a brief summary
Recently, a large part of me has been enjoying music more than the visual arts. I ventured off into creating music about a year ago and started practicing the Bass, Piano, and Drums. These are the three main instruments of the music genre that I enjoy the most. Hip Hop. The most common view on Hip Hop is its drugged up, gang related, violent culture, but this can be a very ignorant and stereotypical concept of what Hip Hop is or stems from. Hip Hop's origins was all undeniably political and the reality is that Hip Hop culture in its entirety is very diverse and ever growing. It is and can be a tool for communication and empowerment, and many artists/musicians have created sub genres and styles that take Hip Hop towards beneficial territory.
The utilization and manipulation of icons, symbols, and pop culture are irreversibly ingrained into what Hip Hop is today, very Trap oriented. What I want to take from Hip Hop though is a sub genre called Lo-fi. This sub genre has shaped itself into a melting pot of internet culture, that of a whole new era of social media and Memes that is still in its infancy. This is surprisingly important to discuss as it takes into consideration the use and manipulation of icons, symbols, and pop culture. Through this, communication, empowerment, or even individuality can flourish.
So, now that I have unjustifiably explained the music that I enjoy creating and plan to utilize in conjunction with my visual arts, I still find the need to explain the underlying reason of why I am doing so, and how I am going to go about attempting to actually do so. So here goes.
I know, edgy.
Yet this is my reality, and I don't know how to shake it off yet. One thing that has completely turned my world around is this subjective fact, that everything I am doing now is tied towards coping with my offsets stemming from a "traumatic" experience. So this is TL;DR why I am doing this Installation.
EXPLANATIONS OF THE "WHY"
So my "traumatic" experience happens. From it comes growth. Through growth comes understanding. Dysthemia is discovered, a persistent depressive disorder. Contemplation of childhood and life, adulthood and individuality. Realizations of how all of that has shaped me into who and how I am today. Then comes why I am so fascinated with the arts and music, and most importantly, the human condition. This fascination ties back to everything.
Now I understand my itch for creating music and art. In fact, I started passionately drawing/painting because of a heartbreak back in high school, and before that I even drew a lot as a kid because of my then abusive parents. In fact, before anything, when I was in elementary and middle school I would always create small figures out of trash bag wires. I sculpted and did some stop motion too, I remember I even wanted to create little clothes for my figures and sets. My uncle called me a faggot for it though, and that completely ruined me for a while, in fact I never picked up clay again until high school. So stupid. I realize now that all of this was a sense of escape, a venture into my ideas and thoughts. I still remember the sole reason I kept doing any of this, and that was the bliss that came from creating. I can definitely say for certain that through my pain I grew wonder and passion, and even to this day they are inseparable.
So back to the "traumatic" experience. This happens late 2017. I venture off into music as a subconscious coping mechanism, just like the visual arts. I eventually learn that I enjoy this form of creation as it touches on the sense of sound, this is something new to me. I then focus on visualizing "soundscapes", an intangible expression, exists in the mind and body. I fall in love with this, I also fall in love with Hip Hop culture, as well as the sub genre that is Lo-fi.
So now, the bread and butter
Ugh, that took a while, condensing everything into a bite size snack for you. But it is very much needed because it explains the subject matter of the proposed installation and how/why I want to utilize ceramics into this.
Basically, I am doing a self portrait, or more a depiction of my experiences in life. I am feeding the viewer my thoughts and ideas and trying to convey my emotions onto them. To make the viewer feel what I felt and feel. I decided that an installation would suit this idea best, not only for achieving an experience, but by also creating an actual space for this accumulation of expression to exist in. This ties into my influence which is touched upon in the paragraph about 【ＶＡＰＯＲＷＡＶＥ】.
Left SIDE of sketchbook
The ceramic figurative sculpture depicted is divided into 3 components.
The right hand (Raku firing)
The left hand (White Gloss Glaze)
The head (White Gloss Glaze
The Ceramic side of things
My original idea for this was a life sized figurative sculpture made out of epoxy clay or bronze. I then got realistic with this concept based on time constraints. I changed my composition so that it can be possible to create this out of ceramic. I split the main focal points into three sections of engagement that still depict the original expression of the sculpture, which is of sorrow. I'm proposing this as the semesters assignment as it still touches on the many topics we have to handle. My aim is to venture into this installation idea and create a body of work, maybe even create more installations with different emotions and expressions. I am planning to use what comes of this to apply to Chautauqua, the main reason I am doing this is much more personal though.
The ceramic body will all be made of the three techniques mentioned for this marathon assignment. I predict to use slab and pinch techniques for the arms and hands, coil for the fingers, and slip casting the head as it is not a center point in which to waste so much time on, especially as if to render it from scratch.
I will use a clean, white glossy glaze over the face and left arm to resemble marble, and Raku the right hand to get a certain texture that carries over the static nature of the CRT TV as well as the mural backdrop that will set the space in. On top of this, the Raku fired right arm will be indicative of a tattoo sleeve that I am planning on getting over the next months/years. This also ties into a character I am building on about myself. This is something that I am building up on and it stems from the same narrative this installation is touching on.
The mural backdrop is a continuation of the images depicted in the CRT TV. It will be a collage type narrative, but I am still deciding on what direction to take as I am still learning about how to use space and narritive within painting.
The body portions are self referential, and they will be 1:1 life size. The mural will be 8 x 4 x 2 and will be on wheels. The pedestal will not be on wheels. The CRT TVs height will be eye level to the viewer, the pedestal will accommodate to this. Inside the pedestal will hide the VHS player and any electronics. The usage of this outdated technologies ties to the overall nostalgic experience. It also references its comeback in today's Hip Hop music videos.
Right Side of sketchbook
The installation is divided into 4 components.
Wall on wheels. (Grey block behind pink pedestal)
CRT TV (Orange block)
Three piece Ceramic figurative sculpture (Black segments on top of orange block)
The music side of things
This is a very rough demo of how a music video recorded on a VHS tape comprised of internet GIFs layered over a Lo-fi inspired track would look like. This would be playing on the CRT TV, through VHS, with the ceramic figurative sculpture invading the viewers sight and bringing them forward into my arranged space. This visual arrangement happening in the music video though, on accident, talks about sex, drugs, and death. I am very excited to further dive into this, tying and creating imagery and sound towards my personal experiences and thoughts.
I have over dozens of tracks recorded covering many emotions and ideas, I plan on creating a cohesively small EP that progresses sonically and visually through emotions all touching on the major points listed earlier.
This is obviously not a happy experience, this is why the color palette, texture and sound all play major rolls throughout the mediums used.
Why the need for mural backdrops, sculptures, and music?
This album cover, among hundreds of others, is the reason why I am inspired to glue together these three different mediums in the form of an installation. Lo-fi and Vaporwave aren't distant or opposing genres, its the narrative that changes between them. Lo-fi is more about naturalism, human emotions. Vaporwave is about commercialization, pop culture. What they share in common is the nostalgic factor, as well as the use of sampling and cultural appropriation. I find this very interesting as Vaporwaves narrative gets quite innovative and interesting even within its many sub genres.
This is what got me into the whole vibe of creating soundscapes. Vaporwave is atmospheric music that touches on the senses, especially that of a nostalgic experience. A good sub genre of Vaporwave is MALL SOFT. If you want to learn more about Vaporwave, this is a good place to start.
The funny thing is that Vaporwave came about as a joke, but it quickly became an internet phenomenon, created, formed, and shaped by internet culture. This ties back to what I stated in the beginning of this blog, and then some, this type of manipulation is even creating new narratives within itself.