The Art and Science of Questioning Routine/Ritual

Something I have been working on for a while is comparing the practice of developing a hypothesis to the process of developing an idea in art.

In science, you start by asking questions. Questions about whatever is important to you (this part big and broad). Next you narrow down and focus in. Then you develop a hypothesis of something you think you could answer/solve from one of your focused questions . Next you try to prove/ or disprove this hypothesis by doing experiments (sketches) and tests. Then you analyze the data and reach conclusions (install final pieces).

My grad school advisor once told me: "All our work is a sketch until conclusions start happening." I have found in my work - the more I focus in, the more I communicate and expand the project. So applying this hypothesis method to my work process has very interesting.

There are a lot of questions I am thinking about answering for this exhibition in February (see this post).

But first I wanted to tackle what the museum experience means to me. I watched Season 2 Episode 1 of Chefs Table. It blew my mind (as most eps do). But in that episode the chef asked:

"Why do we have to eat off of plates? Could we eat off of a table cloth instead? Why do we have to eat with a fork or a spoon? Why can't we come up with something new?"

I think about this a lot. A lot of rituals and routines come from something that someone developed at some point. Most people would think of Monopoly or the Game of Life as staple board games. But someone invented them. They didn't always exist. I think sometimes routines and rituals unite us and sometimes they hold us back. We don't try to innovate because we are comfortable.

So I have developed a list of questions have for the museum experience. I would love feedback or if you have any questions about the museum experience yourself feel free to comment in this post or email them to me at lindsey.whittle@sparklezilla.com

Let me emphasize that I can't say enough praise about the value museums bring to society. I am grateful for the opportunity to get up close to art and have my mind opened. I am grateful for their community outreach through art and their support in the arts. Furthermore, I am over the moon excited and grateful to be showing work in a museum with 2 other incredible artists in February. I am asking questions to try to understand what I want to achieve having my work in a museum and to make sure I am always challenging my routine experiences.

Video of Me reading the questions:

People often ask me what kind of makeup I use. So I am including a link to the make up. I often use a paint brush with a little bit of water to apply. If you use this exact link to buy the make up it helps support this blog.

Here is the list of questions (if it is more helpful to read):

Why do we look at art upright?

Why is art mostly on walls and floors?

Why are often the walls white?

Why are rooms the shape of a box with right angles?

Why is the world so stressed all the time? ( I am thinking about people rushing through exhibits for time etc.)

Why do we have to read what the art is about?

Why do we have to be quiet?

Why is there such a disconnect between artists in museums and artists in local galleries? (budget for installation etc.)

Why does showing in a museum feel unattainable for most artists?

Why do we create the illusion that everything came together perfectly in exhibitions? (no one can see the real sweat and blood and tears and fears that went into pulling work together. )

Why do curators wish some artists would die so that they can control the narrative of the work? (literally a curator said this to me and a class of students once)

Why don't most people outside of the art world feel not qualified to have art experiences?

Why don't artists list their fabricators on their wall signs?

Why do we hold art and museums on such an elite pedestal?

Why is art in museums often so large? Is large better?

Why is it hard to reach the masses through museums?

Why do museums sometimes feel uptight?

Why do I often get yelled at by museum guards?

Why is Netflix the biggest competitor to having a live art experience?

Why don't people fight to have art experiences in their lives?

Why will people go on payment plans to get a new phone every year, but not to buy art that inspires them?

Why does art need a title and a materials list?

Why does art have to be called art?

Why does an artist have to be shown n a museum to be considered legit?

Why is museum viewing often an internal and solo experience?

Why do museums often have to create a spectacle just to get people to come in and see a show?

Why don't we run, jump and skip through museums?

Why do we wear shoes in museums?

Why does everything have to be polished and perfect most of the time?

Why is art often so expensive to fabricate and then sells for way less?

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