As part of the Mason Gross foundation classes, I have to take a 4-D fundamentals class this semester, which I have to admit I wasn't too excited about. What does 4-D Fundamentals even mean? I wondered, and after talking to people who had taken it and learning it was a performance piece based video class, I was not looking forward to it. I've been painting for as long as I can remember and plan to double concentrate in painting and design, so this type of media is nowhere in my vocabulary as an artist. I never fully appreciated video installations, and performance pieces never really struck a chord with me. I'd often bypass this sort of contemporary art in museums, being in favor of the more traditional painted pieces.
Although I didn't know what to expect, my hopes were not high when I attended my first 4-D class yesterday, and I was very pleasantly surprised. My teacher explained how this course would get us to think conceptually and work on storytelling in our work, which I think will be so beneficial in the other mediums that I want to pursue. We started by doing something which seemed completely unrelated to video, reading, discussing, and writing poetry. The idea was to think imagery which can be symbolic in our work down the line. The poem was titled "I remember..." and focused on personal details from the writer's life that depict that aspect of storytelling. I then wrote my own, which I included below. Thinking about these random memories and how they could inspire future work made me realize not to write off a certain type of art or class or any experience in life until I actually try it.
I remember the man at the register of my favorite diner giving me the best free chocolate chip cookies when we left, and the feeling of delight mixed with dread to hear my mom's, "Say 'Thank you,' Lauren," because I was really shy.
I remember when I discovered that avocados were my favorite snack. Now I have a really expensive addiction.
I remember sitting with my mother on the bench in front of our building as the sun set, waiting for my dad to come home and guessing how many buses would go by before he would get off of one.
I remember dressing my baby brother in girls clothes because I wanted a little sister.
I remember this boy named Daniel announcing, "I'm going to marry Lauren," to everyone on the playground. A month later he moved to Boston and I told my mom I was never going to that city.
I remember applying a flat iron to my hair every day, it taking all that heat damage to realize I should embrace my natural curls.
I remember the anxiety as the gun would go off, and then the feeling of either flying around the track or dying on the second mile.
I remember walking around blind for three years of my life because middle school me thought I looked ugly in my glasses.
I remember my grandma giving me a Kiehl's lip gloss that someone had gifted her right before she died. There's only one more use left in it now