Saturday, January 29, 2011

crisp & clean

I absolutely love images that can be made with a computer. There's something about the crisp quality of good graphic design (in the literal sense, not necessarily from a computer) that really inspires me. Today, I'd like to dedicate this entry to some of my favorite artists who work with crisp images.

Helen Dardik (She sells her prints for $25 a piece on Etsy! Scoop 'em up! :) -

If you know of any that inspires you, please post a comment! I'd love to look it up/feature it! :)

RE: mybeeface's comment on Am I Dead? post (view here)

We are talking about philosophy in the broadened sense of accepted facts. For example, "I think, Therefore I am" by Rene Descartes completely denies that you cannot learn through the senses. According to the "philosophy" of Descartes, I cannot determine that a rock has a rough texture by touching it. Experience, to Descartes, is meaningless. It is only through thoughts (which is interesting because they are composed of symbols) that we can know anything.

To help you understand a bit more about this philosophy, I'll tell you about the "Opera Project" that we did in class. We listened to Puccini's opera, Turandot, in 6 parts. Nobody knew of the opera, the story, or spoke Italian, so everything that we heard was foreign to us. For each part, we received a piece of paper to create "what we felt". Then, at the end of the segment, we had to give words that we thought of to Dr. Siegesmund to put on the board under that segment (one through six). At the end of the segments, we listened to the entire thing and painted one large picture. Then we had to create a story based on the words that we provided. Still, without knowing the story, we constructed our own meaning. Dr. Siegesmund asked some of us to read our stories (mine was about a man going to the mountains to be alone, realizes he's fallen in love, and ditches his isolation to be with his beloved) and asked us to come to a consensus on what the story was about. Then he told us the real story:

Turandot is the daughter of the emperor of China. If someone wants to marry her, they have to answer three riddles. If they fail, she kills them. The part of the opera that we heard was when one person was about to die and a man proclaims his love for her. He answers her three riddles correctly and she is distraught. She doesn't want to marry him. He says that's cool because she won't have to... if she can tell him his name by the next morning. She threatens to kill the entire town if they don't fess up, and the one person who knows his name is killed for not revealing it. Come the next morning, she has a change of heart. She decides she will marry him. Can you guess what his name is?

When he asked us to come to a consensus on what the story was about, without thinking, all of us said, "love". This is what the man's name was.

So, because we are not able to understand the language of Italian, philosophy (again, in the broadened sense) says that it's impossible for us to determine what the story is about. Yet, everyone did understand. So, what is that called? Again, Dewey called it thinking in the relationship of qualities. It is an experimental logic, one that is not yet defined because it hasn't really been "discovered" yet.

Language is a complex system based on symbols. Essentially, my professor argued that language is anything that can be mathematically supported (and this is REALLY abstract, and it even confuses me some times). I might be taking it out of context by saying that math is something that was constructed by humans (numbers didn't exist without us saying "one" and defining exactly what that is) and therefore language is to. In order to understand something, you have to use language, which is constructed meaning. So, is there really meaning to anything? (Again, I point to the artwork of Wenda Gu)

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