This week our art activity consisted of an ‘art care package’. Care packages are packages that are typically sent to friends or loved ones; these parcels are typically filled with meaningful or memorable items, photos, notes, etc. I decided to send an art care package to my 21 year old brother who lives out in Arkansas. The goal was to create a care package centered around education because he is currently a student at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville studying Computer Science. I included many items that we intended to be though provoking, motivational and inspirational. I included a map to fuel my brothers curiosity of the world. Whether it is politics, environm
ent, art, or history, a map can be used as a reference for his geography questions, maybe even inspire him to occasionally daydream about future travel destinations. I then included a yearly planner that has been filled with all of his important school dates for the upcoming year. My intention with the planner was to
help him stay organized because we all know how easy it is to forget projects and papers that are due months ahead of time. Next, I drew an animated brain and framed it because just got a new apartment might needs some hand crafted art. The brain was drawn with sharpie and colored markers. The left side clearly demonstrates the logical side of the brain that focuses on tasks like mathematics and science. The right side has bright colors and curved edges to represent the creative side our brains. I included a magazine about backpacking to inspire his explorative side. My brother loves to hike, camp and visit new wilderness places. Finally, I made some homemade inkblots with black paper and acrylic paint. The purpose
of included this inkblots was to sparke thought inducing ideas. Each viewer sees something different with these in blots that can possibly explain what is on our subconscious. Art therapy in a way? I actually sent these images to 20 of my friends and family to see what ea
ch person saw.
It was fascinating to see the results. Most everyone saw something different and each answer was correlated with the different personality types. Finally, I included a starbucks gift card and some snacks to keep the brain and body alert and health to spark new ideas!
- How is sending someone an ACP similar to sending someone a Snapchat?
Both an ACP and Snapchat message are similar in that they can be sent to specific people. Both are forms of communicating, transferring a message through personalized items.
What differentiates snapchat from other apps is that the photo or video that is sent can only be accessed for 10 seconds or less. There is an option to save an image of the display on the phone screen also called a, screenshot. The ACP is different from snapchat because the content can be kept for an infinite amount of time. A care package has substantial items that can appeal to certain senses that snapchat can’t like smell or touch. What if you did keep that coachella bracelet that still smells like sweat, dirt and pot? What you kept that movie ticket that was still covered in greasy popcorn butter? Snapchat and technology in general can not replace these cherished qualities.
3. What do you think of ephemera? Is it precious? Or trash? Does it gain in value over time? Does your grandma’s parking ticket from half a century ago mean something to you? What about her tickets from Woodstock? What might your grandkids think if you one day gave them the bead bracelet you wore at Coachella?
I agree that some ephemera can gain value over time and some can grow from treasure to trash. For example, I have kept everysing birthday and holiday card I have received. It’s a small box of maybe 100 letters. Doesn’t take up much space but every year I add new card and end up going through the pile. I even kept the ones from random family friends who hardly knew me and didn’t even spell my name correctly. Everytime I look back at them it becomes increasingly more entertaining. For me it is fascinating to reminisce on all these vivid memories from all the years that each card evokes. Other times I go through my old papers and see flyers and tickets and receipts that I end up throwing away after a certain amount of time.
4. Is there a difference between art that is seen by many people, like a painting in the Museum of Modern Art, and art that is seen by few, like the ACP you send to someone?
I think the largest difference between the art we see in a museum versus on snapchat is the amount of experience that that artist has. The work we see in museums is created by artists who have studied and created and lived their lives through art.
5. You can take a Snapchat and a friend on the other side of the globe can view it, all within seconds. To make an ACP and send it even to a nearby friend will take days. Does this time and effort difference mean something? How is fast better? How is slow better?
Fast can be better because it allows the receiver to respond to the message right at the moment it occurred. Snapchat is ‘realtime’ photos and videos. The app does not allow to send any previous photos/videos without notifying the one who receives the photo. This can make snapchat more personable because you know what is going on at that exact moment in their lives. However, the time it takes to create a ACP says something about the amount of time, money and effort it took to make it happen.
6. People sometimes say things like prepare a meal with love. Can you prepare a meal with love as fast as you can get food at a McDonald’s drive-thru? Does an ACP have the possibility of containing a sort of “love” different from a Snapchat?
I do not believe that the quality of art can be accurately measured by the amount of time that it took to create it. Snapchats allows everyone to become a photographer, videographer, blogger and artist. I think that with experience your work, whether on a app on a phone or in an art studio, will gain value and depth. Snapchat is art but technological art. Who are we do limit the definition of that that can or cannot be created on a phone. 16.5 million people actively use snapchat everyday. Also, just because a snap is only 10 seconds long, doesn’t mean it took 10 seconds to create it. People take and retake shots for the perfect lighting or timing. And then these takes can be combined to create a longer story.