Saturday, 1 August 2009

Creative Corner (5): Revelation of Seth Apter's DisCo Project

Pizza-&-Pistachio Art
The composition.

Part of The Altered Page
DisCo Project

under Seth Apter

Detail of the cat

Detail of the owl's head


The guitar...

Detail of the sheep (or hedgehogs?)


Blue owl
(courtesy of a Photoshop filter)

This piece of digital art can be interpreted in a way that suits the viewer. This viewer (who is also the maker) likes to think that she has created a couple of virtual pizzas. They are perhaps two-season pizzas rather than quattro staggione, for the bundle of components was only allowed to 'cook' in the open air for the duration of six months. This viewer hope that her picture may cause a smile. If it makes you think about the possibilities of re-using cast-off materials, well, so much the better. These pizzas are purely decorative. Enjoy!

Items re-used from the bundle:
  1. lavender sprigs (for glints in the sea and grey flecks in the owl).
  2. newspaper words (see 'treasures' in the sea).
  3. snail shell (which I tinted with glitter-glue to make it show up).
  4. buddleia flowers (for brown flecks in the owl)
  5. pistachios (for just about everything - the owl's guitar, the boat, sheep faces...)
  6. twigs (for the boat's mast and the neck and headstock of the guitar)
  7. kitchen towel (for flecks in the sea)
  8. moulted pet fur (for the owl's soft feathers and for the cat)
Items that vanished:
  1. stone
  2. piece of fence post
  3. kitchen towel roll
  4. palm leaves
Items added in to final picture:
  1. acrylic paint
  2. glitter-glue
  3. cardstock
  4. typed captions
  5. discarded sheep's wool
  6. a white polystyrene take-away box (which had contained my 'one weakness', chocolate cake!).
  7. two polystyrene pizza bases
'My collaborator is nature'
Seth of The Altered Page has been hosting the DisCo Project (aka the 'Disintegration Collaboration' Project) over a period of months, and many of us worldwide have enjoyed taking part. This is the culmination of months of work and weathering. This is the day when we reveal not only what the weather has done to our bundles but also how we have recreated something new from the remains of the items that we abandoned earlier on.
  • 16 February 2009: By this time I was (almost) one of 50 artists preparing a bundle of bits and pieces to expose to the elements. I only heard about the project rather late in the day, but I soon caught up with my fellow DisCo goers. It was my hope that the Welsh wind and rain would work wonders on my discarded treasure. Paul Valéry said that 'a poem is never finished, only abandoned', and I found this thought quite reassuring as I hung my bundle on our hydrangea bush, leaving it at the mercy of the elements. You can read about my original bundle here. Suffice to say it contained an assortment of bits and pieces from my garden that I felt would be fun to recycle - including a stone (which vanished), some sprigs of lavender, an empty snail shell and a piece of rotting fence post. I also included some moulted pet fur and some newspaper clippings of words that annoyed me or appealed e.g. 'risk', 'diet' (no prizes for guessing which camp this one fell into!) and - of course - 'treasures'.
  • 1 May 2009 (and here and here): we were invited to take a look at our bundles on May Day. You can read about my altered bundle here. My bundle had fallen apart and turned into two smaller ones. It was probably at this stage that the wood and the stone fell out. We were encouraged to decide for ourselves whether we left our remaining bundles outside a bit longer or whether we chose to bring them indoors. I left mine for a while, but decided fairly soon that if I was to have some items left with which to make the final piece of art, it would be best to do my salvage work while there was still time.
  • 1st August 2009: this is the day when all is revealed! The project has come full circle and our chosen items have been suitably weathered by the atmosphere, gathered in by human Wombles (us!) and turned into something new.
So what I have I gained from taking part? It has been fascinating to see how others have approached this exercise, and to visit blogs from the other side of the Atlantic (not forgetting the blog of the Weaver of Grass, closer to home). It has challenged my thinking about the value of detritus and has made me test out a theory that discarded pistachio shells can have a use after all! I went through a phase of throwing them on the garden as compost (like cocoa shells), but began to feel that they might entice rats. Seth's project has made me think again about the age-old question, 'what is art?'. Is it about beauty or worth or self expression? Do we paint - or write or sing or act or take photographs - to please others or to please ourselves? What compels us to exercise our creative instincts? How can these benefit society - and should they (or is it art for art's sake?). One of the good things about this DisCo project was that although we were collaborating with one another, we were not in competition because our real collaborator was nature itself.

Thank you, Seth, for inviting us to join the dance; and for opening our eyes to new possibilities, techniques and means of expression. Diolch yn fawr!


BT said...

What enormous fun your pizzas are! I just love them, so different. I love that some of your bundle 'disappeared'!! How funny. I can imagine some hedgehog trotting off with a kitchen roll! What a great project this is. Super work.

deb said...

I love the owl & the pussycat, although the jumbilies are still my favorites, really interesting what you disintegrated and what you came up with in the end!

ArtPropelled said...

Disintegration Pizza! there no end to the ingenuity inspired by Seth's projects. The blue owl is rather beautiful!

Jacky said...

I love your owl...especially through the blue filter. Very quirky and lots of fun.

Thanks for popping by for a visit too.


Dymphie said...

fun pizza's, love the little hedgehogs, so cute :) your post has some really great thoughts in it, loved to read it.

Nikki Lee Anne Ghilain said...

I am hungry for more!!!! Great post!

Crafty Green Poet said...

these are so much fun and so very creative examples of reuse....

Zoe, ontheroad said...

I love how it came together and almost edible. :)

Mrs Pretzel said...

It's been totally fun seeing how other artists are experiencing this experiment!! So cool.

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

I love that owl! I also like how you listed the items used and those that went missing in action...and your response to the whole project. It has been awesome hasn't it?

Thanks for visting me:)

Anonymous said...

Clever and quite a mix.

TBM said...

I adore your pizzas! How very creative and fun :-) Cheers from Holland. (Where I talk about art)

poefusion said...

Those pizzas are cool. I especially like how it looks like an owl. I think nature is beautiful and to use so many used items was simply creative. Have a great day.

Wayne Pitchko said...

wonderful pizzas

Anonymous said...

how fun!!

Anonymous said...

its wonderful!

~*~Patty S said...

fun and thought provoking too!