steffen kugel: artist lecture and related student work: 8-18 Nov 2011


On Tuesday, November 8, artist, Steffen Kugel visited the class via Skype from Stuttgart, Germany. Kugel presented a lecture about the process of painting, tracing the trajectory of his own development.  Students were asked to engage in a similar process, creating abstract compositions, over-painting their compositions and repeating this process until a point of frequential satisfaction had been achieved.  The following are images of the various stages of the students’ projects along with documentation of Kugel’s lecture:

Steffen Kugel Bio:
Born in Ludwigsburg, Germany, 1982, Steffen Kugel studied at the State Academy of Fine arts in Stuttgart, Germany with Peter Chevalier and with Daniel Richter at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria.  Kugel has participated in numerous exhibitions and projects, including “onenightride=paroda+garsas,” Fluxus Ministerija, Vilnius, Lithuania; ,,nnot“ Golden Pudel Club, Hamburg, Germany; “nuovo vago,” Villa Floreal, Cadegliano, Italy; “schwierige naturen,” Christine König Galerie, Vienna, Austria; “seance,” Mobius, Boston; and “cash l’enfants,” Bordeaux, France.  Kugel currently lives and works in Stuttgart, Germany.

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NK Gallery

This past weekend, I was able to attend a gallery opening featuring my drawing teacher and another artist.  The exhibition took place at the NK Gallery in the South End.  The works of my professor focuses on abstracting the human figure and relating it to the CERN Large Hadron Collider.  He breaks down the figure into particles and imagines scenarios of different particles impacting with the body.  His work was particularly interesting to me because of the way it related to my own project.  Although we were both abstracting the human body, his work was entirely different from mine.  I abstracted the body in terms of systems while he broke it down even further into particles.  Overall, I found his work quite inspirational and would suggest you guys to go check it out.  Here is a link to the gallery’s site:


Final Art Reflection

Final Project Reflection: Going Home

My final art as process project was introspective and personal, and had a profound impact on me.  Reflecting back on the experience, I was eager to go into the process with the display in mind.  It took me some time to realize that it was all about the process and I needed to let go and just start to reflect on the concept of home and how many definitions and faces it can take on.  From the beginning of the semester, I started to collect materials such as magazine cutouts, pictures and lots of media, which interested me.  I drew and painted often and my creations did not always have a common theme.  I did interviews with my family, friends and classmates and took many videos and pictures while I was at home in California for Thanksgiving.  Although it took some time, I found the thread in my research file, which ultimately dealt with the tension between feeling comfortable where you are versus feeling lost in an abyss.  This was a powerful epiphany and allowed me to start thinking about my personal relationship with this tension and more specifically my relationship to the home, and how this is an ever-changing definition unique to each person.

            Once I collected all sorts of material associated with this concept, it came to life in the actual process of creating the piece.  I learned a lot about myself and in the process my distinctive relationship with “home” began to register.  I had many different ideas dealing with not only my own life but also with the place of the house as an institution and the definition of home in our society.  I collected media pieces, which dealt with the role of women in the home, as well as technology.  I wanted to tie everything into my piece somehow and in the end I felt very empowered by the final manifestation.  Honestly, I can’t explain all aspects of my piece because a lot of it came from somewhere deep inside and I can’t make sense of it all.  This is somewhat frustrating as someone who is always looking for the concrete answer, but I ended being very happy with this, and was inspired by the idea that viewers of the piece can create their own narratives about what it might represent.    

Brionna J: Research and Final Project thus far.

My final project in this class, as it exists now, is incredibly different from my originally planned trajectory. When we began, I had wedding fever. I still have wedding fever. And I wanted to burn from the inside out, in a blaze of cheap lace and fondant. Ok, that was dramatic and uninspired. Back to the point.


After talking with Amanda and classmates about my plans to have a “wedding-a-thon”, during which time I would plan several key elements of an ideal wedding day, all culminating in me “waiting for my groom” by the Charles river, I understood that such a plan is limited, and one dimension of a more complicated task I want to unpack: plans, aspiration, and a “fear of missing out”.


The next idea: creating a gallery of sorts, and displaying my own art, changing the pieces as individuals that fit different “demographics” come and go. In the final project, I will incorporate this gallery-esque quality in the presentation of the final project in class.


Last: interactions, or “touching the matrix” as I like to call it: not jus t ‘calling out’ our flaws, but direct action against them/ interacting with them, and forcing others to do the same. The majority of my project presentation will focus on how I planned interactions and interventions, and what happens afterward. They vary in range of “abstract” to “actual direct action”, from funny signs and posters and handbills that break up the monotony of our M-F 9-5 lives, to instances that send tremors to the core of the academic institution. You’ll see.


After much reconfiguring, I will still incorporate the wedding aspect, as a “mini-exhibit”, a study in art as process (planning as the art), through photographs. The development of my project has survived many phases of configuring and reconfiguring, only to settle uneasily on me, forcing myself to interact with a system, a network of strangers, in the name of interaction. Does that make sense?


To research my interactions and interventions, I have interviewed campus leaders, dancers, performers, and individuals who work for “grassroots organizations” and lobby in Davis Square for donations and education. These surveys and accounts of their lived experiences has been a credit to my understanding  these players in their individual spheres, and “doing them justice” through my planned interactions.


I’m excited to see what comes of it all!



    1. Adam Cohen “Living With Epilepsy” Research Fund for Young Adults
    2. Africana Studies Now
    3. Ask Me
    4. Save-a-Hipster Initiative
    5. Caution




    1. Guns for Toys for Kids for Guns
    2. Men-only and Women-only water fountains
    3. Men only and Women only restrooms (Tisch reading room restrooms are unisex)


Brittany’s Final Project

My final project focuses on the concept of home and how this idea has evolved and grown over the years.  I was inspired to create this piece of art because it combined what I have been personally thinking about ever since I moved to Boston from California.  This project idea was personal to me because I have moved around a lot in the last two years, spending every summer in a different place as well as last spring moving to South Africa for 6 months.  This project also appealed to me because it is tied to my interest in the overarching concept of home and space in our society-especially exploring the roles women and men play in the American home.  Through my research I made lists, and did many free-writes, exploring this concept of home.  The artists Amanda and Lily suggested I look at were also inspiring and thought provoking in terms of my final project.  This week being at home in California has allowed to me to critically think about what this place I come from really means, and how this meaning has changed over time.  I started to collect magazine cutouts, articles and videos-many of which dealt with the actual space of the modern home, and other media dealt with the expected role of the woman in society, marriage and the home.  I was not sure how my project would manifest but this week while at home, the process of having others do the exercise detailed below, allowed me to come up with an idea of creating a three dimensional structure out of cardboard, the front depicting a modern American home, while the back of the structure depicts intertwining paths in which all is distorted.  Before I left for break, I went to the recycling center and found cardboard, as well as other materials such as a keyboard to pull apart.  This project has evolved over time from my original midterm proposal, because I now want to add a media aspect to the final project.  I want the front of the structure, where the door would normally be, to be a space for a screen in which pictures as well as short videos will be displayed of different people in my life discussing their notion of home.  I am still home in California and cannot include photos of the structure I am building just yet.  I have photos that I took of my actual home as well as lists of words and photos of the drawings myself, and friends and family did exploring “home” as well as this notion completely distorted.  In a lot of what I discovered in research, home seems to be a comfortable space but on some level, also a space one is imprisoned to through various mediums.  I became increasingly interested in technology and our dependance to it, and how this connects us to our actualized space in our home.

In my process I made word lists in different contexts such as: institution, made-up, comfort, family, fleeting, safe haven, woman as passive and submissive, man as the worker and dominant; travelling, adventure, crushing the definition, feeling lost, not able to find my way home again; cooking, classes, homework, Fairmount, college, drinking, friends, feeling anxious.

I want to construct the “American home” covered in collage, drawing, recyclable materials etc., and I was able to partially film the  “American Thanksgiving” at home this week.  I was able to do so in an honest way, and this will be portrayed through the structure on a screen.  Below are photos I took while home, as well as videos from Thanksgiving.  Also attached are my own drawings and selected drawings from family members exploring the notion of home vs. the same thing yet perverse and distorted.

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