Internal conflict and external: Differences and similarities
Conflict may consist of characters butting heads with others, characters against natural forces or characters against things within themselves such as their own emotions or impulses. The first two are external conflicts or conflicts that originate from outside the character while the latter internal conflict comes from inside the character. Conflict against others could be a character against another or against a group, an entire society, supernatural beings or any other sentient entities. A character might also struggle against nature as in the case of a storm or a fight to survive while lost in the woods. Internal conflict might include a character struggling with unpleasant habits or the psychological effects of past trauma.
...However, one thing to keep in mind is that the two types of conflict are generally related and influence one another. It would be a rare novel that had only one type of conflict. For example, a character may be upset about an internal struggle to lose weight or stop drinking or smoking, but that may manifest in becoming short-tempered with family members in an external conflict. Similarly, while someone reading a fast-paced thriller does not want to get bogged down in pages and pages of a protagonist having a psychological crisis, a book in which characters are internally unaffected by outside events is generally less compelling and less realistic than one in which they are.
A particularly skilled writer might combine many types of conflict for an effective and suspenseful story. For example, in a television movie written by Stephen King, “The Storm of the Century,” the natural external conflict is a terrible blizzard that cuts off a remote island. Next, he introduces the antagonist, an evil supernatural character who is in conflict with the rest of the townspeople. Finally, he shows the townspeople in conflict not just with one another but within themselves as secrets many of them had hoped to carry to the grave are revealed. Internal and external conflicts take turns coming to the forefront driving characters’ actions and causing them to act in certain ways and make decisions that keep pushing the plot forward and heightening suspense for the reader.
What about internal conflict in art?
Sometimes rather than creating images of conflict or creating art that responds to it directly, artists employ conflict as an internal quality of their work. Some artists deliberately create an element of contradiction in their artwork in order to create tension or irony, to highlight certain qualities, or to create unforeseen relationships that allow us to think differently. Through unexpected juxtapositions, they challenge our expectations and perceptions of the everyday.
Take a look at Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum’s Untitled (Wheelchair). At first glance, Hatoum’s sculpture looks innocuous enough: it’s a simple, somewhat severe wheelchair with the necessary seat, wheels, and armrests. But look more carefully, and you might notice that its handles are actually knives. With this one subversion, Hatoum has taken an ordinary object and turned it into something full of potential and meaning. What kind of person might consider using a wheelchair with knives for handles? Could this wheelchair represent the potential dangers lurking in the everyday?
Installation Artist: Jee Young Lee
JeeYoung Lee is a young artist from South Korea who specializes in creating the unseen. Instead of creating art focused around a subject, she transforms her 3 x 6 m studio into her dreams and feelings. What she creates represents her emotions; they are self-portraits filled with fear, doubt, love and hope. Who knew one could be so moved by a single room?
She bravely reveals so much about herself through this medium.
It takes her weeks – and sometimes months – to create these stunning rooms.
She places herself in each room.
“Those self-portraits however are never frontal, since it is never her visual aspect she shows…”
“…but rather her quest for an identity, her desires and her frame of mind.”
Even though most of her art is based on internal conflicts, the resulting room is filled with hope.
The term: 'Self-destructive behaviour'
In human context, self-destructive behaviour is a widely used phrase that conceptualizes certain kinds of destructive acts as belonging to the self. It also has the property that it characterizes certain kinds of self-inflicted acts as destructive. The term comes from objective psychology, wherein all apparent self-inflicted harm or abuse toward oneself is treated as a collection of actions, and therefore as a pattern of behaviour.
Acts of "self-destruction" may be merely metaphorical ("social suicide") or literal (suicide). Generally speaking, self-destructive actions may be deliberate, born of impulse, or developed as a habit. The term however tends to be applied toward self-destruction that are potentially habit-forming or addictive, and are thus potentially fatal.
Unit 7 Outcome Ideas - Video Film/Performance
You could argue that almost everything we’ve looked at in this series so far has been about rebellion. Performance in the twentieth century has questioned society’s accepted moral codes, rejected accepted mainstream culture, fuelled and reflected protest movements and challenged what art could and can be. But here, we’ll be looking at some of the most extreme manifestations of rebellion, through destruction, both physical and conceptual.
Artists, writers, musicians and film-makers met in underground book shops such as Charing Cross Road’s Better Books, and shared their ideas and works in happening-style events, united by idealist ideas that art might sow the seeds of dissent and rebellion, and create a new disarmed world culture. Pioneering experimental film-maker Jeff Keen can also be seen as if not part of, an illustration of this ‘movement’. His collaged films, which took pop culture iconography from comics, car culture and B-movies and spliced them with experimental animations, often presented in multi-screen projections animated by live performers, were a visual cacophony of ‘violently disconnected and overlapping patterns’ twentieth-century culture in staccato jumpcuts and frenzied energy.
Works of Artists in the huge area of Destruction and Taboo in Performance
This personal experience performed for others was a feature of much of what came to be known as Body Art. These performances often involved self-mutilation or invited the audience to interact with the artist’s body, often with the opportunity to choose a violent action.
Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece 1964 saw the artist sitting motionless on the floor while the audience were invited to cut away a part of her clothing until she was naked:
Instead of giving the audience what the artist chooses to give, the artist gives what the audience chooses to take. That is to say, you cut and take whatever part you want; that was my feeling about its purpose. I went onto the stage wearing the best suit I had. To think that it would be OK to use the cheapest clothes because it was going to be cut anyway would be wrong; it’s against my intentions.
The audience was quiet and still, and I felt that everyone was holding their breath. While I was doing it, I was staring into space. I felt kind of like I was praying. I also felt that I was willingly sacrificing myself.
Research plan including artists' names and resources
Marina Abramovic - Rhythm 0, 1974. Performance, 6 hours. Studio Mona, Naples.
Marina Abramovic’s Rhythm 0, 1974
Rhythm 0 took the passive performer one step further.
A reaction against some of the aggressive performance acts, and an inquiry into the boundaries between audience and performer, Abramovic provided a table with number of tools with which audience members could use to interact with her and remained impassive and immobile behind the table during the six-hour performance, regardless of what happened during that time. The objects she had provided included some that could be used for pleasure (including roses, feathers and honey) and some that could be used for pain (as far as a knife, a whip and a gun with a bullet beside it). By the end of the six hours, Abramovic said the performance that had started relatively playfully had become more and more violent with someone even loading the gun and pressing it to Abramovic’s head.
My thoughts: Rhythm 0
This piece is a powerful demonstration of the dynamics of the objectification women. It's so interesting how the audience responded when confronted with the reality of their complicity in that process. The emergence of volition in the so-long passive artist confronts the audience with the fact of person-hood within the manipulated object. This triggers cognitive dissonance the audience responds to with fear.
I was excited of watching behaviours of different people throughout the video. it was unpredictable thing that makes this work of art so fascinating. Here i understood her idea that she tried to proof how human behaviour isn't what we suspect or believe it will be. She did took some risks for herself, I agree..seeing how far the public would be going" in a public" place: the gallery. How far would humans go in a closed non-personal space..without control of others? Human, adolescent beings with education as well wouldn't be so trusty as we think they will. Lucky she didn't try such an experiment in an UN-controlled space. I felt this is very important documentary video for my project about human behaviour.
Short Essays on Marina Abramovi?
Abramovi? cites Marcel Duchamp and Dada (image 2), as well as the Fluxus movement, as being immensely influential on her work. In the 1960s George Maciunas started Fluxus, also directly influenced by Duchamp’s ready-mades, and Dada performances. Fluxus called for a living art outside the traditional gallery setting.
Fluxus and Dada both advocated art of experience, in which the embrace of chance, and an emphasis on audience interaction was crucial towards ridding the world of the “dead” art found in galleries and institutions.
“I have arrived at the conclusion that…the performance has no meaning without the public because, as Duchamp said it is the public that completes the work of art. In the case of performance, I would say that public and performer are not only complimentary but almost inseparable.”
-Abramovi? on the influence of Duchamp in her emphasis on audience interaction.
Yoko Ono is one such Fluxus artist who was working in New York in the 1970s, and whose emphasis on the role of the audience, and challenge of passive viewership, is paralleled in Abramovi?’s Rhythms series of 1973-74. In particular, Ono’s Cut Piece (1964) (image 3) and Abramovi?’s Rhythm 0 (1974) (image 4) emphasize a shared interest in the use of their own bodies as victims to chance to enforce active instead of passive viewership.
Image 3. Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, 1964. Performance. Yamaichi Concert Hall, Kyoto, Japan. Video from this performance available here.
Image 4. Marina Abramovi?, Rhythm 0, 1974. Performance. 6 hours. Studio Mona, Naples, Italy. Video about this performance available here.
12-Days Performance: Meet the Artist: Marina Abramovic
My thoughts: Balkan Baroque
While watching this, I started to feel that what she did was so very truthful and human... showing many aspects of humanity there, like: the "good" = the will trying to fix and repair things... and the "bad" = some things can't get fixed and never can get repaired... sometimes even the attempt is unavailing and can never be successful... so, one must watch not to fall into despair while breathing and living, though it is important to go on with trying to fix and repair things for not getting lost at all... just, the attempt to fix, heal or repair must channel into protecting the future peace and so protecting future lives instead of trying to resuscitate the already lost and dead over and over again. it sounds very easy written but very difficult to do & live, because it means that you will have to forgive, maybe unforgivable... but you know exactly that you have to forgive because otherwise everything & everyone is doomed. It's sadly still very actual if you take a look to what happens all over the world today... like in the Ukraine, Syria, Irak, many regions of Africa & Asia etc.
The fact that she was there for 7 hours in the basement of the biennial doing her performance is very tolerant, and she said in one interview about this performance : "every day during that week when i came back home i was trying to wash out the smell of the rotting flesh but i couldn't, and i couldn't eat meat for months afterwards " So that means that the shame and the guilt we feel after war is can't be removed. i found this a very touching and thought-provoking piece.
Chantal Akerman obituary
Chantal Akerman was commonly described as a Belgian film-maker, but this label hardly does justice to the breadth of her identity as an artist, nor to her nomadic nature. As well as filming in her native country, Akerman, who has died aged 65, apparently after taking her own life, worked extensively in the US, as well as in eastern Europe, Israel, Mexico, China and elsewhere, making fiction, documentary, experimental and essay films. She also made video and installation art.
The marginal position she sometimes occupied in the film world had much to do with her eclectic practice, which made it hard to assign her a neat “auteur” identity. Nevertheless, from early in her career, Akerman attained a somewhat legendary status among cinephiles as a cinematic radical, a formal innovator and a pioneer of modern feminist cinema
Video works by Bill Viola - the idea of Loneliness, fear and Obsession
because I always wanted to look really closely at things."
This video is part of Bill Viola's exhibition Frustrated Actions and Futile Gestures at Blain Southern Gallery. An exhibition about isolation, fear, obsession, loss ---- in relation to my project proposal about human routines and obsessive behaviour/habit/
Bill Viola, Walking on the edge (2012)
The desert around them, the silence, the absence of other human beings in this isolated and immense space, reinforces the impression of loneliness and failure: failed encounter, missed opportunity, inability to create a connection.
In the same series: Ancestors, a woman and a man, still in the desert, walk sort of side by side. As they approach they start acknowledging the presence of the other. The man touches the woman's shoulder, we guess a smile, it is difficult to see their faces very clearly but somehow it does not really matter. There is something eternal about them, deeply human.
These two figures are less isolated than in the other two videos: they may be in the middle of a desert with no-one else around, but they are walking together. They do not seem lost.
But as they grow closer to the viewer, the man slowly disappears from the frame. His hand, like a mark of his presence, remains on her shoulder.
Impression of loss but also of something else, something hidden. He has become something she carries for her, inside her.
|Bill Viola, Ancestors (2012)|
The heat, heavy, oppressive, is like a third character in each of these three videos. It is almost difficult to look at. It has a physical presence. And it does not just blur the image: it renders it more poignant, more dramatic. Claustrophobic too, crushing.
Next to these three videos: Chapel of Frustrated Actions and Futile Gestures: group of nine videos, on smaller screens, each with its dominant colour, its own light, beautifully filmed as if showing a precious, intimate moment. I'm reminded of these small scenes we find in line under religious pictures in Italy, those that tell the story of the lives of the Saints. These videos tell us the story of everyday small gestures, little habits, obsessions, things that punctuate a life, that we do to reassure ourselves, tame our fears, mark the passage of time. Rituals. But absurd ones.
|Bill Viola, Chapel of Frustrated Actions and Futile Gestures (2013)|
This man digs up a hole to fill it back again, another fills up a cart and empties it as soon as it is full, a cracked bowl gets filled with water that slowly seeps through the crack, a man and a woman fighting mechanically and making up just as mechanically, two women exchanging the same gift over and over again... Slowly, obsessively, mad everyday activities that make sense only for the persons performing it.
There is something both comical and incredibly sad about this. Even the video depicting couples convey an impression of failed communications, faked emotions, isolation. Madness.
The impression of cruelty and cynicism is also reinforced by the size and disposition of the videos too. On the reproduction here they seem rather large but the screens were less than 50cm x 90 cm, disposed on one panel, next to each other, mixed up.
The 'smallness' of the scenes depicted is underlined by the length of each movie, short, and played in continuum, and by the fact that the scenes, the movements, do not seem as slow as they usually are. The space is smaller, even outside it takes place on a specific point; the time of the action is shorter and each action appears as insignificant, a wilful alienation.
|Bill Viola, Chapel of Frustrated Actions and Futile Gestures (2013)|
|Bill Viola, The Dreamers (2013)|
A final series, in the basement, shows a series of seven portraits of people, their eyes closed, under water. They are not dead. Some bubbles escape at times from their mouth. Title - The Dreamers -suggest they may be asleep.
I found this work very interesting. Men, women, different ages, all rather well dressed. They appear at peace but there is also something ghostly about them: their skin is too pale, their hairs float, the light is unnatural. Their bodies are moved by the movement of the water: they are not in jars, there are pebbles under them, and yet they fill the screen, the space. They do seem trapped somehow. But there is, on their part, no anxiety. I think of embryo, corpse in formol. They have been taken out of their normal habitat. And I felt they have been put there for preservation, that their time has not only been slowed right down but has actually been suspended. These clothes also disturb me. Those are clothes of people going somewhere, doing things, not getting ready for hibernation. It feels like they the people, have been stolen. The whole installation is rather eerie and while there is something appeasing compared to the tension coming from the works shown above, there is a fear. And as I looked at them, I realised I was holding my breath.
|Bill Viola, The Dreamers (2013)|
More research on Anna's Five Years Diary
The Anne Charlotte Robertson Collection
Bequeathed to the Harvard Film Archive in 2012 by the filmmaker, the Anne Charlotte Robertson Collection contains approximately thirty-five finished short films, a few video works and the diary film project, Five Year Diary, as well as photographs, audio tapes, diaries and letters.
Anne Charlotte Robertson (March 27, 1949 - September 15, 2012) was a Super 8 filmmaker and diarist who lived in Framingham, Massachusetts. She began making films in the mid-1970s as an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Her main work is the thirty-eight-hour opus, Five Year Diary, which she began in 1981 and continued filming well beyond five years. Spanning varying numbers of days, each episode is twenty-seven minutes—approximately eight camera rolls—and the diary is eighty-three reels long. In addition to the Five Year Diary (1981-1997), Robertson made over thirty other short films—mostly diaristic—including Apologies (1990), Talking to Myself (1985), Magazine Mouth (1983) and Melon Patches, or Reasons to Go On Living (1994).
Robertson took the written diary form and extended it to include documentary, experimental and animated filmmaking techniques. She did not shy away from exposing any parts of her physical situation or emotional life. She became a pioneer of personal documentary and shared experiences and observations on being a vegetarian, her cats, organic gardening, food, and her struggles with weight, her smoking and alcohol addictions, poverty and depression (she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder). Romance (or lack thereof), obsession and the cycle of life are also long-running themes in the Diary films. Robertson sows seeds, reaps vegetables, cooks and pickles them, then composts the scraps. She welcomes babies and buries family members and beloved cats, notes the changing seasons, contemplates suicide, has nervous breakdowns, pines for her celebrity crush (Tom Baker of Doctor Who), finds religion and obsessively documents her own life on film, paper and audio tape.
Robertson recorded sound on film at the same time as the picture with a sound Super 8 camera. She created a multi-layered soundtrack by recording audio cassettes to play with the films. Adding a performative element to her shows, she often spoke during a film screening and also occasionally played the radio. Her work touched many people and inspired a number of women filmmakers. In 2001, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Filmmaking.
This led me to think about the process of creating a video performance of my personal obsessive habits as part of my experimental works. I will create a variety of trials with different video editing processes and try out different footages as my project progresses.
Smoking is one of my obsession - this work depicts smoking kids
Frieke Janssens’s Controversial Photos of Smoking Kids
Smoking was banned in all public places in Belgium. Photographer Frieke Janssens responded with “surrealistic, melancholic and theatrical but especially controversial pictures of smoking kids” to visualise the contradiction of the unhealthy cigarette and the immense attraction of smoking.
- The children, aged four to nine, are shameless posing while enjoying their cigarette or cigarillo.
So why kids?
- By portraying adults as children all the attention went to the smoking. An adult would draw to much attention to the portrayed person. Thus these portraits evoke question such as: is the smoking ban the right way to get rid of an absurd addiction and are smokers treated like little kids who can’t make the difference between good and bad? While Frieke doesn’t give answers, the portraits are strong enough to start your thinking process!
Frieke got the idea after seeing a YouTube video a two-year old Indonesian smoker who smokes 40 cigarettes a day.
It may comfort you to know that none of the children were exposed to actual cigarette smoke through the photo shoots — the cigarettes were actually made of cheese! Watch video of the photo shoot after the pictures.
My thoughts about his work:
At first I was appalled by the idea of using images of kids smoking to make an art statement, but after reading his explanation, I think I get what he has tried to do. It's pretty original and i really loved his idea. I agree, besides with all the rules and law, people aren't smoking any less. So something isn't working, perhaps better nicotine alternatives? I've asked smokers and always get the same answer: they'd love to stop, they've tried everything, nothing worked. Even me myself do addict to smoking - for me its just kind of relief after i've had any stressful moments or something that worries me a lot. Though i'm aware of this obsession but its very difficult to quit for me.
Interview questions for asking peers at CSM - about obsessions
Interview questions for asking peers at CSM - about obsessions (my notes)
THOUGHTS AFTER INTERVIEW:
Analysing my idea: narrow down deeper
IDEA FOCUS: Human rituals/routines and habits becomes Daily Obsession ----> mostly are self-destructive behaviours (according to my primary research and my own personal obsession - e.g. negative obsessive thinking and obsession to smoking, alcohol, social networks, etc) -
WHY IS THAT?
Why is it frowned upon, and is it a product of CULTURE or EVOLUTION?
Is it a product of evolution? No. I think obsessive behaviour has happened for centuries.
Is it a product of culture? I think It's not something that happens to only a few cultures; every culture is prone to have obsessive behaviours and thoughts - its normal as we are humans.
I read a book called 'Obsession' found on: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/O/bo5856991.html
I found this book really engaging which I read with considerable - dare I say, obsessive? with an enjoyment. He has compiled a thorough history of 'obsession' throughout the ages and across disciplines which i found interesting. His book has led me with lots of questions about the our evolution and culture of obsession, allowing me to think more deeper about this idea as at first i was not sure how will i going to take this further. He looked at how our society distinguishes hobbies, artistic pursuits and other excessive behaviours from obsessions, and I liked how he delves into the deepest mysteries of human consciousness and the myriad ways that culture has tried to solve our mind's riddles.
To conclude, I think we all live in an age of obsession, not only are we hopelessly devoted to our work, strangely addicted to our favorite television shows, and desperately impassioned about our cars, we admire obsession in others (love/people/relationship): we demand that lovers be infatuated with one another in films, we respond to the passion of single-minded musicians, we cheer on driven athletes. To be obsessive is to be American; to be obsessive is to be modern.
But as i read further, i found that obsession is not only a phenomenon of modern existence: it is a medical category—both a pathology and a goal. Behind this paradox lies a fascinating history, which the writer Davis tells in this book - Obsession. Beginning with the roots of the disease in demonic possession and its secular successors, Davis traces the evolution of obsessive behavior from a social and religious fact of life into a medical and psychiatric problem.
Quotes from Review of this book:
- "A fine and important study which, as ever with Davis's work, conveys both authority and wisdom."
- “Original and thought-provoking. Davis’s elegant analysis of the interplay between culture and psyche is an invaluable contribution to the literature on obsession.”
- “Davis’s astute, engaging history shows just how vexed and fluctuating is the line between clinical obsession and all that passes in our culture as habit and ritual.
- "Quirky but informative. . . . Overall, Obsession successfully accomplishes Davis’s goal of providing a 'chapter in the ongoing history of obsessions written by people who are obsessed with obsession.' And, he promises us, 'it won’t be the last, since obsession, like guilt, is the gift that keeps giving.'”
- “Davis’s larger argument, massively documented, is that disease is not merely a physical condition, but something that emerges in the course of a history. Treating obsession apart from that history is an obstacle to our understanding it. Understanding must begin, he argues, with the assumption ‘that obsession is a wide-ranging, social, cultural, historical, and, yes, medical phenomenon.’
More Articles: the word '"Juvenescence" relates to this topic
Stanford literary scholar traces cultural history of our obsession with youth
With philosophy, history and literature as his guides, Stanford Professor Robert Harrison investigates how Western ideas of youthfulness have evolved from classical antiquity to the present.
In Western culture, Harrison noted, classical antiquity plays a fundamental role in cultural rejuvenation.
"We have many different antiquities in the course of our history. The Middle Ages had its antiquity, which is different than the antiquity of the Renaissance. There is an Enlightenment antiquity, different than the antiquity retrieved by the Romantics, or the Modernists, and so forth, yet in each case the new grew out of the old."
Keeping up appearances
"We live in an age of juvenescence," said Harrison, who hosts the radio talk show Entitled Opinions (about Life and Literature)
"Juvenescence" draws on the biological concept of neoteny, a term that refers to the retention of juvenile characteristics through adulthood.
According to Harrison, the term juvenescence has two meanings, either in positive terms of cultural rejuvenation or, on the other hand, of juvenilization.
"Rejuvenation is about recognizing heritage and legacy, and incorporating and re-appropriating historical perspective in the present – like the Founding Fathers did when they created a new nation by drawing on ancient models of republicanism and creatively retrieving many legacies of the past,"Harrison said, citing an example from his book.
"Unlike rejuvenation, juvenilization is characterized by the loss of cultural memory and a shallowing of our historical age."
Harrison proposed another example from his forthcoming work, drawing on 20th-century literature that highlights these two contrasting aspects of age.
"I use two figures to answer the question of how old we are in our age of juvenescence. One is Lolita, from Vladimir Nabokov's novel, and the other is Molloy, from Samuel Beckett's eponymous work. Culturally, we are at once as young as Lolita and as old as Molloy. That makes us a very strange age indeed,"he said.
A bedridden but educated vagrant, Molloy is the heir of multi-millennial tradition but now decrepit and seemingly endlessly old. Lolita, on the other hand, belongs to a new age, as an adolescent with no historical memory who will live and die an adolescent no matter how old she gets.
"Culturally speaking, be that in terms of dress codes, mentality, lifestyles and marketing, the world that we live in is astonishingly youthful and in many respects infantile," Harrison said.
As Harrison sees it, the average citizen of the developed world today enjoys the luxury of remaining childishly innocent with respect to the instruments that he or she operates, consumes and otherwise depends on daily. "I feel ambivalent about where we are culturally in this age of ours. It is hard to say whether we are on the cusp of a wholesale rejuvenation of human culture or whether we are tumbling into a dangerous and irresponsible juvenility."
Being OBSESSED > being CHILDISH / IMMATURE? - want to be a youth, etc.
Obsession / Obsessive Thinking
"We were taught to approach life from a perspective of fear, survival, lack and scarcity. . . . . . We were taught that life is about destinations, and that when we get to point x - be it marriage or college degree or fame and fortune or whatever - we will live happily ever after.
That is not the way life works. You know that now, and probably threw out that fairy tale ending stuff intellectually a long time ago. But on some emotional level we keep looking for it because that is what the children in us were taught. We keep living life as if it is a dress rehearsal for "when our ship comes in." For when we really start to live. For when we get that relationship, or accomplishment, or money that will make us okay, that will fix us.
We do not need fixing. We are not broken. Our sense of self, our self perception, was shattered and fractured and broken into pieces, not our True Self."
"Life is not some kind of test, that if we fail, we will be punished. We are not human creatures who are being punished by an avenging god. We are not trapped in some kind of tragic place out of which we have to earn our way by doing the "right" things.
We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. We are here to learn. We are here to go through this process that is life. We are here to feel these feelings.
Doing our emotional healing allows us to feel clear about what is in front of us instead of torturing ourselves by obsessively thinking, trying to figure out what's right and what's wrong."
(All quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls - http://joy2meu.com/Book.html)
Obsessive thinking is an emotional defense that, like all of the various manifestations of codependency, is dysfunctional. Being in our heads - thinking, fantasizing, ruminating - is a defense we adapted in childhood to help us disassociate from the emotional pain we were experiencing.
It is dysfunctional because it keeps us focused on the future or the past - we miss out on being alive today.
It is dysfunctional because our attempts to escape unpleasant feelings causes us to generate more unpleasant feelings.
Worry - which is negative fantasizing - is a reaction to fear of the unknown which creates more fear, which creates more worry, which creates more fear, etc.
This fear is not a normal human fear of the unknown. It is codependent fear: a distorted, magnified, virulent, mutated species of fear caused by the poisonous combination of a false belief that being human is shameful with a polarized (black and white, right and wrong) perspective of life.
This self perpetuating, self destructive type of obsessive thinking feeds not only on fear, but on shaming ourselves for feeling the fear.
The disease of codependency is a dysfunctional emotional defense system adapted by our egos to help us survive.
The polarized perspective of life we were programmed with in early childhood, causes us to be afraid of making a mistake, of doing life "wrong." At the core of our being,we feel unlovable and unworthy - because our parents felt unlovable and unworthy - and we spend great amounts of energy trying to keep our shameful defectiveness a secret.
So, we shame ourselves for feeling fear, which adds gasoline to the inferno of fear that is driving us. The shame and fear that drive obsession becomes so painful and 'crazy making' that at some point we have to find some way to shut down our minds for a little while - drugs or alcohol or food or sleep or television, etc.
Obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior is caused by, and fed by, fear and shame. The feeling that the world will come to an end if ____ doesn't happen, or that it has come to an end because ____ happened, is a feeling coming from the wounded inner child. It is the result of early childhood emotional trauma - and the subconscious programming adapted by our egos to help us survive at a time when we were helpless and powerless.
An adult is not helpless and powerless. We are, however, powerless to know that, as long as we are unconsciously reacting to repressed emotional energy and subconscious programming. It is impossible to see our self or life clearly when we are caught up in trauma dramas (internally and externally) that feel life threatening. In our codependency, we are in denial of our emotions at the same time we are allowing the feelings of the wounded child within to define and dictate our lives.
Love is the answer to obsession - but not the love of another person. Learning to be Loving to our self - and remembering that there is a Loving Higher Power, is the best way I have ever found to stop obsessive thinking.
Video Link: Evolution of Obsession, A journey through time.
BBC Article: Evoluton of human's obsession
Viewpoint: Did our brains evolve to foolishly follow celebrities?
Our obsession with celebrity culture is a result of our poorly adapted brains, argues social anthropologist Jamie Tehrani.
He says, ''Fame is a powerful cultural magnet. As a hyper-social species, we acquire the bulk of our knowledge, ideas and skills by copying from others, rather than through individual trial-and-error. However, we pay far more attention to the habits and behaviours demonstrated by famous people than those demonstrated by ordinary members of our community.''
Example: Companies get celebrities to advertise these kinds of products because they know that our perceptions of value are actively influenced by fame. Celebrity endorsements not only make products more visible, they make them more desirable.
So why is this? Celebrity culture is often portrayed as something relatively new, a product of a media-saturated but socially atomised society.
Although I agree that the form of celebrity culture has no doubt been shaped by the modern world, it is rooted in much more basic human instincts, which have played a key role in our acquisition of culture and have been crucial to the evolutionary success of our species.
We might focus on the anthropology of prestige. Prestige is a form of social status that is based on the respect and admiration of members of one's community. (it is the society and reputation that triggers us to maintain our prestige?) It is particularly interesting for anthropologists because it seems to be a unique characteristic of our species, and something that is universal to all human cultures.
Developing my idea:
Focusing on my obsessive emotions/thinking:
- My emotional defense that is always being in our heads (thinking, fantasizing, ruminating) + subconscious adapted by our egos to help us survive.
- Things that we adapted in childhood to help us disassociate from the emotional pain we were experiencing.
- It is dysfunctional as it keeps us focused on the future or the past - we miss out on being alive today.
- Worry: very negative fantasizing/ a reaction to fear of the unknown which creates more fear, which creates more worry ? caused by the poisonous combination of a false belief that being human is shameful with a polarized (black and white, right and wrong) perspective of life. I think this self-perpetuating, self-destructive type of obsessive thinking feeds not only on fear, but also on shaming ourselves for feeling the fear.
- For me it was always about trying to fill the hole within. I would focus on a person or the outcome of a situation as the thing that would fix me. Or I would obsess about getting the substance that I needed to temporarily fill the hole within until I got the person or outcome that I thought I needed.
- It is also about focusing externally in order to escape from our self, from the fear and shame we feel at the core of our being. When we obsess on another person, thing, or outcome of a situation as our savior, as the magical ingredient that is going to fix us, we are making that external source our higher power, our god.
For me I think it comes downs to our polarized perspective of life we were programmed with in early childhood that causes us to be afraid of making a mistake, of doing life "wrong." At the core of our being, we feel unlovable and unworthy - because our parents felt unlovable and unworthy - and we spend great amounts of energy trying to keep our shameful defectiveness a secret. The shame and fear that drive obsession becomes so painful and 'crazy making' that then at some point we have to find some way to shut down our minds for a little while - drugs or alcohol or food or smoke or sleep or television, etc. ? That is all it comes from that brings us to approach to those unhealthy habits ? then becomes self-destruction.
I felt this idea of obsession we are empowering is about the future - the shame is about the past. We are not capable of being in the now and enjoying life because we are caught up in trauma melodramas about things which have not yet happened - or wallowing in orgies of self recrimination about the past, which can not be changed. It then seems to me that we do not really live life – but we endure, we survive, we persevere, and we are in denial of our emotions at the same time we are allowing the feelings of the wounded child within to define and dictate our lives ? which is destructive.
Artist: Grzegorz Klaman
In Fear and Trembling, Grzegorz Klaman‘s project for FAU, several kneeling human figures, cloaked in amorphous black robes, slowly and repeatedly hit their heads against the wall. Their behavior recalls states of trance or hysteria. A black, sticky substance has spilled down the wall from the large, horizontal windows located high above the floor and the figures, imposing its blackness on the space, the figures, and the viewer. The title, Fear and Trembling, is borrowed from the Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard’s writing on religious devotion and the boundaries of individual sacrifice and internal conflict.
My thoughts: Jee Young Lee
It’s amazing to witness at artist who embraces one of their greatest limitations, turning it instead into one of their greatest advantages. I loved how she utilised her small studio space in Seoul, measuring 11.8? x 13.5? x 7.8? (3.6m x 4.1m x 2.4m) that was proportionally miniscule to the scale of her boundless imagination. Instead of finding a new location or reverting to digital trickery, she challenged herself to build some of the most elaborate sets imaginable for the sake of taking a single photograph - which is very exciting.
This is something that i would like to create if possible - creating surreal and dreamlike images for my own determination to share stories from my own life as well as various thai fables by completely manifesting everything i see in reality. However it would probably take several weeks and months to create the aspects of each scene complete with a multitude of handmade props, suspended objects, and unique lighting requirements, all of which might normally be ripe for the use of Photoshop that could shave weeks off production time— it might not be an appropriate medium to create as my outcome. however the artist shuns all digital manipulation and instead focuses on creating even the most minute details by hand - i felt it was very delicate and inspiring, engaging the audience to walk into her own fantasy world.
The Interview: Jee Young Lee
Published on 15 January 2014
WHAT IS IT LIKE BEING A YOUNG ARTIST IN SOUTH KOREA. HOW EASY IS IT TO SURVIVE?
Surviving as an artist in Korea is downright difficult. It is near impossible for a new up and coming artist to make a living by selling his or her artwork. Some choose to take up a second job to make ends meet, but that interferes with creating new pieces. Paying for materials and rent is grueling. There are residency programs and funds but they are not enough to go around to all struggling young artists. There is very little leeway in terms of finance, but you have to stay afloat somehow. Some artists give up their career for this reason. I may be drawing a grim picture but there are upsides, too. I appreciate living outside the usual social boundaries and restrictions.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK?
The biggest influence on my work is my life. I draw from my inner self, the social pressure I feel as a member of Korea’s society, and contemporary events that affect me. The emotional ups and downs, human relationships, my memories and experience, and changes in environment are all important subjects in my artwork. It could be minor happenings that captured my attention or issues that have haunted me for years. Also when I need to be inspired, I turn to visual stimulus on media and sometimes literature.
HOW DO YOU TRANSFORM YOUR STUDIO INTO NEW WORLD? IS THERE A PARTICULAR PROCESS THAT YOU ADHERE TO EACH TIME?
There is a procedure that I like to follow. When I have a subject or an idea that I’d like to expand on, I draw a rough draft and search for materials and images that help me specify the details. This is the most important step in my creative process. There is a wooden set in my studio that is 360x600x240 centimeters in dimension. The walls can be adjusted to make the set smaller or larger depending on the project. Once the set is fixed I setup a camera angle and start building the elements from scratch. Sometimes the outcome is slightly different from the initial draft. When the set is complete, I take multiple test shots of the set, which are then carefully examined. I appear in many of my photographs, turning it into a self-portrait of sorts. The final output is taken with a 4×5 large format film camera. The set is dissembled once the final photograph is produced.
HOW DO YOU THINK UP THE WORLDS THAT YOU CREATE AND PHOTOGRAPH?
Coming up with an idea is not much of a challenge for me. Sometimes I focus on images that I saw in a dream. What I do find challenging though is whether or not my ideas can be recreated in real life. Completing an image involves a lot of thought. My artwork is a combination of my inner thoughts. I have to figure out which object is best in unraveling my story, what meaning these objects could portray, and whether or not to assign new meaning to these objects. Then I must plan out the colours, it’s combinations and meaning, and how they will be composed. Sometimes it involves a lot of research. I am always thinking of the optimum combination of elements.
HOW LONG DOES EACH PIECE TAKE TO SHOOT? WHICH WAS THE LONGEST?
Generally it takes one to two months to complete one set. I usually work alone, so it takes longer to produce one photograph. If I count the time spent planning the details and adjusting the lights and angle to get the final image I need, the period becomes longer. The piece that took the longest so far is Treasure Hunt. It took me three full months to finish the set. I had to spend nearly eight hours a day weaving bits of craft wire to a mesh screen to complete the grass flooring.
DOES THE INTRICACY AND TIME-CONSUMING NATURE OF YOUR ARTWORK BECOME DRAINING? OR DO YOU FIND IT EXHILARATING?
The type of work that I do is physically draining. When I work on a piece inspired by my traumatic experience, I am forced to relive that moment over and over again. Yes, I do feel drained physically and mentally after completing a piece. But I fully enjoy the creative process. It makes me feel alive.
HOW MUCH OF YOURSELF IS REFLECTED IN YOUR WORK? HOW DO YOU USE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE TO CREATE?
My work is about my life and my emotions as a member of society and as an artist. Many of the matters I bring up are very personal.
I combine my personal experience with an object derived from my memory. For instance, Panic Room is based on events that occurred in my personal relationship. I was caught in a conflict between close friends which ultimately led to changes in environment. I was confused, scared, and at a loss. I used elements of optical art to express my emotional state. Common household items – thread, needle, spring scissors, and pins – were objects that were always at hand when I wanted to make small changes. And by turning mere boudoir items, or sewing tools into ones that seem aggressive and disquieting, I tried to evoke the fear when facing changes to the environment they are familiar with. I often hid inside the dark closet when I was in trouble as child which represents my urge to escape that situation. My work is based on my personal experience and sentiments but they do not have to be explained in order for them to be understood. Changes are difficult to accept at times, whether that is your personal relationships or your environment. I always think of the personal aspect as well as the universal aspect. There is a connection between personal aspect and universal aspect. There is nothing outstanding about my personal experience. I feel they are emotions that everyone goes through at some point in their lives. I capture those emotions, convert them into symbols, and expand upon its horizons. This is what makes my work metaphorical.
YOU DON’T USE PHOTOSHOP AT ALL – WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ITS PROMINENT USE IN THE ART WORLD?
I don’t use Photoshop in my work because of my work philosophy. The final output of my work is photography. Although not apparent in the photos, the building and breaking-down of the set is an integral part of my artwork. I analyse myself in the process, sublimating my personal sentiments. The grueling process of building the set is almost like a spiritual journey. When the shoot is over I dissemble the set, reverting to the state of nothingness. For this reason I do not use Photoshop unless I suspended objects from the ceiling in which case the program is used to erase the fishing lines. Regarding the prominent use of Photoshop in the art world – I think it is up to the artists to decide whether or not to use Photoshop in their work. Photoshop is just a tool.
Thoughts about this theme:
Some facts and questions in my head -
:Why do we refuse help from people who have my best interests in mind?
:Why do we continue unhealthy habits that we know will eventually incur permanent damage?
:Why don't we continue to internally evolve and improve your life as well as those around us?
These thoughts, and various others, have been circling slowly through my mind recently. For me the subject of self-destructive behaviour is a very daunting topic, something dark that lurks in the corners of existence which we usually train ourselves to overlook.
e.g. glancing at the smokers outside of office buildings or even people around me who are smokers,
e.g. the endless stream of failed relationship stories illustrating the covers of magazines,
e.g. pushing away people I love and housing self-defeating mindsets,
e.g. repeatedly self-harmin,
e.g. Being down in the dark alley,
As I've grown, however, I've felt that self-destructive behaviors are expressions from our shadow selves, springing from low self-esteem and even self-hatred - and that actually happens to all of us in common. Though self-sabotaging behaviors, for instance, could be coping mechanisms (e.g. for stress, pressure, social demands etc.), others may consider self-destructive behavior as ways of maintaining comfort zones due to lack of confidence or feelings of unworthiness (e.g. staying at the familiar bottom of the social ladder). The self-destructive person exhibits both conscious and unconscious behaviors that sabotage their own health, happiness and long-term fulfillment.
Symptoms And Habits of Self-destructive person: some extreme, some not so extreme -->
1. Housing self-defeating mindsets.
This is an unconscious form of self-destructive behavior because it results in self-fulfilling prophecies. Examples include thoughts such as: "I'm going to fail, I just know it", "I'll never get out alive", "This will completely destroy me", etc.
2. Failing to take action.
This is a passive symptom, but still self-destructive in nature. When we know something is bad for us, but fail to take any action or steps to remedy the issue, we are essentially setting ourselves up for, and guaranteeing, failure.
A nasty habit that results in many long-term health issues.
Many under-eaters fool themselves into thinking they're benefiting themselves. Truth is that under-eating is usually a band aid for serious self-image and other psychological issues.
5. Forced incompetence.
This means portraying oneself as unintelligent or incapable of successfully achieving something. Forced incompetence usually stems from a lack of confidence in ones abilities and can function as a coping mechanism, e.g. academically.
6. Going out of your way to harm others.
What goes around comes around they say, and the negative influence you have on others, whether by words or deeds, will eventually manifest itself in your own life (e.g. sicknesses, tragedy, legal issues, isolation).
An extreme. Self-harm is a sign of self-hatred and is mentally and physically destructive.
This is an unconsciously manifested form of self-destructive behavior. Self-pity is destructive because it encourages us to remain inactive (i.e. wallowing in our misfortunes), rather than encouraging a proactive approach towards life.
9. Drug and alcohol abuse.
A self-evident form of destructive behavior, drug and alcohol abuse creates endless misery in the lives of addicts and their friends and family members.
10. Social suicide.
Not always committed consciously, social suicide is the act of deliberately alienating yourself from your peers. This could be through a variety of irritating, repelling or antisocial behaviors.
11. Hiding from emotions.
Failing to acknowledge negative (and sometimes positive) emotions creates a host of mental, emotional and physiological illnesses. This is another form of unconsciously manifested self-destructive behavior.
12. Refusing to be helped.
Pushing away advice, refusing to go to rehab, avoiding the psychologist ... not wanting to be helped cries "I don't care about my well-being!" and screams "self-sabotage!"
13. Unnecessary self-sacrifice.
Some people are in love with their misery because that is all they have known for a large portion of their lives. Unnecessary self-sacrifice is a good way of making one feel "noble" and "altruistic" while masking the actual act of self-sabotage: giving up on hopes, dreams and passions that make one truly happy.
14. Spending too much.
Whether through chronic gambling or constant eBay purchases, overspending may seem unusual to have on this list, but is nevertheless a form of self-destructive behavior that limits ones freedom and peace of mind.
15. Physical neglect.
Getting poor sleep, refusing to exercise, eating unhealthy foods, and failing to maintain the general well-being of your body are all classic signs of self-destructive behavior.
16. Mental neglect.
Refusing, avoiding or failing to confront our psychological health issues (e.g. stress, anxiety, depression, paranoia, OCD, etc.) delays the healing process, resulting in significant long-term issues.
17. Sabotaging relationships.
This is a complex one, and involves a large variety of destructive behaviors such as jealousy, possessiveness, emotional manipulation, neediness, violence and so forth. When we don't feel worthy of love, we unconsciously manifest this in our relationships through the way we choose to behave.
Yoko Ono’s CUT PIECE: From Text to Performance and Back Again by Kevin Concannon
At earlier performances of Cut Piece, Ono has discussed the work in several different ways. As will be clarified below, she has characterized it as a test of her commitment to life as an artist, as a challenge to artistic ego, as a gift, and as a spiritual act. Critics over the years have interpreted Cut Piece as a striptease, a protest against violence and against war (specifically the Vietnam War), and most recently (and most frequently) as a feminist work. In September 2003, at the age of seventy, Ono performed Cut Piece in Paris “for world peace.” Thirty – nine years after her first performance of the work, she told Reuters News Agency that she did it “against ageism, against racism, against sexism, and against violence.” Although neither Ono nor her critics framed Cut Piece as a feminist work in the 1960s when she was first performing it, she has clearly subsumed the subsequent feminist interpretations of her piece into her own revised intention all these years later.
Yoko Ono, Cut Piece, 1964. Performed on September 15, 2003 at Theatre Le Ranelagh, Paris, France
My thoughts: Yoko Ono’s CUT PIECE
I agree with the author’s view of the work. A “feminist” or ANY interpretation of the “meaning” of the work says more about the INTERPRETER than about the work itself. Ono’s explanation of the work seems to resonate with me most strongly and to make the most sense. Giving not what the artist wants to give, but what the AUDIENCE wants to take.
I think a strictly feminist interpretation of the work is historical revisionism of the worst kind, taking an event and making it conform to a strongly held personal/sociopolitical viewpoint *that the artist never intended* and to present that as the “meaning” of the work as intended by the artist is just WRONG. I believe the work should be open to personal interpretation, but to posit that personal viewpoint as the meaning *intended by the artist* is dishonest and self-serving. i can see her work has a very strong relation with Marina Abramovic's performance that i've mentioned on the left. I found both artists' work very interesting.
Marina Abramovic and the Performative Body
Between 1973-1974, Abramovi? performed five pieces in which she tested the mental and physical limitations of her own body. This series of performances, called “Rhythms,” represent Abramovi?’s turn away from more traditional media of painting or drawing, to instead focus on the use of her own body as art.
Marina Abramovi?, Rhythm 10, 1973. Performance, 1 hour Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Borghese, Rome From: Abramovic?, Marina, and Klaus Biesenbach. 2010. Marina Abramovic?: the artist is present. New York: Museum of Modern Art.
Marina Abramovi?, Rhythm 5, 1974. Performance, 1 ½ hours. Student Cultural Center, Belgrade
Marina Abramovi?, Rhythm 2, 1974. Performance, 7 hours (total). Galerija, Suvremene Umjetnosti, Zagreb.
Marina Abramovi?, Rhythm 4, 1974. Performance, 45 minutes. Galleria Diagramma, Milan.
Marina Abramovi?, Rhythm 0, 1974. Performance, 6 hours. Studio Mona, Naples.
Marina Abramovic: The House with the Ocean View
I appreciated the idea that she tests the limits of the human body, and even the endurance of audiences who may witness performances lasting hours, days, or weeks. In this film the viewer join her in her magnificent yet minimal apartment, where she discusses the amount of work that goes into staging one of her ambitious pieces, and why it’s never easy to explain what she does.
If I had the chance and somebody would tell me okay, you know, not yet, but let’s say in the next ten years, to go into the space ship to go to see out of our galaxy, somewhere completely unknown, and never come back, I would really go. I really… when I was a child this one thing I always want to know is what is behind the cosmos? My name is Marina Abramovi?. I was born in the former Yugoslavia, and right now we are in New York. It’s morning and raining and grey, and really shitty weather. I just came back from Moscow, so I have major jetlag, and I was in the plane, and the people asked me: what are you doing? You know, sitting, some businessman next to me. You know, I never can say exactly what I’m doing, so my best undercover is I always say I’m the nurse from New Zealand, and I’m here in your country, you know, interested in educational or health programme. And then conversation stops, which always works.
For me, it’s such a huge preparation. People don’t understand how actually long it takes; Walking the Chinese Wall took me eight years to set up. Seven Easy Pieces in Guggenheim took me 12 years. The project in Laos took me two years; the Erotic Balkan Epic took me another two years. The same energy you spend on getting idea; the same energy you have to spend of placing the idea in right time and the right place. That’s really important. That all the complements have to be right; like one funny example is that I prefer to do all my performances starting, you know, and or finishing on full moon nights, when the moon is rising. And is like, you know, almost mystical thing, but actually the moon energy is incredible, and if they can move entire oceans, of course the water in our body, why not use that kind of energy when it’s available? So in The House with the Ocean View it was 12 days, and it was really an experiment. It was a really important thing, because it came just after September 11, when I think the American public become vulnerable in a different way, and I never left the gallery, you know, for the 12 days. So experiment was this: if I don’t eat and I don’t talk and I purify myself without eating anything except drinking pure water, can I purify space in this way? And can me and space can actually change kind of molecular structure of the energy that the public will come, and they will be there just for a short period of time, or longer period of time, and just be with me. And the public really complete the work. My work is very long durational lately. It takes a long time, and very little things is happening, and that means when you are dealing with almost nothing, that’s the real point. Because everybody wanted to have this, how you call? Kind of big concept where many things are happening, but this many things are happening is just a security that you hide yourself between objects, between ideas – between I don’t know – all kinds of ideas you want to expose. Actually, just being present as an artist in the space with full consciousness, and your attitude with your body, and telling the minimum with the minimum, that’s the most difficult. And this is… my process always starts with very, very complicated, and then I strip to the… just bare, you know, idea, and that’s it. So my kind of formula I could say that for me, the performance is mental and physical structure which you create in the front of the audience in a fixed time and space, you know, and you enter into that construction, and then performance starts. How I can explain what I am really doing as a performance artist? It’s impossible.
Looking at Video and Filmmaker Artists - medium of my work
Thai artist-provocateur Apichatpong Weerasethakul, known to many as simply 'Joe', makes films and videos that feature in art biennales and commercial film festivals alike. His works slip between genres and reject conventional narrative structures in favour of open, collaborative processes that highlight hidden histories and capture real human experience.
Vito Acconci’s notorious work - Seedbed, 1972
Seedbed 1972 aimed to bring the private world of sexual fantasy into the public space of the gallery. At the Sonnabend Gallery in New York, Acconci positioned himself in the confined space underneath the floor of the gallery and repeatedly masturbated, using the sound of visitors walking above him to fuel his sexual fantasies. Visitors could hear Acconci’s voice but not see him, and he could hear their footsteps, but not see them. This aggressive and dissociated work commented on voyeurism and repression of sexual experience as well as sexual violence and fantasy.
These works and many others that followed them presented audiences with the taboos of seeing and inflicting harm on others, and challenged the sanitised version of life that was presented by mainstream culture: oddly free of blood, flesh, sex, pain and even death. The violence of these works in some cases aimed to destroy what they saw as socially constructed taboos, successfully or not. While the idealistic views of the Bomb Culture or the US counter-culture might not have brought about a new demilitarised disarmed world, the fact that much of the art, music and literature made in the mid to late twentieth century still feels shocking, daring, exciting and appalling says much about the power of the work and its continuing resonance today.
Vito Acconci - Applications (1970)
A video performance by Acconci, which illustrates his unique engagement of conceptual art, performance and Body Art. In this piece a woman kisses Acconci's body, covering him in red lipstick traces. Acconci then rubs his body against another man (Dennis Oppenheim), transferring the stains onto him. 1970. 20 min.
Talk: Marina Abramovic: Performance vs. Acting
Thoughts about this Talk: clarify the difference between performing and acting
I found her talk really useful in terms of knowing the means of doing performance and acting in work of art. Those two definitions are very similar in many ways in my own view, and yet so starkly different in others that it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. What I understand is - Acting normally refers to playing a certain role or character for whatever narrative or ideal that is being played out. I think of it as being someone else or something else. Someone may be a 14-year-old girl, but when they act, they could be whatever they are supposed to portray - you could be a Egyptian slave for one show, and a Medieval princess, etc. We all know what acting is as we always see a lot on the media and entertainment. But in artwork, though there is some boundary between acting and performance. Marina said, 'in acting you lose yourself, but you can't in performance.' This kept coming back to me and question whether can this be accurate - if she is willing to let others cut her, and she eats gold as "art"?
For me nothing can be art if without context. Eating gold and cutting are not art, and these are not the things recommended of course. (And infants don't only eat gold, they taste everything in their hands.) i also learned that Performance art here is not to act a character, but to do something as planned. There is no way you can lose yourself if you are performing letting others cut you or eating gold (and this is not a performance it is part of her teaching), you cannot lose yourself because you ARE being cut and you actually eat gold. You aren't actually cut or eating gold if you are acting Abramovic in a theater.
I've gained more understanding that Performance is rather different - you are being yourself, yet are placing yourself in a certain context or environment. Using the previous example, you would still be yourself, 14 years of age, but could be in India, doing humanitarian work, or could just be in the future, quoting lines of Shakespeare. You would still be you, but you with different happenings and in different settings. For me I found doing performance way more challenging than acting though - as it is real life actions that we cannot be prepared of and practice like acting, and you have deal with the situation you are in within a performance. I felt it requires a lot of thinking process and also led me lot of questions about what sort of results/impact it has on the viewer. It is quite difficult though for me to do performance as it was my first approach in doing this - but I will give it a go as i think it was quite worthwhile doing it as it led out my inner self as well as seeing my actual actions and behaviours throughout the work.
Vito Acconci - 'trademarks'
More research on Tate Modern's Exhibition: 'Performing for the Camera'
Francesca Woodman died tragically young, committing suicide at the age of 22. But this didn’t stop her from becoming one of the most innovative and promising artists of her generation. Although most of her work was made when she was little more than a student, she transformed extremely limited and unpromising environments into spaces of fantasy and experimentation. Most of her photographs are of intimate scenes in which she moves and poses her own body, often naked, within empty scruffy spaces that evoke haunted houses, or the dreamscapes of surrealism.
Tokyo Rumando works right at the edge of the slippery boundary between the sexualisation of the female form in Japanese photography and the rising wave of so-called ‘Girlie photographers’ in Japan. Although historically there have been relatively few famous women photographers in Japan, Rumando’s generation have taken over the dark, eroticised imagery associated with the work of male photographers like Nobuyoshi Araki, to produce their own visions of sexuality and intimacy that challenge gender boundaries. Rumando’s work plays fast and loose the clichés of erotic photography through the use of her own body, posed to express both her own fantasies and to suggest those that she imagines projected onto her by others.
Amalia Ulman shot to fame with a spoof delivered through her Instagram account, which fooled both her own followers and art-world critics. Over the course of four months Ulman produced an elaborate performance through Instagram posts, pretending to move to Los Angeles and trying to fit in by having plastic surgery and taking up Californian hobbies. Ulman’s work was a brilliantly convincing version of the celebrity Instagram craze where millions of ‘followers’ apparently seem to care what pop stars and reality TV personalities had for breakfast.
A great idea to help motivate people would be to write the reasons for QUITTING/LIVING on their cigarettes:
Selfie - Social Media = common human obsession today
The Good, the Bad, and the Unexpected Consequences of Selfie Obsession
Teen Vogue takes a look at how we control our image online.
It's easy: Flip the view on your phone and hold it at a high angle, making your eyes look bigger and your cheekbones more defined. Position your thumb over the button, turn to your best side, and click.
The art of the selfie is one that lots of people have practiced and perfected in recent years. Seriously, lots.
- Is it part of the reason for their popularity?
- "The cult of the selfie celebrates regular people," says Pamela Rutledge, Ph.D., faculty director of the media psychology.
- Posting selfies is an empowering act for another reason: It allows you to control your image online. "I am painfully self-conscious about photos of myself," admits Samantha, nineteen, from Missouri. "I like having the power to choose how I look, even if I'm making a funny face."
- The most common selfie is the one where you look cute, partially because it's a quick way to get positive comments about your appearance. "If I feel pretty, I take one," says Maryland native Paris, 23. "When other people Like it, it's a mini boost of confidence."
- Another example: Showing off a new outfit or that you're at a cool event is fun, but it can be a slippery slope.
Psychologist Jill Weber, Ph.D., says there's a danger that your self-esteem may start to be tied to the comments and Likes you get when you post a selfie, and they aren't based on who you are—they're based on what you look like. On one hand, seeking validation is totally normal, Dr. Weber explains: "It's a healthy way for teenagers to develop their identity." But with social networks, where it's easy to get quick hits of approval almost constantly, the selfie thing can quickly spiral out of control. It may even start to feel like an addiction: When you get a "GORGE," you're up, but when you get nothing—or a "get over yourself"—your confidence can plummet. Girls in particular are socialized toward seeing themselves as lovable and worthwhile only if others value them, Dr. Weber notes, and "selfie culture is a way for this tendency to go into overdrive."
That could be one explanation for total selfie overload (aka when you see ten photos in a row of the same person in your feed—overkill alert!). "My friends and I joke about people who have selfies as their cell phone backgrounds," says Cora*, seventeen, from Massachusetts. "It seems like they have nothing important in their lives other than the way they look, which is pretty shallow." But according to Dr. Weber, there's more to it than that. "In my experience, girls who repeatedly post selfies struggle with low self-esteem," she says.
Overall, I believe opinions here vary on whether selfie culture is lame or legit. I think it's up to an individual to shape the future of the habit. I also post a lot of photos on instagram regularly - and I believe everything we share on social media reveals something about us, and we are in control. So maybe you like to travel, or read, or dance, or create crazy 3-D nail art. I think It's so much more interesting, rather than posting selfies.
Bad Obsession in Relationship > INSECURITY / FEAR
What is the difference between “healthy love” and “obsessive love?”
- Healthy love, is built on trust and mutual respect. Each partner in any love relationship, whether partners, siblings, parent and child or friendship, want the other person to be happy and secure. There is no obsession, no jealousy, no possessiveness – you want your partner to reach for and strive for their dreams and you are happy for their achievements.
- In an obsessive relationship, these dreams and achievements are instead a cause of insecurity; they are seen as a threat to the relationship. That is because obsessive relationships are built, not on love, but on insecurity and fear. The obsessive partner is afraid of losing the partner, afraid of being rejected, afraid of being abandoned. And this fear causes jealousy and possessiveness.
Some people can confuse obsessive love with passion
- e.g. in young love (young as in the early stages of a relationship) passion is high.
- you want to spend every moment with the other person, you thoughts are filled with the other person, you can’t wait to be together – and although this is similar to an obsessive relationship, it is also normal.
- But there are some distinct differences. An obsessive lover often moves quickly, deciding early in the relationship that “you are the one and only.”
- Bad obsessive love - usually men and women worries constantly about the relationship, e.g. do you love him as much as he loves you, do you want to date other men, when you go out with friends are you rejecting him? His insecurities become more important than your personal needs. He may begin panicking at the thought of not seeing you or losing you, needing constant reassurance that you are committed to the relationship
What are some of the common triggers for obsessive behavior in a romantic relationship?
- Obsessive love is usually rooted in your past. Obsessive love comes from an insecurity about relationships – obsessive lovers may have been rejected or neglected by their mother or father or had difficult early romantic relationships and they have become afraid of feeling the pain of rejection again.
Some, however, are obsessive because one or both of their parents were obsessive and they believe that obsession is what love looks like. When an obsessive lover is faced with a threat to the relationship – whether a real threat or a perceived threat – their insecurities take over and jealousy and possessiveness start to rule the relationship.
Advice for people with an obsessive behaviour or unhealthy romantic relationship:
Certainly, the first step is to reach out and talk to someone. Many people in obsessive relationships have become isolated from friends and family and reaching out will help you understand that there are people in your life willing and ready to help. This would be true in any obsessive relationship.
It is important to understand your emotional needs within a relationship/action and stand up to make sure those needs are being met. If you find that you are constantly worrying about your partner’s needs/or things at the back of your head and push yours aside, then you need to find ways to focus on what you need out of that relationship, etc. Just as obsessive love’s roots are often in childhood, partners/your experience may have unresolved (relationship) issues.
My thoughts according to my own experience of obsession: Why do humans love ROUTINE so much?
In fact some routines have to be done. Like the major life circle routine:
I think that's the basic one although work just keeps going as we have to repeat this routine as money makes the world go round so without the work routine the world would be doomed. But for other routines? I guess we just kind of get stuck into them and we have to pull ourselves out of them - e.g. if you added gym into our initial routine so its changed it.... but it is still a routine and no matter how much you change what you do there will always be a pattern (routine), but this is not applied to extreme unhealthy routine like smoking drug, alcohol... This is something that we need to avoid it - which might be difficult to get it out of your routine if you have already addicted/obsessed with it?
For me I love my routine even though there are some of them I'm aware that there are not quite good routine - e.g. smoking shisha/cigarettes, alcohol, overeat sometimes, etc. But apart from that my daily normal routine really gives me CONTROL in my life and it's something that I can do without any one else getting in the way. I feel all over the place when I lose my order. Staying round people's houses especially when it's unprepared is the worst. I felt routine tends to make it easier to make plans and keep things in order. Maybe it's just me and my slight obsession with it.
Overall I think that routine is a way what human's do to achieve control in their everyday life. In order to go through a day or a month or a year successfully we need CONTROL (i.e. time, management etc etc..). Once we have achieve this successful day/month/year.....then we get comfortable in the way we control what we do and tend to repeat. Comfort set down the rules of routine....Even basic instinct get down to routine...i.e. lunchtime as we are always hungry.
Therefor in order to want to be successful in surviving today's world, everybody resort to routine that is healthy and valuable to them, not wasteful ones....and that is what makes human better I guess.
Quotes about HUMAN ROUTINE ---> might link to obsession
“If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow -- you are not understanding yourself.”
“The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.”
Vilayat Inayat Khan
Drawing out ideas from primary research:
Wonderland - Objects of our Obsession
Lee Price - Obsessive relationship with Food (Paintings)
We all have a relationship with food; eating can stand as a natural and thoughtless process, a daunting and difficult process, a compulsive and comforting process, or something in between. Lee Price’s compositions and recurring use of food, as well as the choice of herself as the subject, are individual and identifiable so allow you to pin-point a piece as her own. Upon initial viewing, you wouldn’t be the first person to assume that these are photographs. If you did realise that they are in fact paintings then you would most likely be one of the first.
Your paintings look very natural in terms of setting, which can often be the result of meticulous planning and experimentation for artists. Was this the case for you or is it simply initial ideas that you ran with?
The scenarios in my paintings are meticulously choreographed. I spend weeks planning out the particulars- sketching, shopping for specific items, etc.
The detail and precision of your work show a control in your artistic technique, which completely contrasts with the lack of control portrayed in pieces like "Full and Snack". Was this on purpose or was it simply natural for you to address the relationship between women and food from a hyperrealist stance?
I paint in a realistic way because that is what I am drawn to. It makes a nice contrast with the subject matter but that was never intentional.
You have openly spoken about your issues with binge eating. Has painting helped you to overcome this or does the concept of food and eating remain a ghost presence in your life?
Eating has always been my drug of choice but I have learned, and continue to learn, how to simply feel negative emotions instead of trying to eradicate feelings with food. Painting is not therapy for me. It’s a reflection of my life. When I started with this series my issues with food were not as overwhelming as they had been in my teens and twenties. But compulsive eating was still something that would pop up when I was under stress – even if in a relatively minor way. What I hope my work points people towards is a broader question of how we distract ourselves from the deeper issues that are always at hand and how we can find more constructive ways to seek solace.
Developing my idea: making coonection with buddhist teachings
Relating to the Buddhist idea of spiritual belief ? life is suffering according to noble truths
Time waste - In my opinion, our obsessive pursuits of humanity can be defined as a path of human evolution; physical, mental and spiritual. There’s only one the ng certain to every person alive - death, which means we all have a limited time alive. Yet, despite being aware of this fact, I felt one of our favourite obsessions is wasting time. We have a million actions for choice of indulgence in the name of recreation that include social networking sites.
This adjective, spiritual, would be a word describing an expanded level of consciousness. A level of consciousness, of awareness, that is expansive and inclusive and facilitates personal growth - as opposed to limited, exclusive, rigid, and inhibiting growth, development, and alternative view points.
??I think all people have one thing in common: if they think about their own life, or look at the world around them, they will see that life is full of suffering, according to the Buddhist belief:
So, the way we obsessed with feelings and things around us ? known as suffering, which may be physical or mental.
Physical suffering takes many forms. As we get older all of us find that life can become more difficult for all kinds of reasons; our eyes may not see as well, our hears may not hear as well or our teeth may not be as strong making it harder for us to eat. The pain of disease, which strikes young and old alike, is a reality for us all from time to time, and the pain of death brings much grief and suffering.
For me ‘suffering’ from obsession does not only come from the body. There are also forms of mental suffering. People feel sad, lonely or depressed. They suffer when they lose a loved one through separation or death. They feel irritated or uncomfortable when they are in the company of people they dislike or who are unpleasant. People also suffer when they are unable to satisfy their limitless needs and wants. Teenagers may feel utterly frustrated and dejected if their parents won't let them join a late-night party, watch certain movies or buy the clothes they want. Adults too can feel unhappy when they cannot pay their bills, frustrated when their job bores them or lonely when their relationships are unfulfilling or complicated. All these experiences are examples of what Buddhists call mental suffering — they can be summed up as painful feelings that arise from being separated from the people we love, or having to be with people we don't like, or not getting what we want. This feelings then start to become like an obsession and self-destruction >> which is therefore show that we are all suffering for every moment of lifetime but in variety of ways, and we cannot avoid it.
I began to think further about how our suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death is unavoidable, and our human lifetime is very limited and impermanent. From my own belief we were taught to recognise that suffering is part of life and that it cannot be avoided. We tend to obsess with those things, as we believe that those would make us feel happier and escape from reality. But again that happiness is real but its just temporary - it does not last forever and does not stop suffering. So believe that the way to end suffering is to first accept the fact that suffering is actually a fact of life.
Many people try to escape from the suffering in life by distracting themselves with temporary pleasures. There are many examples of people who try to block out sadness, pain, loss and grief by indulging in pleasures they think will bring happiness but actually end up disguising their real feelings, and making them feel even worse when the temporary happiness runs out. Imagine a person who likes chocolate, for example, and thinks that the addictive experience of smoking cigarettes or eating junk foods will always make them happy. If that person has a toothache or get a lung cancer and tries to make themselves feel better by smoking and eating, it might work once or twice, but smoking or food substance will never solve the our health problems and soon it will make it worse.
So I think my idea of our obsession and suffering is a fact of life. There are four unavoidable physical sufferings; birth, old age, sickness and death according to my own religious belief of Buddhism. There are also three forms of mental suffering; separation from the people we love; contact with people we dislike and frustration of desires. Happiness is real and comes in many ways, but happiness does not last forever and does not stop suffering. So I want to convey this moral and Buddhist idea of human’s limited lifetime (through what we say, do and our livelihood), and to reflect the idea of our indecisive mind on not being fully aware of our thoughts and actions (our unconscious mind).
Buddhist’s 5 Precepts
?things that makes our life shortens but we still do: ??there is the moral code within Buddhism is the precepts, of which the main five are:
- not to take the life of anything living, not to take anything not freely given, to abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence, to refrain from untrue speech, and to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness.
Most of these are actions that we should avoid to do but humans do forget about these harmful things that takes over our lives. We do all take this for granted.