Aaron Smith BFA General Fine Arts Thesis Fall 2017


Collaborations is a joint effort between Aaron Smith and Colin Cathey who are organizers of participatory events. The panels and drawings that you see in front of you are artifacts from these events; we’ve been applying the term Happening to these because it helps describe the participatory, performative, and impromptu qualities of these collective actions. The work ultimately is about setting up a collaborative experience where participants can engage in a very automated state of creative energy exploring the physicality of mark making, sound and movement.

The inquiry is about exploring the language of mark making and how it correlates into understanding the dynamic of the Happenings themselves with a focus on how participants styles push and pull and influence one another. It has gradually become a process of engaging in this communal energy with friends and allowing it to teach us about the visual language of painting. Chance is a central influence and is the main guiding principle. The work operates very much on its own with us and the other participants functioning as vessels under the collective influence of the work.

Conceptually this work is trying to live outside the realms of the consumer marketplace
from a cultural and socio political perspective while also sharing a strong resemblance to the philosophy of the Fluxus and Gutai. The work is meant to be in opposition to professionalism and the pretentious, serious and inaccessible aspects of the traditional art scene while also focusing to explore the pure vitality of these mediums. The materials are just the materials and speak for themselves. The work utilizes the vocabulary of play, automatism, and action painting within the context of community involvement.

28 albums

Fall 2017