Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some candids from good ol' Cedar Point

Features Riders stand instead of sit during this ride, one of the tallest and fastest stand-up coasters in the world, 52-degree first drop.
Height 145 feet
Length 3,900'
Speed 60 mph
The Millennium Force
Features First coaster to top 300 feet, broke 10 world records when it opened, 85-degree first drop, elevator cable lift system, tiered seating on trains, magnetic braking.
Height 310 feet
Length 6,595'
Speed 93 mph

Monday, May 17, 2010

Challenging Utopia: Oberlin College

Challenging Utopia: Oberlin College

I used this utopia project to question and critique the utopian nature of Oberlin College. Generally, the experience of college is intended to remove young adults from the reality of the “real” world and place them in a space where theoretically problems of the outside world cannot infiltrate. Oberlin College—similar to that of many other colleges—is constructed as a “utopian” space where students can benefit from this exclusionary environment in order to grow as artists, intellectuals, and individuals. My photographs serve to challenge this utopia, illuminating the artificiality, the irony and the contradictions that it embodies. Furthermore this project raises two questions: how real is the utopia of Oberlin? and who sustains this utopia of Oberlin?

My first photograph of Wilder Bowl represents the pulse and center of our progressive “utopian” community in which students lie complacent, while only two blocks away extreme poverty prevails. The second photograph serves to embody the lack of accountability enjoyed by students within this “utopia.” Lastly, the third photograph functions to address the political and social consciousness of the student body while paradoxically highlighting the nature in which students' utopian experience is catered to them, both literally and figuratively.

Persona Project: Tracing and Reconnecting With the Past

Persona Project: Tracing and Reconnecting With the Past

I used this persona project to explore the dynamic between my family history and my identity. These photographs serve to pay tribute to my paternal grandparents who were forced to flee Nazi Germany during the 1930s for being Jewish. The purpose of this homage is also to explore my identity and how the white privilege I enjoy in the United States is contingent upon the history of oppression of my grandparents. Although I have grown up hearing stories about my grandparents escaping and resettling in the United States, I often feel that I have become too removed from this history, in that I do not think enough about what my grandparents endured, and that my own white privilege is at the root of this problem. Thus, this project provides me with a vehicle to reconnect to my past.

The ideas for the images are based upon oral history that has been related through my father and grandmother. They are stories about escape and containment, as these interplaying concepts were the focus for these photographs. My father has told me stories about his father who was chased down alleyways in Germany, and forced to flee his home in Frankfurt in 1933. He fled to other European cities, before deciding to live in Milan, Italy for six years. However, as Nazism spread throughout Europe and into Italy, my grandfather saw escaping to the United States as his best and only option. While I intend to represent the literal sense of containment through these photographs, I also attempt to illustrate its figurative significance. Although my grandparents eventually found refuge in New York City, this does not mean they entirely removed themselves from their past, as they continued to experience psychological turmoil.

Lastly, to realize this project, I chose to wear my normal clothing, representing my present self and the privilege I enjoy, while wearing symbols or traces of the past to illustrate the history of my grandparents’ oppression. This project was also about the entire process—making the “jude” star, writing a concentration camp tattoo on my arm, and shooting these emotionally charged and tense shots in public spaces. The process was uncomfortable and all around unsettling. It enabled me to experience a glimpse of the hardships Frederick Beeler and Hilda Pels endured.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Images for Week 5/12 with some Marv and Yoko Action

Marvin Krislov, president of Oberlin College dances with Yoko Ono along with two professors of Creative Writing at Finney Chapel Thursday May 6th.

Julian Faulhaber

Marry Mattingly

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Emulation: Connections and Misconnections

For this project I emulated Duane Michals' Stage Narrative Film Still Sequence "Chance Meeting"

Here are my photographs with the statement below:

Connections and Misconnections

I chose to emulate Duane Michals’ staged narrative sequence piece “Chance Meeting.” Michals presents a six photograph series resembling film stills in which two men, presumably strangers, dressed in suits walk past each other in a backend alley. Both men recognize each other’s presence, but appear unsure as to how to interact with one another.

For my project, I intended to explore the concepts of connections and misconnections and crossing paths within a collegiate setting. Specifically, I wanted to explore how students located on a small campus interact with people whom they see regularly or daily, but don’t actually know. It happens quite often that two people, whose relationship may not extend past a shared class or a moment on the decafe line, walk past each other. These two people may recognize each other from some previous encounter, but when they cross paths with one another how do they choose to interact. I am curious to see and understand how two people in such a frequent and familiar scenario choose to comport themselves. “Do I say hi at all?” “At what point to do I say hi?” “Do I wait for the other person to say hi first before I do?” “What happens if I say hi and the other person does not notice?” These are all questions that are commonly posed by those within such a circumstance, and which in one way or another inform their actions. This piece aims to raise these questions and explore the manner in which people interact within this familiar but yet uncomfortable setting. In some instances a connection is made between those crossing paths and in others this is not the case.

Thanks to Gabriel Pollack and Samuel "Shmeel City" Lawrence.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mapping: Puerto Rico in Lorain, Ohio

For this project I chose to map the Puerto Rican community of Lorain, Ohio located only twelve miles to the north of Oberlin. It was in the late 1940s and during the 1950s that Puerto Ricans began to relocate to Lorain. This migration—I use this term because Puerto Rico is part of the United States—was the result of a national industrialization effort of U.S. Steel to bring over labor to work in their burgeoning factories. The migration at first was relatively small of mostly men, but within a few years the population began to grow in which entire families started to settle as well. As of 2000, the total population of Lorain was 68,652 with the Puerto Rican population amounting to about 25,000. The Puerto Rican community in Lorain is the second largest off of the island in terms of population percentage—after New York City—highlighting the importance of this community within the broader Puerto Rican Diaspora.

For the purposes of mapping I intended to map how an im(migrant) community constructs a home for itself within a space that is not their own, and the forces that these people dealt while settling. I specifically wanted to look at how such a migrant group whose home is in the tropical warmth of the Caribbean relocated to a place that was so drastically different—the industrial Midwest. I focused on the industrial steel landscapes, the large warehouse-type buildings, the forces that dictated life in Lorain and what Puerto Ricans did to make themselves feel at home. The photographs include the Puerto Rican Home (a community center), a mural located along Pearl Avenue (the main street within this community), and the U.S. Steel building.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Photos Week 5/3

Andrew Bush

Mohamed Bourouissa