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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