Ally Chapel’s “of modernity,”

“When I first read about the Boulder Tattoo Project, I knew I had to be a part of it. At the time, I was going into my senior year as an Art History major and Technology Arts and Media minor at CU. I fell in love with Boulder almost immediately after having arrived for school three years prior. One of the classes I was in while going through the first steps of the Boulder Tattoo Project process was on Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. A term that encapsulated much of the class was modernity, which was coined by Charles Baudelaire, who was a renegade poet and art critic. Baudelaire focused on the art coming out of Paris around the 1840s. He utilized the term modernity to describe the unfolding of a new way of life in a dense urban environment and the impact of technology upon society and art. We now live in a time that embodies this change and technology is evermore a part of our present and future.

The excuse for academic art until the rise of Impressionism was that it portrayed the ‘heroic’ life of the ancient world, but, for Baudelaire, it was necessary for artists to be of their own time. Baudelaire argued that modern life was as heroic as ancient life and that men in frock coats were as brave in their own time as the Roman gladiators were in the arena. We must live in the now; however, that always means looking forward as well. We must not be so blinded by our lives as to not think about what we will leave behind and what world we will be living in. We must be the heroes in the creation of our art, our love and respect for the people around us, our care of the Earth and the appreciation of our own lives. We are the gladiators of our time. We must use our intelligence and our strength so that technology can aid us is solving the problems of our world, instead of our depending on it to do so.

On a personal level, technology has given me strength. Because of surgeries I had as a child and a hearing aid, I only struggle minimally with a hearing impairment. Thus, technology and I are one, and it has ceaselessly been a part of every aspect of my life. I have been fortunate to develop speech normally and am able to play music, which is a major part of my life, possibly because I have a deep-rooted appreciation for the ability to listen to it. For me, technology has created a new way of life, separate from the one I may have led.

Rhythm is as much a part of music as it is of all art. Humans have given life to art with the use of rhythm, much like the beating tempo of our hearts that keeps us alive. Baudelaire was looking for the artist who could capture modernity or the pulse of his/her own time. I want to continue and forever keep the pulse of my time. To live and be present now, and to always know that every moment was once the future. As an artist, I want to remember, as Baudelaire puts it, ‘to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience.'”

Ally Chapel

Ally Chapel’s “of modernity,”

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