This project, for me, was a great learning experience in how to be self directed. It was also a great way of seeing how an art project can yield a real life application, that goes beyond a class assignment. I enjoyed many aspects of this project, but I feel as though my biggest take away came from the beginning stages. Through practices of observation, I was able to see where my true interests lay, and what I paid attention to most when observing both specified and neutral environments. I found a lot of joy in simply observing others, and how they interacted with one another. Whether it be with people they knew, or exchanges between strangers, I found it fascinating to consider these relationships. These observations are what led me to my final project idea. Because of this class, I have become more well versed in the importance of the pre-stages to a project, and how they hold just as much value as the final outcome. I was forced to slow down and consider each step of my ideas, and why I wanted to do what I wanted to do. At first, this was challenging, as I have been accustomed to the fast paced nature of projects in college, as well as my tendency to want to rush to the final project in my own art. By taking things step by step, I found a greater appreciation for loving the process, which I will carry with me in future work.
I also learned a lot about my interest in people, particularly understanding how we relate to one another. Romantic relationships have always been of interest to me, because it is something that makes me slightly uncomfortable, and I am not sure I have ever quite grasped the main goal. These feelings can be quite isolating, which is why I wanted to create something that brought people together, even if in an arbitrary way. With today’s fast paced society, particularly in dating culture, there is such a desire for immediate gratification, that there seems to be an overall desensitization to these feelings which always seemed so special. This was something that I wanted to focus on throughout the process.
My favorite part of the process was getting to interview people and hear stories of their own highs and lows, as it felt like a great way to connect to someone, even without knowing them all too well. It was also fascinating to delve deeper into how my generation views ‘love’ as a subject matter, and a part of their life. I discovered that there was an overall cynicism to it, which made me quite sad, but nonetheless was interesting to discover.
With this project, I feel as though I learned about the importance of considering what I wanted others to take away from my art. In conversations with my peers, and critics, I was pushed to really think about what my end goal was. In the past, I feel as though most of my art has been self serving, but through this process, I feel like I have found a desire to focus on how the work I do could impact others, and think about what I want their take away to be. This project became equal parts selfish and selfless, as it was cathartic for me to hear these stories and ease my own feelings of loneliness, but was also a chance to give people the opportunity to be heard. Because of this I have a great desire to make art that encourages people to embrace the discomfort that comes with building new relationships, in any sense of the word.