Etcetera!

We’ve now tried 1 of our “Messy Hands” activities and 1 of our “Life Design” activities. This week it’s an “Etcetera” activity called The Secret Architecture of Long Beach State. Full details on the activity page:

If you happen to be a student at another university taking this online class from Long Beach State this summer, then your activity this week will apply to your university, The Secret Architecture of Chapman University, for example.

If you happen to be a Long Beach State student who’s taking this class from another city this summer, then it’s up to you:

  • You should be able to do The Secret Architecture of Long Beach State, from some other city, Sydney, for example. So you can go ahead with it – if you want to…
  • Or, if you’d like to be able to physically walk and poke around the space, or take pictures, or measure something, etc, then you can pick a university, or any other building(s) in, for example, Seoul, or wherever you happen to be. For example, The Secret Architecture of Seoul National University. Or The Secret Architecture of Taipei 101.

Next week we’ll be on our 2nd “Messy Hands” activity, Graffiti Writing, and also the 2nd of our Optional Meetups, at the Venice Beach Art Walls on Saturday of next week, 23 June.

Artist OTW this week: Maika Elan

Many of you are writing strong artist essays. A few of you are getting lower points. If you are, it is mostly because your posts are kind of short and not as analytic as they could be. Check out the Artist Essay Template:

Using the template should definitely help everyone get full points on these essays.

Artist OTW last week: Ai Weiwei

His stylistic approach is readily reflected in his 2010 installation, Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds), which currently resides in Tate Modern, London. This work is a successful example of one of Weiwei’s utilization of art to critique ignorance from society and the political injustice China endures. Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds) features 100 million, tiny, handmade porcelain sunflower seeds that are filled inside of Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. For this installation, Weiwei employed over 1600 skilled artisans, many of them impoverished women, to bring forth this work. In doing so, Weiwei not only brought light to the issue of mass consumption of foreign goods affecting laborers from China, but helped to disprove the negative connotations that surround China and its “Made in China” insults. Having the seeds be produced in mass quantities and being uniform in character gives the allusion to cheap labor that is responsible for China’s rise in the global marketplace.

Clara Kim


One of Ai’s most famous pieces, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995), is one of my favorites. It is displayed in a series of black and white photographs that capture Ai dropping a 2,000-year-old ceremonial urn to smash to the floor at his feet. The old urn was not only a valuable artifact but also has symbolic and cultural worth. By dropping the urn, Ai lets the social and cultural structures that impart value go off. Moreover, because of his act of destroying the historical artifact, the images became more valuable than the original object itself. The historical artifact became more exposed in a way the traditional methods of preservation couldn’t expose it and this provokes controversy. This smashed vase embodies the central message that Ai continues to explore. Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn is one project among many other works where he focuses on heritage loss and heritage preservation.

Hyolim Yoo


Ai Weiwei’s work means that those who are unable to speak for themselves are spoken for…
As someone who wants to help those who are unable to help themselves, through providing assistance with their legal issues, for I will be an attorney in my years to come, I appreciate the injustices being brought to light in such an intricate manner. I hope to accomplish such grandeur for I will be one well spoken and ruthless lawyer that does not stand for unjust ways.

Morgan Thomas


Throughout all of Ai Weiwei’s work, there is a resounding sense that the pieces are speaking for the people. Weiwei has been arrested multiple times, put on house arrest, been constantly surveyed, and denied his right to travel freely all for the sake of his art. Whether he is speaking out about those who lost their lives in the collapse of buildings during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in his “Citizens’ Investigation” series, or using 150 tons of porcelain sunflower seeds crafted by artisans who served the very government the seeds are there to oppose, Ai Weiwei is as outspoken as it gets. His pieces critique government policies and bring light to their injustices, remember those who have passed away and have given them proper documentation, represent the power that the common person has when they become unified, challenge the “made in China” trope that has come about due to Western capitalism, and portray the consequences of being an advocate for the better.

Researching someone with such commitment is an inspiration to me personally. As a poet, I am no stranger to the rejection that comes from sending manuscripts to be published, and after reading about Weiwei, I feel like a fool for the times I have been discouraged after being turned down… He works with the things he believes in, just as I write with what calls to me rather than what other mainstream poetry is being published.

Zachary Mercado


Art Talk: Classical Greece & Rome

Points Update

After 2 weeks we now have 166 points up. Here’s how many points you should have to be on track for each grade level, and how many peeps are at each level:

  • 149 points – A – 10 peeps
  • 133 points – B – 5 peeps
  • 116 points – C – 2 peeps
  • 100 points – D – 1 peep
  • 99 points – F – 6 peeps

Our class GPA went up a bit, from 2.29 last week, to 2.5 this week. I hope it will go a lot higher in the coming weeks. A few of you got a slow start in Wk 1, and did better in Week 2, but that might not be reflected in the letter grade positions yet. LMK if you’re having trouble with anything. Do your best to turn everything in – it makes a huge difference!

The discussion was better this week. If all 24 students made 3 comments for Artist OTW and also for Art Talk, that’d be 72 + 72 = 144 total comments. In the 1st week we only had a combined total of 87 comments. In week 2 we got up to 118 – still lower than we should be, but a significant step up. And remember, you’re not limited to 3! 😀 You can always post 4 or 5 comments!! 🙂

Leaderboard

Here are our class top 5 for week 2:

  1. Thu, 173
  2. Morgan, 172
  3. Hyolim, 165
  4. Maggie, 162
  5. Zac, 161

Great work everyone, however many points you may have wound up with!

Your Week 2 Vlogs

Performance Issues
Nice work everyone! Some of you felt that maybe you stuttered a bit more than you liked, or had other “performance” issues. Don’t worry too much about this. It’s natural. If you do make more vlogs, or give presentations, in class or out in the world, etc, you’ll just get better and better at these things.

Eye Contact
Most of you already have nice eye contact. One technical issue I have to remind myself of is to look at the lens! With a phone, this might not come up. In my case (and perhaps for some of you) the monitor is a few inches above the lens. I instinctively look at myself in the monitor, which means I’m not looking at the lens, and not at my online audience. So, I try to frame myself in the monitor before I start, and then look at the lens for the rest of the vlog. Or, if you have another person pointing the camera at you, even better!

Wardrobe
I was impressed by how many of you went to the trouble to wear something different for your Hello Classmates video and your Welcome to my Website videos! A few of you also made the classmate video vertical (phone) and the website video horizontal (laptop). Nice work everyone!!

Hello to the Class

Great job introducing yourselves to each other! 😀

The Right to be Forgotten
Before I show you each other’s videos, as you’ve already noticed, I like posting your pix and videos. I definitely like sharing what you’ve achieved. Hopefully, for most of you, that’s a cool thing. But no one has to be featured here if you’d rather not be. If you don’t want a specific item posted, or if you’d prefer not to be shown at all, all you have to do is LMK. You can LMK this week, next week, next year, or next decade. You don’t need to give me any reason, it’s simply your right. If you want something specific taken down, just give me the URL of the page. If you’d rather not have your work shown going forward, LMK that.

Watching Your Videos

I encourage you to take a few minutes and watch all of these videos! You’ll get a wonderful sense of who we all are.

One word of caution: if you like the way some of your classmates presented themselves, you can make a note of that and perhaps apply it if you make future videos. But try not to compare yourself to others. Honestly, you all did really well! (better than I expected! 😛 Of course, you might think one person was smoother than you or whatever, but don’t worry about that and definitely don’t beat yourself up about that. These are all good! And if you do choose to do more in the future, you’ll just get better and better over time.

Alec Ortiz:

Bailey Gilmore:

Chloe Gaynor:

Clara Kim:

Eric Weinhardt:

Ericka Thomas:

Halie Gasporra:

Hyolim Yoo:

Kewei Pei:

Leighla Kennedy:

Maggie Dague:

Majid Shojaei:

Maria Angrisani:

Matthew Robert:

Morgan Thomas:

Noemi Ramirez:

Patty Luu:

Thu Nguyen:

Vera Yangildina:

password: 2222

Zac Mercado:

Welcome to my ePortfolio

Nice work everyone. I won’t post them all here now (we’ll see them again when we actually make our websites later in the summer). Here are a couple of nice samples:

Alec Ortiz:

Chloe Gaynor:

Clara Kim:

Zac Mercado:

Have a Good Week #3!

Wishing everyone a good week!

I think it’s supposed to be “June Gloom” about now! Haha! I guess instead we had “May Gray!” It’s pretty hot in SoCal! How’s the weather wherever you are?

Have a good week. I hope you have fun with Secret Architecture. Shout if you have questions about anything or need help with anything.

See you online!

Oh… and don’t forget… for anyone in the LBC vicinity… next Saturday, 23 June, is our optional meetup at the Venice Beach Art Walls. Definitely a fun trip! I’m sure some of you have been there before. Maybe some of you have not. It’s almost as big a culture mashup as our class! 😀 Plus, of course, I’ll bring lots of iced tea. And there’s lots of cheap pizza around.

~ Glenn

Patty the Nurse, and Patty wearing a traditional Thai dress at a temple in Thailand.
Patty the Nurse, and Patty wearing a traditional Thai dress at a temple in Thailand.

Comments? Questions? What great art did you see, make, or experience today?