Digital Arts Professor Ying Tan, who is Portland’s Digital Arts Program instructor for the winter term, commented that the show is of a “very different theme with a wide range of media.” The work in the show addresses site specific pieces as well as involving viewers as co-creators of the artwork. Professor Tan noted that the students “successfully employed digital or physical materials new to them in…meaningful ways to enforce the conceptual ideas in their own work.”
“Let’s Talk About Feelings” exhibited the work of students in the Portland Digital Arts Program:
Brian Aebi Amy Chan Braeden Cox Gage Hamilton Matthew Pfliiger
Andrew Pomeroy Steven Robinson Lauren Seiffert
Tanya Tracy Chris Wilson Zach Yarrington
Professor Tan lauded the students as “spontaneous, experimental, and equipped with a broad set of creative skills beyond digital media.” The following are images of the students’ artwork along with their own comments about their work. The show will remain up until March 11, 2011.
…..My installation was constantly changing throughout the exhibition. The chalkboard piece is titled “I Always Never Said That.” [The piece was] being displayed in a building full of creative individuals…my thought was to leave it open ended to allow others to contribute to it. The eraser and chalk were left out intentionally so that one could change it if they chose to do so. Inspired mostly by song lyrics, the different attempts are meant to react to each other as well as the people in the White Stag.
Frustration: Prior to the show, the main emotion I was feeling was frustration due to the fact that it’s not common for me to deal with the topic of feelings. I was struggling to come up with a concept for the show so I decided to work with my feelings of the moment, and use a grapefruit as an outlet for my frustration. I photographed myself smashing, cutting, and mutilating this grapefruit and presented it in a way that shows the mutilation over time and all of the action in one still image.
Tracy’s comments, while brief, spoke of the group’s overall effort to put together a show in “about a week and instead of working on a common theme we decided to do pieces based on our own interpretation of ‘Let’s Talk About Feelings’.” Her series of photographic portraits of maniquins some with vibrant hair, others blank and softly without features, makes us question how aspirations are interpreted individually. What within these nameless, and rather faceless, motionless forms prompts a sense of aspiration? It is a grouping of somewhat similar forms, however, each is unique in posture, gaze, portrayal…even the frames while far from ostentatious remain individual.
Detail of Lauren Seiffert’s work:
Let’s Talk About Feelings can be interpreted in so many ways. I wanted to respond in a way that would help me further explore my interest in the bodily systems, yarn, crocheting, and how these three elements, to me, are interrelated. My piece is an assemblage of organ-like units loosely based on the body parts that can effect your feelings.
My work in the BFA show this year has centered around the visual vocabulary of antiquated gaming and internet culture. My piece…does not fit into my body of work at all. Still, I like how it matched the show. [Here] on the wall is a wall-mounted vinyl psychiatrist done in fluorescent green lines, to somewhat look like a halftone. In the space where the psychiatrist is looking is a fine leather chair, with a clipboard, pen, and some paper on it. On the floor lies an office trash can. If you sit in the chair, you are confronted by instructions, written on the wall facing the chair. They instruct you to write your feelings down on the supplied pieces of paper, and then to crumple the paper up and throw it away into the convenient trash can. It then thanks you for your time…..[This is] mildly a commentary on the temporary and pointless nature of talking about feelings in today’s age of Facebook and Twitter. We’ re inundated with useless information, and those of us who spend a good amount of time on the internet tend to zone out on the pithiest comments, which get lost in the vast sea of fast information. How often do you remember a friend’s depressing Facebook status update, a day later? How often do you remember what you yourself wrote, a month later?
Corporate strategies and machinery in America today comprise a very fascinating beast. One that is often more concerned with the logistics of human interaction within its own ranks than any other factor in the whole scope of its business. Unfortunately, it is a difficult task to control and shape communication among large numbers of people into form-fitting a highly complex business model. The “corporate culture” resultant of these efforts, is, thus, renowned for its byproduct of bullshit. This is for anyone who’s ever had to read a corporate handbook, watch an employee training video, or recite company slogans with a straight face.
“Body Gestures” has over 40 silhouettes of people on black and white vinyl. When I thought about the show title, “Let’s Talk About Feelings” I imagined all the body language people communicate to each other without actually talking. So, I wanted to capture many body languages and display them in a simple and clean design. With this I did not invoke one central feeling with viewing the piece. Instead, many emotions can be felt and explored within one piece.
…To be honest, I don’t really like it when artists offer up explanations for their work….it makes the work less interesting to me. [This image] was, in part, a reaction to some of the critiques and responses I had been getting to my work. No doubt anger played a large role. Some people asked if it was a self-portrait because of the beard, physically, it’s not but I guess it was emotionally….[everything here] was chosen for a purpose.
I created this digital piece in my own abstracted way of interpreting the show’s title…..I am using the shapes in the piece as representations for different feelings. It is mostly done using a digital collage technique and then I incorporated my own hand writing in it for a digital and traditional combination.
These watercolor paintings are about the numerous connotations that can be found in an image, especially in what is being depicted as well as how it is being depicted. With these three works I allowed my color choice to guide me in deciding what sort of image fit with whatever color I was using. The grey gives off a lonely, ghostly feel, the red is more related to a stronger romantic feel, and the green/blue has a sort of lost, lifeless feeling. I wanted to create images that expressed a relate-able sentiment or feeling that relied on the combination of color choice and image choice.
I am slightly addicted to cliche photography. I think I just enjoy it. It is like a guilty pleasure, relate-able and nostalgic. I used interesting and expressive forms and shapes in 3d to become her emotion in these candid captures of a girl.
As a final image, Lauren Seiffert, at work crocheting for her installation……
UO prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all programs, activities and employment practices as required by Title IX, other applicable laws, and policies. Retaliation is prohibited by UO policy. Questions may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, or to the Office for Civil Rights. Contact information, related policies, and complaint procedures are listed on the statement of non-discrimination.