Anything can be art. In communication class we re-make – but not quite – another student’s art work. Using different media, re-interpreting, distorting and of course misunderstanding, result in surprising new works. This week I transformed Victor’s work by turning linoprint into video. I used my own imagination and associations, but tried to remain true to the simple composition and atmosphere of the original work.
My iPhone accompanies me everywhere, keeping me connected to my social networks. I love taking pictures and sharing and discussing them on Twitter, Mobypicture and Flickr. The iPhone also records video but until recently I had not made an effort to creatively explore film making. I just never had this itch, like the one I have when I see something and want to – must! – shoot a photograph. Guido van Troost’s assignment to add video to a given soundtrack gave me an awkward feeling because I had no idea where to start. Silly, but there it is. Not starting anything was the result. No creative process, no film, but lots of guilt. Wasn’t I supposed to be this creative person, enjoying making things?
I’m fortunate to be blessed by a small army of friendly ass-kickers and one of them did his duty and made me go out and GO FILM! There was little time left to film and edit the movie, but all of a sudden my brain cells were stirred, tickled and and bubbling. I had great fun shooting several bits of movie in the familiar streets at less than five minutes from my home. Ordinary scenes happening every day like people cleaning the streets, a building project, animals in a pet store and a toy shop display were suddenly not so ordinary anymore. Best of all I had a great time. Editing with iMovie also proved to a lot more fun than I had anticipated. I’m pleased with the result, but even more with this lesson of just doing it. OK, also liked the butt-kicking.
‘Make an ugly drawing’, was last week’s assignment for drawing. Sounded easy enough… but it wasn’t. I tried and failed. Not that I made a particularly beautiful picture, but the result was boring at best and it was obvious I had made at least some esthetic choices while drawing. Is it even possible not to make such choices? How conciously are they made? I certainly can not remember making them.
Consequently I spent a lot of time pondering why ‘ugliness’ is so hard to achieve. It turned out I hadn’t been the only one struggling, because every drawing presented by my classmates was greeted by a heartfelt ‘but this isn’t ugly!’ from the others. So did we fail? I don’t think so, because the journey towards my not-so-ugly picture has taught me a lot about the way I work, think and feel, and I’m sure most of us have had similar experiences.
When I was a little girl I absolutely adored the illustrations in a children’s book by Gilbert Delahaye. Those same illustrations now seem way too pretty, almost nauseating to me. Beautiful or ugly? How can a pretty picture be so repulsive to me? A strong emotional reaction appears to be important to experience either beauty or ugliness. Next week’s assignment is to make a beautiful drawing, so the journey continues.