University of Southern California (Daniel)

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    Art Space: site and parti

    By Daniel
    Apr 2, '06 7:03 AM EST

    Our final project of the semester is indeed an art gallery--we are assigned to choose for ourselves the precise nature of the art that would be hyphothetically displayed. The program is small: a main exhibition space, two video/audio rooms, reception, staff, restrooms, and storage. The site is a small lawn on campus between Pardee Tower, Mark’s Hall, the Alumni House and rose garden, and the main library:

    It's an interesting site. Most of the work so far has been focused on intensive site analysis and generating formal responses, all with a very conscious lack of emphasis on program. This is the first project we’ve done with a real site; before they’ve been either entirely abstract or fictional. It’s a big leap: suddenly there are street grids, surrounding buildings, student traffic patterns, and everything else. Some are adjusting well, but I keep catching myself staring past my pages of diagrams, convinced I’ve missed something obvious.

    I chose free-standing sculpture for my art, using the floor instead of the walls for display area. That’s really the only strong decision I’ve made so far. A required design element is some kind of ground plane manipulation, so I’m working with models of peeling away the earth in sheets, somewhat inspired by the Keep Off the Grass exhibit at SCI-Arch (where both of my instructors this year have gone). From there, the design direction is still rather hazy. I’ll update as it develops.

    On an unrelated note, I worry about the tone of this blog. Too often I come off shrill and flippant, which while unintentional isn’t too far from reality. If the purpose of this entire student blog project is indeed “to provide a voyeuristic view into the environment” of this school, I don’t feel that I’m being inaccurate. So much of my first year has been about insecurity and adaptation. I envy many of you your confidence and focus, but I’m not there yet, and I won’t pretend to be. Someone recently told me that this blog was more personal than the others. I guess that’s appropriate, considering my age. Hopefully some of you enjoy it nonetheless, if only for nostalgia and “aww, wasn’t it nice when it was that easy?” moments.


    • myriam

      Your blog is great, don't worry about it. You're doing a fine job. And by the way, when reading it I usually think "oh man, I remember how ridiculously hard those years are!"... not how easy they were!

      Maybe that will give you some comfort.

      Good luck on the site analysis. Of course you will overlook something. People spend entire lifetimes studying the sociology/enviroment/context of one little spot in a city! There's no way you'll get it ALL. Just think about what you feel is most relevant to your art garllery and focus on that. Are you concerned about foot traffic into your building? Sun angles flitting through the galleries? How will surrounding buildings affect those sun angles? Stuff like that. Also, remember, you're at the very very beginning. It's ok if you don't go insanely deeply into something--you don't have to know everything yet. In fact, if you do look at the sun movement, for example, it's ok for you to just be aware of which parts of the site get lots of sun throughout the day and which are in shadow; in a couple years you'll be tracking exact angles and seasonal fluctuations, but it requires whole classes to do that kind of thing. So remember, you're supposed to explore this year--not know everything!

      As a quick anecdote I remember this great crit my second year of one of our best students in the class. His forte was composition, and he had made this beautiful little house for a filmmaker. During his crit some critter asked him: "but how does this (he points to some part of the model) actually stand UP?" And the student's response was: "I don't know, we haven't taken any structures courses yet!" (with a smile) The rest of us students in the audience were shocked. "You can say that?! Oh man, he's gonna get it!" To our complete surprise the critters all said, "ahh! well then" and proceeded to give him an excellent, meaty crit. Everyone was pleased with the project.

      Moral being: it's ok to not know everything all at the beginning, and it's ok to be honest about it! Your learning process, and your blog, are fine.

      Apr 2, 06 8:48 am

      "critter." I like that. like a rodent? heheheh...

      ya Daniel, don't worry too much about it. Just continue sharing your experiences, and doing it with honesty. Also, don't be shy about putting your work up here. You'll probably get some great feedback along the way. Enjoy this stage of your education. It will be over before you know it...

      Good luck!

      Apr 2, 06 12:43 pm
      vado retro

      heres what i would art gallery would be the building itself and the walls would display through technology and computers!!!images and sensory experiences. inside would be nightclub in the basement, a temporary job staffing office for artists needing work and various counselling services...done...

      Apr 2, 06 6:23 pm

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