Lecture Review #2 – Lesley Flanigan

Janeesa Jeffery


Lecture Review #2

Lesley Flanigan

Visual Art: Amplifications

            Lesley Flanigan visited CU Boulder to talk about her type of performance art on April 24, 2012. Unfortunately, due to a small error on our website regarding the time, her actual lecture I was not able to attend, but her workshop following her lecture I was able to go to and witness. Lesley is a New York based composer, vocalist, artist, and performer. Her most recent work has been dealing with amplifications. An amplifier converts the often barely audible or purely electronic signal from musical instruments. For instance an electronic guitar, an electric bass, or an electric keyboard and these are then turned into an electronic signal that is capable of driving a loudspeaker that can be heard by the performers and audience.

Lesley is a type of musician that is much different then what one would expect to hear today from mainstream artists and musicians. She is inspired by the concrete elements of electronic sound. She builds her own instruments using very little electronics, microphones and speakers. She performs with these instruments together with traditional instrumentation that frequently includes her own voice. Lesley can create a kind of physical electronic music that accompanies both the transparency and residue of the process by making sound from a pallet of noise and slight deficiency. Flanigan built her first speaker feedback instrument, Speaker Synth, in 2007. She has continued on to build analogous systems ability from raw speaker cones, contact microphones and wood. Being playable by hand, her instruments have of a very fragile tangibility to electronic sound and she layers tones of speaker feedback and her own voice with the amplifications.

For her workshop she had us pry the computer speakers apart and take each of the parts out of them. She let us use the back of hammers and screwdrivers to get the speakers open any way we were able to. We could basically get them open any way we wanted to that wasn’t important, the significance of taking the speakers apart was that we got to the amplifier without breaking it and the mother board as well. After that we left the speakers alone because for her workshop the next day students were going to use the amplifier and the mother board to reassemble the speakers into their own wooden stands to make instruments like Lesley does herself. Lesley takes these speakers and makes them into musical instruments and also performed with them. She sang through a microphone and it went through all the different speakers at once, in her way this is performance art. By doing this I think she outreaches and at the same time creates new boundaries for musical improvisation.  She explained to us how each of these speakers has its own life and where ever they were before we are taking them out and giving them a new life once we place them into the new wooden stand.

Going to Lesley Flanigan’s workshop was an unbelievable experience to attend. I actually think that it was worthwhile much more than sitting and listening to her lecture about her work. Not to say that it wasn’t as important but to be able to see her hands on doing the work she does was indescribable. Music isn’t just limited to studios, clubs, bands, and concerts I really think that she redefined the meaning of what music is and what it means to be a true artist. It was definitely a cool way to see how she operates within her own realms and the way she produces music the way she wants to and enjoys doing what she calls music. This goes to show that performance art is really a broad aspect and that a lot of intricate and intriguing things are deeper than just the words performance art.

Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?

Janeesa Jeffery


Exhibition Paper



Viviane Le Courtois: Edible?


        For the exhibition I decided to attend the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art where Viviane Le Courtois: Edible? artwork was featured. Within this exhibit there were also works from The Garden of Earthly Delight, which is a living interactive installation created for this museum. The center of this part of the exhibit is for people to come and relax, interact, and think. There are herbs arranged around the gallery in little miniature gardens. This is in reference to the ancient process of growing, collecting, and consuming plants.  This exhibit is also is food-related work of the past twenty-two years. She has been using food as a medium or a source of inspiration since the 90’s. Through different forms of art she explores the processes of consumption. By doing this, she focuses on the repetitive aspects of food preparation, ceremonial food offerings, and the social implications of eating.

                        Viviane Le Courtois was born in France in 1969, moved to the United States in the year 1994 and she currently lives here in Denver, Colorado. She earned her diploma in Sculpture/installations from the international school of art and research in Nice, France in 1992. She accompanied her diploma with her MA in Art History from the University of Denver in 2000. Also, she was the recipient of the Colorado Westword’s Mastermind Award in Visual Arts in 2009. In France she exhibited and in the US including at the Passerelle Art Center in France, Mobius in Boston, and at other venues in Colorado. She made her work based on her surroundings and by consumer culture wherever she lived and traveled. She creates her installations using materials that she collected.

I showed a personal interest in this exhibit because I love food myself and I love to eat. It also took me back to my child hood in a sense because I used to make objects out of candy and candy wrappers such as, belts, necklaces, and bracelets.  A series of these types of prints, as well as the mushrooms used to create them, were on view alongside other large-scale sculptures from a series of works created from junk food such as chips, candy, and marshmallows. These works include the Cheetovore, Candy Curtains, Shane The Obese Marshmallow Teenager, a group of Little Fat Kids and others.

The Cheetovore  in 2002 was the first piece of work I came across myself that was most noticeable. It’s a large paper mache, wire mesh object covered in cheetos that are glued on and polyurethane.  All of the little cheetos are glued together to this bigger object to create one huge hot cheeto itself. The first thing I thought to myself was how many bags of cheetos it took to create this massive cheeto.  Hot cheetos are actually one of my favorite bags of chips so I actually thought about trying to bite it for a second. As far as artistically I think it was smart to make the giant cheeto out of regular cheetos.

After I saw the giant cheeto I turned to read the description and I saw the Candy Curtains (2008) hanging. I didn’t notice them the first time that I saw them but when I did I instantly thought of being a kid. The curtains were made of simple candy itself and fishing line so that the curtains can hang and maintain itself. The first strand of the curtain was made up of just gummy worms in a way that gives the curtains some dimension because it is much thicker than any other part of the curtain besides the marshmallows. The next strand was made up of the multi colored twizzlers but they were not normal size. So, they were probably cut into a third of the original size and put in a rainbow color scheme to accompany the two-toned gummy worms next to them. After that, the third strand was also made up of twizzlers but only the original kind, which were again cut into smaller pieces. At the end of each twizzler there was a gummy lifesaver placed in between and then at the end of the next twizzler it was a regular hard lifesaver. The lifesavers then continued and alternate between gummy and hard ones. The fourth and fifth strands were the exact same as the second and third strands. The sixth strand was a striong of gummy bears that were color coordinated between the red, orange, and the yellow gummy bears. The curtain continued to repeat itself to the end but there was one strand added in that was made up of jumbo marshmallows and little marshmallows in between them. I thought this was one her most simple works but creative at the same time to make them into curtains as you walk through this certain section of the gallery.

The next piece of work that I saw that stood out to me was a big crocheted sculpture of an obese, reclining woman.  She was much disproportioned and the sculpture was completely colored in I’d say a more peachy color. I thought this one was weird to look at but I thought it was clever to have the woman reclined in such a way to resemble the fact she is obese and she has eaten too much. I might be a bit farfetched with this but, I feel like the sex of the sculpture was interesting to note that it was a woman and not an obese man. This is because I know that back in the renaissance period being obese and overweight was signs of being wealthy, but among them the women maintained an hourglass shape of a body and even now being a slim woman is the desired standard in today’s society.

Shane The Obese Marshmallow Teenager (2006) is also paper mache, wire mesh, composed of glue and marshmallows. Now having an obese man made a little more sense to me but with this piece of art the body was also disproportionate. The head on the body was much bigger than it should have been compared to the body, the legs were really short and one arm is longer than the other. In a way I guess the object no being that big kind of signified the “teenager” part of its title. There were also not any prominent features other than the physical appearance of the arms, legs and head that would give away that the work was human. There was no nose, eyes, ears, fingers, or toes on this piece of work.

The next piece of work that I came across was the “Little Fat Kids”. These were small figurines made from melted and cast candy. My first thought I had about this piece of work is that these definitely reminded me of the candy the sour patch kids. All of the little fat kids were in different assorted colors but they were identical in appearance with their body shape and placement. They actually looked like a mix of the obese woman and the obese teenager put together with both of their features. I just thought these little fat kids were cool to have.

            As far as edibles go at this exhibit those were my favorite ones. I realize that this next piece was not a part of the edible section but it was too noticeable for me not to mention. As I moved on to go upstairs I noticed that the walls were becoming covered in these card board objects. They were more so pointy objects and they are a different size and of different orientation. As I continued my way up the stairs and turned right the entire room became the object itself as if it was conveying outer space in a sense. When I got to the top of the stairs and looked up I saw a huge Styrofoam object that was hanging from the ceiling as if it was flying throughout outer space called SP4C3CR4FT by Jason Rogenes. The space craft itself was very intriguing. The dimensions and creativeness of it really drew me to it. The Styrofoam was carved into different sections to make the spacecraft look very realistic and there were really intricate details one could tell it took some time to make. This was one of my favorites because it wasn’t just the spacecraft itself the entire room made you grasp on to the idea and concept of this work I was very pleased.

            Overall, I have to say that there were not a lot of works within the edible section of the museum but I really enjoyed what was present as well. I think she’s genius in a way that she took one of the simplest aspects in life, consumption of food, and made it into artwork that some people might see as tedious but I actually find the joy and appreciate what she has done with her edible works. I definitely enjoyed going to her exhibit here in Boulder.

Amelia Jones: Lecture Review #1

Janeesa Jeffery


Lecture Review #1

Amelia Jones

Queer Feminist Durationality: The Trace of the Subject in Contemporary Art

I went to one of the visiting scholar series in Hale and went to listen to Amelia Jones talk about Queer feminist durability. Amelia is professor and Grierson Chair in Visual Culture at McGill University, Montreal. She has written on contemporary art and on feminist, queer and anti-racist approaches to visual culture. Jones believes that the performance power of art to play out gender is a very useful tool as a framework to offer new ways to consider images as enactments with embodied subjects rather than inanimate objects with the use just for men’s viewing pleasure.

When Amelia came to visit and giver her lecture I found a lot of things interesting about this subject considering that I am a female. She stated, “Queer Feminist Durationality focuses on the recent art practices that imply a new theory of identification in relation to visuality. It draws on feminist strategies significant of gender/sexual formations, maintaining a politics relating to specific coalitional concerns, but keeps in play a range of potential meanings.”

Amelia talked a lot about how in art the female body is objectified in relation to the body being naked. There was a photo of a woman holding a gun with her legs opened, in which it showed a sense of exposure and vulnerability. The obsession with artists showing women in this way is used with the term fetishism. Feminist cunt art can play around with this fetishism in which it likes to objectify the entire female body the most. “We have seen the empirical extreme of time in the world is human desire” (Alexondre Kojeve). Some key terms that she listed for this subject were durational, intersectionality, and latency. Queer feminist have potential for doing something through interpretation where art means the expression of the individual. She also talked about post World War I and how art switched to the identities of the individual and intersectionality.  Sex and gender is articulated in relative to numerous identifications and of all identifications of self, other, bodies and images.

Overall, I enjoyed the lecture by Amelia especially because It was female based. Females are overlooked most of the time in differentaspects today in society. So, I found it interesting that she talked about the subjectivity of women as well. Most of the images involved women in a position where they were objectified and made pleasurable to the man’s eye. There were also images that were linked towards more queerness and anamorphosis. An example of queer feminist durationality is Opie’s self-portrait nursing in 2004. She looks like a male but is nursing a baby like a woman would as a mother. In the early 1990’s she took photographs for lesbian magazines. Some other artists Jones highlighted were, Tee Corinne, Holdein, Barbara Smith, Valie Export, Judith Barry, Sandy Fitterman, Mira Schor, Donald, and Paul Donald. Most of this art just shows a different way of self-expression, I think performance art, photographs, paintings, drawings all of it are just different forms of displaying ones artistic notions.

Janeesa Jeffery – Performance Art (Extra credit)

Chris Burden

Learning Chris Burden’s work I was surprised about the techniques that he used for displaying his artwork. The most interesting one was when he had someone shoot him in his arm. Personally I don’t think this was ethical because shooting someone is not a way of displaying art. People get shot everyday and some even die. Shooting someone is a serious matter and I don’t think that he should have taken that idea so lightly.

Clyfford Still – Janeesa Jeffery


Intellectual Profile – Janeesa Jeffery

1. Give some basic information about your studies and fields of interest.

-I am currently a junior and i am majoring in sociology. I hope that one day I can help young children that come from a broken home or have a single parent continue on the right path and not succumb to the wrong lifestyle like many do. Sociology is very broad so i’ll definitely look at a few different things to take on. I also took three full courses of sign language and also continue to work on those skills as well i find it very interesting.

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Terry Smith Reading (Janeesa Jeffery)

Terry smith talked about different approaches n laid down a new approach and
groundwork for contemporary art in which case it has shifted from modern to
contemporary as well. He explains what contemporary art is in which, “it is the
institutionalized network that which the art of today presents itself to itself and
to it interested audiences all over the world”. Also it is in some sort it’s own
subculture and distinctive structures of stasis and change as well. Another
part he touches on is how this art has a globalizing character that mobilizes
nationalities. A plethora of different beliefs, ideas, values, beauty, and taste
are put into art by different artists around the world. His approach upon the
question “What is contemporary art?” was that it behind from art practices and
that it is saturated with deep, detailed and even often systematic knowledge
of art history.

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