II, III, etc.

About Time

No, not a story about time but one that begins with it. As a matter of fact, it was about time I produced a chapter of Vivee’s chronicles in a visual storytelling mode.

So, without further blabbering, here’s what went on between little Vivee and the monstrous pile of plastic we’ve been mentioning here and there in the previous chapter.

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Wakey Wakey

As the saying goes, all good things come to an end. Bad ones do too, FYI. Point being, we should experience both of them fully while they’re still ongoing because there is nothing worse than not living in the present. As often before, I am guilty of slipping into common proverbs and banalities but, I must say, I find them fascinating. After all, they are debatable mirrors of societies, to some extent (and I just love questioning them).

Anyhow, one day you might wake up in your next chapter not really sure how you got there or what happened in the previous one. So here I am, taking my time to reflect upon the first chapter of Vivee’s chronicles in the mesmerizing land of RCA.

The past month has been a journey full of peaks, in both directions, constantly juggling between the desire to push ourselves creating something new and outside our comfort zone and the frightening awareness of a possible complete failure waiting right around the corner. When my group and I chose the topic of uncertainty, we were looking forward to exploring the multitude of branches such tree presented itself with, but we quickly realized that our intriguing broad topic could have also so easily become our biggest enemy. 

To me, the desire, or even just the curiosity, of possibly cheating death through creation, seemed one that the majority of people could understand and, to some extent, resonate with. After all, death is an undeniable reality of life, isn’t it? I might be wrong, but I keep being attached to this line of thinking. After long pondering and introspection, I realized that all the resistance I was feeling towards my individual response was linked to my own fears. Fear of being forgotten, fear of being misunderstood or just of being wrong

Simultaneously, I wanted to create something different. This choice was so fundamental in itself that I realized the action had to be the focus of my artwork, therefore embracing the path of performative art. As I was frenetically taping and sealing my canvas in bubble wrap, I suddenly realized that what I was truly wrapping were my very own fears. 

I can’t say whether I have succeeded in my delivery nor where this will lead me to, as it has been an experience particularly out of character for me. Certainly, it has opened the doors to a new line of thinking and a new dimension where any door should, or can, be opened and any uncertainty is more than welcomed to walk in.  

To Wrap or Not To Wrap?

Since my recent “Wrapping Up” post became way longer than expected, I have opted for putting it on pause and resuming it as an embedded paragraph within the chapter. Also, to be honest, I needed some time to put into words my vision for the bubbly performance I am planning to execute next week.

Let me just start by saying I am not a performance artist. I have very little knowledge of the subject to even dare express an opinion (“publically” obviously, I do have my own feelings and thoughts but they ought to remain private for the time being). I have been investigating some artists’ work in the past few weeks but, the more performances I witness, the more I feel I should stop looking at others and just commit entirely to giving it my full self.

As I was previously mentioning, I have decided to approach the whole project with an ironic take, as it is the most “truthful” response I can provide to the initial manifesto. Death is a pretty scary certainty in our lives, but I also think it has a comforting aspect to it. It’s almost as if, when everything else fails, that simply won’t.

Regardless of my personal, vaguely controversial, opinion, I am aware that talking about death-related topics can be quite unsettling for many. Therefore, how to deal with such discomfort? Jokes, jokes, jokes.

In my artwork, I am going to perform a Chaplin-esque kind of action and tape it for record purposes. It won’t be an entirely staged performance in itself, as it will just exaggerate what I believe to be a common human instinct: preservation. Whether it’s of the self or of something we care about, people tend to want to preserve things. And memories? Probably even more so.

The concept behind my work is to push such desire beyond its socially acceptable limit, to embody the craze and the passionate willingness of preserving an artwork along with the memory of its artist. Here is where my metaphor about watery bubbles comes back (I did say I was going somewhere with it, didn’t I?). Bubble wrap will be my faithful companion in this new adventure and, along with some good old irony and plenty of recycled plastic wrap, I will try to express my concept and ignite in people questions they perhaps didn’t even think to ask themselves in the first place.

You know, just to generate some more uncertainties.

When Two Wrongs Make it Right

I know it’s not the way it goes and, even with a skeptical backbone like mine, always questioning the norms of common everyday life, I have never felt like rejecting this well-known statement. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Fair enough. Also, we don’t want to see the world go blind, do we?

I’m done with commonplace proverbs.

Rewinding to a couple of days ago, I was trying to draw some hypothetical scenarios for the upcoming performance of next week. As I am in no way a proficient real-life artist, I just sketched a few hominoids (I wouldn’t really call them “people”) performing any action I could think of, in relation to my project’s topic. Without deviating too much (I am working on a new post about the performance’s detailed adventure, a “bubbly part II”, so to speak), the core is that I wasn’t trying to paint a masterpiece.

Random, simplistic, lousy hominoids. The same I have always used since the beginning of time and that I have never considered worthy to be shown to anyone. Or so I thought… Turns out people actually like them. What a weird (half blind) world!

I was so shocked and incredulous that several creatives with excellent taste were attracted to something I apparently could not see myself, that it got me thinking. I was curious, I must say. I wanted to see what they saw and I wanted to push those tiny little visuals into a whole new dimension, if possible.

So, pen in hand, paper in front, coffee on the side, and I just started. I am very attracted to faces but, as much as it costs me to admit it, I am not able to draw one properly. But I can draw my hominoids. What about a face made of hominoids?

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but many wrong sketches made the right artwork. I think I am onto something good here and I can’t wait to explore it further.

Strength In Numbers
Bodesque II

Wrapping Up

The end of this first chapter in the whimsical land of RCA is approaching and it is about time I pin down some of the ideas that have been forming inside my mind. Like those tiny bubbles anticipating the water’s boiling, little hints and thoughts have been coming to the surface of my creative flow.

I know I know, so many metaphors. I just can’t help myself, but I promise I am going somewhere with this whole bubbly speech. 

Basically, my workgroup and I have been investigating the possibility of cheating death through creation as a mean to cope with scary uncertainties and, sometimes even scarier, certainties. We thought that if death as the main sure event in one’s life could somehow be “mitigated” (pass me the term), then even all the other uncertainties in life would suddenly become more bearable. 

In a nutshell, uncertainty is not going anywhere any time soon and there is no real fix to it, but we should all try to find our own equilibrium point between uncertainties and certainties and just live accordingly.

As far as I’m concerned, this is easier said than done. And I must admit, not having a plan or not knowing what will happen scares me quite a bit. Vivee is a little control freak (yes, I am aware and yes, I am working on it). This little confessional moment is just to set the scene for my line of thinking. In fact, I am one of those annoying people who like to play the “smarty-sarcasm-y” card whenever they feel uncomfortable facing certain situations or discussions. So I said to myself: well, just be yourself Vivee. You will never produce “good art” if you don’t dare to be your true self.

In line with my defense mechanisms, I decided to embark on a new exciting journey, one in the forest of Performative Art. And let me just say, I would have never (ever) imagined exploring that area in my entire life. But here we are, walking around without a compass and pretty much clueless of my whereabouts.

I will let you know where I end up, which tree will I befriend and if the local cuisine is as good as advertised. Worst case scenario I will join a gang of squirrels and perform for walnuts.

Part-time Sunshine, Vectors and Whiskey

Don’t let the catchy title fool you. Whiskey has very little to do with the following post (I thought it sounded nice, and pretty Bukowski-ish of me, so just bear with it please). 

The past couple of weeks have been pretty intense, intriguing and inspiring, and we are not even close to being done. For as challenging as it all sounds, I still wouldn’t exchange it for anything else. No doubt. 

It just feels like, for once, little Vivee has finally found herself in the right place at the right time of her life. The people and the environment surrounding her are full of surprises and creative stimuli, elevating the whole learning experience to a much greater level. 

Going back to this post’s main topic, I have been experimenting a little with different types of graphic design and digital art in general in the past few weeks. It is something I am truly passionate about and it has always captivated me, but I never fully had the time to pursue it nor cultivate the little knowledge I have of the subject.

Until now, I shall say.

What could Vivee’s aesthetic be? What style could become a synonym of the works branded “VVB”? How do I want to communicate to the world my thoughts and visions?

These questions keep floating through my mind but, even if I don’t have an answer yet, I am eager to find it out through a journey of self-discovery and many many experiments.

So here are my latest works, both made with the kind help of Mr. Illustrator (yes, our relationship is still somehow going well) and, as different as they might look, they are both valid reflections of segments from my brain. Not to worry though, I am still naively hoping to find my own signature style soon and all this brainstorming on different techniques will quickly evolve into one about all the subject matters I would like to deal with.

Hello Again Mr. Illustrator

Vivee and Illustrator did have a brief encounter during her bachelor degree but, like many relationships not surviving a fateful first date, the love wasn’t made to last.

After months of struggle, trying to make it work, unfortunately, the chemistry simply wasn’t there. Possibly the person who introduced them didn’t make a good enough job or maybe the time simply wasn’t right. Anyhow, sometimes food tastes better on the second day, or so my mum says…

If we consider today to be that second day, I must say she could have a point.

Today, as a matter of fact, I got a chance to reconsider the whole relationship. And the afterthoughts were quite more pleasing than in the past. I realised I can actually build something with him if I remain patient and consistent in my efforts.

Here are the results of our first-second encounter and I dare say I’m quite satisfied with it.

Mother Fleur