Minna’s work

04Apr09

Hi everybody, and my apologizes being so late with my introduction. Too much work to do, always.

My name is Minna and I live at Jyväskylä in central Finland. I’m a visual artist, but in recent years I have been working as an art teacher, more and more. Currently I study art education in the University of Art and Design, Helsinki, in the Virt@ III- program to gain MA qualification as an art educator. I’m also working as an art teacher in couple of schools. Even though, nowadays I do more teaching than art, I still prefer to be an artist.
My major area as an artist is painting, but I do like to get other kinds of technical experiences as well. My topic is in some way a search for archetypal ideas of humanity (whatever it means…).

Regarding the question of power, which is the topic of this course, I’m interested in how the human senses work. In a Normal life a typical human uses mostly his/her sense of sight to get information of environment. Even though other senses work as well, we are more conscious of information given by the visual sense. I will take the power metaphor and use to describe the hierarchy of the senses with the visual sense at the highest step of the ladder, when we are confronted with visual art. My idea is to construe another kind of power situation, or in a way, to make a revolution between the senses functioning in the study of visual art. I’m going to raise the sense of touch and give it more power, “for the people” to see if there could be other ways of how we receive and produce meaning in art, in a different, and hopefully new way.

There are no pictures introducing my ideas of the topic, because I haven’t yet figured out what kind of pictures could describe power of sense of tough. My plan of an art work of the topic is create some “paintings” to touch for visitors of art exhibition. Visitors normally come to art exhibition to see art, now they have to imagine art with sense of touch. Painting is made from different materials, like plastic, wax, hair etc. Materials create the composition. This will be placed into box made of neutral material like cardboard. There are holes on the box for the hands, so the visitor of the exhibition can study this painting in the box with her/his hands. What kind of image of this painting he/she will create in his/her mind?

Greetings, Minna

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One Response to “Minna’s work”

  1. Minna is bending the theme of power in her own preferred direction. Her area of interest is focused on the power of the senses. If we accept this, power is to be found everywhere. This might destroy the meaning of the concept of power as it applies to everything. There are differences everywhere and we can construct hierarchies of differences depending on our viewpoint. The first step for Minna would be to show, that a hierarchy of the senses really exists.

    From a somewhat more fuzzy viewpoint, it seems, sight is a “main” sense. At least without it, we would be deprived of many things. Minna is probably not interested in prooving anything, but would like to see what happens to the aesthetic system of art when we modify the senses in the use of art. Here, I see a very clear idea. If, as we could accept easily, visual art is always visual, what if that institution is modified with another kind of preference for, say, touch? The artistic conventions that rule, results in the visual form, possibly combined with sound. Images can be static or be moving, and we can add the sound to build up the ambient feelings or play with meaning-construction with the help of different codes ini uxtapositioning sound and image. Similarily, text, image, and sound make up a complete set of media for the visual art institution. We only have to add ourselves together with the physical space, in itself an important mostly silent plug-in. But, if this set-up is interrupted or canceled in favor of another sense, so far unused, like touch, then the notion of the art work will be changed, enlarged, and different.

    I have difficulties in trying to describe the adding of touch regarding a description of an art work. It seems, though, that such a set-up must also be constructed of parts of the world, different materials – up to the scale of an environment, like the space of presentation or other surroundings – and in my opinion a division between the interface of the artwork and its media, is constructed in the same way, logically, as any other art work. The logic arrives from the simple fact that we cant see, touch, or hear each others experiences, unless relayed through mediations of some sort. So to create an experience, there is at least two things, the stuff that we need for the experience in terms of media (which is actual) and the following experience (which is virtual). The first part, the media set-up, is visual, regardless that some of the experiences targeted will be within the sense of touch. What is the role and importance of that visual setup- for a virtual experience? Minna has to decide about the visual role of the objects that she wants to use in creating the experiences of touching something. Why? Because I think that whatever we are confronted with in a presentation, does something to us by way of experiencing it. And we are constantly experiencing things with all our senses. That this experiencing is happening in an art-setup, gives us conditions for interpretation and valuing the whole situation. So, when Minna thinks about changing the power relations between senses, she still has to consider the facts of the other senses as well.

    The challenge is especially this, that Minna confonts herself with a number of senses, at least one of which is usually not in use. Or, if it is in use, it is put on a kind of virtual stand-by. I am sure that the sense of touch is activated as memory, in sight. But what is activated in the actual sense of touch? If Minna will come up with a setup (however visual) that can be used to activate the sense of touch, we will see what touch makes us remember seeing.


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