Monday, June 27, 2011

More theory work

The following quotes are from Meaning in the visual Arts by Erwin Panofsky. On the whole this book describes ways to shift from considering images iconographically to iconologicaly and realy taking a closer look into finding the meaning in images. Some of the highlights from the book are as follows

“To perceive the relation of signification is to separate the idea of the concept to be expressed from the means of expression”
Pg. 5 Meaning in the visual arts
“But a work of art always has aesthetic value,: whether or not is serves some practical purpose, and whether it is good or bad, it demands to be experienced aesthetically…only he who simply and wholly abandon himself to the object of his perception will experience it aesthetically…Those man-made objects which do not demand to be experienced aesthetically, are commonly called “practical,” and may be divided into two classes: vehicles of communication, and tools or apparatuses. A vehicle of communication is “intended” to transmit a concept. A tool or apparatus is “intended” to fulfill a function (which function, in turn, may be the production or transmission of communications”
Pgs.11-12 Meaning in the visual arts
“However, the element of “form” is present in every object without exception, for every object consists of matter and form, and there is no way of determining with scientific precision to what extent, in a given case, this element of form bears the emphasis. Therefore one cannot, and should not, attempt to define the precise moment at which a vehicle of communication or an apparatus begins to be a work of art…Where the sphere of practical objects ends, and that of “art” begins, depends, then, on the “intention” of the creators. This “intention” cannot be absolutely determined in the first place, “intentions” are, per se, incapable of being defined with scientific precision. In the second place, the intentions” of those who produce objects are conditioned by the standards of their period and environment. Classical taste demanded that private letters, legal speeches and the shields of heroes should be “artistic” ( with the possible result of what might be called fake beauty), while modern taste demands that architecture and ash trays should be “ functional” with the possible result of what might be called fake efficiency). Finally our estimate of those “intentions” is inevitably influenced by our own attitude, which in turn depends on our individual experiences as well as on our historical situation.”
Pgs.12-13 Meaning in the visual arts
“…the more the proportion of emphasis on “idea” and “form” approaches a state of equilibrium, the more eloquently will the work reveal what is called “content”. Content, as opposed to subject matter, may be described in the words of Peirce as that which a work betrays but does not parade. It is the basic attitude of a nation, a period, a class, a religious or philosophical persuasion—all this unconsciously qualified by one personality, and condensed into one work. It is obvious that such an involuntary revelation will be obscured in proportion as either one of the two elements, idea or form, is voluntarily emphasized or suppressed…”
Pgs.13-14 Meaning in the visual arts
“ For it is obvious that historians of philosophy or sculpture are concerned with books and statues not in so far as these books and sculptures exist materially, but in so far as they have a meaning. And it is equally obvious that this meaning can only be apprehended by re-producing, and thereby, quite literally, “realizing,” the thoughts that are expressed in the books and the artistic conceptions that manifest themselves in the statues. Thus the art historian subjects his “material” to a rational archaeological analysis at times as meticulously exact, comprehensive and involved as any physical or astronomical research. But he constitutes his “ material” by means of an intuitive aesthetic re-creation, including the perception and appraisal of “ quality,” just as any “ordinary” person does when he or she looks at a picture or listens to a symphony…Intuitive aesthetic recreation and archaeological research are interconnected so as to form, again, what we have called “organic situation”…Anyone confronted with a work of art, whether aesthetically re-creating or rationally investigating it, is affected by its three constituents: materialized from, idea ( that is, in the plastic arts, subject matter) and content…it is the unity of those three elements which is realized in the aesthetic experience, and all of them enter into what is called aesthetic enjoyment of art.”
Pg. 16 Meaning in the visual arts
“The re-creative experience of a work of art depends, therefore, not only on the natural sensitivity and the visual training of the spectator, but also on his cultural equipment. There is no such thing as an entirely “na├»ve” beholder.”
Pg.16 Meaning in the visual arts.

This quote may prove helpful in finding a way to blend in my humanities emphasis into the research

“A subtle difference exists in Latin between scientia and erudition, and in English between knowledge and learning. Scientia and knowledge, denoting a mental possession rather than a mental process, can be identified with the natural sciences, erudition and learning, denoting a process rather than a possession, with the humanities. The ideal aim of science would seem to be something like mastery, that of the humanities something like wisdom”

Pgf.25 Meaning in the visual arts.
“ Iconography is that branch of the history of art which concerns itself with the subject matter or meaning of works of art, as opposed to their form.”
Pg.26 Meaning in the visual arts
“ factual meaning; it is apprehended by simply identifying certain visible forms with certain objects known to me from practical experience, and by identifying the chang in their relations with certain actions or events”
Pg.26 Meaning in the visual arts

Thoughts about the next quote :
Art has meaning that each works attempts to convey to the viewer but it is up to us to decide or consider what the meaning is and it will be different, unique to each person who engages in deriving or interpreting this meaning found in our explainations of the experience we have in viewing art and it is all wrapped up in our human experience, whether or not we wish to find this meaning is irrelevant--it exists for the trained or untrained eye. Art is all around us what then do we make of it, and how carefully do we look or stop to consider the art?

“Both the factual and the expressional meaning may be classified together: they constitute the class of primary or natural meanings. When I interpret the lifting of a hat as a polite greeting, I recognize in it a meaning which may be called secondary or conventional, it differs from the primary or natural one in that it is intelligible instead of being sensible, and in that it has been consciously imparted to the practical action by which it is conveyed.”
Pg.27Meaning in the visual arts

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Checking in

Hi Misty,
Thanks for the invitation. At the moment I am simply checking that I'm using this correctly. I can see from the pictures that you have found additional examples of the Fleur-de-lis image. Can I assume that you are making progress? Although I am not a natural "Blogger", I will try to participate and contribute as useful insights emerge in my aging brain. Let me know how things are going with the Capstone project.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Investigating theories of art

More sightings! Another bottle which could be used to denote the French origins of the wine and could possibly be tied into the association the fleur-de-lis has with Mardi Gras. The other sighting was from an avon brochure I came across in the break room at work. Perhaps this sighting could be compared with Riguads famous portrait of Louis XIV wearing his regal robe?
Lately I have been reading and skimming several books in the hopes of finding a way to derive meaning in the research completed thus far. I have typed up some quotes I found useful in Jacques Ranciere The Future of the Image. This book talks about images and art in ways I have not yet explored. Although I did not understand all the contexts or artworks referred to it helped me think of how to organize my own writings.

“There is the simple relationship that produces the likeness of an original: not necessarily its faithful copy, but simply what suffices to stand in for it. And there is the interplay of operations that produces what we call art: or precisely an alteration of resemblance. This alteration can take a myriad of forms. It might be the visibility given to brush-strokes that are superfluous when it comes to revealing who is represented by the portrait; an elongation of bodies expresses their motion at the expense of their proportions; a turn of language that accentuates the expression of a feeling or renders the perception of an idea more complex; a word or a shot in place of the ones that seemed bound to follow; and so on and so forth. This is the sense in which art is made up of images, regardless of whether it is figurative of whether we recognize the form of identifiable characters and spectacles in it. The images of art are operations that produce a discrepancy, a dissemblance. Words describe what the eye might see or express what it will never see; they deliberately clarify or obscure an idea. Visible forms yield a meaning to be construed or subtract it. A camera movement anticipates one spectacle and discloses a different one. A pianist attacks a musical phrase ‘behind’ a dark screen. All these relations define images. This means two things. In the first place, the images of art are, as such, dissemblances. Secondly, the image is not exclusive to the visible. There is visibility that does not amount to an image; there are images which consist wholly in words. But the commonest regime of the image is one that presents a relationship between the sayable and the visible, a relationship which plays on both the analogy and the dissemblance between them. This relationship by no means requires the two terms to be materially present. The visible that can be arranged in meaningful tropes; words deploy a visibility that can be blinding. It might seem superfluous to recall such simple things. But if it is necessary to do so, it is because the identifarian alterity of resemblance has always interfered with the operation of the relations constitutive of artistic images. To resemble was long taken to be the peculiarity of art, while an infinite number of spectacles and forms of imitation were proscribed from it. In our day, not to resemble is taken for the imperative of art, while photographs, videos and displays of objects similar to everyday ones have taken the place of abstract canvases in galleries and museums. But this formal imperative of no-resemblance is itself caught up in a singular dialectic. For there is growing disquiet; does not resembling involve renouncing the visible? Or does it involve subjecting its concrete richness to operations and artifices whose matrix resides in language? A conter-move then emerges: what is contrasted with resemblance is not the operativeness of art, but material presence, the spirit made flesh, the absolutely other which is also absolutely the same.” Pgs. 6-8 The Future of the Image- Jacques Ranciere

“Hyper –resemblance, the resemblance that does not provide the replica of a reality but attests directly to the elsewhere whence it derives.”Pg. 8 The Future of the Image

“ Puntum, the immediate pathetic effect that he contrasts with the stadium, or the information transmitted by the photograph and the meanings it receives. The stadium makes the photograph a material to be decoded and explained. The punctum immediately strikes us with the affective power of the that was: that- i.e. the entity which was unquestionably in front of the aperture of the camera obscura,…” pg. 10 The Future of the Image

“But the Semiologist who read the encoded messages of images and the theoretician of the punctum of the wordless image base themselves on the same principle: a principle of reversible equivalence between the silence of images and what they say. The former demonstrated that the image was in fact a vehicle for a silent discourse which he endeavored to translate into sentences. The latter tells us that the image speaks to us precisely when it is silent, when it no longer transmits any message to us. Both conceive the image as speech which holds its tongue. The former made its silence speak; the latter makes this silence the abolition of all chatter. But both play on the same inter-convertibility between two potentialities of the image. The image as raw, material presence and the image as discourse encoding a history.” Pg. 10-11 The Future of the Image

“… regime of ‘ imageness’, a particular regime of articulation between the visible and the sayable...” pg. 11 The Future of the Image

“ … by way of narration and description words make something visible, yet not present, seen…words make seen what does not pertain to the visible, by reinforcing, attenuating or dissimulating the expression of an idea, by making the strength or control of an emotion felt. This dual function of the image assumes an order of stable relations between the visible and invisible-for example, between an emotion and the linguistic tropes that express it, but also the expressive traits whereby the hand of the artist translates the emotion and transposes the tropes.”pg. 12 The Future of the Image

“…image as a cipher of a history written in visible forms and as obtuse reality, impeding meaning and history...” pg. 11-12 The Future of the Image

“…the image is no longer the codified expression of a thought or feeling. Nor is it a double or a translation. It is a way in which things themselves speak and are silent. In a sense, it comes to lodge at the heart of things as their silent speech.” Pg. 13 The Future of the Image

“Silent speech is to be taken in two senses. In the first, the image is the meaning of things inscribed directly on their bodies, their visible language to be decoded.” Pg.13 The Future of the Image

“Silent speech, then, is the eloquence of the very thing that is silent, the capacity to exhibit signs written on a body, the marks directly imprinted by its history, which are more truthful than any discourse proffered by a mouth. But in a second sense the silent speech of things is, on the contrary, their obstinate silence.” Pg. 13 The Future of the Image

3 major categories of images

1-naked image “ The image that does not constitute art, because what it shows us excludes the prestige of dissemblance and the rhetoric of exegeses.”pg. 22 The Future of the Image

2- Ostensive image “ This image likewise asserts its power as that of sheer presence without signification. But it claims it in the name of art. IT posits this presence as the peculiarity of art faced with the media circulation of imagery, but also with the powers of meaning that alter this presence: the discourses that present and comment on it, the institutions that display it, the forms of knowledge that historize it”

3-metamorphic image “It aims to play with the forms and products of imagery, rather than carry out their demystification.”Pg. 24 The Future of the Image

“The interruptions, derivations and reorganizations that alter the circulation of images less pretentiously have no sanctuary. They occur anywhere and at anytime.” Pg. 28 The Future of the Image

“ Naked image, ostensive image, metaphorical image: three forms of ‘imageness’, three ways of coupling or uncoupling the power of signifying, the attestation of presence and the testimony of history; three ways, too, of sealing or refusing the relationship between art and image. Yet it is remarkable that none of these three forms thus defined can function within the confines of its own logic. Each of them encounters a point of undecidability in its functioning that compels it to borrow something from others.” Pg.26 The Future of the Image

Naked image-“ intent soley on witnessing. For witnessing always aims beyond what it presents.” The Future of the Image

“ The idea of the specificity of pictorial technique is consistent only at the price of its assimilation to something quite different: the idea of autonomy of art, of the exception of art from technical rationality.” Pg. 72 The Future of the Image

“There is no art without eyes that see it as art.” Pg. 72 The Future of the Image

“Contrary to the healthy doctrine which would have it that a concept of art is the generalization of the properties common to a set of practices or objects, it is strictly impossible to present a concept of art which defines the properties common to painting, music, dance, cinema, or sculpture, The concept of art is not the presentation of a property shared by a set of is the concept of disjunction- and of a historically determinate unstable disjunction-between the arts, understood in the sense of practices, ways of making.. Mimesis is not an external constraint that wighed on the arts and imprisoned them in resemblance. It is the flod in the order of ways of making and social occupations that rendered them visible and thinkable, the disjunction that made them exist as such…Mimesis is not resemblance understood as the relationship between a copy and a model. It is a way of making resemblances function within a set of relations between ways of making, modes of speech, forms of visibility, and protocols of intelligibility.” Pgs. 72-73 The Future of the Image

“There is such a thing as art in general by virtue of a regime of identification of disjunction-that gives visibility an signification to practices of arranging words, displaying colours, modeling the volume or evolution of bodies; which decides, for example, what a painting is, and what one sees on a painted wall or canvas. But such a decision always involves the establishment of a regime of equivalence between practice and what it is not.” Pg. 74 The Future of the Image

“ If perspective was linear and theatrical before becoming aerial and sculptural, it is because painting first of all had to demonstrate its capacity for poetry-its ability to tell stories, to represent speaking, acting bodies. The bond between painting and the third dimension is a bond between painting and poetic power of words and fables.” Pg. 75 The Future of the Image

“ To see something as art , be it a Depostion from the Cross or a White Square on white background , means seeing two things at once. Seeing two things at once is not a matter of trompe-l’oeil or special effects. It is a question of the relations between the surface of exhibition of forms and the surface of inscription of words.” Pg. 79 The Future of the Image

“ But this new bond between signs and forms that is called criticism, and which is born at the same time as the proclamation of the autonomy of art, does not work in the simple form of retrospective discourse adding meaning to the nakedness of forms. It works in the first instance towards the construction of a new visibility. A new form of painting is one that offers itself to eyes trained to see differently, trained to see the pictorial appear on the representative surface, under representation.” Pg. 79 The Future of the Image

“ …forms do not proceed without the words that install them in visibility.” Pg.88 The Future of the Image

“…the surface of graphic design is three things: firstly, the equal footing on which everything lends itself to art; secondly, the surface of conversion where words, forms and things exchange roles; and thirdly, the surface of equivalence where the symbolic writing of forms equally lend itself to expressions of pure art and the schematization of instrumental art. This ambivalence does not mark some capture of the artistic by the political. ‘Abbreviated forms’ are, in their very principle, an aesthetic and political division of a shared world: they outline the shape of a world without hierarchy where functions slide into one another. The finest illustration of this might be the posters designed by Rodchenko for the aircraft company Dobrolet.” Pg. 106-107 The Future of the Image

“ If I should speak here of design, it is not as an art historian or a philosopher of technique. I am neither. What interests me is the way in which, by drawing lines, arranging words of distributing surfaces, one also designs divisions of communal space. It is the way in which, by assembling words or forms, people define not merely various forms of art, but certain configurations of what can be seen and what can be thought, certain forms of inhabiting the material world. These configurations, which are at once symbolic and material, cross boundaries between arts, genres and epochs. They cut across the categories of an autonomous history of technique, art or politics. This is the standpoint from which I shall broach the question: how do the practice and idea of design, as they develop at the beginning the…” pg.91 The Future of the Image

“ Representation is an ordered deployment of meanings, an adjusted relationship between what is understood or anticipated and what comes as a surprise, according to the paradoxical logic analyzed by Aristotle’s Poetics.” Pg. 114 The Future of the Image