Monthly Archives: October 2012

Fusing the Visual and the Aural- The Art of the Record/CD Sleeve.

One of the earliest examples of turning 2D into 3D was the record sleeve.  When record sleeves first came out it was the beginning of a great creation.  They took 2D art and presented it in a 3D way.  They started off as a vinyl record with a plain brown paper sleeve that had a hole cut out in the middle so as the image on the centre of the vinyl record could be seen.  This was also the start of blending the visual with the aural.  The 60’s was one of the major turning points for this craft.  The world was quite grey in a general sense but was introduced to colour when the 60’s era began.  This helped the visual industries as people started seeing it as being more important than originally thought.  Record sleeves were now developing and having more money and production invested into them.  They were changing from brown paper sleeves with a hole cut in the centre to more colourful pieces of work made from cardboard and properly produced.  They were now being seen as pieces of art.


Record sleeves continued to flourish as they began to introduce posters, books and leaflets into these sleeves and the art on the album covers became more creative as the years went on.  Everybody then wanted to get in on the act because of how popular they were so artists such as James Dean made a record.  James Dean is famously known for being an actor but released a record of him reciting poetry.  Record sleeves then advanced into CD covers in the late 1970’s which had all the similar principals and ideas as the record sleeve but was smaller and more compact.  The audio section of the music industry is now believed to be dead by most people because anybody could make music with the right software and once you can digitize something it becomes worthless such as illegal downloads etc.  The importance of the music section of the music industry has also been taken over by the visual aspects (some exceptions).  But one thing that the music industry still has and is still as strong as it ever was is the loyalty to the bands and artists.  A great example of this was when Radiohead gave one of their albums away for free.  I previously didn’t know this and when I was told this story I thought it was brilliant.  Radiohead recorded and album and decided that they may as well give it away for free if people are going to go ahead and download it illegal anyways.  So the advertising and did the publicity and all themselves and gave the people who bought it the option to donate something if they wanted but it wasn’t compulsory.  If Radiohead stuck with having a team help them to get the album out there and charged a fee for the cd as normal they would have made on average £1.91 for each album after paying all there team and resources.  Because of the loyalty of their fans and the respect people had for their talent and skill the made on average £1.92 for each album.  It’s great to see the support bands have from their fans and how loyal they are.


Marks on a flat surface- Visualising 2D.

Think Quarterly.


When Semiotics was first mentioned in class I automatically thought “this sounds hard”, but when it was explained I was surprised how much I understood about a certain part it plays in the media.  It’s basically symbols used for information so as people from different cultures, languages etc. can all understand them.  It also falls under one of the 4 C’s, Code.  Another example of Semiotics within media would be soaps ads.  The adverts commonly have woman staring in them and has them doing the washing.  The code of an advert like this is to make us think that most people think the woman’s place is in the kitchen.

During class our tutor played a YouTube video called “Selective attention test”.  I thought it was a really interesting experiment.  It made me realise how much we look at things and how many images our eyes see every day but only how much of that information we actually notice.  It’s also an example of were only looking at what were told to look at.


Another one of the 4 C’s is Collaboration.  In this case we were talking about the collaboration between art and technology.  The most common question and discussion about this collaboration is if you use printing, graphics tablets etc. does it mean the machine did the work or the artist?  When I was asked that question my first thought in my head was that it’s how the artist uses the technology that makes it worthy in its own right.  Benjamin W once made an opinionated point that once technology is involved a piece of art loses it’s aura.  When I first heard this statement I thought that it is a valid point but then I was told about Bill Viola’s piece “The Passing” and once I watched only a section of it I can safely say it is a great example of how using technology to create art can have an aura also.  This video was completely construction but still makes an impact.  In my own opinion, I believe that media such as film can have just as much or more of an effect than for example a fine art painting can have.


Cultural art doesn’t always have to be fine art pieces.  As we looked at in class it can also be album covers.  One cover we looked at was the Sex Pistols “Anarchy in The UK” and just by looking at this imagery you are able to tell what era and time span it was from, the “70’s”.  The features that give this away are the typography and style of the graphics.  This is a good example of how when limited to 2 dimensions you can still get a very visually effective piece of art.

The “Think Quarterly” journal from Google took the idea of 2D imagery on the internet to applying it to what some people would probably call an ‘old school’ way of finding out information.  They made a book out of the information on the online magazine and made it very visual and appealing.  This goes against the idea that books are no longer as popular and that the internet is the way forward, it simply encourages people to use books more often and makes them more inviting to the people who normally wouldn’t have interest in opening one.  The “Think Quarterly” book was that well thought out and orchestrated that it could be called a piece of art on its own.

Overall view-

After looking at different aspects of 2D imagery and media all the information supported the initial thought that I had about technology in art.  The technology you use is irrelevant; it’s what you do with it that matters!

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