Thursday, March 16, 2017

Data Visualization Reading

The YouTube clip on Data Visualization is a concept which I've never really taken the time to digest. In today's society, we are so often exposed to these laid out materials which depict a bigger picture. This include maps, subway grids, info graphics etc. What's most interesting to me is how important data visualization has become for our brain's understanding of bigger concepts. Our world is so digitized that it's become almost essential to make the information we process into an image. I know for myself, being much more of a visual learner, that I am constantly in need of graphics; that being either a chart, web or table to compare and contrast opposing points of views or information being compared. Visualization has the ability to take something that is complex and make it simple. I think that for the future of our society, with the ever-growing world of media, there will be major improvements in data visualization, leaving no room for confusion in the ways we are exposed to data. I like the point that Jer Thorp makes saying, "There's another purpose of data visualization. There's revelation-which is- show us something that we've never seen before." This quote kind of tests what we already know about data visualisation and challenges the future thinkers to top the development of cartography and sun maps.

Monday, February 6, 2017

John Berger

Image result for john berger ways of seeing

John Berger's Ways of Seeing speaks of the logic behind visual understanding and how we as the viewer have different perspectives. This explains why some will find others attractive and then others will not. In terms of art, we are depicted an image through the time and setting of an artist. When a camera depicts a painting, it defeats its uniqueness and makes it less special. My favorite part of Berger's chapter is the opening line, "Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak." I find this relate to how everyone's perspective should be valued and listened to. It's amazing to me that two individuals can be exposed to the same image or scene and have completely different interpretations and opinions as to whether something is beautiful or not. My friends and I continually talk about how crazy it is to believe that we as humans can never really know how other's view the world. Whether my idea of the color blue is the same as the person standing next to me. Or whether the image I see in the mirror is the same as the person who views my face on a day to day basis. Berger's publishings also discusses how the relationship between what we see and what we know can never be truly settled. He uses the example of a sunset. How gorgeous the sun looks when it's setting on the horizon, yet, it is actually the action of the earth turning that we are exposed to. Using words to depict this action to someone that's let say is, is blind, would never amount to the image of a beautiful sunset. "The way we see things is affected by what we know or believe... to look is an act of choice." This sort of choice of image can be seen through our interpretations of art as well. If I know more about a painting and what time period it is from, providing me with some background of the circumstance, I am prone to a better or more educated understanding of that painting. Berger says there is a gap between words and sight. I believe this gap is unsolvable because as humans, we are subject to our own beliefs. There can never really be a concert explanation for anything.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


1. The first of my favorite pieces of work was Andy Warhol's rendition of The Last Supper. It was the first time I had ever seen a modern portrayal of the very historical and religious Leonardo da Vinci's piece. What I liked most about this were the colors that Warhol chose. To me, black and yellow is a very bold combination. It is striking to the eye and gives light to the entire scene leaving little to imagination for the viewer. The piece is extremely large in size and took up a good portion of the exhibit wall. Warhol's work is commonly of modern day images and everyday items. I found this to be most special because it is the least likely of subjects which I would expect of Warhol. The mirroring aspect of the image also grabbed my attention. At first look, I didn't differentiate the fact but then shortly came to terms with there being two images. I'm not sure whether this has any significant meaning or what his intentions were in doing so. This was my favorite piece in the museum because this image resonates closely with my faith. I've been exposed to this image for so long that I've began to overlook it and not pay close attention to the details. Because this portrayal displays it differently, I was able to take the time and really appreciate it more through something like a kaleidoscope. 

2. Workshop of Paolo Veronese caught my attention because of the realism aspect that it so predominately portrays. The painting looks as though it is popping out at you or that you're standing in the room of this scene. The image has so much depth and the artist does a truly amazing job of casting shadows, using contour and adding layers to make this as humanlike as possible.

3. Bust of Thetys on a Marine Background was amongst the most beautiful pieces of art I saw. I'm always intrigued by mosaics and how such intricate detail and imagery can be formed using pieces of stone. This artist in particular was limited to a small range of color yet created an image with abundant character and detail. The way he arranged them create shadow, depth and even changes in skin tone like blush on the cheek. 

Monday, January 23, 2017


The author of Visibility calls upon a very complex topic, one which I think has many if not infinite possibilities. I believe the argument of this chapter is questioning the origins of imagination; using the two modes of thought: imagination as an instrument of knowledge or as identification with the world soul. Do we create our own organic thoughts or are they a combination of the bits and pieces we gather from everyday life? Can thought, therefore, ever really be organic?

The author uses great points using his personal experience to choose a solution to this problem. He tunes into his own writing process, stating that an image is the first thing that comes to mind which then influences the development of a story. He symbolizes an image as the vehicle which transitions into meaning over time. This however is not persistent in his writing style because there have been times where a story had to arise from a pre developed conceptual statement.

Through contemplation, the author feels he connects more with the second standing on imagination but continues to develop his own point of view; one which I feel I stand closely with. This third approach ties in what I think to be a more modern view on imagination. One which involves the world we live in today.

He explains how the oversaturation of our minds is making the future of imagination less personal. There is becoming a blurred line between the images we believe to have created on our own versus what we subconsciously see in society. Being a communications major, I am highly educated on the world in which we live in today where on average, we are exposed to 6-10 thousand images and advertisements on an average day. Unsure of when this article was written, I uncertainly believe this author is ahead of his time in his questioning of: "What will be the future of the individual imagination in what is usually called the "civilization of the image?""

In light of where I stand with imagination, I too believe it is with the world soul. I believe that every thought or idea we have is the product of an external factor, something that has been pre-established. We may call it our own and have various interpretations, but nothing which we imagine is purely organic.