Materials: paper, ink, 24 hours of "honest thought"
#NoFilter is composed of 24 columns of writing "honest thought", each column representing an hour of a 24-hour day. The columns were written at the hours they represent (the first column from midnight to 1 AM, the second from 1 - 2 AM, etc) over the span of two weeks. The text of each column are attempts to write down every thought I had during the span of the project, regardless of how embarrassing, without revisions or edits. The column to the left is the manifesto describing the work, its rules, and its goals. The manifesto is provided at the end of this post.
The work was intended to show raw, honest thought from my own perspective, in an effort to show how there is no shame in one's own existence.
The piece has been shown twice:
(1) for a class which had me censor out swearing and names
(2) for an exhibit at Stanford which had me censor out names
Censoring was done in black ink, and is visible as dashes in the image above.
20 Bags of Breath
Materials: Trash bags, rope, the artist's breath
This work is a celebration of the time I have been alive but also as a representation of the fragility of life and memory. A performance-based durational piece, each trash bag was inflated through the act of me breathing into it. Each bag took about 20 minutes to inflate. The resulting piece was left to deflate as it would naturally.
20 Bags of Breath is "currently exhibited" in a show on Stanford's campus. Since the work deflated ~50% over the summer, I agreed to make a replica of the piece using a pump to put alongside the original in the exhibition. The curator then, without consulting me, removed the original piece from the exhibition leaving just the replica, and failed to make it clear that the piece hanging in the exhibit is a replica and not the original piece. I was not told about this, and found out only when I went to see the exhibit after it opened.
Weight of your Words
Materials: 100 feet of butcher paper, ink, cloth, wood glue, rope, "honest thought"
Weight of your Words follows the same writing restraints as #NoFilter. The text itself was generated during a performance piece rendition of #NoFilter that I did at Frost Music Festival, in which I wrote all my thoughts live during the concert. It plays off of the Fluxus instruction "Draw a Straight Line and Follow It."
Following that instruction, this piece is reflective of larger trends in my artwork involving alternative forms of representing of self, truth, and time.
THE BASICS OF BASIS
I am attempting to create art that does not lie. This is honest art—art with no shame art with nothing to hide art that is the world reflected in its purest form art that attempts to frame the world with the thinnest of frames.
Perception is human but perception is also made by human because perception is perceived by human. Human is human is world is God is gods is all that is perception. The lens of the human is perception is the senses and the thoughts altered by themselves and cycled into themselves.
I AIM TO MAKE ART THAT IS THE FOLLOWING:
(1) Is human HONEST: is as HONEST as humans can accomplish — which is not always “TRUTH,” if any such TRUTH can exist.
(2) Is human shameless: is shameless in its HONESTY and thus displays all of itself because HONESTY is only shameful to those who cannot understand what makes it understandable and thus reasonable and thus un-shame.
(3) Is human careless: is careless and so does not hold back and allows itself to be carried wherever the truth of mind carries it.
(4) Is human all in all: is as close to the essence of human thought and PERCEPTION as can be conceived through the construction of language.
AND DOES NOT DO THE FOLLOWING:
ATTEMPT TO REVISE PAST THOUGHTS: all actions and writing are valid and HONEST unless they destroy past TRUTHS. All writing is at one point TRUE — or else would not be written — and if revised according to changed understanding of TRUTH over time or shame of past TRUTHS is not HONEST.
IN THIS PROCESS WE MUST RECOGNIZE SUBJECTIVITY IS OBJECTIVITY:
(1) HONESTY IS NOT TRUTH: HONESTY is what is PERCEIVED as TRUTH to whoever is attempting HONESTY.
(2) PERCEPTION IS FICKLE THUS HONESTY AND TRUTH ARE AS WELL: the PERCEPTION of the artist changes with time and reflection thus what is TRUE for a moment or longer is not always TRUE and what is HONEST at one time can also be not HONEST to the artist at a later time.
(3) EVERYTHING IS PERCEPTUAL: PERCEPTION is inescapable and is the lens through which all things are viewed including itself.
(4) VALUE SYSTEMS ARE VARIABLE: there is no absolute good or bad because all things are viewed through PERCEPTION and PERCEPTION is fickle.
(5) EVERYTHING IS THE SAME AND NOTHING HAS MEANING WITHOUT PERCEPTION: without PERCEPTION there is no such thing as distinction and thus no such thing as importance and no such thing as sense.
(6) THE ARTIST IS VARIABLE: because PERCEPTION is variable and the artist exists in PERCEPTION the artist is in constant movement through states of being.
(7) NOT ALL THOUGHTS ARE RATIONAL: external stimuli, internal associations, and emotional changes can provoke momentarily TRUE thought but not reflectively TRUE thought.
I am dada but I am not dada. Dada is sense out of nonsense and I am nonsense out of sense. Dada is concept as art piece and I am art piece out of concept.
THIS NONSENSE IS FOR THE CREATION OF ART THAT:
(1) induces empathy through its honesty and its representation of a being and the difficulty of being in (2) constant flux (nonsense is created through flux).
(2) induces empathy through forcing awareness of perception and use of close observer’s lens (nonsense forces viewer to attempt to make sense through heightened perception).
reflects the subjective truth of all things (NONSENSE IS CREATED THROUGH CONSTANT OF SUBJECTIVITY).
(3) reflects the temporality of all things (NONSENSE IS CREATED THROUGH CONSTANT CHANGE OVER TIME).
(4) reflects the collective entropy of all things (NONSENSE IS ENTROPY).
SPECIFICS OF #NoFilter
WHO: AMY JIAHUA CHEN. FEMALE. CHINESE-AMERICAN. BORN MAY 4, 1996 (18 Y.O.). PERSONALITY: INTJ. STUDENT AT LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR UNIVERSITY. RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL VIEWS: INDEPENDENT. STRIVES FOR POLYMATHY. WORLD-VIEW IS LED BY AN UNDERSTANDING OF TOTAL INSTABILITY AND SUBJECTIVITY OF ALL THINGS.
WHAT: WALL INSTALLATION. SIZE: 6’5” X 17’. MEDIUM: TEXT (ATTEMPTED PURE THOUGHT) ON SHEETS OF PRINTER PAPER, INSTALLED IN COLUMNS ON WALL USING TAPE. EACH COLUMN IS AN HOUR OF ATTEMPTED HONEST THOUGHT, CHRONOLOGICALLY THROUGH THE HOUR FROM THE TOP DOWN.
WHERE: SECOND INSTALLATION: COMMA AND… UNDERGRADUATE ART EXHIBITION, MCMURTRY BUILDING FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF ART & ART HISTORY, LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR UNIVERSITY, STANFORD, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, NORTH AMERICA, EARTH. ORIGINAL: BURBANK DORM, STERN HALL, LELAND STANFORD JUNIOR UNIVERSITY, STANFORD, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, NORTH AMERICA, EARTH.
WHEN: DURATION OF WRITING: 3 MARCH - 16 MARCH 2015. SECOND DATE OF INSTALLATION: 28 SEPTEMBER - 6 DECEMBER 2015. INITIAL: 16 MARCH 2015.
WHY: SEE “THE BASICS OF BASIS.”
(1) THE ARTIST MUST WRITE ALL THOUGHTS POSSIBLE (SPEED OF TYPING AND THOUGHT ARE NOT EQUAL) FOR AN HOUR AT A TIME, WITH THE GOAL OF COVERING EVERY HOUR OF A 24-HOUR DAY (12-1 AM, 1-2 AM, 2-3 AM, ETC).
(2) HOUR-LONG LOGS START DURING THE FIRST MINUTE OF THE HOUR.
(3) LOGS MAY OCCUR ANYWHERE.
(4) THE ARTIST MUST WRITE AS HONESTLY AS POSSIBLE.
(5) THE ARTIST MUST AVOID REFLEXIVE ATTEMPTS TO CORRECT TYPOS OR REVISE WRITING.
(6) THE ARTIST MAY NOT REPLACE ANY LOG.