Sunday, February 27, 2011

My personal space!

My students have begun exploring performance art. We've started with monologues they shoot at home to accommodate shyness. Next weekend they will make an uncomfortable 60 second video. And we will conclude with each student performing a piece live.

I loved one of the first monologues I watched. This is by Jeremy. Jeremy is rather quiet in class; as the projects become more conceptual, he seems to be thriving! Perhaps the silent thinker type. Enjoy. I did.

Friday, February 25, 2011

OMGosh! Let me tell you about ANGER!
A ranting improv monologue on anger, spam and clouds

Today in preparation for a series of student monologues, we did improv 60 second monologues without saying the word, "uummmm." Students, flying solo, stepped to the stage at which time they were given a word. Here is one of my personal highlights. More to come later because they were just so funny.

here is the word ANGER!

Way to go Keenan! Awesomeness.

Martin and SPAM

Maggi loves her clouds

a small two cents

"advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." --erica jong

"sometimes when we get angry enough at being treated as if we are small (very often when we feel small and unheard, it is not because we are small and unheard but because we are acting small and unheard), we get brave enough to trust those who think--and say--we might be big. one slight too many and we finally say our true name, but we "swallow" a lot of anger first."--julia cameron

i don' t remember swallowing anger. i remember my own internal frustration. i remember a slow constant exhaustion. i remember trying to have the smallest footprint i could. i remember trying to be as low maintenance as i knew how. i remember not asking for things i may have wanted or needed help with. i remember trying to not rock the boat. i remember trying not to cause true displeasure. i remember trying to be safe. i remember trying to tell the truth. i remember being a pattern seer. i am not saying i was successful with my trying. i am not saying i tried in appropriate ways.

but i remember my own frustration.
i remember my own exhaustion.
i remember trying to be small.

was there a slight that occurred that i somehow did not cultivate? no. where there slights that weren't slights at all but crushed me none the less because i tried to be small? sure. were there slights i experience because of my own need to be small? of course. whenever i tried to be the size i am, it scared me and i shrunk.

graphic design was a foray, a dipping my toe in the waters, into testing my true size but it still made room for me to hide and be small in my anonymity. i started being my size when i allowed through guidance of graduate school my design to become my own (cheryl, fiona, beckett, ray, teresa, trishadeaux, eddy) which in turn allowed me to risk making bad art (padgett, orto, jimenez, kittleson, jacobs). in the bad art, i found i could uncurl and uncrouch from my self induced smallness. as i stretched out testing my extremities, it unsettled me and those who loved me in my smallness. absolutely they wanted me to be my true size. yet none of us knew what that was. there was a sense of unsureness as to whether this might reveal something in me as good or all shadowy and bad. so there was a tension between allowing and disallowing, between encouragement and shame.

some things i noticed even then was a dwindling of the many unhealthy things i did to say, "please, please see me." the strange list of "see me"s that were shrinking were ferocious diet coke burping, crass humor, flumpy but cool tomboy attire (i thought) that cost next to nothing in the circles i ran in, boy clunky shoes, the many, many ways i denied my own femininity, pretending as hard as i could that i didn't really care that i would never carry a baby in my womb, unkempt hair, trying way to hard to be witty and appear smart and that nothing could hurt my feelings. these things diminished as i no longer desperately needed to be smaller than i am.

though many days i would really like to be small again. it feels safe and i miss terribly the friends of my historical small self.

as a part of not being safe in this moment, as a part of trying not to curl back up, not being smaller than i am, i write. today i write because i have not been doing so. not doing so is a definite shrinking back. writing is part of being my true size, not being small or invisible. it still frightens me. i realized this morning when i was emailing a fellow writer friend some of my students' writings and said, "i am not writing right now, so i am making my students write," that i need to writing. writing, rights me. so today i write.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

freezer burn; flourishing sans freezer burn

arugula vs cherry tomatoes PLUS hard freeze = arugula kicks butt and flourishes! well and my sugar snap peas froze. dang right when they were totally cranking out on quantity.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

sometimes when I am just storing junk (art),
I inadvertently discover my next move

that happened today when i just started tossing these into one of my empty planter boxes to store them out of the way....ooooh i like what is happening with it formally and conceptually.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the remnant techno nerd darkside of me kicks in...

as i sit here typing on my wireless keyboard with my wireless track-pad and my laptop a good distance away hooked to my tv as i sit all comfy on my futon, click clicking away! this is residual techno nerd still seeping into my life a little from my design days. oh this is a totally shallow form of awesomeness!

most technobila has been finally my SCSI internal hard drives, jazz and zip drives harvested from my old workstations, as well as so long to my SCSI scanners and my wonderful 1992 laser printer and a few dot matrix machines. on a rare occasion i miss my 1988 mac se with its amazing 20 mg hard drive and photoshop 4 with its limit of 100 layers, or not. that mac cost me 1/2 of my annual take home salary that year. well one must take into account that i did work in Louisiana at the time. i suppose i should keep up with my software and minimal programing skills but oh heck, when and why when it's now all so dummy proof (well except when it's not)??

meaningless shallow end of the pool techno ramblings.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

streaking in the WASH building
my students have gone mad in the best of ways.

WASHers (Hannah, Ollie, Alexandra, Dante, [a little extra help from table 1, Wendy], Katie, and David) become human dots comps translating a really traditional foundations project in which they learn to use 2D space using Gestalt perception principles. For me personally, it is the human element that becomes significant in these works (plus a bit of humor). I think they put Abercrombie & Fitch's pouty sullen teen idols in-heat to shame with WASHer humor and mockery! And normal kids are far more beautiful than a plastic perfection addiction.

These images are from Katy's course blog.

Making students go on a play date with their art materials

So we do this modular madness project in which students choose 100 to 1000 cheap found objects to create a three dimensional work that responds to the formal and conceptual elements of the materials.

Step one was to go home and just throw their objects down and play with them like a kid coming up with at least 5 different potential ways of putting the materials together. You will be able to tell from Jada's experience that we have no fun and we take art extremely seriously!

Like a child they were to attempt to allow the materials to speak to is Jada's experiences before and beyond her first 5 structures...

First a brief history about popsicle sticks. They were invented by an eleven year old named Frank Epperson in 1905. So they're more than a hundred years old! Before they were "popsicle" sticks, they were "Epsicle" sticks. Epperson came by the idea on accident during a cold winter season. He had left his fruit flavored soda outside on the porch with a stir stick in it, but when it had frozen over and he tasted it, he thought it was a delicious treat. From there it took him 18 years to develop the idea of frozen ice on a stick. Soon it was named Epsicle Ice Pop. Later his children renamed it Popsicle as we know it today. He sold his Popsicle idea to the Joe Lowe Company of New York and Good Humor now owns the "Popsicle Rights."(I got my information from:
So anyway, here are a few things I came up with while "playing" with my object(s). We had TONS of fun!

I listened to my object.. 

As did Zack. Here he is listening to his Q-tips.

Then I smelled it!

I tasted it...gross.

I examined it very closely!

Then we took a much needed nap!

This is the natural form it fell in.

But I had to push it aside. :(
After all of this work, me and my sticks decided to have some real fun!
First we went to the beach and watched the sunset. Isn't it beautiful?
Next we went on a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas. This was so much fun, but we were both sooooo scared! :)
After that we traveled down to Cozumel, Mexico and scuba-dived with the fishes! :D

We ended the day in Paris, France.
What an exciting time we had! :D<

We hope you enjoyed our photos!

Jada's process video part 2...(created for educational purpose)

Friday, February 11, 2011

i almost got adopted today

i would have been ok with that i think. she wooed me immediately and i was smitten. but she meandered home (think she lives across the street). dogs in this neighborhood are unnerving compared to the burbs. they roam free and in the street. they don't seem to get flat though. guess the ones that survive understand the laws of who's bigger. it is unnerving if you love puppies and lived 99% of your life in the controlled burbs.

she was so dang cute, but she did kind of look like a puppy bred to be a fighting dog and i think my iphone would loose. and i'd have to dispose of my mouse be gone system so i didn't end up with a puppy be gone. but as soon as the neighbors drove up, she bounded home. it's been so cold and she is kind of full figured, so i don't think she is an orphan. alas no puppy parenting anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

american cardboard idol

a few of the top contenders (photos shot by lee and krystal)

Katy (source object: drink umbrella)

Tony tests the functionality of the cardboard umbrella

Zach (source object: magnolia seed)

Danielle (source object: magnolia seed)

Kevin (source object: starfish) photo by Geoffrey Rascher

Jeremy (source object: starfish)

Sarah  (source object: contact lens case)

Sarah  (source object: contact lens case)

Krystal (source object: door knob) photo by Geoffrey Rascher

students present their first WASHer 3D project. we ran the crit like American idol with three professors as the judge. i was definitely NOT simon. each student walked the stage fashion showish and performatively. then they had to stand there in front of 50 or so of their new best friends and be crit by the judges (one - performance, two - craftsmanship, three - relationship of object to body).

Bryttani (source object: seed pod)

Emily  (source object: cap of acorn)

Allison  (source object: magnolia seed)

Shelbey  (source object: cap of acorn)

they had guts to stand their. i went all codependent and totally uncomfortably crit them, ouch, HONESTly. normally in small group crits hard truths can be buffered in discourse. body language says it best. as much as i knew my body was doing this for the life of me i couldn't make it stop closing up. i suppose i could have gotten a little smaller if i'd curled up on the floor in the fetal position. it wasn't an option.

there are definitely pros and cons to doing it this way. i think i had to go home and cry in the shower afterward. obviously this wouldn't have been a problem if all the projects had been awesome.