24 October 2008

Visual Ideas 1

Pictures have been a mode of spreading ideas for a long time. Much is made of the fact that Biblical stories were disseminated to the populous through symbol vignettes representing the main points. While this is a good reminder of the story, the story would not be communicated solely through this method. Rather, these symbol vignettes would serve as storage of the knowledge, much as words do in a literate society.

Art is a visual language, a descendant of the symbolic vignette that served as storage for medieval religious stories. However, our current society is very literate. There are few instances of visual messages without an accompanying text or audible message outside of the art museum. Thus, museums are traditionally quiet places.

With so few interactions with visual linguistics on their own, it is perhaps no surprise that our modern artists struggle to use art without "cheating" by either using an elaborate text as a means of explaining their intent or lacing their art with symbols which may or may not contain universal meaning. Therefore, art becomes more esoteric, and many people feel disconnected from modern art.

This post marks the beginning of my attempts to reconnect with that visual language. I know this sounds like an explanatory text, but think of it more as me thinking "out loud" as I try to disentangle my thoughts from word language and reacquaint my brain with visual ideas.

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