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.
Edit* The reming time of the semester will be used to finish the key animation, redo the chewing animation, record audio for all animations, and hopefully animate and construct a projection background for the wall animation. The story of Og may be sidelined for the research paper as well as the wall projection depending on time.
Goals and ToDo’s for the rest of the semester:
A-Finish last two animations in Illustrator: Keys and Mirror (2 weeks)
B-Redo the Chewing animation in Illustrator (1 week)
C-Record audio for animation loops: crunching cables, walking, sliding, cracking, jangling, running and jumping. (1 week)
D-Paint canvases for projection : 2 @ 24″x36″ (1 week)
E-Print large poster(1 Week)
F-Begin work on Wall Animation using a ball, pure data as the projection software (? weeks)
G-Build bass relief for wall animation: cardboard panels and paper mace, painted white. (2 weeks)
H-Refine and smooth out animations (time allowing)
J-Write the story of Og
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.
“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.
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
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
a meshing of what i want my work to be with the mentioned artists and a restating of the questions i’m asking
This is my current plan for installing my works where there will be two animations playing at a time–wallet and mirror, and then key and chewing– projected onto painted canvas, and a larger projected image of tiki Og against the long wall. The animations projected on canvas will run on a loop for a few minuets, and then stop, with a fifth projection of ogg jumping from one side of the room moving across to the other, interacting with three dimensional objects; boxes, tubes.
Using a combination of traditional and digital media, I explore animation and the ideas of white culture and its use of cultural appropriation. The Character Og is a figure to be associated with the Hawaiian goddess Pele and her mythical curse. He is a spirit who’s duty is to possess any piece of stolen stone or rock and bring out Pele’s wrath in the form of distraction and bad luck. Throughout the piece Og can be seen in these instances of misfortune where he attacks items that are commonly associated with an individuals identity.
The media used to accomplish this piece includes color pencil, graphite, oil paints on canvas, and digital software. The finished images are rendered into short animated clips that are meant to be projected onto painted canvas, with additional digitally created images. A further goal is to have an additional animation that when displayed through projection seems to interact with three-dimensional objects.
The common theme of identity and its place in the investigation of what white culture is in the United States, and how the melting pot has been flavored with a variety of cultures; and how those cultures have been reformed through commercial capitalism and pop culture. This can be seen specifically thought the adaption of the Polynesian culture in the 40’s and 50’s with tiki culture.
The process of developing Og, and finding how he fits into the concept of culture and the appropriation of culture has led to questions of “why”; why does cultural appropriation happen, why –in my experience– is the act of cultural appropriation completed by white americans. Is it the lacking of a visible white culture, or the lack of a strong rooted tradition in the US. Is that why so much of eastern cultures (Polynesian) have been turned into novelty and commercialized items.
These are just questions I have begun asking.
Cartography is a subject that has struggled against the test of time, yet continues to fight for its standing among the arts. With its origins starting around the same period of recorded history, continuing to modern times and its use by the public at large. The usefulness of maps has also changed. What was once used as a means of charting, categorizing, exploring and dominating new and uncharted lands, has undergone many changes. these changes have not only been to the formatting of maps and the process used in their development, but also in the context, purpose and subjects.
Ironically maps lost their place in the rapidly changing world for a few decades, it was the creation and development of the Global Positioning Systems brought maps into the new age. The purpose of these new maps is to do what maps do best, identify a destination, and demonstrate the best rout to that location. And while the function of these maps have remained the same, the way they are now manifested is drastically different. What was once a sheet of paper, or a book is now a few bites of memory, or a portable screen, capable of changing what is displayed and identifying the current location of the individual. These maps also posses the ability to change in scale and show anything between the world as a whole or the view of a small town or city, they are even able to show the streets as the individual may see them upon their arrival. These maps also have changed in what is being mapped, ranging from nations, locations, and buildings, to figures, statistics, and thoughts. These new maps are used by such a wide range of peoples, for such a broad range of purposes. Companies may use them for the purpose of showing sales, those in the medical profession may use them to show the rise and decline in the health of a patient. Students use them to map out time and their educational careers when looking to select classes.
What’s truly changed is not the map itself, but the idea of the map. truly everything, and every aspect of life can be represented on a map. Cartography has always been saddled between the realms of Art and Science, and the discussion about the direct placement of cartography began during the enlightenment period. it can be argued that the primary placement of maps should be placed in the field of the sciences, as maps are considered to be the product of facts, and solid information, while the arts –in general–tend to be concerned with the visual aesthetics of a product. Early maps utilised both aspects producing visually alluring and informative products that while capable of providing an immense amount of information by the use of keys and symbols, were descriptive in physical the forms of a location. However as the sciences began to progress into further development and hold greater prominence in society the maps began to lose some of their artistic characteristics, such as the scrawling calligraphy, representations of myth and monster, and the frivolous decor that can only be made meaningful through theorisation or an in depth knowledge of history of the time, and both the place the map was made of and came from.
While practical cartography and map making lost interest in the aesthetic values that were instilled by the arts, the arts did not lose interest in mapping. From the Avant-garde, the Surrealists, to Pop and Conceptual art, cartography has not only been a tool in the production of arts, but a subject of study as well. It has been a tool in the process of creation, such as with gridding, and the use of viewfinders, as an element of study, with aerial photography and collage, and a means of exploring and developing concepts that lay at the boundaries of art. Artist who currently explore the field of cartography use it as a means of mapping out concepts and ideas that sit in the realm of the abstract rather than the physical and concrete; such concepts as time, memory, and change. Mapping has gone from representing the physical to the abstract.
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.
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”