Provoking Viewer Participation
By bringing together personal evocation of words, images, audience,
and autobiography, a student’s own
art may confront such conflicting
identities as gender, ethnicity, artistic vision, intention, and self. When
students examine the power words
have upon them, they place themselves in a unique position to comment upon their own lives as well
as the world that surrounds them.
Autobiographical Art Making
In Projected Identities, students
fuse art-making processes and digital image manipulations in a series
of exploratory artistic self-exami-
makeup of your identity,
things such as:
• Words—things people have
said to you, things you have
read, things you have said.
• People—people you have known,
people close to you, people
who have treated you kindly or
unkindly or ignored you.
• Experiences—actions you have
engaged in, events you have witnessed, incidents you have heard
about, actions you’ve been forced
• Materials—items you own,
objects you desired, artifacts that
convey some importance to you.
Each, on their own is a significant
component; together they comprise
powerful influencers in the framework of your individual character:
the constituent autobiographical
parts of your personal identity.
Identities Projected Identities Pro
In your beginning there was just
you. Really—just you: cute,
round, and drooling, and if you
think about it, you probably
had very little in the way of identity.
The people who raised you were
probably part of your first perceptions. Then came the sights and
sounds and smells around you. You
experienced your first bump on the
head, the first scrape of the knee,
your first step—and someone along
the way probably put into words
or some similar rejoinder. In short,
from day one you began to experience the sensations that determine
how you became you.
What makes you who you are?
What makes you you? Think about
all the things that go into the
Inspired by Ken Aptekar
Words, in particular, can trigger
powerful emotions. In 1990, artist Ken Aptekar began to explore
the way language affected his life.
Aptekar’s audience may presume
much about his life from the careful
viewing and reading of his paintings. Drawn from fragments of
remembered childhood conversations, audience responses to his in-progress artworks, and memoir-like
passages, the artist includes his own
text as part of his paintings. These
responses are often deeply revealing
and personal phrases that embolden
a dialogue between Aptekar the artist and Aptekar the individual.