Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoolers?

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Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoolers?

Postby jcliff » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:41 pm

I'm looking for some suggestions for an easy to implement art project that could be created by students from the high school where I teach, and be brought by me to Burning Man. I've always wanted to bring something created by my students. I teach science at a fantastic school and I absolutely love my students. One of the best parts of my job is that my administrators allow me a week off in the 3rd week of school to attend Burning Man (and they know where I'm going.....and they are nuns!) I'd really love to include my students in my journey. The trouble is that I'm not very artistically inclined myself. I would pay for materials and shipping (from Illinois...which is an issue,) and I would have the support of our art teachers. Can any of you creative people suggest an art project that I could display on playa? It would need to be fairly simple in scope and relatively easy to ship. Of course, it would need to be something that could withstand the elements. I'd love it if each student who was partcipating could share their own unique picece of the overall project. I was thinking maybe individual prayer or peace flags, but I wouldn't know how to go about displaying them on playa. By the way, how do you go about getting permission to install a project on deep playa? Is permission needed? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:45 pm

Awesome :D
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby Bob » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:06 pm

Few people from the org browse the eplaya; you need to go to the main website for general guidance and contact info.

No opinion on your project. Too nebulous, and it seems weird to install something for other people who won't have to go through the battle of getting placement, building, installing, maintaining and removing it first-hand.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:15 pm

If you want to do prayer flags, you can have them work with sharpies directly on fabric, or you can use some sort of fabric paint or heat set fabrick marker or you can print them on a printer directly on the cloth (this I'm not sure about) or on to some sort of iron on transfer. Do you have any building experience? Some sort of large drying rack (you know, they are made out of wood and collapse pretty easy, but you don't have to make yours that flimsy.) Or a flagpole, with guide lines. AntiM has gone through the placement thing, or you can do it guerilla style. The advantage of placement is being on the map and possibly getting early entry. Eric's likely to have a better idea of materials than I do, but believe me, that transfer thing is possible now. I haven't done it, but you can find something on line to tell you how.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby jcliff » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:34 pm

Bob wrote:Few people from the org browse the eplaya; you need to go to the main website for general guidance and contact info.

No opinion on your project. Too nebulous, and it seems weird to install something for other people who won't have to go through the battle of getting placement, building, installing, maintaining and removing it first-hand.


It would be my art project, designed by me, installed by me, taken down by me. I would create this art piece with the help of my students. They are important to me and they define my personal mission. My students inspire me every day. I'm able to weave the Burning Man principles into my professional work. Why is that so wierd that I want to include them in my first attempt at creating art for Burning Man?
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby Bob » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:01 pm

So you reviewed the art guidelines?

Okay, I lied when I said I had no opinion. Is it weird that I question art-by-proxy, especially when you frame it as an "easy" art project? Is it worthwhile for the students not to rely on their own experience and initiative to invent something uniquely appropriate to Burning Man? If mediating interactivity is a core element of creating art for the playa, does it make sense for the students to experience that aspect through you rather than first-hand?

If you're comfortable with it all, don't let me discourage you, but I'd want to challenge them with a little more than what you seem to be describing.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:04 pm

Sounds kinda interesting - why not encourage them to blur the edge between art and science to create something.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:16 pm

For the love of god, let Bob roll off your back. You're on to something here and there's a great way to do this while expanding their conciousness levels of public art. I see something really cool coming out of it.

I'm typing on my phone so I can't elaborate too much, but I would suggest starting to refine the ideals behind what you want to achieve through your creation and the end project will flow from that.

I would want to see each student individually able to create their own module with their own interpretation of what they are to create, allowing them to feel the creative juices flow to be a part of something bigger. In the end, its the sum of all parts that makes the whole.

Document everything pictorally and bring it all back to them and try to help give them the joy of creating art for public enjoyment.. Individual recognition or not.

Props to you, brother.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby Eric » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:29 pm

I like this idea as well, but would like to make a suggestion about "suggestions": why not ask the students?

Come up with a framework (ie: must be transportable, must have components individuals or small groups can create, must fit in a budget of $xx, needs to withstand 70+ mile an hour winds...) and then let them brainstorm. Kids are smart & want to create, letting them be part of the entire design process will make it something that they have more of a connection to, as well as something that you can feel proud of.

Whatever the result is make sure you get tons of photos & video: daytime, night-time, white-outs (if we get more, please god)...
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby mudpuppy000 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:29 pm

It's kinda hard to suggest a project for someone else to build. IMHO the concept should come from you, and be something you're passionate about or be an idea you want to communicate. Once the concept is defined, then you could look for suggestions on how to implement it.

edit: Yeah what JS and Eric said. :D
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby tamarakay » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:43 pm

I don't know why, but legos popped into my brain. I don't mean make something out of legos, but do you have a shop class there? Maybe make some lego like larger pieces from wood, have each student decorate in any way they see fit, maybe have to shellac to get things to stay put, then bring them out and either construct something or leave them scattered for others to construct. Could fit with the fertility thing if you squint lol. I imagine I'd spend some time out playing with large legos. The only thing I'd worry about with it is that they would be portable, and therefore could all disappear by say, monday.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:55 pm

How about taking the participation level even a step farther..

Can you take pictures of the students.. print them out.. make some kind of collage with them to bring to the playa/art installation.. and then on the flip side have a method of people jotting down thank-you's/reactions/responses/etc that you can bring back and present to the kids afterwards?


My thought here is that there's an integral lesson here that transcends the actual art piece that's being created which is the joy, appreciation and value of making art and beauty in society and the gratification that brings. I feel like you have a golden opportunity here to somehow help instill that appreciation at such a young age while these kids are young and impressionable enough to veer paths and grow and find new appreciations for that which may not have existed or been found before.

Again.. I would start by looking at goals. Maybe.. list them out for yourself to help brainstorm. As Eric suggested, maybe put it to them! It's their art project, so maybe present the idea and let them brainstorm and problem solve. Give them design requirements.. it must be anything but it must accomplish this, it must accomplish that, so on and so forth.

There's really so many different key lessons centering around creative problem solving with design constraints and objectives that can be taught with this and that right there is something that is so key to life.

Where do you want to go today? How are you going to get there? How are you going to make it happen? You can do it.. you can do anything.. so let's figure out how to do it!


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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby Savannah » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:41 pm

Agreed, especially with this:

Can you take pictures of the students.. print them out.. make some kind of collage with them to bring to the playa/art installation.. and then on the flip side have a method of people jotting down thank-you's/reactions/responses/etc that you can bring back and present to the kids afterwards?


Seeing/reading a reaction to my art would be really neat and important to me at that age, in particular . . . although it occurs to me that they also need to know that releasing a piece of art unto the world is a little like sending children out into the world . . . once out of your hands, you can't control others' reactions, or how it will be received (and this good to learn).

As Eric suggested, maybe put it to them! It's their art project, so maybe present the idea and let them brainstorm and problem solve. Give them design requirements.. it must be anything but it must accomplish this, it must accomplish that, so on and so forth.


Me three. Radical self reliance . . . and design requirements!

Maybe as soon as a theme is officially announced, the process might easily takeoff.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby Bob » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:49 am

And don't forget to let the nuns know the theme this year.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:48 am

Bob wrote:And don't forget to let the nuns know the theme this year.



:lol:
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby AntiM » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:28 am

Getting my piece placed one year was not difficult at all. However, smaller projects don't get you early entry automatically.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby VultureChow » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:34 am

What about some super massive mosaic type piece?

Students create the overall design and can be responsible for individual pieces. A sort of coming together of individual effort into one giant piece that both reflects their individual creativity and their collective effort.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby flightless » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:03 am

I think asking students to submit ideas for the artwork is a great idea. If you go through the galleries from past years, you can see lots of examples of different types of materials, interactivity, etc.

If the end product isn't itself interactive, you could also have postcards or a big piece of canvas or something, where Playa dwellers can send messages back to the students.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby AntiM » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:05 am

VultureChow wrote:What about some super massive mosaic type piece?

Students create the overall design and can be responsible for individual pieces. A sort of coming together of individual effort into one giant piece that both reflects their individual creativity and their collective effort.


Like a patchwork quilt, a fertile field of creativity, love, art, communication.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby jcliff » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:25 am

This has been so helpful! Thanks for the advice and inspiration!
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby JayBobBoy » Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:51 am

What a great way to encourage the creativity in your students! I love your project.

Every year that I go my kids (Now ages 9 and 12) make me a piece of costume clothing which I wear and always get the greatest compliments on. Last year was a Zebra coat that WAS AWESOME!!!!

They especially enjoy seeing the pictures of me wearing their creations while interacting with others! Their excitement at seeing their creations in action is always incredible! I stumbled upon BM in my adult years...I can't imagine seeing BM through the eyes of wide eyed kid.

Oh, I almost forgot...THANK YOU FOR BEING A TEACHER...I WISH MY KIDS COULD BE IN YOUR CLASS!
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby chiefdanfox » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:59 pm

I have always wanted to see something like Theo Jansen's Strandbeests, or Rhino crawling around on the playa. Rhino. Math, construction skills, component-style construction, interactive, you could even burn most of it! You could get the matheletes and the shop gals to work on it.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby lemur » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:18 pm

if you plan to be there id say set it up in the village..youll have lots less stuff to worry about...

a bit more protected from weather.. less need to light it up... no need for placement/artery involvement..being close to home so less babysitting..etc

still plenty of people around to see it...

thats what id do. yep.

learn from that experience of bringin something like that to the playa and then move up to some big open playa project with all the lights and wind protection it needs
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby jcliff » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:18 am

Yup, I was thinkin' the same the Lemur. I'm sure Blushy could find a place for our creation. Thanks for the support everybody!
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby gyre » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:43 am

Don't dismiss simple ideas that captivate your students.

The simplest concepts often have sublime results.

And it doesn't have to be graphic arts, or purely graphic arts.

A local here built an abstract tiki like southern shack.

I just knew he was a burner.

Finally met him, and not a burner, but immediately got the concept.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby jcliff » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:43 pm

I wanted to follow-up with all the people that took time to chime in on my high school project aspirations. After going over suggestions again and again, and talking at length with the art teachers at my school, I think we've come up with a project that will be managble, personal, and meaningful. This project is much smaller in scope than what I intilally envisioned, but I know that it's perfect given my limitations.

One of our art teachers is very gifted in creating handmade paper and she's also gifted in oragami. So we've decided to focus our efforts on the Temple. I will give a simple PowerPoint presentation about the Temple and what it means for those that visit it and see it as a sacred space. We'll talk about the symbolism involved with letting something go while praying for something you hope to bring. Our students will be able to make a sheet of colored paper, with flowers or grasses or other do-dads layed in. On their paper we're going to ask them to write down the aspects of their life that they want to set free...a loved one who they've lost, a bad feeling that they can't let go of, a mistake they made, a feeling of vengance for someone, or maybe just an aspect of themself such as jealousy or greed. In the same note we're going to ask them to pray for what they want for themselves or their loved people. When you set free the part of your life that you need to, what do you want to fill that space with?

I think our art project will end up being a small pile of beautiful papers shaped into artful poses in the Temple. I have no doubt that they'll hold some very deep thoughts and prayers. They will be my most treasured cargo traveling to Burning Man. My students will be able to watch video of people responding to their art...picking it up and trying to read what they wrote. They'll see the video of the Burning of the Temple and they'll know that they're thoughts and prayers were kindling for that fire.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your thoughts and inspiration.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby JayBobBoy » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:22 am

That's awesome. Good luck with the project. I may just steal a bit of that project idea and use it with my wife and kids who stay behind each year.

Thanks!
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:31 am

I must have missed this when I was taking my Eplaya time off for December..

Awesome idea!
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby gyre » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:07 am

About the temple: I'm not aware of prayer being a part of it.

It may be for some, as there aren't rules, but I am unaware of it.
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Re: Suggestions for Easy Art Project Created by High Schoole

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:43 pm

gyre wrote:About the temple: I'm not aware of prayer being a part of it.

It may be for some, as there aren't rules, but I am unaware of it.


Read again. He was saying the paper themselves as written by the kids would most likely include some prayers..

jcliff wrote:I think our art project will end up being a small pile of beautiful papers shaped into artful poses in the Temple. I have no doubt that they'll hold some very deep thoughts and prayers.
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