Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Project #2

You and Me - a Collaborative Piece
I love the sound of whooshing jump ropes.
We began this piece with the jumprope. Ben spun it above his head until it made whooshing sounds. He spun it and walked around in a circle until his arm grew tired. As he did this I played with the portable radio. I walked around and crouched beneath the swirling jumprope. I changed the volume and the channel with each movement so that each time I changed places a different sound came from the radio. Once Ben's arm grew tired he threw the jump rope on the ground. I dropped the radio.
We met in the middle of the room and sat cross legged facing each other. We pulled two spoons from a glass filled with peanut butter and coiled our arms around each other to eat a spoonful of peanut butter. We chewed and stood up again.
We changed places. I now had the jump rope and Ben had the radio. I spun it above my head until I was tired. Ben differed from me in his radio movements. He crouch-walked and danced a bit, the radio on static. Once my arm grew tired I dropped the jump rope, he dropped the radio, and we walked out of the room.

One of the hardest things about this piece was trying to keep a straight face. We didn't practice, I didn't know how it would turn out but I was happy with the end product. I didn't expect to feel the power I did when holding the jumprope, and the caution I felt when holding the radio, avoiding the reach of the jump rope above my head. 

I was really happy with the symbolism the other students saw when watching the piece. Some said it reminded them of a relationship. One more powerful and another more submissive, made equals communicating while eating, and then trading places. I think that was a good metaphor for the piece.
The piece could maybe be improved with more peanut butter, and perhaps a different item instead of the radio, something that makes a more subtle noise than the jump rope. I also need to think of a better title.

Body Art - Shock - Cultural and Celebrity Worship

I'd like to reflect and expand on Piero Manzoni's 1961 piece in which he canned 91 cans of feces. A label on each identified the contents as "Artist's Shit", contents 30gr net freshly preserved and 'made in Italy'. He said "If collectors want something intimate, really personal to the artist, there's the artist's own shit, that is really his." Manzoni's actions were "affirmation of the body itself as a valid art material" (Thames & Hudson, pg. 147) It's not known how many cans were sold but his decision to value his excrement on a par with the price of gold made clear reference to the tradition of the artist as alchemist already forged by Marcel Duchamp and Yves Klein among others. As the artist and critic Jon Thompson has written:
Manzoni's critical and metaphorical reification of the artist's body, its processes and products, pointed the way towards an understanding of the persona of the artist and the product of the artist's body as a consumable object. The artist's shit, dried naturally and canned 'with no added preservatives', was the perfect metaphor for the bodied and disembodied nature of artistic labor: the work of art as fully incorporated raw material, and its violent expulsion as commodity. Manzoni understood the creative act as part of the cycle of consumption: as a constant reprocessing, packaging, marketing, consuming, reprocessing, packaging, ad infinitum.
Artist's Shit was made at a time when Manzoni was producing a variety of works involving the fetishization and commodification of his own body substances. These included marking eggs with his thumbprints before eating them, and selling balloons filled with his own breath.

Recently I've come across other artists that have used the body in similarly shocking ways:

"Milk that may appear by smell to be perfectly consumable (even organic), can contain contaminants such as suspended particles, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and fungi.Through extensive recruitment within the upper echelons of society, we deliver the finest milk purified in a way only we can. Our secret ingredient is in the process through which rich, beautiful, white girls gargle your milk to absolute perfection. It's her touch that sets us far above the rest. Each of the carefully selected girls offer subtle differences of background, yet what they share is most important. All are waiting to clean your milk with their mouths. That is our promise to you!"

This is a real website where you can buy 1/2 oz of milk gargled for 10 seconds by a white woman for $100.00 or 2 oz gargled for $200.00. You can choose between 6 different white women, each of whom have a profile describing their background. You can also choose to buy the video of them gargling your milk.

Any Google Image search (with SafeSearch off) will reveal more images of this type than you could imagine. The only difference between the images used in porn and “White Power Milk” is the perspective and angle of the photos. Most pornographic shots of women gargling cum are from above, mimicking the viewpoint of a man or men who have just received a blowjob and discharged into her mouth. Hill has shifted the perspective lower so that the women look less submissive but still on display.

“Some people who feel they are at a disadvantage in America because of their race (black people, for example) can get a get a sense of power in the world from having a white woman. They got a piece of the pie, so to speak. I named it “White Power Milk” because I’m selling people that access to white girls from powerful families. Those are the hardest white girls to get access to. They are the powerful.

It’s about the power that white women have over people’s minds. Some people think white girls are better than other races. They think they’re better at sex, more loyal, more polite, more compliant, bring less drama, or whatever. I put some examples of this kind of thinking in these tweets I’ve posted on Young Manhattanite.

Nate Hill is good at pushing buttons and you can tell he likes it, maybe even gets off on it. All his projects poke holes into people’s ideas of comfort and force them to negotiate how far they are willing to go. Whether he is getting strangers to sit on his lap as part of “Free Bouncy Rides” (2009), inviting people to get out their physical frustration on a cute animal in “Punch Me Panda” (2010), posing in photos wearing white women as scarves ["for status and power"] in "Trophy Scarf" (2013), there was always an element in his performance that left many people — particularly non-art participants — puzzled but always amused.

further down the rabbit hole...

"BitLabs grows meat from celebrity tissue samples and uses it to make artisanal salami. It all starts with your favorite celebrities, and a quick biopsy to obtain tissue samples. Isolating muscle stem cells, we grow celebrity meat in our proprietary bioreactors. In the tradition of Italian cured meats, we dry, age, and spice our product into fine charcuterie."

Martin, the CEO of bite labs said in an interview with TIME that the company “want[s] to prompt widespread discussion about bioethics, lab-grown meats, and celebrity culture – this is very important to us.”

This level of celebrity worship is kind of scary to me but definitely absurd and possible in this age.
The website sells it as the Eco-friendly and healthy future of meat.
What do you think about it? What do you think about using the body itself as art material?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Listen to the Music of Sounds

CnDs Lounge - 10pm on a Thursday Night

Clink of glasses on each other and the tables
"How's Stephanie"
"She's still in the hospital"
"I'm sorry to hear that"
scratching of dollar bills against each other
clinking of coins falling as they spread across the bar
clinking of stacking coins
clinking of shot glasses
glug of quick liquid
crack of breaking glass, uncoordinated movements
slam of the closet
twsshht twssht of the brooms swift movements
crackle crackle, glass pieces pile into the dust pan and fall into the trash can
"I'm so sorry, I-"
"Shit happens"
beep beep beep of buttons
ding the cash register drawer Sliiiides open
tunk tunk, each lever holds down the bills
"Do you consider yourself a republican or a democrat"
"Don't answer that"
"Say you're a racist, feminist, libertarian!"
"Just ignore them"
twsshh of cleaning brushes against glasses
gurgle of water bubbling up under the pressure of the glass
fsshhh of running water
ksssss of soap powder
"You saw a hawk eating a pigeon? Seeing a bird is a bad omen. Someone you know is going to die"

Second Floor - Library at 10pm on a Sunday

Creaking of chairs as people situate their bodies
quick, racing pencils and pens scratching paper, writing, underlining
tip tap tip tap typing
woosh, a page is turned, woosh, woosh, WOOSH, a search for an idea
Thud, books slid back on shelves, thud, books set on tables
whispers, distractions, shhhh
scratch scratch, itchy heads, itchy bodies
jingling keys
HUFF of air - frustration? boredom? anxiety?
loud repetitive breaths - someone's dozed off

My apartment at 2am - while everyone sleeps

creeks CREEKs - the floors are alive. The walls are alive
Oh, the pipes are alive.
tick, tock, tick, tock - the clock never stops, when it does I'll recreate the noise
buzz buzz, the wind shakes the bathroom window
crack, the door opens, jennifer's awake
tip tap light steps to the bathroom
tack of the toilet seat against the porcelain back
wooshhhh of the toilet flush
fsshhhh of the faucet
clack - the towel rack against the wall
crack the door opens
tick the light's out
"Goodnight Madi" she whispers
crack of the bedroom door closing
creek - the walls are alive

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Project #1

I asked the class to follow my barefoot feet upstairs to a naturally lit corner on the fourth floor of McWethy. There I had set up a pile of leaves and asked the class to sit in a circle around them. I then walked into the middle of the circle atop the small pile of leaves and began crunching my toes together and breathing in and out. I then began doing yoga, my regular routine. First sun salutations, then on to warrior poses and backbends, then resting poses on the ground. I breathed hard and loud; heavy compared to my normal breathing. 

I didn't plan it out or practice it. I only knew that the sound of breathing while practicing yoga is a consistent one and the sound of crunching, dry leaves is an interesting one.

Feedback from the class included feelings of relaxation, beauty and flexibility, balance and peacefulness, a sense of unity with the ground. Someone said I looked like a puddle when I laid down. Some people said they would have preferred that I had more leaves; it would have made more interesting noises and perhaps fallen off my body more often. 

I didn't want a lot of leaves. 

In the winter I feel disconnected from nature because everything is dead and cold; I want to be warm inside. The small pile represented my small relationship with nature during this season. I also feel that few people have small or any relationship with nature in our increasingly technological and IT focused society. As spring brings new life, I hope my relationship with nature will regrow, and I hope that some of my art and interests may inspire people to reconnect with nature.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Artist Statement

I am a visual artist. 
copyright (c) Madi Tentinger 2010

I enjoy drawing, painting, and photography most. I enjoy practice and technique. My favorite media is watercolors, especially if I can draw out the subject, trace the main lines with waterproof pens, erase the pencil lines, and then color it in with watercolors; it's like making your own coloring book but with the cool effects water color paints are capable of making.

I struggle with making abstract art. It's much easier for me to have a set subject, whether it's a person, or an object. Landscapes can be difficult for me as well. But I like to challenge myself.

Some of my favorite artists include Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher for their absurd and mind-expanding subjects and incredible attention to detail.

I don't know a whole lot about other artists or art history but I enjoy learning about it.
Performance Art is new to me. It really has been testing me mentally and introduced me to a lot of new concepts. It can be frustrating to me at times because it seems that everything is art and the focus is more on ideas. I don't know how to judge it; I don't know what is good because I can't tell how much work is put into it. But I don't know that effort makes something more or less art. I suppose everything could be art. But that mind-expanding quality and the challenge of authority and normalcy is what intrigues me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Olivier de Sagazan 2008 - Surmodelage du crâne et de la face

Saṃsāra or Sangsāra, is the repeating cycle of birthlife and death (reincarnation) within HinduismBuddhismBönJainism,Taoism, and Yârsân. In Sikhism this concept is slightly different and looks at one's actions in the present and consequences in the present.