Thursday, March 30, 2017

Postmodernism

The articles on postmodernism art were somewhat confusing for me. The writers talk about how places such as Disneyland is neither true or false. They draw contrast on the reality of these mystical places; these places that “make us believe that the adults are elsewhere, in the “real” world, and to conceal the fact that the real childishness is everywhere…” This brings question to me. I view this as saying we indulge in these imaginary worlds to forego the reality of the world momentarily. What does that have to do with postmodern art?


I enjoyed the article which talks about how technological influences have changed the way in which we see the world. Communications technologies have made what used to be viewed a ginormous world, small. We are so interconnected these days that things are viewed much smaller and more fragmented. There are so many more and new ways to express oneself and be your own person whereas back then, things were much less individualistic. I understood the definition of postmodern art best through it being summarized in this quote, “Postmodern artists, just like the explorers of past centuries, simply plunge into the unknown and then try to represent it.” I suppose we are living in a world of postmodern art, even when we don’t realize it, because every new idea is essentially a shaping of a previously establish concept.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Shape of Time

Kubler's, The Shape of Time, discusses the limitations which come about when writing the biography of an artist. He finds controversy in the structure of a biography because it does not properly emphasize on the historical question in artists' lives. Kubler compares this analogy to a train; "railroads themselves are the elements of continuity and not the travelers or the functionaries thereon." I believe what he is saying is that we must focus in on the tracks of a railroads as an artist's life and disregard those that travel upon them. A railroad takes many twists and turns, and just as an artist's life does, it can travel in many directions.

Kubler also discusses "entrances" which I believe is the starting point for the artists recognition. People begin at both good and bad starting points which Kubler believes can be that of luck for the individual. There is a question of whether those that being at "bad" starting points are as likely to succeed as those beginning at good starting points with the same amount of talent. Would somebody with extraordinary talent but little wealth have the opportunity to succeed as much as those with great wealth and just as much if not less talent? Kubler identifies "genius" as the inheritable nature and inborn different of kind among men.

The shape of time comes from what anthropologists use to distinguish intangible items, ideas, apart from artifacts. What unites the two is the "history of things" under a visual form. This relates to the concept of visual data which we've been studying because as stated by Kubler, "in short all materials worked by human hands under the guidance of connected ideas developed in temporal sequence." In short, it is taking the concept of a thought or idea, and turning it into visual material. Whether we interpret it the same or not, it is the collective identity that then becomes art.

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.