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  • May 25, 2016, 03:49:09 PM

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Author Topic: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".  (Read 5588 times)

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Team HoundMom

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #105 on: May 11, 2016, 10:27:03 AM »
Is she making money from this?

"Order Now" for $50 US!  Plus shipping.

So yeah, not only is she using my hypothetical RBF or natural human curiosity without my hypothetical permission, she's also making a profit from it. 

(I didn't read the whole page, so if someone finds where she's donating a portion to charity please correct me.  I highly doubt it though.)

Edit: posted before I saw Zizi-K's response that the book likely isn't making money.  But still.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 10:29:12 AM by Team HoundMom »

mime

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #106 on: May 11, 2016, 10:30:52 AM »
Is she making money from this?

"Order Now" for $50 US!  Plus shipping.

So yeah, not only is she using my hypothetical RBF or natural human curiosity without my hypothetical permission, she's also making a profit from it. 

(I didn't read the whole page, so if someone finds where she's donating a portion to charity please correct me.  I highly doubt it though.)



I some book artists who do make a living from their work, and this could fit in the category of "book art," but $50 would be a steal for that, so my guess is that she's not making much actual profit.



KenveeB

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #107 on: May 11, 2016, 10:44:42 AM »
Zizi-K, there is no proof that these people are looking at her because she's fat. That may be your and her opinion and the opinion of many, but that doesn't make it fact.  Also, I would be really angry if my picture was included because how the hell can she read my mind? That's right, she can't, nor can anyone else make that assumption from a candid picture.

Is she making money from this?

From the project text: " I do not know what the passersby is thinking." I don't know what else to say about all of this anger by proxy.

But the entire purpose of the book is that she thinks they're judging her. There's no point to it otherwise. Her entire commentary is on that. She hand-selects one out of hundreds of pictures where she thinks someone looks judge-y, puts it in a book about people being judge-y, and says "Don't these people look like they're judging me? I sure think they're judging me. I mean, I can't know for sure, but man do they look judge-y!" Her half-hearted disclaimer doesn't remove the entire purpose of her book.

She says she's trying to start a conversation. From her own commentary, the conversation is supposed to be about fat-shaming, not about people who read too much into other people's innocent expressions.

Psychopoesie

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #108 on: May 11, 2016, 10:54:52 AM »
Zizi-K, there is no proof that these people are looking at her because she's fat. That may be your and her opinion and the opinion of many, but that doesn't make it fact.  Also, I would be really angry if my picture was included because how the hell can she read my mind? That's right, she can't, nor can anyone else make that assumption from a candid picture.

Is she making money from this?

From the project text: " I do not know what the passersby is thinking." I don't know what else to say about all of this anger by proxy.

As for whether she's "making money", she did hold a Kickstarter to fund the book. But the publishing world is such that most art or academic books do not make money, as in profit, for the author/artist. Profit is usually only possible with large print runs. The price of book in this case the serves to cover, or just subsidize, the printing cost. So, while I don't know for sure 100%, I highly doubt that money has been made. The limited print runs alone would make it difficult to recoup the costs of four color high quality printing.

While I do often find myself in the minority opinion on these boards, it has been an interesting experience to be utterly alone in my opinions. I can see that my own experiences in an academic art-related field, in which I've come into close contact with artists like the one we're discussing, has shaped my views in a way that is not widely shared. I think I've expressed everything I have to say about this topic, and I've enjoyed doing it respectfully and in the spirit of civil debate, as has everyone else, and for that I thank you all.

You're not utterly alone in your opinion, Zizi-K, though definitely in the minority. I posted earlier that I did not see the artist making interesting assumptions. I've been following this thread and recall a couple of others at least making comments that disagreed with the majority view in some way.


lmyrs

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #109 on: May 11, 2016, 12:05:50 PM »
I am not personally involved in the art industry today. Though I have a number of friends and family members that are professional artists. (As in that is how they make their living and they are successful at it. It's not a side job.) There are performance artists (acting for TV or stage and musicians) and there are visual artists (painters mostly, but a couple photographers and one sculptor) in my family. Some of their work I love, some I hate, some I am indifferent to. But never once has any of them ever suggested that I just don't understand their work because I don't like it. It is insulting to suggest that because I think that this particular piece of art is terrible and, frankly, unethical that I just "don't get it".

The artist is talking is talking out of both sides of her mouth. She's having her cake and eating it too. "I experience micro-aggression and fat shaming. People give me dirty looks because I'm fat. Look at these photos I published of people giving me dirty looks. Let me tell you stories about specific subjects of these photos that prove my thesis that every dirty look in these photos is because I'm fat." Then an afterthought, "Well some of them may not be about me being fat. But I'll lump them in with all these ones that I know are about my weight and then claim that I'm not judging others thoughts in exactly the way I claim to be judged."

She's a hypocrite. Am I "angry" about it? No. But I'm frustrated and annoyed because she is doing no one any favours, including herself. What she is doing is effectively slander. (Not in the legal definition of the word. I'm not a lawyer and don't claim to know any US law.) But she is flat out lying about some of these people and just because she's not lying about all of them doesn't make it ok.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 12:08:39 PM by lmyrs »

TeamBhakta

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #110 on: May 11, 2016, 03:44:56 PM »
The artist is reminding of a past contestant from The Apprentice; someone changed a false story from "that guy threatened me" to "welll...he made me feel unsafe" after footage proved her wrong  ::)

Goosey

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #111 on: May 11, 2016, 04:03:50 PM »
Her webpage selling the book refers to these people as "Wait Watchers". I don't think that's very subtle

Here is one quote directly from her website that I have a problem with:
Quote
After I got the film developed I noticed that there was a man behind me and he appeared to be sneering at me. It intrigued me that even though we were in the sensory overload capital of the world and he is being photographed by someone, he was fixated on me

She captured a momentary glimpse at this man, but he was fixated on her?

And her art seems to be full of those dualities that contradict each other
  • While I do not know what the passerby is thinking, my goal is to reverse the gaze back onto the stranger and start a conversation. What conversation? Did she interview these people and ask what they were thinking? Did she say, "This is what I thought they were thinking vs. this is what they were actually thinking? No. So, who is the conversation with?
  • She isn't assuming what they think, but she very strongly implies in her interviews and her title (Wait Watchers) that they must be thinking something bad about her because of her looks and weight.
  • If you look at her pictures, she is very often doing something to call attention to herself. In several, she is striking an odd pose in the middle of a walkway at the beach. Yeah, I'd glance at her to and not because of her weight. In another, she's in the middle of another walk way, stretching a dress far to small for her across her belly. One woman passing her looks at her. Doesn't even seem to be judgy- just looks. Actually, looking at most of her pictures, she is usually standing in the middle of the walk way doing something. In some of them, these people don't even look like they are looking at her.

I just don't think you can state in one breath that people judge you for your weight all the time and how you look and then in the next breath say you're not saying that these people you published pictures of are doing that and be believable and truthful.



gellchom

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #112 on: May 11, 2016, 04:06:04 PM »
Zizi-K, you are not alone at all.  I really see both points of view in this fascinating discussion.  I said it before, but it bears repeating: thank you all for such thoughtful posts.

I agree with most of Zizi-K's points.  But I also find myself agreeing with those posters who point out that the artist is trying to have things both ways, as Artk and Goosey pointed out, and as Kiwipinball put it:

What she is essentially trying to document is microagressions

And that's my point. She's effectively accusing these people of microagressions with absolutely no evidence. That's unethical. Her "well, I don't really know what they're thinking" is just a weak attempt at plausible deniability. What she's really saying here is "People look at me funny because I'm fat. Oh, here are a bunch of random people I've photographed looking at me. But I can't be sure it's because I'm fat (wink wink.)"

Pod.  Absolutely.

Yes! I understand how difficult it must be to document microagressions and I do not doubt for one second that she does experience them. It just seems disingenuous to present a project like this and then act surprised if people assume she's accusing these specific people of the microagressions. I understand her desire to do an art piece like this, but I don't think there's really a good way to do it. Despite her claims to the contrary, I really come away with the impression that she believes that at a minimum the majority of the people she photographed are judging her for her weight. And a lot of people have the same impression. And maybe she truly didn't mean it that way - but I don't think it should be a surprise to her that people would think that. Otherwise why would she need the disclaimer in the first place?

So I guess where I come down is that I think both points of view are true.

darkprincess

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #113 on: May 12, 2016, 02:52:42 PM »
I finally went to the books website to see some of the pictures. I am about her size, not that it matters.

She clearly had a tripod set up in the middle of a walk way. In most of the pictures she had awkward poses that would draw attention to her. I likely would have looked at her oddly, even annoyingly in all of the pictures I saw except the one where she was at a stop light. In some I would have looked annoyed, but it would be because she is blocking walkways with her posing and camera equipment. In others I would have just had an odd expression because I would be trying to figure out what she was doing.

What I did find interesting was that on the website to her book she has named each picture so that the reader will be drawn to who is making the face. For example one is called "stripes" and the person has striped pants on. One is called "turtle" and the person is wearing a turtle inner tube. But one caught my eye, she called it "Thor" and she is referring to a tall man with long blond hair. It just seems weird to name the picture that when she is making a statement about judging.

This is art, and she may be making a point but for me the point is lost because the pictures are staged due to her camera equipment and poses likely being the thing that makes people look. To me she looked like a totally normal person in fake awkward poses trying to draw attention to herself.


wolfie

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #114 on: May 12, 2016, 03:08:51 PM »
I finally went to the books website to see some of the pictures. I am about her size, not that it matters.

She clearly had a tripod set up in the middle of a walk way. In most of the pictures she had awkward poses that would draw attention to her. I likely would have looked at her oddly, even annoyingly in all of the pictures I saw except the one where she was at a stop light. In some I would have looked annoyed, but it would be because she is blocking walkways with her posing and camera equipment. In others I would have just had an odd expression because I would be trying to figure out what she was doing.

What I did find interesting was that on the website to her book she has named each picture so that the reader will be drawn to who is making the face. For example one is called "stripes" and the person has striped pants on. One is called "turtle" and the person is wearing a turtle inner tube. But one caught my eye, she called it "Thor" and she is referring to a tall man with long blond hair. It just seems weird to name the picture that when she is making a statement about judging.

This is art, and she may be making a point but for me the point is lost because the pictures are staged due to her camera equipment and poses likely being the thing that makes people look. To me she looked like a totally normal person in fake awkward poses trying to draw attention to herself.

So you made me want to see the pictures on her page. She has a lot of really weird poses in those pictures. I would probably look funny at someone standing like that too, just because I would be wondering what she is doing. A lot of them don't look natural and if they are for her then I would probably be wondering if she had some kind of issue that made her stand that way.

EllenS

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #115 on: May 15, 2016, 03:20:41 PM »
Having read some of the other articles about this artist, here's what I find interesting:

She (and the journalists) refer to herself as the artist, and the actual photographer as her "assistant." I didn't find a name or any sort of credit for the photographer in the pieces I read. So her art is not photography. It's a type of conceptual or performance piece, which is mostly based in her writing to give it meaning and make her point. For example, I'd never have noticed the teenage girl in the series "Gelato" without the story that accompanied it.

Most artists I know would consider this work a collaboration between a photographer (which is an art form of its own), and a writer. And yet, the person responsible for composing and producing the images is completely erased, and Ms. Morris-Caliefero claims the images as her own.

I wonder why the "assistant" agreed to forgo any credit? I actually find this much more interesting than the quotes or statements by the artist about being looked at, feeling self-conscious, reflecting the gaze, etc.

These images are actually the work of someone who's been rendered invisible, nameless, and voiceless.

ETA: I do ghostwriting for money, so I certainly don't think transfer of authorship is inappropriate if fairly agreed to. It's just a dimension I find intriguing - the unspoken and unseen, providing work that is all about appearance and exposition.

It is a common misconception that everything an artist does must come from his or her own hand. That is, in fact, not the way that art has been produced for most of its history. Michelangelo did not, in fact, paint the entire Sistine chapel by himself, he worked with a team of assistants. Sculptors throughout history were people that made maquettes, or miniature sculptures, detailing their design, and then these were reproduced at life size by bronze workmen or stone carvers. There's the more recent conceptual art movement in which artists wrote directions to be carried out in various venues by other people. The fact that the artist works with an assistant poses no difficulty in her claim to authorship of these images.

Zizi, I'm sure you didn't mean to sound so very condescending, but you did.

I have a pretty extensive education and experience in art, art history, performance, and art analysis/criticism, as well.

One of the most important things I learned is that disliking an artist's work, or disagreeing about it, does not make someone ignorant or unenlightened.

Indeed, the most experienced and talented artists I've known and worked with/for, use the least amount of academic jargon and tend more to respond viscerally and in a  matter-of-fact way to a piece of work.

I am well aware of the philosophical constructs of authorship, apprenticeship, the studio system, etc. It's always been based in a power dynamic, and I think questioning power dynamics is a very useful and intriguing way to look at art.

I think 1) the invisibility/anonymity of the shooter is the most interesting dimension of a piece that is all about being conspicuous, and 2) for reasons/theories of my own, I'm very curious about the one reference to the assistant as "she," and wonder if the artist's assistants are more often or always female.

IME, now that our society no longer functions on an apprenticeship model, women are more likely to accept erasure than men., and men are more likely to push for co-credit.

There is always more to talking about art than "attacking" or "defending" it.

Wordgeek

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Re: This book is full of "interesting assumptions".
« Reply #116 on: May 16, 2016, 08:51:50 AM »
Constructive, on-topic discussion has ceased, so thread closed.


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