Usually I am completely against going to art school. But I finally think I found a reason it is a good idea...and it has something to do with lasers. I do think art school can be a valuable experience for some, giving time and space, access to minds, networking, but the one thing I rarely hear people inform their decision on, and that I think is suuuper important, is the facilities. If you really want to study print making, go to a school with a lot of amazing printing presses. Film? Do they have cameras you can use and, if so, facilities to process the film in (it is so expensive to process film it isn't even funny!). And then, what do they have that you might have never even thought of using? A stellar animation department? Take an animation class! A tech art department? Learn how to make a video game! I know it seems like common sense but the amount of people I don't see taking these things into account is surprising! I also hear again and again students say things like "Well, when I graduate I will focus on selling my ceramics pieces more..." but, also, when you graduate, you aren't going to have constant access to a state of art kiln; you're going to have to pay for that usage and I think it might be harder to get a kiln loan from a bank than a student one? Anyway...you might be wondering what got me thinking about this...on another little jaunt up to the monolithic thought emporium known as EMPAC, we were allowed into RPI's architecture shop.
You want to fabricate something? This is where you do it. A laser cutter (pictured at top- that bright light is a laser cutting the hell out of things!), a large 3d printer that prints out of a weird plaster/plastic like substance (now in color! pic of machine in middle!), mechanical routers that can fabricate your wildest dreams (exaggeration? NO!), they have everything! Everything! So Brent & I, along with Eric & Ryan from EMPAC and Guillermo-the (very patient!) architecture-department-genius, went about fabricating our own version of viewing glasses for the completion of the sculpture we've been toiling away at! Coming up with polarized glasses was a hard task...vacillating between Harry Potter, Where's Waldo, John Lennon and eventually compromising with a Le Corbusier comparison, we drew versions of things that Guillermo translated into an electronic pattern, popped into a computer and then a laser (a serious LASER! It IS the future folks!) went about quickly cutting out our ideas!!! Now, this isn't an ad for RPI's MFA program but...imagine the artistic possibilities if you had access to a laser all day? Even I am thinking of getting my Masters right about now....LASERS!
The sculpture that we were making these glasses for, which premiered in it's infancy at Sundance 2012, is set to be completed at the end of this month where it will be on view at the Andrew Edlin Gallery in NYC (if anyone is interested holler over and I can send along some detailed info about the show!)...then you'll be able to not only see but wear the laser-cut, paper creations we made! Hurrah! Ok, now back to my grad-school app, just kidding, just kidding...!