“Daily Explorations” - Writing Assignment
10 points/week (160 total for the semester)
Due every Monday - Upload to Isadore
Developing a practice:
What does it mean to have a “practice”? I’d like you to think about making a general practice that we’ll connect to creative actions throughout the semester. “The term refers to the ways in which an artist/person goes about their work.
Artistic practice goes beyond the physical activities of making artistic products and can include influences, ideas, materials as well as tools and skills.”
“Art practice is the exploration of studio art experiences and processes with an emphasis on developing your own creative vision.”
A practice is defined (by me) as consistently similar actions made by you, the artist, the maker, the person, the engineer or graphic designer, the runner, or the gamer. It’s really anything that you find yourself doing over and over again consistently because it’s a part of who you are. I notice my practice by examining the actions I’ve made over the years in terms of what’s similar between them.
My practice or natural inclination toward collecting materials that resemble place, toward decontextualizing elements from space to be viewed separately on their own, started when I was around 15. I was interested in biology and that led to making vivariums for amphibians and reptiles, which eventually (20 years later) led to a similarity in my sculpture related practices.
I discovered that there is poetry in between context and the act of decontextualizing. In this case, I was separating elements from nature from their authentic environments and using them to recreate new ones. While maintaining a presence in making, I began to connect seemingly disparate actions throughout my life to the actions happening at that moment and discovered greater meaning through doing so. I realized I was defining my character. It was like matching frequencies with a wave I didn’t know existed and through listening, I was able to feel a pull toward the next steps in my life.
Noticing the consistencies in your life may help you to inform the decisions you make today.
In my experience, trying something new usually stimulates an influx of ideas or epiphanies. Some might call this inspiration!
I would like you to think about a practice you'd like to make, or continue making. This could be anything from going for a run, to walking, baking, painting, trying out new foods, saying hello to at least one stranger a day, sitting underneath trees, etc. Whatever it may be, I’d like you to pick a new way of engaging in that practice each week and to write a half page summary of what that experience was like. This is fairly open ended however you will eventually use something from this practice to influence the projects you make in class.
I approve of thinking on your feet, of improvisation, of being thoughtful and saying what you mean, of embracing/celebrating differences, of the pursuit of knowledge without the fear of failure, of being human both as an individual and to each other.
I’d like to talk with each of you on Wednesday about the practice you’re interested in making once a week for the remainder of the semester and how that relates to your character. Starting Monday of next week, you should begin engaging in this action and be ready to submit your page typed document each Monday thereafter. Upload your writing assignments to Isadore under the “Daily Explorations” folder. If you miss one, you can write a double length synopsis of your experience the following week.
This will result in about 14% of your final grade so it’s important that you do this - pick something realistic enough that you can be consistent with, like going for a walk.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!