“Taking the Edge Off” a BFA thesis exhibition by Amber Davis Briggs

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I see the corners of a room as edges to be softened but also as a sacred space that is overlooked, humble and quiet. Moving my art to the corners is a way of bringing attention to the margins. It is a way of making spaces less severe and exerting strength of sentiment, intuition, emotion, vulnerability and intimacy.

In a prior series of sculptural works I padded the corners of a kitchen table as a symbolic act of protection. After the padding was removed from the table the bundles of cotton and tape became objects of intrigue and sources of comfort. I touched, looked, and studied their forms. I paid attention to the choice of cloth and the different tonal shadows it provided. I lost myself between the folds, crevices, and binding, finding security. This reminded me of the security I found as a child napping among the piles of unbleached cotton while visiting my grandmother who worked at the sock factory. As I considered the processes of working sculpturally with the table, I contemplated the mental and emotional pain that we experience and the ways we seek relief. I wondered if I could make objects that evoked a comforting experience using folds of fabric. Could I create healing spaces that also acknowledged suffering?

My process is rooted in the balance between material, concept, and process. For this installation I used blankets, t-shirts, table cloths, and vintage remnants because they carry a trace of their previous life with them. Cloth is traditionally used for covering and protection. For Taking the Edge Off I mined my memory for content using my own painful experiences.

The solace of cloth. The sound of a sewing machine. The experience of hiding in out-of-the-way places.

Sculpture 2/3: HW: Readings and Responses to Project: Beauty

Four readings on the concept of beauty and a suggested schedule for completion:
Week 1: Read and respond: Dubuffet’s AntiCultural Positions, 1951(anticultural_positions)
Week 2: Read and respond: Elaine Scarry’s On Beauty and Being Just, 1998 (scarry_onbeauty.pdf)
Week 3: Read and respond: Dave Hickey’s On the Vernacular of Beauty, 1993 (hickey_beauty_selected_essays),1993
Week 4: Read and respond: Wolfgang Welsh’s The Return of Beauty?, 2007 (return_of_beauty)

Hito Steyerl- Politics of Post Representation

Hito Steyerl | Politics of Post-Representation «DIS Magazine

A representational mode of thinking photography is: there is something out there and it will be represented by means of optical technology ideally via indexical link. But the technology for the phone camera is quite different. As the lenses are tiny and basically crap, about half of the data captured by the sensor are noise. The trick is to create the algorithm to clean the picture from the noise, or rather to define the picture from within noise. But how does the camera know this? Very simple. It scans all other pictures stored on the phone or on your social media networks and sifts through your contacts. It looks through the pictures you already made, or those that are networked to you and tries to match faces and shapes. In short: it creates the picture based on earlier pictures, on your/its memory. It does not only know what you saw but also what you might like to see based on your previous choices. In other words, it speculates on your preferences and offers an interpretation of data based on affinities to other data. The link to the thing in front of the lens is still there, but there are also links to past pictures that help create the picture. You don’t really photograph the present, as the past is woven into it.