"I just wanted to find out where the boundaries were.
I've found out there aren't any.
I wanted to be stopped but no one will stop me."
-Damien Hirst

Monday, March 8, 2010


the studio-research project is an attempt to shift drawing from being viewed primarily as an end product to being seen as a tool for research, investigation, and problem-solving.  so as everyone has their topic questions they've been researching, remember that the drawings created as a result of the research process do NOT have to answer the question, they simply have to be generated from/because of it.

let the drawings guide you just as much as the factual information you find.  perhaps one image you create takes you down another path, different from your original question or topic....

as we reconvene after spring break, and critique the work, some of the things that we will be looking for are:
  • were a range of research techniques utilized? (i.e. Internet sources, field sketches, related book sources, observations, previous knowledge, etc.)
  • does the work read as a related 'series' of drawings? (did the research culminate into a cohesive body or not)
  • is the original topic question evident in the work? (will viewers be able to decipher the original problem, or at least an idea related to it, or does the work seem somewhat more ambiguous?)
  • are the final drawings appropriate given the context of the research?
  • were surfaces and media considered in relation to the research? (for example, if one's topic was "what factors caused the current economic and financial crisis?", it may be appropriate to create drawings or sketches on accounting paper, or to create bubble drawings on receipt tape or dollar bills)
so as you continue through this process, ask yourself these questions, and perhaps make adjustments in the work derived from your answers.  in the end, this assignment is meant to introduce you to another strategy that can aid the artistic process...

strategy-a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.


feel free to check out the link above to research-based artist Ken Gonzales-Day.  
from his website:

"The images on this page are part of a series entitled, Searching for California's Hang Trees, or just Hang Trees for short. They were taken over a six-year period. The series extended across other distances as well, and in photographing these sites, Gonzales-Day traveled to nearly every county in the state of California. All of the images were taken with an old wooden Deardorff 8 x 10 camera. 

Searching for California's Hang Trees derived from Gonzales-Day's own research into the history of lynching in California. He explains, "I began this project by trying to assemble the most complete record of lynching in California that I could, and I was particularly interested in discovering how nineteenth century conceptions of difference (race, creed, color, national origin, and even gender) might have obscured the fact that, when taken collectively, Native Americans, African Americans, Chinese immigrants, and Latinos, fell victim to the mob's anger more often than persons of Anglo or European descent." 

Using historical records, he spent many long hours and multiple expeditions wandering in the California landscape looking for clues to the little know history. As overwhelming as the undertaking was, he summarized his motivation when he stated that, "I set out to look for, to witness, as many of the sites as I could - even knowing that many could never be found."

Hang Trees - Ken Gonzales-Day

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