This first round of critiques was an in-depth feedback session where we discussed previous years revisions and future studio goals. Individual aesthetics and interests were discussed with input on how we can achieve these goals through a more time-specific breakdown of tasks. This was the most emotional session our group has experienced to date. The contradiction of tasks being both easier and harder: our skillsets have expanded but there is increasing pressure to produce cohesive and critically refined work in line with where we envision our future practice (both as 3rd-year students and beyond our university studies). At this point, I had an idea of what my goals were around studying materials, sustainability in art and the relationships between object and subject. The balloon experiment was a quick and dirty studio process of examining ‘changing materials’. Everything from the wet pour, to the paint drying and balloon deflation, would create change. I had not decided if I wanted the balloon experiment to stay in the corner of the room and slowly deflate over time… or have my classmates interact with the piece. I chose the latter and instructed them to pop the balloons with a pin so we could experience live changes as a group. While I initially thought this was a good way of relinquishing control by letting my classmates interact with the balloons – James pointed out the problematic notion of giving out an instruction, thereby taking control of the actual process.

Things to consider from the results: The sounds were varied and intense, not just the loudness of the balloons popping but the shattering of dried materials during the implosions. How we perceive sound as a material that we embody. It vibrates and promotes varied emotions within our bodies.
Comments were made on how it looked “like bird poo” and there was a general disgust towards its aesthetic quality. Others wanted to see the balloons explode when still wet and have paint flying on the walls. The aftermath was also a visual tease, what happened here? This broken “mess”.
What happens now? How can I re-use this “rubbish” and reduce art waste? Perhaps collected, dried and reformed into a new object or material.

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