McLane Journal Entry #6 – Thursday, September 14

Today our piece was revealed to the world (and more importantly our professors), and Andrew was right when he told me to just let go of my perfectionism and particularity when working in a group setting. Everyone had their own ideas that coalesced in a very fluid way and overall our piece was deemed successful, with reasonable criticism of course.

I was very happy with the amount of work my group members and I put into our piece as well as our creativity. I’d like to give a special shout out to Hannah for her extensive efforts in gathering concession food, utilizing her relationship with the janitor, and overall having an incredible attitude throughout the entire process, even when it became difficult/overwhelming.

I decided to go on a run again tonight to see how different the space was to me after the installation had been created. The point of our piece was to dissect McLane into the aspects that everyone noticed most and to emphasize/integrate those as if they were the only parts of the building; the parts that stand out are the only parts that come alive in memory, so eliminate all extraneous details and only portray the important segments.

I found that having this outlook definitely created some parallels in my mind between our interpretation of the space and the space itself; what was lost in translation, what changed between reality and expression, and what other things stood out to me now that our installation had been burned into my vision.

Additionally, Amy and I had to film our “performance” (which can be found in my next post) tonight separately from our group due to schedules not aligning.

-J.D

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McLane Journal Entry #5 – Wednesday, September 13

This post was going to be productive and about the center but then a beautiful trove of events occurred.

 

All of the finishing touches had pretty much been made on our project, I had run several errands for my group and would be the last person in the studio adding the last detail: fishing line-suspended planks that would act as the deep staircase you encounter the moment you enter the McLane center.

I returned from my tasks outside of Cohen and made my way downstairs to the installation space I noticed two things:

  1. Another group had thrown all of their trash and excess material into our installation space, all over our mats and underneath our rubbing, pretty much everywhere.
  2. Another group had taken all ladders within the space and integrated them into their structural design, although we had told them that we still needed to use one to hang planks from the ceiling.

Initially I attempted to problem solve, looking for stools or a table to stand on, but all of those had been additionally taken as structural supports, and as mad as I was about the sheer lack of consideration, I didn’t want to ruin another person’s artwork.

Since I could not reach the ceiling, I ripped down the remaining fishing line and scrapped the hanging staircase idea. In regards to the junk strewn about our space, luckily we had the janitor broom that Hannah had brought from McLane. I spent about half an hour sweeping everything into a pile, organizing cardboard into usable pieces and scraps, as well as removing anything that could’ve been RePoed.

In hindsight, I really should’ve taken pictures and showed them to a professor so we could have a talk about studio etiquette, but I didn’t want it to become a bitch session, that’s not who I am.

I suppose that’s what this post became, and I’m just another “Armchair Warrior” armed with my keyboard. Nevertheless, experiencing those issues at the hands of other people (whom I enjoy being around) the night before a large assignment was due was not fun. Especially being the last person touching up my group’s piece. Oh well, it was not detrimental to our work, and I’m still happy with how things came out.

Isn’t this what most people use blogs for? To rant? Glad I had my chance.

-J.D.

McLane Journal Entry #4 – Monday, September 12

Today I spent most of my time gathering materials and brainstorming for the installation. My first stop was the RePo since I had been funneling odds and ends into it for a few days and seen some things that we could use for the piece. I grabbed some wooden planks, rope, fabric, black foam board, and a working light then headed over to Cohen.

When I arrived I had discovered that Char and Jaime had brought a damaged streetlamp without its post, so I unscrewed the top and installed the bulb from RePo into it to get it illuminated. The new bulb was much more attractive than that ugly freaking tungsten crap they use in the posts on campus, and we were all pretty happy about it.

I organized the rest of the salvaged supplies that I had brought, brainstormed a bit more on our large piece of memo paper in the middle of our space, and left.

McLane Journal Entry #3 – Sunday, September 11

Today I ventured to McLane around 9:30 to 10 pm, and my attention was immediately caught by the drastic change in its interior appearance; most of the lights that generally illuminated the building during the day were turned off and shadows danced where they never had before. Of course there was the hallway with the spiral staircase that everyone had found creepy when they examined the structure, but at this moment obscurity ran rampant in all corners.

The building became almost alien to me, the motion of my eyes and body throughout the space changed entirely due to the sudden lack of familiarity. My regular “route” that had been developed through monotonous exploration was broken.

The different manner of making my way through the space brought several things to my attention especially in regards to new rooms or pathways I hadn’t previously explored; new stairways and halls connected point A to point be in a maze like fashion that I could not assemble in my mind.

The very conventional space that had a very obvious purpose of physical training had transformed into a cryptic labyrinth with a context that was very hard to pinpoint.

Adding to the ominous feel of my investigation tonight was that I had not seen any other people; no one was utilizing the building, which effectively killed the space.

With a lack of purpose, the McLane center became a corpse.

McLane Journal Entry #2 – Saturday, September 10th

Once again I decided to spend my entire day in the studio on my artwork and only left for food twice. Therefore I didn’t go to Mclane, and I feel slightly guilty about it, however I took this as an opportunity to do a bit of research on the building.

The following is my set of notes on what I discovered:

  • The McLane center opened in 1971
    • named after former Alfred University athletic director James A. McLane
  • This houses intramural space, a fitness center, as well as offices for the Department of Athletics and the Division for Athletic Training
  • Gibbs Fitness Center is 4000 square feet
  • Home to men’s and women’s basketball teams, the men’s and women’s swimming/diving teams, women’s volleyball team.
  • Basketball, floor hockey, inner tube water polo, indoor soccer, racquetball
  • Joyce and Walton Annex added via state funding
    • Home to a 4 lane elevated track and 3 basketball courts with dividers
  • Tennis courts attached on exterior
  • Terry S. Galanis Family Arena for basketball/volleyball as well as several kinds of ceremonies
  • Lebohner Pool – six 25 foot wide lanes with diving pool (3 meter board and 1 meter board)
  • Harrington Field – Softball (OFF SITE)
    • Doris Harrington – 1987 AU Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Jericho Hill Fields (OFF SITE)
    • Home to rugby and cross country
  • William T. Brown tennis courts
    • 6 regulation tennis courts
  • Bromley-Dagget Equestrian (OFF SITE)
  • Swain Ski and Snowboard Center (OFF SITE

 

Whereas this updated my knowledge in regards to the statistics and trivia of the center, it didn’t do much for me in regards to the feel of the building.

I’ll definitely be getting my lazy ass over there tomorrow.

-J.D.

Mclane Journal Entry #1 – Friday, September 9th

I spent my entire day taking care of my work in the studio and decided not to trek to Mclane

However, I do have a pretty good (and over-dramaticized) idea of how it would have gone.

 

I’d walk into the front door of the fitness center and sputter, overcome with the suffocating aroma of chlorine, B.O., and overheated rubber. Looking around, I would notice that the facility is not nearly as populated as it is during the weekdays; I’d figure the other students must be winding down for the weekends or getting ready for their “weekend events.”

Must be they haven’t heard the thing about binge drinking and how it negates your progress at the gym.

I’d continue to the pool doors only to find that the handle will not budge. For the 4th day in a row I would miss the open swim hours because I had much more important things on my mind than memorizing that god-forsaken hour-long window of time they have open swim every day.

Giving up on the pool idea, I’d venture down the stairs to the Gibbs Fitness Center and glance through the window. I would practically be able to hear all of the neanderthal-like grunting and the dropping of weights (maybe several Spartan war cries as well). As I’m not one who likes loud obnoxious environments and societal stereotypical displays of masculinity, I’d continue down the hallway to a side door; this leads to a winding steel staircase and two enclosed wood-paneled rooms.

As per usual, I’d find myself opening and closing the doors, enjoying the eerie creaks and groans that the rusted hinges gasp and echo around the dimly lit rooms. They smell incredibly musty, as if the space had not been used for months, possibly years considering the lack of upkeep.

After getting my horror-aesthetic fix for the day, I’d move on to the Joyce & Walton Annex and do a few loops around the upper track, looking down periodically.

On one side I’d observe the Alfred University Quidditch team practicing, tackling each other and throwing a multitude of game balls around the room, whereas on the opposite end a few pickup basketball games were in session on the open courts.

At this point I’d likely be tired, sick of people and how they smell when they sweat, and ready to go back to my dorm or the studio.

I hope this was even partially amusing or ridiculous; exploring the space mentally actually helped me recall a few very vivid details about the building so I suppose the adventure, although within my mind, wasn’t entirely unproductive.

-J.D.

 

EXPLORING THE BUILDING: MClane Athletic Complex

 

 

Mind Map

new-mind-map

25 Sketches of Objects Inside and Outside MclaneFullSizeRender.jpg

 

 

Video 1

 

Video 2

 

Video 3

 

Video 4


Video 5

 

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