Easy Reading: Laws and Censorship

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The world as we know it has always been governed by rules. Postmodern artists see rules as something to be broken. New discoveries and ideas can never be made from following basic principles. Rules can affect the art world and we must be conscious of the boundaries we push.

The Image of Law is a treatise written to take the idea of the conceptual and suggests we evolve a particular style of thinking. We assume, in law, that a judiciary applies laws that have already been set. Theorist and philosopher Lefebvre tries to explain that the concept of judgement as largely involving a set of creative strategies. A case could involve many complex situations and may have many potential outcomes.

When the law is questioned, or broken by an artist, although they may receive consequences, they are not persecuted as much and are not subsequently sentenced fairly. Examples can be seen in the celebrity world where they receive punishment for doing wrong that would be the equivalent of fining the average person two pence. It appears that famous artists get away with a lot more in a jury based trial as they can afford better defence lawyers. In conclusion, arts can push boundaries as the punishments do not take into account these people’s earnings.

In attempting to challenge the laws around us, protests and political art can be very powerful. Advertising campaigns such as those that PETA and Guerrilla Girls have used, acquire shock tactics in order to be noticed. Although these tactics may work, they can often be for the wrong reasons. For every controversial decision, there is a backlash.

Being controversial can often be percieved as offensive and questions how far an artist can push are often raised. A child will often push boundaries set by parents, but only so far as they know there will be a punishment. Grotesque images often make a point and through influential manipulation can change the mind of an audience. Many parents agree that these types of campaigns are not suitable for all eyes.

Graphic images and bold art pieces need to be made for a specific audience and for persons with high levels of maturity. Artists such as Damien Hirst keep their artwork in a gallery so that not everyone is forced to witness it. Art based on mortality is definitely for more specialised audience. The purpose of these pieces would not be critical and not forced upon public, like in Banksy’s work.

There are of course both pros and cons to censorship. Children learn through experience. The question of why we shouldn’t show controversial items to our children still remains. Many still question if it would be robbing our children of their innocence if we did show them.

In conclusion, controversial art should be distributed wisely and not overly censored. During both World Wars the government created censorship laws so that soldiers’ letters home and the newspapers would not worry the general public. Propaganda causes paranoia.

We do not want to cause a negative uprising. We strive to change the world for the better. The viewing of this kind of artwork though should be up to the potential viewers discretion and should not be forced upon someone.

Easy Reading: Childhood Game

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We all know the game where we start a drawing, hide what we have drawn and let someone else continue the picture. Not many people know that its actual name is “The Exquisite Corpse” and it was invented by surrealists in the 30’s, pioneered by André Breton. The concept of this mere childhood game is a lot broader than it initially seems.

When I was a child, the exquisite corpse was played to both entertain and to break the ice in classroom settings. In one sense you could say that this game attempted to fill the void of loneliness. Also, the segments of each drawing can be analysed from a psychological stand point to try and gain insights into who a person is. A logical progression could show signs of an intelligent person; an elaborate progression would show a creative mind ; an innappropriate progression could show signs of an immature mind. If each part of the drawing can tell us a lot about an individual player then the exquisite corpse is a gateway to knowing someone, filling the void of the absence of knowledge.

There are many perspectives taken on the theory of the exquisite corpse. The Steve Sandvoss film, “The Exquisite Corpse” and the famous novel “Frankenstein” demonstrates filling the void of companionship. Frankenstein’s monster was constructed to remove the pangs of loneliness, though it did not work too well in his favour. In the Sandvoss film, multiple women are harvested in order to save one life, curing death, filling the void, once again, of loneliness and to eradicate the feelings of the loss of a loved one.

In the movie “The Exquisite Corpse Project” the concept of the exquisite corpse was taken to a written form, in order to bring a group of friends together for one last time. The concept was used to mask, for just a few moments, the fact that they will all soon be dispersed and will inevitably be lonely without their close companions near. Each section scripted by each individual, can be psychoanalysed, each segment represents each person and shows that there is quite a contrast in everyone’s writing style. This could possibly be a metaphor for psychological distancing between each character as their inevitability of leaving each other becomes more real.

The anthropmorphising and personifying of the exquisite corpse is a matter of life. The international film project of the exquisite corpse brought people together for one common finality just like the process of farming and produce selling. Someone will plant the food, but it takes many people and stages before that food can be eaten after being bought. This process would be for the inevitable filling of the void of hunger.

In applying the exquisite corpse concept to the bigger picture, life is what it is all about. Life is made up of segments and the final outcome of each set of segments will fill some sort of void.

Easy Reading Essay: Artist’s Roles

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An artist narrates the world visually, but why are they needed? The role of an artist can be one of breaking conformity and aiding in peacekeeping aims. They may not always be perceived as good people since some aim to change the minds of audiences. Therefore, the question remains: is being an artist a matter of ethical principles or is it just a form of martyrdom.

From an academic point of view, you could say that what an artist does is similar to that of a psychologist Sigmund Freud, the famous psychoanalyst, tells that that a person needs to narrate their way around a trauma in order to get over it. With careful guidance, a person can deal with emotional traumas.

From the more vocational perspective of art, you could apply Freud’s theory to how art works. The artists would be the middle man, in that they would be the ones constructing the narrative. This means that a person would just need to comprehend the artwork in order to recover from whatever they are dealing with. Hypothetically, this could mean that the artist is painting their own dreams in order to narrate their own problems.

Dreamers are often frowned upon in modern day society, as explained to us through the life story of John Lennon and in his song “Imagine”. The world is never ready for controversial ideas. Philosopher and psychologist Foucault, states that we are all subjects of social institutions, for example a student of university or a family member. We need to follow some often unwritten rules to remain in these institutions, so being controversial is not an option unless that person wants to be considered “ill”.

Artists are required to express their dreams, which potentially could mean veering off these laid paths they ought to be consciously following. To put it literally a person will be turning their subconscious into consciousness and that is what is considered not conforming to institutional discourse. The world wants conformity and that could potentially mean being under a form of a communist regime. Would this then hypothesise that it is not ethical to wake a dreamer, being that most people agree that communism is a negative form of political control?

It is far too easy to lose the innocence in being allowed to dream in society today. Artists Marcel Duchamp and Sarah Lucas explain that innocence dies with the growth of maturity. Eyes sting when they see light for the first time, and so does losing innocence. The Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet film “Finding Neverland” is the perfect example of what an artist’s job is. Artists paint dreams we no longer see, for the purpose of bringing a person back to their younger, more carefree self, with guidance.

We must take responsibility for keeping the arts alive. Art is a potential cure for conformity and the reminder of naivety once lost. We must not wake a dreamer.

The Image Of Law

The Image of Law by Alexandre Lefebvre is an interesting book. It takes the idea of the conceptual and suggests they involve a particular style of thinking.

When hearing this lecture, we learnt how when we assume that judges apply laws, a case becomes a representation of something already known. Lefebvre tries to position judgement as largely involving a set of creative strategies . A case could involve many situational complexities and could potentially have multiple, variable outcomes.

As artists, we attempt to make a point with our work and in doing so, attempt to challenge the laws around us. Protests in a physical art form can be very powerful, as advertising campaigns from PETA have proven. If we wish to be controversial we must first consider what our boundaries are, and the ways we can overstep them whilst still not being too offensive.  However, being controversial is to be offensive, so we must question how far we want to push. A little child will only ever push their parents so far before they know there will be a punishment.

Grotesque images often make a point and can manipulate and influence a change of mind, in an audience, but can often be distasteful and many parents would agree that it is not suitable for all eyes. Graphic images and bold art pieces need to be made for a specific audience and for persons with a high level of maturity who would be able to take the criticisms they are being handed.

Censoring History

Relating what we are taught to The Monuments Men post I did last week, I came across some notes, I had missed from a lecture. The lecture talked about the DocumentA exhibition. Curating exhibitions like that, make history.

In one way, you could say that it in fact replaces the history we lost. World War Two and many other topics are not taught in certain countries, for political reasons. Curating exhibitions can help tell the untold stories. Works from prior centuries can make up for the stories lost over time. It could even be to make the ruins of the world seem nicer.

The ruins from Coventry, after the bombings in WW2, were dumped onto Kassel. Kassel was destroyed anyway from WW2, as it was a prime target due to them manufacturing bomb shells and tanks. In 1955, however, Kassel was chosen to host a garden show. The show was designed to bring back the concept of a not so kosher art form at the time, post modernism. The rubble from the destruction as made to look stunning, but merely making it the canvas for art. As artists, although we are meant to make something beautiful, we also need a purpose and moral to send out in the process. DocumentA X have continuously done this with finesse, around the world, and should be admired.

 

Learning Progress

On week commencing 10th February, we were instructed to find methods of helping ourselves in our idea generation. Our lecturer taught us about how placing work up on a visible wall could aid in our work process. The idea was that if the work was in plain sight, it could be critiqued and given feedback for.

A few of us who were prepared, put our mind maps up on the designated wall and talked through our workings.

I found that both talking through my work out loud, and being questioned, helped push me further into research and developing my ideas. Challenging ideas and work is key to perfecting what we do as graphic designers, after all, ‘the client is always right’.

The Hunter Vs The Hunted

A designer is both a hunter and is being hunted.

A designer is both searching for themselves and is also being criticised for all their work.

A designer is neither right nor wrong.

A designer is neither loved nor hated by society.

A designer aids people but can also point out fault in people.

When considering what a designer can and cannot do or be, we must also consider the pros and cons of such a profession. One of the major cons for such a profession are the job prospects. This is a dog eat dog industry. Walking over people is a part of the job description. Whether or not this is the moral thing to do, it is one of the only ways to get ahead.

When shining this into a more positive light, instead of walking over people, we can use each other to build each other up and to make ourselves a better designer. In recent times we have made a study group. The main idea behind it, is that we can help each other where others are lacking. Everyone is good at something. One person might be good at using a piece of specific software, but another would be good at photography, and so on.

Many people struggle in education. I for example, feel like I’m thriving at idea generation and the theory side, but I am lacking in the practical because of opting out of doing another BTec or entry level into university. With a group like this, people can help me in learning about the practical and I can help them in their essays and so on. This does not mean for one minute that we are doing other people’s work for them. That is not the aim. By working together people can achieve a common goal, in this instance: a degree.

Study groups have also aided us in finding more friends. In this industry, making friends in your own profession can be difficult, as it is a survival of the fittest industry. At the moment we are only in education, but there is nothing wrong with getting practise in. By making friends in study groups, we can help each other in the long run. Having allies is always a bonus. If we know each others strengths, we know who we can trust to come to when we need help, or even have jobs passed to us. Working closely with other people can be very beneficial.

Study groups are very exciting concepts, and I will look forward to being a part of one in the next coming weeks, potentially years.