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    Post 24: Artists-in-Residence review!

    farid rakun
    Feb 19, '12 2:44 PM EST

    The big day is finally done. I went through the Artists-in-Residence (AiR) review in one piece. During the review each of us first-years sat, waited, and talked to the AiRs assigned beforehand to visit us. The whole studio was then opened for everyone from the school to experience and see. Most of us had 4 AiRs, giving us feedback on our body of work so far. I had Heather McGill (Sculpture), Liz Cohen (Photography), Iris Eichenberg (Metalsmithing), and Scott Klinker (3D Design), with Reed Krollof (the Academy Director), Randy Bolton (Print Media), and Beverly Fishman (Painting) paid me a short visit.

    A summary:

    Heather: “Your works raise a lot of questions.”

    She was really critical on my Granny Shack, as I “didn't test it using real grannies, did you?”. She really warmed up after seeing my bench presentation & knowing that all the PVC pipes had been returned to The Home Depot. She was really stoked in the notion of using The Home Depot as a lending library for materials. She laughed a lot afterwards, calling the bench and TV-Hoist “curious”. She asked me to design a specific bed to pair with TV-Hoist. The key to design big-box-store reappropriation method is to “void the ad-hoc configuration”, she said. About Frank Lloyd Wrong (FLW), she picked up something I did not see before: the accidental stuff the bigger screens (TV & laptop) reflected, such as lights from the window, interior lighting, etc. She advised me to concentrate in the environment my piece sits. Create subtle, imperceptible surroundings so the piece becomes whole, therefore ephemeral. Big word. Her parting words, “I love your shirt, by the way.” I bit my tongue really hard to not say, “I'm a fan”, in reply.

    Liz: “You don't need to go to 2D to find colors.”

    She's flat and indifferent during my whole presentation. She said at one point, “look at the way you dress, you look like a pirate. Why don't you do the same to your work?”. The piece she reacted most positively against was my Granny Shack, she said. She advised me to do all over again but really undermining the scrap available. She pushed me to not be oblivious to color. She also wished that I got the orange engine-hoist instead of the dark grey I have now. “It's more Pop” (by the way she said it, I believe it's ‘Pop’ with a capital-P). Lastly, she gave me a list of name of artists/designers, and websites to Google. I'll get to it in later posts.


    “Am I on your list, Bev?”, I asked. “No”, she replied while staring unblinking towards the screens. “You know I would love this, don't you?”, she proceeded a couple of awkward seconds later. She saw something else in FLW: the possibility of completing the loop by another translation back into reality, “… bring it back to something tactile”, she said. Like a rug. That's totally coming full circle. She closed our conversation by asking, “Did you come to me asking to be an elective, and I said, ‘No, it's full’?”. “No, I didn't”. “But you came…”. “Yes, I did.”


    Iris: “You are spoiled.”

    Things took a different turn with any woman who could stare at me in the eye while we just met. She started by asking where I got my cape from, and continue by inquiring her interest in FLW. We ended up talking about punk for a little while. After we covered TV-Hoist (for which, once again, an advise to make a bed pairing for the piece was made), she tried to figure out what I was all about. “It's you making music once again, isn't it?”—on the games we played, our experiments for the bench project. She hit close to home when on Granny Shack she questioned my view on ethics and morality, asking me to be more stern with my own parameters by adding necessity to the formula, to be really thorough on my march against my own taste. “Do not judge materials”, “It's about embracing letting go”, and finally, “There is a lot of connection behind your works than you think there is”. When I was still baffled by last comment, the jet-black iron lady has gone looking for her next victim.

    Scott: “Are you interested in open-source?”

    Another flatliner, but he was the only one who understood the open-source DIY notion and relating it to contemporary culture instead of hippie-dom. He forced me to think about the context of Granny Shack, storytelling, and speculated a Kickstarter scheme for me, where “with $100 you can put a roof on top of a family”. He thought it would sell. He asked me to do more with my reappropriation move. It was not enough transformation and intention for him, “It's an overkill, and it looks like it.”


    I am going to end this post by putting some updated images of the TV-Hoist, as it was during the day of the review.

    My presentation area
    My presentation in video format—played in loop during the open-studio session

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A school blog on Arch Dept, Cranbrook Academy of Art. By farid rakun, admitted Fall 2011.

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