Monday, December 16, 2013

05 Continuation - postmodernism and forming art-based research

A Blog as an Artist’s Workspace  
Continuation - postmodernism and forming art-based research

         A Blog as an Artist’s Workspace text and video focuses on the technological tool types and the artist’s perception with interdisciplinary research methods. I utilize media and my experiences from interdisciplinary practice to establish a postmodern perspective. Steven Seidman’s postmodern theories toward hybrid knowledge are a main element in my underpinnings for using media as a presentation platform for art-based research.
            Seidman acknowledges in his introduction of his book, The postmodern turn, that Modernity has not come to an abrupt end. He references third world societies modeling modern aesthetics and that the concept of modernization continues to form social living. In addition, Seidman cites the argument that Postmodernity is now registered as being included as current “western” history by academic standards. [1] Approximately twenty years since Seidman’s text pertaining to the postmodern turn and the methods of hybrid knowledge, my essay is supplementing the current theories and methods of employing media and art-based research toward forming interdisciplinary practice. 
            My essay is not written with the intent to dismiss the art canons or declare postmodernism over the post-postmodern movement[2], but present other perspectives of how artists and past collaborations are viewed with the advancement of technology. Billy Kluver acknowledges from a1995 interview with Garnet Hertz that from his experience with E.A.T. he recognized that artist’s involvement with technology has introduced a more humanizing element with the collaborative projects. Kluver’s assessment, derived from his matching of artist project’s with engineer knowledge, is that the artists brought situations to technology that were not in an engineer’s everyday routine concerning rational problems. Kluver believes the questions the artist raised concerning the use of technology brought the engineers and the technology from that time-period closer to humanity.[3] 
            Kluver’s concept with an artist’s approach and their intent with technology can be applied to Refsum’s theory of production concerning the field of visual arts. The approach would be demonstrated with the postmodern identity that would acknowledge the human element by presenting multiply narratives. Presenting these methods through the act of blogging and the continual evolution of digital media implies a potential growth relating to the breath of theory and practice toward art-based research.
           This section is subtitled a continuation instead of a conclusion, because the initial objective is to contribute toward the documentation of research, use of media, and presentation of media-based art. While there are some absences in the investigation of my blog’s audience and how I relate it to the progress of my use of digital resources, my research will continue beyond the posting of this digital essay. My investigation will continue with my motivations and the accessibility of contemporary media tool types that are employed toward the processes of research.

[1] Steven Seidman, The Postmodern Turn New Perspectives on Social Theory (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994) 1

Saturday, December 14, 2013

03 The Structure of the Blog

A Blog as an Artist’s Workspace
The Structure of the Blog

The top central location on the blog page is the header area, which indicates to the viewer the information pertaining to the blog as a whole. I have used the header area of the blog to display my descriptive text. This text is derived from the characteristics of my blog. Referencing the blog’s description, I will introduce the structure of my blog.

Screenshot of Example of blog's layout

The text listed below is the blog description that is posted in my blog’s header.

The blog is for posting my experiences and the process of my art practice. These can include but are not limited to academic or experiential research, sample writings, and events. Currently, my art practice concentrates on forming collections by employing material culture methodologies. The postings pertaining to research or involvement with individuals/ institutions with aspects of the collection does not intend to be disrespectful of history or present public institution/ museum practices.[1]

            The article, Why We Blog investigates blogging as a form of personal communication depicted from interviews concentrated around the Standford University area.[2] The analysis of the diverse interest and motivations for blogging will be acknowledged in relation to my own blog’s personal and social characteristics.
            The in depth interviews of the article examine the motivation to maintain a blog. The overall motivations that were stated were a record of updated informative commentary to some specific form of activities.[3] My motivations to blog are stated in the first two sentences of the descriptive text. My commentary is about my experiences and the process of my art practice. The second sentence gives examples of what type of information can be included in a blog post. The writing pertaining to the “collection” project, along with the social and cultural research is currently the primary focus for the blog’s content.
            “Blog as Muse,” one of the article’s subcategories, sites one interviewee who viewed blogging as a method to test ideas concerning his readings of news and scholarly journals. The interviewee’s description of testing scholarly writing with an audience indicates an example of Kirkup’s argument that the blog format is a scholarly product of “performative writing.”[4] The term “thinking with computers” is used to describe the activity toward the idea of writing a blog post in the article, Why We Blog. The interviewee’s blog post is related to private writing materials that have future opportunities as published articles and research materials. The one difference between the blog posts and the private writing materials is that the blog has an audience.[5]
Referring to the discipline of writing, maintaining a blog has two main benefits that are described through the interviewee’s experience. The first benefit is having an audience, for the author to be able to progress with the writing form. The second is as an archival source that enables the ability for the author and audience to reference older posts for research or other writing.[6]
The first benefit in relation to maintaining my blog is the accessibility to public access for my text and digital media. The opportunity with online self-publishing is not only the obvious benefit of immediate access, but presenting the development of research and archiving of the evolution of methods used with various forms of media.
            I have used my blog as an archival source for content in older posts that has contributed to developing a current blog post. The automatic archiving capabilities are the second benefit and feature of a blog. This characteristic refers back to Lovejoy’s description of electronic tools having the capabilities of collecting and transmitting digital information. The investigation from the article, Why We Blog, has compared a blog to other sources of Internet communication. Several of the author’s analyses determined that a blog’s public access offers a non-intrusive style of Internet communication. A blog is a source of publishing that is considered a voluntary reading source when it is convenient for the viewer.[7] The automatic archiving feature enables the non-intrusive style for my blog’s audience to view a post on their personal schedule. 
Screenshot of the blog's header
A personal code of ethics was outlined in the article of several interviewee blogging practices. These ethics structured the blog for the audience.[8]  My last sentence in the blog’s description pertains to my code of ethics for the blog. The sentence communicates the involvement with individuals or institutions with the collecting process of the project. The sentence states; “This is not intended to be disrespectful of the history or present public institutions or individual practices.”[9] The statement has an important role with the concept of open communication, as well as implementing future collaborations with individuals or public institutions. 
            The additional aspects of the structure of my blog will be discussed in the video research segment. The video research clip presents the blog’s set-up that is not accessible to the viewer clicking on an Internet link to the blog site. The video research of my blog offers details into the layout and archiving of a blog post.
            In my April 10th, 2013 Video Research and Interdisciplinary Practice blog post, I used text and a video clip to begin a dialog to present one of the several “grey areas” in my art practice concerning the process of interdisciplinary methods. In the blog post, I refer to Sarah Pink’s, Social Sciences and Visual Researcher, argument for inquiring about and employing video for video research and as video representation. Pink’s argument is toward ethnographic videos and the development of research and knowledge that can be obtained with video clips.  I expanded Pink’s concepts of “video research” to present how I document my subject matter for a video collection theme after the act of my ethnographic process.[10]
            The second video research format presented on my blog included the “60 Second Testimonial” marketing concept. I used this time frame format to produce a short directed message pertaining to an aspect of my art-based research.[11] The intent was to expand upon the first video research, along with experimenting with my communication research with the medium of video. My research is derived from marketing concepts that the medium of video has the ability to convey complex details with ease by a combination of sensory connections.[12] The video research, An Example of the Blog’s Layout, continues the sixty-second time frame format. The video is presented with this text to develop the breadth of media use, such as video and the Internet, to supplement artist and scholarly research.

[1] [Accessed: May 10, 2013].
[2] Nardi, Bonnie A., Diane J. Schiano, Michelle Gumbrecht, and Luke Swartz. "Why We Blog." Communications of the ACM 47, no. 12 (2004): 41-4
[3] Ibid, 43
[4]Gill Kirkup, ‘Academic Blogging, Academic Practice, and Academic Identity ‘, London Review of Education, Volume 8, No. 1 (2010): 4
[5] Nardi, Bonnie A., Diane J. Schiano, Michelle Gumbrecht, and Luke Swartz. "Why We Blog." Communications of the ACM 47, no. 12 (2004): 44
[6] Ibid, 44-45
[7] Nardi, Bonnie A., Diane J. Schiano, Michelle Gumbrecht, and Luke Swartz. "Why We Blog." Communications of the ACM 47, no. 12 (2004): 43 - 44.
[8] Ibid, 42 - 43.
[9] [Accessed: May 10, 2013].

Friday, December 13, 2013

02 Blogging as a Postmodern Artist Tool

A Blog as an Artist’s Workspace
Blogging as a Postmodern Artist Tool

The blog is a digital electronic tool.  Electronic tools are based on programmed instructions, which automatically store, collect, transmit, and multiply visual and digital information.[1] Margot Lovejoy argues that tool types influence the artist’s production and context to the artwork. The tool and the time period’s technology conditions inform the production of art.[2] I use a pre-designed blog template to layout, transmit, and store my content. The blog is employed as an Internet source to present my experiences with methods and research for public access.
            The act of blogging engages in a broad range of media and narratives that form a post-modern identity.[3]  Gill Kirkup’s small-scale study of the role of blogging with academics, such as scholars, researchers, and teachers, argues blogging offers a new genre to develop the academic identity.[4]  The blog format offers a presentation of the narrative of the self, but it provides a medium with various media’s to develop a postmodern identity that forms my collecting process.[5]
             An example of a related research blog post is of my local newspaper’s cut backs in print editions to understand the longevity of the collecting process involved in the Coupon Collection. The concept for the Coupon Collection is about the transition of the visual representation of the print media coupon form to a digital QR Code. Referring back to Kirkup’s concept of blogs forming a postmodern identity, the act of blogging allows me to describe my experiences in working with multiple narratives associated with the social research and the collaborations for the project.  
            Margot Lovejoy acknowledges in the first edition of her book, Postmodern Currents, the affect upon artist and their artwork with the use of technological tools is just beginning to be analyzed. She does argue with her analysis that it is important to consider aesthetic traditions and their role in technology use today.[6] Lovejoy’s argument is still suggested over twenty years later with the present evolving digital media. Rather than focusing on the art history canon of conceptualism and basing the theory that my blog is not valuing the Modernism ideals of an art object[7], I will examine a specific art historical collaboration between artists and engineers.
            In the mid-1960’s a new organization called “Experiments in Art and Technology” or E.A.T. was formed on a collaboration idea between artist and engineers. Artist, Robert Rauschenberg and scientist, Billy Kluver began E.A.T. on the concept of creating innovated work using technologies from that time frame.[8]  A large-scale project titled Nine Evenings: Theater and Engineering was established from the collaboration of thirty Bell Laboratory engineers, visual artists, dancers, and musicians. The 1966 project demonstrated artists and engineers could collaborate.[9]
            Margot Lovejoy indicates the collaboration had difficulties with each of the working styles of the artists and engineers toward the Nine Evenings performances. An example is coordinating engineers to finish technical support with theater deadlines in order for the artists to have ample time to rehearse. Lovejoy looks to specifics of the experiences from the project instead of resolving the problems. Two examples of her specifics where a longer amount of time to work on the project and the effort in which it is needed to contribute to the planning and scheduling of this style of performance. Lovejoy states, “Both artists and engineers had to learn new ways of thinking in which the practical and the creative could interact.”[10]
         My experience with developing the structure of my blog evolved over a multiyear time frame. In this time period, I made a choice to change my ideas on writing a blog concerning my art practice and the use of interdisciplinary methods. A blog is a 21st Century form of technology and is on a smaller scale than the Nine Evenings performances. I have had to learn new ways of thinking to present text and other media regarding the process of my art practice. Kirkup refers to blogging as a scholarly product of ‘performative writing.’ This reference implies the postmodern identity has a variety of narratives as well as showing a variety of roles in performance and presentation with a range of media.[11]
 Kirkup’s essay argues the academic professional’s engagement with blogging creates a new role for the academic identity.[12] In addition, the theory can be identified with an artist’s role in art-based research. Blogging offers public access to the varied processes before an “art” concept is finalized. Graeme Sullivan implies that art practice has changed from the perception of an authoritative voice, such as that of aestheticians or historians, recognizing styles of art practice within art canons. Instead Sullivan argues the responsibilities are placed on the artist to be the cultural theorist and the practitioner. Construction of a theory of production is Grete Refsum’s premise of how to establish a theoretical framework in the visual arts that Sullivan refers to. A theory of production is concerned with the happenings or processes before art is produce leading up to a finished project or an art object.[13]
Refsum’s and Sullivan’s argument toward art practice implies a postmodern role for the artist, rather than a Modern concept of an artist in need of an outside authority source to distinguish the artist’s process as well as the finished “art” object. As an artist and scholar, blogging with the content of art-based research performs the postmodern role of establishing Kirkup’s theory of a new genre for the academic identity along with the development of Refsum’s concept of a theory of art production.

[1] Ibid, 34
[2] Margot Lovejoy, Postmodern Currents Art and Artists in the Age of Electronic Media (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1992), 31
[3] Gill Kirkup, ‘Academic Blogging, Academic Practice, and Academic Identity ‘, London Review of Education, Volume 8, No. 1 (2010): 4
[4] Gill Kirkup, ‘Academic Blogging, Academic Practice, and Academic Identity ‘, abstract in London Review of Education, Volume 8, No. 1 (2010)
[5] Ibid, 4
[6] Margot Lovejoy, Postmodern Currents Art and Artists in the Age of Electronic Media (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1992), 26
[7] Ibid, 63
[8] Ibid, 73
[9] Margot Lovejoy, Postmodern Currents Art and Artists in the Age of Electronic Media (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1992), 74
[10] Ibid, 74
[11] Gill Kirkup, ‘Academic Blogging, Academic Practice, and Academic Identity ‘, London Review of Education, Volume 8, No. 1 (2010): 4
[12] Ibid, 4
[13] Graeme Sullivan, Art Practice as Research Inquiry in the Visual Arts (Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, 2005) 87

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Blog as an Artist's Workspace - Introduction

A Blog as an Artist’s Workspace 
Introduction – presenting art-based research with social media

         The social media platform of a blog is an intangible workspace for self-publishing the developments of art-based research. Blogging was integrated into my art practice as a means of publicly presenting preliminary digital sources and as a personal digital archiving agent. My blog examines the use of social media as a presentation platform and as a postmodern tool for developing knowledge that pertains to interdisciplinary practice.
As an artist and scholar, my use of social media as a source for self-publishing of artist-based research is in a continual process of reinterpretation knowledge. This process is derived from experiences and methods used with my current “collection” project. Graeme Sullivan’s description for research practice is demonstrated with how artists in visual arts conceptualized their research. These approaches concerning the breath of the visual arts are centered toward the inquiry of the studio experience. Sullivan argues the inquiry of this experience encompasses ideas and the visuals informing individual, social, and cultural actions. He continues that the artist’s everyday social activities are not bond by “studio” walls.[1]
            I wanted to expand the concept of my blog from its beginning stages, which were a promotional platform for the exhibitions and events pertaining to my artwork. The blog has evolved over a two year time period. Some of the writing stages included the material and process development of my artwork, along with ideas toward the presentation of the artwork. These blog posts were lacking the presence of a wider source of research. I put aside writing about my “art” objects and started to post about experiences in observing objects and the research I was engaged with while developing the “collection” project. 
            To develop the concepts for the project, I borrow from material culture and ethnographic research methodologies. The “collection” project has themes that present various social interactions between a person and an object. I conduct relevant social and culturally based research pertaining to a collection theme. Julie Thompson Klein makes a reference to interdisciplinary practice as the activity of borrowing or “bridge building” from methods of other discipline’s that develops supplementary conceptual material.[2] Besides my subjective experience using the blog, the open access for the viewer of the blog is a source to explore wider resources, such as internet links. The access to internet links with my texts and images represents more easily obtainable information regarding my collecting process.
Artist and scholar, Margot Lovejoy refers to the tool types that artists use, which tend to indicate the current technology conditions. The characteristics of the tools are integrated with the production and conceptualization of the artwork.[3] The social media platform of a blog enables me to use various media tools to display my experiences and research. The significance for my self-publishing art-based research is the presentation of content, which contributes to the expanding investigations of media and interdisciplinary practice within contemporary art.
The act of blogging supports visual artist and artistic researcher, Grete Refsum’s theory of production. The theory of production is based on the experiences or processes that occur before an artwork is finalized or performed.[4] My blog posts present the process of forming the “collection” project. The posts articulate the postmodern identities that are engaged in the process. Gill Kirkup’s study of the concept of the postmodern identity is based on how scholars use a blog to develop experiences and present multiple narratives with media. Kirkup does present in her argument that there are concerns pertaining to the production of knowledge with the method of academic blogging. These concerns are that the use of blogging does not follow the traditional peer review or editorial process of academic publications.[5]
            The realm of knowledge has indicated a shift to hybrid interpretations, which are formed from interdisciplinary practice in human studies. Steven Seidman defines “post-modern” knowledge to consist of blurring the disciplinary boundaries, along with questioning the social knowledge from the Enlightenment culture.[6] Seidman refers to Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard’s forms of social knowledge from his essay The Postmodern Condition. Lyotard’s possibilities of postmodern knowledge reflect multiple minds, different social locations, and their histories.[7] The progression over a two-year period of the “collection” project acknowledges public accessibility to restaging sites and other participants sharing their knowledge and relationships with objects. The integration of academic research, community engagement, and media resources contributes to the hybrid knowledge’s that form my collections.
This digital essay will demonstrate that a blog is a contemporary workspace for an artist using media resources toward art-based research. The two sections of text will investigate the social media platform of a blog as a tool that engages with a broad range of media. Furthermore, the text will identify media’s role within interdisciplinary practice to develop scholarly research with a postmodern identity.  The inclusion of video with this essay indicates media’s ability to offer other forms of knowledge to support artist and scholarly research. The video visually represents an aspect of the layout of my blog that the viewer would not have access to by the blog site’s internet link.

[1] Graeme Sullivan, Art Practice as Research Inquiry in the Visual Arts (Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, 2005) 81
[2] Julie Thompson Klein, Interdisciplinarity History, Theory, and Practice (Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1990) 27
[3] Margot Lovejoy, Postmodern Currents Art and Artists in the Age of Electronic Media (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1992), 31
[4] Graeme Sullivan, Art Practice as Research Inquiry in the Visual Arts (Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, 2005) 87
[5] Gill Kirkup, ‘Academic Blogging, Academic Practice, and Academic Identity ‘, London Review of Education, Volume 8, No. 1 (2010): 2-3
[6] Steven Seidman, The Postmodern Turn New Perspectives on Social Theory (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994) 2
[7] Steven Seidman, The Postmodern Turn New Perspectives on Social Theory (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994) 5

Introduction to December 2013 Posts

For the December 2013 posts, I have chosen a recent essay with an accompanying video. The separate posts are numbered and are meant to differentiate the subsections of the essay.

Below is my abstract and subsections for A Blog as an Artist's Workspace.


            A Blog as an Artist’s Workspace examines the use of a blog as a digital platform to present artist-based research. The essay considers the use of electronic tool types, the use of blogging to form a postmodern identity, and the structure of a blog. These aspects are related with my artist experiences with blogging and current projects. Included with the text is a video, which pertains to the general layout of my blog. The text and accompanying video are an introduction to the use of media and the process of an artist’s interdisciplinary practice. 


Introduction - presenting art-based research with social media
02 Blogging as a Postmodern Artist Tool
03 The Structure of the Blog
04 Video Research, An Example of the Blog's Layout
05 Continuation - postmodernism and forming art-based research