Thursday, March 30, 2017


Frederic Jameson:

-Van Gogh's painting of the peasant shoes-
  • requires us to reconstruct some initial situation because without some background information, this painting basically means nothing
  • peasant shoes represent agricultural misery, rural poverty, brutal and primitive state of the world
  • work of art emerges between meaningless and meaning...looking at the pair of shoes brings up memories of the past 
  • hermeneutical- the work in its objectical form is taken as a clue for some vaster reality
-Andy Warhol's Diamond Dust Shoes-
  • work turns centrally around commodification
  • death of the world of appearance
Jean Baudrillard:
  • people visit Disneyland because it is supposed to be a magical, imaginary world where dreams come true
  • presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest of the world is real life
  • the areas surrounding Disneyland are so fake now that Disneyland seems more real
Postmodernism Introduction:
  • postmodern cultural forms reflect the dislocation and fragmentation of language communities 
  • fixated on commodities, products, and images
  • Andy Warhol's pop art
  • we are all hypnotized by the television
  • era of mass communications
  • hyperreality- an order of representation that is not the unreal, but has replaced 'reality' and is more than real, more real than real

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

George Kubler - The Shape of Time

I found this reading particularly interesting because I have always been that person to wonder how one artist can become famous for a particular piece of art while other artists produce quite similar pieces of art and never receive any recognition.  I understand what Kubler means when he says that the lives of the artists have been a genre in the literature of art for a super long time.  Whenever I take an art class, the usual structure is watching a PowerPoint slide deck about a certain genre and time period of art and then learning about the artists that fit within the category.  We are reading Oscar Wilde in my English class right now and our professor asked us if knowing the background of the author makes it easier to understand the text.  And I think this is a really important question to ask when studying any topic that can be subjectively interpreted in many different ways.  I think people can create their own meaning and purpose from a piece of art so that the background or time period of the artist is irrelevant.  Kubler believes that the entrance and position in sequence of the artist is much more important than the artist's talent and I agree.  Although the exact method may not be the same, paintings and drawings and other works of art can be replicated.  What it really comes down to in being a successful artist is luck.  I think this is why so many people stray away from majoring in art because there is no guarantee in how others will perceive the art that is created.  I really enjoy being creative and using my artistic ability, but honestly I chose my majors based on job security and I think a lot of other students do the same simply to avoid the stress of having to prove yourself and your artwork to other people.  Kubler says that every new form limits the succeeding innovations in the same series meaning.  I think this means that when one artist's work becomes popular, then all other artists who produce similar works of art do not achieve the same recognition and success because their work is already considered old news.  Coming up with new ideas is really hard and I think about this a lot in my IS classes when professors ask us to create a new app or website that can greatly improve something in our daily lives.  It's really unfortunate that some artwork will never be admired or desired simply because it fits within a genre that has already been explored.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Art of Data Visualization Reflection

This topic of data visualization definitely interests me a lot because I am an Information Systems major and focus a great portion of my time gathering data, processing data, and analyzing data to draw conclusions or make inferences about why something is a certain way.  The act of mining data for company use is an extremely lucrative business today.  Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many others operate as successful businesses based on the sole practice of mining personal data from its users and selling it to other companies interested in targeting a certain market.  Companies rarely make business decisions from raw data alone, meaning data that has not been processed for use, because it is time consuming and confusing to sift through each individual piece of data.  Therefore, business intelligence companies process raw data to create information that can be used by businesses to develop new marketing campaigns and hopefully increase profits.  Business intelligence companies package data in a way that is visually appealing to its customers so that they feel more comfortable looking at the data and ultimately using the data to make informed decisions.  For example, these companies might use bar charts with different colors to show the breakdown of product sales in different stores across the country.  These individual store owners could then look at these graphs and decide whether to keep stocking certain products in the store or discontinue those products altogether.  Data visualization is all around us.  Rather than looking at the battery percentage on our phones or laptops, we might just look at the little battery in the corner to see how full it is.  I have a fitness app that breaks down the macros I eat in a day in a useful pie chart that is color coded.  I really liked the last saying in the YouTube video that we usually see things to confirm things, but we should actually see things to learn things.