Each year in Amy Wilson’s Art in Theory class, the students are asked to create a timeline encompassing the major artistic and historical developments of the first half of the twentieth century. A minimum of 40 historical events and 15 art movements must be included. The goal is for each student to gain a deeper understanding of how art and society have evolved together, and the interdependent relationship they have had throughout the modern era.
Over time, Amy’s students have responded to the assignment in many ways. Today’s post presents Lucia Hinojosa’s timeline, which took the form of a six-and-a-half-minute video assembled entirely from found footage and sound. All of the materials she used were either created between 1900 and 1950, or refer to the period in some way.
Since Lucia’s timeline weaves together elements from dozens of sources, I asked her to write a brief explanation of its contents for the blog. Her text is presented below, right after the video. It includes a brief statement on her basic ideas for he project, and a detailed list of the events it features.
With this timeline, I tried to create an audio-visual collage of various historical and artistic events.
With public domain material that can be appropriated from the Internet, I tried to recompose, revert and criticize the meaning of history. The juxtaposition of audio and image, and the play of antagonistic elements heard and seen at the same time, create a sense of irony regarding our accomplishments, explorations and faults as a human race.
In order of appearance:
1. First science fiction film. A Trip to the Moon – Georges Melies (1902).
2. Sigmund Freud Publishes “The Interpretation of Dreams” (1900). Freud Documentary – John Huston (Filmed in 1962).
3. First American action film. The Great Train Robbery – Edwin S. Porter (1903).
4. World War I starts (1914).
5. Surrealism emerges. Le Retour a la Raison – Man Ray (1923).
6. Modernist poetry. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock -T.S Eliot (1915).
7. German Expressionism – Egon Schiele (1914).
8. Duchamp as Rrose Selavy (1921).
9. Roaring Twenties in America.
10. Dadaism. Sound Poem – Hugo Bell performs at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland (1916).
11. Japan’s Prince Ito assassinated (1909).
12. Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel creates the Nobel Prize Awards (1901).
13. Belgian Chemist Leo Baekeland invents plastic (1909).
14. Indian Plague (1903).
15. Subway inaugurated in NYC (1904).
16. First electric washing machine (1907).
17. Russian Revolution begins (1917).
18. Futurism. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti publishes the Futurist Manifesto (1909). The video is an animated/live action interpretation of F.T. Marinetti.
19. Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg (1912).
20. The Mexican Revolution (1910).
21. The Chinese Revolution (1911).
22. Picasso introduces Cubism (1907).
23. Machu Picchu is discovered (1911).
24. Einstein wins the Nobel Prize in Physics (1921).
25. Franz Ferdinand assassinated (1914).
26. The Titanic sinks (1912).
27. Arshile Gorky arrives in New York (1923).
28. Great Depression starts. (1929).
29. First Pulitzer Prize awarded (1917).
30. Bessie Smith signed by Columbia Records (1923). Song: St. Louis Blues.
31. Prohibition starts (1920).
32. Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic – Hannah Hoch (1919).
33. Lenin dies (1924).
34. Harry Houdini performing (1920).
35. Man With a Movie Camera – Dziga Vertov (1929).
36. First Mickey Mouse cartoon (1928).
37. Pluto is discovered (1930).
38. Scientists split the atom (1932).
39. Amelia Earhart flies across the Atlantic (1932).
40. Attack on Pearl Harbor (1941).
41. Coca Cola Commercial (1950).
42. Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany (1933).
43. Holocaust Ends (1945).
44. Blood of A Poet – Jean Cocteau (1930).
45. Nietzsche’s theories in relation to Hitler.
46. Meshes of the Afternoon – Maya Deren (1943).
47. WWII begins (1939).
48. The United Nations is founded (1945).
49. Un Chien Andalou – Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali (1929).
50. First modern credit card introduced (1950).
51. Gandhi Assassinated (1948).
52. China becomes Communist (1949).
53. Anne Frank dies (1945).
54. Hiroshima Bomb (1945).
55. Number 1 – Jackson Pollock (1950).