# Lecture 007

title: Oliver Sacks and The Critical Art Ensemble

## Oliver Sacks:

• neural science -> case study with disorders

• "The man who fell out of bed" (Phantom leg syndrome)

• True Crime: Mila

Mickalene Thomas:

• curator

• film maker

• formalism

• collage

• stereotype with black women body

• photographing herself and her mother

• celebrating black women

• Question: what is her purpose to portray black women?

Yasumasa Morimura

• Japan society

• transform ancient paintings

• Question: what art form is she doing?

Cindy Sherman

• doll closes

• shot herself doing dolls

• movements and character study

• working alone

• apply narrator with films

• don't want anything to do with art theory

• look like from movie (European women look blank, no reaction)

• no title, no preconceived notion

• Character photography

• Funny: frozen in time; fruit, joke feet, big nose.

• Question: She is a fan of producing ambiguous, untitlled picture. What is the reason?

## Impersonating Other People

so... as you read, if it would be real, you can't understand the point, if it would be fake, the message got lost...

#### What do you most wish to communicate with your project:

1. reflect on human potential (personal growth of Jack Ma)
1. reflect on donation system and formalism (money often don't get though)
1. reflect on commercial value of donation (uses donation as a strategy may be good to encourage such behavior)

#### What research did you do to necessary create the piece

• Browsed over his published book

• viewed all weibo(twitter in CN) for last 3 years

• I watched a lecture by Jack Ma about his own life story

• I watched his conversation with Elon Mask again (it was very funny)

#### Found Out:

• he can speak everything without evoke negative feelings

• he talks like a successology speaker

• he likes to use exaggeration

• he does not point out the real truth

• he donates mainly on environmental constructions

#### What is something in or about the work you proud official

1. the response is real, you can google it online. (look at the time) https://edu.sina.com.cn/l/2020-09-28/doc-iivhuipp6893905.shtml
1. this piece made me think a lot about the ideas I wanted to explore.
1. it makes me to think what constitute art. A way to communicate messages? (when art is not intended to )
1. I didn't know the petitioned can be a person other than myself in the biginning.
1. The well use of media to reflect the behavior of the public. (both the formalism and criticism)
1. I kept the error in translation -> it is fun (as chat with Elon Mask)

## Presentation

### Serena - Mona Lisa

• There seems to be a double meaning in the sentence "It's all about the perspective". Since I have heard that the facial expression of Mona Lisa can change when viewed from a different angle. I love the idea of splitting the petitioned into different versions of Mona Lisa across space and time.

• The presentation itself is detailed and long enough for the audience to engage. I would understand the main idea after the initial view.

• There can be a lot more versions of Mona Lisa-s. You can make more, like 10~15 collections of short responses from them. It would be interesting to see that they might have different opinions on things. (imagine citadel in Rick and Morty)

### Peiran Ge - Gaming

surprising:

• The use of gaming video as a response to the letter is a medium that I have not thought about. It inspires me to try different weird art.

• Some of the video clips without actual voices made me a little bit bored. The video has been played twice but I feel like I can understand the information in one video playback if I have the correct background knowledge that I can draw from.

• Most of the video clips confuses me by my lack of proper knowledge to understand both the mechanics of the game as well as the narration (ie. voice by the gaming Youtuber) It will be helpful to explain the content of the game as a part of your artwork because there may be some meaningful game mechanics I missed out. As a way to improve, maybe you can fake some barrage to communicate the messages of your piece better.

### Leah - Letter to Mom

• Some words on the image are shown as fixed labels. This provides extra meaningful messages that I don't know how to interpret.

• The artwork kept me engaged for only a short amount of time because there isn't enough information in the artwork itself.

• I think presenting both the petitioner and petitioned pieces together will make this artwork stronger at communicating with the audience.

### Nicholas - Letter to Single Child

• It surprised me that an artwork simple as a photo can contain a lot of information when used properly. The collections in the photo are not just letters, but watches, books, even lighters, bottles of honey, and candy. This piece can be very emotional.

• However, I can only spend about one minute looking at the image because it is too blurry.

• The artwork can be made much richer by adding recognizable text to your letters and images. Make it high resolution so that we can see words on the letters and pay attention to more details. You can tell the whole story with just one image.

### Helen - Letter in fiction

• There are dictionaries that surprised me, such as the phrase "off-head proof". In the end, the concept of "a villain talking about how to deal with villains" is creative.

• I am so sorry that I don't understand most of the fictional references because I don't know these stories at all.

• A voice-over in the presentation might be good as it may conduct extra information (like emotion) to help the audience understand the piece.

### Lorance - Poem about accepting love

• The imagery of two sitting beside the sea is powerful. I love the sharp contrast between accepting love and living in solitude.

• I would read about 2 times, and maybe pick up some choice of dictionary and the use of literary devices.

• It is beautiful as it is. You can make two poems parallel to each other in terms of sentences and rhythm.

### Ashley - an image of water swimming (Gatsby)

• There is a lot to compact from a single image. The image itself tells the story pretty well if I am not mistaken. I see blood and broken piece of paper letters. It looks like the petitioner teared up the letter, that's fun. After further examination, I wonder if the petitioned suicided in the swimming pool?

• Without the context, I would stare at the image for about one minute. But I really want to know what story this image tells exactly.

• If the suicided person can make the Last words as a response written in blood. That would be more interesting than just tearing up the letter? I don't know.

### Sion - Shoes from Famous Korean Star

• Did you mention asking for money in your original letter? The fact you actually got a response is surprising. The use of items as responses to give courage is creative.

• I am not a fan and I don't fully understand the context. If I were in a museum, I usually pass by those works I don't quite understand. It is a sad fact that we are all busy people.

• It would be good to make clear how each individual shoe has to do with the letters beside them. (Although I know some of the relationships, others are left unexplained.)

### Jean Cho - Intergalactic Council of Life

• This work has such a broad picture of all human life and perhaps all living things on earth. The fact that life on Earth has yet to ever have met the standards to qualify for a spot in the Bimillennial Transspacial Relocation Leap is funny. (I am a big fan of science fiction) The artwork reminds me of Rick and Morty's planetary evaluation program.

• This artwork is straightforward and I am glad that I don't need to spend too much time understanding it.

• Making a video of your reaction to the alien, or perhaps making a video of how the UN received the letter and has some effect on human society would be interesting. (I am thinking about the social chaos that can evoke through simply knowing there exist extraterrestrial civilization)

### Minijin - 18-year-old to 16-year-old

• "you trying to look all cute - how cringy" Don't be mean to yourself even though this is yourself. The potential for a letter to travel back in time surprised me. I appreciate that your petitioner project is a letter to Jesus, I have anticipated a response.

• I am sure there is a lot to unpack from those biblical texts. But do you know that more than 50% of people who believe in God do not actually read through the Bible? Therefore there is no way for them to draw any conclusion by your snippets. I'd like to spend more time pausing and understanding your intention of adding those references.

• Some texts are too small and lack the contrast that makes them visible to the audience. I suggest making them more obvious if you intend for the audience to read them during a short amount of time.

### Nandini - Grammar Editing

• There are much funny advice such as "suggestion: go back to the drawing board", and "don't take this personally". The sender of this letter tried so hard to anger you. This might be the only petitioned who do not read through the entire letter. But you successfully received a reply by the use of bad writing! Brilliant mind! "show, don't tell" - reminds me of drafting college essays

• As this artwork is intended for fun, reading it through once is probably enough for me to grasp the idea and to move on.

• I don't understand the context of the petitioned chapter. Is it a book? (It looks long from your scrolling bar). I wonder if you can explain it better?

### Mila - Nude picture of herself be tortured

• It is surprising that you have the courage to do these to yourself! The fact you show no clothes, only skin and necklace, and earring is clearly your choice of expression.

• This artwork made me curious and wonder why on earth someone might be treated this way (either by yourself or others). I would definitely revisit more than once.

• Although I don't fully get the message, I have a feeling of that message must be strong. In those images, you can use your emotion to express more and to exaggerate more.

### Grayson - Letter to Assassin

• "blood-like party streamers", "bitten off her by her own courage". I also love the sentence "I'm curious to see what you'll do next" - direct offense made this interesting. The letter, although containing only words, can reflect the personality of both the petitioned and petitioner very well.

• I would like to read the letter twice to grasp some use of dictionaries.

• The artwork is good as it is.

### Jaz - Famous after responding through the Korean message app

• The fact you can connect a famous after through message app is surprising. Most famous people don't usually reply. Even though they may, their responses are not as lively as humans because they know that they are responsible for everything that is posted on the internet, including their private chat, to prevent malicious references and attacks. long you would wish to spend: couple more time to unpack

• it takes time to understand and extract deeper meaning.

• If I can understand what the meme is? Why it is meaningful to the artwork.

### Ryan - compare expense/cheap video

• In your video, I am not sure if I heard that "cat doing python... and tech stuff". If so, cats are known to be the best pet for any programmers. I can see your message that a dollar cat can be valued less even though they provide more "functional uses" to humans than some of the tech products. Objectifying a living animal is both creative and cruel - talking about "quality control of a cat" "one dollar cat can't do facial recognition or Alexa shake", no! A cat CAN DO FACIAL RECOGNITION BETTER!

• I would only watch this video one time for fun.

• Show your 1000 dollar cat. I would like to see how you can brag about an "immobile" 1000 dollar cat.

I am in group 3 & 4: reading Yuriko Salto Kintsugi: Japanese Wabi-Sabi

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