Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Photography / Video
Photography / Video
This piece deals with sexual deviance / sadomasochism. I was particularly disturbed and confused by the the internet videos "One Guy One Cup," and "Three Guys One Hammer," as well as Dennis Cooper's novel "Frisk." My complete inability to to relate to the motives, experience, perpetrators, and or victims I was confronted with prompted an attempt at understanding via 1st hand experience.
I chose to have the word "EMPATHY" cut into my arm (by someone else - female - in order to support the sexual aspect of the piece) as it was the one thing I felt that stood between me and those I was watching in the videos. In an attempt to break down that perceived barrier, I deliberately had the "A" and "H" re-cut / crossed-out to create the word "EMPTY."
That "emptiness" being the lack of empathy I imagined sadomasochists and sexual deviants to have; a sort of increasingly-vacuous inability to "feel." I felt like this is what propelled such people to pursue ever increasing forms of stimulation; departing from the "normally satisfying" stimulation of sexual activity and eventually deviating to a place of total dissolution of "sexual norms," giving way to a new identification where violence becomes ones last sanctuary to experience gratifying (or perhaps, any kind of ) stimulation.
The piece afforded me one solid breakthrough / insight into this subject. What I found was an interesting nexus between seemingly polar states of blinding ecstasy and excruciating pain. Both seem to take a person's mind to a dissolution point where thought and feeling fail to serve any further purpose in the face of such overwhelming stimulation, which I found to be both enlightening and excruciating at the same time.
"We chose to use video to explore modern day examples of the Carnival, Gender Roles, Masculinity, Sexuality, Aggressiveness, Hedonism etc.
Traditionally, in Christianity, carnival marked the last opportunity to celebrate and to use up special foods before Lent. The Lenten period of the Church calendar, being the six weeks directly before Easter, was marked by fasting and other pious or penetential practices. Traditionally during Lent, no parties or other celebrations were held, and people refrained from eating rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fats and sugar. The forty days of Lent, recalling the biblical account of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, serve to mark an annual time of turning to God and religious discipline. In the days before Lent, all rich food and drink had to be disposed of. The consumption of this, in a giant party that involved the whole community is thought to be the origin of Carnival.
While the starting day of Carnival varies, the festival usually builds up to a crescendo in the week before lent, ending on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. In the Ambrosian rite of Milan (Italy), the carnival ends on the Saturday after Ash Wednesday. In areas in which people practice Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Carnival ends on the Sunday seven weeks before Easter, since in Eastern tradition Lent begins on Clean Monday.
The origin of the name "carnival" is disputed. According to one theory, it comes from the Greek prefix carn ("Meat eater"), referring to a cart in a religious parade, such as a cart in a religious procession at the annual festivities in honor of the god Apollo. Other sources, however, suggest that the name comes from the Italian carne levare or similar, meaning "to remove meat", since meat is prohibited during Lent. Another theory states that the word comes from the Late Latin expression carne vale, which means "farewell to meat", signifying that those were the last days when one could eat meat before the fasting of Lent. Yet another translation depicts carne vale as "a farewell to the flesh", a phrase embraced by certain carnival celebrations that encourage letting go of your former (or everyday) self and embracing the carefree nature of the festival.
Adolescence covers the period of life between 10 and 20 years of age.
Margaret Mead, on the other hand, attributed the behavior of adolescents to their culture and upbringing  as that the majority of problems associated with adolescence in Western society are not present in other cultures.
Adolescent psychology addresses the issues associated with adolescence, such as whether or not the aforementioned "storm and stress" is a normal part of this period. The American Psychological Association has a separate division dedicated to adolescence, and the psychologists specializing in this topic attempt to answer questions dealing with the age group. One issue in adolescent psychology discusses whether adolescence is in fact a discrete developmental period, a point along a continuum of human development, or a social construction.
The social behavior of mammals changes as they enter adolescence. In humans, adolescents typically increase the amount of time spent with their peers as adolescents strive to create a natural separation and sense of independence from their parents. These interactions are not always positive; peer pressure is very prevalent during adolescence, leading to increases in cheating and misdemeanor crime. Young adolescents are particularly susceptible to conforming to the behavior of their peers.[
Movies such as American Pie, and Superbad, pornography can cause media-influenced/driven behaviors as well as be informed by them.
Non-human mammals also exhibit changes in social attitude during adolescence. Adolescent rodents have also been observed spending more of their time with rodents of similar age. Conflicts between adolescents and parents have been noted in other primates, and overall increases in aggressiveness have been observed during this time period.
Adolescents are widely considered by the psychological establishment to be prone to recklessness and risk-taking behaviors, which can lead to substance abuse, car accidents, unsafe sex and youth crime.  There is some evidence that this risk-taking in adolescents is biologically driven, caused by the social and emotional part of the brain (amygdala) developing faster than the cognitive-control part of the brain (frontal cortex).
Party as a Microcosm of the Carnival. A form of escapism that includes alcohol, immature behavior, violence and homoerotic/sexual behavior and aggressiveness as in the case of the video documentary. Natural impulses are channeled or guided by certain learned behaviors so that behaviors become almost scripted and expected. As one is expected to be polite in certain situations, one is also expected to be rude in certain cases such as parties with close friends of certain age groups. The question is then how much escapism is one afforded in this situation and what about Western culture specifically sanctions this kind of behavior in party situations versus other cultures’ way of providing outlets for rude behavior."
-Robert, Jen & Jonathan
"In this project I shot a video of a girl sleeping in order to surprise her from her sleep. The 'bad behavior' was the waking her from a peaceful slumber by making a loud, obnoxious noise. The video fails in part because the loud obnoxious part really doesn't take affect, the girl seems to wake quite easily instead."
"in this project i tried to raise questions of whether or not it is socially acceptable to use animal cruelty as an art form, directly or indirectly. In order to do this I chose to show side by side for the viewers comparison 1) the documentary footage of a slaughterhouse scene from Fassbinder's movie In a Year With 13 Moons 2) actual animal cruelty as carried out by Guillermo Vargas Habacuc in his gallery installation of a stray dog tied to the wall and starved to death and 3) my own video where I sacrifice a goldfish for the sake of "art." My attempt was in hopes that the viewers of this triptych of videos would ultimately side with the notion that killing an animal and to a far lesser degree, a goldfish, would hardly be unacceptable when compared to the reality of the fate of consumer grade cattle and a starved domesticated animal."
Digital Photographic Print, Human Hair, Tar Gel Medium
"It is a collage of my bathroom. I collected random samples of body hair from my bathroom floor and glued them back onto the photograph using tar gel medium. The work deals with attraction/repulsion, the body, and views of cleanliness. "
“Interview Questions & Dialogues: Spanking
Specific sets of questions were asked to a group of parents regarding spanking and how each of them deal with “rude children”. They are of different races, demographics, and socio-economic backgrounds.
1. How old is/are your child/children?
2. Do you believe that children should be spanked?
3. Do you think it is the most effective form of discipline?
4. What is the difference between spanking and child abuse, to you?
5. What do you feel about spanking in public? and Would you ever spank your children in public?
6. Do you find differences in gender, in the context of behavior?
7. How do you deal with your children when spanking is not enough?
8. Were you spanked as a child?
1. 7, 15, and 18
4. Child abuse is not the way I raised my children.
5. Isn’t that illegal? I’m not sure…. No.
6. They’re all the same.
7. A decrease in allowance and grounding.
8. Yes, a lot.
1. 5 and 7
4. Spanking is okay; I would never abuse my children. They are two completely different things.
5. Spanking is for the home. No.
6. My son was bratty when he was younger, but my daughter is the more difficult one now.
7. My husband and I take turns on disciplining. Sometimes we tell them to raise their hands or force them to their rooms and make them go to bed early.
1. 5 and 8
2. I’m not sure.
3. Spanking isn’t effective because it doesn’t teach children self-control or alternative positive behavior. They see themselves as a victim or someone who deserves to be hurt.
4. Spanking is seen as an acceptable form of discipline, yet they both produce possibly equal the damage to the children, so to me, there isn’t much difference.
5. Spanking in general, whether it’s in public or at the privacy of your home is unacceptable. and no I would not.
6. I don’t see a significant difference between male and female.
7. Setting clear rules prior to an action with a positive alternative, also knowing that as a parent I have to understand that misbehavior is simply a child’s natural curiosity. Also, removing a child from a situation is important if something is causing the child to act in an uncanny manner. I think it is important to isolate them and let them cool down. This will calm the situation, and I can calm down as well.
3. Time-outs have been working great for us.
4. Both are abuse. Both are unacceptable in my home.
5. I don’t want to answer those.
6. My daughter is a lot more sociable than my son. They get along with strangers and people differently. It’s hard to say.
7. I don’t spank.
8. Yes. That is why I don’t touch my daughter.
My findings were different from the general presumptions or ideal norms with the families. After I gathered my research, I began to question gender, culture, race, and standings in society; I found that, although I thought I picked a panel of a wide range of people, the demographics of this particular city were too similar. The information that I collected was still too broad. I would have to interview more parents for accurate findings, because I have to take all of these specific factors into account during the process."
-Cathy & Michael
"Rude in the Virtual Environment
With the Digital Age in full swing, the Rude
Has new possibilities of existence. The Rude
Can now go beyond our everyday face to
Face interactions and can permeate into
Our now everyday ³Virtual² lives on the
As a group, we sought to collect examples of
The Rude in our everyday Virtual Worlds."