Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Frederic Jameson
  • Van Gogh's painting of the peasant shoes
    • Represents agricultural misery, poverty
    • You would never guess the meaning of the painting unless you were aware of what was going on during the time period that it was created in
  • Andy Warhol's Diamond Dust Shoes
    • Doesn't really speak to us at all--seems like a random collection of random objects
    • Representation of postmodernism
      • Materialistic and doesn't have any real meaning
Jean Bauldrillard
  • We idolize simulations--particularly Disneyland
  • "This imaginary world is supposed to be what makes the operation successful. But, what draws the crowds is undoubtedly much more the social microcosm, the miniaturized and religious reveling in real America, in its delights and drawbacks."
    • Teaching people to look up to illusions (pirates, the frontier, future world)
  • Disney (an infallible world) serves to cover up the fact that America is real--conceal the fact that the real is no longer real
  • In order to spend a day at Disney you have to drive there, stand in unbearable lines to enter, stand in unbearable lines again to get on each individual ride
  • We see Disney as this great place where you can let out your inner child, when in reality it was created by man to generate profit
Postmodernism Introduction
  • In previous societies, if you saw something that was different from you or how you did things, you would fight to change it
  • Today, because we know more about different societies and different cultures, we are each our own melting pot of different traditions and customs
  • The postmodern world is a mix of everything--identities, realities, cultures, races, gender roles, technologies, economies, cyberspaces, mediascapes
  • "Postmodern artists, just like the explorers of past centuries, simply plunge into the unknown and then try to represent it."
  • Jean Baudrillard:
    • Believes that today's society is too wrapped up in mass media, advertising, television, newspapers, magazines
    • Because we have constant access to communication, we don't recognize things as art
    • Hyperreality: an order of representation that is not the unreal, but has replaced 'reality' and is more than real, more real than real
    • We teach children to idolize hyperreality figures like pirates and Tom Sawyer, and don't teach them their actual significance

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

George Kubler

In George Kubler’s writing, I thought the section where he talked about Talent and Genius was the most interesting. He believes that talented individuals begin their craft earlier, master it more quickly, and come up with more fluent ideas than those who are untalented. He also brings up how people find “hidden talents” later in life, and can pick up a talent that they’ve always had but were left undiscovered. He brings up a list of talented artists, Leonardo, Raphael, Bernardino Luini and Giulio Romano. All of these artists were talented, however, two are much better known than the others—as a result of the timing and environment of when they flourished. In order to be a great artist, you need a combination of natural talent, early detection of that talent, and perfect circumstances.

This point struck me as unfair, because what about today’s artists? I have a friend who is an incredibly talented artist, is studying in the University of Michigan art program, but probably will never be considered a great artist like Leonardo or Raphael. Because in today’s world, artists go completely unrecognized and are under appreciated. In order to know a current artist, you need to be completely absorbed in art. I am not an artist, or an art junkie, but have heard of artists like Claude Monet, Renoir, Leonardo and Raphael—but have not heard of an artist that exists currently or even existed recently.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Art Event #1

I visited the Julio Fine Arts Gallery during the opening of “Fractured Histories: Ancient Greek Pottery from Haverford’s Allen Collection.” I thought that the exhibit as a whole was very exciting, because it consisted of all pottery, which is something that we aren’t looking at in our art course—so it was interesting to be able to look at artwork that isn’t two dimensional. The piece that stuck out to me most in the exhibit were the two small jars displayed together, titled “Side-Spouted Jar” and “Stirrup Jar.” They were both crafted by the Mycenaean civilization—the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece. The two jars have very similar functions, both to pour small amounts of liquid. When viewing the jars, I thought that it was really cool that they were really used by a civilization during the mid-fourteenth century BCE. It is amazing that they are in such good condition, and we are able to determine and imagine what they were used for.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Art of Data Visualization

Data visualization is a tool or idea that allows artists to give their readers a better understanding of the data that they are trying to communicate through a visual context. This makes the intake of information much more enjoyable and thoughtless for viewers.

I chose to watch the video on data visualization published by PBS. This video was particularly interesting to me because I am a marketing major and information systems minor. Both of my focuses rely heavily on the data and the reader. In marketing, it is important for advertisements and campaigns to appeal to specific segments and target markets. The video spoke about how data is used to reach out to each individual reader and create a meaning with them. They also showed some advertisements that used data visualization in order to convey their point. In marketing and advertising, it is incredibly important to reach your target readers and connect with them so that they can grow interest in what you have to offer. The concept of data visualization is incredibly prominent in the marketing world because as marketers, our main goal is to attract customers attention and keep it, and data visualization is a very effective way of doing this.

Through my information systems minor, I have experienced first hand the process of data collection. In todays world, we have the ability to monitor every single second that someone spends on a website—from the amount of time that they spend on a given page, to the buttons that they clicked or hovered over. The amount of information that can be uncovered just by someone’s experience on a website is mind-blowing. In specific circumstances I have found that people are more likely to spend more time and be more involved with sites that are visually appealing and help them understand things through data visualization, rather than websites that just throw information at them through text.