This is a short self-introduction of a few paragraphs. Just write in your own voice and style.
1) Introduce yourself by giving your name, where you were born and grew up, your interests, and your program of study at UA Little Rock.
2) Identify and describe three (3) encounters you have had with any art in the past 72 hours. Tell us why you call it art.
3) Identify and describe (a little bit) your three (3) favorite artistic experiences (movies, concerts, exhibitions, etc.). Tell us why they are memorable for you.
4) Name three (3) favorite performers and what you would consider his/her signature performance.
5) Briefly say why you chose this class and what you would like to get out of it.
Type out your self-introduction and post it on Blackboard by 11:59 PM on Sunday, January 27.
Please also bring a copy to class on Tuesday, January 29.
My name is Chelsea Marie Saunders. If the idea of a male person named that bothers you, you can call me Rilian instead. Rilian is a boys name from Indonesia. I was born in OKC, and I've lived in Texas, Oklahoma, briefly Virginia, and, as an adult, Arkansas. I like being with friends. I like linguistics, math, music, reading, making up stories, casually playing various sports, and role-playing. I like writing everything with lower-case letters, but I'm refraining because this is a homework. I'm currently majoring in math and plan to finish that BS this semester.
A thing is art if someone calls it art. Maybe a thing can be art even if no one calls it art, but I'm not sure that makes sense. It might be that art is just subjective and only exists when experienced by a subject. I think that's probably true. In 2013, I declared my entire life from that point on to be performance art. Maybe you think that action, or telling people about, is art. Is making fun of trans people by saying you identify as an attack helicopter art? I feel like what I said is more akin to that than to what people usually think of as art. But I also have taken as a political stance that "gender is real and valid and arbitrary and ridiculous". Maybe it would be good to take that stance on art too. and anything else people do that doesn't have delineated boundaries. In the past 72 hours, I've watched TV, played with my Tamagotchi, attended a performance of The Book of Mormon, gone to the grocery store, and started writing this essay-thing. I don't think I have to persuade you that TV shows and musicals are art. The design of the Tamagotchi is art. They had to decide how to represent it on the screen and how to set up the interactions between the human and the Tamagotchi. The people in the grocery store are performing. I briefly worked in that store, so I know what they demand of the employees. They are told to establish a rapport with each customer. They're given timely topics to bring up (like the local sports ball game of the day). and People are always performing a little when they're around other people. I've used non-standard capitalization at least twice in this essay-thing so far. The point of capitalization and punctuation is to aid communication to the reader. I hope you catch the meaning of all my symbolies. I've used some non-standard words like "sports ball" and "symbolies" and "essay-thing". These have nuanced meaning that will be caught, though never perfectly as I intend them, by people who come from a similar linguistic background to me, and everything I write is a performance for those who will understand and for those who ask for clarification because they want to understand.
The truth is, "art" is a foreign concept to me. I have not assimilated it. I don't experience art. I never think to myself, "I wanna go see some art", or whatever it is other people think about it. I've only ever identified things as "art" ironically. The phrase "art museum" makes me think of paintings and sculptures, but people who claim to actually feel like "art" is part of their lives say it's not limited to that. My best friend is the one who told me that art is whatever the artist says it is. But really it's kind of like a language that I don't speak, only it's even more foreign than that. It's like colors I can't see? It's like senses I don't have? It's like body parts I don't have? I understand performance, and I "know" that that's related to "art", but I don't *think* it's the same thing. Anyway, the upshot is that I don't have memories tagged as "art". I can't tell you my favorite artistic experiences. I can't tell you my favorite experiences overall either. I can tell you some experiences and try to make a case for them being artistic. Since thinking of "art" doesn't bring up much of anything in my memory search, I'll search for "happy" instead. This one time, when I was 6, I woke up early in the morning, as the sun was coming up and shining into my window, and I felt perfectly content. My bed was comfortable, nothing was hurting, I didn't feel hot or cold, and the ceiling in my room was immensely beautiful. It was just a normal white ceiling with those grainy blops all over it. It was the kind of ceiling that, if you touched it, bits of it fell off. I laid in bed for a few minutes enjoying that feeling, but I was also eager to go outside and start my day. I felt an extra boost from that happy feeling and I jumped up and put on clean clothes and brushed my teeth and ran outside to the playground. I always did that, but I felt more eager to get to it that day than any other day. I don't know why. Another time, in high school, I was in my literature/history class and we were supposed to be filling out some worksheet. People were talking about the assignment, and talking more and more about unrelated things as they finished the worksheet. It was a double classroom, and I was in the front of one side, and the desks on the other side of the classroom were faced towards me. Philip was sitting on the other side of the room, directly opposite me, talking to someone. I suddenly felt happy listening to the background babble of everyone talking. They all seemed happy and I was happy for them. People were usually miserable and bored in school, so it was a nice moment. I wished it could last forever. It's hard for me to even think of another time I was happy. ... In 10th grade, I always ate breakfast at school with my friend Melanie. As I approached the table we always sat at, there was a pillar blocking my view. One day when I rounded the pillar, Melanie wasn't there. I wondered why. I saw her later that day and she said she had been gone for GT field trip. She was there for lunch and everything was fine. The next morning, as I approached the pillar, I realized I was afraid, ridiculously, that when I rounded the pillar, she wouldn't be there again. I slowed down and peeked around the pillar and when I saw that she was there, I felt like I was exploding with happiness, like how I imagine balloons explode when they pop, but nothing like what they actually do when they pop. I skipped around the pillar and said to Melanie, "Guess what?"
"You're my best friend!"
"Cool! You're my best friend too!"
We hugged. I felt secure for several years after that, never doubting that I had her support.
I think you could say all of those experiences are art because I enjoyed them. But if that's not good enough, then take this list:
1. I watched Jurassic Park in the theater with my parents. It was scary and my sister and I spent the entire movie in our parents laps, crying. I liked it. I read the book 6 years later. I liked that even more.
2. Once, my class had a thing at the Austin Children's Museum, on a Saturday. We were always late, for everything, and when I got there, all my classmates were laying around on the floor. The instructor told me to lay down on and empty spot and pick a pose. She said to use your muscles to hold the pose carefully so that your body wouldn't move if someone bumped you or even ... and she picked up FeFe, and FeFe held her pose while being held up in the air by her midriff. and Then the instructor when around nudging everyone while we tried to maintain our poses. I don't remember the rest of the lessons.
3. I went to see Paul McCartney in Little Rock in 2016. I had always wished that I could go back in time and see the Beatles perform, and I feel like I basically got to do that. He performed a lot of Beatles songs. He's a great performer. He knew how to interact with the crowd and get people to be quiet at the right times and cheer at the right times. When I was little, I commented to my dad about how long the ending of Hey Jude was, and he said "Yeah, but imagine you're at a concert with hundreds of other people all singing it together. People would hold up lighters and sway to the music." And people did that at this concert, except people were using the lights on their cellphones instead of lighters. I bought a 40$ shirt as a souvenir.
It's always hard for me to remember actors or bands or books that I like when someone asks me to list them. I asked my mom for help and we did some googling and I came up with a list of actors that I like, although I'm not sure they're my *favorites*.
1. Nicolas Cage, National Treasure.
2. Keanu Reeves, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
3. John Cusack, Better Off Dead.
I chose to take this class because a fine arts class is required for my degree program and I thought Theater would be more interesting than Art and easier than Music. I also wanted to be involved with some kind of theater when I was a kid, but I never got to, and my best friend has a degree in theater, which has nudged me into doing more with it, and I liked the stage production class and I like building things and acting and writing stories and maybe some of that will be included in this class.