Author Archives: Yixian Chen

Visionary: Post Mortem

IMG_2698 IMG_2697 IMG_2699 IMG_2700   We agreed on the idea of playing with elevation and maze. Our site is Marshall Field. Since the site is surrounded by different elevations(people can sort of see the place from the back door of Heimbold) The viewers are able to see the layout of our maze structure pretty clearly on the steps (sort of being “visionary”) Also, we uses a lot of different materials to decorate our structure skeleton. While people interact with our marker. They experience a completely differently from seeing it above or outside. We considered our site to be pretty deserted. So we thought about a lot of how to attract people to our site. We play with sound and light reflections using foil papers. It was really successful. The process of working a group project was really fun. It was both harder and easier. It was hard to get everyone to meet and work on our project. It was easy when everyone divided the works which made everything done in a short amount of time. Also it was great to hear everyone’s idea and ways of thinking and working. We really enjoyed this project and it was a great success!

Conference Project: Map of Feelings

My final map: Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.53.38 AM The “making the invisible visible” idea of my map is visualizing the inner world and let the feelings blend into the real world. The real world is presented through recording myself through camera. It is the catching moment of the past and makes it last forever in the photograph. The inner world is presented through my drawings of things and feelings. The merge of two aspects of looking at life creates a tension between the invisible and the visible. Through out my process, I did not change a lot in terms of my idea. I only had to adjust some ways of presenting the map. Such as a more playful calendar surface. Instead of dates, I use feelings and notes. Also making the calendar the connection system. My new surface and connection system: Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 5.35.23 AM As I said in my draft. This project process was not same as my usual routine. I was not that paranoid about planning all the steps before I start doing actual work for the project. And it turned out to be less intense and more surprised as I went on doing it. It was really great to know that. What I took the most from our class discussion was it changed my way of looking and thinking in everyday life. I think of site-specific all the time. Being a better observer of my own life definitely contribute a lot to this project. Close ups: Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 1.05.44 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 1.05.29 PM

Conference Project Draft #1: Map of Feelings

This is the sketch of my map surface: Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.56.58 AM My process of doing this conference project was quite different from my usual routine. I used to make plans and tried to think everything through before starting. However, this time I tried to reduce my complicated planning in advance and start play around my project visually. I took the chance of spring vacation to have my friend take many great photographs of me on our trip to the Bahamas. And played around with them on the photoshop. Here are some images of my signs: Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.01.17 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.28.30 PM I am going to map out my feelings either of the time that the photo was taken or the feelings that I had when I saw the photos. Some of them are abstract and some of them are concrete. My map is going to define my invisible thoughts and feelings. And I am making them visible on my map. It is a combination of real life(recording of my moments through camera) and world of thoughts(things going on in my mind). The surface is a calendar. The sign system is my collection of photos. And the connection system are my feelings. My project is going to be a print out. I am doing most of my work on photoshop and my own sketches. The technic and style of doing my sketches came from the artist Abby Phillips(outside of class). The book on psychogeographic from our class discussion.

Self-Portrait: A Map of My Future, Age 23~25

Final Map: IMG_1255-1 Sketch: Sketch 01 My decision making process is actually pretty simple. My initial idea was to simple mapping out my thoughts and images in my head. The reason I want to achieve a map totally out of my head is that I am used to pay more attention to the appearances of things when I make art. I care how things really look and want to achieve perfect (or to say identical) drawings as the originals setting, which lack my ability to be creative and wild in most of my previous art projects. I wander what is going on in my mind. I am interested in the relationships between space and people. And I just love thinking randomly about my own dreamland and myself. Thus, I decide to do a map of my future specifically from age 23 to 25 (right after graduation from college). My map surface is a palette of four colors (purple, blue, red, and pink) from one blending to another. I create my own color emotion system and incorporate it on the lower left comer of the map. My connection system is a path of footprints meaning my journey from 23 to 25. The path is going off the top and the bottom edges of map to show its continuity. My sign system is going to be mostly original sketches/illustrations. I really want to achieve the idea of designing my own life and things in it. Except the blue traveling part, I will incorporate iconic items accordingly to the countries to show my worldwide travel. Here are some sketches/icons FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender_2 IMG_0710 I guess two readings that inspired me the most were Kathy Acker’s Map of My Dreams and the Chapter One Maps Blossom in the Springtime of the State. The map of dream provided me a good way of formatting a map where it has not a lot of logical order. It is pretty random. Her thoughts are floating on the map surface with simple icons. In the Maps Blossom in the Springtime of the State where says that maps give us a reality beyond our reach. This brought me to think of what should be included in a map or my map. I guess the topic of future is always beyond our reach. You can dream of any future that you want and make it happen for really. And to visualize things that haven’t happened yet is to make the invisible visible. In terms of “this-ness” and “there-ness”, “this-ness” is showing my designs of my flowers/items shop and putting my favorite flowers and design items into the shop and placing them to places. The “there-ness” could be found in my pink part where contains mostly my diary-like writings. To imagine and put myself in the future, feel what is going on there is my way of presenting “there-ness”. This is a image of selective writings FullSizeRender_4 Inspiring artists: Karey Kessler, Stephen Walter, and Nathan Carter

Space HiJack: Jenga

For my box project, I also started with confusion. Since we’ve been talking about cube mappings during class and the lab on gum box. I wasn’t sure what the project is. Whether making cube mapping or making a huge box and tape over it. So I take some note on what other students in the course are doing. I realized just to make boxes and interfere with the space! So I talked to my friends advises for box project. They have all crazy ideas and we came up with the Jenga idea! The unique aspect of Jenga is that it is played all around the world. (at least China and America, haha) Since we have a great amount of international crowd, having a global box project is awesome! So I installed the box here: FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_1 The result came out great. People play around with it. My friends were telling me how people interact with it while they are just hanging around in Heimbold. I am really happy with the outcome!

Questions of Space

My text project is on how to look at space, spatial relationship between abstract artwork and people. I watched the tutorials of After Effect on YouTube. I used typewriter effect, falling effect, transformed scales and positions; fade out effect, and etc. I am happy with my every first outcome of After Effect. I am definitely gonna work more on it. Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.33.00 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.13.10 AM How to look at space? A man’s idea of what was “real” depended mainly on how he felt and thought about “space” Space is a relationship between things and time A drawing is a division of space A line is an edge of space Shapes and colors are spaces A painting is a flat space Architecture is the art of spaces Abstract artworks are real spaces An abstract artwork will react to you if you react to it. You get from it what you bring to it. The spatial relationship between you and the artwork is commutative. YOU ARE A SPACE, TOO.

Conference Project: 100% YC Labels

My conference project is a series of sticker labels. My idea came from the clothing label. For my project, I made stickers for chairs, staircase handles, water fountains, plants and glass windows and doors in heimbold. I am also making a bonus sticker for my suitcase. The contents of label include percentages of materials, which the object is made, instructions of cleaning, country of origin, and logo design of my initials. Here are the close up of my suitcase label and glass label Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 12.24.21 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 12.23.21 PM During the process, I had such an exciting time of playing with typography. I spent hours on searching for my ideal type for the labels. I wanted it to be fancy and unique, yet easy for viewers to read the content. The study of typography also ties to my collection assignment earlier this semester. I find the label project is related to Claire Bishop’s article on The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents where the artists are interested in collaboration and engagement with social constituencies, which is a way to make artwork relate to society. I think my labels are also connected to society by adding written contents of the specific objects. The labels are significant of bring the manufactory and business of the objects. I wanted to remind people of the relationship between consumers and products when they see my stickers. After installing my sticker labels in Heimbold, I think the atmosphere of places changed. For example, I feel like shopping for chairs in Heimbold Café, every label is on center of the back of the chair which is similar to clothing labels on center on the people’s back below the necks. I hope you get the sense of being a consumer when you see my labels. 10 17 12 15 I also made a space hijack/intervention of my glass sticker in my apartment building. 08 09 Also, I spread my works on the social network. IMG_8617 Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 12.39.44 AM New look for my suitcase! 01 22 It was such a great experience of becoming a sticker maniac!

Visual Code of Heimbold

When I first saw Heimbold, I immediately thought of the art building in my high school in Rhode Island because the major glass doors and windows and the contour of the wood structure in both buildings. FullSizeRender2013-05-27 02.45.48 I enjoy staying in Heimbold since there is always something attract me. You can see a piece of artwork in any classroom, on a particular wall, even on the vending machine. The building always took me by surprised for having so many exciting things to explore. Heimbold also strikes me with its flexibility and its possibility for people to intervene. For example, the space hijack of our class! We used our common sense of what makes a living room and brought our props and turn a space into another. It was such an exciting experience. My friends came up to me and expressed how jealous they are that I am in such a creative fun class. IMG_8057 Heimbold has the ability to accept so many messages for me to read that no other buildings in Sarah Lawrence could do.

Questions of Space

For my post of question of space, I am going to make a manifesto on space on abstract art after a very interesting reading experience of Ad Reinhardt’s How to look at Space. Reinhardt is an abstract painter in New York who I came across in my class – Beyond Perspective: Mathematics and Visual Art. How to look at space? A man’s idea of what was “real” depended mainly on how he felt and thought about “space” Space is a relationship between things and time A drawing is a division of space A line is an edge of space Shapes and colors are spaces A painting is a flat space Architecture is the art of spaces Abstract artworks are real spaces An abstract artwork will react to you if you react to it You get from it what you bring to it The spatial relationship between you and the artwork is commutative YOU ARE A SPACE, TOO.

Conference Project Post #2: 100% YC Labels

I am sticking with my original idea of conference project, doing a series of sticker labels. My first sticker project of IKEA is to deliver the message of using forced labor in major companies. It was sort of serious and political. So, for my second attempt, I want to do something closer to my individual life. After reading Wodivzko’s Strategies of Public Address, he characterize the strategies of public art has very little to do with social practice. Art in public places want to protect the bureaucratic aestheticism, separate the artist practice from critical public issues, and then imposing the purified practice on bureaucratic exhibitionism. I feel like his description sort of fit in to my idea of my sticker label project. I focused more on things that are closer to my daily life and the autonomy of art. I consider my project as an example of liberal urban decoration. Here are some sketches of my initials and labels: 02 03

My Sketchbook: Collection Assignment

My collection assignment of three things – five instances are shown below: ?? 1-1 My first collection is wrapping paper on food or drinks bottles, which contains FIGI, S.PELLEORINO, TOSTITOS, PERRIER, and Coca Cola. For me, the significant about this collection is that I have the habit of taking a glance of the Nutrition Facts Column. Most of the brands choose to make their logos more fancy by choosing more dramatic fonts to attract customers. Nevertheless, the texts on the Nutrition Facts Column are always simpler so that they are easy to read. It is a revelation of the importance of typology in advertisement. ?? 2-1 My Second collection is cards of restaurants or pastry stores in NYC. I always take a card of a place when I enjoy the food or atmosphere of that place. These five instances attract me with their designs. Take an example of eight turn crêpe. The design is set vertically with a photo of the crêpe taken from straight above. The crêpe looks like a flower. The color of red, yellow, blue, and white works great to brings out customers’ appetites. ?? 3 And finally, my third collection is invoices. This collection is a representation of my daily routine. I take tracks of my expense to manage my personal finance. These invoices are always a way for me to recollect my memory of the day. You don’t know the fun of it until you try to do so ;P

Conference Post#1: 100% YC Labels

According to Saskia Sassen, branding is the basic mediation between individuals and markets. In order to have a successful urban intervention, it is important to understand the relationship between the people and the society, the connection between men and objects. Sassen says that it is central to the experience of the urban, and it makes legible transitions and unsettlements of specific spatiotemporal configurations. For the conference project of New Media Lab: Remix the City. I am making a series of stickers. I always pay attention to the contents of labels on the clothing, which inspired me to play around with idea of components in objects. For a label of a clothing, it always includes the brand of the cloth (ex, Abercrombie & Fitch), the materials and the percentages of materials are used (ex, 100% cotton), the direction of washing (ex, machine wash cold, do not bleach), and country of manufacture (made in China). I am going to look for other objects in life such as a suitcase, a water fountain in Heimbold, or a bench in a park. I will be printing my labels to sticker paper, and also sketching some designs of pattern or icons to include on my labels. For installation, I want to divide my labels into three groups and install them separately: one in Heimbold, one in sites in the city, and one on personal things. I will photography them after the installation. And upload them to the Internet, also as a part of my project. For digital networks are contributing to the production of new kinds of interconnections underlying what appear as fragmented topographies, whether global or local. By using the Internet, I will be able to strength communications and transactions globally and locally. Label on cloth 照片 1-1 Sketch of my cup label 照片 2-2 My initial designs YC

Sticker Project: IKEA Logo

I started my Sticker Champaign Project with confusions. After seeing some urban interference examples of reframing during the seminars and in the textbook. I started gather some idea for making a poster or advertisement form of reframing. Being interested by the reframing work of adding the Photoshop frame to an advertisement of supermodels in the subway. So I thought about doing my project by adding something to what is already done. Angela and I discuss some possible topic that might be interesting to work with. Then I started to focus on the issue of forced labor. I worked with IKEA’s catalog for a little while by adding some black and white inmate labor figures on the wall and Anti-slavery icons on the furniture into the catalog. The result came out to be too busy. There were several items in the image. Then I looked up “forced labor IKEA” and one result really came out to me. There were eight major companies that used forced labor or child labor for manufactories. I looked them up and decided to play with the logos of IKEA, Victoria’s Secret, and Hershey’s. For the first try, I added cell bars to the ellipse yellow part; turned the pink stripes of Victoria’s Secret into black and white to make it like a cell uniform; posted a child labor image on the Hershey’s milk chocolate bar rapping paper. For the second draft, I changed the yellow ellipse of IKEA into a realistic photograph of jail; adding a chain and lock on the VS logo. The final draft of IKEA is tone the color of the cell into yellow. My IKEA logo stickers were installed on the tables in the Heimbold Café. IKEA 02IKEA01 I think the IKEA project was a great experience for me as an artist. Because I started off confused on the term “reframing”. But I started doing it anyways. After speaking with Angela, it became clearer to me what the project is about. As an art student, it was interesting to think about you can always do something with art even you don’t understand it. That’s the beauty of art. You can always start doing art, even without knowing what you are doing. The IKEA project has brought me abundant experiences. I am very happy about my outcome of the prison IKEA logo.