More about Specificity

Medium specificity is all about being direct and precise so when it comes to considering the essay this will be one of the most important things to have in mind.

-Arts & Crafts movements: “Truth to materials”

-Clement Greenberg: “concreteness, purity”

By acting solely in terms of their separate & irreducible selves. – (Media & technology theory). Specificity becomes apparent through both the medium and differential aspects.

Differential specificity for example is where an artist which likes to paint but once the works language has been engaged, you’re underlining a theory in some what way. – knowing how to use/work something.

why are you doing something? – The philosophical understanding – not just a painting (no longer autonomous).

William Morris creates a theory of which where he explains you’re trying to get the most out of your material, but always in such a way as honours it most. – Forget about being an artist, if you swap your material around you’re creating theory through/around your practise.

Clement Greenberg defends abstract art:- “To restore the arts identity, the opacity of it’s medium must be emphasized.” – When the painting is so realistic the medium is kind of disregarded. – Abstract brings depth/texture.

Medium specificity in media: Marshall McLuhan- To understand media you have to look at the effects. Is it natural that we can often see one medium through another?




Considering critical interventions

Stuart Hall: “Encoding / Decoding”


The Dominant (excepted but questioned/suspicious) and the Hegemonic (exceptance/believe it for what it is): Negotiated and the Oppositional.

What do we feel about the work and then what’s around the work? – Critical interventions.

Picking a case study:

How it’s perceived and taken in by the general public – reaction e.g. teachers banning collections such as the Garbage Kids.


Material used for artwork/sources researched to develop – make the work have an understanding. Critical understanding – The artist themselves e.g. could be a performance piece. – Experience – documenting places you’ve been – languages/ideas.

Comic strips- The Print being the medium? – Format/photography/screen all come as big potential examples as the medium specificity too.

Looking at specificity & within case studies

What is the medium specificity?

A medium is often specified through the material which is used for ones artifact and so forth but in these lectures we have started to learn and question this may not always be the case.

For example specificity could be identified as a relationship between the T.V. programme and it’s secondary sources and looking at case studies shall broaden our knowledge whether the medium would be individual or contrasted.

We have began by looking at the artist Jessica Stockholder who uses the quote;

“With Wanton Heed and Giddy Cunning, Hedging Red and That’s Not Funny”-Stockholder

Which is also the title of her exhibition, she used a diverse range of materials for the exhibition which included; heaters, tables, flourescent lights, ropes, cables, portakabins, shelving and filing cabinets, building materials, linoleum floor tiles, paint, lamps, red carpet, bowling ball, boat. This exhibition was a prime example of which to question and try to understand what the medium specificity actually is. The title is partially used from a poem she knows extremely well and her own words, creating a more personal context to which expresses her exhibition and creates this personal experience. Stockholder’s exhibition looks at boundaries and form in particular and whether the materiality and the dimensions of the installation actually have any boundaries. The exhibition expresses the things you may inexplicably like within medium, space etc and the way you see space and how easily this can be enhanced/changed. Perception comes out to play and things are left out for the public to ‘understand’. The exhibition revolves around the fiction and real life events. She also attaches ‘random’ objects together to further ideas of questioning the creation of an object/devise and steering away from the norm. In doing this she feels you’re letting go of the typical process and obvious structures of creation. stockholder wants the people to see how the world can actually more abstract and surreal than typical robotic processes of the everyday. With ‘Hedging red and that’s not funny’ Is a play on words she uses to question our own significance and importance. As she uses a bowling ball as a doorbell for form of entry, not needing to knock, you’re recognised as vip with red carpet treatment. The making of something new and fantastic such as the latest Iphone, is made into such a big thing but stockholder wants us to realise the oddest and most peculiar of things can be just as amazing.

So as well as questioning the mediums specificity, the mediums identity and use for its specificity becomes just as much as a question in it’s own right.


Blurring the image

Furthering on from my initial photography, I have gone onto developing the qualities of the images through blurring. From looking at William Klein’s and Anna Mendieta photography, I was inspired to take things a step further. This effect seems to pull through feelings of force and tension. I wanted there to be elements of uncomfort and the black and white to show the shadowing clearer. bands10-1

Distortion manipulations

With establishing my main interests towards distortion and possession, I wanted to explore some different ways I could distort my own face. The first experiment I worked with was elastic bands. This experiment didn’t need much exaggeration with the stretch I felt on my skin. As a sufferer of sleep paralysis and feeling all sorts of pain consciously but being able to do nothing about it is something in itself and I feel I’ve been able to enhance and express this with this manipulation in particular.

I think the next step is for me to look at some more artists which can further my development at this early stage. Artist’s such Arnulf Rainer, Hans Bellmer and Rebecca Horn.

Cardiff Museum: Selecting an artefact

One of our first tasks for Field was to go off in small groups and select an artefact which represented a part of home in some way, shape, or form. I was immediately drawn to this piece by Edmund De Waal, called Mur Porslen (2005). I really felt I could relate to this idea of order and structure, everything has a place and looks neat and tidy. When I’m home I often get frustrated with my mum, sister and brother in terms of clutter and messiness and this artefact strongly represents my ‘ideal world’. I would love everything to have a more modern and fresh feel, I enjoy the simplistic and the minimalistic as where my mum likes a lot of pattern and colour.

Although the artist speaks about how initially the ceramics may appear the same, they’re actually quite different from one another. The colourings are all slightly different, they all have different marks and the sizes differ throughout. There is the idea of perception which is tampered with, not everything is perfect even when you have slight OCD like myself.

Looking back at this work later I also saw some connections to my main project, as I am looking at distortion and distortion within sleep paralysis, this idea of each object being different and this notion of imperfections, I felt some strong connections. we may seem okay and one way at a glance but is all as it seems? These ideas sparked ideas of distorting the body and creating these dents and marks through the body. 65b73f588d28fa884ca386441d3b0225.jpgimg_0109