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'Us' by Ananda Gabo (2014)

It is my aim with ‘us’ to agitate the viewer by altering widely-recognized fashion items. This is done to emphasize the illusions of diversity and unity, as well as expose the cultural appropriations that are used in mainstream feminist media. 

Although the viewer is unaware of the origins of the hoodie or the cheongsam used, they are both made in the same country (China), demonstrating how globalization affects our relationships with social, political, and economic systems. Despite this, mainstream media continues to differentiate us, why should we allow it to relegate the problems of fetishization, abuse, and violence to a single culture? I think this should not be allowed, by letting the media categorize social issues into hierarchies of importance, other voices can easily be forgotten.

“As a woman I want no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.”

-Virginia Woolfimage

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i haven’t been keeping up…. spirits are draining.

Before I went into OCADU, I was ready to pursue a career as an ‘artist’ or professional interventionist (through art). I feel like I was in the right path. 

Now that I’m studying Industrial Design, I can totally feel two sides of myself clashing. People will always say, ‘OH, FOR SURE YOU CAN PUT THOSE TWO THINGS TOGETHER AND IT WILL WORK’. But you neglect either of them while in school. It’s very rare that you find a project that can nurture both of those fires.

It’s hard, and I can feel parts of me die off a little. But I can feel a comeback soon.

TWO NEW EPISODES

Tonight I’ll be uploading two new episodes. 
Sorry if I haven’t been around folks, I’ve been extremely busy with school. 

Which means more material for you guys ;)

Comeback

So I’m currently writing up another post/ episode filming at the moment.
Stay tuned!

THE BEST OF DESIGN SCHOOL: FART HISTORY

 **Excuse me for my formatting right now!** 

As soon as I entered my program, I was pigeon holed into art history. Here is a brief description of the liberal arts courses that I had to take, and I’ll include some readings at the bottom of the page. These will include the textbooks that I have used (that I don’t recommend you buying because they are so EXPEN$IVE, and some novels that I REALLY DO RECOMMEND you get your hands on).

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YEAR ONE/ FIRST SEMESTER

+ Art History Before the 1600s
Prehistoric Art/ Early Medieval Art/ Roman/ Greek/ South East Asian/ Asian/ Cathedrals

Some of the major works in this course included classic pieces such as the “Woman of Willendorf” which tried to encourage students to empathize with cultures and understand their versions of beauty.

Sometimes the prof would make us use their versions of beauty to battle against each other… like this…. I mean we’re all beautiful… can’t we be bffs?

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Then there was a whole hour of debate on this… this golden salt dish. And yes, they asked this question, “IS THIS ART OR IS THIS DESIGN?” 

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The prof also tried to make us not forget how over centuries, artists have always returned to nature for inspiration. Reminds me of what someone once told me, “People today listen to old school hip hop so they can feel justified”.

What to read instead of paying $500 for a course like this?

Man and His Symbols (CLICK ON TITLE)
I mean it’s all about looking into symbolism right? I see no wrong in reading this to get a better grip on what I’m looking at. And who doesn’t like some material to make scholarly references with?

Imperial Treasures at the Art History Museum in Vienna (CLICK ON TITLE)
Oh look, it’s almost half of the artworks in my art history textbooks that I paid $300 dollars for. And it’s only one sixth of the price! 

I also recommend looking up Khan Academy’s Prehistoric Art History lectures. They’re pretty great, and they’re free! I posted the link mid way throughout this post. So keep reading!

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YEAR ONE/ SECOND SEMESTER
+ Art History After the 1600s
Early European Painting Masters/ Impressionism/ Modernism

I think this is where things sort of get messy. All I really remember from this course, were a few very awkward Jessica Alba jokes my prof made to try to break ice with 200 nonplussed students. But there are a few things I recall such as focusing on “Napoleon In the Plague House At Jaffa” (click title for image). With the main themes being war, politics, and power that resonated throughout the course.

What to read instead of paying $500 for a course like this?

Guns Germs and Steel (CLICK ON TITLE)
This book is like a multivitamin for all your ‘how did we get here?’ questions. It’s also quite interesting because 2/12 classes that I attended were devoted to art history from ‘non western points of view’… this book seems to attempt to provide me with  a more interesting historical perspective than those 2/12 classes. 

Also… the Khan Academy Art History Lectures….. posted only a few more inches below.

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Now before we head into the courses that deal with the 1700s and onwards, here is a link to Khan Academy’s free art history video lectures (CLICK HERE)! These are extremely satisfying, and are on par with what I paid for in university. But in combination with the materials I mentioned above, you should be an art history/ humanities superstar. 

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YEAR TWO/ FIRST SEMESTER
+ History of Modern Design
Design Reformation in UK/ Modernism/ Postmodernism

It picked up right into the cusp of the 1700s , and began whipping through decades to reveal how modern manufacturing methods have made their way into common practice. From Ford to Taylorism, craft guilds vs rapid manufacturing, these events in the past few centuries were critical to understand the contexts of modern objects and consumeristic behaviour.

What to read instead of paying $500 for a course like this?
The only textbook I have ever kept:
History of Modern Design (CLICK TITLE)
This textbook is amazing, no wonder the course was named after it. I’m glad that I kept this copy, and probably because it was the most affordable textbook ever. Although dry in some areas, it is overwhelmed with many colour printed pictures that recite an amazing chronological fairy tale of stuff. This work is interesting enough that before you know it… you’ll walk into an antique store and shout “BY GOLLY LOOK ITS A BENTWOOD CHAIR BY THONET”, and be that annoying weird person flipping over every chair to see a manufactures stamp (other than your prof). 

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YEAR TWO/ SECOND SEMESTER
+ Contemporary Design Theories and Practices
Essays, Critiques, and Articles on Object Identity/Social, Environmental, Economic Sustainability/ Anthropology and the Designer/ Research Ethics

In all honesty, I really wish that this course was introduced into the first year. Before I even had the prerequisites to take this course, I could hear my professors trying to get students in my year to understand these concepts. And why not sooner? After the summer, students would have to start thinking about their thesis projects, so I really have no idea why they’re holding this back from us.

What to read instead of paying $500 for a course like this?

I recommend that before you read the following piece of design lit, I suggest that it would be wise to read OLDER design lit books such as Mechanization Takes Command, and any works by Victor Papanek. 

The Strategic Designer (CLICK TITLE)
F
rom the segment that I read in my course reader, this book promises to give insight on very important tools that designers will need to be equipped with to keep their practice ethical and sustainable.

Design for the Real World (CLICK TITLE)
A
nything by Papanek will usually do. In the time his works were written, his ideas were considered controversial. Designers are dangerous, and he makes quite a compelling and convincing case. MUST READ.

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Even though I do believe that the history of stuff and art objects should be apart of an art/ design education, I really wish there was just one course for art history. For the amount of time we pay for, and the amount of pressure we have from professionals around us to be more relevant to today, it even more frustrating for me that I couldn’t take a course on modern design practices sooner.

If these courses are mandatory for the matter offering various cultural perspectives to the dull and inexperienced student, then I feel as though there are better subjects of study. Why not instead, take courses focus on historic literature? I feel as though reading written word is the best way to gain a better visceral understanding of a culture or a society that studies a culture. Let’s put it this way, in class we briefly looked at the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Tower of Babel (painting)… yet no one pointed out that there were people defecating in the artworks. Not to mention they are stored and studied in institutions where they have not had the most ethical track record.  

I hope that my latest entry wasn’t too vague. But remember I just tried to describe two years into one post.

Right after going through all these courses, I had a breakdown. I dropped out for a bit, and went to Paris and Austria on what little money I had left. I ended up seeing most of the actual artworks that I studied. And from what I can say is, take a chance to look at things, go to museums, take a tour, talk to people, and if you think about the prices of all those course (listed above)… you could pay your way to the world’s best museums for a higher art education.

Episode 1: to BA or not to BA, those are the question$

This episode is an introduction to my upcoming rockin’ time with you.

Adventures through screenshots.

So 71% of women don’t have orgasms through penetration…image

Source: (http://youtu.be/q64hTNEj6KQ)

I don’t think any woman could if all I could get off with was this:image

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School felt like white castle.

Only recently have I decided that I might try writing. In high school, trying to follow the the three layer hamburger/ train/ whatever method of writing a informal essay was the most horrifying experience ever. Don’t believe me?

Imagine trying to work with the hamburger method for years, trying to REASON with the hamburger, and for some reason you always barely scrape by on writing papers.

Imagine you’re a grade 11 student in a psychology class. Chances are, after being in school for most of your life, you have no idea what life is like beyond your neighbourhood.

Sure you might have gone on vacation or have volunteered in interesting places to get some perspective on life outside your bubble, but JUST IMAGINE what it’s like to be assigned to position yourself to write an essay to figure this piece of poop out, “psychopaths: nature or nurture?” and all you have to work with is something that looks like this: 

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Ugh its so linear I could just barf this up the path it came through again. 

What a nightmare right? I mean now that I think about it, I feel as if it was foolish for me to think that there was something lacking in my writing skills because I couldn’t build a delicious sandwich with my words. I could have probably instead wrote a compelling paper on what it’s like to be psychotically tormented by a hamburger. Sure, I don’t have the finesse that some young writers have, but I honestly feel as though these kinds of tools in education are completely misleading. The structure of hamburgers are best for making sandwiches, and it absolutely discourages the use of creative thinking/ problem solving. 

What is even more frightening is that students are almost always praised for using this method to provide or challenge questions in school, and people keep using this method because they think it still works (I still find people using this method in university). Everything about it is just so linear:
+ Make the hamburger
+ Get easy approval from hamburger because that’s what most teachers know how to deal with.
+ Serve the hamburger to your teacher.
+ Teacher eats hamburger and knows what it should taste like.
+ Teacher gives praise because hamburger is hamburger.
+ Nothing too creative and everyone is happy.
+ Make more hamburgers.

Now, I can’t speak for the entire population of student writers (because this method DOES work for some people), but until I went into university, I was so shocked was introduced to a plethora of essays that weren’t constructed by a delicatessen but had the structure of an open faced sandwich, a devilled egg, a beautiful swan, a pair of lace panties…

I’m not writing this thought blurb to give any of my horrible future writing pursuits or projects any more validity than any other writers out there who might have enjoyed this method. But I’m writing this so I can give insight to whoever might be reading this: my writing is a product of when a student cannot fit into a secondary school literary factory thingamagig and tries to come up with other solutions.