Tag Archives: self-portrait

Self-Portrait: Self-Planet Map

screen-shot-2015-03-03-at-3-31-02-pm My planetary self portrait isn’t looking so barren anymore.  It’s now more of a goofy collage than anything else, but progress is progress.  One thing that could be tweaked, in addition to the rough edges on the photo clippings and the opacity of the background, is the link between signage and connector.  As a whole.  It’s got to be more cohesive.  The tone of this little environment isn’t going to change much, and there are about a thousand more images that I’m figuring out how to incorporate.  But regarding the analog clock system that birthed this whole project, that could be communicated much more effectively.  The idea was that as you move clockwise from the orange line, the planet transitions from bright, warm childhood imagery (influenced by the secret Caribbean half of my genes and all my abuelita’s weird Santeria mysticism) to something much darker, colder (in every sense of the word) and more horror-influenced.  I’m trying to communicate that I don’t feel any better off for having sat through sixteen years of school, and that my mind was a more pleasant place to reside in back when it wasn’t so restless and cluttered.  Really, this is my rendition of the ‘never grow up’ song from Peter Pan; adulthood is looming, and that’s a scary thing.  My map should reflect this by illustrating a clearer and more dramatic progression from Tropics to Gothics.  This is my goal for the remainder of the project. For now, though, I’ll give a little tour of the planet in its current form.  The surface of the planet is just that, a surface.  Starting from the orange line, or from the umbilical cord stretching across the Hudson River if you like, life is simple and pure.  A bouncyhouse and a pedaled go-kart.  By fifth grade, school was no longer inflatable or fun; it was a stone prison.  But the warm vibes of childhood were still half-present, at least.  Along the yellow path to that stone prison are the man and the goat that I photographed back in high school, on the side of a road somewhere in Cuba.  Other notable residents of the yellow region include Oshun (who’s basically the Afro-Caribbean Virgin Mary variant), and some nude ladies being baptized in the water (to signify first contact with the metaphysical, as well as the bodily revelations of the middle-schooler).  The region between the yellow and green lines is home to the lonesome little boy staring into space, and another Santeria deity named Eleggua, god of crossroads and something to do with divine contact through drumming, if I recall correctly.  All quite appropriate for my early days of drumming and terrifying uncertainty. By the time high school rolls around (green line), it’s clear that the stone prison and all its stipulations are totally illusory.  But you’re still bound to them, sort of by law, and you’re constantly being monitored.  I chose to express this by attaching two guard towers to a guard tower, despite there being no actual prison.  This is all happening on the colder side of the planet now, and it’s all watched over by Danu, Celtic Mother Goddess, to offset Oshun’s presence on the opposite side, The purple line to college runs across the Hudson River, past the black-cloaked Washington Heights Gatekeepers, past mom’s old apartment, past dad’s old apartment and the big evil mountain which I suppose is the Bronx.  It ends at the north pole.  Sarah Lawrence is in many ways less structured than the endpoints of the other three lines, so there is no structure.  There is only a moping gargoyle with a bird growing out of his back, and some cigarette butts and a sad lady from an old painting.  I do intend to build more on the north pole, as well as on the rest of the planet, and then maybe something on the water.  I appreciated everyone’s input today.

Self-Portrait: A Map of Depression

My self-portrait is a map of my depression, using a collage-based approach with text pulled from my own poetic writing and physically-linked symbols. una map final My initial brainstorm was closer to my final product, with an idea of spatialization based on my own gendered ancestry (my family’s history in Poland, the trauma of survival, etc). The maps we viewed in class, such as the dream map, inspired me. My mode of art is largely collage-based, though, so I was nervous about working outside of that medium. I was also distracted by the personal nature of the project and the idea of having a single, recognizable sign system, surface, and connection system. However, after viewing the work of Ward Shelley, I thought I would go in a different direction and instead map the evolution of my sense of postmodern aesthetics. Like Shelley’s work where he maps in neurotic detail different artistic movements, I wanted to create a detailed and text-based timeline of counterculture aesthetics moving into the internet age of “new aesthetics,” something that I know about as obsessively as Ward Shelley does with his movements. 2015-03-03 15.20.48 My sign system was text and pictures pulled from my personal internet projects, such as facebook aesthetic groups (inb4, sport aesthetics), and from my tumblrs, basementfag.tumblr.com and health-goth.tumblr.com. The surface was minimalist, on black with an extra pattern representing the advent of the internet into counterculture. I considered adding more text in boxes to explain different phases of postmodernity, but I struggled to find a connection system that satisfied me artistically, and also felt like my work was not personally connected enough with these explanations. Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 11.58.04 PM Eventually, I returned to an idea more similar to my original one of collaging my own sense of spatiality and embodied experiences of different spaces or states. I decided to map what I know the best right now, which is my depression and my own thoughts. IMG_4925 My surface was different states of depression, coded by color and space: Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 11.57.16 PM My sign system was collaged poetics, as well as pictures of bodies, many of them my own, and of consumed media I encounter entering into my subconscious. My connection system had to do with different states of mind. I primarily used the symbols of pills to communicate going through different chemically-influenced states of depression. I also used a crow in the top left corner, a symbol of death and darkness in a natural world, and a hand reading “NO” in the bottom left. The hand represents the power silently and physically no to violation and trauma represented by the bottom of the map, the “basement” section. Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.35.05 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.35.10 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.35.16 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.37.41 AM The main effect I tried to produce with my map was a sense of different, separate physical spaces. I wanted it to feel like one could imagine oneself enter into each different space and travel throughout them, hence the use of roads, landscapes, a bed, and my computer screen. I tried to supplement this impulse to enter or traverse by using pictures of different bodies, so that the viewer could feel corporeally connected to the map. My map attempts to make visible the ways in which mental illness can cause a sense of being lost in the vastness of one’s own head. I wanted to make visible the expansiveness and physicality of my mental illness, especially in an era of internet mass media, pornography, and chemical supplements. I am a trans person and an web artist who’s self-making has been internet-based. I interact with my corporeality and sexuality heavily in virtuality. The tools of webcams, selfies, and other such highly recent technologies affect my consciousness about my body and about where I live psychologically. The screen, feeding back my image to me, causes me to live in a dreamlike, virtual state. The shifting chemical states caused by medication adds another dimension to this bodily sense of shifting. These two factor, chemical changes in one’s state of mind, and the shifting in senses of spatiality because of the constant feed of media, can make depression an even more complicated state of mind to grapple with. My map attempts to make visible this struggle.

Self Portrait Postmortem: A Map of Love Creek

IMG_20150310_170208_503IMG_20150310_170201_857Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 2.06.59 PM   Here are some photos of the last part of my self portrait map. As It was hard to photograph my map on the wall, I included a detail that gives a better sense of what it looks like up close, as well as an image of the surface which I created digitally. Ultimately my project came out fairly close to the way I envisioned it, but with some rough edges. I would have liked to add more color and details to the surface using Photoshop. As a result of technical problems and time constraints, I included only the most essential elements of my surface. Additionally, I greatly limited the amount I did by hand in order to meet the deadline. My original plan was to include extensive text, beyond that on my draft, which I was unable to do. I also hoped to create texture using different papers which I hoped would give the illusion of depth. I think my project would have benefited from these changes and regret that there was not sufficient time for them. If I were to do something differently it would be to follow a different schedule than the others in class who were doing purely digital projects. It would have been best for me to have printed my map several weeks in advance so that I could add all the details I had planned. I was influenced by Shadow Lines and the way in which the narrator’s sense of self and geography was so informed by others. The space I chose to map my self portrait onto is a shared space which is significant to everyone in my family. Reading the novel drew my attention to the fact that I really wanted to honor my individual perception of, and relationship to, that space. I wanted the space I was mapping to assert my individuality over the collective identity which it normally reflects. Ultimately my map reflects my experiences and proposes that life is cyclical and in my life I will return to the knowledge and experiences that I have had. I hope to use this circular map as a reminder to myself and others to allow our experiences to build on and inform one another so that we may learn for what we have been through.

Self-Portrait: The Self as an Idea

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 3.30.41 PM This finalized version of my self portrait is the culmination and self-exploration of my thoughts and emotions. Initially, I felt the need to bracket my experiences and my personality by temporally and spatially binding it. I at first thought, how can I represent myself, when my self changes every hour, ever minute. To address this problematization of identity I thought that the most concise way to “capture” my-self would be to record myself (literally) throughout the space of an hour, as if to say; this is not who I am period, it is who I am this hour. Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 3.01.15 PM Although this idea of overlay- lines upon plotted points, upon colors, shapes and drawings and words, upon outlines, upon a graph- seemed very appealing to my thought process, I soon discovered not only its complexity, but the “holes” within my depection of myself and eventually the aesthetic overcrowding. Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 2.59.16 PM From my first draft I did not alter the layout but simply added too it, filling up the shapes on the left hand-side with text and drawing. It was at this point that I first considered having to alter my over-all plan for the direction of the map. Although I had a recording of what I had been thinking/saying during my one hour excursion through Bronxville, listening back to it, it seemed more disjointed and less indicative of myself than I had hoped. This caused me to make my first change where I decided that the filled in shapes (the drawn and text ones) did not necessarily need to correlare to concrete througts, that rather they could just be indicative of musings, potentials for where my brain wanders. After making this decision, the final choice to eliminate the idea of the one-hour restraint became much easier. Without the restraint, there was no reason for thoughts to correlate with the distance and time graphing. Thus, the drawing and text section became rather a decpition of a week within my mind, working on it daily each picture would inspire either a new thought or a further lead, for me, my personality exists as equally within my desire for meticulous fine point detail as it does within the images and thoughts I wish to bring forth. Soon it became clear to me that in the simplest of ways, the way in which I was deciding to construct my map and consider it was, ideologically, the best depiction of my self that can be given. Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 3.00.02 PM After making this decision the rest of the map seemed to flow relatively easily except for the last part. The part where I thought I was done, perhaps not. I was stuck in a position of fatigue, agitation and loss of inspiration. I had a mass of organic lines forming shapes, just as the rest of my map, lying empty, undulating at the bottom. My first reaction was an instinctual one, I should keep it, it’s the unknown, the potential… where my thoughts can go, but then, something aesthetic overtook me and I felt the need to balance the map so to speak. Engaging in a roundabout game of turntables, I flipped and flipped, 90, 180, 275. Was one side heavier than the other, were the colors causing unacceptable asymmetry? I finally gave into my aesthetic fear, I craved balance, and for that I put in a title. After discussing with Angela however, and getting a artist’s view on my obsession with aesthetic symmetry, I decided to finally choose meaning over aesthetic. Removing the title made me feel like I was stripping myself of a cloak, dangerously naked underneath. The title was a way to explain myself, a kind of shield to protect me from the misinterpreting viewer, without it, the only thing to look at, would be me. Slowly however, I began to appreciate the negative space. It is the possibility. What could be, but what is not necessarily pre-determined, the vague but delicately outlined unknown. This map has been in its own way a cartographic exploration of the self, the map and notions of boundaries between the self and everything else. Where does the line lie between one thing and another so much so that we feel the need to mark it, delineate it, name it- one/two, land/water, London/Coventry, me/you, legitimate/invisible.

Self-Portrait Draft #2: A Map of Bella

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 9.07.29 PM=   I started with the three points that are geographically located: London, Buenos Aires, and New York. The placement is where these three cities actually fall on the map. I planned to use concentric circles to show the impact these cities have had on my personal development, the thicker lines showing a heavier influence in recent years. This would be my sign system. My surface consists of an abstract interpretation of Manhattan in 1998. This was a pivotal year in my family’s history. My connections are the darker purple lines that actually follow the tracks of London’s subway system. The lines are the Bakerloo line which is the track we would take home. I chose these colors because they remind me of my mother and her favorite scent (lavender). I chose grey because I wanted a subtle but powerful color to attract the eye but not distract from the map. Unfortunately, the website would not upload one of my photos of my sketchbook, but I had originally planned to use stripes to color my surface as opposed to solid color. I changed my mind because I wanted a color of significance. My map wasn’t really influenced by the readings and more by my family’s history and the significance of place in and presence in our family. I will also be adding hand drawn images and painting more of the blank space with water color.   Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 1.07.42 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 1.07.06 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 1.07.33 PM IMG_2187  

Self Portrait Draft #2: An Accumulation of Lucas’ Profile Pictures

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.39.16 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.03.41 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.05.06 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.05.36 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.05.53 PM For the second draft of my self portrait, I primarily focused on the visual aesthetics of the map that needed to be better fleshed out. To start, I wanted to see what it would look like if I included outlines of my body, as a way of clearing up the fact that these are in fact profile pictures. However, for reasons that I will explain in a bit, I decided after the fact that this was not true to the overall concept of the portrait. In addition, I used the colors as an indicator as to the age of the picture, blue being the newest and green being the oldest. This was a good start, however because those colors are so close together on the spectrum, a few of the pictures in the middle ended up being hard to differentiate. Thus, for the final draft I’ll be extending the spectrum over one color to make that clearer. I was also debating whether or not to include a legend, which points to a larger conceptual decision that, in hindsight, I didn’t consider as much as I should have, that being the amount of information that I choose to reveal to the viewer. I can boil this debate down into two camps: 1, I reveal the system via a legend, thus making the methodology incredibly clear, or 2, I don’t provide any information, and just let the signs I’ve created imply accumulation. Both, in my opinion, are valid. In fact, I have to disagree with Angela’s comment that the portrait doesn’t include a sign system at all. There are variables to the piece (age of the photo, composition of negative space), and I have a consistent way of expressing them (color, lines). Furthermore, there are numerous examples in The Map as Art in which the sign system is not readily obvious, or when the purpose of the map is not to navigate but to demonstrate concepts such as change or abstraction in a consistent manner. Examples include Bryony Graham’s Rockaway Felix, You Are Here: Felixstowe, in which a pile of rock candy was left on a beach for people to take with them as they please, or Julian Schnabel’s South Coast Prickly Point, which is “not to be used for navigation,” but instead meant to show “how images and objects can be stripped of purpose through abstract manipulation” (177). The latter piece became an inspiration for my project, because in a way I believe that is what my portrait attempts to do, namely subtract the content from images that are supposed to represent me, leaving only the abstract similarities between them. All that being said, I do understand why that would be Angela’s first reaction, and I don’t think this draft was successful at all. Indeed, I’ve provided no evidence that there is any rhyme or reason to the lines I’ve drawn, and when people look at the piece as is, they would absolutely be lost as to how it should be read. For this reason, I will be including a legend in the final draft, which will indicate that the color is connected to the age of the photos. I will also be adding more photographs, and within those photographs I will be adding more lines, so that they are closer to the actual shape of the spaces between me and the environments. When I do this, I am hoping that clusters of lines will reveal themselves within certain pockets of the frame, thus clarifying the overall theme of accumulation. If this is successful, then I would also like to get rid of the outlines of my head, because they are contrary to the subtraction and abstraction of content that I’m trying to achieve.

Self Portrait Draft #2: A Map of the Gaze

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 2.37.29 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-03 at 2.38.34 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-03 at 2.39.14 PM  Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 2.38.44 PM The first draft I made of this map played on a different concept with a similar execution. I was still trying to express an invisible phenomenon through the use of thermograph-esque color spots, each shade in a spectrum representing a certain level of sensory importance. After finishing this earlier draft, I knew that I needed to propose something that was less universal and more unique to my personal experience. While sense is a highly individual experience, I knew that I could express something else using the same system I had conceived of. I chose to map the gaze of six important people in my life, five immediate family members and my best friend. In doing so, I could make a visual representation of where I feel their eyes anchor when they look at me. In a way, it is still a very sensory map, since it shows others’ visual experience of me, as well as the parts of my head that I feel are more heavily trodden by the gaze of these people. In manipulating these six, semi-transparent color swatches, I came to realize that I was really mapping others’ concept of me, that their visual experience of me was quite closely linked to what role I play in their lives. For example, those who I have a more communicative, intimate relationship with look first to my eyes, mouth, and other parts of my face that show expression and communicate reassurance. Likewise, those who I feel a more superficial or distanced relationship with tend to see me as more of an outline lacking such organs that are most important in communication. Rough Draft cut-and-paste preliminary sketchpreliminary sketch The author who most influenced my creative process was Dennis Wood. Color is such an important part of how we identify the world around us, and I knew that by utilizing color based on my own set of rules I could create what Wood calls a “reality that exceeds our reach”, and allows viewers to reimagine their own visual perception. I also played with his concept of postings, there-ness and this-ness. By mapping the sense of “being watched” through selective color, I assert that the relationship between viewing and being viewed is relevant and complex. My image is a map because it visualizes and localizes a sensation which is rather undescribable. It proposes that my physical appearance is only as others view it, and being that these perspectives are varied, I am asserting that there is no objective reality. Adolf Wolf’s maps were probably the main artistic influence on my own map. His work is very abstract and relies heavily on the selective use of color and shape to convey meaning. I liked that his images have a sort of dynamic effect when you view them. The immediacy of his color choices sets the tone for the image, while the complex and meticulous placement of shapes allows for an entire narrative to unfold. I wanted to make an image that doesn’t unravel itself easily, but instead demands to be considered and picked apart over an extended viewing period.

Self-Portrait Draft #2: A Map of Emotional Movement

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In this second draft of my self-portrait, I wanted to continue with the idea that the two places I have lived (New York and New Jersey) have had different (but equal) influences on me. However, with the help of crit and conference, I realized that my first map was more of a collage of the different aesthetics of these two locations, rather than a map of these place’s influences.

In order to make this draft of my self-portrait a map rather than a collage, I added rough, hand-drawn sketches of my bedrooms in each location to represent a sign system. There are multiple locations (and therefore multiple bedrooms) because of the amount of times I have moved within both states. The size of each sketch is relative to the amount of time lived there (which happens to coincide with the amount of influence the place has had on me). “UNKNOWN, NY” is a glimpse toward the future, as I know I am going to be moving apartments within New York City in the next few months. This unknown location is already slightly affecting some of my life choices, therefore influencing me in the present, despite the uncertainness of the place. The text within each room are words that represent my feelings towards that place and how they have affacted me.

The connective system shows which places are related in the terms of “moving house”. In the period of the last six years, “home” has been multiple locations at once, and the lines of pictures that cross between the rooms represent which houses I moved directly to and from. The pictures that make up these lines are representations of each place, what I think of when I think of each individual location.

The background of the map is how one is intended to differentiate between positive experiences of moving and negative experiences of moving. The darker the background gets, the more sad or traumatic the loss of a home/house was. For example, the move between Galloway, NJ and Manhattan, NY was a time of sadness due to the relocation to a new place from a childhood home.

Ideas that were discussed in the class readings, such as the fact that maps give us a type of reality that allows for a deeper understanding of specific individualistic ideals deeply influenced my own self-portrait. The idea that maps give us a sense of identity is an important aspect that I wanted to portray, especially because of the quote “mapped images have become essential to our sense of the world, to our place within it, to much of our identity” and “even our sense of coming from a particular place. . . to our sense of who we are, of what we’re doing, of where we’re going”. The aspect of a place’s importance in relation to an individual is something I wanted to show accurately. This self-portrait is a map because it proposes the idea that the relation between various locations are negative or positive/neutral in a personal sense. The map discards geography and time in order to make a statement about the influence of movement from one place to another. Through the display of specific rooms the represent different towns, and color-coded connective lines, the map makes the journey of movement between various places within NY and NJ (through my feelings toward these experiences) visible.

Artist References: Monica De Miranda-In the back of our hands and  Jeannie Thib- Georaphia. In addition, the class guest speaker provided inspiration for the idea of mapping out rooms in houses:


Self-Portrait Draft #2: A Map of Projecting Considered Experiances


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While conceptualizing my second iteration of my map, I chose to focus on the way in which idea/memories are filtered, curated, and relegated into the projecting ones decisions into the future. The way in which, one reflects or applies hindsight to decisions, writes most of the equati on for how their future is shape, this is true besides for the element of chaos which in unaccountable in life.

 I wanted to use the idea of  a growing viral body as my map. The virus breeds and certain of it s offspring grow bigger, and others lay dormant, described in white circles, the bigger the size just means the amount of time spent in consideration, the density of these ideas describes the

I decided to make a semi natural background, using tones which can be found in nature to translate this effect. I then assigned connective paths which are pointed into infinity. Then I have three separating boundaries which stem from the map boarder and are on the closest plane to the viewer.

The boundaries are “Out of Consideration”, “Experiential Boundary”, and “Perception LIne”, each of these separators define the actual decision to see or not see, or choose not to include ideas and experiences in future decisions.

The map is then broken up into another level of separations: “Future”, “Past”, “Present”. I wanted to add this axis for analysis to provide another aspect of my own thought process, and what weighs in on the actual decisions I make towards the future.

My map proposes a way of considering ones linear history and experiences in a new manner, one which is personal to me. The negation yet proclamation of my important past emphasize something personal about me; my tendency to avoid specificity, which is certainly clarified by the white circles. My map makes visible this very contradiction in my own persona/ality. Being human is about revealing clear contradictions within self. Mine is that I know what I am doing, yet still doing it.

 Woods, describes the function of clustering and connecting seemingly disconnected aspects of a map. I also appreciate her notion  of a system of signifiers. The artists who influenced me from the readings:  Emily Ginsburg and Jane Lackey influenced me most. Their use of minimal color and creating abstract patterns with underlying narrative maps, gave me direction. “Both used ideas of the invisible, ephemeral, unseen, and cerebral in the creation of a map”, as I said in my first post.

Self Portrait: A Map of Rory (Part 2)

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.24.39 AMScreen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.24.22 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.23.19 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.24.31 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.23.10 AM  Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.22.52 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.23.02 AM Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 10.15.41 AM My Relationships to My Relationships (In final draft stages of Part 2) In my second draft, I changed many aspects of my original “self-portrait”; after my meeting with Angela, I came to terms with the fact that my original map, while accurate insofar of its truth as a self-portrait, lacked the presence of a map. I found that in first choosing the base for my self portrait (a face), I had chosen an image that controlled me, rather than my controlling it- I had to alter certain aspects of the placements in the portrait and sign system in a way which diluted the “map”-iness, and I wanted to change that in my second draft. So I chose to discard that surface, and instead replaced it with concentric circles. Not only did the circles provide me with more freedom in the size and placement of my symbols, but they also allowed for a less distracting background. I still wanted to retain my original statement, that the separation between myself and the basic human is my relationships, but instead of doing that by showing a skull and my face, I drew myself in the center of my map, holding hands with a skeleton version of me. I also figured out exactly what it was that my map was depicting- My Relationship to My Relationships. In this, I drew lines connecting me with the symbols I used to depict important relationships in my life- however, this was a self portrait, rather than a portrait of relationships, and so I chose to only show my emotions regarding the relationship, rather than depicting both sides’ emotions. I wanted to capture the complexity of my relationships- in that each relationship ties together different concepts that I hold as being important, so I used color as one of my sign systems, creating a multifaceted dimension to the symbolic depictions of my relationships. Different types of lines point from me to the symbols, showing the different emotional connections I have to those relationships, while the concentric circles show the frequency with which I think of those things and emote towards them. I drew arrows pointing from the exact spot on my map to the symbols for them, showing that it is my relationship towards that particular relationship that is being represented, as opposed to a more multifaceted option. ALTHOUGH IN THIS DRAFT THAT I’M UPLOADING, THE IMAGES IN THE CONCENTRIC CIRCLES ARE CUT OUTS FROM PHOTOS OF THE ORIGINAL SKETCHES, THIS WILL NOT BE THE CASE IN THE FULL SIZED EDITION! (Because I found it hard to capture the original vibrancy of the colours- an essential component of the map- I will be using the original sketches rather than photographs of them in my finished draft.) My finished draft, contained of course, slightly different lines, as they were all drawn by hand. The sign system remained the same, but I chose different lines to define the circles that surrounded me, after speaking with Angela. She correctly pointed out that the previous lines were generic circles, and that I could create a circle from something other than a black line. I made my new circles by drawing wreath-like pictures, featuring flowers and small animals; the concept being a garden tea-party to which I invited my closest relationships. Because the circle closest to me is the most prominent, I wanted to give it more power than the one furthest from me, so I added to it small animals. However, I didn’t want my lines to be rigid, to exclude relationships from prevalence, rather I wanted to show a certain mobility and fluidity to my relationships; I did this by allowing an occasional overlap from wreath to wreath, such as the butterfly on the outermost wreath. The wreaths are askew upon the page, to show that no factor can be precisely measured. I was inspired in my circles by the imaginative and detailed work by children’s illustrators, suck as Quentin Blake (Patrick’s violin contains many beautiful images of trees and nature coming to life) and of Korky Paul. I attached my images to the paper by layering them into frames which I cut out from poster-board, to create a factor reminiscent of a family portrait gallery.

Self-Portrait: The Map of Heartbreaks

IMG_1612 IMG_1611 (first draft above, second below)     IMG_1613 IMG_1615   the map of heartbreaks is a simple map in a spiral shape – in fact, it’s based on an actual floor plan of a real institution that was only slightly warped to fit the shape. the map is a self-portrait because of the nature of the location; the institution is one where i spent a significant amount of time and emotional energy, and this projection of it (especially when the sign system is introduced) is unique to my experience. of the two drafts above, the first one includes the beginnings of my sign system, and the second is the accurate representation of the surface i’ll be using in the final project, though the sign system has not yet been implemented. for simplicity’s sake, i’ll define both of those things: – my surface is a set of adjusted concentric circles divided into sections (in this case, rooms such as classrooms and offices). there is a hole in it where one of the sections was removed from the surface. (this was intentional.) – my sign system will be a series of red dots. in the first image of my second draft (the third image in this post), there is a rough drawing that’s been circled in orange; this is the easiest way for me to explain how the sign system will fit into the piece! on the whole, it will look almost like a pointillist piece, the entire surface covered in different size dots in muted colors. what differentiates the sign system from the rest of the color on the surface is the saturation of the sign system’s dots – they will be a bright red color in comparison to the low-opacity neutrals of the rest. all i’m going to share about the sign system right now is that each of those differently-saturated dots will represent an event. whether i will further define what the event is depends on how the map comes out looking as i work. (my map lacks a connection system by design. the events represented by the sign system are not meant to be viewed in a particular order, and in fact the spiral, ongoing, potentially repeating nature of the surface is part of the design as well.) my inspiration for the project comes mostly from the mapmaker we studied who created hundreds of maps while imprisoned. INSPIRATION BOARD, style & color, respectively: plate with 2 Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.46.50 AM

Self-Portrait: Continuities Between Place & Emotion

For this map, I wanted to start with concrete places I felt were important to me and work out a way of assembling them in a way representative of myself and my experiences. By and large I think one of the first things we consider when we think about a person are their relations to and understanding of place. However when one mentions a place — a city, village, neighborhood, w.e. — we often assume that that place in its entirety is representative of that person. This is largely untrue: in our minds we operate and define our present selves on the basis of locale and our relation to other locales with which we’re intimate. Conventional maps hide this as the important places we know well are dispersed by landforms and bodies of water. With this map I wanted to eliminate the irrelevant inbetween spaces and places in my life and put together only places important to me in a way that is continuous to myself. In a similar way I try to bring in a sense of continuity between feelings attached to places, i.e. you have a positive experience in one place in part because its associable with some other comparable experience you’ve had elsewhere (and vice-versa). I’m not saying this is always the case, however personally I think this comes up often when I look at things retrospectively. sketchesAs my surface, I assembled a variety of cutouts of places that I felt I knew at a pretty local level and/or were important to me into a new land mass of what is essentially “my world”. My goal was to make the placement fairly geographically representative and quite literal, i.e. if some terminal in JFK is the most eastern part of the U.S. I actually know, it would be adjacent to somewhere in France which is the most western part of Europe that I know, etc. etc. I tweaked the shapes and angled some land masses in too in order make the land mass more visually appealing; some placements are arbitrary, some symbolic, political, etc etc. surface detail I didn’t have much time to fully develop the sign system, but I’ve included the legend of an idea I’d like to work with as well as some representations on the map. The lines from place to place represent feelings evoked by something reminiscent of another place, color-coded according to whether or not that feeling was positive/negative and weighted in terms of reaction. The potential for dotted lines emphasizes instances where I felt present in terms of just body, just mind, or both. sign system detail Reading references: – I think the emphasis on locality makes this a map. Originally I had intended on shoving outlines of cities together to form a land mass, but this would remove the intimacy between location and emotion that I allude to. The sign system would not be effective in this case, even if it would still *look* like a map. – This proposes that places one does not know well can still create experiences that are evocative down the line – I think this makes visible where my place and mind/memories have connected at times (and where they haven’t). The land mass concretizes the feelings of connectedness I feel between these spaces. And if the sign system was more elaborate & there were more lines, it would also map the major experiences that’ve recurred in my mind as well as a general feel for emotion across each place. Artist references: – I like’d Ed Ruscha’s clean & simple maps of intersecting streets in Los Angeles and San Francisco. His juxtaposed grids spoke to the repetition of urban landscapes, which frequently came to mind when assembling these places. Also aesthetically I liked the bundles of fine lines used to represent streets — the gratuitous use of thin lines between place to place in my sign system drew from this look, even if we are using them very differently

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

Self-Portrait: A Map of Mapping My Creative Process

Screenshot (175)   Work Narrative: When I initially sat down at my desk to sketch my self portrait map I was immediately distracted by the web of unfinished art and bundles of treasured material that litter my desk. As I (thought that) I was procrastinating I began arranging scraps of patterned paper and packaging into aesthetically complete objects; playing with the balance of elements and tapping into a subconscious aesthetic code of placement. I then realized that I was actively making my map in the space around me. Through my sculptural and visual work I was mapping my creative process and evolving aesthetic sensibility. The objects that I have been creating incorporate elements from previous art pieces or other personally significant objects that mark periods in my life, especially since I’ve moved to New York. Each image collage or object has three mapping functions; firstly its existence serves as a physical manifestation of a particular moment in time, secondly it represents the state of my creative expression in that moment, and my interpretation of the specific ideas that fueled the creative process,  thirdly it serves as a point on the larger map of the trajectory of my creative process. This is not a static map. It is continuously evolving and decaying, being destroyed and reformed into different objects which are amalgamations of past thoughts/moments/expressions. It is the nature of this map that it can never be finished or complete, it is a reflexive ‘organism’ that I will use to chart my reality in real time, accessing my own experience abstractly through images and objects in my space. In this way my map speaks to the dynamic of reflexive and lived reality coexisting in a physical space. This is a recent cultural phenomenon largely created through the use of social media. Because I personally tend to be absent from social media it is interesting to view this (‘arcane’) mode of physical media as a form of personal lived social media. I.e. a creative instagram of myself for myself. The map shown above is a further abstraction or reformation of my original map. The ‘true map’ (if there is such a thing) is on the walls of my room and is in the process of becoming a more cohesive visual piece. The surface of my map is an image of my desk which holds all my materials and unfinished work and is also the place that this work is currently being assembled. This serves a strong representative function because the space in which I create work symbolizes potential creative work that will be added to my map in the future. The images on top serve as my sign system, they are images that I took of elements of my physical self portrait map. In this context as on my wall they work effectively to symbolize points in time and thought. My connecting lines serve to trace the creative influences each piece had on another. As I continue on I may find that this ‘map of a map’ and my ‘original map’  will bleed into each other and possibly switch places, as it may become unclear which one is generating the other.  

Self Portrait: A Map of the Most Meaningful Music of My Life

map This piece began with the idea that I could map the experience I have while I listen to music. I began by writing down all of the thoughts/feelings/pictures which came to mind during various listening sessions, or other moments where I would be hearing music and having some kind of awareness over my experience. I was fascinated by the idea of mapping my sensory experience. It seemed to allowed me to reveal what would otherwise be an entirely personal phenomenon. I filled a few pages with these sorts of trees, inspired by the ‘map of dreams.’ 20150218_231503   Not much of a map yet. I also wasn’t sure how I was going to convert this text into something with a sign system, and a surface. I played with ideas of using waveforms of music as a surface: 20150218_232736   The idea to map all of my favorite music came to me sort of spontaneously. I thought about the fact that music has formed a sort of backdrop to my life, and I began thinking about the fact that I could sort of catalog eras of my life by the music I’ve listened to.  I began making a list of the albums which have been particularly impacting to me, and I began thinking about how music resonates with me for certain periods of time, and how I really love how it makes me feel, but then after a while I put it away because it doesn’t resonate with me anymore. Sometimes I revisit it, like having tea with an old friend that I’ve grown apart from. I reminisce with it, but eventually play what really hits me today. I began making a list of the music which at one time or another I was feeling the strongest about. This is the music which that brings me back to a certain period of my life and allows me to remember how I felt at the time whenever I play it. I realized that by figuring out how to map this list, I could create a potent, yet otherwise invisible map of who I am. In a way, I am the sum of the music which I’ve listened to. In my map, the waveform-head is me. The blue cloud which comes out of the right ear is musical ‘ether.’  My sign system consists of album covers of music from my list. From the top-down, the album covers are ordered from oldest to most recent. The line running through the symbols indicate the order of their placement in my life, as well as their connection to each other. The line eventually runs through my ear, and into the head, symbolizing the connection between all of this music and myself. It’s a good time to point out that the head is made of a very colorful waveform in itself, which I think of as the summation of all of this music. In the way my life is sort of delineated by eras of musical listening, I was primarily influenced by Jimmy Gleeson’s Australia Map, the map of dreams from in-class, as well as some artwork by Jimmy Edgar AUS_MAP1_12013_Jimmy-Edgar_Sex-Drive20150218_235455

Self-Portrait: A Map of Places I Might have Left a Lot of Hair (Not Including Bathrooms and Barbershops)

  Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.20.23 PM Preliminary photo and painting (sketches): Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.21.33 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.22.44 PM   Sign system: Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.25.46 PM Connection system: Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.24.57 PM surface: Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.26.09 PM The artists and works that influenced me the most were: Josh Dorman’s 2008 piece, “Four Fleurs”, Liza Phillips works “Inlet” and “Flood plain”, both from 2003 and, Mariele Neudeckers’s 1998 installation “Unrecallable Now”. Also, though I did not go into the project thinking about Tamara Kostianovsky it seems that perhaps I drew from her as well. She made a map of the United States using her hair that I remember being very impressed by.   AFTER PRINTING THOUGHTS: I did not repost as I did not make many changes to my map. Here is a photo of what it looked like prior to critique: Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.15.22 PM   I removed the black boxes because they took away from the translucent free flowing quality that I had created with the rest of the map. I like that though the map has a narrative it dose not have one central point and I realized after critique that the boxes were demanding to much attention. Initially I included them to block out the bathrooms in the apartment. However in my final map I found a way to work around the space by not being quite so literal. In the map I printed I replaced the black rectangles with a photo of a lake (overlaying the bathtub) I spent a good deal time in, and a showroom toilet (over the real toilet) that I was obsessed with when I briefly worked at the Poop Museum in Tokyo. Over all I feel satisfied with the final product. I am so thrilled that we were able to print our maps out this big! It was amazing to see everyones all together. I was nervous about how mine would look without the weird depth and glassy screen of the computer but I do not feel that, in this regard, printing it add or took much away. What did change drastically in printing was the size of the hair, I had not given much thought to scale when working on my map. After seeing the 40×40 print I wondered if maybe I should have layered more small images of hair rather than stretching and bending several large images. As the large clumps might not immediately read has hair, given their size. I was worried they would appear to be burns or scratch marks, I put a little note next to my map with the title in the hope that it would help to point the viewer in my intended direction.

Self-Portrait: A Map of Memory

Surface detail of self-portrait

For my self-portrait, I decided to map my travel routine during high school in Bangalore, India. At this stage, my map is still very incomplete and needs to be reformatted. At first I was confused about what to map. My initial idea (as shown by my sketches below) was to represent the three countries that I live in. However, it proved to be an overly ambitious task with no viable end goal. I decided, instead, to address a more simple and personal topic, while creating an aesthetic created around select memories and feelings associated with locations around Bangalore. 2015-02-17 00.20.33 2015-02-17 00.21.47   For the rest of my map, I will be constructing an aerial view of Bangalore city traced on images from Google maps: 1 Using colour and images from the internet of specific locations as my sign system (like the Bangalore Palace), I will navigate my movement around the city based on memories. Unfortunately, I do not have a concrete sign system or connection system to display. The purpose of this map is to link emotion to place, and to create a visual representation of history. It is meant to create a cohesive connection between memory and place. The reading that perhaps influenced me the most is Rethinking the Power of Maps by Dennis Wood. Wood is able to reconfigure the map into being something more than an accurate geographical representation. Wood uses maps as a means to rethink space. Visually, the artist the influenced me the most was Adolf Wolfli. Although I am unable to achieve a style similar to his, I appreciated the flatness of his maps that allowed for a great amount of detail to be put in. Wolfli’s layout creates a unique structure for his map.  

Self Portrait Draft #1: Map of Personal Vision of Intentions and Outcomes

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.25.27 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-12 at 4.31.34 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-12 at 4.33.04 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-12 at 4.31.46 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-12 at 4.32.00 PM                           To map oneself, there must be a certain level of understanding, that there will be an infinite level of subtraction, from ones complex reality of self, the scale or magnitude of the map is completely fabricated. In the creation of my own “map of self”, I decided to focus on the depiction of my own perception, of my experiences, and the interruptions, which I have encountered in the process of living through idealized visions of my future and the actual realization of future/contemporary self. The overall message I wish to impart is the complexity and undefinable nature of self, and its inability to be fully explained through any medium. In order to level the plane of experience, I created an initial axial diagram from which to start the reading of the image, which is also meant to represent the centered and yet undefinable “ME”.  From the “GO” point you can trace, connect, and overlay personal experiences, on top of psychologically indicative ( if not wholly realistic) vision of my own experiences, outcomes, and interruptions. I struggled with the notion of privacy in the creation of a map of self. I felt that I did not want to reveal too much of myself in the creation of this image, so I chose to label the indication each color has on the actual process of planning and experiencing. My decision to surround the picture with a sea of uncertainty was derived from my own insecurity about displaying my own convoluted and fabricated perception of self in any medium. This map is meant to depict the way in which foresight and hindsight differ, and the scale at which you view certain issues, solutions, and dreams all contradict the manner in which we measure the scale and importance, of individual experience. This map is not meant to indicate a realistic depiction of my perception, rather it is meant as a means of displaying the inherent contradiction of human thought and action, and the overall conundrum of displaying self in a world which relies so heavily on the fabrication of image and the branding of self into a synthetic and sterile compilation of textures, colors, and ideologies; which contradict our inherent complexities and contradictions. Simply defining my own terms for my map has allowed me to see the contradictions and faults in my own projection of self, making a map has created a situation in which I find myself questioning my own capabilities to adhere to hindsight and foresight as a means of perceiving my own intentions and outcomes, and the scale at which interruptions have left on me. Just as Woods describes the function of clustering and connecting seemingly disconnected aspects of a map. I chose to give homogeny to the forms I depicted, creating symbols out of shapes, scales, and colors,  which impart the magnitude of the topic without defining said topics in detail. I also appreciate her notion  of a system of signifiers, I struggled immensely with this idea and in my next iteration of the project will expand upon it. In terms of artists who influenced me from the readings I would say that Emily Ginsburg and Jane Lackey were the most prevalent. Their use of minimal color and creation of pattern based narrative maps, gave me a sense of the direction which interested me. Both used ideas of the invisible, ephemeral, unseen, and cerebral in the creation of a map ( which I found very attractive).

Self Portrait: A Map of Personal Location

My self-portrait is a representation of the division between the places in which I have experienced increased growth, without taking into account the amount of time spent living at each location, as time or longevity is irrelevant in regards to influence of place. The two locations (Southern New Jersey and New York City) have completely different aesthetics: one is consumed by green foliage and marshland, the other is made entirely out of concrete and lights. The influence each place has had on my interests and personality has been incredibly different and frequently contradictory. This is the reason each location is represented as separate limbs,  both being displayed on an arm and a leg. The difference between the two is clear when analyzing the map, and the significance of each site located on the outer body parts indicates this division, one that pulls the self in different directions. The head is filled with imagery of both locations as a representation of the combined (yet still separated) influence and the slight chaos that is felt because of it. The connecting system is the fruit strewn on the street which is an indicator of the constant travel between the two places and a representation of the fact that despite their differences, the two locations are connected on both a personal and geographical level. This connection system is a representation of the incorporation of the more natural vision of S. Jersey slabbed across a New York City Street. The middle of the body is left blank in an attempt to display the fact that these two places have not entirely consumed the individual and there is room for growth. 

Ideas that were discussed in the class readings, such as the fact that maps give us a type of reality that allows for a deeper understanding of specific individualistic ideals deeply influenced my own self-portrait. The idea that maps give us a sense of identity is an important aspect that I wanted to portray, especially because of the quote “mapped images have become essential to our sense of the world, to our place within it, to much of our identity” and “even our sense of coming from a particular place. . . to our sense of who we are, of what we’re doing, of where we’re going”. The aspect of a place’s importance in relation to an individual is something I wanted to accurately show through this map. In addition, this work is categorized as a map due to the fact that it was made the same way many other maps are made; works that are used for people to “discover their minds and to connect themselves”. This self-portrait links two geographic locations in addition to providing a more individualistic and personal example of specific influence, which automatically gives it authority over the various territories it discusses in relation to the individual. My map proposes that the two locations are directly related through myself, the individual, due to their simultaneous influence and geographic proximity. It shows this relation as well as the chaos that ensues because of the vastly different aesthetic properties and the intensity in which each the two places display through their various forms of expression.

Artist Reference-

  Jeannie Thib- Georaphia

The separation of the gloves while still showing a consistent terrain was an important influence in my self-portrait, as the separation between place through the body, or body-like objects is something I attempted to convey in my own work. 

Monica De Miranda-In the back of our hands

The aspect of a map being represented on a hand (or a body part) was an influential piece to my own self portrait because it shows a direct relation of a geographic location to the human body, through the eyes of the individual artist. Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 12.50.16 PM Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 12.55.41 PM Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 12.56.09 PM Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 12.57.12 PM Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 12.56.57 PM Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 12.59.05 PM   

Self Portrait: Notated Sound on Autopography

MapSelf mapself2  Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 7.17.55 AM 1. Earlier Map with sign system. 2. Detail of notation undergoing transformation into a topography Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 7.18.04 AM Detail – Inaudible/External – Notated/Domestic – Noise/Uninhabitable Audio: Removed. Sheet music is a form of clear instruction – or so it is often presented. In reality it is a sketch that a performer breathes life into. Maps, especially, the textbook map that I sought to imitate, have a similar existence. A landmass, with imaginary lines, marking giant invisible and imaginary boundaries that are nothing without external human action. The idea of crossing a border is itself a kind of performance. This appealed to me to create a false country, through combining a number of lands that I have a connection and then filling it with music that I have written. The music imposes its own forms and imparts that musical element of time to the piece. The music is augmented by valleys and bumps and crevasses created by making a graph of the intensity of my memories and combining it with the topology of where I have grown and lived. The sea that surrounds my promontory is generated from the audio of that music. This way the entire piece can be aurally experienced. With the notated pieces creating a layered and distorted form of the original piece of music – the distortions taking the form of pitches bending under the strain of the topographies of memory and place – amid the sea of noise generated from the piece. The only elements not meant to be derived from the interlock of life and music are the “real” map from which the fantasy landmass extends, the text and symbols in the key, and the fantasy heraldry. Initially I planned a Key – and spent a great deal of time seeking to take the abstract, but highly data-relevant, symbols of music latching them to the hidden narrative I was discussing and then making a key that would translate those symbols into other symbols that have more narrative meanings. For instance ♬ being read every time on the map as ♈.