Because of Covid-19, the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, hosted their seventh Slow Art Day as a virtual “slow reveal” event via their Instagram account @macmuseum.
Over a 90 minute period, nine detailed image fragments of Franklin Carmichael’s Spring Snow were published in 10-minute intervals on the museum’s Instagram feed, with the full artwork being revealed at the end.
Participants were invited to reflect on each of the detailed images as they were posted, and a discussion was facilitated in the caption to each post, and in the McMaster Instagram stories.
The Instagram stories for the McMaster Slow Art Day event had almost 200 views, and the posts themselves were seen by 350 people. A recap of the event is available for anyone who would like to recreate it at home.
When we started Slow Art Day 10 years ago, we were adamant that all the sessions be *offline* in the museums. We Internet veterans were happy to use the Internet to promote and support Slow Art Day but we wanted to use the web in the service of sending more people into real spaces. This year, however, we had no choice and are delighted to see the creative ways museums like the McMaster hosted virtual events for our 10th anniversary Slow Art Day.
We look forward – we hope – to the eighth McMaster Museum of Art’s Slow Art Day in their actual museum in 2021.
1 – Progress#15 interpreted as Matcha Lemonade: ‘Misterios con Matcha’
2 – Warmer interpreted as Hibiscus Ginger Mocktail: ‘Jamaica Haven’
Participants were provided with written explanations to illustrate the connection between the art and drinks, and were guided through each recipe to make the drinks themselves.
In her description of Progress #15, Ammala Lacroix writes that Ruiz-Kim’s juxtapositioning of coloured triangles highlights “the irony of differentiation”.
This theme was reflected in the different states of the lemon in the ‘Misterios con Matcha’ drink (liquid, solid and frozen). “Despite being presented in differing states,” Lacroix writes, “at the end of the day, a lemon remains a lemon”.
On the other hand, Ruiz-Kim’s Warmer explores the theme of reconciling the divide between past and present through an edited collage of digitally layered pictures taken by the artist’s paternal grandfather in New Mexico. Lacroix writes, “Maritza Ruiz-Kim tells the story of her family by creating soft pink landscapes informed by the past but seen through new eyes.”
The ‘Jamaica Haven’ drink connects to the artwork Warmer through its colors and inclusion of traditional Mexican ingredients like hibiscus.
The event had 25 participants on Slow Art Day itself and received strongly positive feedback. It has since been viewed by over 60 participants asynchronously.
Participant Torange Yeghiazarian, Founding Artistic Director at Golden Thread Productions, said that she “loved the drink recipes” and appreciated learning about their inspiration from Ruiz-Kim’s art. Patty Tsai, Senior Associate Director at Columbia Alumni Association Arts Access also loved it and hoped to promote it to her group.
On April 26th, ArtemisSF also hosted additional virtual ‘see’ and ‘hear’ events involving activities such as a Zoom poetry reading in connection with the ‘taste’ event for Slow Art Day. Invitations for all events were designed by Ruiz-Kim.
At Slow Art Day HQ we love seeing such a beautiful focus on the senses in connection with virtual art, and very much look forward to ArtemisSF’s continued creativity and participation next year.
The Rubin understands how hard it is for most people to slow down. “It’s not easy for most people to sit with one piece of art for more than a few moments.”
They emphasize that this activity, if practiced continuously, will bring great joy for decades. “…the deep looking encouraged during Slow Art Day is a lifelong skill that will continue to provide rewarding experiences in museums and galleries for years to come.”
We couldn’t agree more.
We think this simple concept is important – especially in this age of multi-tasking where the emphasis is placed on speed. We started Slow Art Day in 2009 to provoke a new way of seeing in the midst of the blindness that this screen-based world is creating.
The Rubin Museum is hosting Slow Art Day again this year – if you’re in the New York area, we hope you’ll join them!
We hope you’re as excited for Slow Art Day 2018 (just three months away!) as we are! One of this year’s hosts, Karolina Fabelova of Kunstzeichnen in Germany, certainly is – check out the great video she made all about Slow Art Day!
Listen to the Slow Art Day live podcast recorded Tuesday, September 12, 2017 with Slow Art Day hosts around the world and our special guest Christian Adame, longtime Slow Art Day host and Assistant Education Director at the Phoenix Art Museum. Christian designed and piloted the Slow Art & Mindfulness Summer Series at the Phoenix Art Museum this summer.
He talked us about this pilot program and what they learned and answered questions from listeners.
He was one of Jacques Derrida’s first American graduate students. Trained in comparative literature, Reed authored a prize-winning study of Coleridge and Baudelaire (mentioned above). His career as a scholar of literature was interrupted in 1984, when he experienced a conversion. An encounter with Max Beckmann’s triptych The Actors at the Fogg Museum pivoted Reed’s field of study to the visual arts. His Manet book mentioned above has been translated into French and Spanish.
His forthcoming book
Professor Reed’s latest book Slow Art: The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell (University of California Press, to be published late June 2017) is about attending to visual images in a culture of distraction, specifically extending the six to 10 seconds that Americans, on average, spend looking at individual works on museums walls and why that matters.
The research and writing of his latest book was supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, and residencies at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center at Bellagio, the Clark Art Institute, and the American Academy in Rome. Reed has given presentations on slow art, among other venues, at the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, King’s College Cambridge University, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the École normale supérieure in Paris.
Buy and read his book
Professor Reed’s newest book is a foundational book for the slow art movement and we highly recommend that all Slow Art Day hosts read it.
Listeners to the podcast can receive a 30% discount to the book if they order from the University of California press. To get the discount, order online via www.ucpress.edu. Just enter code 16V6526 at checkout.
Slow Art Day is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 13 at 11 AM EST for the slow art community and other interested participants featuring special guest Arden Reed.
Dr. Reed is a professor of English and Art History at Pomona College. His latest book Slow Art: The Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell (University of California Press, French translation Editions Hermann) is about attending to visual images in a culture of distraction, specifically extending the six to 10 seconds that Americans, on average, spend looking at individual works on museums walls and why that matters.
Dr. Reed will discuss his new book (which will be published on the date of the webinar – June 13) and answer questions from participants.
Slow Art Day 2017, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Friederike Redlbacher
Host Friederike Redlbacher of Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany writes of their Slow Art Day 2017 experience:
“We looked at three different works of art by Lorrain, Chagall and Böcklin. To connect deeper with the artwork and ourselves I guided the group with reflective questions like ‘What in the artwork is drawing your attention?’ or ‘How did this situation came about and how could it develop?’. This encouraged the participants to deeply engage with what they saw. After a silent period of looking we shared our thoughts and perceptions. Listening to what the others saw, opened a whole new perspective to the artwork but also to the way of looking at art. To look slowly and engage oneself with the art is a truly inspiring experience.”
Slow lookers at Jorn Keseberg’s studio in Cologne.
Host Sabine Klement writes,
Slow Art Day 2017 in Cologne took place at Jörn Keseberg’s studio in Köln-Ehrenfeld, one of the city’s most vibrant and trendiest districts, home to many artists’ studios and creative entrepreneurs. There was a tough competition going on between beautiful, sunshine, the local soccer club having a derby and our quite avantgarde, subcultural, non-profit art event – yay! But it still worked out fabulously with about a dozen curious participants, willing to communicate on art with each other. Instead of looking eight seconds at each artwork – the average museumvisitors’ attentionspan – we donated ten minutes to six (oops, one plus…) pre-selected art objects. As a result of hosting Slow Art Day for several years, I decided to give a signal every ten minutes to let the visitors know when to change their site. In the beginning most find it challenging to fix their attention for “such a long time” at one item. But the ability (or willingness?) to concentrate and to get involved more deeply grows swiftly. As an artist, Jörn Keseberg is engaging with the connections between technology, nature, art and man – topics that concern every modern human being. He composes objects that captivate every viewer’s interest instantaneously with an unique mixture of beauty and weirdness, even horror. He frequently combines natural materials like time-worn rare timbers, small animal-bones or leaves with electronic components as parts of hard disks and draws on unlimited resources of aesthetically appealing bits and pieces. Accordingly there was an abundant supply of inspiring details to detect and ideas to discuss for the participants – we couldn’t manage to wait until the obligatory “after-show-meeting!” Very happy visitors and promoter had coffee and cake afterwards at the café around the corner! A huge THANKYOU♥ to the artist for inviting us to his studio! Looking forward to do it again next year, April 14 ;).