Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First Class..

I was totally energized by yesterday's class...though I know it's boring to sit there for an hour and a half, that folks probably don't get my sense of humor and that for non-native English speakers, it must be extremely hard to understand what I'm aiming for.

Though I really think that artists basically end up working in a specific style, that photographers usually have a basic way of framing and thinking about what they want to say with their images...it's really important to challenge yourself...to try something you don't know how to do...to be uncomfortable. I didn't emphasize that in terms of the dreadful grading, I'd give a higher grade to someone who really pushed, took risks, was uncomfortable and kept going than to someone who is basically repeating an idea, refining it...unless, of course, the idea was very engaging to begin with.

I'm assuming, though I didn't stress it, that you're starting to work right away...developing the idea and starting on it or taking photographs to find out where you'll go. Anyway, start working! Please!

I know that some people are more comfortable with a deliberate plan, a vision that they are trying to fulfill. If that's you, then just be open to whatever change might happen and go with it, without worrying that you've lost your original concept.
It is a process, though some people, like me, prefer to think more about process than product. And some think about product.

There's no right or wrong, there are just a variety of ways of doing things. You just have to be able to understand how you function.
From my point of view, a large part of this class, and undoubtedly of any class, is understanding how you look at challenges, assignments, think about them, about yourself...    I loved the idea of looking around, saying, "Well, that wasn't so great. I can do better than that," as a way of dealing with the endless comparisons to other people that many of us make.

I happen to be teaching the class, but essentially we are all teaching each other. And we all have different opinions. Please disagree and argue. We need dialogues with different opinions.

So, just to repeat...
please make 20 copies of the one page fold book. Though I didn't emphasize it, it make sense to use it as a 'book'...therefore, have a cover and back page. Obviously, you could fill the whole page with images, images and words and then fold it and not have a 'book' which implies a vague narrative..  Anyway, have fun, play with it (in some senses), put in meaning or narrative...

We'll begin having discussions about what you want to do as a public (gorilla or not) event...and where...so please think about it...
taping photographs to telephone poles downtown?
to trees on campus?
inside an abandoned building?
in the hallway by the studios?
Do you want names on them? contact information? "If you took this, please e-mail me at..."
same subject?
each person's favorite photo?
or do you want to get permission to put them on the walkway so they all have those stamps on them?
or make one-page-fold books?

more about where I've gotten in my semester plans in the next post...
don't forget to comment, not about what I'm saying, but about what you're thinking...


  1. I very much like the idea of hanging pieces of art in random places on campus without any clue to who hung it there and standing back to watch how people will react to it. A friend of mine and I were going to do it years ago but never did. Maybe the art could have subtitles or a single word along with them that would have significance to the artist but not necessarily to the viewer. Just a thought!

  2. gold stars for first response!!! they are dancing just above your head...