Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kwame Anthony Appiah: A Real Treat ! ! !

*** Disclaimer: I'm not sour about his lecture, I just have to stick with this title theme that I've dug myself into ***

Here are my notes from Dr. Appiah's lecture:
  • honor - treat someone as if they're worthy of respect
  • only gentlemen can duel
  • an honorable person cares about being worthy of respect
  • some acts are worthy of honor; military honor
  • we need to agree on civic honor codes
  • develop a sense of what we think is worthy of honor
  • democracy --> managing the republic together
  • honor killings
  • footbinding was a source of national shame
  • in order to end one practice, you have to start another
Firstly, I had a hard time following the path of the lecture due to its philosophical nature. Although I've attended only two philosophy lectures in my lifetime, this and Professor Rickman's Plato's Republic, I noticed a connection between the two. I realized that in order to present a philosophy, one lays out certain givens in a field of knowledge and then proceeds to present theories about the interactions of those givens to convey an ultimate theory, or philosophy. Because of this form and because Dr. Appiah knew what he was talking about and I didn't, it was difficult to follow his process of proof and evidence in a lecture setting. He moved along quickly and spoke of things that he theorized to be true in a certain situation, leaving me a little removed from the reality that he was creating and trying to catch up for most of the hour.

I wasn't completely facedown in the dirt though. I thought his theories about the definition of honor and where it should be given were interesting. Honor isn't something I usually put a lot of importance on, so it was engaging to hear someone discuss it at such length and in detail. I liked his idea that in order for the citizens of a democracy to healthily manage the republic together, they must agree on certain civic honor codes that govern their interactions and dealings. This seems like a healthy way for people to get along in a society together. I think most, though, I took to heart his theory that honor is given to someone who is worthy of respect. This idea of "honor" seems so BIG and ROYAL but I think it can apply to my everyday life in choosing who I surround myself with and how I interact with them.

Learn more about Kwame Anthony Appiah's theories of Honor Code.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Something Was Happening ! ! !

This past Wednesday and Thursday, we, as a class, prepared and executed a digital photo print and photo book show in the Lawrence library's Mudd Gallery. I enjoyed the freedom of these projects and I was able to produce some real life things! I'm grateful for the space and opportunity to make what I want to make in class and at this school. This term, I can feel myself becoming more comfortable with being outward about liking the things I like and developing some "style." I guess. Really, I'm just excited to be having fun and being around other artists that are having fun too. It was great to work to put up all the technical parts of a gallery with other students learning the same thing I was. We all had our cute little jobs and made a pretty "PROFESSIONAL" looking show (except for mine). However, my favorite part were the snacks. Eat, then gaze, sheeple. Eat, then gaze.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Artboy is Artsad

Last night, I sent three emails to The Man. I was requesting "approval" to install a sculpture on which I'm working on campus. The project is to put the viewer in the place of someone with depression by blocking the path ahead of them but leaving a small hole to see through to where they want to be. I'm really excited about doing this, as I've never done anything like it before, but it's hard to do at a school.

The Man told me NO.

The Man told me it was unsafe to put a wall up blocking the busiest path on campus.

The Man told me to use a different, less traveled pathway.

The Man told me everything I already knew.

Come on, The Man, I know it's inconvenient. I know it would be difficult for the grounds department to shovel snow in that area. The damn thing only works if people are frustrated and confused. Only then will they be forced to think about what's going on, not to mention take the time to look at it at all!

This is a sad day for Artboy.


Pizza Planet - A Success ! ! !

Aftermath of Pizza Planet
Room 205 of Lawrence University Art House
February 11, 2015
To kick off our reading period (four-day weekend for to "study for midterms") my roommate and I "organized" and "curated" a one-night gallery in our tiny, unstable room featuring the creations of students at Lawrence University. Curious and confused gallery-goers lined up to our door in anticipation of opening the door as we finished stapling and folding souvenir zines.

A few highlights of the night:

  • the Toppers guy came 45 minutes early, delivering four hot pizzas to many hungry viewers
  • the Red Dog beer can pyramid was knocked over twice
  • Hippie Bullshit performed their improvisational painting / music... TWICE!
  • a reporter from the Lawrentian looked around and then ate pizza and pumped out an article about it for 30 minutes
  • all the zines went to a happy home!
Enjoy some pictures and video from the night:

Monday, February 16, 2015

An Exciting New Musical Arrangement ! ! !

I like John Cage's beliefs that "theatre takes place all the time, wherever one is" and that "the highest purpose is to have no purpose at all." With these mantras in mind, I created a piece of music composed of entirely found sound with the hope that the listener would listen to the sounds as they would a piece of music. As you listen to the dramatic changes in timbre, pitch, and rhythm, think about how the way that these sounds naturally happen is similar to humanmade music. Although I altered some of them, many still have their own interesting developments as sound which I used to my advantage.

There is no theme or subject in this piece, other than the feelings and thoughts it creates in a listener's mind. I want them to focus on the sounds as they are, devoid of higher meaning, think for themselves, feel what they instinctively feel (if anything), and hate that that's all it is.

Monday, February 2, 2015

An Exciting New Book ! ! !

"Ridley is 20. Ridley likes taking pictures. Ridley likes it when people are in his pictures, but he also likes it when things that look cool are in them too."


Good afternoon, avid followers. I'm excited to present to you today a book I've designed called Please No Playing in the Fountain that features a series of pictures I took. Much like Robert Frank's Americans, I edited down a lot of pictures of everyday life into a selection of my favorites. I'm interested in taking pictures as a means of chronicling my life including the things and people I encounter. I didn't attempt to find much cohesive meaning or narrative in the pictures unlike Frank, who, according to Sarah Greenough's article¹, "wanted instead to express his opinion of America in his photographs".

"My name is Ridley and I do art and I'm sad about it."

I used an iPhone 6, an Emerson HD Action Cam, and a Sony NEX to take pictures of things and people or people in situations that caught my attention. Using a variety of cameras ranging from 'unprofessional' to 'professional' (whatever those words mean) as well as the *awesome* high-contrasting effects of flash, I was able to produce aesthetically different images (see the difference between "church" and "noah". The process wasn't much of a process, really, in that I let my instincts decide when and of what I would take a picture, relying on a funny situation or a particularly poetic situation. So, in that sense I suppose, I did offer some meaning within individual pictures, especially with the five "biodegradable" images of beer bottles and cans left on the ground.


¹ Quote taken from Sarah Greenough's article, "Transforming Destiny into Awareness: The Americans."