October 22, 2009

Another turn

(Oct 19th. 2009)

Since my presentation in class of my final project, I’ve found myself going in circles, in cycles. As the conceptual part of it became stronger, the representational aspect of it was becoming weaker. I realized I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but I wasn’t too sure that the way I was intending to do it would get the message across. After the feedback I got from Mark, one of my teachers, I understood I needed to offer the audience a bigger reward if I wanted them to cross the boundaries, to step over their comfort zone. I did come up with what I thought to be a better piece*, but my meeting with Kathleen tonight took me for a ride into the unexpected.

The most important points of my chat with Kathleen were that I needed to narrow my thoughts. Right now, I’m finding all the possible connections between my various concerns, and it’s taking me nowhere but inside my own mind. To materialize my thoughts, it is imperative that I bring it down to the following: What am I trying to say? What’s limiting me from saying it? Is it possible to narrow down my ideas into ONE thing? Each thought I had developed to a point larger than what I can handle in the 4 months I have left. I do want to push myself, I just don’t want to hung me just yet. These are my notes from today’s meeting:

-I need to find resources to put the piece together. Money issues are poking my back once in a while. I try not to get too distracted by my financial situation, but sometimes the ghosts do mellow by to remind me of the huge debt my graduation entails.

-interview people. What’s the “general public” view on art? Expression? Freedom? The current situation worldwide? What worries the “masses”?

-(Kathleen, in response to my financial concern and the money limitations to put my piece together) “You don’t need the metal. You don’t need magnets” I LOVE THE METAPHOR, EVEN WHEN IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE SO.

-Lack of financial resources. To make art, to starve, to make money... What is it going to be? How do I pay my rent? Bank incident (they made a mistake that “cost” me $5000)


“Art is not a system, is a gesture” (Kathleen)

-Can I comment on the world as a whole? Can I find a way to represent ALL I’m concerned with? How do I break apart the chain into separate links. Focus on one topic. DO NOT GENERALIZE. **Go DEEP into one thing**

-Write a letter to the bank. A personal complaint of what has been imposed that restricts my freedom, and my growth as a human being. Which elements of the system are holding ME back from evolving? Personal experience.

-The bank as a representative entity of this “machine”

-Set of 3 letters. Write to those entities that give me NO choice.
write to learn
look for dialogue.

-Take risks!!!

*I thought of hanging a blank canvas, with a steel plate on the back, and have bits and pieces of my art on a magnet sheet, to give people the chance to create something; a collective art piece.

October 12, 2009

One paragraph

"I want to challenge the traditional way we look at Art in the gallery/museum setting. With my piece, I intend to break the boundaries between the work and the audience by making the canvas more of an interactive object rather than something to look at from a certain distance."

Passive viewer vs. active participant

The difference between traditional gallery space and my piece is not only the distance between audience and art work being breached, but also what's presented as final piece. While in the gallery we are presented with a final version of a process, I intend to present the process itself to pose the question of originality and finality.


Every where I look I see signs of fear and discontent. There's a lack of faith for the future, in the air; nothing but hopelessness in people's faces. Every corner I turn, I come across some sign warning us about the end of the world... is this the apocalypse? People walk around the city in a completely inward motion. Once in a while, someone will smile back at me, but it doesn't happen often. I look for eye contact as I walk down the street but most people are either looking down, or immersed in their cell phones or staring right ahead, into nothingness.

Fear, indifference, ignorance... all of these are holding human beings back from self-awareness (which eventually turns into AWARENESS of what surrounds us) We need to become aware to understand the world we live in and those who live in this world with us. We need to grow out of our shells to be able to take responsibility for our own actions, therefore for our own fate.

As it is, it seems we are indeed at the verge of civilization's collapse. Every notion we have established as the "true grounds" for human evolution, is now being shaken from its core. Every social concept established in the last 100 years needs to be re-thought, needs to be broken up, cause I think it no longer applies to modern times. The system imposed is falling apart, crumbling into a pile of dust. It's like an aging tree that has now died and needs to be removed entirely from its roots, in order to allow the recovery of a malnourished soil and the planting of new seeds. Chopping the tree down in pieces is doing nothing but further poisoning every possibility of re-birth; every possibility of a new Earth emerging from its ashes. We need to BE the change before we are consumed by our own fire.

The imagery used in my final piece will simbolize the changes we are going through, both physically and spiritually. I plan not to think what I draw, but rather allow for the illustration to manifest itself. These are the first sketches:

October 4, 2009

Thesis Project

The time has come for me to show what I've got. Yes, it might sound strange, but it's absolutly true. I've made it to my 4th and final year of University and it's now the time for me to get on stage. What is the show going to be about? Who will be the audience? What is it that I need to get through and how am I going to achieve the spreading of the message?

I have been thinking about my final project from the first day of class in my first year, 3 years ago. Since then, I have come up with all sorts of ideas and concepts but nothing really quite developed into something that fully excited me. This year, after my exchange experience and having had the opportunity to travel around quite a bit, I came back to Toronto deeply inspired. The piece just popped in my head one afternoon, hunging out at Todd's place, while sketching one of my cyclical drawings. From that day, a seed was planted in my brain and started to rapidly grow into a more sophisticated branch of ideas and concepts. I know it's still not a fully grown tree, but I'm sure that with a little more watering and some pruning this might turn into something solid, rooted yet high.


The piece, untitled so far, consists of a set of five canvasses -same size- hunging next to each other on the wall, very much like a painting exhibit. I'm currently considering the possibility of having the typical museum velvet rope around the space, with a sign that instead of keeping the audience away from the paintings, invites them to get closer. The number of canvasses is still not set on stone but so far this is what I have established:

Canvas 1 - Printed Proposal
This canvas will present the project proposal as it is. I haven't yet decided if it will be printed on the canvas, painted (less likely) or glued -more like a collage. This canvas represents the concepts and ideas behind the piece, as well as the burocratic side of Art.

Canvas 2 - Sketch
This canvas will be the first sketch, the skeleton of the painting. It represents the "making of" the art work and the raw state of a painting.

Canvas 3 - Watercolor Painting
This canvas most likely will be painted with watercolor. I chose this medium because it's water based and it's translucent quality will help me incorporate color not too abruptly.

Canvas 4 - Acrylic Painting
This canvas will be one of the biggest challanges for me. I do not feel confident enough that I will be able to keep the nature of the drawing using such an opaque medium. However, the reason why I have chosen to play with different mediums is to see the changes and constraints the same drawing will go under.

Canvas 5 - Blank canvas (painting itself - animation)
This one is the BIG question mark. The idea with this canvas is to have a projection of a stop-motion animation of how canvas #4 was painted. If I were to set up a camera while I paint, I would then have an animation of the painting itself, which then would be projected on this blank canvas. There are many questions still regarding this one, which I believe is the most important of them all, maybe even being the one making THE statement. Will the artist's hands (my hands) be shown? Is this video or film? How to set up the projector to avoid shadows being casted on the canvas?

Another important point is that all the canvasses must be able to be rotated. The anture of my drawings is that they are a string of continuing, transforming and interconected images. They can be turned around to catch a different angle and therefore a different image. This is the main reason why I want the canvasses to be hunged in a way that with enable manipulation. I'm also trying to break the barrier, that has been established for centuries, of painting-audience interaction. The painting has always been something to look at from a certain distance, usually hunging from a very white and immaculate wall, with a velvet rope delimiting a certain distance. What if you were able to no only observe but touch and change the direction in which the painting is hung?

Brainstorming of Ideas

-Ever-changing Art:
Art through time (e.g. canvas worn out from hand manipulation)
Time as an art and as the artist
Medium (how it affects the drawing and what each medium represents)
Continuity > cyclical drawings (movement vs. dimension or movement AND dimension)

-Art through senses. How is it perceived through touch and/or visually
Expectator (passive viewer) vs. Participant (active audience)

-Technology (New Media) vs. Organic (Old Media)

-Audience (?) - Canada > multicultural

"The world in which you were born is just one model of reality.
Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique
manifestations of the human spirit"
(Wade Davis)

-Material vs. Ephimeral
-String theory


-Lack of technical skills (painting)
-How to keep the drawing organic and flowing when it has been reproduced 4 times?
-Canvas rotation: manually? crank? electronically?
-animation? will the projected canvas be turning? will my hand be on it? YES: the artist behind the drawing. NO: self-painting canvas
-How to get audience to interact with the paintings (specially with the mind set of gallery exhibits)

Artists Research

Maria Lassnig
Ian Carrharris
Tim Hawkinson (illustrations)
Richard Reeves
Joseph Kosuth
Glen Ligon
Andy Goldsworthy (concept of time)
William Kentridge
Peter Callesen (paper > ephemeral?)