Embarrassing Object Empathy | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios | Summary and Q&A

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August 4, 2016
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The Art Assignment
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Embarrassing Object Empathy | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

TL;DR

Artists create sculptures and objects that embody their own discomfort and embarrassment, while also finding ways to empathetically fix objects in need of repair.

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Key Insights

  • 😑 Artists use sculptures and objects to express and confront their own sources of discomfort and embarrassment.
  • 🖐️ Materials play a crucial role in evoking feelings and challenging societal ideals of beauty.
  • 🚱 Non-corporeal sources of embarrassment can also be explored through sculpture and object creation.
  • 💔 Empathetic fixes offer a way to find meaning and purpose in repairing broken or discarded objects.
  • 🌍 Small actions of repair can have a significant impact in addressing the larger issues of brokenness in the world.
  • ❓ Sculptures and objects provide a lens through which to process and understand our own emotions and experiences.
  • 🧑‍🎨 Art assignments like these encourage artists to continue exploring their relationship with objects and materials.

Transcript

Hey guys, today I'm going to share with you some responses to our assignments, starting with embarrassing objects. And boy are they embarrassing. Geoff Oppenheimer's assignment asks you to create something that makes you feel uncomfortable out of a material or group of materials. Now John and I guessed that many of you would use the body as a point... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How do the artists use materials to evoke feelings of both repulsion and seduction in their sculptures?

High-Waisted Pantaloons and pointtothesky use materials like strawberry jelly and foodstuffs to create sculptures that evoke both repulsion and seduction, challenging societal notions of beauty and normalcy.

Q: How do the artists explore non-corporeal sources of embarrassment?

banal adventures and scijoy focus on non-corporeal sources of embarrassment, such as social awkwardness and the fear of not knowing things. They create sculptures that capture the moments of discomfort and help to normalize these experiences.

Q: How do the artists show empathy towards objects in need of repair?

Artists use various methods to empathetically fix broken objects. Some use unconventional materials like staples or stitching to repair objects, while others create prosthesis-like repairs that serve only the object's needs.

Q: How do the artists incorporate personal experiences and narratives into their creations?

Kristen uses images to represent the time spent in doctors' offices, highlighting the discomfort and awkwardness of living with chronic illness. Others, like my yearbydesign, find abandoned objects and create new narratives by adding their own stories or personal recipes.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Artists create sculptures and objects that represent their personal sources of discomfort, such as digestive disorders and body flaws.

  • Some artists use foodstuffs and unconventional materials to depict the human body and challenge societal ideals of beauty.

  • Others focus on the embarrassment surrounding breastfeeding or the comments made about body size.

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