Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cellphone piece

For my cellphone piece, I had a friend of mine leave the room and call me randomly during class. We took part in an appx 5 minute telephone conversation, for which the class could only hear my side. This was supposed to mock the people I take the train with, whom talk loudly on their phones. They are rude, but nonetheless it is humorous because we can only hear one side of their conversation. often times this creates confusion and misunderstandings. My piece was meant to reflect all of these thoughts.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Banner 2.0

Found Object- Printer/Woman

Audio Project- "Last Week's Critique"

http://www.youtube.com/user/asherfarkas?feature=mhee#p/a/u/0/p4cgZINI-XM

Artist Statement

6:29 AM – The train arrives at Northridge Station, heading towards Union Station. 5:10 PM – The train departs from Union station, heading back to Northridge. This has been my schedule for almost four years. Everyday, taking the same train routes to and from school, adhering to the monotony of the everyday work force. Being surrounded by adults who share this schedule, I became inspired by the idea of monotony in modern day life, and how that affects the average person. I have taken this constant inspiration and made a series of paintings, meant to represent my fellow train passengers and shed light on the idea that pattern, to a certain extent, can degrade happiness.
Upon learning about how local High Schools were banning classic books such as “To Kill a Mockingbird”, I became appalled and made an interactive, mixed media art piece that reflected my anger and showed the absurdity in banning books.
After studying and researching the ever-famous propaganda posters from World War II, I created a series of drawings and paintings meant to create the feeling of chaos, and show how lies through visual media can obscure the truth and manipulate people’s minds.
This has become my pattern as an artist. Outside influences and interests inspire my art, which is most normally geared on a socio-political path. I create the art that I create because I am living in a fascinating world, a world with much history to be learned and with an unpredictable future. I live in world where even the average Joe can be my soul inspiration for an art piece, and where injustices can spread like wildfire.
Each one of my pieces takes into consideration hours or days of research, along with an underlying inspiration from cultures that I am exposed to. I am fully committed to social justice, and pieces such as my Propaganda series and my Banned Book piece are meant to be eye-opening experiences. I wish for viewers of my art to walk away from my pieces with a new outlook on certain issues, and with questions brewing in their heads.
Outside of school, I volunteer at The Painted Turtle, a Hole in the Wall Gang camp for children with life-threatening or chronic illnesses. The purpose of this camp is to let children feel “normal” and accepted for their time at camp, and to go back to their lives with a new level of confidence and happiness. Through my experiences at this camp, I have learned much about people with disabilities, a minority that is commonly overlooked and disenfranchised. This has also become a driving force in many of my pieces, which seek to give these children a voice in society. Additionally, I have worked at Inner City Arts, a camp in the heart of Skid Row in Los Angeles that helps at-risk kids discover their passions and stay out of gangs. Teaching art, writing and filmmaking at ICA, I was introduced to a part of L.A. that has been neglected, if not targeted negatively, by the city. I met and helped kids who were living, by no fault of their own, in tragically unfortunate circumstances. Seeing the political injustice and discrimination that exists on a daily basis in my own city disgusted me, and inspired another series of pieces.
Further, I have worked at the Anti-Defamation League, where I was a member of a team that designed an anti-bullying campaign that is currently being enacted in Los Angeles Schools. As a member of this team, I learned about the bullying epidemic that has caused distress, and even suicide, throughout the nation. Inspired by this, I created several pieces. Two of them, in fact, are the cornerstone images for a different, national anti-bullying campaign that the ADL is using.

Personal Piece

For my personal piece, I began to drain all of the markers of the room of their ink, as I purposelessly was making marks on the whiteboard. I did this because the teacher of the classroom we were inhabiting, in cooperation with a more evil teacher at the school, stole from me much of my happiness. They stole time- weeks, if not months, of my life by humiliating me and forcing me into unfair situations that caused me to become physically and mentally ill. The administration literally did nothing when i went to complain, and in fact promoted the teacher to Head of the Science Department, as I was left with post-traumatic stress from the utter humiliation and mistreatment I endured publicly and privately. Thus, i felt stealing their ink was the least I could do in return. Though it was very personal, it was also supposed to reflect the absurdity of revenge.

Time Project

For my time piece, I had one of my classmates (Grace) hide a small "Pikachu" figurine somewhere in the classroom as I left. I reentered the classroom, and began to look for it shortly after setting a timer. After 11 minutes and 41 seconds, and with the help of some vague clues, I found the prize resting on top of the projector. To find this, I destroyed much of what i saw in front of me. I upturned tables and completely emptied filing cabinets. Though this was in part to provoke humor, it also had some overall messages about "man's quest" for prizes, and about how the simple habit of losing something can be amplified and manipulated when made public- and when set under a timer. I think everyone had fun watching this performance time piece, just as I had fun making it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011