This is the first in a multi-part series in which naive, college student Heidi (ie Heidi from 2012) attempts to understand modern art. Join us for a wild ride.
As a college engineering student, I’ve learned that if I don’t understand something it means I’m not trying hard enough. Working on problem sets with my classmates late into the night, the answer, no matter how elusive, will come if we expend enough brainpower and have dried mangoes, pita chips, and Beyonce to sustain us. The problem just needs to be broken down, into smaller and smaller solvable components.
As a materials engineer, I study how atoms arrange themselves in repeating geometrical patterns that determine the strength of the material as a whole. I’ve learned that the world can be broken down into smaller and smaller components, down to atoms, the building blocks of all matter. I wonder what the atoms of art are, and what it will take to understand them.
With the arrogance of an engineer and inspiration from Clyfford Still, I decide to undertake a project: Understanding Contemporary Art. With enough dedication, how hard can it be?
Check out the next installment in which Heidi attends an "Illustrated Talk" and is so utterly and completely disoriented that she still [4 years later] isn't sure if the experience was a true memory or some bizarre hallucination.