Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Final Project - Simulations - A Jean Baudrillard Inspired Piece

Synopsis: My photo book will emulate Baudrillard’s general concept of simulation through the medium of photography; Each photo will have a quote taken out of the direct context of the book and into that of the respective photo with the intent of adding another dimension of simulation. 

At times throughout this term I struggled to understand the language used in Simulations and found that I learned more about it (simulation) as a concept through the creative process rather than trying to follow along with Baudrillard's prose. While decipherable, I wasn't ever of the impression that I fully grasped what Baudrillard published. I think it is this reason that I decided to utilize the concept very broadly in the compilation of my final piece. Contrary to classmates projects, my work tended to lack a consistent sub-theme in the field of simulations. My insecure creative process led me to think of simulations very broadly. I think this was an important subconscious decision in strengthening my knowledge of art history as well as having confidence in producing work with value on my own. I think constructing a photo album and connecting it to quotes in Simulations fully details my growth as an artist/student this term. Im excited for whats next.

You can find a majority of my work here
If you wish to see a PDF of my final book please email me and I can give you access: patrick.j.omahoney@lawrence.edu

Thanks for following a long this term, 


Monday, March 7, 2016

Reflection #2

I really enjoyed the Art History lecture on the progression of the Korean Courtesan and had some connections come to mind between the work presented and the idea of simulations. There once was a 'pure' courtesan however it has been so simulated over the years that there are multiple opinions on what truly is a courtesan, meaning it has lost its original, exclusive characteristics. The lecturer spoke about the differences of a courtesan as a beautiful, modernistic, eye pleasing woman versus a representation of traditional oriental beauty. This dispute of what a is a true courtesan is a tribute to the destruction of the real from the ethnographer (in this case Japanese and Korean artists). This destruction was the result of what the lecturer referred to as the "search for new subject matter." Artists all over the world were inspired to escape from European conventions and there was an interest in exploring "new pastures in the oriental Asia". Baudrillard would condemn such ethnography but, as I've come to realize throughout the term, it is commonplace in art history to ignore the damages of simulation in preference of producing something new or 'better'.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Jennifer Angus Reflection

I was really amazed by Jennifer Angus and her idea of insects and pattern as a medium. Her work, again, brought be back to the idea of the ethnographer that has been so central to most of my work this term. I couldn’t help but relate it to my research project that compared ethnography as sin vs. opportunity/pleasure. Angus spoke of the ‘specimen manufacturers' that make all the 'real' insects in her works. These manufactured bugs are a true simulation and I’m sure Baudrillard would denounce the replications as something else that couldn’t be considered an real insect. Angus and Bloom would say otherwise saying these manufacturers are a necessary platform for creating her project. She couldn’t produce the work that so many seem to be attracted to without this necessary simulation. As I started the term I agreed with Baudrillard and his message, and while its not less true (that ethnography destroys the real), I am less bothered by it by the continued circumstances of seeing it as a necessary evil. 

This is what I thought about most with Angus’ lecture however there was another idea that I found fascinating but couldn’t connect it to much. Ill still share. I found it brilliant how she pointed out that people typically hate/are disgusted by insects but when they are patterned they are controlled in a way that is calming. 
She's not wrong


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Final Project Proposal

With my final project this term I plan to extend my experience with the mediums photography and album making. Photography has been the medium of choice for me throughout the term and I had an enjoyable experience with Blurb in the creation of my Lawrence Football Viking magazine last term. This time, rather than a magazine, I'll create a photo album that touches on the different aspects of simulation Baudrillard goes through. I'm still ironing out the details in my mind of what direction I want the project to take. Its either going to be separated by chapters that will show the different themes in my first second and final photo collection or be an extension of the first collection which tried to capture simulation broadly without any continuum or central theme. No matter the decision I make I am convinced that I want to have a significant amount of text to make the product more universal than to just those who know how to spot simulation. With a mixture of quotes from Baudrillard along with my own descriptions I hope to create a project that expresses my intentions to the consumer. That said, I will be sure to keep from saying too much to allow the viewer to have their own view.


Week 7: Photo shooting / complete vision of project / Research Baudrillard + Bloom for inspiration

Week 8: Complete photo shooting / Complete quote collection / Begin editing / Begin Album Format / Hopefully Complete order

Week 9: Complete order for books / Brainstorm for presentation of product

Week 10: Presentation Preparation

View my previous projects on Flickr

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Presentation - Barbara Bloom

For my presentation I had the pleasure of learning about conceptual artist Barbara Bloom. Bloom is a free-lancing artist who likes chasing different opportunities and creating work that is multidimensional. Reading about her creative process led me to some differences she has with Simulations' author Baudrillard. My thesis is as follows:

Barbara Bloom certainly understands Baudrillard’s theory on the effect of ethnology and the loss of pure value in an object when it is simulated. However, Bloom’s rhetoric suggests simulation is a process that brings her pleasure while Baudrillard’s prose suggests it is a sinful task.

Ranging from the recreation of Japanese culture, to celebrating history, to partaking in the creation of a Braille copy of Playboy, whatever medium and topic Bloom sets her sights on she attacks it in a way Baudrillard would say is damaging. However Bloom's innocence is in her awareness. She acknowledges the wholesale changes she is making to these items and accepts them as her own work. 

She would have to be considered the ravaging ethnographer in the eyes of Baudrillard. However, that doesn't mean that she is wrong to do so, in fact her widespread use of many different topics has served as inspiration to me to return to simulation as a broad theme for my final project, with each varying image having very little to do with the preceding one.

Find Barbara Bloom's available works on ArtStor: Here

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Project #2 - Rose Colored Ressurection

Quote considered in creative process: "Nobody now will touch it: the vein is closed down, like a mine. Science loses a precious capital, but the object will be safe - lost to science, but intact in its "virginity" It isn't a question of sacrifice, but of the simulated sacrifice of its object in order to save its reality principle."

Fresh snowfall is one of my favorite occurrences. Not only as a skier but also as a lover of nature. Flat untracked snow is as beautiful sight. Its soothing in its perfection. I also found in photography it allows the viewer to look deeper into the photo and capture the full picture, free of distraction. For my project I wanted to align before and after photos of me messing of previously untouched patches of snow. Snow is regularly pushed around from our roads and sidewalks but not generally in nature. It is usually allowed to rest in its beauty. I however wanted to exaggerate the beauty taken away from a setting when it is touched by humans. At the local park I brushed, kicked, and shook snow off various objects. The photos are taken at the exact same angles with the only difference being snow rearrangement. I hope to show how changing this pleasantry can be distracting to the viewer in taking in the full photo.

You can find my photos here

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Divine Irreverence of Images - Project One

Quotes Considered in Creative Process:

'It masks the absence of a basic reality - It bears no relation to any reality(Baudrillard, 11).'
'In the fourth, it is no longer in order of appearance at all, but of simulation.

With this project being my first experience with the idea of 'simulation', I decided to take still photo's that touched on different aspects of the words understanding to find my subfield within the term. There is not a consistent theme amongst the photos (perhaps function), besides the fact that they are all attempts at capturing the hyperreal. Considering this, I've decided it would be best to break down the intentions of each photo individually.

Link to Flickr

WhosePhone: This image is meant to stress how simulated our smartphones make things. One can see and learn about most of this world with a handheld device. The picture of a phone within a phone is meant to put perspective on this truth.

Bathroom selfie: A picture of one's reflection is a sight all social media users have seen. It is meant to represent oneself (selfie) but it tends to be a heavily simulated product. The absence of a human and the heavy filtering is meant to bring light to the peculiarity of selfie taking.

Simulacrum: For me an alien represents one of the purest forms of a simulacrum. That is because it bears no reality and is entirely imagined. That said society has taught us to assume certain characteristics of an alien to make it identifiable.

Natural Light: This photo's title and contents aim to bring awareness to the simulated light within the photo. With editing to bring the brightness up and the shine on the can, one could be convinced they're observing natural light. They need only look out the window in the background to tell the time of day.

Function: This picture looks to simulate the action or the appearance of the action a fan creates. With the paper appearing to be blowing one might think that the fan is turned on a caught in a still frame of its twirl. The background shows the unplugged cord.

Simulators: I chose to call this simulators due to the dilemma I saw with the two products. Which of them is more simulated. Is it the headphones, that are in ear and therefore personal but perhaps lack quality of sound. Or is it the loud speaker a lesser simulated device. Never decided.

 Better Roll: This photo agains plays with the idea of function. Had I not included the missing wheels in the photo the viewer would have no reason to believe that the board couldn't roll. It is meant to shed light how easy it is to mislead the viewer, especially on a 2D medium.