Monthly Archives: April 2014

My First Response to the beauty and the sublime

The most interesting thing about this chapter was how to interact with this form of literature, and this experience helped me learn more about my approaches to art in general. I was not completely sure what exactly you were planning, nor asking for, in this assignment aside from wanting to know our responses and reactions to the literature. In this context, my honest response is my enjoyment in understanding how philosophers really think and how philosophy is cognitively pursued. More particularly, by understanding the way in which philosophers think, perhaps my communication skills, or just the communication between me and any other academic instructor, can improve from this experience. To clarify, the paragraph below is an excerpt from a previous attempt to writing this response :

“Immediately in the beginning sentences, I tried to comprehend exactly what the author’s point was and took several times reading over the first two pages. In the first couple of times, most of my thinking of this selection was focused on decomposing the content, much like most philosophical literary works I have previously encountered. Soon, I found myself summarizing what I read, as it appeared to be just a sea of historical information and definitions. I felt lost, as though I was merely seeing a collection of words without a point, nor a goal. It starts just by  stating the historical references of the ancients gendering art, using the Greek column designs as an example. Then it mentions Sharpiro’s thoughts and I wasn’t sure what exactly was being said. I consulted my mom, who is more adept in literary structures than I, to take a look into the selection and help clarify what is really being discussed in the text.”

After we both read the first few pages together, we then had a long conversation discussing what is happening. I found out that there was a little bit more than just a sea of information. Sharpiro was suggesting that that is not the case. Instead the contrast between femininity and Masculinity was to help illustrate the diversity of  art and its characteristics. This is the understanding mom and I had reached when we were working together on this. So now there seemed to be some direction, so I continued reading, shortly enough, it seemed like the selection went back to producing just a stream of facts and information and I began to get lost in the content. I looked back into the beginning pages to understand what is the main point of this piece, and I looked at Shapiro’s rhetorical questions, “What -and how much- should be made of such expression?” and thought that was the main idea to explore. In short, I was struggling with “What is the goal here?” Was it an informative, essay and I didn’t recognize it? but then why would you want our thoughts on it?

To get a better idea, I look happened to find some help on YouTube, which gave insight on how to write a paper for your philosophy classes, but it also had something else that helped me the most, how to wonder. Wondering, in philosophy, is the art of asking questions to open up new ideas in an already existing concept. In the explanation, one of the things to avoid is asking questions to find an answer. This contradicts the nature of wondering and there is no progression. I have ran into several similar situations with making art. My awareness to my mentality with art became more clear. I have looked at art, as well as everything else, as a mechanic. Everything seemed like an equation and the challenge is to find its missing components. Much of art, from what I have seen, has more so been the wondering described in the video. This I find more interesting because perhaps that is what my approach should be to my senior exit. Instead of imposing answers, I could also try wondering with my concepts. This mentality could also be used in other projects I come across, or at least other research projects.

In light of this revelation, I then thought of what you mentioned in the announcement on blackboard,

 “It fascinates me how inspired you all are with art and I believe you want it as a part of your lives. But, there seems to be an attraction and a fear associated with its creation and presentation. The making of art is admittedly full of failure but those failures are what make it so rewarding”

And I agree, except with the attraction and the fear. Comparing what you had stated, with the description of Sublime, I have not considered the thrill in the danger, or pain, in art making. In a video I am making, in reaction to the pechakucha critiques, I mention liking art because I could escape a perceived reality and just enjoy the adventure. When I began to think of design, I took that out and switched to the “mechanic” mentality I mentioned earlier. This later just made it seem like work; a math equation that needed it’s missing parts; and when I thought I found the parts, something seemed to change and not give me an answer I was expecting.

From the reading, it seems to suggest that we are, or maybe should be; considering the definitions and descriptions of sublime and beauty given in the reading, afraid of what we admire, but love what submits to us. Your statement, however, admitted that the failure is necessary to achieve the goal in. To me, it doesn’t seem to be an issue of fear, but more so an issue of “why?”. Why make certain decisions, and why go about this approach? Ultimately, I wonder why must I make a series of failures if I could skip them?, along with, could I skip them. From there, other things encountered before began to connect and make more sense.

Entry #3

TuesdayMarch 3, 2014


For a while, I felt a little stuck with the research. I looked into the ideas and redesigning them, I don’t know if that is necessary. After speaking to all three mentors, it seems I need to do the logistics, costs, materials, etc. Professor Drake gave me the name of a sculptor in Riedsville named Brad Spencer, who could give me advise on constructing the clay trays. He also mentioned of a red Terra Cota plant that use to be functional. It was called Pomona, and t was by Wendover. I’m not sure how that will help but I’m sure it’ll appear clearer to me later on.  Considering Dr. Reye’s replies, I will look into which edible plants to put in the trays. I also need to talk to him about the permission to build the sculpture on that plot of land. Evidently, I was informed that Development needs to approve of it. Perhaps this will be something between me and Dr. Reyes. The major thing with Professor Carter, is the quantity of quality work. I have to step it up, but how? I originally planned technical drawings, perspective drawings and at least three miniature models of….of course, the miniature models, and do the technical drawings of the trays and the area, duh. ok well along with that, I should make another design packet specifically for setting up an argument for which types of plants to put and the creatures they attract, or repell. Below is a list of tasks (reiterated)


3 3D Models of the sculpture area.


Technical Drawings (in inches and feet) of the full sculpture and its parts.


At least one Perspective drawing, illustration, and digital rendition of each idea.


Design packet, on the plants and animals to attract to the site.

Entry #2

Thursday February, 13

During my snow day, I looked more into the resources I collected from Professor Drake. I read some of Maya Lin’s work and her goals. She guarantees that the viewer  becomes aware of his, or her, surroundings.  According to her, she “creates places in which to think, without trying to dictate what to think.”. I also looked into more of the minimalist works to get a better understanding. All of this  has some value to them, but I seem to get lost in all of it. So I sat on the couch contemplating “What are my goals with this project?” and “What am I trying to say?” The major theme is re-wilding our relationship with nature, or at least have a better relationship.

Afterwards, I drew blanks until the idea came  to me; “maybe if I start by being outside, then maybe I can get clearer ideas.” So I sat outside and looked at the snow fall throughout the neighborhood and wrote down my goals. In my notebook, I started with the extremely vague theme of Man’s relationship with nature. Then I wrote down the subthemes I wanted to relate. They are the following:

  • Human Arrogance
  • Apathy and Empathy
  • Humility/Modest
  • Modest & Modern

Human Arrogance

Earlier in the semester, I spoke to my mentors and one of theirs concerns was that my thesis seemed flawed. My thesis suggested we need to allow nature to come into our space and give back to us what it had to provide, such as food and some shelter. With this idea, I looked into minimalist architecture that could be used to support vegetation, but can also be the outer shell of existing architecture in urban spaces. I also revisited the stacked plated buildings as well, suggesting the notion that our cities should have buildings dedicated to plant life, like in the project in Milan. Intellectually, the work itself was interesting, to let plant life live in a building of its own, but the reason for it seems off. The truth of the matter is that nature has power over us, and regardless of how we treat it, it can still last longer than us. The extinction of the dinosaurs, and nature’s survival is living proof of that. So, I had to re-think my direction. At a show that recently opened up at Greenhill, I met Mark Iwinski, an artist based in Western North Carolina, and April Flanders. Iwinski made an interesting comment while we were at dinner. I told him about the project, and he replied, more or less in the following words, “Here is the problem is knowledge. As you learn and collect more knowledge, there is this assumed responsibility that you must do something with it. The other issue is when you make decisions based off the knowledge you have. If others do not have the same knowledge, your decisions could be misunderstood. People can also react negatively based off that misunderstanding.” After speaking with him, I had an idea. Through multiple forms of media and stories, such as the remake of Clash of the Titans; The day the earth stood still; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; and so on, there is this theme of “power struggle”. Whether it is a struggle between man and their creation, with nature, or with God/the gods, the overall message of those stories seem to revolve around the idea “There are things ‘out there’ that are still greater than man” and I find it important, as we progress; in technology; culture; physically; mentally; Spiritually; etc, that we still show some respect to the forces that once humbled us in some way. For this project, it makes sense for us to give back to nature. Instead of viewing Nature as just a resource, it is better to view it as the “host” of this planet that is letting us stay for a while, and by destroying so much wildlife, we are messing up the furniture, the walls and anything else in its house.

Entry #1

So far, I am off to a good start. I knew my thesis would revolve around the relationship with man and nature.  It seems as though it is obvious that we need to take more care of the planet we live on, and there are a number of ways to do so. I did research in the issue of climate changes due to our carbon footprint, which happens to be from the energy consume. It lead me to the awareness that about half of the energy consumed in homes were for heating and cooling spaces. By reducing the need to heat and cool our spaces, housing electrical, nor energy of any kind, we would reduce our carbon foot print significantly. The question was how? I then looked into materials and studied wind and wind patterns. I only went as far with this topic as present three ideas to experiment with to make the building more adjustable to temperature changes and microclimates. The last part of my research was  about the benefits of prefabricated houses and exploring the concept of a “self-heating” \ “self-cooling” houses.


Revisiting the situation, many other opportunities are arising and there are some interesting ideas I am coming across. In Milan, one of the most polluted cities in Europe, two towers are being erected as apartments capable of supporting life inside, and outside of it. The concept so fare is to use trees and plants as an outer wall. By doing this, radiation is reduced in the concrete, asphalt, used for building. This may create a microclimate, a small area in which the atmosphere of the area is slightly different from the majority of the climate in the region. This microclimate may range from the size of a garden bed to the size of a city. One example is the major cities or city hubs. Most urban areas absorb the heat during the day and re-radiate during the night, making summer incredibly ho and winter season heat from the sunlight could heat p the spacing. Purhaps I could fuse this concept with the idea of a heating room dedicated spwcifically to generate heat withour using electricity, nor natural gasses.


Going back to the point about plant life engulfing buildings, the plants would also consume the CO2 output, significantly reducing the damage we are doing to the ozone layer, and may actually restore it. All of that is tsaid to say this: Similar to “Rewilding guy’s name” “just be re-introducing certain life forms into a space, could change not just the vegetation or the animal population, but could change the entire ecosyysstem and even the geography of a space. In his example, he mentioned some interesting information regarding wales and thier important role in the ecosystem that lead to the support of sabing endangered whales. In this description he mentioned about the photoplankton that consumes the co2 in the atmosphere and returns it to the water for fish and other aquatic life to consumes inside other plankton.