Please visit the Fall 2012 class website project at Queer Arts Los Angeles Website.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Presentations


This past Wednesday, our class presented our websites to each other and to a few special guests.  Getting to see my classmates present our final website in class was a real treat.  I especially enjoyed the personal stories they were able to share about their artists.  It was great learning more about artists I had heard of as well, especially D’Lo, who I have been following for some time.  It was interesting seeing how activism interacted with artwork for several of the artists.  I was fascinated with how several themes from the books we read in class (Art and Homosexuality by Christopher Reed, When We Were Outlaws by Jeanne Córdova, and Relocations by Karen Tongson) appeared throughout the website.

I was nervous about presenting, nearly forgetting to say my own name until Professor Lopez reminded me!  It’s tough putting your hard work out there for others to view and evaluate, though I love how the website turned out.  We were so lucky to have an awesome design team and an artist for a professor.  Working collaboratively on a website was a really unique and interesting experience, particularly as a lot of the work was so individual until the final week.  It’s really exciting to now have a website to share and direct people to. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Presentations

On Wednesday we were finally able to show and present our hard work on the website pages for our various artists! It was really nice to see what everyone had done, since the work had been so individualized. Many of the artists were really interesting and inspiring- some that I will definitely go and check out.

Presenting the page itself was a bit of a challenge- I had so much to cover while only giving myself 2 minutes so I could play a 1minute clip for the class. However, I think I was able to get the jist of the artist's expereince and I hope others will go and see the rest of the page (my artist was Ryan Trecartin).

Thanks everyone! We've had a great quarter.
-Kiernan

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jeanne Cordova

Jeanne Cordova is a pretty radical womyn. During her visit to our class she discussed some very interesting aspects of her love life as an activist. First she began by discussing her love life in the 1970s with BeJo and Rachel. She described the Butch/Femme Dynamic in a very unique manner that is so far from mimicking the Male/Female dichotomy. Cordova believes that the reason butch womyn and femme womyn are attracted to each other is because of the balance between masculine and feminine and how in the relationship it plays out better. She also discussed about how it is such a lesbian thing to do to keep your ex's around. I found this funny because as a self-identified Lesbian I keep my ex's around as well. As a hopeless romantic this is all that I really got out of her visit; Her many girlfriends, her ex's, and how she has been with her partner for 23 years and counting.


Final post: Presentations


I was very pleased in listening to all the presentations for the websites.  It was very interesting hearing a little bit of information about all artists that were the main focus of this course.  The artists that most caught my attention were Aurora Guerrero and Laura Aguilar.  Aurora really struck me with her most recent production, Mosquita y Mari, a film that became an important part of my life. This film, as I have mentioned before, reflects my personal life as a high school girl that had feelings for her best friend.  Laura’s photography skills have also made an impact in my life as well.  I admire that she has the courage to photograph herself in order to challenge society’s construction of the ideal “beautiful” woman—usually white, thin, young (and heterosexual).  Her work has become important to me, mainly because I have also struggled to accept my body and myself as a queer woman.  I certainly do not fit the standards of society’s “beautiful” woman, and Laura’s photographs not only reflect the issues that I have gone through, but it also sends the emotion/feeling that I have felt in my struggle to finally accept myself.  Overall, this class has been a fun experience because I had the opportunity to take part in creating a website, but it has also been a process of more exploration about myself and the issues that these artists address through their art.

conversation under a tree in the mind, really in the living room of a friends after a good night




Jeanne Codova,
I wish I would of
had some time with you.
to talk over some tea.
Maybe by a tree.
how to make yourself creative
when being chained
to the wall
by your
own crimes!
Quit THE BLAME,
She would yell,
only when you remember
the truest sense of
you
can you remember
how good its like to breathe
and thrown things out of your mind
that would make you laugh.
why WOULD I laugh:
Jeanne: because,
life is only good for that. 

Presentations


This quarter I learned a lot about using art tools such as adobe Photoshop, Dream Weaver , and downloading videos. I had no clue that all these things have to be named a certain thing and maintained in one file folder for a website..Who KNEW!
I also learned a lot about queer artists around Los Angeles through class prezi presentations, I had no idea this stuff was archived! I also learned a lot through the presentation we all did for our artist. As a queer woman of color this was awesome to see queer artist of color are present! This class exposed me to cool queer art. It’s so cool to know that we were all working on our own artist at the same time and to see the end product during Wednesday’s presentation. I was so worried my videos would not work for the presentation I had not even noticed that the information I updated for my bio, artist bio and third art piece were not there despite saving my work! Ah! glitches. At least I was not the only one! This may have been one of the most queer things I have ever done at UCLA (hahaha) definitely one of my favorite classes in my three years at UCLA :T I hope to take another course that comes close to this!

Thank you again Professor Lopez for being patient with the class and showing us your art skills in order for us to be activists like you.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jeanne Cordova

  To finish off the class by having Jeanne Cordova as our guest speaker was simply amazing. I really did enjoy her book. From when she walked in the class, I recognized her. I do not think the surprise was ruined when Professor Lopez accidentally went on to another slide in which had Jeanne on it. There was a clash though between the voice I had imagined for her when reading the book and hearing her actual voice. Was a little unreal at first. 
  Having Jeanne answer questions was very enlightening. She even got around to answering my questions. I was curious on whether or not she still had the hat that Rachel had given back to her those many years ago. Which was really nice to hear that she and Rachel still talked and that she was still friends with Bejo too. 
  An interesting note that she touched on, that she said was more prominent in the queer community was the maintaining of relationships with exes as opposed to how usually straight couples "burn those bridges" so to speak. I also thought that was quite unusual. For those who have long lasting relationships where these people become such an important part of their lives, I do not understand why they would have to end any relationship of any kind because their romantic relationship didn't work. i can understand that if things ended horribly, then yes, it would make sense as to why you wouldn't want that person around. But if things don't end badly, why would you want to cast out someone who you felt at one point was so important to you. I think those people can be friends. At least that was something I related to and thought was an interesting point that she spoke about. 

Final Presentations

This past Wednesday our class met one last time to present our website to each other and the greater campus community. I was so fascinated by everyone's choice of artist, what made the happiest however was how much information everyone had learned about their respective artist. In a matter of weeks we created a beautiful project! As Rodnisha mentioned I wish more people would have shown up to see our presentation, because it is such a great resource. I brought my partner to the class to watch the presentations and he pointed out that Vaginal Davis is constantly talked about by Bikini Kill front woman Kathleen Hanna. This connection made me smile, and reaffirmed that the work we did is important and part of a larger world. Also, as I got home later that day, I ended up watching Youtube videos by Vaginal Davis and others on the website. In fact, I think I spent at least an hour just reading everyone's work on the website. I'm so happy that this was the way in which the class ended and know that our website will become a tool for others to explore and love just as much as we do. 

Final Presentations

      As our research wrapped up and the website came together, our time came to present all of the hard work we put into this class this past quarter. This was one of my most memorable if not the most memorable moments in this class (Visa's performance is up there too) because it was such a treat to see the pride and joy on everybody's faces as they shared with the class their contributions to the website. 
      I remember our first time in the lab and being separated based off of our prior experiences and capabilities. Seeming as I have trouble doing the basics, I was in the inexperienced side of the room and felt a bit of a divide but those feelings quickly faded after realizing that we all needed each other to make the website come together. If ever one of us fell a little behind, there was always another student who would more than willingly come to the rescue.  
      Everyones dedication surpassed my expectations and I couldn't be more proud to have been a part of such a timeless project. I've already shown it around to a few of my friends, and I can't wait for more people to hear about and use our website as a resource! 


Friday, December 7, 2012

Showing Off Our Skills

    This quarter I learned a lot about many different queer artists in Los Angeles, and I feel the website only furthers my knowledge on those artists. I was excited to see how the finished product of the website would come out, and I must say that I am impressed. Each and every one of us rocked our pages. Even with the technical difficulties of videos either not playing or not showing up for some of us, we all did a wonderful job. I was very pleased to hear about all of the many different artists and the various mediums of art that were focused on. I think that we did a good job with not only getting artists names out there, but also expressing that artwork can take many different forms, from photography, to film making, to poetry; art can be anything you make it.
    Though I enjoyed hearing my classmates talk about their artists, I do wish more people showed up to see the website. I truly believe that this website project is a great work of activism that needs to be shared with as many people as possible. There are so many individuals in Los Angeles that need to be able to experience the issues some of these artists raise, and I think that by advocating for our website we can get a lot of those people to learn something new. I hope that those who were not able to make it on Wednesday to experience our website gets the opportunity to stumble upon what we all worked so hard to create.

Artist Presentations

Aside from the awesome finished product of the website that we got to see on Wednesday, I also really enjoyed everyone's presentations. Each queer Los Angeles artist had a uniqueness to their work. For example, Monica Palacios' work as a performance artist (from what I saw in the clip) was phenomenal and hilarious. Her story about how her parents have two lesbian daughters and how their lives should be turned into a soap opera made the whole class laugh.I also like the dramatic humor and home-footage feel from Vaginal Davis' performance art. Lastly, another artist that stood out to me was Luis Alfaro and the video clip recording him saying his poem. The poem was about being queer and being Chicano and the intersections of those two identities. I thought these three artists in particular, although the rest were equally as great, represented what our class was all about in terms of expressions of art and homosexuality. Additionally, when my peers shared their experiences of working on the website project, it seemed like we could all relate and said similar things. Many people said they struggled with photoshop, dreamweaver, and putting it all together, but once it all came together it was well worth the frustration. I definitely agree and had an amazing time working on this project with everyone. Thank you Professor Alma!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Presentation


In today’s presentation we showed what we did in this class, Queer Arts in Los Angeles during this quarter. When we first entered into the classroom, the only concept we had was a vague image of queer. I didn’t know what exactly queer meant. Reading several books such as Art and Homosexuality, When We Were Outlaws and Relocations, I foundd myself in the middle of the current discourse on queer. The relations between homosexuality and art are so complicated that they can be categorized in a form of matrix. From Jeanne Cordova’s book and Karen Tongson’s book, I realized those activists struggle to put queer in the right place. On Monday’s class, we discussed the book assigned on that day, or the professor gave us a lecture about aesthetical practices that take place these days, or historical events related to queer activism. What drew my attention the most, however, was Wednesday’s class in Young Research Library. In the class, we were activists who gathered information on artists and presented them on the web to introduce not well-known queer artists. The presentation that we had today was worthy in that way. It was another way of letting people know what queer art is and what queer is. I was proud of all of my classmates and want to say special thanks to Professor Lopez for her good teaching. I could learn life knowledge not just from books but also from being an activist on my own. 

Artist Presentations

I really enjoyed seeing the finished product during our presentation class presentation on Wednesday.  I could see all of the time and hard work that everyone invested in this project. I was especially impressed by the layout and design.  It looks like a professional website, y'all! Fantastic job.

I liked seeing the wide variety of artists that reside in Los Angeles. There were so many different styles and media through which artists expressed themselves and motivations behind the pieces they produced. Living on the Hill here at UCLA one can sometimes forget how large and diverse Los Angeles truly is and I think that this project captured that idea in a wonderful way. I'm more aware of the unique opportunities I have here in regard to arts and artists. I think I'll be more apt to seek out art of all kinds now because I know that there are so many based in this city, and there are even more than those on our list.

I had actually seen Julio Salgado's work before on Tumblr. But I didn't know that he was one of the artists on the project until the presentations the other day! Seeing his "Undocumented Apparel" pieces reminded me that art has an effect on our everyday lives and comes from lived experience. I think after all of these presentations I'll start following more artists with greater interest.


Guest Speaker



I'm so glad Prof. Lopez was fortunate to set a date for Jeanne Cordova to come to our class. It was a real surprise, especially because the class had not been informed about when Cordova would be visiting. Cordova highlighted lots of information, which I found useful and important, about queer identity, and just overall life lessons. We spent quite some time on relationships, which was my favorite part actually; wise words came from a wise woman. She spoke very fluidly, and she didn’t seem as assertive as I had expected, for the most part she was calm. When Cordova spoke about her experience at UCLA, I was really shocked as she stated that she did not encounter any queer people, but one bisexual. UCLA has changed so much now that we have many organizations that focus on the LGBTQ community. Growth is such a beautiful thing, and comes with the steps an individual takes toward the future, and the courage they gain. Its people like Cordova which fought for many of the freedoms that queer people have in the present-day, and why the movements occurred during the times that they did. Despite the impossibilities of perfected society, I feel that many queer people now have a somewhat established community, even if it’s just one person.

Cordova has really been a lifelong activist, and to witness how far she's come in her career brings much inspiration. Although she is retired, I found the fact that she continues to write so influential. I love to write; I keep journals and save many documents on my laptop of poems and even day-to-day entries. I hope I never stop using that muscle, and it's been proven by many people and even Cordova that you never really lose your passion. I’m interested in the book, I think, she mentioned of her relocation to Baja, California and the issues of queerness that are still being countered.  

Moving Forward

The quarter has come to an end, and it's a bittersweet moment. I have learned so much in this class. The knowledge I've collected will serve me well as I move forward here in my career at UCLA. However, I'll miss heading to Dodd Hall in the morning, to learn about groundbreaking queer art and activism. I'll miss walking out of class feeling inspired, being left with so much to contemplate. I'm so proud that our collaborative efforts could produce an amazing website. Moving forward is an exciting prospect. UCLA has given me so much this quarter, and I can't wait to see what's coming next.

Since this is our final blog entry, I want to recap some of the most memorable moments of Wednesday's presentations.  I loved that almost everyone who went up to present their artist mentioned some disclaimer about lacking technology skills. It made me chuckle every time. I also loved when Professor Lopez's "go home" comment sparked laughter. Aces', "he has a beautiful body... I mean, a beautiful mind" comment, was also a hilarious and noteworthy moment. I also enjoyed the quote that Ben pointed out when he presented D'Lo's work: "Gay, Hindi, Hip Hop, these things allow for who I am, but don't allow for each other."

The presentations were creative, informative, and well done. I couldn't have thought of a better way to close such a wonderful class, and joyous experience.

End of the Quarter

It was a bittersweet feeling as we had one of our last class meetings this past Monday. Sad to think that we would no longer get to learn more about queer arts in LA but it was awesome to have Jeanne Cordova as our special guest. Her visit was definitely worth the wait. After reading When We Outlaws and learning so much about a person that I did not personally know, I felt like Jeanne was a celebrity standing right in front of me. Jeanne was open, genuine, and honest, which I truly appreciated. She was also as funny as she was in her book, which was awesome. I got excited when she mentioned that she's writing somewhat of a sequel to  When We Outlaws so I will definitely be on the lookout for that. What I liked the most about her discussion with the class was when she described the first time she made love to a woman. She way she was describing it made the most perfect sense, which is funny because I am not a lesbian but can identify to what she meant about wearing glasses for the very first time and everything becoming crystal clear. It was truly an honor to have Jeanne Cordova as a guest visitor for this class because this is what I feel education is all about; interacting with those who lay the foundation for what we learn in books and talking to them to further our understanding and enrich our learning experience. I thoroughly enjoyed taking this class and ending the quarter with Jeanne and our website presentation was simply wonderful.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Make-Up Post: Bruja by Luis Alfaro




Another work by Luis Alfaro that I wanted to talk about briefly is another one of his plays, Bruja.  In the vein of his other works such as Oedipus El Rey and Electricidad, this play is based on an ancient Greek play (Medea).  The play was shown in San Francisco last spring.  It tells the story of Medea, who is instead a healer or curandera instead of the original sorceress.  Alfaro did a lot of research, as he does with all of his modern adaptations, in order to transition them into a modern setting in an “organic way.” He said he was most interested in immigration and exile in the context of the play, which led him to do more research into the indigenous communities of Mexico and Central America.

I chose to write about this play because I’m truly in awe of his work and wish I could get my hands on a script or see a performance of one of these plays! I have always personally loved the idea of adaptation of older stories that some might see as archaic and updating them to appeal to a younger audience or an audience who otherwise might not have access to the stories he’s using as structure. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday's finish with Jeanne Cordova

In my opinion, I think the wait for our guest lecturer was definitely worth it.  Jeanne Cordova's personality and presence was bigger than I anticipated. The energy that she emitted, with her slight comedic jabs at people in her life and moralistic lessons of life, made her talk engaging and open, which is what I loved about her. She is just as articulate in real life as she is in her novel. I loved the little side glances she did to her partner when she was talking about settling down, because to me it made her not just a strong character in a book that I'll never be able to reach, but a human being that now seems more stable than how she seemed to be before.

Something that she said when she talked about finding her own sexuality stuck out to me in her talk not for the content of it, but for the beauty of it. She said that when she had her first lesbian experience, it was like putting on rose-colored glasses. I loved that phrase, because it reminded me of the song "La Vie en Rose" by Edith Piaf, where the French-born singer recounts her experience with someone she loves as seeing everything as rosy and pink. it's the type of phrase that is probably true for many people, because when one delves in sexual pleasures, there is a level of care that you have for the other person and reciprocation. And those moments when you are thinking of someone else being happy and know that they are thinking the same thing, you see the experience in pink. In a radiating beauty. In happiness.

Jeanne Cordova visit

From reading Jeanne Cordova's book, We Were Outlaws,  you can tell that this is a person who is intelligent, driven, aggressive, determined and experienced. But, once you meet her and hear her speak in person, you realize that she is wise and well-spoken, witty and sensitive.

I think I was most struck by hearing her talk about her mental breakdown, or breakthrough, as she so optimistically refers to it. To think of a young woman, raised in a strict Catholic household, with an internal conflict of sexual preference seems like torture. I would imagine that the struggle between what you "know" is right, and what you feel is right would be a torturous experience.

I was also very moved by her depiction of the way she saw the world as she was brought up in West Covina, to the world she was introduced to in Watts. To me this is just another example of how we can be so wrapped up in our own bubbles, that we forget, or in Jeanne's case, have no idea that there is such a vast world around us. In some strange way, when she was telling us that story, it made me think of Sidhartha Guatama, the founder of Buddhism, and his similar experience.

I very much enjoyed Jeanne's book, and her insight as she shared some of her life experiences.

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Over Already?

The past 10 weeks have gone by incredibly fast, really. My experience with the website project in our Queer Arts in Los Angeles course is not just one of the things I'm grateful for, but I'm also grateful that it coincided with my very first quarter here at UCLA. What better introduction than that? 
I was lucky enough to have some website/photoshop editing experience coming in, but I did not envision a project such as this, let alone that it would happen so fast. I am sad that this wonderful class is over (I mean it) and hope that the website project becomes a resource for the campus community and beyond. I chose Julio Salgado as my artist and have enjoyed looking at his art much more closely and reading interviews, videos of him etc. I remember very distinctly that my sophomore year at Cal State Long Beach was memorable,  just from the discussions that would ensue with Julio during our Chicana Critical Issues class I knew that he cared deeply for the Chicana/o community and wanted to address queer identity in his art. Years later, I am still pleasantly surprised at the issues Julio continues to raise  awareness for, and how he's succeeded along with his art.  Queer artists have struggled with issues of censorship, violence, hate speech and more. As we've learned this quarter, it's a challenge to display your art without it being damaged or completely destroyed. The website is a permanent archive/teaching tool that I hope continues to educate and entertain in the future. I'm very happy to have been a part of its creation. 

Reflexion

The last nine weeks have been a been a Journey of consciousness building. Not being from the Los Angeles area all I knew was that there is a large Chican@ and Latino population, hollywood, sky scrapers, and traffic. However, LA holds so much Queer Chican@/Latin@ history that has shaped our lives in this very moment. LA is a trend setting city in regards to the Queer movement. While the Stonewall Uprising may have been in New York it simply set off the United States Queer Civil Rights Movement. LA is the city that pushed it forward with the Silverlake Uprising, Watts Riots, and the arts. There are various forms of arts that activist use to push for change such as: painting, instillation, theater, film, music, spoken word, photography, and much more. Artist such as Karen Anzoategui, Robert Maplethorpe, and Aurora Gurrero work on activism of queer people of color. The website project has also been a great resource to use for activism. We are building an activist network of artist that will house the works of the hidden queer people of color community. By bringing forth this type of work to the public us as students have helped along the Queer People of Color Movement, which is amazing.

Visa Extraordinaire

Visa is a voluptuous,  fierce, hilarious, consciousnesses, hard working queer woman of color. During Visa's visit to class she discussed some conscious issue that are affecting the Queer people of color community. First and foremost the fact that Visa is a transgender sex worker is a major community condition that the trans community faces. With little protection from the American justice system the Transgender community has a high unemployment rate due to the fact that many are fired from jobs and are simply not hired for the simple reason that they are gender non-conforming. Therefore, with such a lack of opportunity Transgender people resort to sex work. Visa represents a hidden community that hardly receives any attention from the public. The character of Visa is presented in a humorous way that can captivate audiences to attempt to bring awareness to the community conditions of the Transgender community. Furthermore, she also discusses other community conditions such as undocumented immigration, qpoc community disjointedness, and queerphobia.   In a comedic way that the audience could relate to Visa was able to gift Queer consciousness to her audience. Visa was a fantastic visitor to our class.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pura Lengua Y Viernes Girl


“Pura Lengua” and “Viernes Girl” were created as part of Womyn Image Makers. Womym Image Makers is a collective of four queer-indigenous identified filmmakers, Martiza Alvarez, Claudia Mercado, Aurora Guerrero, and Dalila Mendez.

“Pura Lengua” is an 11-minute short that follows Reina, a young queer Xicana who overcomes police brutality and a painful break-up through the healing power of poetry. The film fuses punk sensibilities, bilingual dialogue, and non-sequential editing to create a powerful in your face film that captivates its audience to a silence.  “Pura Lengua” was written by Martiza Alvarez and Directed by Aurora Gurrero.


“Viernes Girl” was written and directed by Aurora Guerrero and crated by Womyn Image Makers. “Viernes Girl” is about Chila, a young Salvadorian girl who enjoys school and music. Her older brother Hugo enjoys the ladies and has no regard for the fact that a thin bedroom wall separates his activities from his sister's. As the week progresses along with Hugo's romances, Chila gets creative with her ways of interfering. The battle between siblings takes a turn when Friday rolls around and Chila and Hugo discover that blood might be thicker than any wall. 

Reflection


            The best part of this course for me was focusing on Los Angeles-based queer artists and creating a website to enhance their visibility.  The website serves as another tool for the Los Angeles diverse community to learn more about artists that play a significant part of shaping this city’s community.  In other words, this website is intended to be a resource for the general public to learn about queer artists and their work.  This course gave me the opportunity to learn about artists and their art I did not know about.  In fact, I chose an artist that I did not know anything about and decided to do as much research as I could about her, Alison de la Cruz.  I also decided to focus on her because I enjoy learning about performance artists.  In the process of creating the website with the class, I enjoyed using digital tools, like Photoshop to visually represent what de la Cruz does as a performer.  It was a somewhat difficult process, since I am not a technology person.  However, I am very pleased with what I have learned and to be part of this collaborative work that is dedicated to the Latina/o queer artists that we researched.  

Reflection

      Looking back on these last 10 weeks I have emerged from this course having gained an experience like no other that I have taken away from any other class in my time here at UCLA. I initially enrolled in the class to become more aware of the LGBT movement and struggles and am now leaving as an enlightened student who has learned not only from our profesor and our texts but also from my classmates and the project that we have been working on so tediously to put together. I'm one of the least tech savvy people I know and it had never occurred to me that I would one day learn how to create a webpage for others to use as a resource. I am amazed by the creativity and dedication of this class in bringing Profe Lopez's vision to life through this website. I feel that I can now offer the  publicity chairs from a few of the organization I participate in some help creating and or designing via Dream Weaver and Photoshop.
      Researching my artist Laura Aguilar has proved to be a challenge at times but I have enjoyed the little struggles and victories that have come along the way. I chose to research her work as a photographer because her work is unique to anything that I have seen and she is a Latina, something I too can identify with. Her love for nature is pretty amazing and I enjoy her interpretation of the subjects behind her lens.  


Queer Arts in Los Angeles


I really enjoyed this class even though I feel like I've only scratched the surface. I think the most eye opening moment in the class was viewing the documentary on the Stonewall riots. It was important to see the history of the LGBT movement and all the injustices homosexuals had to go through. However it was also moving seeing the same people who had been pushed around for so long come together and push back with an intense fury that has never subsided and is still burning. It was beautiful seeing a development of gay pride and a development of homosexual identity as a result from this coming together which then is reflected through the medium of art. By being in this class I was exposed to not just the history of the LGBT community but also to the extremely focalized subject of queer artists in Los Angeles. Through this art the queer community breaks down many rules and makes its audience take a step back and question why they believe what they believe. With this focalized lens from the queer community, who has always deviated from the norm, there is a blurring of society's harsh rules such as femininity and masculinity. I really enjoyed this class and I feel like I've only seen the tip of the iceberg but I would love to delve even deeper.

Faune Endormi

Gay Liberation

\

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Reflecting on the quarter

I thoroughly enjoyed this class - not only because it was interesting content-wise, but also because of the unique format of the course assignments and materials. All of the required readings for class so far have been excellent and easy to consume, as they formed a nice foundation for the task of having to research an actual artist. Creating the website materials through Photoshop and Dreamweaver was an interesting component to the class; it was nice to have a alternative counterpart to the essay assignments.

Initially, I had signed up for this class because I felt that, as a Los Angeles resident, I ought to know a bit more about the (queer) art community than I did. I knew pretty much nothing about artists specific to LA at all, let alone queer artists in LA. Now, thanks to my fellow classmates' blog posts I definitely feel like I have at least a cursory knowledge of several LA artists, and thanks to my research on my personal artist D'Lo, I am more well-versed on the works of a particular one too. I am really glad that I chose to research D'Lo - I wanted to choose a performance artist but was worried about not being able to find recordings of their works - D'Lo proved to be great in the sense that he had a very comprehensive website with a lot of clips and pictures, making research quite straightforward. I definitely want to see him perform now. I think after all this research I would be able to appreciate him more than if I didn't know who he was.

Reflections on the quarter

As the end of the quarter draws near, I'm reminded of the first day of class when we were asked to write down the name of two queer artists in L.A. and several of us (myself included) struggled to name just one. I couldn't think of one queer artist that was from L.A. Needless to say, it was somewhat embarrassing. As someone born and raised in soCal who enjoys art &art history, I should've been able to name a few no problem. As the quarter progressed and we were asked to pick an artist to research, I still didn't really know who I wanted to research. As I looked through the list Prof. Lopez provided, Susan Gottlieb (a.k.a Phranc) caught my eye most likely because she was a musician as well as an artist. As I continued to research her work, I found that her work made socially commentary while retaining a good sense of humor and fun. As the self-proclaimed "Cardboard Cobbler," Phranc makes everday objects out of cardboard and kraft paper. Some of her most famous works are mid-century Americana, particularly clothing and shoes. Another reason I chose Phranc as my artist to spotlight was because she doesn't have an official website. She does have a blog, but it hasn't been updated in quite a while. I enjoyed being able to create another spot for her work to be noticed. I also loved that we had a chance to work with the Adobe suite to build the site. I had some Photoshop experience, but I had never worked in Dreamweaver. I have already used the skills I learned in lab for other projects in different courses!

Website Project

I have really enjoyed working on this website project. I took a website design class during my freshman year of high school and learned some basic HTML (and CSS). It's been a long time since that class, though, and I've never really been able to apply any of what I learned to anything in my life (besides editing codes for Myspace way back in the day or small things like that). But all of that knowledge has come in handy for this class. I really enjoyed learning how to use Dreamweaver. I have the program on my computer but I had no idea what it was for. Now I know! And I had some skills with photoshop (another class in high school) but I feel like I learned some things that make using it a little easier and efficient now.

As for content, I really enjoyed learning more about Luis Alfaro. I don't think I would have ever heard of him or his work if not for this class. I think that this course made me realize that there are so many talented artists all around us and we may not even realize it. Alfaro's plays are based on stories that I know or  have heard of before, but the way he places them in a more modern setting makes them all the more interesting and engaging.

Being an activist


Creating my own website page is one of the most interesting works I have done here at UCLA. It was my first time actually using Photoshop and Dreamweaver. At first, I could barely follow what the professor taught us to edit images but as time went by, I found myself enjoying making my own images and webpage in the shape I wanted it to be. According to the professor, that is what WYSIWYG(what you see is what you get) is. This class, Queer Arts in Los Angeles, has taught me the subject not just through a lecture but through practical work how to reconstruct the information that I gathered in the internet sites. I think it perfectly fits the goal of this course. By building our own webpage which is devoted to letting all the people know each queer artist that we took on, we could learn and spread information at the same time. It is part of the activism that we do in this class. For me, the most challenging work to do was finding useful information from different sources. It took a lot of time to read materials which were all in English. My artist, Don Bachardy, is not well-known in Korea, I couldn’t find a single webpage about him in Korean. I believe I labored for a worthwhile purpose. That’s why I think Queer Arts in Los Angeles is precious memory that I will have of LA.     
There is an essence,
between cultural reality
and self recognition.
Representation in
the melting-
pot of
reality.

I chose Olga García-Echeverría because of where she comes from, because her poetry speaks of truths that at times reflect my own. She writes of the Yaqui deer dance. To me, dance is breath, which connects to beat, which connects to heat, when I speak. A poet that reminds me of that is a poet I want to remember.

The experience of working on this website is something that I didn't think I would do, to this extent. Starting a blog, totally in my goals, creating a web-site.. bfft, not really, and i'm so happy of that. However, I thought that the students in the class should of been offered the opportunity to turn in their own creative/art/works. Some of us in the class are from LA, and while others aren't, their experiences of being a part of this institution will be shaped by its location. It also seemed appropriate for students to submit art when identifying as queer. I also realized that if no one else was on board for this kind of project, it would have to be something that I did for myself. (hence the starting poem)

Preparing the website for its launch, is personally, one of the most rewarding things I've felt. It is quiet incredible to look at codes and know that the changes I'm typing are going to openly affect what I'm working on. Like choices in life, but with less repercussion, thanks to the undo.



Queer Arts in LA

  This being my last quarter at UCLA, this class has definitely been one of the most unique experiences I have had in class during my time here. It was a totally different experience having a class that was so much "hands-on" oriented and so interactive. 
 Working on the web project has been great. I have had previous experience with photoshop, I had taken a class in high school, but Dreamweaver was a totally different experience. So far the most strenuous parts have been with having to make the html page. I have encountered a lot of problems with trying to get html page in the same format as with the rest of the class. That has been the most arduous part of the class and the project itself. As difficult as it has been to work with and learn Dreamweaver, it has been really awesome working with the program. Creating the web page has been really interesting. And I am glad to have the base pages to work with as the foundational pages instead of having to code all that myself. That would have made the task for the webpage a lot more tedious. 
  I had never taken any course like this before and it will be one of my most memorable classes. I have gotten to learn a lot about LA and its queer art culture which has truly been enlightening. 

ARTivism

Chicana/o Studies 188 has been one of my favorite courses this quarter, this is the first time I learn about the work queer activists use art as a form of activism. I did not know the course would require some creativity and I am glad I did not know because I would probably shy away from taking the course. I’m glad I enrolled and I was exposed to Adobe Photoshop and Dream Weaver. I admit that I was constantly reminded that one needs patience to learn how to work these programs, especially when it came to do the codes. Maybe I just freaked out but it seemed easier to do it the second time around!
I’m not the most creative person when it comes to this type of art, but I did my best. I am looking forward to the finished product. Again, I wish we had in this class is more time to practice what we learned and polish what we created. I also wish there were more books or articles that spoke about my artist but at the same time I understand that this is the same reason for creating this type of website :)
Overall, this class has inspired me to continue working with these programs on my own. Perhaps this is the way to tap in to my artistic side I never really knew I had.

Reflection


Being able to participate in the creation of a website that joins Queer culture, Art, and Los Angeles all at once has been an absolute dream, though not without its share of challenges. I think the fact that the students were asked to create a logo and interface was really cool. We all have this website that we share. I had not expected that I would be making a webpage this quarter (or ever for that matter) and I certainly had no idea how difficult it would be. While researching and learning about the artist was interesting, the technical work that has to be done to compile and format all the information is daunting. 
Having said that, Photoshop is tons fun now that I have a partial grasp of its wonders. I really enjoy working in Photoshop because it allows for the manipulation of images into new images, which have our own stamp on them. It was not hard to get used to the Photoshop tools and tricks, but Dreamweaver on the other hand has been a pain in the neck. I will admit that being technologically challenged is probably to blame for my incompetence in dealing with the program. Oddly enough, I enjoyed learning about html code, I think I was able to understand that better than the rest. But, I really appreciate that I will walk out of this class able to use Photoshop and somewhat capable of maneuvering in Dreamweaver.
The greatest part about this class is that I have learned more about activism and art and how activism itself is an art form. I feel that I have a better understanding and deeper appreciation for the struggles of Queer culture. Thank you, Professor Lopez, for this class!

Reflection

I have never had a class at UCLA that was quite like Queer Arts in LA. It was fun, interactive, surprising at times and insightful. I knew when I signed up that I was going to enjoy this class but it has definitely surpassed my expectations in every way possible. Almost every class I have taken has the same general format, such as papers, midterms, and finals. But I liked that this class was more geared towards the issue of queer arts in LA and we discussed this with the help of film clips, powerpoint presentations, and the readings. I also liked the fact that we went beyond this topic and brought in discussions on immigration and things of that sort to create more dialogue within the students.
Looking back at all the work this class has done this quarter, I can honestly say I have learned things that I will apply to my life in the future and I had fun at the same time. I feel that the skills I learned for both Photoshop and Dreamweaver can be very helpful to me. I really enjoyed applying the skills I learned to work on my artist and his artwork. It was a bit challenging at first to edit the images we chose but going to the lab every week and practicing definitely helped. I was also very happy with the artist I chose, Antonio Rael, because he is a Bruin and by studying and analyzing his paintings, he is clearly very talented and passionate about his work. His art style is the type that I personally like; art that is closely connected to the Latino culture and contains symbols of family, love, culture, religion, death, beauty, etc. Getting the opportunity to research Rael and create a webpage is something I am truly proud of and grateful to have done. I am excited to present about my artist and anxious to see our hard work pay off with the final result of the website.