VVP: Art 434 & Engl. 410

Website for Vision Voice and Practice: An Interdisciplinary Course in Art and Creative Writing

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Frank O'Hara

Today, we heard part of an essay by Stephen Burt, which is about Frank O'Hara's manifesto, "Personism," and how its ideas can be traced in O'Hara's poetry. O'Hara writes, tongue somewhat in cheek,
[Personism] was founded by me after lunch with LeRoi Jones on August 27, 1959, a day in which I was in love with someone (not Roi, by the way, a blond). I went back to work and wrote a poem for this person. While I was writing it I was realizing that if I wanted to I could use the telephone instead of writing the poem, and so Personism was born. It’s a very exciting movement which will undoubtedly have lots of adherents. It puts the poem squarely between the poet and the person, Lucky Pierre style, and the poem is correspondingly gratified. The poem is at last between two persons instead of two pages.
Burt elucidates O'Hara's "point":
[Personism] consisted of the smitten O'Hara's realization that love poems might not differ in intention, nor in effect, from phone calls: "I realized that if I wanted to I could use the telephone instead of writing the poem, and so Personism was born." Poems, in other words, are only one kind of intimate communication, and ought to be at least as impressive, at least as personal perhaps, as the others (even if their forms differ). Every poem is or could be a "Personal Poem" (an O'Hara title), with an "I" and a "you," and a hope, not that Heaven will favor the poet, but that "one person out of the 8,000,000 is / thinking of me."
We considered these passages as we read aloud "Why I Am Not a Painter."

Another of the poems we read this week, "Having a Coke with You," has been illustrated by the artist Nathan Gelgud. You can check that out here.

And this reminds me of a video student Juliet San Nicolas made for this class. It's called "Dear Frank," and you can watch it here

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tina Linville & Annalie McKenzie

Several weeks ago we had visual artist and collaborators, Tina Linville (rt) and Annalie McKenzie (lt), visit our class and talk about there on going collaborative practice. The have been collaborating since 2011. They work together to create site responsive installations and artworks that blur the distinctions between painting and sculpture. They have exhibited their collaborative works across California in museums, galleries, and alternative art spaces such as the Torrance Art Museum, Den Contemporary, and 18th Street Art Center, and more recently in Paris, France. http://www.linvilleandmckenzie.com/home  
Both artists also have their individual studio practices as well. http://www.annelie.biz/ http://tinalinvillestudio.com/home.html

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Most Famous Desktop Wallpaper Ever

Earlier in the semester, some students in this class made a collaborative piece incorporating the following image:
Slate has run a piece on the origins of that image, which you can read (and watch) here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spot Collaboration: Roden Version

We've been looking at the work of artist Steve Roden, who makes system-based paintings, installations, and audio. [Click the link, above. It's worth your time.] Last Thursday, as a way of thinking about his work, students were invited to get in groups of three and four, make a system based on each member's first name, and produce a verbal / written work to share with the class. They had fifteen minutes to do it. Below are the results. All were read aloud, with the numbers one involving some performance.


Reina: İstanbul gece hayatının kalbi Reina'da atıyor! Su Entertainment Group tecrübesiyle eğlence dünyasına adım atın.

Sarah: Sarah or Sara (/ˈsɛərə/; Hebrew: שָׂרָה, Modern Sara Tiberian Śārā ISO 259-3 Śarra; Latin: Sara; Arabic: سارة Sārah; was the wife of Abraham

Gaven: Gaven Industries Leader in R.F. Shielding product design and manufacturing. HEMP Shielding. R.F. Testing.

Brooke: Brooke. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation, search. Brooke may refer to: Contents. 1 People; 2 Places; 3 Other; 4 See also. People[edit].


God saves, noting some indefinite day.
The strong one, the supreme being,
She ascends, able to withstand
Joy.  Go up or climb
a noble keen pleasure,
like a flower, upright.
A peaceful state of efflorescence.
One, tranquil.

[Joshua, Brianna, Alyssa, Olivia]




Monday, April 7, 2014

Image/Text Collaborations

In this collaborative project visual artists and writers were grouped and asked to create works that incorporated image and text. In the combining the image was to be privileged. Both the images and text could be produced by appropriation of found artifacts or the production of new ones. These are some examples of what was produced.

Here are a several examples.

 Lori, Kent, Victoria, Alyssa

 Nico, Lauren

Josue, Sarah, Liv

Gaven, Brianna, Allison

Alison, Daniel

Josh, Lit, Katelyn

Stevi, Jake, Rachel

The Elements Will Be Destroyed By Fire from Michael Asmus on Vimeo.

Lisl, Katherine, Michael, Nathan

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hybrid Book/Arts Workshop

The Kenyon Review is offering a Hybrid Book / Arts Workshop this summer. It's not cheap, but any student in this class would recognize the appeal of this kind of thing. More information, including some examples of the kinds of hybrids people will be making, is here.

LACMA & Bender

This past weekend, the class went to LACMA to look at, among other things, the two Joseph Cornell boxes; process paintings by Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Motherwell, and others; and to explore whatever else caught the eyes of students working to integrate image and text in collaborations. Students who hung around Dan got to hear him wax on the paintings in the Picasso room and one of his favorite paintings in all of LACMA, "Nude on a Chair" by Edouard Vuillard. Students were also implored to see Chris Burden's "Metropolis II," his sons' favorite thing at the museum. At any museum, actually.

We also had a visit from the writer Aimee Bender, who sat with us on the lawn across from Michael Heizer's "Levitated Mass" and about her writing practice. Pre-parenthood, she set aside two-and-a-half hours, six mornings a week to work. She said she would turn off her Internet access, turn off her phone, and show up at her desk and see what would come. She downplayed inspiration and expectation, telling us that you need to let your mind go dull, to be bored, so that you can then take risks and make something, anything, in the time you've set for yourself. Most (all?) of her strangest, most satisfying fiction has come from this process. Since she's had children, she takes what time she can get, even if it's ten minutes every evening, to get some writing done. The point is to show up, to make stuff and not to worry about its importance or how good it is. She shared with us this passage from Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird:
E.L. Doctorow said once said that 'Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.' You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.
And then she took student questions. It was gracious for her to join us, in the brief time she had, and students were encouraged and make time to let themselves be bored in the service of their work.