The Porcupine And The Car”, Viola

Prompt: For each readings (3 total) you will be responsible for responding to questions posed by the instructor. Each question response should be approximately one paragraph. Reading responses are due by the in-class discussion. These responses will help guide our in-class conversations on the readings.



#1 “Artists have known for a long time that the most interesting connections in things involve areas of low, or ambiguous, information, so-called “gaps” in recognition. This is the time of involvement, of participation by the viewer, in a work of art. The process of learning itself demands that initially one must be confronted with something one does not understand. Rene Magritte wrote, “People who look for symbolic meanings fail to grasp the inherent poetry and mystery of the image. No doubt they sense this mystery, but they wish to get rid of it. They are afraid. By asking ‘What does this mean?’, they express a wish that everything be understandable. But if one does not reject the mystery, one has quite a different response. One asks other things.”

How have you explored “gaps in recognition” in your work this quarter? Have you engaged with “the inherent poetry and mystery of the image”? Relate this to an artist/artwork/peer’s work we have seen this quarter that you think has successfully achieved this.

#2 Pick an excerpt from the reading that relates to your experience of working with video as an artistic medium in this class. Explain this connection.

#3 In the reading artist John Baldessari is quoted “…video is like a pencil. Art is just one of the things you can do with it.” (pp. 70) Explain what this means. In the article, how does Viola speak to the creative possibilities of video? Give examples and relate this to an experience you have had in the class.