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 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.
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.
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
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.
What does the picture lack?
What does it leave out?
What is its area of erasure?
Its blind spot?
Its anamorphic blur?
What does the frame or boundary exclude?
What does its angle of representation prevent us from seeing, and prevent it from showing?
What does it need or demand from the beholder to complete its work?
Iteration 51 (Page 52)
The 2 scenes are cropped by the window frames. Only the main character/prop is centred and highlighted with a drop shadows. It looks almost awkward as it was very obvious in the image, hitting the gaze of the viewer.
The sense of space is sometimes highlighted with the use of blank space and eliminating the amount of objects shown/drawn on the image. The main characters and props are often centred. The space surrounding the mains are often empty, hinting a sense of space also guiding the viewer to read the mains instead of backgrounds. The rest of the information is erased as it was predominantly considered by the creator (me) as unimportant.
If we read the text as a verbal dialogue, the work portrays solely the view of the main character which it said “I am so lonely.” Feelings, dialogues, information of the other brick walls (surrounded by the main) are erased. They are considered non-essential. In some ways, harm to the picture.
The rest of the pictures seems cropped by the window frames. On one hand, this method gives a sense of zooming effect, as if viewers are looking into a small incident in details through the magnifying lens.
In this image, it requires to read it as if they are watching a moving image/movie with subtitles, in which they treat the caption as subtitles, transcripts, scripts of dialogue. It requires the reader to read the brick wall, a non-human character as a living organism, as if they have emotions, facial expressions and the ability to think and feel.
Thoughts – 03/05/2020
I relate to Exercise in style by Reymond Quenaud, in which he focuses on the form rather than the content. He experimented the link between communication and interpretation in the form of writing.
Our iterative methods seem similar but our focuses are different.
In this brief, I create iterations that communicate the same subject but of a different narrative. The format is different, so as the style, hence the narratives of the work has also changed compared to the first iteration. For example, in the “Love” series, the first iteration is to simply present intimacy between two characters. The narratives of the later iterations changed. In “Love” iteration No.20, the image presents a pancake compiled of many layers of “some love’, as if it can be read as – Love exists only if we collect many layers of incomplete love.
Quenaud proves that narrative changed since interpretation of the creator and documentation in writing are different. In my iterative process, I found something similar – even the subject of the message remains the same, the format changed ,hence the narrative also has changed.
It is not to say that the iterative exercises between Quenaud and I do exactly the same thing, as it was hard to distinguish if style comes first in my work.
Right now I am creating another series of iterations on “Ground”.
Thoughts – 30/04/2020
I watched Xiao Ling’s the dictionary 2019 again. I was touched by the fact that she wanted to reshape some of the existing, structured meanings of words. In a way, this is what I have been trying to do – subliming existing meanings of subjects. I want to reshape interpretations of certain subjects/concepts, like loneliness?
Currently, my take is to use drawings/illustrations like comments. It is a short and snappy opinion.
What is your position relative to discipline of graphic communication design. What aspect of graphic design does it interrogate?
In 100 Screen grabs, I created work with a relatively free flow where I did not set myself any particular boundaries. Instead I intentionally take one or a few elements from one work to developing it in the following one. This led to a discovery of a comic-window format that I applied to more than half of the iterations.
The economy of form has been applied and the message was highlighted with the use of space, text, title, comic panels and a non-human but personified protagonist. I use design/image making as a way to inquire and explore the composition of images, the relationships of image components.
I incidentally used design/image making to subliming certain concepts, ie. the isolation and loneliness within human, library and society in 100 Screen grabs. I take design as a way to redirect and refine information. I would like to create work with a extent of “relaxed irreverence.”
Does it confront or exploit a principle of form, meaning, distribution or circulation?
My 100 screengrabs tried to exploit the economy of form. The use of space, dialogue, static titles, non-human but personified character and comic panels since iterations 36, explores the limit/potential of form.
The meaning of work changes throughout the 100 iterations. That is because there was no intention in keeping the content consistent. The messages of work varied, some says nothing, some are about love, some about isolation.
The meaning of work may varied among different viewers. It depends on how intensively and extensively they have taken visual training, ie. in reading symbols, colours, light etc. I have come to realise that measuring and refining the image’s power and the way it works can be problematic and very complicated., according to Mitchell (2015).
I want to shift from power to desire, hence explore on the desire of images as Mitchell (2015)suggested, the image born and personified would become an existing separated from the creator’s intention. It has a “life” of its own.
In iteration 52, the inwardness of the character in the top window , the invisibleness of the brick wall blending in the many brickwalls and the absence of expressions make it seem beyond desire, in comparison to the obvious facial expressions when a dialogue is made in classic editorial illustrations and classic figurative paintings. But the verbal text “I am so lonely.”in the bottom window sends a totally contrary message. If we read this text as words spoken by the character, the brickwall, the whole look of the brick wall changes, as if the brick wall is a living person who suffered from loneliness. The image sends incompatible messages about its desire : it doesn’t want to be seen, it wants to be seen, it wants to be heard.
This analysis only briefly identify what iteration 52 wants. According to Mitchell (2015), “…The question of what pictures want certainly does not eliminate the interpretation of signs. All it accomplishes is a subtle dislocation of the target of interpretation, a slight modification in the picture we have of picutre (and perhaps signs.) themselves.”. Like people, pictures have to helped to recollect it through a dialogue with others, through analysis.
Hopefully through analysing images, as the brief below suggested, will help in building a better understanding on how images work, what do image want and what do they lack.
This brief is intended to explore what pictures want without overriding the maker’s desire or the beholder’s (viewer) interpretation.
How can we identify the desire of an image? How will it help us build new images that better communicate/signify the maker’s desire?
First, I will select a few images from 100 Screengrabs and apply the question “What do images want?” With reference to W.J.T. Mitchell (2005), he suggests a few questions to turn analysis of pictures toward questions of progress, effect, and to put in question the spectator position:
“What does the picture want from one or from “us” or “them” or whoever? Who or what is the target of the demand/desire/need expressed by the picture? What does the picture lack? What does it leave out? What is its area of erasure? Its blind spot? Its anamorphic blur? What does the frame or boundary exclude? What does its angle of representation prevent us from seeing, and prevent it from showing? What does it need or demand from the beholder to complete its work?”
These offerings serve as a starting point to better understand an image and the “intuitive” process of image making.
In the meantime, I will study the work of Barbara Kruger. I am aware that the context of her work and my 100 Screengrabs are different. But the economy of form – in other words, use of text and dialogue, synchronised.
In terms of pushing it forward by making, I will select one iteration and re-iterate it with the same context/message. Next, combined with the readings and questionings above, make an analyse with these iterations.
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.
Barbara Kruger (1981), Untitled (Your gaze hits the side of my face.). Available at: https://medium.com/artbloc/your-gaze-hits-the-side-of-my-face-b3d244aade77
Marshall McLuhan & Quentin Fiore ( 2001) The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. Berkeley: Gingko Press.
Susan Sontag ( 2009) ‘On Style’ in Against Interpretation and Other Essays. London: Penguin, pp.15–36.