As an artist, the creation of an academic and innovative lens is pivotal to the creation of my work. My lens was best achieved via the development of both my creative thinking and critical thought, an important learning goal within the Interdisciplinary Art program at UW Bothell. The establishment of this lens comes from allowing myself to see beyond my understanding of the world, either by identifying my own assumption or assumptions of the world. Within my time in the Interdisciplinary Arts program, I grew my lens by beginning to unravel central questions surrounding my identity and influence on the world. In the end, by creating a lens through which I could filter my interpretations, analysis, argumentation, evaluation, reflection, etc through, I was able to push myself to dig deeper into my creative and critical thought. This can be seen via the production of two pieces, “epaR/erutluC Participatory Performance Game” and “Nude Descending”.
Within “epaR/erutluC Partcipatory Performance Game” I first began to stretch my creative legs. Inspired by a prompt within an Interdiscplinary Art workshop course that utilized Speculative Design (a discipline that encourages the use of alternative histories), I set about to create a work surrounding an alternative future without rape culture. Inspired by Alexis Pauline Gumb’s piece “Evidence” in “Octavia’s Brood”, this piece forced me to contemplate deeply the different perspectives and reasons why rape culture exists. It forced me to think about creative ways of portraying my critical perspective of rape culture. This was important, as it helped me build my “lens” via learning to both critique and inspire my audience to evaluate their assumptions surrounding problematic subject matter.
As I moved on in my educational career, I wanted to deepen my lens by exploring critical and creative thought as it related to abstract ideas. I had always struggled with this type of work as I couldn’t grasp how abstraction related to interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and reflection of art. In one of my Interactive Media Design courses, I was given an opportunity to face this challenge with my piece “Nude Descending”. Inspired by Doug Aitken’s use of motion, space, time, and sequence, I utilized these abstract concepts to be examined via a video of still images. These concepts inspired me to ask myself a lot of questions such as, “What is motion?” and “How is space different within a video?” These questions opened my mind to think of abstract concepts as tools rather than constraints, expanding my creative thinking.
To end, my time in University has provided me opportunities to deepen and probe my creative and critical thinking. I have grown and developed a lens in which I can not only use to filter works and experiences, by my own thoughts and ideas. This affords me a perspective to analyze, critique, evaluate and reflect on the world and myself, an essential aspect of an artist. I am able to take myself to the next level as an artist, learner, and person. Through this portfolio process, I have begun to see that these skills and this journey are life long items of iteration, rather than one-off skills.
Raymond, Rachel “epaR/erutluC Participatory Performance Game.” BISIA 383. Science Fiction and Social Change in Art, Dr. micha cardnas. Winter 2018.
Raymond, Rachel “Nude Descending.” BIMD 352. Studio Elements II: Essentials, Professor Carrie Bodle. Winter 2019.