Lecture 014

(5~15 minutes)

(level ambition) How much ambition (ambition) did the maker demonstrate through their project?

(wish succeed) Do you wish such a project would be able to really succeed?

If so, (what aspect worth pursuing) what about the project is worth pursuing in the future? If not, (why not good) why are its concerns not central to what you value or hope to see enacted?

(good?) Would you like to be affiliated with this maker in the future?

(likely to succeed?) Do you think that they are likely to succeed in other endeavors?

(interesting if never workout?) Are they worth knowing better because of the qualities in their project even if similar work would never be realized as intended?

=== What it is Initial Reaction: Wonder it creates? Idea Execution Courage effort in work / challenging

Disclaimer: I don't understand the intention of these prompts. So I will write what I think is most helpful to the artists.

Jean Cho

Jean made a painting with acrylic paint on an acrylic board (that is supposed to represent a mirror). Originally, Jean did not do what Andrew Johnson preferred her to do. She spent 27 dollars on this project to buy all the paint. She restarted it all over. Art is supposed to represent a failure instead of being a failure according to the artist.

The painting itself has an elementary-level tone. The paints in the middle are supposed to represent herself. But she failed to represent herself. The distorted part represents failure. She challenged herself and this process is a painful process because she hated her project so much. (according to her)

The project has more value in its creation process than its final product. It takes many trials and errors to make a piece work the way you wanted and the way you teacher wanted it (not well said, but it's true isn't it)

However, as a project that takes 2 weeks, I don't think this is ambitious enough. By selecting this art style, I don't think you have challenged yourself enough - which is the reason why Andrew called you to stop in the first place.

Mila Fejzo

I get a sense if I write a critique of this project, it will make you feel more uncomfortable. And since the critique is to help an artist, not making someone uncomfortable, should I really do the critique?

This piece is about recovering from sexual assault. First, she can't look at the viewer's eye. She can't fight back. The background represents her mental space: blending into the background, disappear, running away. The second is having fun with her body: self-love. The patterns are not as overwhelming, but still, it shows the person is not really at a good level of self passivity. According to the artist, the first piece failed because she did not stop the situation from happening. The second piece is about having a hard time recovering. Another aspect is that Mila can't open up with this in public.

She made 2 paintings. Spend a lot of "fucking money" (direct quote). Talking about the touchy subjects is ambitious. Allowing her to be vulnerable.

I think the presentation is worth more as an art than the paintings. Because the presentation can be thought of as a failure that is stronger than the piece itself.

I think this project is very ambitious. This is obvious because she put a lot of mental stress on herself in making and publicly showing this piece. And this challenge can't be overcome easily (unlike many other aspect failures my classmates presented).

Hanke Chen

Does anybody want to buy my robot? I am open for bids!

Peiran Ge

Peiran presented her comics that try to make a sphere into a rock. She uses simple lines and only one primary color to draw digitally. (It is actually 3 colors, but I failed to consider black and white colors when I initially read the piece) The comic has a few panels and they are aligned vertically. The comic tells the story of how a girl tries to cut stones into a perfect sphere using chisels.

The idea is cool: there is only one form of the perfect sphere in mathematics, so it is pretty much guaranteed to be a failure. But no matter what, people who challenge the impossible are still alive. We accept, acknowledge, and embrace failures.

Giving that you have 2 weeks to plan and execute, I don't quite like the quality of the comics, especially for the color. I understand that you want to mimic the style of an artist, but in fact, I believe you can make something better than the artist you follow. Many artists in the industry draw comics for livings, therefore the production outweighs the quality. By putting extra 2~3 colors that serve as complements, I think your piece can be stronger.

Although this piece only took her 4 hours, there were struggles in the process of coming out with her idea. She had a couple of different ideas earlier: she wanted to record herself actually doing the cutter following a tutorial, but she ordered the material too late. It is also her first time telling stories with digital drawing software.

Group 2 - Leah Minsky

Leah made a series of abstract paintings, presented so that 3 paintings are intentionally not perfectly aligned with each other.

One suggestion to this piece is that the arrangement of your documentation can be made more explicitly so that the audience can get your idea of imperfections without your explanation and clarification. Specifically, you can exaggerate your "mistake" by making them not aligned by 2/3 or even 1/2 of the painting. In addition, you can tilt your paintings by 30~45 degrees.

This piece is a challenge to her extreme perfectionism. She chose a style with free form technique without concentrating on control. The actual image is metaphorical too. Top and button represent the struggle of her perfectionism. Giving that this is a "challenge", the painting came out to be really good in my opinion. She captures the essential (light and shadow) to convince me that the subject is a human. The dark background really sells a feeling of struggle.

Group 2 - Ashley Kim

Ashley made a proposal to build a badly designed bridge. Her proposal comes with a physical model demonstrating how the bridge should work.

The fact that the bridge is designed by Leon S. Moisseiff but not you makes this piece less personal and therefore less meaningful. The fact there actually exists such a bridge, and it is a very famous case study by many architects and mechanical engineers, as far as I know. Therefore the idea of presenting it as a proposal does not create wonders. (I am probably more critical here because my parents are architects and therefore I know of such failures like this.)

This piece can be very controversial because such a proposal can risk human life, which is a good thing because it can create more wonders. I suggest that you can appropriate the idea of bridge failure and design your own architectural failure that isn't obvious.

Your intention of creating such a proposal is to make people realize that engineer construct bridges because they want money, which in my opinion, is a misleading statement as I see no reason why people can intentionally hurt people in order to make money: because, in the U.S., as far as I know, the bridge builder will be sued by people if the bridge cause harm to the public. Therefore you can only blame their risk management skills but not their "evil nature" of making money.

As I personally created models before, looking for materials to tools can be challenging in the process of creating the physical model. However, I don't see any documentation on how you created the model so I cannot comment on that.

Group 2 - Sion Park

The first thing I love about this piece is that this is a rare performance art: Sion created a healthy diet plan and unintentionally failed to keep the schedule. This piece made me wonder in what sense this can be considered art. To me, as a boy, not eating healthily, and sleeping well becomes a norm in my high school lives. Therefore I found it quite a luxury to eat such good dishes every day in your 2 week period.

However, you may care about yourself more than I care about myself, which is understandable and a reasonable thing to do. Therefore this piece may be more meaningful to you than everyone else.

But still, I don't think the risk you have taken in this piece is enough: if you don't have any control-related disease or abnormal medical conditions, I would think it would be quite easy to control yourself not eating more than you want. Compared to Nicholas Beak's 15 hours challenge, since eating the extra sweeties is not essential to human lives, in contrast to not sleeping, this piece is weaker. Therefore, you have guessed it right, appropriating some human essentials in your work can make it stronger. As simple as making a video of not peeing for 24 hours (and award yourself with something each minute) can be something more interesting to the audience.

Side note: In your presentation, I wonder what if you end up keeping a healthy diet? ie. you failed to fail? Would you still present to us this? I think it can also be more interesting if you failed to fail intentionally. Just my idea.

Group 2 - Serena

Serena has the same idea of creating abstract work as Leah. However, in her own words "[she] failed to make a failure". I think this piece is more valuable in terms of the process and the thinking the artist takes to understand her own piece. In the process, she explored what it means to see something like art and she reflected on the functional value of art: there is none.

In terms of the quality of the painting, I do consider it a failure because this is not what I imagine real cubism could look like (I might be wrong on this) The contrary of colors stood out for me too much. Other than that, I really love your thoughts behind the piece and appreciate that you shared with us in class. These are all the greatest questions about the art of all time.

In terms of the risk you are taking, I'll say: "keep it up." It is good to try cubism to really understand its meaning and intention. I imagine there will be completely different techniques in creating abstract arts like cubism. (such as focusing on shadow and shapes than color and textures)

Group 3 - Nandini Kuppa-Apte

Nandini created the interior of a dollhouse using a shoebox. She wanted to use this piece to express not having enough time and space in her life. She wanted to represent many aspects of her identity using objects in her house. She failed to do that because there are too many things and too many contradictory ideas.

Again, this piece is more personal to Nandini and I don't feel that I have the right to do extra commenting on the idea of the piece because the experience of creating the artwork is more valuable to the artist than the outcome that meant to satisfy the viewers. In terms of the quality of visual representation, I feel like the material of the shoebox can be more structural and organized as a contrast to the messy interior that you want to explore. (I completely understand that you might not have the ability to cut woods from your house to make this more house-looking than a shoebox. But that can be your next step if you wish.)

I can tell that you didn't use only found objects in your house. You have created your own furniture from scratch, and I think this is worth a 2-week project.

Group 3 - Ryan Lee

The video quality on Zoom is so bad so I rewatched it twice on Youtube. Without any explanation, I got the meaning! The failure was supposed to be Ryan's failure to explain the plot, but that was attempted to be fixed by Ryan 2 who travels back in time to fix Ryan 1's mistakes, only that Ryan 2 also failed to make a good explanation.

This video is satisfying and enjoyable. I can see a lot of effort into creating memes and intentional plot mistakes (I am talking about your left hand and Asia's left hand.) In watching the video, you didn't pause to let the audience take in all these great moments, and therefore one obvious improvement is to add a little pause and more movements and actions before each person speaks.

This definitely worth being your 2-week project. Making 7 Ryan-s work and creating the plot is difficult, in addition to many video cuttings that you might have to spend hours or days to complete. You cared about the quality and details in your video: for example, you didn't miss the part where you suppose to dress differently for each Ryan.

However, I challenge you to not make any video for your future project. Although I know you are really good at making these funny videos, you can try to create art using different mediums.

(Wait, was that Ryan's cute sister Asia? XD)

Group 3 - Zixin Yang

I didn't quite understand your presentation in class. What was your intention? Why did you choose these materials? Is it performance art or are you actually making something?

Anyway, as I looked into your folder and your artist statement, I realized that this piece might again, has more value in the making process than the outcome for the viewers. I think you need to refine the way you explain your artwork to people. Reading your artist statement, I still don't understand what the connection between your clay and Aristotle's physical experiment is. Which part of the clay is supposed to represent the feather?

Looking at your video, I don't think you have put enough effort into making this piece. You could have spent two hours. I noticed your struggle to harden or soften different kinds of clay, but you can still move on your ideas if you don't like them.

Again, I think I need more information to evaluate this piece critically.

Group 3 - Minjin Batzorig

Minjin presented a video of her eating a cake. The Mongolian cake tastes so bad, but she still forces herself to eat it. But ultimately, she let go of her own identity. When biting into a fork, she chipped her tooth.

My first reaction to this piece is that it contains a weird and irrational sense of self-identity. Crushing the cake (with metallic sound) using hands, talking off formal clothing, and reverse devoured cake from the mouse... However, when Minjin explains the whole reason for doing these irrational movements is because the cake tastes so bad, I think her explanation undermines the quality of the piece. I somehow expect the meaning to be deeper than simply cake aversion.

After looking at her artist statement, I got the reasoning behind all her movements and started to make sense of the project.

Additionally, I think you shouldn't actively "look for unintended failure" in your piece such as breaking your teeth. It would be interesting to mention it as the "behind-the-scenes" moments. But I don't find it related to the main idea of your message your main piece is trying to convey.

Oh, by the way, I love weird things especially love the reverse playback of you spitting out the cake. It is both so disgusting and satisfying.

Group 4 - Nicholas Beak

Nicholas presented his 15-hour challenge: a challenge solely devoted to finishing the works. What a wonderful idea and a proper thing to do during the COVID-19 pandemic? - ie. locking yourself in the room doing work.

I love your reflection on making false promises. It made me realize that I seldom keep my schedule in doing things. Since we work remotely, there are more things that we could potentially get distracted by. It would be good to set up challenges like this for myself and reward myself afterward.

In terms of the documentation, I think it would be more interesting to document all movements using a time-lapse video. Otherwise, we don't know what you have to go through in order to complete or to fail the project.

Looking at your statement, I think it would be more interesting if you can do the full 24-hour challenge during the weekend and let go of your classes and grades. Wouldn't it be a perfect chance to resist such grade-oriented thinking and ideology people put on you? (I am not forcing you to sleep during the classes, but if I were to do this project, I will definitely use this as a protest to grade-oriented culture.)

Group 4 - Jaz Chung

Jaz presented a series of drawings in a time-lapse video in class to explore her failure about time. As you present your artwork in class, I don't get the meaning of these sketches. Why are they presented as sketches? Why did you choose to draw these objects? Are these objects somehow related or unrelated?

After reading your artist statement, I still have a lot of wonders: Why do you think time consists of the most essential failure of people? How can these drawings address the issue? How can drawing symbols about time represent the failure in time?

In general, I don't think this worth being a 2-week project giving the information provided in your drive.

But if your artwork is the 1.pdf file in your drive, I feel like there can be more to talk about because then you have added composition and relation of these objects in your unified piece. It would be more helpful if you can explain to us more about this.

Group 4 - Grayson Ticer

Grayson's first piece (Illustration) is an illustration of a vampire's love. There are stories in your first piece. And I love fictional stories that reflect real-world matters very much. Your subject matter and idea reminds me of "〈物語〉シリーズ" (read Monogatari series, or "Story") written by Nisio Isin in which, in the plot, a vampire loves a human.

The idea of conflicting desire as an intentional failure is new to this class. I love it.

The use of color to draw highlights using contrast is pretty good. Your selection of red that represents the need for blood as food but substituted with an apple is amazing.

When looking at your second piece: a physical object of a little black cat. I don't think the cat is at all terrifying and creepy at all. Instead, I think it is pretty cute based on your image. Although, based on my knowledge, the symbolism of the black cat in Japanese culture represents unluck. This is explored by many artists and writers in many Japanese works of literature. So it is reasonable to think a cute cat can be a symbolism of failure.

Group 4 - Laurence Gao

Laurence presented a series of installations - setting up a full meal once every 4 days for nature to consume. The composition of the table changes and the weather would mess up things. Sometimes things are completely gone. It is nice to see all the food and plates pill up and decay.

This is definitely one of my favorite projects among these "I MAKE A FAILURE" projects. It makes me think about the ruins, nature, a sense of sublime.

The documentation is presented very well with good shots. The quality of the meals somewhat goes beyond my expectation of "Dinner for the Lonely". I mean, they look so nice compared to what I have been eating every day for the sake of keeping me alive. Wasting them purposely conveys a really strong feeling to me personally.

I love your discovery of food as an effect of the weather (snow)

I can see the cost of this project is a lot. Firstly you have to make this food. Then you have to clean up afterward. There might be many insects and harmful bugs that come out as a byproduct of your installation. (wasps, mold)

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