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Idea Generation

digital portfolio of ASC

Idea Generation

When I was thinking about this idea, my entire focus was about being “new”: new media, new textures, new topics. But I don’t know where to start or I ended up too concrete. On the one side, I want to visualize the concepts I studied in other disciplines, such as trust and risk when people interacting with new technologies and automation, which defines such concrete topics I want to discuss; on the other hand, stepping outside of the classroom of drawing/painting 101, I have to abandon the thoughts and some skills of only depicting things from real life in two dimensions. I need to think in 3D, think in 5 senses, which leave my canvas blank. This contradiction makes me have troubling even stepping out the first step. Because I am afraid that I would be deviant from my original ideas. 

All in all, I felt more research is needed for me at this point. Here are some artists that I am interested or Nell recommended.  I would highlight the topic or technique that he/she used and see whether all these random dots would lead me to anywhere. 

Nick Cave (Until): This installation gives the audience an immersive experience. All about its size, which is almost the size of a football field. Also the material, millions of plastic pony beads hanging about two feet from the audiences’ heads. The metallic ornaments form ‘a crystal cloud’  which is reflective and seductive to the audience. Moreover, ”overwhelming materiality give way to stark images of guns, bullets, and targets, positioning us all as culpable, vulnerable, and potentially under attack. ”

Nick Cave – ”Until” at MASS MoCA by Miss Lisa

Beili Liu (The Mending Projects): Following the concepts of vulnerability and the potential of being attacked from above. Liu’s artwork ”The Mending Projects” also echoes this concept. The women artist/performer sitting under hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling, pointing downwards, performs the simple task of mending. The viewers were invited to cut an abstract piece to hand over to the performer to mend. The strong contrast between the sharp blades of scissors and the calm performer gives me a more urgent feeling of pressure and fear. I also like the feminist strength including in her work: the choice of the mending action, the material selection, and the tension she built in the environment. 

Beili Liu, The Mending Project, photo by Blue.

I noticed that the similar theme in these two artists is the ‘suspension’ or ‘things from the above’. Another track that I want to explore more is about the relationship between the lights and ‘transparent’ and ‘reflective’ materials, such as glasses, acetate, vellum, rice paper, etc. It would be more interesting if I could add some sounds.

Yayoi Kusama (Infinity Mirror Room): Describing the traumatic childhood, this artwork becomes one of the most famous installations for now. The tickets at High museum went out in few hours. Each audience could only stay no more than one minute. It’s a mixed feeling now when I read the article talking about her experiences about sexism, racism, and lack of opportunity. 

Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrors Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013. Wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, acrylic balls, and water, 287.7 × 415.3 × 415.3 cm. Courtesy of David Zwirner, N.Y. © Yayoi Kusama

Otto Piene (Light Ballet): Using multimedia, Otto explores the light as a kinetic medium to show that “light is the primary condition for all visibility”. I like the idea of bringing the concepts from different realms and finding the connection between them. 

Otto Piene: Lichtballett, MIT List Visual Arts Center. October 21, 2011- December 31, 2011.

Ani Liu (Mind in the machine): Combing the ‘cold’ machine in a factory in China and the ‘human’ knitting technique with tradition, this project brings up the questions that whether the human could still remain their emotions and expression in the age of mechanical production. Using the EEG signals scanned from workers’ brain activity, the stitches show their brain activities and reflect each individual factory worker’s ‘cognitive hand’.  I enjoyed this artwork because of the excellent intersection of art and science, which is the exact place I want to pursue in the future. She not only describes the reciprocal relationship between automation/technology and human identity/culture but also employs an experimental method to research her artwork. 

Ani Liu, Mind in the Machine: Psyche in the Age of Mechanical Production. 


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