Author Archives: lilokuo
Posts by lilokuo
New York’s Smallest Museum
Hey my fellow art enthusiast,
If you are tired of the traditional setting of museums, here is something new that will cause you to reexamine the institutional nature of current museums.
This unique 60 square feet museum called Museum (yes, the name of the museum is Museum) located in an ex-elevator shaft that fits only three people at a time is focused on the sentimentality we have towards objects and their own unique stories. Museum shed light on the significance of framing objects when it comes to art.
One star of Museum is the shoe that was thrown at George W. Bus in 2008! Although the founder’s response to how they obtained the item was “We are not allowed to publicly disclose how we came into possession of the shoe,”
Museum’s name is a mockery of the self-importance of other museums, a criticism on the shift of focus away from art that is happening all over.
However, Museum’s founders emphasized that Museum is not art, and I completely support the idea behind that statement. There are many items that are significant to our culture and society, but they are and should not be labeled art. However, they still have significance in their existence and there should be something that celebrates the back story of every object.
If I recall correctly, we had a discussion earlier this semester about what dictates whether or not an object is considered as art (since that is all a painting (or vase, or any other tangible creation) is, an object, before they are called art). Museum gets to the fundamental core of that discussion, sometimes it is the framing of the object and the history of certain objects that makes it art or even the irrelevance of setting and back story that constitute what makes an item art (a relevant movie is the Red Violin, which I strongly recommend).
In this consumerist society of ours, objects an easily be replaced, however, one thing that money can’t buy is the sentimentality that we attach to frivolous objects. Museum focuses exactly on that, the significant role objects play in our lives.
However, Museum is open only on weekends, and because of the founder’s busy schedule with other projects, it is often not open. So for those of you interested in paying a visit, here is their site-
and here is a New York Times article on the museum-
An introspective museum; reflection of society through our everyday objects.
Raising Awareness for AIDS
Raising awareness through fashion and fundraising.
This Global Bridgades Event will donate all the profits raised to the prevention effort.
Comments by lilokuo
"Uganda reverses the tide of HIV/AIDS
Uganda's success in reducing high HIV infection rates is the result of high-level political commitment to HIV prevention and care, involving a wide range of partners and all sectors of society. Same-day results for HIV tests and social marketing of condoms and self-treatment kits for sexually transmitted infections, backed up by sex education programmes, have helped reduce very high HIV infection rates.
Uganda, one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to experience the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS and to take action to control the epidemic, is one of the rare success stories in a region that has been ravaged by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While the rate of new infections continues to increase in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda has succeeded in lowering its very high infection rates. Since 1993, HIV infection rates among pregnant women, a key indicator of the progress of the epidemic, have been more than halved in some areas and infection rates among men seeking treatment for sexually transmitted infections have dropped by over a third.
In the capital city Kampala, the level of HIV infection among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics fell from 31% in 1993 to 14% by 1998. Meanwhile, outside Kampala, infection rates among pregnant women under 20 dropped from 21% in 1990 to 8% in 1998. Elsewhere, among men attending STI clinics, HIV infection rates fell from 46% in 1992 to 30% in 1998.
Success in reducing the prevalence of HIV in Uganda is the result of a broad-based national effort backed up by firm political commitment, including the personal involvement of the head of state, President Yoweri Museveni. From the outset, the government involved religious and traditional leaders, community groups, NGOs, and all sectors of society, forging a consensus around the need to contain the escalating spread of HIV and provide care and support for those affected.
Sex education programmes in schools and on the radio focused on the need to negotiate safe sex and encouraged teenagers to delay the age at which they first have sex. Since 1990, a USAID-funded scheme to increase condom use through social marketing of condoms has boosted condom use from 7% nationwide to over 50% in rural areas and over 85% in urban areas. The social marketing scheme involved sales of condoms at subsidized prices or free distribution by both the government and the private sector. The scheme was also backed up by health education and other public information. Meanwhile more teenage girls reported condom use than any other age group -- a trend reflected in falling infection rates among 13-19 year old girls in Masaka, in rural Uganda. And among 15-year-old boys and girls, the proportion who had never had sex rose from about 20% to 50% between 1989 and 1995.
Condom use is also being encouraged among men who seek treatment for sexually transmitted infections. A new innovative social marketing scheme to promote the use of an STI self-treatment kit ("Clear Seven") has proved to be successful in treating STIs and preventing HIV infection. The kit, which contains a 14-day course of tablets, condoms, partner referral cards, and an information leaflet, is designed to improve STI treatment rates, prevent over-the-counter sales of inappropriate treatments, encourage partner referral, and reinforce condom use. The distribution system relies on the use of small retail outlets which are normally licensed to sell over-the-counter drugs but not antibiotics. The Ugandan Government has waived these restrictions to promote sales of Clear Seven, marketed at the subsidized price of US$ 1.35, and trained shopkeepers in the management of STIs. As a result, cure rates for urethritis have increased from 46% to 87% and condom use during treatment has more than doubled (from 32% to 65%).
Another innovation in Uganda was the launch in 1997 of same-day voluntary counselling and testing services. Up till then, clients had to wait two weeks for their HIV test results and up to 30% failed to return. Thousands of people who have taken advantage of same-day testing have since been recruited and trained as peer educators. So far, 180 000 people have been reached by the scheme and over a million condoms distributed.
In Uganda, as elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, AIDS has caused immense human suffering over the past two decades -- setting back development and reducing life expectancy. Over 1.5 million children have been orphaned since the epidemic began -- losing their mother or both parents to AIDS. Today there is hope that the tide can be turned at last.
--( posted on Dec 7, 2013, commenting on the post Raising Awareness for AIDS
"Knowledge is power, France is bacon.
All jokes aside, art has become a commodity and when money speaks, art is silenced.
The people who have purchased this painting are no idiots; it is not a comical waste of money. Art collectors are investors, and the reason why they pay such money for a painting is not for appreciation but rather for its resale value. Antiquities will get more and more valuable as time pass, and many individuals have turned into millionaires because they were intelligent enough to take advantage of artists and purchase art before they become expensive. In the dawn of Pop Art, individuals such as Scull purchased art for few hundreds and resold for millions.
Below is a link to one of Robert Hughes' documentary on how art has become an enterprise of mass consumption and profit. If you can stand his gloomy outlook on the current state of art, the documentary is worth a watch. …
--( posted on Nov 30, 2013, commenting on the post A Triptych Sells for $142 Million
"I would not think that individual's experiences of art differs as a result of having different taste; Sibley's entire piece was to make clear that our perception of what we ought to see is completely influenced by the aesthetic concept of others and the language they utilize to exemplify their own experience. I do not believe that "taste" is such an entity of its own, just as our taste buds can adjust and learn to acquire certain tastes as a result of exposure, I believe our visual taste can also be manipulated. However, I would not go so far as to argue that taste can be culturally relative, one man can easily find art of his own culture repulsive and unattractive as he can find art of others to be more attractive."
--( posted on Nov 24, 2013, commenting on the post Frank Sibley, “Aesthetic concepts”
"Nochlin presented her statement in such a way that the question addresses other spheres where no greatest from women are acknowledge or emphasized. She goes on to mention the impact of what is deemed "natural" and "what is"; the fact that society has accepted the social norm of implicitly assuming the roles of great artists and intellects to be male, but to stand up and challenge such a notion would be a great progress for changing the game. In a sense all political movements are games, where the activists must keep in mind all the effects of their actions; Nochlin mentions that by trying to answer "Why have there been no great women artists?", the negative implications of the question is then unawarely reinforced. Such as when people make a big deal of great achievements made by females for minorities, the mere "surprise" or emphasis on the issue reinforces the abnormal nature of greatness coming from these unorthodox artists.
In the paragraph where Nochlin mentions all the female artists and authors making the point that there is no set feminine style, thus it can not be the merit or style of the art that is being reject, but rather its origin. When Nochlin goes on to talk about how art is "neither a sob story nor a confidential whisper," as an artist I can understand, because most of the time we are so invested in perfecting the application and making sure of right proportions and correct hues of colors that the end result should really be called a WORK of art rather than a work of ART. However, as the institution has gradually shifted from the traditional commissioned portraits paid by well off patrons to the modern day art that are done more for personal satisfactions, I would have to disagree with Nochlin that such all encompassing statement still holds true to todays art realm.
One interesting thing that came to mind when Nochlin mentioned the possibility of female work being a separate category of art and that it should be evaluated in a different frame work, was one of the exhibit in the Brooklyn Art Museum. This particular exhibit showcased quilts, and this immediately supported the claim made by Nochlin that female artists often create art of a different form. Another exhibit at the Met was of dresses from the 18th century.
The piece then shifts to tackle a political situation, the various "problems" facing discriminated groups and their disadvantages in society. The thoughts can be related to the "glass ceiling" affect, where equality between the sexes seems to be making great strides but there are still many limits that hinders complete equality.
Basically the whole piece addresses the political and social chains that prevent the possibility of having many great women artists. The idea that the accepted social norm and natural hierarchy of gender and race has and still will try to hold on to power and prevent in-balance that can topple the system. I agree with Nochlin that "art is not a free, autonomous activity of a super-endowed individual," but that "the total situation of art making, both in terms of the development of the art maker and in the nature and quality of the work of art itself."
The achievement of any great artist is not dictated by the social acknowledge or label of "greatness," the merit of a piece of art can not and should not be altered by the market price of the art. I must ask why do feminists feel the need to fight for this type if validation? Asking for validation and approval only display uncertainty of ones own abilities. Perhaps other might argue that it is an issue of respect and equality, but if self-respect is strong enough, others will learn to respect you as well."
--( posted on Nov 18, 2013, commenting on the post Linda Nochlin, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”
"In response to your question on the purpose of art in relation to evolutionary development, I think that the reason people write and create art is in and of itself a struggle to achieve that immortality. However, not all artists aimed to leave his/her mark on history, many merely practiced art for their own satisfaction and fulfillment. In relation to the "Ways of Seeing" reading, I guess we can say that every work of art has the power to direct its reader/audience to seeing what the creator intended for them to see. In a sense we are seeing art through the lens of the artist, and seeing what they see. So in the cases of patrons who commission artists (especially in Florence and Venice during times of flourish) , their main goal WAS to immortalize their great name and achievement, thats why the Medici family is so well known today; Botticello's rendering of the family glorified the success and wealth of its members. Here is where Berenson's statements can be applied; in our date and age, a well off businessman commissioning to have his portraits done (well, because of the creation of photo imaging, there is no longer the need to document ourselves for hopes of being remembered, but I think patrons mostly commissioned those portraits for the people of their time to show power rather than for the sake of being remembered in the future..) might be seen as pompous and a narcissist, and in this case cultural relativism would be relevant."
--( posted on Nov 12, 2013, commenting on the post Frances Berenson, “Understanding Art and Understanding Persons”
"I agree to a certain extent that mass mechanical reproductions of works of art devalues both the artist as well as the audience, in the sense that certain elements (such as the unique aura of sharing the space and existence with the piece of art) might be lost in the process. I like the effort made by Walter Benjamin to distinguish the means of the said reproduction; I for one am a strong believer and practitioner of "master copies", and this practice has existed for as long as art has been in existence. Artists practice and make perfection of their skills by reproducing paintings of renowned artists before they themselves achieve their grand titles, hence "master" copies, because there is something to take away from the skills and intricacies of said paintings. When new artists attempt to reproduce copies they are in a sense commemorating the work that the original artist has put into the painting and showing respect and admiration for the artist, something that mechanical reproduction done by a machine fails to do. Although master copies do not possess the "one element: its presence in time and space", they certainly still have that human touch of labor and ingenuity that is lacking in mechanical reproductions."
--( posted on Oct 30, 2013, commenting on the post Walter Benjamin
"“because music which always says the same thing to you will necessarily soon become dull music, but music whose meaning is slightly different with each hearing has a greater chance of remaining alive.”
To what extent do you agree with Copland? Do you think that because a piece of music relays the same message or experience to you each time you hear it makes it dull over time, or is this something that you might enjoy about a composition (it’s consistency and clearness, arguably)?
-I disagree that because a piece of music relays the same message or experience to you each time you hear it makes it dull over time; I feel the "dullness" attributed to the music is a result of the listener's disengagement rather than the quality of the music. If Copland's statement that music with flexible meaning holds true, then why is it that the ever redundant and simplistic (that is compared to the grand symphonic compositions of classical music) pop music is so popular in today's society? My personal opinion is, once again, that it is the listeners that change the importance and dynamic of a piece of music. The utilitarian value of art is what shifts it's popularity in society. Because art is always reflective of the current society and its emphasis on what is most important at the time, it is no surprise that our music has evolved to serve our need of instant gratification, that of which we find infesting our art, ethics, and life style. Where decisions are made with a horse-blinder focus on immediate results lacking discipline to seek greater fulfillment.
Do you agree with Copland that unlike with reading a novel or with watching a play, our experience with music covers a different dimension of response to which words and thoughts aren’t satisfactory to explain our experiences with music?
I agree that sometimes we can be at awe with a work of art, be it visual or audio, but that is because you are dealing with an entity that is absent of words. The subjective element of expressing personal experience with music is in and of itself something arbitrary, thus, it is true that "our experience with music covers a different dimension of response to which words and thoughts aren’t satisfactory to explain our experiences ." HOwever, that is not to say that after a great novel or play, our thoughts and intellect isn't as stimulated to the same extent. It is merely a issue of what is being stimulated and how they trigger different expression mechanism."
--( posted on Oct 13, 2013, commenting on the post 10/8 – Copland, Kramer, Sparshott
"1. Taking into consideration the time period in which Leo Tolstoy lived and the political movements that occurred during that time, would you still agree with his assertions towards the nature of art and how one experiences art? In "What is Art?", Tolstoy expressed a utilitarian explanation of how one "will come to understand the meaning of art"; it is when we cease to consider deriving pleasure as the objective of a work of art that we can understand art. In no means is this a personal attack on Tolstoy, for he is merely a product of his time, just as we all are when it comes time to criticize in attempts to find purity and goodness in the world. Now, bear with me, Tolstoy embraced the school of thought that art at that time was corrupt and decadent, but haven't it always been that way? Even today, with the massive industry of museums and art collector seeing each purchase as an investment, art has always been corrupt and taken advantage of. When the purpose of art become monetary, the art work is no longer pure and good, rather, it's luring power is exploited. However, does that mean when an artist is paid for their art, and by them accepting it, that the transaction in and of itself degrades the value of that piece of art work? But most great novelist and composers sold their work, does that devalue great creation like the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven? But then you have artists like Van Gogh, who only sold one painting in his life. Tolstoy, like all other great philosophers, novelists, artists, scientists, and individuals who contemplate reasons and meanings behind our actions and reactions, is merely doing the very thing that makes us human; for we are the only being that interprets itself and, without that impulse, we would be living very meaningless lives. The above statements were pitched for the purpose of stirring disagreements and conflict, I for one am terrible at writing coherent thoughts and would like for someone to clarify for me many of the questions that I have mentioned regarding the value of art in relation to its economic value.
I know I have made a few very controversial statements, and I hope to fire up a lively discussion. Feel FREE to DISAGREE!"
--( posted on Sep 25, 2013, commenting on the post 9/26 – Tolstoy
"I agree to the extent that culture is something that is polar, and that it can be embodied by the rich as well as the poor.
However, since the definition (or commonly acknowledged definitions) of "culture" has evolved with our own cultivated opinions towards the world, I suppose many of the views from these great writers can be seen as obsolete. Same issue with the word "beauty" and "art", where we can see that if there is inconsistency in the foundation of general agreement on the empirical definition, then we are doomed to go in circles arguing for the sake of arguing.
Now. Culture, if defined as "the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively," then I suppose it is not wrong to say that it belongs to the educated, that they alone have the capabilities and sophistication to appreciate and preserve culture.
However, if you were to define culture as "a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc," then it is impossible to separate the mass from the culture, for the masses is what makes the society.
I suppose that is why there are two ways to seeing and arguing these things (and Williams touches upon this issue), the philosophical approach vs. the scientific understanding. Neither are wrong, it just depends on how you choose to see the world."
--( posted on Sep 23, 2013, commenting on the post 9/24 – Williams and Cortazar consolidated