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Art and Art History

Documentation of Performance Art

Ian Byers-Gamber (2014) ; Mentor(s): Mark Allen

Abstract: I worked with Professor Mark Allen at Machine Project to create documentary video of performances that took place last summer and this summer. For Machine Project, documenting and disseminating films of time-based transitory forms of artwork is a directive toward open scholarship and accessibility. This summer I participated in The Machine Project Field Guide to L. A. Architecture, a part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA exhibition, by shooting and editing videos meant to be an analogous creative endeavor to the performance art. The video work is intended to share difficult or relatively inaccessible art with an interested audience. This can overcome differences in location and availability, as some events only happen once or others are extremely limited in audience size. The primary method of sharing is through the internet, so the videos are tailored for internet viewing, which changes the editing process. My work for Machine Project (and other Machine Project videos) has also been distributed through a DVD, shown in an art exhibition, and will be screened in theaters in upcoming events. My research involved developing solutions to effectively capture complex performances and to make editing decisions about the proper structure for the videos.
Funding Provided by: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Resonant Minds: Abstraction and Perception

Nidhi Gandhi (2015); Mentor(s): Terri Geis; Kathleen Howe

Abstract: Abstract art in all its forms – from expressionism to minimalism – echoes neuroscientific theories about how the brain works. Whether exploring a precise order or practicing more chaotic techniques, the subtle aspects of abstraction provide a platform for questioning how the brain processes our perceptions. It can provide a window into the mind’s unceasing efforts to make sense of the human experience. Abstract art may be viewed in relationship to theories and explorations of the mind, as we consider how it prompts the viewer to interpret the unexpected and indeterminate. Abstract artists often based their artistic premises on theories about how subtle shifts in form and color alter our absorption of an artwork. Similarly, neuroscientists have explored perception from different perspectives, investigating how impressions received while viewing images can trigger neuronal impulses and unconscious reactions. Resonant Minds: Abstraction and Perception explores different ways in which our perceptions of abstract art reveal our mental processes, and asks us to reflect on the ways we perceive.
Funding Provided by: Janet Inskeep Benton

Expanding the possibilities of material transformation through alternative surfaces, media, and processes

Kulsum Ebrahim (2015); Mentor(s): Sandeep Mukherjee

Abstract: The SURP was a ten-week apprenticeship under Sandeep Mukherjee, an L.A. based contemporary artist. We sought to expand the conversation about painting as artistic practice, and art as a means of access to an event, space, or experience that is not solely limited to a semiotic reading but instead amplifies affect in order to resist self-identity and connd the experiencing body were considered as important means to calibrate the process. The practice involved creating work that is moving, work that is additive and subtractive, and work that is always in the state of becoming. The apprenticeship culminated in a 18 feet x 45 feet site specific piece that will be installed at Guerilla Atelier in downtown Los Angeles. This work is a reductive intervention in the preexisting architecture on a very large scale that explores the immersive and environmental possibilities of contemporary painting.
Funding Provided by: Pomona College SURP

Pages: The Poetry of Mirella Bentivoglio

Benjamin Kersten (2015); Additional Collaborator(s): Kathleen Howe; Mentor(s): Frances Pohl; Rebecca McGrew; Steve Coomba

Abstract: Despite an early career as a verse poet, Mirella Bentivoglio’s prolific career spans many artistic genres. A poet, sculptor, performance artist, concrete poet, and visual poet, she explores the relationship between language and image using a critical approach and wry humor to challenge the given meanings and systems of authority in our society. Bentivoglio has achieved international success; however, a retrospective of her multimedia practice from the past five decades will fill a gap in the scholarly material available in the United States. My work followed key steps in the process of preparing an exhibition. The first included reading past materials, including the exhibition proposal written by Professor Pohl and key articles in order to prepare for a visit to Bentivoglio’s home and workplace in Rome. Over the course of our visit, we collected information on specific works, including interpretations and installation instructions. I also compiled answers for an interview that will be published in the accompanying catalog. Back at the museum, I photographed, accessioned, and entered new works into the museum database while cleaning up the existing archive. This public information will be necessary for constructing an exhibition layout and checklist. Bentivoglio's subversive work draws connections between the language and images of everyday life, falling in line with significant and experimental art that blurs lines between disciplines and power structures.
Funding Provided by: Pomona College SURP

Research at Pomona