The students in Advanced Photo and Advanced Sculpture Autumn 2020 present SURFACE/SKIN/SIGHT a collaborative, experimental effort between students exploring the intersections of photography, performance for the camera, printmaking, video and sculpture. The multi-medium exhibition explores how sight and visuality can limit or expand one’s understanding of identity, belonging, and being.
How is the body, a permeable border just as national borders prove futile in resisting viruses, as well as perpetuate false notions of self and other, citizen and foreigner? The artwork created for Hopkins Hall Gallery shares thematic components of re-contextualizing and fragmenting perceptions of the human body, exploring self-authorship, and personal expression. Shared techniques and concepts include fragmentation, reflection, refraction, and repetition to both amplify and deflect notions of looking while embracing experimentation, as well as the potential of failure. Common themes that emerged when students discussed their ideas and artwork include the possibilities of an autonomous self and the ability of an artist to present worlds outside of the false binaries and social codes that continue to permeate notions of sexuality, gender, and race. In the development of creative projects, students asked questions related to issues of representation and expressed the need to bring joy in our lives, to create a safe space of listening, and a world that supports well-being and mental health.
This series of images aim to create a space that comments on our understanding of the pandemic and its implications. The notion that we are all affected by this unseen enemy and even through desperate measures, cannot be truly safe. The slips in the layer of masks reveal this human vulnerability and struggle to control something that is ultimately out of their control. Through this battle, one can even lose their identity and become something that is a product of their own fears. I wanted to use masks and create a surreal plastic environment to emulate this idea. In addition, I wanted to raise certain questions revolving around privilege and wealth. What does it mean to live in a country that has an abundant supply of resources? What does it mean to be able to afford this object that has become so valuable? These were all starting points for this project and aim to create a conversation between the viewer and the work.
The idea of exploring multi species relationships is vital in the creation of this piece. Ideologies surrounding human projection on pets is the focus and how that focus effects an individual’s psyche.
Viewing Systems (Ambiguous Landscapes of the San Fernando Valley)
9650 & 9610 De Soto Avenue
Resin, glass, packing tape, digital prints, and print magazine images
Viewing Systems investigates the complicity of camera and viewer in creating and consuming performative, gendered images of female bodies. In this work, I montage sexualized images, photographs of former pornography studio sites in the San Fernando Valley, and cropped screen captures of digital porn to construct new fragmented landscapes. I employ the indistinct and ultra-visible qualities of deadpan landscape photography to amplify, reflect, and disrupt notions of looking.
Viewing Systems (Synecdochical Slice)
Digital print and video (8:30 min.)
“A synecdochical slice, the product of a gaze that cuts the body into pieces, making visual, anatomical, and aesthetic cuts to produce territories or genital organs. These chunks of the body are recodified as synecdoches (that is, the part represents the whole: woman is represented by a piece of herself, genitals represent gender, etc.).”
Paola Uparella and Carlos A Jáuregui, “The Vagina and the Eye of Power (Essay on Genitalia and Visual Sovereignty)” (2018).
Unbelonging and Longing Series
I often wonder how I fit into this world. I have never felt like I had a voice. I struggle to advocate for myself. I am easily forgotten. Sometimes when I am finally noticed it seems as though my presence is not wanted. Like a ghost I am simultaneously unbelonging and longing. In my process I am shooting these spaces separately from myself. Later, I take photos of myself using greenscreen so I can place myself into these spaces with Photoshop.
If there ever was a moment this is it
Dustin Brinkman, Cynthia Groves, Jet Ni, and Momo Zuroweste
This body of work experiments with our control of sight and the representation of what is being viewed. The original images and intentions become ambiguous, as they fade away the viewer is able to enter and place their own meaning and reading within the works. These surrealist images on display express the sight and viewing of material cooperation and partnership, bringing visibility to mental health, reflections, and identity.
Whatever Floats Your Boat
The larger issue at Stake here is Anxiety and Depression. The questions I ask through my work is, how does this make you feel. These images beg the idea of how we feel in our own space and how through personal experiences do we see ourselves or feel during these raw and exposed moments.
This piece was an experimentation with my own emotions, rather a continuation of my previous project but exposing more of my own vulnerabilities. My project expands upon the idea of performance for the camera.
My process consisted of work in my studio, building off of previous feedback about lighting position. I also projected myself in my own space. This is a space I frequently visit when I experience an anxiety attack and need to feel small.
This is considered to be a part of a series. I choose Black and White primarily because I feel like I go into a darker part of my life when an anxiety attack happens. I chose a plastic bag because I feel like I am always grasping for air and I can’t always get it. I decided to overlap some of my images to show the different areas that I sit in that particular room and to show how I get into my own head space and this is what that represents. Typically, when I am having a low day that I feel largely overwhelmed I have moments where I tug at my hair and pull on my face. It’s the hard truth that this is how, at least in my case, I struggle with anxiety and the pressures of life. The choice to not wear a blouse is personal. Wearing clothing makes me feel like I am constricted and quite frequently I don’t even wear what was pictures in the image because that is also constricting.
My two artist references are Morgan Ford Willingham and Odette England.
For installation I am really intrigued by the idea of including the bag that I used to take the images. Another idea I have, is to your cling wrap or parchment paper to make a giant encasement where I will piece my images inside this. This will give the viewer the perception that anxiety can feel like your enclosed in an area you cannot be freed from. It could also create a blurred view to an image which I think is also interesting.
Unbound book - digital prints on vellum paper
500 Square Feet, 8 Months
Digital Photographic Prints
Included is meant to represent my personal thought process of feeling not recognized for my sexual identity in an inclusive environment. The piece is meant to show how my inner thoughts and self-doubt can taint my viewing of my actual social environment. It explores themes of sexuality, identity, and introspection.
Untitled (Unsaid, Unsettled II)
Collected rocks, mirror, balsa wood, epoxy, permanent marker
Iteration II in an ongoing performative series
Have you ever looked at your reflection and been overcome by the surreal fact of your existence? The circumstances that lead to and shape one's life begin to feel absurdly improbable.
American physicist Richard Feynman describes the experience of seeing one's reflection as a psychological condition, “ordinarily when we think of the image we think of it as another person. We think of the normal way that a person would get into that condition over there… A person gets to look like he looks in the mirror by walking around and facing you.”
Untitled (Unsaid, Unsettled) is an on-going project that explores the artists’ ability to shift her identity through narrative agency. By walking around places of personal significance with a mirror in hand, she develops new perspectives of her past. Rocks collected from each place are then dropped onto the mirror. The ego is shattered and she is untethered from her preconceived notion of self.
Photography and Mixed Media
My best friend and I have been together since we were 10 and 11. We grew up taking photos together. As young teens, our photos and strong friendship gained an audience, consisting mostly of adult men, and that audience followed us both into young adulthood. As we went through puberty, when we photographed each other, or posed each other for the cameras of others, our friendship, femininity, and sexuality was most frequently explored through the lens of a camera, and photographs, taken to please a large ambiguous audience which included ourselves and each other. This project revisits and recontextualizes that history, and celebrates 16 years of friendship between two grown adults, now capable of comprehending the complex sexual power dynamics which surrounded them as they grew up.
This piece features photography by Swoz photography, Yenra Photography, Greyroamer photography, OhHeyItsSK photography, Cerulean photography, Wes Lee Austin, Fanservice Renji, The Enthusiasts, Space Fox Photography, CK December, Kings Cosplay Photography, Felix Wong Photography, Xinstrumental Photography, Future Photography by M3, Lockpoint Expeditionary Force, Z-Is-Eternal Photography, and Rachel Marschner
Prescott T. Huston
E Pluribus, Nullum
The world is at a crossroads; the Earth is leaning on the edge of a precipice, teetering towards the darkness of smoke-filled skies and ashen gray dirt and the flowing of sludge-filled water.
While the decades of abuse and exploitation of the Earth by mankind have indeed drawn her closer to that edge, it is only recently that that void has truly appeared present upon the horizon. On June 1, 2017 the Trump Administration announced the resignation of the United States from the Paris Agreement, one of the most critical accords within the struggle for environmental restoration. This action is nothing less than a blatant disregard for the natural world: currently the United States leads in CO2 emissions, as well as plastic waste/disposal.
This series of images titled E Pluribus, Nullum (adapted from the creed of the Federal Reserve, translating into Out of Many, None) is a commentary, and criticism, of the United States severe repercussions on the environment. This is represented through the usage of the juxtaposition of common household products that have been proven to be detrimental to the natural world, and the placement of dead/dying plants.
As for the specific influences upon the aesthetic of the completed work, it comes from a combination of personal artistic preferences, as well as the interpretation of the term tableu. The interpretation of photo tableu (in regard to this project) was taken in the more literal sense; to mean a photographic painting, in a sense. It is from this interpretation that the project was rooted. It was then a personal appreciation of classical artwork, specifically the classical still-life paintings emerging from the early and later Renaissance (as can be seen through the staged presentation, slightly darker lighting, and physical placement/arrangement of objects within the frame), that blossomed into the final images seen before you.
The world is at a crossroad. The greatest struggle of our generation will not be war, disease, or famine; rather, if the United States (and the rest of the world) continues leaning over that precipice, seeing how close they can get to the edge without plunging into that oblivion, then our struggle will simply be survival.
Seemingly Weightless (a moment in time)
October 17, 2020
Seemingly Weightless (a moment in time) is a commentary on gravity and time and is a continuation from project one earlier in the semester. For this series I wanted to continue the idea of a weightless figure but camouflage the body with the background. There is also a commentary on an urban space and nature through the use of color. The nature side is vibrant and alive while the urban side is bland in color and has a grey tonal range.
I think water has such significance and can maintain meanings to which they are polar opposites. In relation to my people I see the waters traveled, the waters that were sailed across to bring us to a country against our will. I see water being life as it covers71% of our earth and 60% of us. I think water can be peaceful as I have found most of mine by the ocean, but also know it can be alive with unforgiving violence and crashing waves. And along with unforgiveness I think of my own dying through a daily baptism chosen and completed not of my own strength. And then I think of myself in relation to these things, how I have volume and take up the space of my surroundings. I think about how the society I am in makes me feel as if I'm just a drop instead of the expanse of sea I was meant to be. This series covers a multitude of feelings I have about being a black woman and how women like me are perceived growing up. Overly sexualized and labeled mature at a young age by our environment then chastised. Societal hands molding then promptly discarding. But regardless, a continual effort of reclaiming space and making it our Eden.
Gary T. Nack
Alice Hookah Smoking Caterpillar Hallucination
Gary T. Nack
Alice Metamorphosis Butterfly Self Actualization
Gary T. Nack
Alice Cheshire Cat Astonished
Gary T. Nack
Alice White Rabbit Mystified
Gary T. Nack
My artistic interests include painting, photography and digital imagery. My work often includes organic shapes and bold hues found in nature. Much of my focus has been on abstraction and the surreal which has leaded me to the theme of these four images, Alice in Wonderland. Wonderland is about as abstract and surreal as it gets. This work is mixed media which is also an interest of mine. I have always found nature and specifically butterflies fascinating. Metamorphosis is one of the true mysteries if life.
I have painted the skin on top of digital printed images with acrylic paint to emphasize it significance. Our skin, our outer shell, is often how we are judged. Right, wrong or indifferent it connotes sensitivity, sensuousness, femininity, race, religion and many more identity factors based on a very superficial parameter. Our true identity lies far below the skins surface.
The four images depict Alice and are from the 2010 Movie starring Mia Waskowska as Alice. They highlight her travels from reality to Wonderland and back. Her early confusion about following a predetermined path for women into a marriage and life she is not interested in is interrupted by a white rabbit and a hallucinogenic trip through Wonderland. She is continually asked is this the real Alice. Like the hookah smoking caterpillar that is transformed through metamorphosis into a butterfly, Alice is also changed from an insecure young woman into self-confident women who knows what she wants to do and goes after it.
This is a journey that all people take. Certainly the process of attending college can lead to a self-confident, self-actualized person. Each person must decide which path they want to pursue in life. It is a very personal decision and there is no right or wrong choices. We all want to find the “real Alice” in ourselves.
Hanging Out at a Tree Performance
“Reborn from the mud and the filth, she emerges clean in mind and elevated in spirit. Here to dance in the forest in complete unabashed freedom; she finds herself again in the silence and beauty of nature. She is free.”
Hybrid Arts Lab is a multi-venue teaching lab that experiments with how art is imagined, made, viewed and understood within physical and digital spaces. Venues include Hopkins Hall Gallery, Stillman Hall Tent, and online @ UAS from Home.