Tuesday, June 21, 2016

REDO: Preppy, People & Punk

ANARCHY: a state of disorder due to acscence or non-recognition of authority (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anarchy). The punk rock movement in the seventies was an absolute rejection of mainstream crass culture and its values. Much of the movement focused on non-conformity, anti-establishment, anti-authoritarianism and free thought. Having never publicly speak about my beliefs, I was drawn to the rebellion of this time but was most intrigued by the fashion that developed with this time and the beliefs. Fashion has been a center point of my life and I appreciate The Sex Pistols use of fashion to express their views and draw people closer to message they were trying to portray through their music. Honestly, this picture is ironic. For starters, Paul Cook, the drummer for the band, is wearing a shirt with the United Kingdom flag. In America, it is easily assumed that when someone is wearing the American flag printed on the shirt, that that person is a patriotic person and is supporting their country. I know in Professor Makey's class, we discussed the importance of flags in England and the United Kingdom and that they are used to display territory dominance in that area. By wearing a shirt with the UK flag on it, it sends the message that the music that he is playing, comes from the whole United Kingdom. Furthermore, it allows someone to interpret that the Punk Movement was not just a phase but more of a lifestyle for many people.

My favorite part of the exhibit was this shirt that had a picture of breasts. I liked this shirt because their outrageous style, rebellious attitude and complete disregard of any authority captivated the youth of London, if we took inspiration from the sex pistols attitude we could take more risks step outside the box and create a unique and daring final piece. Additionally, many of their album covers and posters were similarly bold. The bright use of color, rough sketchy text, collage effect photos and messy paint splodges create a very eye catching image everything about it just screams punk, we could think about adding some of these effects in on our final images.

Okay, so how would you describe your fashion sense? When asked this question, I tend to respond with my fashion is preppy, casual or easy going. My fashion sense is greatly influence today by the community I am living in, the people I am spending time with, what I see in the media and the music that I listen to. Up until the age twelve, my mom planned out all my outfits and styled my hair. I did not wear makeup and I just trusted her (like I had a choice). It was when I turned thirteen that I was (finally) given the responsibility to dress myself and do my hair. My mom also bought me some eyeliner, mascara and loose powder foundation to allow me to start wearing make and achieve a natural look. Unfortunately (read:by the good grace of God), I was unable to find any pictures of me from the time but I will paint you a word picture. I wore grey skinny jeans that were fastened by a black and white checkered belt that proudly displayed Vans on the buckle. I fashioned a “Fall Out Boy” or “Blink 182” band t-shirt, even though I never went to one of their concerts. Every day I sports a pair of once pearly white slip-on Vans that faded into a smoggy grey. The cherry on top to my most fashionable ensemble was my eyeliner that covered at least half of my eyelid and my hair that was fried to the roots from being straightened for an hour every day. This 'lovely' time in my life was influed by three things in my life; my friends, music and puberty.

Culture can and will always have a huge influence on the youth. The Sex Pistols created an uproar that had a lasting impact on the world and how people define who they are.



ORIGINAL:
Okay, so how would you describe your fashion sense? When asked this question, I tend to respond with my fashion is preppy, casual or easy going. My fashion sense is greatly influence today by the community I am living in, the people I am spending time with, what I see in the media and the music that I listen to. Up until the age twelve, my mom planned out all my outfits and styled my hair. I did not wear makeup and I just trusted her (like I had a choice). It was when I turned thirteen that I was (finally) given the responsibility to dress myself and do my hair. My mom also bought me some eyeliner, mascara and loose powder foundation to allow me to start wearing make and achieve a natural look. Unfortunately (read:by the good grace of God), I was unable to find any pictures of me from the time but I will paint you a word picture. I wore grey skinny jeans that were fastened by a black and white checkered belt that proudly displayed Vans on the buckle. I fashioned a “Fall Out Boy” or “Blink 182” band t-shirt, even though I never went to one of their concerts. Every day I sports a pair of once pearly white slip-on Vans that faded into a smoggy grey. The cherry on top to my most fashionable ensemble was my eyeliner that covered at least half of my eyelid and my hair that was fried to the roots from being straightened for an hour every day. This 'lovely' time in my life was influed by three things in my life; my friends, music and puberty.

My friends have always had a huge influence on my life. In middle school (where I know all people have peaked), it was the “cool” thing to be, what we called, punk. My friends and I enjoyed listening to bands that fell under the alternative category and enjoyed the occasional screamo, my favorite being A Day to Remember. This was not who I was but this is who my friends were so of course I gave it a try. I thrashed my head a little and tried to 'scream'. We were influenced by the attired of the lead singers in our favorite bands and hoped that our parents would not yell at us when we asked for another t-shirt that looked like all the rest or purposely put a hole in our jeans.  This was who I wanted to be, but this was not me. My poor family was dealing with the Tiffani that ply cared about my friends, only ever took my headphones out to take a shower and was yelling at my family for every little thing they did and say to me. I have always been the preppy girl who loved pink, played sports more for the social aspect and shopping was more of a passion than a choir. But looking back on it, it showed me how much music can reflect on to a group of people, and that was what the punk movement was about. I was a state of disorder.


ANARCHY: a state of disorder due to acscence or non-recognition of authority (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anarchy). The punk rock movement in the seventies was an absolute rejection of mainstream crass culture and its values. Much of the movement focused on non-conformity, anti-establishment, anti-authoritarianism and free thought. Having never publicly speak about my beliefs, I was drawn to the rebellion of this time but was most intrigued by the fashion that developed with this time and the beliefs. Fashion has been a center point of my life and I appreciate The Sex Pistols use of fashion to express their views and draw people closer to message they were trying to portray through their music. Honestly, this picture is ironic. For starters, Paul Cook, the drummer for the band, is wearing a shirt with the United Kingdom flag. In America, it is easily assumed that when someone is wearing the American flag printed on the shirt, that that person is a patriotic person and is supporting their country. I know in Professor Makey's class, we discussed the importance of flags in England and the United Kingdom and that they are used to display territory dominance in that area. By wearing a shirt with the UK flag on it, it sends the message that the music that he is playing, comes from the whole United Kingdom. Furthermore, it allows someone to interpret that the Punk Movement was not just a phase but more of a lifestyle for many people.

REDO: AntenAYE

AntenAYE

          After a long and well needed 10 hours of sleep I was excited for the first day of actually exploring London and seeing what the city held. While it was our second night in London, we attended one of The Lates at the London Natural History Museum, I was first excited about being able to drink while in the museum (sorry mom) and being able to be a little kid and make my own pair of antennae and be a beautiful butterfly. As I wrote this sentence, I just laughed to myself because I just realized that I wanted to act like an adult but also act like a child ... AGH!!! I mean, nothing more screams adult hood than a nineteen year old drinking a mojito and attaching hot pink and royal blue pipe cleaners to reflect realistic antennae to a headband, am I right?  
          
          One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly is the differences in the antennae. A butterfly's antennae are shaped almost like a golf club, they have a long shaft and a distinct bulb at the end. Moth's antennae resemble closer to a feather and are more saw-edged. 

          We were supposed to focus on being an outsider while at the museum. The aspect about myself and everyone else who came along on this trip was that we are loud. I tried so hard to listen to people's conversations but I could not hear a word other people were saying. People in London are a lot more quiet than people in the United States. Upon trying to find the answer as to why Americans are much louder, a Huffington post talked about how people, focusing on Americans, tend to not be aware of their surroundings and stems from our culture. "American culture emphasises the individual, and that connotes the uniqueness of each person. Because each person is unique, they have unique opinions and thoughts. So in order to have such unique interests represented, speaking your mind and speaking up are very important." This made me laugh in the aspect that, as we grow up, our parents, coaches, teachers are constantly telling us that we are unique and have the potential to reach greatness. Similar to the butterflies and moths, each have their own unique qualities that allow for people to differentiate who they are. It was not until I went to the museum that I learned about these differences. Maybe London will teach me something about myself about staying humble and calm. Im excited to observe these next few weeks and see what London has to offer!

Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/laura-bui/why-americans-abroad-are-loud-obnoxious_b_3265034.html

UPDATE: London taught me so many things that I would have never learned about myself back in San Diego. Thanks for an awesome trip, Bill!

ORIGINAL:
 After a long and well needed 10 hours of sleep I was excited for the first day of actually exploring London and seeing what the city held. While it was our second night in London, we attended one of The Lates at the London Natural History Museum that night, I was first excited about being able to drink while in the museum (sorry mom) and being able to be a little kid and make my own pair of antennae and be a beautiful butterfly. As I wrote this sentence, I just laughed to myself because I just realized that I wanted to act like an adult but also act like a child ... AGH!!! I mean, nothing more screams adult hood than a nineteen year old drinking a mojito and attaching hot pink and royal blue pipe cleaners to reflect realistic antennae to a headband, am I right?  
          
          I did, however, learn that one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly is the differences in the antennae. A butterfly's antennae are shaped almost like a golf club, they have a long shaft and a distinct bulb at the end. Moth's antennae resemble closer to a feather and are more saw-edged. 

          I know we were supposed to focus on being an outsider while at the museum but I could not make myself feel like I did not belong there. I tried so hard to listen to people's conversations but I could not hear a word other people were saying. People in London are a lot more quiet than people in California. I tried to find things that made me feel different. It was difficult to go so out of my way to try and find things that made me uncomfortable and feel like I did not belonged. I was born in California, grew up in California and have continued my studies in California. You would think that I would have felt so out of place with having little diversity in the community where I have spent so much of my life. Additionally, San Diego State made sure that they warned us with all these stories they told us before our trip of people leaving two days . I had all these expectations when I first got to London that I would feel lost. Well, besides actually getting lost in the airport and somehow ending up fifteen minutes south of Hyde Park on my first day here, I have yet to feel lost in this big, beautiful city. Going to The Lates did not make me feel as if I was an outsider. I almost felt like I was at home because I was able to look at bugs that I saw in California, look at the tectonic plate that caused the earthquakes that gave me nightmares as a child and craft like I would for my sorority back at state. Although there are many aspects of London that are different from San Diego State and my home time, I am excited to find aspects that make me feel at home.

Stonehenge

According to Merriam Webster, ruins means the remaining pieces of something that was destroyed. Whenever I hear the word 'ruin', I always think of ancient land that is no longer in tact but artifacts were left behind. With those artifacts, archeologists are able to assess what the site used to be, what it was used for and who lived there. Visiting a public artifact, like Bathes and Stonehenge, was truly a privilege. Focusing on Stonehenge, I was baffled in its presence and how it defied how I defined "ruins".

The earliest structures known in the immediate area are four or five pits, three of which appear to have held large pine ‘totem-pole like’ posts erected in the Mesolithic period, between 8500 and 7000 BC. Nobody knows if these are relevant to Stonehenge. n about 2500 BC the stones were set up in the centre of the monument. Two types of stone are used at Stonehenge – the larger sarsens and the smaller ‘bluestones. These made up in the inner horseshoe and outer circle.

Being a tourist, I was in awe as to how the stones were preserved, untouched and maintained for thousands of years, especially when in 1897, the area became a training area for the British military. Stonehenge impacts the way society thinks about the past. Much of society, when they think of those who lived before us, were not intelligent. Honestly, it is quite the opposite. Although we do not completely understand the purpose of these stones, researchers are able to interpret that stone signifies death and this may had been a sacred burial ground. Another theory proposes that the monument’s entrance faces the rising sun on the day of the summer solstice. For many, this orientation suggests that ancient astronomers may have used Stonehenge as a kind of solar calendar to track the movement of the sun and moon and mark the changing seasons. These two theories display their intelligence.

As for the present, Stonehenge has impacted England and the rest of the world with the mystery of what these stones were truly for. Reading through many sites, so many state that they have the interpretation that has been accepted by many. Well, how many is many? Stonehenge impact on the world today is that we do not have an answer. Not having an answer for something in today's time is crazy considering the amount of technology that has developed and will only further drive people to find answers.

In the future, in the search for the answer of what Stonehenge was truly designed for, will have a huge impact on history and technology. The Smithsonian wrote about a man, Vince Gaffney. Gaffney's greatest research effort, the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, is a four-year collaboration between a British team and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Austria that has produced the first detailed underground survey of the area surrounding Stonehenge, totaling more than four square miles. This astonishing research affects the future in the development of technology and will only lead to greater achievements.


Sources:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ruin
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/history/#footnote-1
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/what-lies-beneath-Stonehenge-180952437/?no-ist
http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/why-was-stonehenge-built

Sensory Overload

Review- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Based on Mark Haddon's novel on a boy with Asperger's syndrome, Simon Stephen's adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time configures Christopher's book into a school play. The metatextuality transforms the audience in a daze of entertainment as we learn about Christopher and ourselves. Christopher is a teenage mathematician with some behavioral difficulties remains a fixation of uncontrolled wonder.

Christopher repeats that he can only tell the truth. Christopher states "And this shows that sometimes people want to be stupid and they do not want to know the truth" while in pursuit for discovering who killed Mrs. Shears' dog. The irony of Christopher's actions and words lead to discovering that adults lie to each other, to children and to themselves to protect themselves from the truth of the world. 

High tech and high quality, Bunny Christie's design allows for an awe-inspiring and intimate performance due to her huge mathematical grid ser flaring with life. Maps, cities, trains, constellations, math, drawings, lights - Christopher's mind are pumped into something so exhilarating it brings a sense of uncomfortability that is memorizing. Equally, the tragedy of a torn up family due to Christopher's condition becomes clear through the messiness of the parents' lives as they have a child who cannot be touched.

The wonderous strange workings of Christopher's mind, an internal process, became an external experience that I was able to experience through this brilliant adaptation. The adaptation of Haddon's unconventional bestseller became alive. Depicting the world through Christopher's eyes, the world is intimidating, exciting and overwhelming, depicting that he is a hero.


Format and Review Inspired by: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2013/mar/13/curious-incident-dog-night-time-review

Photos of Jess and I are the Queen's Birthday

We watched from the park where the parade ended so it was cool to see the end and everybody so relaxed.

The Grandeur and Elegance of England

One may not be a fan or natural history or of art, but London's Natural History Museum has a way of taking one's breathe away, as does the grandeur of England.  It is emotional to write about an earlier experience at the Natural History Museum after a variety of life changing events from viewing "Gilda" to standing at the same time in the Eastern and Western Hemisphere in Greenwich, to the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition UNDRESSED: A Brief History of Underwear, to the Windsor Castle and walking "The long Walk" of Windsor Great Park.

The lightening may capture one's eye in the London's Natural History Museum. Attending exhibitions of massive, size, scale and detail in the evening with a ceiling above to be looked at and appreciated in awe. The exterior structure built in 1881 commands grandeur. To be a simple person of a simple background and stand inside a place with such rich history with over 80 million items from entomology to zoology may inspire in one their own feeling of elegance, as if this place as well as the ones listed above and many others are inviting the visitors in as part of their history, part of their play as we as the individuals who walk these grounds and experience these sights are now more grand and elegant in our mind, body and souls as a result of engaging with them. I stood with specimens collected by Charles Darwin. How many Americans can say such a thing and realize the magnitude of appreciation they should have for such an experience?

Gilda was exciting and thrilling for millions of people.  Her attire, personal looks and attitude could be described as grand and elegant. Her hair was always perfect in that film. It was classy and styled. Her clothing was fitted (tailored) and made her look distinguished and painfully sexy at the same time. Her comments were witty and smart. In my mind, she represents the grandeur and elegance of women that so few know how to carry and handle. She wielded that opulence with power and fire. She was fierce, determined, brilliant and never lost her femininity. Although she was only 5 feet 6 inches she stood and left a legend that was 100 feet tall. Although she was not from England, she is known here in my "tube talks" of London and throughout the world.

Greenwich displays the grandeur and elegance of the prior British Naval Academy (The U.S. version of Annapolis), the amazement of standing in 2 hemispheres at the same time, and the natural grandeur of one of thousands of England's green, lush parks. Standing in the places were great gentlemen were molded, formed and prepared for battle is powerful and humbling. Grandeur and elegance require at most times, hard work, and that is exactly what those men did who passed through those grounds. It reminds one of our own U.S. military and our veterans, who in my mind, regardless of race, color, creed or ethnicity have stood, worked, struggled and died for the grandeur and elegance I see in America but feel here in England.

"Undressed, " from Swarovski crystal on bras and underwear to "Dinner pyjamas" in long black, smooth, sensual, provocative but elegant black velvet. Black velvet can be elegant and grand in England, but also sexy and intriguing on the London tube creating lasting memories for some...

Windsor Castle is one of the world's greatest testaments to grandeur and elegance. The grounds are meticulously manicured surrounded by brilliant colors of the most exotic flowers. The history associated with St. George's Hall is one of the greatest one can hear. The detail, ornate ceiling made of hundreds of crests and stately meals where the plates and glasses are actually measured in distance from one another for official dining at a marvelous dinner table where the most distinguished an historical figures of history sat there and dined from the most exquisite dinner plates and glasses seen in the world. Even Hitler himself would not bomb this castle as it is rumored he wanted to make it his own personal residence.

"The Long Walk" of Windsor was everything that is grand and elegant in my mind. There are no words to describe it. It ended with a full moon and hundreds of dear clearing the path as a friend of mine and I walked to an elegant train station with an sophisticated, posh bar and restaurant steps away from the train. My deepest gratitude to England and my professors here for making me for the 1st time in my life feel grand and elegant in a way I have never felt before....it will ALWAYS be remembered and cherished...

PS Pictures to follow when my phone is fixed :)

*rewrite* staying up late at lates

Museums in the United States are quiet, personal experiences. If we have shared experiences, they tend to only happen during group tours during a question and answer session. So it was to my great surprise to see chatting encouraged at the Natural History Museum "Lates" event. Many small group clusters congregated around the bar, chatting and laughing amongst their friends. There was a musician in the corner playing music for others eating in a makeshift dining area. It was baffling to me to see that this grand, expansive museum essentially turned into a backdrop for a restaurant bar. Baffling, sure, but also exciting at the prospect of the forbidden. Not only was eating and drinking encouraged, but it seemed as if the organizers of this event genuinely wanted patrons to enjoy themselves in a fun social way rather than an educational way normally experienced. While out of my normal realm, it was easy to assimilate to this culture and become part of the spectacle.
 

In between imbibing and looking at the exhibits, I did manage to make a few observations during the outing. First, it seems like the British are "less precious" with their artifacts than in the States. While there were some encased in glass, more artifacts were out in the open, just an arms length away. Second, the British patrons who I encountered were just as obsessed with being part of "the scene" as Americans are. Every few feet, I saw snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook open with pictures and videos being posted. Although I'm finding the stereotype that British people are more reserved to be absolutely true, it is nice to see social media documentation cross all cultures and borders.

Lastly, I noticed an abnormally high amount of children at the event. While it seems like The Natural History Museum is geared towards children with their child friendly exhibits, I didn't expect to see as many as I did. With the inclusion of alcohol, I expected mostly adults, but it was nice to see the kids were as enthusiastic--if not more so--than the adults. Who knows, maybe it was just because they were up past their bedtime.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Review


Having seen countless theater productions in college and university, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, was the first production that I've seen outside of school. Based on Mark Haddon's novel by the same name, the theater adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time follows Christopher, a 15-year old boy living with Asperger's Syndrome. While investigating the death of the neighbor's dog, Christopher unravels secrets about his own family which lead him to depart on a trip to London.

The set design of the play at first seems odd and uninspired; just a grid patterned box. That is of course, until the lights go down because once they do the possibilities are endless. Design, sound, lighting and projections come together beautifully and work perfectly in conveying the plot and also projecting what is on Christopher's mind. All of these elements come together at certain parts in the play and overload the audience much in the same way an autistic child might see the world around them. Despite the imagery projected all over the stage, the play begs the audience to use their imagination since there are very little props as compared to other plays. Plain boxes are used as dinner table chairs, benches, and train seats. Additionally, the lack of big props allow the actors use the stage space in very unique ways. At one point, Christopher floats through outer space, carried by fellow actors of course. He later walks on the wall in very much the same way.

The play focuses on the way family members often lie to each other for various reasons and the complications of parenting. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a must-see production for its unique representation of autism on-stage.

    

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2013/mar/13/curious-incident-dog-night-time-review

*rewrite* St. Paul's

St. Paul's Cathedral was the most overwhelming cinetrek thus far, every detail in this church is one of extreme thoughtfulness and precision. As we approached the church, I thought about Barthes' mythology of a wrestler. He argues that the audience at a wrestling match knows what is going to happen before the action takes place because of the signs and signals the wrestler gives. "...wrestling is a sum of spectacles of which no single one is a function: each moment imposes the total knowledge of a passion which rises erect and alone..."(Barthes 14). St. Paul's has these signals as well. Walking out of the tube around 11, I could already hear the church bells. Like Barthes' wrestler, these bells are a signifier for the congregation. Once these bells sound, services start and the congregants make their way to church. While bell signals are not necessary anymore, (we all have reliable ways to tell time) the bells still ring before services begin because that's what is expected of the church.

Before mass began, most congregants sat quietly with their heads bowed and eyes closed. Taking a moment of prayerful reflection before mass allows them to prepare themselves mentally and spiritually. If they attend mass regularly, this will no doubt be a ritual they do weekly. Likewise, when the organist played his opening notes, the whole congregation stood up as the priests, choir, and altar boys and girl made their way through the church. Like the bells, the opening hymn signals the congregation to stand up and welcome the procession. 

Signs like this were rampant before, during, and after the mass. These signs and signifiers allow worshippers from around the world--who have never stepped foot in St. Paul's--be able to assimilate, participate, and successfully worship at this particular service. It helped me recite the Nicene Creed, make peace with my neighbors, and properly display my hands (right over left, of course!) when receiving communion even though it's been years since I've been to church. All of these ceremonial displays are signals for us, the spectators. While religion is way more nuanced than this, and I am not belittling the tradition and active participation needed, it is interesting to look at religious services through this lens. I enjoyed doing just that at St. Paul's.

Oxford


         Growing up on the West Cost of the United States I was taught very little about Oxford University, I had only herd of it from movies and from my eldest cousin who took a semester off from Brown University to study in Oxford. The tour alone taught me so much about the school and reminded me how little I knew about it. Comparing the oxford campus to that of the University of Nevada or even San Diego State, is so mind boggling, why are we so impressed with their buildings? What really makes them that special? The architecture that was shown during the tour was marvelous, so different than anything most of us are used to. Attending the University of Nevada, I truly thought I had a beautiful campus, that was the main reasons I attended the university. I was so drawn to the campus. Every building is either made of red bricks or glass. United States praises universities that are made of red bricks not concrete which is so senseless. The oxford campus is more than just gorgeous it is historical, the buildings are rather old, yet we are still taught all about the architecture and builders. It isn’t just a building that holds classes, it is quite remarkable to witness how much the history of the school is appreciated. The building that struck me the most was the second building in the school that Professor John Makey spoke about to us. We were standing in what I presume to be a court yard, with the Clarendon Building right behind us, which was under construction. The building in front of us, the one I was so drawn to was called the Bodleian library. It had minute little faces all around the top of the building, and on the roof there were these very gothic all posts that had like pointless spikes. The faces at the top were either frightening or cheerful, but it was just the idea of seeing a school building made of stone and not brick, that was hundreds of years old. The color of the library struck me the greatest, it was such a beautiful and warm color and I was captivated by it. Again as a student of UNR, all we see on our campus, and the only thing we are really used to seeing is red bricks and glass windows. It was also mentioned by Professor John Makey that the Bodleian Library is in fact one of the oldest and largest libraries in the United Kingdom, sometimes referred as the Old Bodleian Library. Visiting the school of Oxford was by far my favorite field trip. Although I felt I was going to collapse at any moment from being so sick and feeling a little delirious, I will never forget my experience to Oxford. 

What Even Is Art? REWRITE

While exploring the halls of the TATE Modern, I came into contact with a wide range of artistic styles and mediums. On the surface, some appeared to be far more complex than others; some demanded attention while others were largely unnoticeable. Nonetheless, all of the pieces in the museum clearly qualify as art despite the apparent disconnect between works. This threw into question, what precisely is art? How would one designate an artist?


This print by Joseph Beuys created in 1975 engages with this question of artistry. The headline as well as the title of the piece reads “Is everyone an artist?” There is no answer provided in the remaining text, but simply information about a seminar that will supposedly tackle the subject. It is unsurprising that the question goes unanswered here, as there is no one correct way to respond to the question posed. Some may agree that everyone is in fact an artist, while others may insist that it’s a rare breed. Still, the answer itself is not important to this piece. It opens up a dialogue between people, offering a mediated environment in which to discuss their views on art and artistry. And is that not what the museum itself does? The TATE Modern houses such a varied collection of art that it is impossible not to compare one work to another, or artist to artist. This environment encourages conversation not only about the works of art themselves, but the deeper meaning of art as a whole.  




However, although the museum is a controlled space it is not neutral ground, as there is a silent bias in which artists are chosen to be displayed. The piece “Do Women Have to be Naked to Get Into the Met Museum” was created in 1989 by a group of “anonymous American female artists who call themselves Guerilla Girls” (Tate.org.uk) and directly confronts the sexism of large art institutions. Much like Beuys' work, this print poses a direct question, and although providing some statistics, there is no answer provided. It is left up to the audience to formulate their own answer regarding female artists specifically just as they would for artists in general after prompting from “Jeder Mensch ein Kustler?”. The thought provoking nature of the Guerrilla Girls’ piece forces the audience to consider why there is a disproportionate amount of works by men to women in art institutions. Perhaps the answer is that men are socially viewed as artists and women as art. This concept is discussed in John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing” as he states “men act and women appear” (Berger 47). Essentially what this means is that male artists are credited as such for the work they create whereas women are objectified as art themselves with little regard for their artistic ability. This understanding of the sexism of art museums in the Guerrilla Girls’ piece appears  to be an answer to “Jeder Mensch ein Kustler?” While anyone has the potential to be an artist, not everyone is recognized by that title despite being deserving of it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I think someone is watching me!

Now that I have learned that the man following us around shoving a camera in our face was just there to see what would happen if a camera was shoved in our face, at least according to the prompt, I am honored, but at least I get to write about it. Susan Sontag writes about this exact subject, "While a painting or a prose description can never be other than a narrowly selective interpretation, a photograph can be treated as a narrowly selective transparency", as I take it Sontag means that paintings have defined meanings and interpretations, the painting really only means that one thing, one can interpret other things, however they are either right or wrong, while a photo is simply a window into a moment, and the moment is never defined by the photographer.

Sontag goes on to perform a very deep psychological analysis of personal photography, "Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs." "Photography has become one of the principal devices for experiencing something, for giving an appearance of participation.", I certainly relate to this every time I take a selfie or a picture, its proof that I was there, its sort of narcissistic and nonsensical, my own memories should be sufficient, but I do enjoy looking back at them after a few years so it isn't fruitless.




The author of this essay mostly talks about the cultural and social circumstances implied by taking a photograph, and its much deeper than simply making that specific event an important one. She goes into some of the more specific implication of photography telling the reader that it usually implies stress relief and fear of the past being lost. This fear is usually found in high work ethic countries like the United States and Japan, and acts as a sort of stress ball. She ends on a few key notes, one of which is that, "After the event has ended, the picture will still exist, conferring on the event a kind of immortality (and importance) it would never otherwise have enjoyed.", she means that when we take a photo of ourselves, we are applying an implied importance to that moment that may or may not have existed before, it is recorded in time, and would not have been if we had not clicked the button.

Being recorded by someone else implies importance, and although I don't know what it was for, I did feel a slight importance and permanence every time we were being filmed. That moment would be recorded for some mundane purpose ~forever, and that does have psychological implications, it changes your thought process to a number of things, some maybe even self critical. Overall I found this essay very interesting, it goes deep into a subject that I would never have thought even deserved entertainment.

http://writing.upenn.edu/library/Sontag-Susan-Photography.pdf

Their Ale Pales in comparison...

I'm not big into beer back in the states, especially the huge selection of Indian Pale Ales that San Diego has to offer, and the fact that I do not drink much at all, but this new category of wine snob has be curious, what are all these people on about, and why am I yet again being shown that San Diego is superior to all other cities, I already knew this. 

My adventure begins on a short train ride out to Crate Brewery and Pizza, where we were given a tour of their facilities in which I tried a a bunch a beers, I do not know the exact names of these beers but I can describe them. I remember around four distinct flavors, a pale beer that tasted slightly citrus like, another pale that tasted of plums, a reddish sour, and lastly a dark beer that tasted strongly of chocolate and coffee, there had to be cocoa and coffee in their malt.  They tasted good, and I could understand that the flavors being described to me weren't farces. Brewing in London has been around long before San Diego was even discovered, and the popularity of American beers is a very new thing, pretty much within my life time has San Diego and the rest of the United States gone from poor to posh in terms of how acclaimed our beer is. Before, our more recognizable brands were seen as piss to other countries. 

San Diego's main export, the double IPA was invented nearby but not locally in Temecula, CA in the late 90's by a man named Vinnie Cilurzo. Standard American beer, ranks 20 IBU on a scale of bitterness, kind of arbitrary, while a standard IPA ranks 60, and the typical double IPA hits at a huge 100 IBU. Despite this, bitterness might be seen as a negative characteristic to some people, the style has taken off in popularity and become the hallmark of the San Diego beer scene. Notable brands include, Stone Brewing, Ballast Point, and Pizza Port. According to my research, the trend that pairs pizza and beer together comes from San Diego as well. I knew that San Diego was a very prestigious beer-zone, but I didn't know that it was seen as the IPA capital of the world, at least to locals. 



Meanwhile, despite its recent submission to good ole home, brewing in London has been happening since probably before Christ, but certainly continued and encouraged by the Romans, into the middle ages, into the present. Before hops there was Mead, mugwort based spirit, and things like Ale wives, wands, and conners, do not have any idea what they taste like, but they sound bland, although mead sounds refreshing. Hops finally arose somewhere in between the 15th and 17th centuries in England, and sometime during that San Diego and the surrounding continent was actually discovered, little did Europe know it had just discovered it's demise on the world brewing stage. 

Trends came and went, but now the popular thing in London, and everywhere else, is micro-breweries like the one we visited. I enjoyed my time here, and it really was my introduction to the world of micro-breweries and pizza wrapped together. It has tempted me to try out some of my local beers, and see what the fuss is all about. 



Sources:

http://legacy.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/features/20070117-9999-lz1c17events.html
http://legacy.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/metro/rowe/20060308-9999-lz1f08rowe.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/rise-of-the-microbrewery-small-but-perfectly-formed-1928605.html