This post serves as a summary of my three triangulation projects.
84 pages book, printed in A5 off white paper. It is a collection of drawings from 21 Oct – 11 Nov 2020.
An archive of my poems “You” on my website.
37 Instagram stories (instead of posts) of drawings, questions and responses. Clicking the link will bring you to my profile. Then watch the story highlights named “Lockdown 2.0”.
Last day of lockdown woohoo!
This week, I have been working on the writing. It is going to be called Drawing Fast, Writing Loose, in which explores working fast in drawing and writing in the age of internet/social media.
Here are some notes from the book Thinking fast and slow, which has some very interesting points about the way we think.
27 Nov notes
Thinking fast and slow
Podcast – What you will Learn
Fast thinking (system 1) – the gut, the intuition, operates quickly and automatically thinking with zero or very little control, snaps it to actions and make assumptions.
A lot of these emotional and feelings based things happen as snap judgements
Also after you become more competent or after you practice something a lot, something may started to shift to system 1 cause you are more familiar with it and you don’t have to think much about it.
Associative thinking becomes effortless.
Slow thinking (system 2) – demands cognitive effort. Invest or expel energy.
Switching your brain on a different mode, blocking everything else and just focus on one thing deeply
System 2 is pretty lazy —> lots of efforts to invest into
Switching task is effortful – takes time and energy in terms of cognitive capacity to realign to the problem you are focusing
Becos you are investing/spending more cognitive resources on thinking bout things deeply in system 2, you are more likely to give into temptations like deviating from your diet, overspending on purchases, reacting aggressively to request or propagations.
Normally, if you weren’t spending much energy towards system 2, you will be more able to control your impulses.
System 1 uses association and metaphor to produce a quick and dirty draft of reality, which System 2 (slow deliberate thinking) draws on to arrive at explicit beliefs and reasoned choices.
System 1 proposes, System 2 disposes.
System 2, in addition to being more deliberate and rational, is also lazy. And it tires easily. (The vogue term for this is “ego depletion.”) Too often, instead of slowing things down and analyzing them, System 2 is content to accept the easy but unreliable story about the world that System 1 feeds to it.
Podcast- part 1
S1 likes to jump to conclusion and look at the things around it. Keep you/maintained updated and think if this is normal. detects things straight from the norm – constantly assessing things around you.
Associating things with others.
Like “Noah’s Ark” vs “Mose’s Ark” – they both have a biblical context – associating
Jump to conclusions than doing the work itself
If the cost of making a mistake is accessible, or if it takes a lot of effort, then ok S1
Like Interviews – judging on how people interview, dress and speak, instead of how they work in real life
“You are skipping all the information that you don’t see. —> what you see is all there is.”
The central image/ simplified message /no background props/ minimum choice of colours —> ease readers to jump to a conclusion —> less cognitive thinking—> less effort —> people are lazy —> easier to attract attention —> easier to keep you in the loop becos it can be understood effortless
Triangulation 2 is a website. It is meant to be an archive of drawings and little writings. I wrote while thinking about the linkages between swear words. One of the most obvious example is “YOU”. A lot of emotions and violent thoughts can be concluded in such simple words. I expanded the “YOU” word into different one liner poems.
I would also like to present the linkages between writing/language and drawings. I used drawings with the theme “Life”. (“Life is shit” and “I love my shitty life.” to be precise) The original idea is that – the page filled with the word “Life”. And when you move your mouse to each of them, a drawing about “Life” will pop out. I haven’t gotten there yet because I didn’t know how to.
Drawings wise. I decided to take it slow. There was a lot of stress trying to rush to making anything meaningful and related to what I have previously done. So I am drawing things that come to my mind. They might not make any sense just yet.
25 Nov 2020
I started posting a drawing everyday since the start of Lockdown 2.0 on instagram. I had been doing it all by myself but today I wanted to introduce others’ effort aka I needed help. So this morning, I asked others to give the birdie drawing a caption. Here are the results.
This week I worked on my research. A pdf of writing in progress is sent via email.
Supplementary references for the writing:
“The Shallows” This is Your Brain Online by Nicholas Carr https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127370598&t=1605623688428
How to Swear by Stephen Wildish
Amusing Ourselves to Death – Public Discourse in the age of show business by Neil Postman
This week I worked on 3 different triangulation projects:
1/ Iterations in drawings focusing on angle and position – 52 pages book
2/ Research from an archive (The Art of Humorous Illustration – Nick Meglin) and expand the scope of research
3/ New drawings on collected foul language from conversations
This week, I continued drawings on the three sentences. The drawing has changed from various viewpoints, from viewers looking at an object to involving a protagonist in a scene. I definitely felt that it is easier to iterate if the text sounds like a dialogue aka anything that starts with a “You”. “Do you…”, “What do you…”, “I wish you…”
(side talk) Also, the more I work on it, the more boring it becomes. This seems pretty natural – since I have to move on from my most comfortable ideas, the thinking process is not as easy as it was before. I had to look through all my visual references to keep me excited. I don’t think it is a particular bad thing to do – I know for a fact that I cannot come up with good ideas staring hard at blank paper. SO yes references.
I started my research by linking keywords. Starting from “Humour” to Cartoon – satire – caricature – meme culture – twitter – social media – media – knowledge transfer – form of illustration – content transfer – text based to image based – elimination of information
I also started reading about how media changes our culture, history, knowledge of the world etc. Amusing Ourselves to Death – Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman was super informative about how every new media reshapes the generation, storage, transfer of knowledge.
There had been debates/conversations about how particular kinds of art/ illustration are more likely to become popular in social media. (Here social media generally refers to image-based social media aka Instagram and Facebook) The content is naturally shaped to fit instagram. The media has gradually becomes a concept deeply rooted among us. The metaphor in media could possibly be that the importance of visual is taking over text based information. More and more people receives information from visual-heavy social media instead of traditional informative text-based media like books and newspaper. The new media has become a concept, in which we think and make with it in mind.
I am also reading about humour in art, particularly since the twentieth century, when caricature started to rise in newspaper to memes in social media nowadays. I started to understand humour (in art) as a historical cultural product and as a subject to changes in style as music or literature. Just as modes of humour differ from one language, tones of humour and comic meaning change over different applications/media too.
I am working to narrow down and find an interesting focal point that not only relates to but also supports my studio practice.
84 pages just the way I like it:-)
Week 28 Nov – 3 Nov
This week I took the advice from the last crit and worked on the following things:
1/ Angle, position and scale of the drawings
2/ Use text without swear words
During this week, I picked three images from the previous drawings to iterate and reiterate.
The three drawings are: You, My foolishness and I wish you have no arsehole in your next life.
They best represent the three different categories discovered from last week, which were a/ Comment about myself, b/ Comment about others and c/ Curse directed to others.
It’s not easy to redo the same theme/topic repeatedly.
The first idea is always the work that makes me most comfortable to work with. Rethinking a work feels like if someone is trying to push open a very heavy door.
I noticed that I have changed how I draw. I added more details, used a different facial expressions, enlarged a certain part of the character to exaggerate/put it on focus.
Details make it easier for audience to read the image. It is more familiar to us since the drawing is closer to the impression of an object.
Having said that, I still need to work on the polished output, instead of drafts.
21 Oct 2020 / Group Crit
I took one of the advice from Jayoon and decided to work on the tune of the illustrations. I have always worked a mild cute tone, trying my best not to offend anyone in the jokes I made. It sounds super interesting to set a different tone of voice in the exercise.
In this triangular exercise, I will make a
4 paged tabloid newspaper through conversation or interaction with other people about [confusion/anger/embarrassment/dislocation/greed]
24 Oct 2020
Considered using swearing words like cunts (ref: mr bingo)
But I felt uncomfortable using them because the swearing words that were considered the worst/most offensive are all words of women’s genitals – cunt, twat etc
Why are the names of women’s genitals abused not men’s?
I mean there is “dickhead” but it was considered fairly mild, kind of like “bastards”.
If I want to make drawings more offensive, I could either work on the drawing style or the text.
Drawing style is pretty straightforward – the uglier the characters/ scene is, the “more disturbing” the drawing seems.
Does “disturbing” equals to “offensive”?
Text wise – is harder to explain. At this point (24 Oct 2020), it seems that the bigger the contrast between the drawing and the text, the more disturbing it seems.
Also I tried using first person speech vs third person speech. When the speech is towards others aka sentence starting with “You”, the more bothersome/crisp it seems. It was like trolling others. If the sentence starts with “ I”, the story is about me and my life only. I troll myself to a point it seems more pathetic than offensive.
Next I will keep iterating. Meanwhile I will trace these drawings digitally and anologuely – find a way to polish and present the offensiveness.
26 Oct 2020 / Joke Omg he is so straight No and no I dont want him for any of you girls
27 Oct 2020
I had been collecting materials whenever I was in a conversation – pubs, uni studio, home etc. I did numerous drawings and recreate a gag out of them. I wanted to look at them again as an overview, hoping that would give me more insights. So I put the ones of similar themes together.
31 May 2020
Reflecting on your coursework in the first half of Unit 2, answer some/most/all of the following questions: How has your original position changed as a result of your further work? Where have holes or gaps appeared in your research, and how do you expect to fill them in future work? What existing networks of knowledge do you have access to that could reinforce your practice? How do you want to use the summer break to keep momentum going in your project?
Reflecting on my coursework in the first half of Unit 2, my original position was to find the beneficial thing for my practice. This was fulfilled in my project. Initially, I intended to interrogate my practice, trying to find a difficult way out, so I can move forward from my comfort zone. The result leads to some new thoughts on my existing working methods. Towards the end of the project, I refined the way I work and rebuilt a sense of practice.
My research in terms of reading was slightly disconnected with my studio work. The direction was often off track. Throughout the project, I tried to identify and clarify the focus of the project. I was used to working with a purpose and the purpose comes at the early stage of a project. I did research on picture theory by W.J.T. Mitchell, investigated on relationships between text and image and explored illustration as a topic. Although I had been trying to connect writing and research with my studio work, they were still detached. Yet, this failed attempt leads to a realization that my position and focus come from making, iterating, reiterating and reflecting. I identified “subject matter” and “Medium” as something that were less investigated but “methods”. The presence of “working methods” is strong and prolonged among all iterations. I am aware that I am not creating guidelines or assistive materials but merely concluding insights I have gained from the process of making. Most of my insights came from the iterative process. It generates knowledge that even the creator, I was not aware of. They are beneficial to the way I work, bringing new thinking to my practice.
Now that I have finished my visual essay, I am curious about more methods. I am eager to find more methods from others that I don’t acquire. I often think making reflections on the work itself is very personal, almost secretive. I wonder how others figure it out “their way” or “their practice”. Intellectually, I had no idea what books to read or which theory to investigate. I haven’t read enough to be able to make a decision. First off I would read the suggested books from the reading list.
In the past few weeks, I explore illustration, image and text by tearing them down and exploring parts separately through iterative exercise. I wonder if I can do the same to a different topic. Graphic designer Ryan Carl has a similar approach in which he takes text out and explores its qualities in isolation. Of course, he makes work in graphic design discipline as a whole. It seems like a good exercise to apply to other disciplines, perhaps text?
In this summer, I plan to devote some time continuing the iterative exercise. I am eager to do something fully made of text, like the “alone” iterations in week 5. I am excited about the potentials of using text as an illustrative device.
W.J.T. Mitchell (2005) ‘What Do Pictures want?’ in What Do Pictures Want: The Lives and Loves of Images. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp.28–56.
R. Carl (2019) “Past-Present-Future”. Available at : https://www.instagram.com/p/B_Ky6aiBUA7/ (Accessed: 30 May 2020)