My Semester as Research

Art 610, Artist Reasearch, Uncategorized

For my final paper I plan on documenting my semester as the course of my research. I will be discussing the origin Pele’s curse and Og. I will also address the process and reasonings behind changes and decisions made in regards to the change from one form of animation to another and the evolution of the character Og. Along with the questions about white culture and appropriation.




Art 610, Artist Reasearch

As an anthropologist and an artist the areas of culture have been of interest to me, including the places where culture has been adopted and reappropriated from one culture into another. The current area of interest is the appropriation of aspects of Polynesian culture in the 1940’s and 1950’s by the United States. specifically the adaptation and the idealisation of the idea of the natives as being primitive and the landscape as being a paradise to escape the realities of daily life. Some of the questions that I have been asking are along the line of white culture and how, in the United States, it has become a sponge absorbing aspects of other cultures with a richer history. Could this be because the United States is so young in comparison to the other First world countries. Or could this be due to the inherent nature of the United States being a melting pot where the population is a mix of a multitude of ethnicities and family lines branching from various nations. Another aspect of interest is the creation of myth and the ways it is used to pass traditions and convey narratives.  My work is a way of being able to understand and further investigate some of these questions, in a similar way that other artists have used their crafts to deliver critiques on culture and society.

Anthropology has a long history of observing and reporting, beginning with the armchair anthropologist who mused on the finding s of explorers, to the revolutionary fieldworking anthropologists who wrote on first hand experience. it also has a longstanding tradition of carrying the ideas of Western Supremacy in its findings, and the concept of the primitive and primitivism. Those biases remained with anthropologie up until the 20th century, when the west began to look at the east, and the east began to look back, allowing for the western anthropologists to reflect on their methods and biases in their studies. The theories about the development of culture and the way people exist and operate in anthropologie can become an influential lense through which one looks and interprets activity and even provides a context for art; it also becomes a lens of looking at history and  everyday life.

Anthropology has adapted multiple forms of technology as a way of presenting their findings and information, from printed text, to photography, to audio and video, and now to animation and graphic novels. Anthropologists have taken to the web as a way of reaching a broader audience through web comics and infographics. these new tools have the added bonus of being a visual form of presentation with the addition of text as opposed to the standard and often wordy typed reports and essays. These info graphics and comics are a great way to demonstrate and aid in defining some of the more abstract concepts and ideas that are key to the development and holistic views that anthropology uses. So it is by no means a stretch in using animation as another way of making those ideas and concepts easier to grasp or even making them more palatable to the average viewer. The website Up Teaching Culture is a blog dedicated to the idea of building a community that expands the ways that anthropology is taught through new media. Infact, in early 2015, there was a short seven post blog series that was dedicated to the idea of using graphic novels as a  way of producing ethnographies. The method of using art as a way of informing anthropology, rather than anthropology,  is inline with the trend of infographics; Info graphics have been great tools for presenting a large amount of information in a simple and visually appealing manner.

While the media used may vary based on the artists backgrounds and specific intentions, there are three artists whose work is similar in context and its critique of modern culture; Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco, and Merav Tzur. These two artists used scientific and anthropological methods to create a discussion about culture, gaze, and Western Supremacy through various types of performance.

The work known as Undiscovered Amerindians Visit… ,1992-94 , in which the two artists –Gomez and Fusco– were locked in a cage for public viewing under the guise of a newly discovered tribe of Indians found in the Amazon. They would watch television, tell stories in a nonsensical language, be lead off to the restrooms on leashes by the two “translators” who were stationed outside the cage, and expose their genitals exchange for a donation.  This show toured internationally and globally and was often staged in museums and places of legitimate scientific findings, which would provide the viewer the safe context of being able to observe these human specimens. This work is largely about the idea of western supremacy and the history behind early colonialism, which is what rooted it in the manner allowed it to be viewed and in some ways acceptable in society. In Diana Taylor’s essay A Savage Performance:Guillermo Gomez-pena and Coco Fusco “Couple In A Cage”, she talks about the performers ideal viewer would have opened the cage, however the history of museum acquisition and curation provided a setting of separation and preservation.

Merav Tzur’s work The First Sighting of the Ego Monster,, was a source of inspiration for my own work. The work involves the  documentation of a created myth; the ego monster. In this piece the artists proved the existence of a creature  by providing samples of the smell, soil, and pieces of its torture machine. The creature, which was documented via video and audio recordings, spewes egotistical statements such as “I used to live in LA”, and “I’m a famous photographer” while prowling in what was referred to as the lower bottom.  Her work is largely inspired and based on Dante’s Inferno and the ideas of hell. The idea of the evidence and documentation being the primary portion of the work, was the primary influence in my own work. the creation of mythology in her work and the creation of science – through the Sara Grey Research Institute a faux scientific community that uses performance a as a   – is a trend she follows  through other works such as  Grafted Arboreous Sabius, Or A Failed Attempt To Propagate The Tree Of Knowledge, 2012, and the Spring Open House, 2012.

These works both tap into histories and sciences to root themselves and create a  ground for their presentation. and go further into topics that deal with social and cultural ideas and concepts. There are lessons and methods of application that can be drawn as sources of inspiration from the mentioned works. The delving into history as a root and method of solidifying the existence into the history of  humanity. The ability of root a work can be crucial in placing the viewer in the proper headspace to accept a work as being truthful when it is infact fictitious. Having the documentation, in the manner of dramatic reenactments, being the work  provides the artist with a flexibility and agian another way of showing truth.  My aim is to use some of the same tactics and methods of thought to explore my line of cultural research. Using mythology in place of history not only allows for the rooting but also elements of creation. These artists are the sources  of inspiration for my work and lines of questioning.

Works Cited

“Coco Fusco – Alexander Gray Associates.” Coco Fusco – Alexander Gray Associates. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.

“First Sightings of the Ego Monster (2009).” Merav Tzur. N.p., 26 Nov. 2014. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.

“Tag Archives: Graphic Adventures in Anthropology.” Teaching Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.

Taylor, Diana. “A Savage Performance.” JPLL InvestiGator Catalog. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.

Out line for the Research

Art 610, Artist Reasearch


what my work is – a critique of cultural appropriation as a way to develop a ‘cultural history’, specifically the idea of paradise  and a simplified style of living as being prefered to the reality of life in the united states.

reasoning and questions being asked with my work – looking at white culture, desire for paradise, the illusion of the “golden age thinking”,

segment of my artist statement?


graphic novels and origins

adaptations with technology


the anthropologists use of animation and graphic novels – new way of presenting ideas

use in analysing and representing culture

as a lense that can influence concept and context – how it influences my views and the difficulty i have separating the theories from the work

artists working with similar concepts and methods, inspiration

the primitive

picasso, desmoin – early use of primitivism

the creation of myth

merav tzur – the ego monster – source of inspiration and influence for my work and the presentation of evidence

using anthropologie as a cultural statement

undiscovered amerindians  visit london may 1992 – artists using art and performance as a critique of primitivistic and western superiority – artist creating a faux arch dig site to circumvent

New Mexico


a meshing of what i want my work to be with the mentioned artists and a restating of the questions i’m asking

Paper Topics

Art 511, Art 511 Cartography, Artist Reasearch

For my paper one of the possible topics of exploration is the history of the flaneur, and how s/he has changed throughout he years in his or her interactions with public spaces and their influence on urban development and planning. Who is the flaneur of today.

Another possible topic of exploration is the use of the urban environment and how it changes, not just in physical landscape but in demographic of its inhabitants. How do people change the space, how does the space change the people. and what happens when a space becomes unrecognizable.

The Artist as Cartographer

Art 511, Art 511 Cartography, Artist Reasearch

The reclaiming of the cartographic ties to the arts has been over due and the the recent works of sculptures, painters, and digital artists have been commandeering the maps.

Artists like Mathew Cusick have been using maps as a source of collage, and repurposing and reworking imagining the way a map can be used to represent a idea or concept.

Map Roadways by Matthew Cusick

Another artist that has begun reusing maps in his “3d drawings” is Chris Kenny, as Kenny puts it “he replaces ‘the cartographer’s logic with an absurd imaginative system”

3D Printing

Artist Reasearch

Jonty Hurwitz – Trust

Jonty Hurwitz used a scanner, model and 3D printer to make a reproduction, but not just any reproduction. He made microscopic reproductions of his models that were able to sit in the eye of a needle, or a pice of hair, and the head of an ant. the were so small he managed to lose them shortly after acquiring an electro microscope to photograph them. The 3D printer is used to push the limits of scale in human sculptures.

Julien Marie – <<Relief>>

Using a 3D printer Marie produces an animation of sorts depicting a man shoveling dirt. The project comprise eighty-five small printed sculptures on a clear plastic track and a light projector to create a film without using any film. this concept goes back to the idea of the zoetrope where a set of sculptures or images change gradually and with the application of strobe lighting or rapid switching between images the object appears to move. With this pice the use of a 3D printer is merely a means to producing the finished work known as <<Relief>>.

Robotic Artists

Artist Reasearch

The use of robotics has finally breached he scientific wall and ventured into the realm of art. the following two artists and their works show just how varied the use of robotics can be, from being the creators of the art to bing the apart of the final presentation, robotics is another tool artist can add to their creative arsenal.

Matthias Dörfelt – Robo Faber & Mechanical parts

Matthias has created a small bot that uses a fine-tipped sharpie and an algorithm to create art. The bot moves on two wheels and has a pen in the center that is raised and lowered according to the algorithm and series of functions it is carrying out. an interesting concept presented by Matthias is that these drawings produced by Robo Faber will be the same, and thirty years hence will represent the way he was thinking today; the bot will never improve or change its technique, it is essential frozen in its manner of reproduction.

Bot & Dolly – The Box

the other way that robotics are being used in the art world is in the presentation of the art. In The Box the robotic element is the “dancing” and the choreography between the projectors and the arms which are holding two blank, i repeat BLANK panels. The almost magical imagery shown is produced by the seamless moment of the arms and the projectors and the ability to communicate using the soft wear IRIS which was created by Bot & Dolly..

Culture Jamming

Artist Reasearch

culture jamming is more than a preservation movement. it it the act of signal interruption, taking a message, usually something commercial, political or public and using it to boost a message or cause. drawing on the gorilla girls as an example the use and appropriation of media and the strength that a small, like minded group, can have. by using a historical work of art, a symbol, and a quick hook the guerrilla girls were able to voice their cause.


in order to make a movement known all that is truly required, according to the article Empire of Signs, is a few people who think alike and a photocopier. what power lies in making an effort and speaking about a topic if that is all that is required. this is essential all that was used in the work “and Babies” a news quote and a photograph combined with the ability to reprint. the group even took advantage of the painting Guernica to make their message even more powerful by using its history and meaning.


the one thing that does not seem to fit is the idea of essentially graffitiing a billboard and calling it culture jamming. but this may be what the New York artist Banksy was doing whit his spray painted works. using the blank walls of buildings as a canvas to voice his social and political opinions. at what point does graffiti become art and what point is graffiti accepted?


Installing Plants

Artist Reasearch, Uncategorized

The concept of the living dead has long been of interest to people, often being expressed as zombies and vampires. However the 2000 installation by Marc Quinn known as Garden has brought that to life. This work is an enchanting garden full of plants, blooming at their peak, forever preserved in twenty-five tons of silicone. Their existence lies between the appearance of live and the halt of death. This work is not only visually stunning, it its a philosophical wonder, begging questions such as: at what point does the everyday become art? and When is the thing no longer a thing?

Pruned: Living Dead

Plants have many uses, they filter air and water, provide aesthetic beauty, nourishment, and now musical stylings. The mimosa plant, is a biological marvel, the slightest touch causes this ferny plant to close its leaves; much in the same way that sea anemones retract their appendages. Nina Tommasi’s Biological Instrumentation  takes the unique nature of the mimosa plant and combines it with pressurized air and electronic equipment to produce music you might find at an electronica dance rave. The one fascinating question that this work brings up is the natural algorithms of the word and how they could be taken to new applications.

Biological Instrumentation

the physical biology of plants is that they are un-movable once roots have been set, this is an evolutionary fact. However Fujihata Masaki and  Dogane Yujihave asked the question, “what if plant were capable of moving on their own” in pursuit of answering this question they created the installation Biological Ambulation Training, which involves reading the plants “brain waves” as they are moved three- dimensionally.

Biological Ambulation Training