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.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

BMA


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

Visibility

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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Whole Ball of Wax

I found the article The Whole Ball of Wax to be something of a mind game. As someone coming from little to no art background, art is commonly something overlooked in my day to day life. I will rarely go out of my way to examine art and look deeper into the image that merely meets my eye.

Hoptman and Eleey would be the opposite of someone such as myself because they are looking at ways to recognize art for all the more that it offers other than being aesthetically pleasing. I thought it was interesting to see how they talked about the ways some people look at art with objective eyes. This is because they are closed off to the meaning behind a work. What I liked most was Oscar Wilde's quote, "The moment you think you understand a work of art it's dead for you." Art really is an amazing thing because there is no set meaning to it. Unlike a math equation or algorithm that are bound to concrete answers, art is open to interpretation and allows you to create your own.

Reading this article encourages me to be the opposite of those described as the thought police. A huge pet peeve of mine are people that are not open to interpretation and other's opinions. Therefore, in terms of art and all other aspects of my life, I'd like to take the time now to think outside the box the next time I find myself at a museum or piece of art. I love the way the authors describe art as an experience rather than an understanding. This is because art creates new thought through structure.
When reflecting on the question, can art change the world? I believe it not only has the potential to change the world but also provide people with the opportunity to find order in the things that seem to have none at all.