Category: Coursework

Part Five – Exercise 5.5: Serra on Film

Watch Richard Serra’s films Hand Catching Lead and Boomerang. Familiarize yourself with his work and say why you think he made these films. “I think the significance of the work is in its effort, not in its intentions. And that effort is a state of mind, an activity, an interaction with the world…”  – Richard Serra Both videos embrace a temporal aspect.…

Gute, C. (2011) Institutional Critique Flair Button

Part Five – Exercise 5.4: Institutional Audience

Does institutional critique presuppose an ‘insider’ audience requiring familiarity with artworld topics and issues or can it be understood by almost anyone spending an hour or two in a gallery? Institutional critique as part of conceptual art requires context. Context, not intrinsic in the object or work, relates to prevailing cultural conventions and knowledge. However, as the previous exercise has…

Part Five – Exercise 5.2: Barr in Reverse

What would be the significance of reversing the arrows in Barr’s chart? Make two columns – one ‘forwards’ the other ‘back’. List as many relevant concepts as you are able to develop the contrast between the two columns. Feel free to ‘cheat’ with a thesaurus. I have to admit, I had some troubles with understanding and embracing the task of the…

Part Five – Exercise 5.1: Kant Summary

Access a summary of Kant’s Critique of Judgement and select three key points that you should then further summarize in approx. 50 words each. www.sparknotes.com/philosophy/kant/section3.html   Key points selected [1] from Critique of Judgement by Immanuel Kant (1790)   1) The Beauty Aesthetic judgements of beauty are based on feeling of pleasure and depend on an interplay of imagination and understanding.…

Tilted Arc, Richard Serra, 1981, sculpture, steel, New York City (destroyed). Photo © 1985 David Aschkenas

Part Five – Exercise 5.0: Danto

Read the first three pages (at least) of Arthur Danto’s essay ‘Works of Art and Mere Real Things’ in his book The Transfiguration of the Commonplace. http://pcnw.org/files/Danto.pdf Then conduct your own ‘thought experiment’ by choosing a picture or object that is, or you can imagine to be, a work of art. Give this ‘work’ three or more different titles, then…

Part Four – Exercise 4.2: Newman Summary

Read the text of Newman’s essay in Art in Theory and write a short summary (200 words) http://art310-f11-hoy.wikispaces.umb.edu/file/view/The+First+Man+was+an+Artist Summary: Barnett Newman ‘The First Man was an Artist’, 1947 (Newman, 2003)  Newman argues against the expansion of science into a ‘theological way of life’ and criticizes science for its ignoring its roots of a scientific inquiry in finding proof through asking…

Minard, C. J. (1869) Cartes Figurative des Pertes successives en Hommes de l’Armée Francaise dans la campange de Russie 1812-13

Part Four – Exercise 4.1: Barr’s Information System

Look again at Alfred Barr’s chart for Cubism and Abstract Art and say briefly how it might be understood as information in a system. Briefly compare it to Minard’s map (previous). Barr’s chart is an infographic of Abstract Art built on symbolic words for avant-garde art movements that are compared and contrasted by similarities and distinctions. The system is language…

Part Four – Exercise 4.0: Compare and Contrast

Look at the two paintings above and account for their similarities and differences in three columns – one for each artist – Millet and van Gogh – either side of a column for similarities. Indicate the differences by underlining the appropriate description in the outer columns.   Jean-François Millet (1814 – 1875) was a French painter and founder of the…

Part Three – Exercise 3.9: House: Indexical Sign

In what sense is Whiteread’s House indexical and why does this matter for an interpretation of the work? Would someone overlooking this feature be wrong or would that simply be a different interpretation? “A politically embarrassing monument to an impoverished history and standing in the way of the construction of a less threatening green space.” – S. Thacker Introduction Sarah…

Part Three – Exercise 3.8: Nature is Culture

What does it mean to say nature is culture? Can there be one without the other? What would it be like? Look up the term ‘binary opposition’ – does this apply to nature and culture? Write this in three paragraphs – for, against and a conclusion. In preparation for this argumentation and with deeper exploration of related topics see my preparatory…

Preparational thoughts for Exercise 3.8: Nature is Culture / Binary opposites, signs and meaning

Binary opposites, sign, representation and meaning  When people see things as beautiful, ugliness is created. When people see things as good, evil is created. Being and non-being produce each other. Difficult and easy complement each other. Long and short define each other. High and low oppose each other. Fore and aft follow each other. Tao Te Ching Binary oppositions: A…

Part Three – Exercise 3.7: Jeff Koons and Simulacrum

Write a paragraph on a single work by Koons according to what you understand of the simulacrum. (400 words) For this exercise I choose one of the most famous sculptures by Jeff Koons from his series Banality from 1988. The main reason for selection was that I find it tremendously ambiguous and coherent the same time – as if the…

Stefan513593 - Part 3 - Meaning and attribution

Part Three – Exercise 3.6: Misrepresentation

Reflect on this last sentence in as many words as necessary to form your own judgement. ‘One cannot say the world is socially constructed and say there are misrepresentations.’ “Postmodern knowledge is not simply a tool of the authorities; it refines our sensitivity to differences and reinforces our ability to tolerate the incommensurable.” –  J.-F. Lyotard Introduction: How to read…

Preparatary notes for Exercise 3.6: Misrepresentations

Conditions for Critical Thinking In an earlier post on the relativism in context of ‘fake news’ and divergent opinions and the challenges in postmodern education I reflected an article in the Swiss newspaper NZZ (Otto, 2017) – click here. This seems to be quite spot on the for my answer of the question of misrepresentations in a socially constructed world. Postmodern…

SJSchaffeld (2017) Prayers's Rock, pencil and pen on paper (A4)

Artificial Intelligence – Amendment Exercise 3.5

After posting my last exercise work on Artificial versus Human Intelligence I read in the last issus of Smithsonian an article about the technology center in Korea (Shteyngart, 2017).  Seoul, the capital of South Korea, with nearly half of the population living in the 25 Million metropol. A country addicted to the sense of perfection as the hero in the TV show …

Fig. 1: The graph depicts the uncanny valley, the proposed relation between the human likeness of an entity and the perceiver's affinity for it.

Part Three – Exercise 3.5: Artificial Intelligence

Does the prospect of artificial intelligence make us doubt the authenticity of human intelligence or is it forever a copy or fake version of human intelligence? Give reasons for both arguments. If you have the opportunity watch the film Bladerunner as a fictional account of the problem. Look up the term ‘uncanny valley’ as another prompt to thought. What a…

Part Three – Exercise 3.4: Origins

Write 10 sentences containing any of the following words: origin, original or originality. Is the meaning much the same in each example or are there significant differences? Briefly comment on your findings. Meaning of origin, original and originality   The origin of the world is unknown The origin of the river Rhine is far away in the Alps The artist was…

Alain Egyptian Life Class. Drawing by Alain (1955, 1983) by The New Yorker Magazine, Inc.

Part Three – Exercise 3.3: Meta-Pictures

Find and collate 10 diverse examples of meta-painting from the 17th century to the present. End of last year till the beginning of this the Prado in Madrid featured an exhibition with the title Meta-painting. A Journey to the Idea of Art.  I didn’t attend but looking and reading the webpage was quite beneficial for this exercise on meta-painting. especially in…

Stefan513593 - Part 3 - log - Presentation

Representation

While re-reading the course material (pp.72-74) I had some critical remarks on some statements. Presentation as related to presence in time and space: => This seems to be a rather a realist and materialistic perspective that the ‘model’ had to be physicially there with the artist. I would rather widen this perspective with the phenomenlogical term  ‘noema’ (Husserl etc.) that…

Fig. 2: Martin Irvine: Visual Culture Map (2005-2011)- http://faculty.georgetown.edu/irvinem/CCT510/VisualCulture-TheoryMap-Disciplines.html

Part Three – Exercise 3.2: Art and/or Visual Culture

Do you think art is and will remain a distinct category or is it best seen as a species of visual culture? List reasons for and against a distinct category. How many ways could ‘best seen as’ be understood? Aesthetically, morally, socially? An academic overview: I do feel that Visual Culture as studies of humanities and social studies are related…

Stefan513593 - 3.1 - Similarities and Differences-log1

Part Three – Exercise 3.1: Emerson / Searle

Can you see a connection between Emerson’s remarks and the view expressed by Searle in chapter one? Where do their views overlap and where do they differ? You could address this in three columns – one for each author either side of a column of similarities. The differences will be those points that are not similarities. “No truth can be…

Stefan513593_Aftermath - assignment 2 - contemporary clusters

Aftermath A2 – Cluster presentions of contemporary art and its relationship with ‘Surrogates’

In the aftermath of my assignment work for part 2 and while searching for ‘Surrogates’ appropriations I came across a contemporary art practice. More and more I do see images online and in galleries and museums where pictures are hanging as grid, as cluster (more or less structured and presenting thus to the viewer a ‘meta-picture’ . The amount of…

Stefan513593- 2.0 - words for modern art

Part Two – Exercise 2.0: The Modern in Painting and Sculpture

Find two paintings and one sculpture, each of which appears concerned with modernity, modernism and modernization. Indicate the relevant features on annotated reproductions. The following questions should help. Does the subject seem to be of its time?  Does the work or its subject matter appear mechanical?   Does the artist exploit the look of the medium?   How hard it…

Part One – Exercise 1.5 Construction and Reality

Reflecting on Searle’s observation at the beginning of this chapter, how would you explain the difference between the construction of social reality and the social construction of reality? A question that turns my head. Feels like so semantically driven. To digest it, firstly I was wondering about the term ‘reality’ and how it is defined. Looking up in popular dictionaries:…

Part One – Exercise 1.4 Digital Art

What do you understand by the phrase ‘digital art’? List the possible meanings and indicate the one that you consider most viable. I have some subjective feelings and thoughts about this term as I am old enough to have personal experience with a less digital and internet  extended world. In general I could understand ‘digital’ quite technically as binary code versus…

Part One – Exercise 1.3 Art and Other Things

Before looking at the specific examples from the exercise I am wondering even more about What is Art?  Reading the course materials and some reference books it seems that art can not be defined accurately nowadays. Highly subjective and perhaps rather a social construction – an institutional fact as J. Searle would say, based on agreement, rules, and with an assigned status function of power…

Part One – Exercise 1.2 Theory or Not

Prior reflection: Before digging into the exercise I had to clarify for myself the base of differentiation of theory as such and theory based artwork. So what is theory in art? Or should I say theory of art interpretation? Should we differentiate science from social theory? Common theories are around social, feministic, or psychoanalytic interpretations. In the course material it is differentiated…

Stefan513593 - UVC 1.1 - Pareidolia - #1 - Bern, Switzerland

Part One – Exercise 1.1 Pareidolia

A) Look at the painting ‘The Eye of Silence‘ and see whether you can distinguish the intended from unintended faces. Which seem most ambiguous? The German born artist Max Ernst made the painting ‘The Eye of Silence‘ during World War II (1943-4) while living in exile in the USA. Ernst was one of surrealist artists who were influenced by S. Freud’s notion…

Part One – Exercise 1.0 The Construction of Social Reality

In his book ‘The Construction of Social Reality’ John Searle writes ‘There are portions of the real world, objective facts in the world, that are only facts by human agreement. In a sense there are things that exist only because we believe them to exist. … things like money, property, governments, and marriages. Yet many facts regarding these things are…