Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Papier colle

"The sensation of physically operating in the world is very strong in the medium of collage..." Robert Motherwell

George Braque, Violin and Pipe, 1913

Pablo Picasso, Still Life with Chair Caning, 1913

This week's workshop on Magazine Transfers was pretty great as you can see from our class film below made with a large variety of materials .
We also investigated William Burroughs Cut up techniques using the New York Times and revealed some pretty interesting information hidden on those pages.

But meanwhile how about some readings on COLLAGE: the first is in relationship to the visual arts and the second is in relationship to the literary arts.

The Synthetic Century: Collage from Cubism to PostModernism, by Elisabeth Hodermarsky
The Cut-Up Method, by William Burroughs

magazine transfer film:


M.Myser said...

This "Synthetic Century" reminded me a lot of the "workmanship of Risk" article. It seemed to hit a lot of the same buttons in regards to what is concidered "art" or what is "craft" or what is an appropriate material to use if "high art". Who cares?! isn't it all the same? These ideas make me think that there is some strict guideline as to what art is. Isn't it different for everyone? Who is to say what is or is not art, or appropriate to make art out of.

I think the most wonderful thing about art is that anyone can make it. I think the reading hit that point a lot for me, that collage was something that anyone was able to do and access. The article states that collage is more accessable to experiment with because of the materials abundance in everyday life. The "inclusion of recognizable, real life elements, collage offers a natural entree into what is often quite [an] abstract composition." Everyone can enjoy it because everyone can recognize it. I see no issue in using both "high art" mediums and consumer products in the same work. After all isn't that what we do in everyday life?

I just felt the need to include this quote from the Cut-up article: "randomly-retrieved words resonate"

Christopher Warren said...

first off, a quick aside about the mars rover, http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/spirit.png > alright,

Collage, in college, the first collage i remember was an image of Marilyn Monroe comprised of many other photos on the cover of Life magazine, back when there was a Life magazine. The concept of Collage is an interesting topic in art. Where do you draw the line between simply posting someone else's work and creating a separate masterpiece from found objects?

a sense of collage has reach it's way into the world of music. remixing, sampling and mashups are all examples of collage in auditory realm. When the band Animal Collective samples Jerry Garcia and when Danger Mouse made the Gray Album by mixing Jay-Z with The Beatles were they not partaking in collage?

One strength i see in collage is it's ability to blur legal jargon, clog the corporate cogs a bit. the use of sampling, especially in music, has made it harder for money making machines to quantify their creative ownerships over pieces their company may own. The creative ownership should belong to the artist, not the company.

When someone makes a work of art using any element of collage, and then that said work becomes immensely popular (shepard fairey) and then a corporate owner tries to claim ownership, the piece's place in the public eye allows for the public to voice their opinion on the subject, and any public conversion about artistic ownership is healthy for us all. i'm not sure if that made sense, but I'm not going to be able to Blog any more coherently on this topic.

Collage is a valuable element of art, i hope it stays around for a while.


nikki king said...

I found both articles: "The Synthetic Century" and "The Cut-Up Method" were both very similar and interesting. The biggest comparison between the two is that both articles related the fact that art is for everyone and that anyone can create a wonderful piece of art. Both articles go into methods of collage or cut ups and in doing this one can create something simple, yet powerful. I agree with this for i do not think people should discard themselves as an artist because they can not paint or use a camera, etc. They can pick up some crafty materials or cut up an article and create something amazing.
I thought that both articles were also interesting because they both went into detail about origins of these styles. With the "synthetic century" collage began with cubism in 1912 and still continues today to be a popular style still today. collage brings high art and low art together and it usually speaks of the culture at the time it was made (which makes it very useful in determining why it is how it is and what objects, pictures, etc. were used). It is also something all artists of all mediums embrace so it was popular then and continues to be popular today in all sorts of mediums. With the cut-up article, that style naturally began with the surrealists when they began making poetry by randomly picking words out of a hat and putting them together. The cut-up method is very interesting and can make for some very interesting results. I think both methods are interesting and something I am interested in exploring further..

Ryan Simpson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Simpson said...

I enjoy the concept of cut-ups and the practice. The quote from the Cut-Up's article "Randomness and recombination can be used to author as an intermediate step in composition" really resonated with me. I do think that sometimes it's true that chance brings about the most rewarding results, mainly because it's surprising...

Does anyone else feel a sort of dissociation with the work when doing a cut-up? I don't know, through my film education here, I've been taught heavily to consider the inherent meaning behind everything considered art (and more specifically the thought process in creating art). Even though it is still the artist choosing which work to "cut-up" there is something about leaving a lot of the film up to chance that both fascinates me and makes excited about creating films using this idea, but I'm also curious to whether the explanation can stand as "Well, there hardly was a thought process, I just cut up some stuff and hoped it fit back together. Looks cool, right?" Not that that this is always (or ever) the case when using mash-ups and I know part of this technique is celebrating the action of the accidental, but even though I think the concept is awesome, there was still that thought in the back of my mind.

In response to Christopher's comment regarding mash-ups, I agree that "The creative ownership should belong to the artist, not the company," but it seems as if the idea of a mash-up can be taken too far. Do you agree? It's almost akin to taking a quote someone said and applying it somewhere not applicable, to be misconstrued. I guess in that statement I just made, you have to decide what's right and what's wrong in order for it to apply but what if you don't agree with the way another artist reinterprets the vision you once had? Corporations that may represent an artist aside, should an artist have no say in how their art is appropriated in others' work?

I'm just trying to solicit honest feedback... I don't really have a clear stance on it, as I enjoy both the White Album and the Grey Album, but for different reasons. That whole debacle obviously stirred some feathers, as did the Shepard Fairey case, but I think this issue deserves close examination, as it's a present and prominent part of our culture today. Looking at the syllabus though, it seems as if we will address this stuff...

michael.salka said...

In response to Ryan and Chris's thoughts on ownership:
in an ideal world, I think creative ownership should belong to nobody. Once an artist creates and publishes a work then at that very moment it leaves the author's individual ownership and becomes an object owned collectively by their audience, fully open to interpretation, for the most part regardless of the artist's intent, unless of course that intent is obvious in the work. This is how talent is revealed; if an artist creates pieces that can be interpreted thoroughly, whether or not the artist was conscious of the underlying meanings their piece holds (and I think often they're not), then that piece is considered rich and complex and consequently the artist is considered talented. We've been treating literature this way for years. Of course this all gets more complicated when we live in a capitalist society and artworks are being degraded by commercialism and used for profit and artists are struggling to live, but that's for those money men to figure out while artists just keep on creating.

M.Myser said...

but if one fully gives their work to their audience or the world rather does that give everyone the right to reproduce, and alter this artwork? I think to some extent the creator has to have some ownership because it's their own work. that is unless they WANT people to alter it. i think once something in out in the public to look at yes it is always open to the viewer, but only to a certain extent... one cannot walk into a museum and paint on top of another persons work.

Doesn't most artists who sample works--like animal collective--have to pay for those samples if they plan on putting them onto their own albums? If it's for their own private useage then who cares but when you get into the realm of really popular things like Jerry Garcia... i think you are tempting fate. not to mention the MAN, man.

C. Wallace said...

I think it's interesting that you guys brought up the "methodless" impression that collage can leave on a viewer, in conjunction with the text's dissection of "high" and "low" art. For another class, I recently read an article on how avante-gardists have been upset that digital technology enables "anyone" to utilize the collage as they have manually utilized it for years.
One thing I took from the reading was that, even though collage has been allied with populist sentiment throughout its history, it is still viewed by many of its practitioners as a representative medium. As such, in theory, craft is still a consideration. Although collage has lent itself to particularly anarchic methods, themes and presentation, to the extent one wishes to judge a collage work formally, there still exists a framework to do so. This process just offers a freedom to certain artists.

Jeri said...

I dunno what to say. Such interesting conversation on here.

I feel like the topic of ownership of one's art is an interesting topic, because there are so many opinions one can have. I think it's the same in film, in that, what can an artist say about their work? Who's going to hear it in comparison to the amount of people who will just see the work itself? While it's interesting to hear about the amount of work put into something (each frame of Avatar took 47 hours of work!), should the end result have this taken into account?

Or I've always loved using Youtube to post certain clips of movies, even though it's then just a part of that overall work, some times it gets others interested enough to watch the entire thing.

Mash-ups are sweet because I feel like they get me to like a song that I didn't really like before. But, huh... yeah, copyrights and all that shit. Such a legal storm.