About Michael Webster

I am an artist from North Carolina currently living in Chicago.

Year 2, Day 6: Reperformance

For this exercise, students at Lane Tech reenacted a historical performance art piece of their choice. We presented several important works to them and they each performed a different piece.

Ola performed Vito Acconci’s “Following Piece,” in which the artist stalks individuals in public until they enter a private space. His actions are documented below.

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Ola had to establish different rules, since she was inside of the school for the performance, so she chose to use her cell phone to document the work, and to only follow indiviuduals in the hallway until they entered a classroom.

Guilia was given Merle Laderman Ukeles’ “Maintenance Art” piece, in which the artist scrubs the outside stairs of a museum to highlight the hidden labor that supports institutions.

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Guilia decided to perform this piece inside of Lane Tech in the role of “Student Cinderella,” a term she coined on the spot.

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Lilliana chose Gillian Wearing’s “Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say” piece, in which the artist supplies the tools for people on the street to make signs giving a piece of their mind.

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Lily asked students at Lane to make signs, but in some cases, she painted a colored backdrop on the cardboard she supplied, hoping that it would influence what people wrote. I think her psychological test was successful!

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Year 2, Day 5: Tour of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

We decided to give our students a tour of the School so that they could see what a working artist’s studio looks like, meet some different artists, and learn about different media and tools.

Christina talked to the students about tools in the Wood and Metal Shops.

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First year Sculpture graduate student Ayo Yunyu Shih invited us into his studio to tell us about stuff he has worked on and is currently working on.

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Year 2, Day 2: Text in Public Space

Today’s exercise focused on artists that use text poetically in their public artworks.

 

Stephanie Brooks uses text in much of her work, including this public piece, “Lovely Caution,” which highlights a beautiful piece of land in a way that it reads as police tape.

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We had the students generate starting text by writing a letter to anyone or anything, that they would never actually send.

Then students installed text of their choice throughout the school.

We wanted the students to be able to quickly work through ideas so we had them work with duct tape for non-permanency.

Ulana chose to do text on the water fountain, so that people would look at it while they drank.

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Guilia put text on the art room door to show how great making art is!

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Year 2, Day 1: Mapping Light

On our first session of year two, with new instructors Christina Kostoff and Tara Morton, an excited new batch of Protostudio students experimented with light, silhouette, and color in an exercise called “Mapping Light.” They utilized light kits, cellophane, and paper to cast shadows onto kraft paper on the floor. They then traced or “mapped” shadows to capture the ephemeral on paper.

Ulana attempted to paint the shadow cast by her own body, which proved to be a more difficult task than she had imagined, as her shadow continuously changed in her attempts to capture it.

Maria created a dynamic cut-paper shape and began to sketch its shadow in charcoal.

As she sketched the shape and continued to move the light, she created a timeline of its cast shadow.

With a cut-paper house, Giulia became interested in color and shadow coming together to reflect the passage of time in a full day. She took many photographs to create a stop-motion video from sunrise to sunset.

Ulana also moved further from the light source and used balloons to create a landscape with long shadows.

We began class by looking at mapping images from cartographer Denis Wood’s book “Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas.” The image above maps pools of light from streetlamps in a small neighborhood in North Carolina.

Denis Wood also maps the view of the night sky through a patch of trees.

James Turrell uses light and color to create 3-dimensional space.

Kara Walker’s installations use provocative and excruciatingly detailed cut-black-paper silhouettes with light and color.