Tuesday, August 30, 2011

week 2 reading notes



graffiti started with the romans.

visual prints in 1400s showed hangings - made the peasants rebel

gutenburgs press and lithography helped communicate to masses

satire was big in 1800s

artists showed not glorious battle scenes, but grew some realities.

french satire newspapers became all the rage. the artists involved were very witty.

newspapers were important because they were a catalyst for political discussion among the public.

Nast was a NY graphic artist hero - he exposed the corrupt tweed politition by publishing a worsening visual image of tweed every week which eventually led to his downfall when the public turned against him. "Them Damn Pictures"

modernist manifesto was the beginning of modern era — contructivism brought forth a new vis lang.

films, posters, ads were being used. — the propaganda tools of post WWI were very effective — ROSTA (telegraph agency) made very simple posters (with #d panels like a cartoon) for the illiterate public. every week or so, a new one would be produced (by families with the stencils which would be shared by dif. communities)*** [they didn't pass around the stencils but its a good good idea…!] and put up in shops, railway stations, businesses and such.

interesting that stalin outlawed abstract art & design and this led to socialist realism.

the suffragette movement was one of the first to utilise the beauty of the simplified modern art of the early 20th century (Nouveau). They look of the woman in the nouveau helped to dispel to the public the idea of the 'ugly feminist suffragette. — the new beautiful nouveau look battled the cartoony propaganda of the satire publishings. the posters were a more diplomatic and less aggressive yet assertive, communicative and persuasive way of persuading the (male) public rather that actual confrontation. — in all a good tactic.


the blank panther was a paper that supported the complete liberation of the blacks in the US.

Douglas started working with the paper early on — he used evocative imagery (like they did with the propaganda int he wars) but he made energetic drawings that showed respect and affection — he maintained poor people's dignity while graphically illustrating harsh situations.

Douglas waged war with the FBI and oppressive US not through terrorism, but through his imagery which proved to be very effective and gave "all power to the people"


"…Visual dissent is shocking, clever, even funny in a grim sort of way — and its meaning is intelegable instantly". dangerous and forbidden. evocative. juicy scandalous and subsequently impactful. (just look at the example of the arch duke with his belly being stabbed by a baynette and grain coming out. It invokes passion and subsequently action— the wake-up call of the oblivious masses.

freud says that when the repressed returns, it does so with great force.

human need summoned up the messianic moment - at least some of the time it does.

"one ought to be careful for claiming too much for art — but fires do die for lack of kindling.

interesting: we can become discouraged by how much we know of how little we know and this takes away our passion… but this art has a restorative power.


dissent is something that questions and challenges an existing regime that is deemed by the collective dissenters to be unfair

reasonable speculation: fairness is a concept that is biologically wired into us in order to preserve our species by promoting a sense of community… this idea is exemplified by the monkey project.

Subsequently unfairness provokes dissent. "dissent promotes democracy" Milton's button.

what is good dissent and what is bad dissent? — opens up a broad philosophical debate …

dominance over another species (a class system is evident in almost all cultures) is just as prominent in our human nature as dissent.

dissent should be positive. it is something that can easily be miss-used.

ghandi and martin luther realised that peaceful dissent is very effective. — in many situations much more more effective then violent dissent.

I think fundamenta lly, the peop le whom I know

who are dissen ter s have a sense of justice; they care

about the natu re of society

the role of the

designer as a propagato r of dissent. True dissenters are

activist s. Is creating a poster, button. or ad campaign

real activism?

Are you saying we don't need all that formal

rrnining to successfully make grap h ic disse nt?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Multimedia and how it benefits... things

The oblong wheels inside my little head started to turn when I asked myself the question..."What exactly does education and it's reform have to do with our crazy multimedia culture of today?".

This question started to occur to me when watching that spiffy animation with Sir Ken Robinson (a hero of mine in one way or another) giving his lecture on "How we need to radically rethink our educational system". We need to graduate from our over-simplistic, over-authoritative and pre/post-industrial notion of teaching everyone to think in one way.

Instead we need to embrace and nurture the talents of each individual. We need to cater to the individual — this is something we can do now with the aid of technology. A flexible educational system (whereby any learner may explore with ease any one thing they happen to be curious about at the moment when they are interested (not when they have to...)) would be super nice. Hence the call for a radical change from an assembly line mentality in our education to a more organic way of letting an individual flourish by naturally binding themselves to something they love. There are unique programs that do just that. Like this one: (http://www.ted.com/talks/john_hardy_my_green_school_dream.html).

Never before now have we had such an opportunity to harness the technology and understanding of human development and make a sustainable and effective learning system.

I found it interesting that many people are taking advantage of online networking and resources to teach themselves. It turns out that virtual school may not turn out to be so...disconnected? after all. I saw a TED talk lecture (ill try to find it) on how younger kids (a few years ago) taught themselves how to dance by watching youtube videos. There was a committee that got together and selected the best group of self-taught youtube dancers, and now they have a professional dance group — and those self taught kids are doing what they love the most. And consequently they are happy people and the world is that much more of a better place.

Collective intelligence is a relatively new thing with the internet. With online networking, people can work collaboratively to improve a site like ebay, or Facebook. There is power in numbers, and that power is enhanced by the easy communication of lots of people. This networking and constant improvement of sights that were well used today started with clunky computers that are now an eyesore. This is beneficial in so many ways (not the clunky old computer but the updateableness of the web..). not only for web development and programming, but for art, learning, and much more. Here is TED talk about the first and only virtual choir of 2,000 consisting of youtube participants from around the world. (very neat and inspiring) — http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/eric_whitacre_a_virtual_choir_2_000_voices_strong.html

This shows the connection points of Facebook users.

Now everything is even more accessible and up dateable with faster (and sexier looking) computers AND smartphones. It's nice that new sensory inputs (i.e. cameras, tracking devices, etc.) in our devices can do a lot of work for us — as appose to manually plugging in data in order to develop something. I imagine that algorithms is a big, meaningful, and downright loveable word for a lot of web and program developers.

You R Here sounds like a neat app! You can teach it to see a map by inputing your location. And I imagine that info can easily be shared among the users of the app. That is I think a good example of how new technology is a good aid in the development of a program.