Ceramics & Painting: A Light at the End of the Tunnel--Moldmaking Post 9-Nov. 18 2018

I’m gaining ground in the research department.

Moldmaking at OCAC

November 18, 2018

I finished Film Noir class, found two new exciting texts for research and had failures in the Studio.

This week’s post is going to be research-based—the kind that’s done with texts and reading, because that’s the type of Research week it’s been.

Ever since beginning Grad School, I’ve found that research comes in different flavors or waves. Sometimes it’s a week or more of exploration and development in Studio-based work, during which problems are resolved, observations are made, trials done, work made. However, there also seem to be periods in which new, exciting resources for research come to me in the form of texts or conversation, which then take me into the library or a phase of reading, a mind-stuffing form of literate research.

I am happy to say that I was able to find two excellent critical resources regarding Photography and Light & Shadow, which have become important parts of my recent work using photographs, high-light contrast environments, and exploration/consideration of the reasons for use of (1) objects or (2) surface treatment methods (prints, photographs or paintings). I have been investigating each of these in the media I am using, what each is used for and why. These texts offer great context to help me ground ideas about my use of form, object, image and light, and what context they have in the greater sense of art and art-making.

The first of these is the film critic’s seminal work, The Ontology of the Photographic Image, by Andre Bazin. This is not a text we had in any of my courses, but it is one which informed Barthes, Truffaut, Godard, and other philosophers, artists and critics whom have informed texts we read. So, it is giving me context for work we have read in our program and it offers excellent perspective on the world’s reactions encountering the effects of the still frame photo, cinema and what that has done to our understanding of ourselves, our interactions with the physical and relational world, and every literal and philosophical definition for “ways we see/our vision.” Quite stimulating and relevant for my exploration of light and shadow. I will continue to update as this text unfolds!

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The other is Camera Lucida, by Roland Barthes. Both of these books are giving me novel frameworks from which to consider my work.

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I experienced some failures, on the note of work, this week—mostly material, which I continue to consider and resolve. I tried a technique I had not used before and ran into some obstacles; luckily, I had already read a number of pages in both Bazin and Barthes so I had a lot to think about while I pursued the craft I was looking for. :) Also, luckily, I know whom to ask on campus for help with this technique and I think it will take only minor tweaking to get it to work out, straight.

I will revisit and revise my approaches as I continue this work on ceramic and in photo, over the next two weeks, one of which will be GLORIOUS HOLIDAY BREAK on campus—an uninterrupted period of working when no one else is on campus (ha!—I’m not the only one with the idea! The reason I know I’m on a real arts campus is because of how many students I’ve talked to whom have expressed that they’re not going home so they can work). :)

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Here’s another project I started work on, in the meantime:

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I’ve also been looking at a good deal of other artists’ work and reading about them, when I can find information. Here are some new ones, from this and the past two weeks, whom I either see a connection with formally or in the content of their work:

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I hope you have a happy holiday break and get lots of what you love to do, done. I know where I’ll be the day after eating dinner with friends…IN THE STUDIO WITH NO ONE. :D Until then…

Go Make Something,

Jessica