Art 2/3 for 3/6 Critique

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Watch this video and comment on the following questions, building upon one another’s responses:

What is the most interesting or exciting aspect of art and artists at the dump?

How is this art different that the traditional observational drawing you are doing in class in terms of the mental activity you go through as an artist in the creative process?

If you were an artist in residence at the dump, what kind of project would you want to do?

Can you conceive of  a collaborative kind of project that uses dump materials and bicycle drawings(Art3) or portraits (Art 2)? What would be the intention and effect that you envision through this combination?

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25 responses »

  1. The idea of creating something out of, essentially, trash is very interesting. I’ve seen a documentary on an artist who takes scrap metal and welds it together into animals sculptures or other forms and this reminded me of that. I think that it would be a unique creative experience and one can’t really know how one would react to the array of materials because it isn’t a medium that is often worked with. I know that for me the idea for a piece of artwork is often spontaneous and stems from the materials I have and issues I have in my life at the time, so it is really hard to know what I would create. If I was combining the ideas of both the bicycle and the dump, I would want to create something with an actual bicycle. There is something very attractive to me about not being limited to the two dimensional.

    • A bicycle tower with elements turning in the wind would be my direction but I would need an engineer for an adviser. When thinking of how successful you were in staging and directing the pictures for your last photo book, I can imagine you building on that idea with the symbolic debris that would be all around.

  2. I thought this was really interesting. It differs from the basic drawing and stuff that we do i class in the way that we generally first come up with a composition or an idea and then develope it. these people wait for ideas to come to them and let the things almost develope themselves. It is really coo,l too how all the things are just trash and by looking at it in a different way they are able to create art. I really liked the baby carriage on the bricks a lot…that was probably my favorite piece. If I were a resident of the dump..I would probably look to do something with welding bicycle parts and tires that i might find to make some sort of a moving sculpture with pieces that turn..I don’t know why but that would be pretty cool.

  3. I really am diggin this idea of making stuff out of pure trash, fusing it with your idea/vision and then it not being trash anymore. it really embraces the saying “one mans junk is another ones treasure”. i wish there were more places similair to this. im not sure if i could do it though, since these people figure out what theyre going to to do with pieces of something, not a whole piece, like the bike (even though many people throw away good used bikes) i don’t really know how to explain how its more difficult what they’re doing as opposed to what we’re doing. we’re given our assignments with maybe a few options of how to fully execute it, (ie on paper, cardboard, a shoe) which is fine but these people have many many options since well they’re at a dump and lots of stuff gets thrown into the dump. if i was there though i think i wouldn’t really do well, i might do a sculpture with scrap metal or make a bike woman, OH YAS thats a good idea. A bike lady made out of bike parts, with chain hair and a delicate frame…
    Can that be our collabrative project? a bike lady? or a bike man? with flowing chain hair and a many mountain bike frame? sounds kinda cool.

  4. I’ve seen some of the tin can art and they ar ereally amazing. When you are doing art and protect the environment at the same time, you usually achieve more than what you expect.(I really wanna post some pictures I’ve found…but I can’t…maybe I’ll figure it out later).But if we can get inspiration from turning trash to artwork. I’m also doing the save our shore and we are turning old t shirt to bags and stuff and telling people to reuse the trash.
    For this kind of project we are focusing more on the reusing recycle process…than the materials have more texture and more different designs are required.

  5. I’ve seen a lot of really amazing art made from trash. This sounds really oxymoronic but when you get a chance to look at some of this art it’s amazing. I think it awesomeness is in part due to the fact that it is made out of garbage. It adds to the allure and the awing aspects that art generally have. The most amazing “trash art” that I have been exposed to is probably this duo’s work:

    http://www.wired.com/table_of_malcontents/2007/06/silhouette_art_/

    It would make for an interesting project to build off of our drawings of bicycles with bike parts, creating a sort of three dimensional sculpture-drawing. This would create a very tactile effect that is hard to come by in visual art.

  6. “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” When you think of dumps, you never associate it with art. That’s why this program is so cool. It broadens your perceptions of what art can be and what it can be made of. Now a days, more and more people are moving towards a greener lifestyle, and what better way than to make it fun. You can use “junk” to make unique art. I think this will make people more aware of what they decide throw away. I really liked how that lady used aspects of the materials she collected and her style of art to give a different perspective to the piece. Not only is it a great idea for individual artists, it is also a good way to collaborate with other artists too.

  7. being able to find any random thing and having an idea to make art out of it. This way the people searching the dump have no control over what their new piece might be. It fosters creativity that way. You don’t know what you’ll find and it makes a different kind of art with a different concept every time. We could use this kind of technique in the portrait projects to make them different and unique and more interesting instead of just a plain portrait of someone’s face.

  8. I like including environmentalism in the very making of art. So often art becomes somewhat wasteful (at least I feel like mine sometimes is). So much paper is used, so I think it’s really important as artists to think of creative ways to use objects in life and to reuse past pieces and seemingly insignificant scraps.
    It’s different than traditional art because it is very raw, it is literally using trash to create beautiful things. And the idea that people would go shopping for junk to creative work is so fascinating and interesting to me.
    Personally, I would like to do something that has a statement or meaning about environmentalism using trash. make a tree out of trash with bottles hanging from it or something.
    It would be a lot of fun to make collaborative sculptures!

  9. Trash art is awesome. Instead of pre-thinking a medium and an idea, you let the materials and ideas come to you. When i was at the junkyard this weekend, i kept thinking of awesome things to do with all the junk around me. I thought of creating a collage out of bumper stickers, or cracking a windshield in an artistic way. If i were in residence at a junkyard, i would either turn car parts into tiny toy cars, or create a large robo-saurus, like the one at demolition derbies.

  10. I think creating art with trash is not only really creative, but also just a great way to recycle materials. There’s pretty much a never ending supply of materials to use; glass, paper, cans, plastic…etc. I agree with Elizabeth, you never know what your going to find, so you never have any ideas before hand of what your going to create. I think it’s a really cool idea, especially because you never really know what your going to end up creating.

  11. Part of what is interesting about this project is that they took their inspiration from the material itself. The history of the material also influences the creative process the artist goes through. Many of these artists let their pieces revolve around the idea of impermanence and durability. Most of today’s trash comes from things that are meant to be thrown away, meant not to last, like wrappers, containers, plastic, and technology with planned obsolescence. We are not a society that values durability and quality, but convenience.There seems to be a movement towards appreciation of the material in modern art. This culminated in the 1960’s with the rise of performance art using the body and moment as the material itself. Most projects in school art classes start with the concept and have the material be the afterthought. Sometimes this feels forced, while being inspired by the material feels organic.

  12. Wow, that’s actually really cool. It’s like a collage, except instead of using magazines, you use trash. I particularly liked the sculptor garden. There was one that, from far away, looked like it was made from giant, frozen tears, but when the camera got closer, you saw that it was really just these old, dirty plastic bottles. Using trash to create art is limiting (not in a bad way). It’s like writing a poem with a specific meter or rhyme scheme. It forces you to be extra creative.
    One way to make a portrait out of trash is a mosaic. You could do a huge mosaic in different colors of broken glass. That sounds like fun.

    • I like your reference to poetry when thinking about the creative process. Sometimes it is the “limits” that bring an awareness of the expressive possibilities within the field.

  13. I really liked this video. I think it’s really cool how you can take something like trash and turn it into a creative, interesting piece of art. I think that the sculpture made out of bottles was really cool. From far away it looked almost like a leaf but when you got close you saw that it was made from trash. I think it’s really cool how an artist can change your perception of things, like trash, by turning it into something creative. I think this art is different from the art that we do in class because artists at the dump have essentially infinite possibilities to choose from. There are so many options and this really allows for the artist to be creative. If i were a resident at a dump, I would like to do a sculpture, like many of the ones shown in this video. I think a collaborative project would be a great idea. Everyone could bring in something they find interesting and we could all put it together (but in an organized-ish way of course!)

  14. this reminded me of an artist that makes horses out of drift wood. When i was younger i did a lot of art with “scrap” because my mom thought it would be better than spending a ton of money on materials when i was like 4. I think its a very creative way to make new piece from old ones and a great way to recycle.

    • Deborah Butterfield makes life size horses out of drift wood (and other materials) and then they are converted to bronze, which certainly adds a twist to the seemingly found, natural effect. The Cantor Museum at Stanford has one of her pieces.

  15. I think this is really cool and agree with Sedem that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. You can’t tell just by looking at something whether it has meaning or not so an old car can mean nothing to me but could represent something for another artist. This seems a good way of finding new inspiration and creating something from nothing.

    There’s this really funny show called Portlandia and I know it makes fun of it but I thought I should mention it.

  16. The major difference between these artists and conventional artists is the reuse of abandoned material such as plastic, wood, and metal. They show not only a creativity to use new material, but more important, the idea of conservation, appealed to me. The most exciting part of being an artist at dump is that you don’t know what you will find. And when the next moment you stand in your new materials, you are going to arrange these random materials in a better sense. If I have a chance, I might make a mini Japanese garden model out of wood, bottle, and stones and color liquid.

  17. The idea of environmental awareness, association, and symbolism sets these artists apart from the tradition of folk artists and the “poor” using recycled materials because they cannot afford new materials. I’d love to see you make the Japanese garden – let me know what materials you are looking for!

  18. Very creative, but not original in the over sense of the idea. how ever their message was still great and was passed very well.

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