Monday, May 5, 2008

Ross' Statement

When I make something, I'm always intent on the experience it will deliver. To me the reactions and emotions that come out of a happening are fundamentally crucial to the entire process and development of an idea. These reactions not only evaluate the work(or concept) they also give an opportunity to learn and experience something new and exciting. These are the principles behind a quote by John Lathram III: "If it doesn't piss you off or make you feel anything, it's not art". To this day I constantly reflect on these words as a guide to my own work.

Norman's Statement

Blue. Red. Green. Three colors we are all familiar with. Not only are we familiar with them but also we are familiar with what they may represent:
Blue – The sky, the sea, sadness, coldness.
Red – Fire, blood, warmth, passion.
Green – Nature, money, envy, hope.
Instead of these meaning these colors were primarily the symbols of the three political parties back home in Puerto Rico. For me this combination of the colors simply represented politics. What I find fascinating about this is that as our experiences determine how we interpret objects their meaning is transformed depending on who is observing.
My art then is an attempt to understanding situations with multiple meaning behind an object, image or idea. One of my artworks that dealt with this was the video Path to Enlightenment. I was inspired to work on this piece when I started to learn about Buddhist artwork and architecture. I learned that although the objects or images used might seem simple in form they could be interpreted in many number of ways. One of the structures that exemplified this was the Stupa, which was a building used as a reliquary for the purpose of preserving relics so that a practitioner could visit the structure and be spiritually enlightened by it. This video was my attempt at trying to show in a different form (computer animation) the depth of meaning that could be read by observing one of these structures. One of the ways of interpreting a stupa is by looking at what each of the levels of the structure represents. The video used a combination of computer animations and still images to express the meaning of these symbols.
I want my artwork to show how a single object can have meanings that we cannot grasp at first glance. I want it to show that when it comes sown to the images we see, their meaning goes beyond what we can interpret from our own experiences. I want to let people grasp what they take no notice of.

Hannah's Statement

“It’s important to abolish the unconscious dogmatism that makes people think their way of looking at reality is the only sane way of viewing the world. My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone,but agnosticism about everything.”

Robert Anton Wilson, quoted above, puts into words a motivation that I have had since mid-adolescence. It was then that I began to actively explore the possibilities of other realities and in turn my own perception began to shift dramatically. As a result, I generally feel that in our ‘age of certainty’, there remains much to discover.

I believe in believing in things that cannot be proven, and as I thought of the Robert Anton Wilson quote above, I noted that the educated flaunt an accumulation of information regarding general things such as trees, and roads, light, color and people. Every day we strive to confirm our beliefs of the hows and whats of our world’s content. Herein lies, for me, the broader goal in art making. I have always felt that art is the most potent tool for translating the challenging and significant content of the world – therefore I assume the responsibility of the maker, with high hopes of propelling our community into a future of radiant possibility.

A statement

Art is all about emotion and the portrayal of feelings. It puts what cannot be easily explained into images, sounds, or other forms and it creates a meaning about it. Since its meaning can be interpreted differently by different people, what is being felt by the artist may or may not get through to the viewer.

As an artist, I must develop an emotion towards my work of art and it is also my job to depict that emotion in a way that is acceptable and easily read by whoever sees it. Even though my reaction towards the piece may vary from viewers’ there can still be some sort of meaning derived from it. With video as a medium, there are several different ways to help convey these emotions: music, mise-en-scene, etc., with which to make the experience more full and that is the reason I am drawn to video.

Through art, it is my goal to provide the viewer with an experience that can be analyzed and interpreted in many different ways.

Sam's Statement

I always attempt to represent concepts and emotions as faithfully as possible from where they began in my mind. Of course, things do evolve during the process and I embrace change wholeheartedly if it works, but there's always a beginning, an amorphous ether of musings over idealized notions which ask to be reformed in a novel way and presented as art. I always want to explore the architecture of my psyche – a crossroads of memory, culture, philosophy (e.g. existentialism), the unknown, etc.

The process of conception becomes one of translation, extraction, and selection, to create a dialogue between the conscious world and the oft neglected "not-so-conscious" world – an intangible place of truths that I believe dictate all the goings-on in this world quite invisibly. It is a way of using the senses as a vehicle to stimulate or reawaken subconscious debris, and hopefully promote a reevaluation of the imposing mores established by a conditioned culture.

Inevitably, I want the final product to always be something stark, be that in its rawness, levity, darkness, presence, or sense of meditation. I want to hit a core in the same way I've seen some of my favorite artists do. The core is a place that, when revealed, leaves a permanent impression on people, not because of shock value or satiation of art world standards, but because of the unassuming power of realness.

Jon's Statement

The work stems with the wonderment of childhood. Growing up in an urban environment gave me a deep appreciation of nature when I first encountered it. One of the first family trips I remember was going to the botanical garden, and seeing the explosion of color in the springtime. It was also in the fifth grade when I went to an overnight camping trip where I came face to face with it. Unbridled nature, left on its own, an environment teeming with life. My friends and I had this sense of awe mixed with a dose of fear of the mysterious unknown we might encounter lurking in the woods. As an artist I observe how biological forms use mechanisms to propagate. Some examples are how plants encase its reproductive seed in layers of sheathing, patterns found in rice fields on steeped hills, and the gills of mushrooms capture my curiosity and become a striking tapestry to me. These desires that are evoked in nature influence my making. I want to also ask the viewer to look at their surroundings once again and question the way we perceive the world around us. What is this attraction that makes me want to decode or make sense of the way nature speaks in the way it grows.

In making sense of our world we look for visual cues that are familiar to us. Part of my curiosity in looking at patterns found in biology is unveiling the layers of information contained in it. My work looks at how nature is constructed from many parts that make a whole. I am interested at how this structure is dynamic and influenced by its various segments that dictate its form. The work has mathematical principles at work in the way nature grows and the mesmerizing rhythmic repetition. These progress in an algorithm that is inherent in its reproduction, forming a unified system of biological patterning.

What is the seduction of nature that causes us to stop and investigate? There is this odd attraction with the haphazard that we cannot encapsulate yet we attempt to do so. Our brain leans towards order and guides us to perceive the world to make sense of it. By this reason we are beholden to nature because it is infinity within our realm of experience. We seek out its mysteries because it gives us a look into the eternal as life continues to perpetuate itself.

Jessie's Statement

I call myself an artist because I love to visually show people the way that I see things. To me scenery, story, and emotion are present in everything at all times. Each one tells a piece of the other. However, I've never been great at painting or sculpting. I've never been really into music or poetry. I have found in making videos a way to tell a story the way I wanted it to be told, or a way to show a picture the way that I want it to unfold. In doing this over the past couple of years I'm able to watch myself grow as an artist. I have an obsession with color. It's not just bright color, but mixing colors or losing colors. As an artist I have chosen to make my work represent something people can relate to. If it pulls them away from themselves, there's got to be a small feeling of understanding left. With art you can mix light, sound, smell, touch, and story where it wouldn't be found usually. I believe that's what draws most people to art of all kinds.

Jeff's Statement

My approach to creating artwork usually involves three main aspects: perception, transparency & contradiction. I try not to plan outcomes, rather I prefer instead to think of art like a puzzle. I take my ideas and materials and ask them to interact. I am interested in these relationships and how they may be perceived by the viewer. I try to merge and layer these connections or disconnections to illustrate relationships. I am interested more in the before and after of the art. I consider my art to be residual, left behind or only part of the narrative. I find the relationship between man and environment peaks my interest the most. I am interested in the images that result from a human hand that will forever after battle with the natural elements for artistic dominance. It is that middle point, where it is unclear whether a brush or rusting metals that produced those strokes. Are we harnessing these elements of the natural environment or is it vice versa? Is there a message there in those images? I'm also starting to think more about time; duration, schedules and routines. Is there some grand cycle that we all are influenced by? Does this occur consciously or subconsciously? Many times my work involves repetitions of ideas, actions and materials. I try to understand the relationships between art of the past and the art of the present. Is there any difference? Are we repeating the same concepts and ideas, only through different mediums? Has everything already be done before? What is new? Sometimes the questions are more important than the answers. Questions cannot be right or wrong.