fruit. Not that he is a fruit. But, just picked ...(slowly) .. o v e r... ...(clicks tongue, etc, as if trying to gather his thoughts)... ...( C U E - N O R M A L V O I C E ).... You know. I'm not really comfortable with doing this live. I mean my agent told me it was a straight gig. Doing a sort of tv news cast bit. And i thought, well naturally, that it was gonna be... uhh. recorded and edited and and.. what ever else they do to film and stuff.... ...(insert art lesson here).... ...(CUE - BROADCASTERS VOICE).... Film at eleven. Back to you, Bill.

Performance Art - Intro (cloned copy)

NEW!! 2008.09.14 Performance art is like painting the barn. There are four key steps: 1) Surface Preparation, 2) Surface Preparation, 3) Surface Preparation, 4) Painting the barn. Likewise, the fore-thought and preparation that goes into *any* art work are essential to its final form; but in the case of performance art - vital. In the same way that a director of a play will "tweek" it from night to night given a bit of advice here, changing the timing there a bit, or even deleting part of (or an entire) a scene. You and or the players and staff putting a perf work together have to keep working on aspects of it. One can best think of a performance work as a collage/assemblage and all of the trimming/re-fastening and such that we go thru in the more complicated pieces. Finally, of course teamwork and a co-operative group working on a perf work will almost always enhance it. It is important to remember that the author of the work (who may or may not be the performer of the work) should have the last say. This goes back to working with directors - and all of the niceness that may or may not happen in such cases. As with all projects, the "strength" of the work will help others to "get on board with it". And of course, far too often un-justified ego-tism will have a hand as well; as mentioned before with directors (or of course THE star(s) of the show, etc). We will TAKE IT AS READ that there are some people in "the" performing arts that you love to work with, and those that you dread work with - just try to not be one of the dread-ees. Subtle works are the hardest to "leave alone". One artist that i know does an indoor work that is essentially "a homeless person" laying on the sidewalk, *barely* proped up by the wall next to the sidewalk. Her work is a very moving work for most artists, but i've seen directors trying to *over-work* her work. In one case, the director asked what i thought, i looked at her and said, "cigarette butts, and fragments of McDonalds styrofoam boxes". She looked (delighted), and off we went to the local McD's for "props". As with all other art: There is looking and seeing, and then there is of course (as Cezzane reminds us: It is not until i take to draw something, that find that i have never looked at it before. - not an exact quote. I would say that the "eye" for photography (which i, alas, do not have) is the best way to look at the work and see what it needs to have added to it, or taken away. Another important way to look at perf work is as an envolving work in progress. One can even think of it like a TV series with spin offs, product tie ins and such. If you think about this, it's a way of taking the "template" of commericalism and back-applying into the art work. The point is that the philosphical frame work of a given system may be used as a maquette/framework for the perf work and ways of looking at it. And of course as always, we go back to Picasso, Straviniski, etc, etc: Artists create, great artists steal. Of course, our intention is not to *merely* mimic or copy what has been done (or at least it shouldn't be unless we are being particularly sarcastic or critical, etc) but to create the new - even if by using the past as referent. Here i am thinking of things like Warhol's pop-ularisation of soup cans, Maryilyn and JFK (as icon), as well the "Arcades Project", modernisation/urbanisation projects - or even more appropriate the "drawing of lines" in a city as to which sections get urban renewal money, bank loans for home owners, etc. And of course, all things political, social, etc. Another aspect in the grouping of various performance works. In this case, the idea can be "sold" as a "performance art circus". Part of the problem is that the general public may or may not know what perf art is. For this reason terms like "happenings" and "street theatere" are used. Also, we should all agree that it does not generally include theatre in its usual manner - ie, immersive, but the audience does NOT interact as such. Of course, each of these aspects of the pref work are things to be considered. And "in the limit", perf art becomes stand-up and ad-lib comedy/theatre/live-performance in the sense of night clubs, concerts, etc. Part of the problem (and boundless to never be "solved") is that in doing the perf work we tend to feel more like presenteurs than actors/singer/performers/etc. We can also use varying degrees of immersion OF our-selves or others. Again, one could make a check list of all of these aspects/variable/dynamics/etc and then put markers on them: 0 - 100% as to how much of that aspect we intend to include in the work. Finally, we have the idea of a story - that is, a progressing narrative that evolves in the work. I must say from my own (really quite limited) experience is that if we have "cues" which we use to change the pace, direction, mood, story-line, etc. then the audience often does not pick up on these (or at least many of them), and as such the work becomes "muddled" or "un-understandable" and as such does not accomplish the level of clarity that we want. Imagine performing one of Dali's works refering to this fear of insects and the audience thinking that we'd all gone berserk since we were now eating crickets. Thus, the script even if it is revealed (in the sense used in film/theatre work) in a clear manner, may become muddled as well. Note that i use the word "muddled" in the same sense that we use the idea "becomes muddied" in painting and ceramic works. And of course in the end: The work is what it is; like us. Break a leg, knock 'em dead, and of course: Always leave them wanting (not more) but to become invovled in ART!!!! -- ah, now the devious undercurrent rears its ugly head! --30-- [
Performance Art] in A/H folder


Bayles, David and Orland, Ted (1983). Art and Fear. Santa Barbara, California: Capra Press. Edwards, Betty (). Drawing on the Artist Within. "Ghost" (Film). "Lust for Life" (Film).