Monthly Archives: February 2013

HW for 2/27

http://www.bridgemultimedia.com/eas/nhk.php [Scroll down and look at part D]
I think this graphic works well, communicating clearly the technologies for the blind and visually impaired. The graphic simplifies the complex process of how a broadcasting station passes on information to a household. Blurbs of information and various different arrows (one 2 representing frequency waves and 2 others to help guide the eye) create a flow of information that enables an easy read. While it is easy to read, however, there are some definate problems with the graphic. Firstly, certain shapes lack significance. For example, below each of the satellites there is a pink rectangle and a blue trapezoid. Each contain text that exaplain how each transmitter organizes data but they are not tangible like the rest of the objects in the graphic (ie. the TV and the braille display). Furthermore, the text is course and reads like the vitamin-count on the back of a milk carton; it lacks a visual stimulation that could make this graphic more comprehensive.
 
http://matthewbonnan.wordpress.com/research/about-sauropod-dinosaurs/ (the graphic titled “What is a Dinosaur?”) 
Tufte would not like this cladogram, firstly, because it is unclear where time actually starts. How can one see the evolution of the dinosaur if it is unclear where the dinosaur fits in creature-history? In addition, there are two lines that seem to be attempting to illustrate both the dinosaur’s progression in a range of species and also, different variations of dinosaurs in history. To help display this, the graphic designer used colors to differentiate between the two lines. This, Tufte would like because he thought color coding made for a more clear cladogram.
 
 

HW for 2/25

Contemporary infographics differ from historical ones because they have the ability, due to advances in computer technology, to neatly organize information. Modern infographics also maximizes space in a way that free hand infographic’s drawing cannot. For example, If one is trying to organize a web of topics, using a computer program to trial spacial layouts is a lot easier than drawing and erasing on a piece of paper. In this recent election, the New York Times put out an infographic showing the results of new senate members for each state (http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/senate). Each state was assigned a color (red=republican, Blue=democrat, green=independent, greyish-white=no election) illustrating the political parties affiliated with each of the newly elected senators. If you click on a state, it breaks down the vote make-up further, depicting how each county voted. This is something that antiquated infographics could not do. Modern infographics have the ability to display multiple layers of information, widening the breath of understanding that one can recieve from the infographic. Essentially, with the birth of the computer, inviting advancments to spacial oragnization, infographics can now be made clearer and show more complex forms of information.

Social Forces and The Struggle To Preserve Self

Hyun-Joon Yoon’s Monologue-drawing features three levels of black cardboard material. Starting from the foreground, there is a lamp that shines negative light, in the form of a cut out, on the following two levels. The middle level is of a person, most likely a man but it is not certain. Finally, the last level reveals a chair. Every element in the piece of art is outlined in Korean lettering. Although the artwork can first be viewed as a figure sitting under a lamplight, the piece explores the oppressive nature of society. Through a dramaturgical analysis of the lamp and chair, the figure and the Korean lettering, Monologue-drawing identifies social pressures, condemns its influence on the individual, but ultimately, encourages a preservation of self.

            The lamp and the chair reflect both a literal and figurative stability. Their stability is shown through their practical nature; they are material objects that serve simple tasks. They are also drawn with straight lines and their cut outs are neat. In relation to the figure, which has a rough appearance, these stable objects are metaphors for society. The lamplight, for example, acts as a spotlight, illuminating the figure as if he were on a stage. Such a stage, as hinted at by the artwork’s dramaturgical message, represents society. The light commands the figure to “act” or assume an assigned role. Performing roles can be constraining because it forces an individual to follow a set of “scripted” interactions. While the lamplight indicates societal expectation, the chair serves as a “jail cell.” The figure can’t get up from the chair. The chair melts with the figure, as if they are inseparable. The stability the chair and the lamplight therefore infringe on the natural complexities of the human figure.

            The figure, which appears to be inhibited by the chair, represents the individual’s struggle against surrounding social pressures. The light illuminated from the lamp conceals the back of the figure’s head and the left shoulder. This suggests that humanity is always semi-conscious of social pressures, but it chooses to sometimes ignore them in order to stay socially functioning. Furthermore, the covering of the left shoulder represents the burden society places on the individual to comply with its demands. Additionally, the figure is empty. This emptiness shows the consequences for being a social creature. Humans are forced to follow norms and act within boundaries and are therefore dehumanized. Lastly, unlike the clean cut outs of the lamplight and the chair, the figure is decrepit. The lines that carve out its legs from the cardboard are distorted. The figure’s left foot, which is bent outward and abnormally sized, suggests a monstrous or inhuman quality. Essentially, these distortions to the figure’s body are the representation of social forces. Humans are too complex to perpetually fulfill social roles.  

            The penciled-in Korean lettering represents the former “selves” of the human figure. The level of brightness of each line of lettering shows how many times the human has been situated in a single spot. The brighter the line of text, the more frequent the figure has sat in that position. Because there are multiple lines of lettering, the artwork appears fluid, taking place over a period of time. Monologue-drawing portrays a human who has been “performing” under a spotlight, demonstrating the perpetuity of society’s demands on the individual. Yet, while the light shows how this figure is constantly being negatively impacted by social forces, the light also is a symbol of hope. The brightest portion of the lettering surrounds the head, demonstrating that the key to breaking free from the tentacles of society lies within.  Essentially, the piece communicates that humans have the ability to escape social restrictions. Doing so would preserve a sense of self.

            Through the social pressures as manifested by the lamp and chair, the decaying nature of the figure and the brightness of Korean lettering, Monologue-drawing calls for rebellious attitudes against social restrictions.  More generally, the word “Monologue” in the artwork’s title implies that the figure is trying to communicate its deterioration caused by social forces. Monologue-drawing illuminates discussion around these forces and whether humanity needs them to be functional.

 

 

Hw for 2/11

http://nation.time.com/

I think Time is a great example of a website because its information is very simplistically situated on the page. At the top of the page is a bar dividing its news into categories like U.S., Tech, Style, Sports, etc. Furthermore, as one scrolls down the page, large titles of articles that have to deal with up to date occurrences are accentuated with bold font. With each title there is a picture which grabs the viewer’s attention. There is also a constant color theme that helps to keep the reader focused on the content.

 

http://www.bam.org/

I didn’t access this website through the links provided but it’s definitely notable. BAM stands for Brooklyn Academy of Music. It’s a venue for dance, theater, opera, visual art and film. What I like about this website is that its contents are almost like post-it notes. On each note there is a picture and text at the bottom describing the event.  Furthermore when you scroll over each note, the note shifts to explain further what you will be reading once you click it. On the left side of the page there are categories for each of the artistic mediums its hosts which give the reader an easy way to access different performances.