31 January 2009

spring 2009 forecast.

i made it through my first week of school and it's very clear that i have my work cut out for me. i decided to go ahead with the 500A writing class, but when i got there i discovered that the class was canceled due to lack of enrollment. so, i tried the next best thing and went to the 500B class which was unusually full because the 500A class was canceled. i couldn't get in. it was a long monday already, but i had one more hope.

there was a 483A special studies class that night (mw 7-945) and i decided to go for it. the class is full, but i proposed an alternate study plan for the semester that works towards my thesis objectives and i got in. well, not in the system yet, but i'm working on that. the professor is very open to my plan and i'm very excited about it and i feel it's crucial for my studies. i somewhat aligned the projects to go with his regular course, but i will be focusing on my research.

it's not ideal for me to have a mon-wed night class then wake up tue-thur for a morning class, but right now, i don't see a choice. i have a 503A grad problems class that i'm still trying to find "the problem" in. like the special studies, i'm on my own plan and i'm working to refine it so i can have it approved. that's what i'll do this weekend, so i can dive in come monday.

and for my third class, i'm in the creative photography building in a course called Studio Expanded (478). it's basically an installation class and i fell in love with it. i have a total interest for gallery space and public art. it's just going to be very demanding. i was inspired and encouraged by three videos we watched on the first day: Ann Hamilton, Tim Hawkinson, and Jenny Holzer, all installation artists.

so, i have the weekend to find the energy to handle all of this.

25 January 2009

one year down...

who knows how many to go. i wrapped up my first year and 2008 feeling really good. in academia land, i somehow pulled off straight A's. woot woot. in primate design land, i landed the GRAMMY Museum business. All awhile being super involved with my family. i also had a great christmas break/new years, and i can't believe spring semester is already here.

i had time to reflect on my first year in grad school and i realized that i don't have to get anxious over all the resistance i get from school and its makeup: deadlines, advisors, balance, and the quest for self-motivation. i'm just going to keep doing my thing and everything will fall into place. the more i get into what i'm doing, the more i realize that my work will never be done here on earth. i will always have goals, i will always be reaching for something and no matter what i do, things will always become more complicated. that's just been the trend in my personal history and i need to keep teaching myself how to breathe again.

i literally took a vacation from school this break. my intentions were to build a dreamachine, read, assemble some research and my bib outlines, and prepare for 500A - a grad thesis writing class. but i did none of that. well, maybe a couple hours here and there, but not enough to record in history. it will be tough ramping up to meet the demands of another full-time semester, so i'm going to ease into it slowly. i'm only registered for 2 classes as of now:
ART 478 - Studio Expanded, an exhibition course of sorts, and
ART 503A - Graduate Problems in Graphic Design with one of my committee chair members, Chen Wang.
i'm still contemplating if i want to enroll in the writing class, ART 500A. with my current workload and with two boys starting baseball in a month, it's not likely.

so, this is where i stand now. the frustration took a break, but it's not far (i can smell it) and the obstacle course continues as i guess-my-way, pretend-and-smile, research-the-facts, and do-my-thing into Spring 2009. here is my initial research goals: i want my thesis to be based on rhythm, from an artistic view and heavily influenced from the written word. i categorized three elements that make this topic: 1) kaleidoscopes and flicker, 2) calligraphy and mandalas, and 3) patterns and wallpaper. my interest in poetry will drive all this research. i hope that a love for story-telling and visual nostalgia will express my intended outcome in rhythm.

here we go again...

22 January 2009

richard turner: contempt mandala

the only gallery i had a chance to visit this winter break was csuf's grand central art center in santa ana. as usual, it was very inspiring and i'm glad i made the effort to get out of my lethargic-inducing christmas pajamas and head down there. contemporary installation artist, richard turner transformed the GCAC with Contempt Mandala. it falls into one of the elements i want to explore in my thesis. he utilizes all media, from video to sculpture. i forgot my camera so these pics are from my camera phone. i only got a few, but i wanted to be sure i got his statement as it relates to calligraphy and mandalas, one element in my three-part thesis on rhythm (more on that later).

here is a model of the casa malaparte, in the isle of capri, which is the center of his story.

here is sparkOC's review:
Contempt Mandala is a multi media installation that takes, as its point of departure, Jean Luc Godard's 1963 film Contempt. The film is about the making of a movie and the dissolution of a marriage. It simultaneously explores the creative process and the fragility of human relationships. The Buddhist mandala, a cosmic diagram, is the organizing principle of the installation.

to learn more go to http://www.contemptmandala.com

01 January 2009

breathe. eat. and sleep.

graphic design.
that's what i've been doing this past year: breathing, eating and sleeping graphic design. i'm a bit at a disadvantage not having my undergrad studies in graphic design. i missed out on art, in general, the industry of graphic design, in particular, when obtaining my BA ten years ago in communications. i find myself catching up, at rapid speeds, to be in-the-know about this industry that fascinates me. but, still have questions like what am i doing? doing—as in—an MFA in graphic design. do i belong here?

i have thoughts and inspirations that come from all over. from sculpture and public art to writing and reading. from parenting and christianity to soccer and running. these things take up a coexistence with eating, sleeping and breathing — daily life.

i often ask myself if i'm in this program seeking some sort of acceptance where normally i would never be accepted.

you can see the doubts i have. i believe this comes from lack of guidance, motivation and just plain out interest. when you're alone in something, it's hard to see the light at the end. sometimes we just need a little encouragement. will you give me some?