Monday, October 22, 2012

South Park Pokes Fun at Hawaii

South Park recently aired an episode about Hawaii. I decided to post a link from a local news station discussing the episode since the show actually brings up a few of the points I am considering in my research - the push and pull of the tourism industry and the tension between what visitors expect to find in Hawaii (paradise) and the reality of place. Watch the episode for a humorous look.

Article link:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Current Paper: Escapism

I'm reading Yi Fu Tuan's book titled Escapism. In my next paper, I'll be looking at Tuan's notion of escapism as a basic human quality in addition to what role photographs play in the concept of escape. I'll also be tying in portrayals of Hawaii in the travel industry and the implications of people "escaping" here. I'd like to eventually bring in ideas on my recent projects since there is a lot of overlap in the themes I hope to address... we will see how much I can fit in the essay.

Tuan, Yi-Fu. Escapism. Baltimore. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. Print.

2 Documentary Films

I recently checked out 2 interesting art films. 

The first titled Press Pause Play reminded me of some of the discussions brought up in my June residency elective seminar titled "Visual Remix" with Oliver Wasow. While the documentary mainly discusses how the film and music industries are changing with the digital revolution, other forms of art are discussed as well. The film is viewable free on Vimeo at

A synopsis on idmb reads:
The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunities. But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity? This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world's most influential creators of the digital era.

Another film I viewed is titled Jean-Michel Basqiuat: The Radiant Child. I've wanted to watch this documentary on Basquiat for a while now and it finally came up on my Netflix cue. I learned more about this young artist, his work, and short-lived career. I enjoyed learning about his collages and extremely busy but strategic canvases, especially as I am testing out collage in my own work with postcards. It's difficult to make collage work, but when it does it's impact can be quite powerful and make the various elements feel as if they were always meant to be together. I also learned of Basquiat's friendship with Andy Warhol and his time spent in Hawaii.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Recent Reading

The Inward Eye: Transcendence in Contemporary Art
Herbert, Lynn M, Klaus Ottmann, and Peter Schjeldahl. The Inward Eye : Transcendence In Contemporary Art. Houston, Tex.: Contemporary Arts Museum, 2001.
I enjoyed Lynn M Herbet's essay in the introduction titled "The Inward Eye." In trying to find a digital version to perhaps link here, I instead found a quick quote by her on the PBS Art 21 website. “Spirituality is such a vibrant and integral part of our lives that even our changing times and all the apparent obstacles have not stifled the powerful partnership of spirituality and art in the modern era,” writes Lynn M. Herbert in her essay for the Companion Book to the "Art in the Twenty-First Century" series. “The realm of the spiritual is mysterious and inviting,” writes Herbrt, “It is a place where we are encouraged to explore the unknown.”

Artists represented in the book and its exhibition included Vija Clemins, Ann Hamilton, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, James Turrell, Bill Viola, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Qiu Shi-Hua, Rachel Ranta, Gerhard Ricther, Charles Ray, and Ernesto Neto to name a few. Here are a few examples of work featured.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recent Night Horizons

Postcards of Paradise

These postcards are an idea I'm experimenting with using my numerous collected cutouts from tourism brochures and Hawaii travel magazines. The backgrounds show places that I have photographed around the island that you are unlikely to see in advertised or highlighted in a travel mag. I've been focusing on mundane sites like shopping centers and parking lots. I have also been drawn to any sites that include signs with warnings like "No swimming, no fishing, no trespassing or kapu (forbidden)." I like the idea of placing the stereotypical tourist icon against a mundane background or near a warning sign - the opposite of what you would expect on a flashy postcard. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Visions of Paradise Collected

I'm posting a quick selection of various cutouts and collages showcasing stereotypical images of Hawaii - hula dancers, surfboards, sunsets, mai tais, palm trees, dolphins, the list goes on. I initially thought these might work as a large, chaotic collage (eventually mixing in less desirable elements of life here like trash, homelessness, and traffic)  but I've decided to wait on that plan. First, I'm enjoying mixing and matching the pieces to create different canvases.  Second, I am scanning each piece to have a digital copy. This has proved beneficial as I create my own postcards and bring in some of the cutouts to juxtapose stereotypical icons with the background of my choice.