Where do we formally find works of art or design? They may be found, primarily, in a Temple of Culture or a White Cube
When we consider the context of artworks and their ‘lives’ from concept to collection there are quite a number of references to refer to. Walter Benjamin’s ‘Illuminations’ (1955) article says that we are losing the aura of art or design objects by viewing them out of their prescribed context. Jean Baudrillard’s ‘Screened Out’ (2002), years later, talks about us only seeing art or design objects through a screen; much along the same lines of what Benjamin’s talking about, albeit with the thought of more recent technological advances in mind.
“The birth of the reader is at the cost of the death of the author” – Barthes
Generally speaking, being ‘cultured’ has always lent to the idea of having ‘taste’. Again generally, Taste is an ideological construct and is imposed onto others without personal taste being questioned. It’s those darned advertisers again.
It is difficult for us, as practitioners, to segment ourselves into a type and define our practice in terms of being Modern, Postmodern, Post-Postmodern, or what might come next. It would seem, whilst the period is occurring, that we are none of these options and that we cannot encapsulate our practices within a definitive category until our time has passed. We need an outsider to take an objective stance and define our time period for us. While the Modernists called the period we are in now ‘Avant-Garde’, we call it Post-Modern (or Post-post-modern, depending how far into the future you are).
I have mentioned postmodernism in a couple of posts, so now we’ll look at the subject in more detail.
To understand postmoderism, we must first look at modernism and understand the concepts behind it. We have noted before that movements or periods of time are often caused as a response to the previous period. So before postmodernism, we have modernism.
It is quite a challenge to find a text that is full of references to one other text alone. However this example comes from an original text that has been referenced on multiple occasions.
We are all affected by the culture we are naturally immersed in and, thinking in terms of creativity and originality, it appears to be impossible to live in the world, experiencing various encounters, without being influenced by our surroundings, whether this is a conscious or subconscious act.
A lot of the experimentation I do with my work involves design with the occasional use of type and, because I was writing about semiotics recently, it got me thinking about the symbolism of symbols. Semiotics being the study of signs and symbols, I have been thinking a little more literally about what we call symbols, in terms of written communication, as well as the juxtaposition of image and text.