Yesterday I received feedback from my tutor on the first part of the course and the first assignment. My overall feeling at the moment is that I need to create new habits, or organize current habits. I feel like I’ve been misunderstanding a lot of information from the course. I thought I was doing the right thing in the beginning by focusing on my learning log and on reflective writing, but then it turned out I wasn’t doing enough reading and project work. Now I’ve gone the other way and focused all my attention on getting through the reading and the projects and left off of the learning log. I have been consistent in my own art practice, using a sketchbook and my visual blogs but I didn’t think that these were taken into account as part of the course. I have been feeling the urge to write about the things I’ve been discovering in the reading and in the way this is changing my perspective on my work and the work of others that I admire. I feel like there is a way out of this but now I’m feeling very unsure about myself, I feel like I just keep getting the wrong end of the stick. I think I’ve been working very hard but obviously not in a very intelligent way.
“…now start to really extend your thoughts not only into your own work but also into the work of others, as it should be absorbed holistically rather than as separate entities.”
I agree with this statement and I have been feeling like this is really what I would like to be doing, but I’m finding it hard to find the time to keep up with the projects and do this other work as well. I think the blogs will have to be quite short from now on.
“Please start to absorb the readings by integrating your findings to your own work as well as to the work of others. Start to build links to what you are looking at to your readings, i.e. the historical context, the political, the cultural. It will help to start to look at your own work and the processes and ideas behind it even if you don’t think they are present. Artists are sensitive to what is going on around them and make work in response, whether it embraces or deliberately rejects ideas from a theoretical viewpoint.”
This is the part that I find most challenging, it takes me a while to understand written concepts and it’s also very difficult for me to apply them to my own work. I will try to write more about my own work and see if I can get through this block.
“Remember your ideas and thoughts are important and it is a really good idea to respond by reflecting through a visual diary (an annotated sketchbook) as well as through the written (a blog).”
I do think my thoughts are important, but as I said before they seem so personal and it’s hard for me to believe that they are connected to the course and need to be seen. I do keep a written diary/sketchbook, but I feel very unclear about what I’m supposed to do with it in regards to the course, am I supposed to put sections of it on my blog? Should I analyse it? What am I supposed to do here?
“Please remember to reference your reading through the Harvard system (see the OCA website) and attach it to your blog as well as your formal writing where relevant.”
Yes, I am guilty, I don’t do this even though I often think I probably should, but at some point I decided that this must only be necessary for formal assignments.
“Notes on the –isms as you collect more knowledge will be a useful idea in order for you to fully understand the written aspect of art theory and history.”
I have been noticing the –isms and it does help to find out more as I go through so I think I’ve been doing the right thing here.
“…as you become more aware of the theoretical, cultural, political aspect of the works I would expect you to feed these aspects of what you are reading or what you have read into the work you may be looking at in the future.”
I think I’m getting better at this although it is the thing that I find most challenging.
About Assignment 1:
“…you could have also considered the fact that Sillman’s work is viewed through YouTube, Hockney’s current work is interactively made yet viewed mainly in galleries and that Warhol’s work has been used and reused in many other media based ways today for example appropriated by other artists and that he was also a cultural recorder as in a filmmaker also and produced work as if in a ‘factory’ setting, getting other people to make the work or assimilating the work of others.
Thinking about Warhol’s work against the writing of Clement Greenberg’s writing about painting could have been an interesting juxtaposition in terms of looking at the artist as a solo entity for example. You could have also applied the sense of the Fetish to Warhol’s work, such as his ‘Car Crash’ series where we gaze at a repeated image of a horrific scene in the name of beauty, ideology.”
I agree with everything my tutor has said here and after reading the texts that I was supposed to read before doing the Assignment I can see how it could have been much more interesting and I could have easily made a lot of references to the theory. I blame the OCA here because I was pushed into doing the assignment before I was ready. I don’t think I should have been allowed to do it until I had finish all the projects, it’s just counterproductive. I spent a month on that piece of work and the reason it was so difficult is that I didn’t have all the information I needed. So that was a bit of shame, but despite that I did need to be told to speed up or at least to get back on track and now, even though I have continued to veer off again I am starting to see what I’m supposed to be doing and how, if I can follow the guidelines, this will enable me to get into some very good working habits for the future, even beyond the course.
“Your blogs where you have started to unpick the texts are good. Contextually they are relevant, organised and well written. It will now help you enormously to build up a rhythm to your blog entries and blog your thoughts, the journey of reading and thinking about what you are reading in context. I suggest that you write a blog entry more often as evidence that you are reading and thinking critically and contextually when looking at the work of others or reading online or in magazines or in reviews in newspapers about artists and exhibitions. Contextually your writings will become a lot more dense, more critical and will allow your own voice to develop and extend into your own practice.”
I will try to write at least one blog a week from now on. I think this is a great idea and something I have been thinking about but not doing with the excuse that I had to be concentrating on my project work.
“Sketchbooks: You haven’t submitted any of your own work for this assignment but it is hoped that I will start to see this in the next assignment with contextual referencing throughout.”
I’m still unclear about this… I thought you could choose to do a blog instead of a sketchbook (although I do keep one). I’M SO CONFUSED. I haven’t been asked for evidence of a sketchbook until now.
Pointers for the next assignment:
“Please remember to reference your reading using The Harvard System and attach this to the blog and your final written work. Start to build up your knowledge base and your critical thinking to your own sketchbooks, notebooks and learning log as you move through. Please show some evidence of this activity. Please start to attempt to build up your knowledge of the –isms that were mentioned in Assignment One. This will be enormously beneficial to you as you read and understand more. Please also see my suggested reading above.”
OK understood! I will try!