A little about me...
Hello! My name is Maribeth, and I am a 1st year student at UCSC. I am affiliated with Crown College, and I am a proposed Human Biology major. My hobbies include playing soccer, working in the greenhouse, and hanging out with friends! You can usually find me in my room (taking a nap). I hope that this will be a great first year!
For my final piece, the art medium I decided to use was Snapchat. Snapchat is an app for smart phones that let’s you take pictures and send them to friends quick and easy. You also have the option of putting stickers on your picture as well as drawing on it. I asked my friends if they could help me out by taking a “selfie” and using the emojis and coloring tool to describe their ethnicity and race/ or how they were raised (the ideas of culture). Sakoya Hart- “I used the tree and sunrise emojis to show where I was born and raised; the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I am a mix of races, but I am mostly German (which is why I chose that particular flag. Finally, the rice is to represent the color of my skin. ‘White as Rice’”. Oscar Alvarado- “The emojis I chose were mainly to represent my background and hobbies. I am Mexican, which is why I chose the Mexican flag and the beer and tacos. I also love unhealthy food, like the doughnut. The tennis ball, game emojis, and ear buds represent my hobbies, and the glasses show that I wear glasses in real life. Last, the smiley faces show how happy I am.” Ella Caracker- “I chose the tree and the nature emojis because I have always felt very connected to nature and enjoy spending my time in the outdoors. The family emoji is because I always have the support of my family no matter what I do. The game controller and violin represent my hobbies because I love video and computer games and I played violin in orchestra all through middle and high school, which I think shaped me as a person. The cat emoji is because I love cats. I have the thinking emoji because I believe in hard work, but also the party emoji because you also should always have breaks and have fun. I chose the cheese emoji because it was the most American food I could think of, and I'm entirely white.” Gabi Mateo-Saja- “The pineapples are to cover my eyebrows also I was raised all healthy the house emoji is for my house and I had a big tree in the backyard too. The flags are where I'm from. Coffee is my life and is like I've been drinking it for like ever. The Chinese business man and money emojis are my soul and like goals and aspirations Gem represents my younger siblings the people are my two you get siblings with me in the middle and my older siblings and its stands for how family oriented and stuff. The food is I love eggs I'm a Hispanic that are a lot of Asian food. The green dragon represents the eastern culture that was incorporated into my upbringing. And my moms white and my dads black like not really but yea so my color and that's for my eyes” Yesenia Camacho- “American flag=born here Mexican flag=I am Mexican Wind and fog=raised in a very windy place Lion=I like lions and they stand for courage and bravery and it took that for my parents to come here. Tacos and Burritos=Well know Mexican food” Krista Yusada- “Food: represents the types of Asian food I like to eat. Flags: represents Japanese ethnicity Dolls: represents a Japanese holiday we celebrate called girl's day”.
My sound walk consists of sounds that are based around the idea of this quote; “First, a listening procedure can assist a group of people in the early stages of organizing themselves, helping them to identify themes (e.g. contradictions) for collective inquiry” (UltraRed, 5). The group I represent is the Agriculture Community. In this sound file, I am making my coffee. Not very many people realize how much they rely on agriculture in their everyday lives. The act of making coffee requires a cup (most likely made from materials that came from a crop), the actual coffee, the stirring stick, the sugar, and the milk or creamer. All of these things would not be possible without modern day agriculture, but it doesn’t seem all that important to most people. The music in the background is the music that was in the other coffee shop I went to. This place was very busy when I went in, and this supports my statement that we heavily rely on agriculture on a daily basis. I believe agriculture should be towards the top of activism in the US. While many people protest against racism, they don’t realize that there won’t be anything to protest against if we don’t all come together and help with our agricultural community. This Ultra Red project is a very smart tactic when it comes to bringing a new way of activism into play. If we are not seeing problems, maybe listening to them will help the ideas be embedded into our minds.
“#BlackLivesMatter doesn’t mean your life isn’t important–it means that Black lives, which are seen as without value within White supremacy, are important to your liberation. Given the disproportionate impact state violence has on Black lives, we understand that when Black people in this country get free, the benefits will be wide reaching and transformative for society as a whole. We’re not saying Black lives are more important than other lives, or that other lives are not criminalized and oppressed in various ways. We remain in active solidarity with all oppressed people who are fighting for their liberation and we know that our destinies are intertwined” (Garza, 2014). The art piece I created is a reflection of this quote from the article “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement by Alicia Garza”. My art has a fairly simple look to it. It has the words #BlackLivesMatter in the center, with a picture of a brain right next to it titles “Society’s Mind”. The goal of this piece is to get the fact that #BlackLivesMatter into society’s mind, but it is a very hard thing to accomplish. The words move around every which way, representing the push back it receives from the rest of the nation. Even thought it is extremely difficult to move the words around the page, with determinations and patience, it can be done! I believe the same can hold true for the suture of equality in the United Staes, and eventually around the world. This movement is only a few years old, but has already had a huge impact.
In the document “Bodies in Code” by Mark B.N Hansen, the author states that, “Books don’t have to be so limited. They can intensify informational content and experience. Multiple stories can lie side by side on the page.... Words can also be colored and those colors can have meaning” (221). The last line of this quote stood out to me, because in art sometimes it is the words you are looking at, and maybe not so much the whole picture itself.
This quote inspired me to create a picture that had colored words and a black and white blackground, to add contrast. The words I chose based off of the meaning I had for the background image. The picture is of my youngest sister Molli, and they lyrics are from John Mayer’s song “Daughters”. The lyrics “I know a girl, she puts the color inside of my world” are my feelings that I have towards my sister. She is full of life, and has a very outgoing personality. She is very much an optimist, and I related all of these traits back to the words “color” and “life”.
For my second piece, I used the text “New Media & Society” by Jessie Daniels. In this text, Daniels states, “Such a theory is not especially robust when it comes to the task of explaining the vexing and pervasive appearance of racism in public comments online, which is better explained through a critical, dramaturgical framework that locates racism as a central concern”. This quote is located in the section Anything but Racism and talks about a number of scholars have pointed out the resistance to critically analyzing racism within social science.
This gave me the idea to work with a picture of my middle sister Mandi. She is in 8th grade right now, and is starting to being the stage in her life where she struggles with her appearance. She often talk about how her friends are “prettier” than her, because of the different traits they have. The poem I used to cover her face expresses how I want her to view herself. I know that she will be struggling with this for a few more years, but is she can keep these words in mind, than the rude social networking comments will not take a huge toll on her self esteem.
In Walter Benjamin’s text “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, there is one specific section that sticks out to me. Benjamin describes the difference between a magician, who can simply put his hand over someone and heal them, and a surgeon, who has to cut open and work deep inside a patient in order to heal them. He then relates these differences to a painter and photographer. The painter has it “easy” (I say easy not as in the amount of skill you need to have, but rather the distance they maintain in the work as a natural distance from reality.) They can just take whatever is in their mind and create it, whereas a photographer has to actually go out into the forest, city, oceanside, etc. to capture what mental image they want to create. “That of the painter is a total one, that of the cameraman consists of multiple fragments which are assembled under a new law.” (Benjamin, 10).
In my avatar creation, I decided to make myself into a half robot, half art person. I believe that inside all of us is a painter and photographer. Sometimes we have the tendency to just work with art as a reproduction of something (like how the Mona Lisa has been replicated many of times), but sometimes we utilize the new technology and create something that took more than a paintbrush or pen to create. The network of technology that plays a role in present day digital art (and even digital art in 1935) is extraordinarily huge. It takes a team of artists to create to create just one image. However, it is still incredibly beautiful to see an artist paint a masterpiece from a blank canvas, just as it would be incredible to witness someone heal the sick with just their hands.