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Project 1.2 built on the final solution for Project 1. For Project 1.2, I had to find a classified ad that added to or enhanced the visual imagery from Project 1. The ad had to be placed on the original image in a way that would not detract from and hopefully would enhance the original image. Then, I had to use the content of the ad to create a complementary image that would extend the idea/content of the original image. The complementary image could use only the content from the classified ad, but content could be repeated, if need be.

I found an employment ad for a company looking for “electronic assembly workers.” I realize the intent of the ad was to find workers to assemble electronics, but it was clearly stated that the need was for electronic workers. How could I pass that up? I then changed the text in the ad to create computer code that would give the impression that the “perfect” workers were being assembled – workers that were focused and not lazy, short, or required payment.

Below is my final solution for Project 1.2. (Click on the images to view larger size):

ART 260 Project 1.2a ART 260 Project 1.2b

I found this interview with Rob Janoff, who designed the Apple logo. In it he talks about how many different stories people have come up with surrounding the creation of the logo and how many different meanings people have attributed to that one symbol.

Interview with Rob Janoff, designer of the Apple logo

In class we’ve discussed the three categories of signs that Peirce came up with, viz. icon, index, and symbol. And, in thinking about the Apple logo I realize that it is both iconic, in that it resembles an apple, and symbolic. The only thing connecting the apple with a computer is the agreement we have accepted, that one represents the other.

Peirce also described three properties for signs, those being firstness, secondness, and thirdness. The firstness, or feeling I get when I look at the sign, for the Apple logo is a happy feeling. (Sometimes even giddy when I’ve heard Apple’s released new products.) Secondness, or what constitutes the fact part of the sign, is the company represented by the apple. The thirdness, or association we derive from the sign, is hipness, coolness, a sense of cutting edge technology that remains slightly ahead of main stream.

The sense of firstness being happy constitutes my point of view. Other people will have different feelings associated with the Apple logo. I think someone might argue that my description of the thirdness of the Apple logo would be more apt as firstness. I really think that the association the company has fostered between the logo and what it represents is one of unparalleled design and cutting edge technology so I stand by my choice of thirdness.

(To those of you who got to apple in the title and finished singing …pie and Chevrolet, congratulations. The thirdness of those three iconic symbols put together has withstood the test of time. We’re also showing our age. 😉 )

I’ve been showing my kids clips of classic Sesame Street, particularly the yip yip aliens. After class last Wednesday in which we talked about how meaning is formed in signs, I realized that the yip yips were a great example of some of the concepts discussed in class.

A paradigm is a set in which the individual units in the set have commonalities, but each is different from the other. Metaphor is used to shift the characteristics of one object onto another. In the clip below the yip yip aliens assume the object in front of them is an Earth person and then check their book for verification. Based on the paradigm of Earth person , which includes a tall stature, a face, and hands, the yip yips conclude that the object is an Earth person. The paradigm is shifted by substituting a different meaning for face and hands. Westerners all understand that an analog clock’s face and hands are different from human face and hands, but people who have never seen an analog clock might not use those metaphors to describe the arrows that turn around on a circle of numbers.

One of the interesting aspects of this clip is it was intended for an audience average age of 4 and the goal of the sketch is to teach kids about clocks as the beginning of telling time. No mention had to be made that this wasn’t actually a human face or human hands. Kids seem to have an innate understanding of body parts and by age 4 have begun to pick up on the concept of metaphor.

Watching this clip really illustrated to me that personal experience lends itself to meaning and tweaking the meaning leads to humor. I also like the yip yips because watching a creature hide behind its lower lip is just plain funny.

I’m taking a class at UTC called Visual Literacy for Graphic Design. The goal of the class is to learn how we communicate through creating and interpreting signs. For the first problem statement, I had to find at least 20 examples of line art and then find pairs of line art images  that were visually compelling and conveyed a concept/idea. The image pair could be controversial or not, but definitely had to be thought-provoking.

The two image pairs below represent my final solution for Problem Statement I:

DNA for Profit

Science has been mapping the genetic code of many species for decades. As our understanding of genetics and the role certain genes play in disease prevention and healing increases, private companies have gained patents on biological mechanisms, causing university and government researchers concern about the public’s ability to access the benefits of genetic research. From an ethical point of view, should private companies profit merely by gaining an understanding of biological mechanisms? If the knowledge was paid for with public monies and conducted by university and government researchers, wouldn’t that knowledge then belong to the public? There is a valid argument that applying the research to real-world problems has inherent costs that someone has to pay for, however, when a company receives a patent it generally sets the price for the product of that patent with an eye toward profit gain and not just covering the application costs.

I positioned the DNA strand to appear as a river. The fisherman, representing private companies, is happily trolling the river in search of the next bountiful catch.

Man and Machine

Human evolution has roots dating back over 4 million years starting with Ardipithecus ramidus and continuing to present day Homo sapiens. Technology has a similar evolution, from simple machines, i.e. lever, wheel, and wedge, discovered by early humans to computers, invented just 70 years ago. As technology has evolved it has continually decreased in size, from the ENIAC, which took up 1,000 ft², to the current iMacs, which sit on desktops and are thousands of times more powerful than the ENIAC. The rate of technological change, considered exponential, leads some researchers to predict that in the next 20 years humans and technology will merge. Nanotech will allow machines as small as blood cells to patrol the body – fighting disease and healing injuries.

With that technological merger comes a host of concerns: Will we still be considered human? Will it be possible for someone to be controlled through these machines? Will the tech be susceptible to computer viruses and would it then be possible to injure, hurt, or kill someone remotely? Will there be a multi-tiered society based on one’s ability to purchase the technology or even afford the upgrades?

I have positioned the evolving hominids so they appear to be walking into and out of the field of vision to convey that evolution is constant. The electrical diagram appears distorted on the left side and resolves as it moves to the right to show the development of technology. The electrical diagram is positioned so Homo habilis is beginning to walk into it and Homo sapiens has merged with it.

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