For me, constellation was a good break from my subject area as it allows me to get back to what I love. I’ve always been passionate about art, obviously otherwise I wouldn’t be here, but I’ve never been able to tie my love of modern art into textiles. I was always torn between fine art and textiles and eventually swerved away from fine art, which isn’t something I necessarily regret but it definitely something that I miss. However, the constellation lectures brought me back to that, which I love. I know some of the other textile girls in my constellation group weren’t entirely happy with the group we’d been put in, however, for me it couldn’t really have worked out better. Some people may struggle to understand modern art sometimes, but for me I find it inspiring, and sometimes more expressive than renaissance for example.
I certainly enjoyed Dr Clive Cazeaux’ lecture on thinking at the edge as I studied philosophy at A level and is something that I’ve always been interested in to this day. However, I don’t think I would’ve been able to write an essay to the same standard that I’ve written my post modernism essay on. I also enjoyed Cath Davies’ lectures in the study skills sessions too, however, for the same reason as I didn’t chose Cazeaux’ lecture neither did I chose Caths.
After looking at abstract expressionism, pop art and consumerism, Fluxus, minimalism, conceptualism, and site specific and land art, I found myself inspired to argue something that I’ve spent a large portion of the past 5 years arguing, and that is is it possible to make a meaningless piece of art? Ever since I studied art at GCSE people around me have found it hard to understand some aspects of modern art, however, it’s something that I’ve always been interested in. Some people would look at (For instance) a piece by Mondrian, and see it as nothing more than a few lines and squares, and not understand how he got from his tree series to his final outcome. I however, even now, look at his pieces and feel inspired. Not necessarily because of the pieces themselves, but because of the way he came to that final outcome. It’s something that many people cannot comprehend. After being to all of the lectures, and chosing this question I felt it fitting to concentrate on minimalism as the main focus point of my essay, as many people view it as pointless, meaningless and empty. However, after doing my research it became clear that this was exactly what the artists wanted them to think. All in all, I found the constellation sessions very interesting and helpful. Even though I The whole point of their art, to minimalist artists is to merely be what you see, no emotion or complexity to it, just as it is. And I’ve honestly found myself completely in love with minimalist art just from writing this essay.
I without a doubt can say I’ve enjoyed my constellation lectures, but not only that, I can also say that I’ve gotten a lot out of them and they’ve certainly benefited my studies. Even though I study textiles and don’t necessarily look into modern art as often as I should, it’s a nice way of bringing all the subject areas back together to remind us that we are all artists working together.
This lecture was based up on the theory of ideas, and as an artist what our relationship is with ideas.
We began by looking at the definition of an idea.
i·de·a – [ahy-dee-uh, ahy-deeuh] Show IPA
any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity.
a thought, conception, or notion: That is an excellent idea.
an impression: He gave me a general idea of how he plans to run the department.
an opinion, view, or belief: His ideas on raising children are certainly strange.
a plan of action; an intention: the idea of becoming an engineer.
“All ideas give shape to reality” – Plato – an early definition of ideas.
Cazeaux went on to talk about the philosophy behind ‘the mind’. He began by discussing the ‘numbskull’ theory, which hypothesises that we live within our own minds.
From the beginning of time people have questioned our existence. Many ideas were raised about the reality of our existence, such as are we here? and are we real?
“I think therefore I am” – Cogito Ergo Sum. Rene Descartes.
Descartes argued that we are sensory beings, our bodies are that of what we feel, see, hear, taste and smell.
Clive then came back to the original question, how have these questions effected us today?
He then went on to talk about the death of art:
The fact that he believes art has died, and that art is over.
The example he showed us was a piece from “The Exhibition of Rejected Art”.
For him, this is the end of art. He went on to say that for him, this proves that there are no more constrains on what can be considered as art. If someone can take something a basic as a urinal, sign it, and claim it to be art, then thus the theory of what can be art has come to an end.
If everything is art, then art is nothing. There is nothing special about it anymore.
I can’t deny that I came out of this lecture feeling rather bewildered, and questioning what I think about it all, and is he basically saying there’s no point in us studying art? I agree that art has changed over time, nobody could say it hasn’t, I also agree that some modern art is questionable. However, what I do not agree with is that the thesis that art has died. Without art we wouldn’t be wearing clothes, looking at different colours or visit some of the most amazing buildings in the world. Never mind watching films, listening to music or reading books. I think the main thing i took from this lecture is that we still need to consider our ideas in a certain way, and that it is important to develop our ideas in a creative manner. And that in the world of art is becoming harder to come up with original ideas. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
This lecture was definitely something that I could associate with Textiles and fashion. The main discussion of the lecture was about cultural approaches to fashion, and mainly Doc Martens and how they fit into culture.
Originally Doc Martens were made to function as work boots. They were made to be durable, solid shoes that could be used for people such as police officers etc. However, they began to become popular on the streets with youths, especially within grunge fashions. Youths began wearing them as a way of going against fashion by wearing something that was considered completely unfashionable. From then on, they began to become more fashionable. But with every generation, they were modified to look slightly more fashionable.
The main point of this lecture was to show how something can be taken and modified into something completely different. And how one thing can start off as something, and finish as something completely different. Davies was also trying to emphasise the fact that we can take something and put our own stamp on it, changing it completely with I think is a very important point to make within the art industry.
The focus of Alexandros’ lecture was the future of sonic arts and the digitalisation of sound. He pointed out that no matter where we are, everything we hear is just noise. If we ignore it, it’s annoying, if we listen to it, we find it interesting. It’s suprising really, how true this is. If we’re trying to concentrate, no matter what it is, we find it annoying. Even if it is something we listen to or watch on a daily basis. For example, if we get home and put music on every day, even if it’s the same music, when we’re trying to concentrate we turn it down, or even off. However, it’s also true that if we just sit and listen, we become absorbed by it, and eventually zone out.
Alexandros then talked about the fact that, once technology allows all ‘noise’ to be at peoples’ reach, artists will have to create new ways to create music that exceed the limits of musical sound.
He then went on to discuss different artists that have tried to capture this theory. I’m aware of a few artists that try to, in a way, ‘draw music’ such as Kandinski. However, I don’t see how I could tie this in with my own studies very much. I think this is more a principal associated with illustrators or fine artists.
Our ext lecture took a while for me to wrap my head around. The main point of the lecture was how to make sense of something.
“You can make something and you can make sense of something.”
We started by looking at an image on google maps. The image showed a lot of different perspectives due to the different points in which photos have been taken and cropped together. The lecturer made the point that people will obviously understand that, and also understand that the icons on maps such as train station, restaurant (knife and fork), church etc, are just icons and there aren’t any massive images hovering over the city, and therefore people make sense of the maps.
The lecturer then went on to talk about anamorphism, and how artists have used this in the past, such as Hans holbein and his painting ‘the ambassadors’ in which when you look at the bottom of the painting, originally the image looks like a smudge however if you look at it from a different perspective we realise it’s actually an image of a skull.
Personally, I don’t know if I could tie this in with textiles, however it’s definitely a serious point to consider in other subject areas.
The title of our first constellation lecture was ‘ideas’ and the main subject was the importance of ideas and original thought, and how to use these ideas as certain tools.
The first example our lecturer used was Picasso. He began by looking at Picasso’s older pieces. For me, whenever I think of Picasso, and it’s probably the same with a lot of people, we immediately think of his abstract, sort of animated style paintings. However, by looking at his earlier pieces we learnt that his original pieces were done in a much more traditional style, in that, they weren’t abstract or brightly coloured, and then, after questioning the orthodoxies on what art was built, he had an idea, and thanks to this idea, he began to work in the more non-traditional fashion that we now associate Picasso with today.
The main point Theo made was that we need to question everything, such as, Can I better this? Or Can this be done differently?
I think this is an important point in every subject, not just art. However when studying something like textiles, or fashion, this is definitely important otherwise our techniques wouldn’t evolve, and everything would look the same. I think subconsciously everyone does this anyway, however, until Theo had put it clearly in front of us, I don’t think many people had sat down and actually thought about it in this way before, so this lecture was definitely helpful.