Kylie LuteraanMidterm

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    Humans of Leiden

    by Kylie Luteraan

    Contents:

    The Idea Page 1

    The Inspiration Page 2

    Stage One- Not Quite Right Page 4

    Stage Two- A Stand Still Page 5

    Stage Three- Getting Better Page 6

    Stage Four- Finally Something Page 7

    Portraits Page 11

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    The Idea.

    Portraits of stories of Humans we see in our every day lives, but never imagine them any

    differently than how we know them. Humans are routine. We wake up at the same time every

    day, get ready how we always do, go to the same grocery stores, buy the same things, make

    appointments, we go to work, class(es), do chores, etc. Often times we see the same people doing

    their same routines that may very well overlap ours. Neighbours walking dogs together every

    morning, kids walking to and/or from school, that same old man with the charming smile who

    sells fresh bread every day, just like he has been doing since he was a boy.

    But do you know anything else about that man besides the way you see him? Did you

    know that he fell in love at 20, only to have his wife taken away from him by cancer? And did

    you know that he was with her every step of the way? Up until the very last moment?

    What about the two neighbours that walk together oh so often- do you think they could

    each name what the other persons favourite place in the world to travel is? Maybe, but probably

    not. We, as humans, have grown so familiar with others presence in our every day lives. We

    have stopped caring for the details and stories that other people have to share with us.

    This is not a project about changing the world or making it a better place.

    This is a project about listening.

    Listening to one story at a time.

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    The Inspiration.

    I am an avid reader of Humans of Amsterdam: a facebook web page that uploads portraits

    of Amsterdammers and usually a snippet of the conversation that the subject and the

    photographer, Deborah Barraud have while they get ready to pose, and she prepares her camera.

    Of course, like most great art, she was inspired by another artist called Brandon Stanton,

    who does the same thing with citizens of New York.

    The Approach by Brandon Stanton:

    First of all, accept that some people will say no. A few people may even act offended

    that you asked. This has nothing to do with you, or what you are doing. Do not let these people

    make you feel rude. Do not let these people make you feel weird. There is nothing wrong with

    politely asking another person for their photograph. Most people will be honored.

    Accept that you are going to be nervous when you first begin stopping people. This is

    completely natural. You must keep asking until you are no longer nervous. This takes time. But

    its the most important step. It doesnt really matter how you ask. The most important part of

    asking is to remain completely calm. And you must earn this comfort.

    Remember that people tend to reflect each others emotions-- so if you are nervous, your

    subjects will be nervous. When you are calm, your subjects will be calm. And they will allow

    you to take their photo.

    Normally, the only thing I say is:

    Is there any way I can take your photograph? If they hesitate, Ill add: You look great.

    Ask everyone. Your best portraits will be the people you were most afraid to ask.

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    Speak softly.

    Smile.

    Never approach from the rear.

    Carry a business cardit will put people at ease.

    If you are photographing a child, always ask the parent first. I dont even interact with a

    child before speaking to the parent.

    If a person wants to know why you are asking just be honest. I often say: You have a

    great face. Or Your hat matches the color of the stop sign.

    Ill end where I began you must accept that some people will say no. Rejection is the

    hardest part of the process. A few people will try to make you feel weird for asking, and it can

    wear you down. Dont let it. It is not weird to politely ask a stranger for their photograph. It is a

    respectful and beautiful thing.

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    Stage One- Not Quite Right

    So there I was, breaking out my DSLR and taking photos of the people that I knew, and

    learning things I didnt know-- just by listening.

    I saw a photo of a crazy older man with some wild hair who jumped and was caught posing in

    air. It reminded me of your personality!

    What? Why!? Im not old!

    I never said he was old! He was just crazy. He seemed to have tons of fun, but maybe was alsothatguy who sits alone drinking whiskey.

    Wait, actually that doesnt surprise me. Im already at the bar drinking whiskey alone... Im halfway there!

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    Stage Two- A Stand Still

    October 27: Photos have been done for weeks. Inspiration is ever-present, but lack of

    motivation, ability, and determination will be my downfall. Nothing seems right. Nothing seems

    to fit. How can I make this my own?

    -Monsters in photos? (No. Thats copying Monsters of New York...)

    - Collage photos? (I dont have nearly enough photos or planning done to pull that off.)

    It was here that Machteld Aardse showed me Berend Strik, who I became fascinated by, quickly.

    - Sew photos like Berend Strik? (I cant sew...)

    - Draw stitches like Berend Strik? (Seems mundane and not very interactive.)

    - Draw over the photos as a whole? Wait, that sounds like a plausible idea! And its something

    that Ive done before, and am familiar with.

    (From my 12th grade typography class: Self Portraits.)

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    Stage Three- Getting Better

    (Left:Dannyin progress. Right: DannyTraced)

    I started off by opening the image in photoshop and then creating a new transparent layer

    over the existing background image (the subject). Next, I started drawing over the image.

    Sometimes fixing imperfections (evening out eyebrows, thinning slightly- only because it would

    look strange otherwise) and then my art started to actually look like something.

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    Stage Four- Finally Something

    October 29: It seems like I have finally crawled out of my hole and am ready to start

    creating again. I reread the Berend Strik books and also drew some inspiration from my best

    friends art installation.

    I am fascinated by touch and interaction. I love how you can physically run your fingers

    over the stitches on the cover of this hard back book.

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    I also drew inspiration from this piece by Berend Strik. Untitled 1989. There is so much balance

    here, although it does not relate directly to my project, the interaction with this piece is what

    drew me in, and the interaction in my project is what I believe, should draw other people in.

    Thixotropy- Reversible behaviour of certain gels that liquify when they are shaken, stirred, or otherwise disturbedand reset when allowed to stand.

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    (She Movesby Berend Strik)

    This portrait almost perfectly shows what my project is about. If you look at the actual portrait of

    the woman, she seems at peace and relaxed, but as you observe the stitched version of her, she

    looks helpless. Almost as if shes given up. Humans dont choose to show every side of

    themselves, but that doesnt mean that they dont want to. Sometimes, they need to know that the

    option to talk or express their feelings/stories is there, and people are willing to listen.

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    (Left: The Swimmers Shoe, Right: Sandy After Maratby Berend Strik.)

    Hand-embroidered photograph of Mia (photographed and embroidered by Nolan Boomer)Paired with audio from an interview by Nolan Boomer.

    (Featured in "This Line Is Part of a Very Large Circle" exhibition in August 2013 in Los Angeles, CA.)

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    Portraits

    (Monicaby Kylie Luteraan)

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    (Yuby Kylie Luteraan)

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    (Dannyby Kylie Luteraan)

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    (Caryby Kylie Luteraan)