Thursday, December 10, 2009

Final Project

Dream Catcher 1.0
Yarn, wood, synthetic bird ornaments
Yarn used to bind wood; birds attached with wire


  1. Max Farrell

    In Zoe’s piece, “Dream Catcher 1.0”, she takes the concept of smaller-sized dream catchers that children commonly make and significantly increases the size to create a much larger and much more sophisticated work. Constructed primarily out of yarn, wood and synthetic birds, the material choice was interesting due to the color scheme chosen and the type of wood selected. The two wooden pieces have an interesting balance, as Zoe found two branches to hold the dream catcher together that were completely separate from one another.

    Inside the yarn portion of the dream catcher, the values of the colors shift from a warmer red, yellow and orange to a more somber blue, with warm colors clearly being the more dominant. The pattern of repetitive colors leads the eye towards the yellow center of the dream catcher, giving off a visual tunnel effect.

    The synthetic yellow birds placed near the center and on the top of the dream catcher give off a vibrant appearance that brightens the piece just a little bit more. However, the bird that is left of center is a bit off-putting as it distorts the repetition and tunnel effect that the yarn pattern attempts to accomplish.

    I’m not quite sure how transience is accomplished in this piece, unless Zoe is hinting at the fact that like most other material things, nothing lasts forever.

    I do like the decision to place the title of the piece on the actual piece, giving the appearance of a label that could potentially be sold. What is even more interesting is the decision to add “1.0” to the title, which tends to happen in more corporate and industrial markets, than in a small-time souvenir shop, where dream-catchers can usually be purchased.

  2. I would like to respond to Max's critique, which brings up really interesting points and indicates to me that certain aspects of my piece do not hold for the viewer the significance I had intended.
    Although the content of the piece is not integral to appreciating its formal elements, it is paramount to understanding why the formal elements are as they are. Firstly, the notion of transience is invoked by the title and the more superficial subject of the work--dreams. The 1.O which appears at the end of the title refers to the transience of technological invention, which is constantly developing and rendering itself obsolete. Thus, hypothetically, this is the first dream catcher of many as the technology of 'catching dreams' inevitably improves--which partly accounts for overlarge size (it will also become smaller as the technology advances). The title attached to the work implies its commodification--that it is a product, to be sold, which performs a function. This whole idea is ironic, however, because no technology actually exists for catching dreams, and to claim that one does--especially one as transparently 'a-technological' as my sculpture, is just very silly. Which also speaks to the very real limits of what we often see as a realm of _unlimited_ innovation. The placement of the bird off-center is meant to evoke the image of a bug caught in a web--the dream catcher has _caught_ a flighty (transient) animal. I hope that this explanation will make the piece more enjoyable.

  3. Thank you both for the interesting exchange. This exemplifies the difficulty in both creating and reading explicit meanings in works of art. It seems as though the form keeps us thinking about dream catchers rather than dreams. Transience of form seems out of place in an object that is woven together (stuck in place) and makes use of artificial objects, because I am not thinking of dreams. So there are a few questions, that are not easily answered: How can an object/image be a signifier for dreams? And how does this object/image become ironic?