Cooper Hewitt Objects Analysis

Find 2 projects that you feel in some way contest our relation with the world, be it our perception of reality, sense of self, cultural beliefs, etc. Post a photo of each project and explain:

  1. why did you choose these 2 pieces?
    Cooper Hewitt is filled with various different types of interesting and unique artworks and objects. However, two of the things that stood out to me were this green 3D printed vase and a wallpaper that displays three different scenes whenever different light shines on it. The green 3D printed vase definitely stood out to me because it is a unique spin on the appearance of a traditional vase and its complex structure is just simply captivating. This object also strongly aligns with the assignment that we’re doing in class, as in my opinion, it could be depicted as a provocation piece. In my perspective, the complex structure of the vase could act as a symbol for a lot of different factors. In my perspective, this piece is a representation of someone’s inner personality being shielded from the outside world. As vase commonly connotes to fragility, this object opposes that connotation, as it is made out of a solid-looking material. This could mean that the person is building up walls to protect themselves from the bad things happening around the world. I find this particularly relatable to our society, as people nowadays often get to know someone for a purpose, and that purpose may not always be positive. An example of this may be while we’re working in the business world, people may manipulate other people just to gain some benefit for themselves, as people in our era could be said to be more money-minded. This idea of mine is enhanced through the use of the vivid color, green. As green is not a common favorite color, this might hint at although people disagree with the idea of manipulating other people, at times they would still do it without realizing.

    As for the other piece, one of the scenic wallpapers particularly stood out to me as when I first saw it, it confused me. One of the things that I’ve noticed was that whenever a light is shone onto the wall, I would able to see the other two scenes clearly, and I was not able to properly see this particular scene clearly without squinting. While analyzing this photo, I produced two different interpretations; one being a group of people celebrating and another being a group of people fighting against each other. In my perspective, this photo strongly correlates to what is happening in our society nowadays as both war and celebrations are constantly happening around us. This photo highlights the imperfections of the world we live in right now. An example of this would be Malaysia. As there are many different cultures in Malaysia, there are often disputes over the different cultures and beliefs that people have. However, although people do fight over factors like that, we appreciate having the different cultures around, as we get to learn about other cultures and their food and tradition. The closeness of people in the picture could be a representation of how people are still close regardless of their differences.

  1. What are the qualities of those 2 projects that make them “contestational, “adversarial,” “speculative”?
    Both of the artworks are speculative, as in the first picture, not a lot of detail is given, both in the object itself and the information tag. Hence, this provides the viewers with a lot of space for interpretation. The modernism and uniqueness of the object further emphasize the idea that this is a speculative piece, as it is not something that people are used to, hence they won’t be able to use other similar objects as a reference.

    For the other piece, it could be interpreted as it is speculative and contestational. It is speculative as the portrayal of the image isn’t very clear due to the different lighting, and the viewers will have to squint to see the picture clearly. The lack of clarity again provides viewers space for interpretation. The picture could be said to be contestational as the photo is portrayed in a way that it looks like the people are fighting, and the closeness between them could also indicate that there is a fight going on. The background of the picture could also represent this idea of conflict, as it is really messy and it provides viewers feeling a sense of hecticness.

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