Monday, November 30, 2009

Final Presentation Schedule

Wednesday, December 2, 2 - 4:50

Marie Lewis
Len Hendricks
Kirk Rea
Kristen Kohashi
Brian Caslis
James Mischke
Jamie Johnson
Natasha Stochem
Kirsten Youen
Owen Lane
Marissa Lauer

Wednesday, December 9, 12:30-2:20

Ida Galash
Tamar Monhait
Scott Rassumusen
Marian Perala
Jessa Rogers
Joseph Nessesian
Joe Trussell
Tine Pfeiffer
Cynthia Kimball
Sean Lovell

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

(Potential) Discussion Questions for 11/25

1. How have changing concepts within postmodernism of space, time and identity influenced our relationship to the built environment? How have architectural practices responded to these changes?

2. Discuss the following statement:

"One of the primary issues that hovers over the concepts of postmodernism is the degree to which they are a response to the fading and shifting aspects of modernism and the degree to which they signal a new era … a new episteme, a new way of making art, popular culture, and buildings, a new way of writing fiction, and so on." (POL 343)

In other words, do you see postmodernism as a “self-conscious” reaction that will eventually (or already has) fold(ed) in on itself or a necessary paradigm shift that will lead to a more satisfying way of “being in the world”?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Final Project Due Dates (including "The Zine")

I've just been told that some students were confused by the "Zine Presentation" listed for November 25 on the revised class schedule. They thought it meant the zine catalog for the "Exhibition in A Box" project was due on that day.

No, no, no! To give you some ideas for your own zine catalogs, on Nov. 25 I will bring to class some of the zines students have made for this project in the past. Your zines are NOT due then!

Recapping the schedule:

Proposals for Exhibition in a Box projects are due on Monday, Nov. 23. Proposals should include the subject of your exhibition, the story you will try to tell, initial thoughts and plans regarding items to be exhibited, your approach to collecting, your approach to visual presentation.

Final presentations, Exhibit + Zine Catalog due: Dec. 2 and 9 (sign-up for date in class).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Final Project: Exhibition in a Box

Taking a “postmodernist” approach, investigate the ways that institutions tell stories by curating a portable exhibition on yourself, a historical figure or a fictional character.

Think about how individuals embody epistemic themes (Madonna, for example) and how images, objects and artifacts are used to convey concepts and ideology. Our field trip to the Portland Art Museum on November 18 should give you insight into how curators and museum educators work. See the project sheet handed out in class for further information on approach (final presentations on Dec. 2 and 9).

Above are some images of similar past student projects, as well as the famous "Boîte-en-valise" by Marcel Duchamp (see video in resources links at left). We will talk more about the assignment on Monday. On that day you also will share your project proposals.

Proposals will include your choice of subject, reason for the choice, initial ideas on what objects and materials will tell your subject's story, how you will arrange and contextualize the materials, how you will contain and transport them.

Next Monday's Discussion Preparation

We will be discussing Chapter 8, pages 307-328 in the Practices of Looking text. Please look over and think about the questions below before Monday's class.  We will break into small groups and talk about these questions. 

1.) Identify how modern and postmodern conceptions of the following differ from one another:     
identity/the body
the viewer

2.) The text mentions a few different theorists whose ideas have combined to influence our understanding of what postmodern culture is. Identify the main points that each of the theorists below make in relation to modern/postmodern culture.

Frederic Jameson
Jean Baudrillard
Jean-Francois Lyotard
Gilles Deleuze
David Harvey

3.) Was there anything in this chapter that contradicted or confirmed your ideas about what constitutes modern or postmodern culture?


Monday, November 16, 2009

November 18 at the Portland Art Museum

On Wednesday we will meet at 2 pm at the Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park (at Jefferson). Be sure to get your Museum Student Pass in advance (PSU ID + $10 gets you a year's worth of museum admission) or pay $2.50 to Pat by November 16.

2:15Annette Dixon, Curator of Prints and Drawings

3pm—Don Urquhart, Director of Collections Management

3:45—Meet Kate Albert, Kress Foundation Interpretive Fellow, in Kinney classroom to look at China Design Now model and talk about the Education Department.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kenneth Goldsmith: "If It Doesn't Exist on the Internet, It Doesn't Exist"

Related to the discussion on appropriation, copyright, Creative Commons, etc., here's a brief essay by Kenneth Goldsmith (poet, teacher, dj, webmaster) on the issue of access.


Sherrie Levine

far left: Fountain (after Marcel Duchamp: A.P.)
Sherrie Levine
1991 bronze

I try to make art which celebrates doubt and uncertainty. Which provokes answers but doesn't give them. Which withholds absolute meaning by incorporating parasite meanings. Which suspends meaning while perpetually dispatching you toward interpretation, urging you beyond dogmatism, beyond doctrine, beyond ideology, beyond authority.--Sherrie Levine

Since the early 1980s, Sherrie Levine has made a career out of re-using--or appropriating--famous works of art, often by making new versions of them and placing them in different contexts. Throughout her career, Levine has created art based on works by prominent male artists from the early 20th century in order to underscore the relative absence of women in the art world at that time. Her sources have included Walker Evans' photographs and Constantin Brancusi's sculptures. Levine's piece, entitled Fountain (after Marcel Duchamp: A. P.), is inspired by Marcel Duchamp's Fountain (1917).

When Levine's Fountain is compared with Duchamp's sculpture, it is apparent that it is not an exact copy. Most notably, Duchamp's piece was an actual urinal, turned upside-down and unaltered except for his signature. He believed he could transform such mass-produced, everyday objects into artworks merely by proclaiming them so, and called them "readymades." In contrast, Levine's sculpture is a contemporary urinal cast in the sculptor's traditional precious metal, bronze. Polished to a brilliant shine, this piece is no longer a common, store-bought item; it has been transformed by the artist into a unique object. (Text from Walker Art Center)

See the resource list at right for a link to

Jeff Koons' String of Puppies

Jeff Koons' sculpture (top left) from the photograph by photographer Art Rogers (bottom left) engendered a copyright suit, Rogers v. Koons. The court held against Koons, finding that "an artist who reproduced a photograph as a three-dimensional sculpture for sale as high-priced art could not claim parody as a defense for copyright infringement, when the photograph itself was not the target of his parody." According to the holding, Koons was not commenting on Rogers' work specifically, and so his copying of that work did not fall under the fair use exception.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Research Assignment for Week 7: Creative Commons

Along with your reading for next Monday (Chapter 5, pp. 204 -220), visit the Creative Commons website, read some of the case studies and answer the following questions in a blog post:

  • How does the Creative Commons project alter the way we understand ownership and copyright?
  • How does this project affect the subject(s) of a work?
  • How would a Creative Commons license have altered the works in our textbook reading (Gone with the Wind, the work of Sherrie Levine and Michael Mandiberg)?
  • Does the Creative Commons project afford any protection to the right of publicity (the Bela Lugosi case)?

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Culture of the Copy

Research and choose a well-known art work (any era) or cultural icon (pop or not) to copy (reproduce) and modify as a two-sided T-shirt: (1) On the front of the shirt, make your copy as faithful to the original as possible, given the limitations of the printing method you choose. (2) For the back, design some kind of visual “intervention” or alteration that not only changes the image but also changes the meaning.

No words, no text to this one. Image only!

There are several ways of getting your design onto a shirt. One way is to cut a stencil and use spray paint or fabric paint and a stiff brush or foam roller. (Follow safety instructions for all materials and use spray paint in a well ventilated area.)

You can do it high-, low- or medium-tech. There are several websites (see blog post) that include instructions for turning photos into high contrast designs that can be printed or drawing onto freezer paper (waxy side can be ironed to the t-shirt for stenciling) or stiff cardboard or mylar. Many ways to do it.

You can also use one of the iron-on transfer print papers made for T-shirts. This method will allow you to get more elaborate with your design but you will need computer/printer access and some basic digital skills.

Most important is to consider the graphic impact of your image and it’s alteration. Given the nature of your "message," which visual style and effect will be the best carrier?

Work from photo/print sources you collect. Brainstorm to come up with more than one idea and choose the best.

Here's one site with instructions for spray paint stenciling on T-shirts and another and one more. Maybe this one is the clearest. Read all the tips about washing the shirt, ventilation, etc.

Here is a general site about iron-on transfers.

Bring your ideas and image sources to class on Wednesday, November 4.

Due: Monday, November 16