Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Due Monday, March Ninth, in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Nine

At the beginning of Monday's class, I want to see three things.

1. A response to a reading -- the critique of the Shepard Fairey critique (see questions at the bottom of this blog post).

2. An image for the Sierra Nevada Review cover (Logan has specs below, in the previous blog post -- thanks Logan). The text for the cover is: "The Sierra Nevada Review -- Volume 20 -- 2009" and you can see more covers here. We'll kick these covers out over the course of Monday's class.

3. Visual ideas and materials for you to start work on the Quartet Minus One posters. I'll post some visual references that Brian suggested sometime soonish. You can hear some of there music on this page.

Here's the link, and the questions, for the reading:

SuperTouch's editorial "The Medium is the Message: Shepard Fairey and the Art of Appropriation" -- be sure to read Fairey's short 1990 manifesto at the end of the article. By the beginning of class, please email me your response to the following questions:

1. Are you familiar with the phrase "The Medium if the Message"? How would you explain what it means (feel free to look it up -- it was originated by Marshall MacLuhan)? If the "medium" of Fairey's art is the street poster, the sticker, and the T-Shirt, how does that shape the message? Does the medium, in this case, expand or constrict the possibilities for Fairey's message?

2. The SuperTouch editorial states: "By taking precisely the elements of an image that speak of its historical meaning and original context and incorporating them into a new image, an artist creates a visual comparison, juxtaposing new and old. Such a contrasting is inherent in the act of referencing, and the intended result is for viewers to consider the relationship of the two images and hopefully spark a dialogue..." Do you think this is a sufficient artistic aim for any act of referencing, or is it possible to distinguish between "good" referencing and "bad" referencing? What would be your criteria?

3. Are the SuperTouch editorial's defenses of the Black Panther, Rupert Garcia, and MC5 appropriations convincing or not?

4. If Fairey's work cultivates an "intentional ambiguity," does that place a limit on the sort of things his art can be about? Where do you think his art could go from here?

5. What do you think of Fairey's 1990 manifesto? Does it make a convincing case for his "Obey" strategy?

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