Exploding Art Mimbulus Mimbletonia style

A blog by Julia Felix about experiences on the CAMS New Media in NYC and Europe study abroad program.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No good titles today. Sorry.

First order of business: I was half asleep for the first hour of the day, so I was stupid and completely forgot to put my memory card back into my camera. Because of this, all the pictures I took are on my camera, and I can't get them off without a cord, which I left at home because I was only planning on using memory cards. So not only did I hardly take any pictures, but you won't be seeing them anyway. Because of this, I declare this random picture day. Only a few of them will make sense with what I'm talking about, so if you don't get it, you probably aren't supposed to.

I had to be ready to leave this morning at 9:15. I know to some of you that's not that early, but considering almost everyone on this trip stays up until 2am to 4am working on projects/blogs, it's pretty early. We had to get up that early though, because we were going to Astoria to see the American Museum of the Moving Image. Even though I was mostly asleep for the first hour of the tour, it was still pretty fun.

I didn't exactly learn anything new (there wasn't enough time to get into too much detail about anything), but I did get to try all kinds of fun things. While we were learning about the very first moving images, there was a machine that the museum had made where you could record about 5 seconds of video and have it made into a little flip book, so I did that. Then there was an animation station where I made an astronaut get eaten by fish and turn into a woman who fell over and turned into a frog holding a knife and fork (they had some really random things to use, alright?). We also redubbed a part of the movie Babe, and watched a scene from Titanic with the soundtrack divided up so we could hear all the different parts of it. We also saw the first video games and played them a little, which was kind of cool. Finally, we all went downstairs and played more video games in the arcade lounge until the other half of us came back from the tour.

Afterwards, about half of us got lunch together at a restaurant across the street, then made our way over to the Museum of Modern Art. To be honest, I found it a bit disappointing. There were some really amazing pieces in there, and almost all of my favorite ones happened to be Picasso, but I only found about 5% of what I saw interesting. I think I might just not like modern art too much. Unless my mom explains it to me. That usually helps a little.

Something else that I thought was interesting there was actually seeing really famous pieces of art. We always see these famous paintings and sculptures in photos and on television, but we just recognize the image and don't really see them as a painting or a sculpture. When it's actually there, you can see the texture really well, and see how the artist made it. For example, I spent a good ten minutes staring at Starry Night by Van Gogh, and thought it was really interesting to see how it was painted. Even in photos you can tell that that painting is full of texture, but when you really look at it, it's not a slow and subtle layering of paint like a lot of textury paintings are. You can tell he just put a glob of paint on his brush and went for it.

It was also kind of funny to see how people looked at the art. There were constantly about five or ten people crowded around Starry Night, but almost no one even glanced at the OTHER Van Gogh painting right next to it. I also thought it was really interesting that people paid all this money to get into the museum and see famous art, and then they didn't even spend more than a few seconds looking at things like the HUGE Monet painting (which I actually thought was kind of hideous in real life) and all the cubist paintings. I also had a bit of fun with that, because I soon realized that if I stood there and stared at a really boring looking piece (or at least something that no one else was looking at) with a look of deep concentration on my face, people would start to stop and look at it with me like there was suddenly something more interesting about it. So I got my free $12 out of the experience at least.

I wish this post ended there, and I almost wish the night ended there because I was and still am pretty tired. But it didn't.

Right after visiting MoMA, we were due at a sort of send off Cocktail party that was going to be full of Carleton Alumni, down on 22nd street in a really big apartment (By the way, if David Diamond ever sees my blog, thank you for the party. It was very generous of you and we all had a good time). John had basically been telling us for days that it was our job to mingle as much as possible at that party, and I feel like I did a fairly good job of it. I talked to a guy who was a concert pianist and 1964 graduate, and a nice lady who was a recently retired graphic designer. I also ended up talking to another lady who turned out to be the concert pianist guy's wife. They were very different people, but they seemed to like eachother, and it was interesting to see how they interacted. She high fived him at the end of the conversation, which was funny because I thought he seemed so dignified.

This was my dinner tonight. Mmmmm....I had some grapes too.

Okay, that's it. I'm going to sleep.


Anonymous Mararrrr said...

I stared at the Starry Night for a really long time too. I love that painting. And I agree, a fair amount of the stuff in there is crap. Matej and I pretty much skipped a few floors. But we were lucky and there was an exhibit of Pixar's work (I dunno if it was still there) which was really cool.

Also, did you go into the room, somewhere near the bottom floor, I think, that just had random things like lighters and just stuff you see every day, but never think of as having been "designed"? I really liked that part, because there actually were several things I would have never thought of like that. Not in a Marcel Duchamp "this is now a piece of art" sort of way, but just to appreciate that someone had to think through how that was going to fit together and look, and now it's so ubiquitous that no one thinks of it.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Van Gogh and his thick paint: it is said that he often didn't even bother with brushes, and would just use his tube of paint like it were a crayon and would start scribbing the canvas.

10:04 PM  

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