237130_A2_Wk4_Task#3_Part D_Mindmap/Brainstorm_Formulating ideas using planning tools_26/04/16

Word Cloud of key words and phrases from ‘The Changing World’ (Chapter 6 of Mirzoeff’s ‘How to See the World’):

Word Cloud
Molly McGrath. JPEG Image. Created with Tagul. https://tagul.com. April 26 2016.

MindMap of key words from my chosen essay question:

Key words mindmap pdf
Molly McGrath. JPEG Image. Created with MindMup. https://www.mindmup.com. April 25 2016.

By combining the key words and phrases that I drew from Chapter 6 with the key words and task words from the essay question, I was able to formulate a sense of the key ideas and issues that could be found in the chapter ‘The Changing World’ which would enable me to sufficiently answer my essay question:

MindMap of key ideas and issues from the chapter, as well as my own ideas (PDF)

237130_A2_Wk4_Task#3_Part C_Summary of a Paragraph_Paragraph Summary_25/04/16

“Modern Beauty”: paragraph 10, pg 233 -234

The normalisation of pollution causes the public to form new, blurred perceptions of their environments that glaze over the changes taking place (Mirzoeff, 233). In 1912, people of all social classes who lived near the East River of New York were prepared to ignore the condition of the river so that they could continue using it as a dumping ground; a resource provided for their convenience (Mirzoeff, 234; Phelps et al., 1006). Eventually the pollution of the river became a normality and was no longer considered a problem (Mirzoeff, 234).

237130_A2_Wk4_Task#3_Part B_Writing Techniques_Free Writing_25/04/16

In exactly 5 minutes, write down everything you can remember of your chosen chapter in Mirzoeff’s ‘How to See the World’ and copy it verbatim into your blog:

  • We must learn to see the Anthropocene (change in lithosphere) by adapting the viewpoints of others and forming a worldwide view
  • Inverted effect: countries that emit the most CO2 are not those that are affected the most
  • Steel industry is the largest industrial cause of CO2 emissions – 30%
  • Smog was naturalised in Dickens’ ‘Bleak House’
  • Monet beautified destruction of nature
  • If you were born after 1985 you would not know what a pre-climate-changed world was like; therefore we accept the naturalisation of pollution because we don’t know an Earth where it wasn’t a ‘part of who we were’
  • Mining
  • Melting ice caps – ‘Coal + Ice’ exhibition
  • Bird experiment; reason triumphing over sentiment
  • Audubon passenger pigeons – kill to create beauty
  • Extinction of passenger pigeons
  • Fisk’s Mississippi River map in comparison to the Army Corp’s map shows how we’ve tried to tame the uncontrollable and artificialise nature

237130_A2_Wk4_Task#3_Part A_Set Reading_Written Response_A response to ‘The Changing World’ (Chapter 6 of Mirzoeff)_25/04/16

‘The Changing World’ requires us to acknowledge the current state of the environment that has resulted from the interference of mankind. Mirzoeff asks us to “see the Anthropocene” (Mirzoeff 219); to recognise the damage we have done unto the Earth. He proposes that we adopt a broad, worldwide view (Mirzoeff 237, 253) in order to comprehend the way our actions affect not only the select environments we inhabit as individuals, but also the environments inhabited by other people in other parts of the world.
It is vital that we do this; the future of our Earth depends on it. Currently we are living in a state where denizens of a certain place only concern themselves with dilemmas of nature that affect them directly. For example, the palm oil industry in Brazil employs ‘legal deforestation’ in order to establish plantations, which decreases bird populations and increases carbon emissions (Watsa). This issue goes almost unrecognised in New Zealand, and we are doing very little to help prevent this. However, this will undoubtedly affect us in the long term… carbon emissions increase climate change, which affects the entire Earth.

monet-impression-sunrise
Monet, Claude. Impression: Sun Rising. 1873. Oil on canvas, 48 x 63 cm. Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris. “Impression: The Sunrise (Impression: soleil levant) by Claude Monet”. Monetalia. Alvilim. 2006. Web. 15 May 2016.

Monet’s ‘Impression: Sun Rising’ aided in my understanding of how to “see the Anthropocene” (Mirzoeff 219).  This image clearly exemplifies the obvious human changes made to Earth in its natural form. The focal point of the image should be the vast and beautiful expanse of ocean that occupies the lower half of the painting, but instead our eye is drawn to the rowboat in the foreground, the steamers to the left of this, and (most predominantly) the smog that forms the upper half of the image.

237130_A1_Wk3_Task #3_Component A_Critical Response_Draft 3_23/03/2016

Artists and designers continually draw ideas from their surrounding environments. To glean inspiration from the things they observe, they must look closely and think critically about what it is they see. Once an artist gains an in-depth understanding of a work through analysation, they may use this understanding to influence their own practises. In order to properly comprehend a visual text beyond mere surface appearance, one must consider the technique of contextualising and the matter of constant worldly change.

The context of a visual text is perhaps the most crucial factor in determining the purpose of said text. Context forms the background of every existing artefact. It is the context – why an artefact was created, and the state of the world when it was created – which allows us to connect with a subject on more than a visual level (Clarke, 25). Therefore, it is context which imbues all meaning into any and every visual text, and makes it worth viewing and emulating . However, context is not always readily presented to the audience of a text; it may take some digging to unearth the creator’s intent or the conditions surrounding the creation of an artefact. This is where close examination and critical thinking are advantageous. These allow us to contextualise; to place the subject in the environment it belongs to (Clarke, 25). Looking closely at a visual text and pinpointing its most significant aspects allows us to critically consider links to other events or artefacts with similar features. Once we have identified these common features, we can establish that the various texts were probably created at approximately the same time and in the same place, or were similarly influenced by the global issues of the time/place (Clarke, 25. Ruszkiewicz et al., 34).

Identifying the context of an artefact is an efficient answer to the issue of constant change. Nicholas Mirzoeff addresses this in his book How to See the World. He states that “photographs and videos [or indeed, any visual texts] are our way of trying to see the world… we feel compelled to make images… and share them with others as a key part of our effort to understand the changing world around us” (Mirzoeff 6) and that “there is a new world-view being produced” (Mirzoeff 12) due to “vastly expanded quantities of imagery, implying many different points of view” (Mirzoeff 13). This means that although there is a continually increasing number of visual texts being made available for us to view and be inspired by, the contexts in which these are created and circulated change steadily. As more and more artefacts are released or created, the contexts of older visual texts are replaced with newer, more relevant contexts that relate to the more recent artefacts.
One such example is Blue Marble (below). Once a life-changing image that revolutionised the way we saw ourselves on the spectrum of universal significance (Mirzoeff 4), Blue Marble has now been replaced with more complex and neoteric images of the earth, and so its context has changed. It has transitioned from the one and only view we had of our home planet, into ‘just another satellite image’ (Mirzoeff 8,9).
Context is always changing, becoming either updated or outdated (Ruszkiewicz et al. 34). This makes visual analysation and critical thinking all the more important, as we need it  now more than ever to determine the most relevant context belonging to an artefact, so that we may allow this context to influence our own art and design practises.

Blue Marble
Schmitt, Jack. NASA. Apollo 17 Crew. Blue Marble. 1972. Photograph. NASA Johnson Space Centre. Przyborski, Paul. “NASA Visible Earth: The Blue Marble from Apollo 17”. visiblearth.nasa.gov. NASA. 22 March 2016. Web. 23 March 2016.

Should an artist fail to understand the world around them, and the work of other artists in context, they would no longer have any constant and reliable source of inspiration and would cease to create art embedded with meaning drawn from these inspirations. Therefore, the use of close examination and critical thinking to determine the meaning of or behind a text remains a relevant skill that every artist and designer should familiarise themselves with. After all, one’s own art and design practise is determined by how well one understands the art and design practises of others, and these practises cannot be understood without context that has been identified using a process of looking closely and thinking critically.

237130_A1_Wk3_Task #3_Component A_Critical Response_Draft 2_23/03/2016

Artists and designers are constantly drawing ideas from the world around them. In order to glean inspiration from the things they observe, analysation in the form of looking closely and thinking critically is required. This allows artists to develop an in-depth understanding of visual texts, and use this understanding to influence their practises. In order to interpret visual texts, one must take into account the technique of contextualising and the matter of constant worldly change.

One of the most crucial factors in determining the purpose of a visual text is its context. Context forms the background of every existing artefact. It is the context – why an artefact was created, and the state of the world when it was created – which allows us to connect with what we see on more than a visual level (Clarke, 25). Therefore, it is context which imbues all meaning into any and every visual text, and makes it worth viewing. However, context is not always readily presented to the audience of a text. It may take some digging to unearth the creator’s intent or the conditions surrounding the creation of an artefact. This is where close examination and critical thinking are advantageous. These allow us to contextualise; to place the subject in the environment to which it belongs (Clarke, 25). Looking closely at a visual text and pinpointing its most significant aspects allows us to critically consider links to other events or artefacts with similar features, therefore establishing that the various texts were probably created at approximately the same time and in the same place, or were similarly influenced by the global issues of the time/place (Clarke, 25. Ruszkiewicz et al., 34).

Identifying the context of an artefact is a suitable answer to the matter of constant change. Nicholas Mirzoeff addresses this in his book How to See the World. He states that “photographs and videos [or indeed, any visual texts] are our way of trying to see the world… we feel compelled to make images… and share them with others as a key part of our effort to understand the changing world around us” (Mirzoeff 6) and that “there is a new world-view being produced” (Mirzoeff 12) due to “vastly expanded quantities of imagery, implying many different points of view” (Mirzoeff 13). This means that because of the increasing number of visual texts being made available for us to view and be inspired by, the contexts in which these texts are created and circulated is being steadily replaced with newer, more relevant contexts that relate to more recently released visual texts.
One such example is Blue Marble (below). Once a life-changing image that revolutionised the way we saw ourselves on the spectrum of universal significance (Mirzoeff 4), Blue Marble has now been replaced with more updated images of the earth, and so its context has changed. It has transitioned from the one and only view we had of our home planet, into ‘just another satellite image of the Earth’ (Mirzoeff 8,9).
Context is always changing, becoming either updated or outdated (Ruszkiewicz et al. 34). This makes visual analysation and critical thinking all the more important, as we need it more now than ever to determine the most relevant context belonging to an artefact, so that we may allow this context to influence our own art and design practises.

Blue Marble
Schmitt, Jack. NASA. Apollo 17 Crew. Blue Marble. 1972. Photograph. NASA Johnson Space Centre. Przyborski, Paul. “NASA Visible Earth: The Blue Marble from Apollo 17”. visible earth.nasa.gov. NASA. 22 March 2016. Web. 23 March 2016.

If artists failed to understand the the work of other artists, and the world around them, they would cease to create art with meaning. Therefore, the use of close examination and critical thinking to determine the meaning of a text remains a relevant skill that every artist and designer should employ. After all, one’s own art and design practise is determined by how well one understands the art and design practises of others; these practises cannot be understood without context that has been identified through critical thought.

237130_A1_Wk3_Task #3_Component A_Critical Response_Draft 1_23/03/2016

Artists and designers are constantly extracting ideas from the world they live in. In order to glean inspiration from the things they observe, they must look closely and think critically about these things. Analysation allows artists to develop an in-depth understanding of visual texts, and use this understanding to influence their own art and design practises. In order to properly analyse, one must take into account the technique of contextualising and the matter of constant worldly change.

One of the most crucial factors in determining the purpose of a visual text is the context belonging to it. The context of a visual text is the most important factor in determining the purpose of said text. Context forms the background of every existing artefact. It is the context – why an artefact was created, and the state of the world when it was created – which allows us to connect with what we see on more than a visual level (Clarke, 25). Therefore, it is context which imbues meaning into every visual text, and makes it worth viewing. However, context is not always readily presented to the audience of a text. It may take some digging to unearth the creator’s intent or the conditions surrounding the creation of an artefact. This is where close examination and critical thinking are advantageous. These allow us to contextualise; to place the subject in its natural environment (Clarke, 25). Pinpointing the most significant aspects of a visual text allows us to make links to other events or artefacts with similar features, therefore establishing that the various texts were probably created at approximately the same time and in the same place, or were influenced by the global issues of the time/place (Clarke, 25. Ruszkiewicz et al., 34).

Identifying the context of an artefact is an adequate solution to the ‘problem’ of constant change. Nicholas Mirzoeff addresses this in his book How to See the World. He states that “photographs and videos [or indeed, any visual texts] are our way of trying to see the world… we feel compelled to make images… and share them with others as a key part of our effort to understand the changing world around us” (Mirzoeff 6) and that “there is a new world-view being produced” (Mirzoeff 12) due to “vastly expanded quantities of imagery, implying many different points of view” (Mirzoeff 13). This means that because of the increasing number of visual texts being made available for us to view and be inspired by, the contexts in which these texts are created and circulated is being steadily replaced with newer, more relevant contexts that relate to more recently released visual texts.
One such example is Blue Marble (below). Once a life-changing image that revolutionised the way we saw ourselves on the spectrum of universal significance (Mirzoeff 4), Blue Marble has now been replaced with more recent images of the earth, and so its context has changed. It has transitioned from the one and only view we had of our home planet, into yet another rendering of something we’ve seen numerous times (Mirzoeff 8,9).
Context is always changing, becoming either updated or outdated (Ruszkiewicz et al. 34). This makes visual analysation and critical thinking all the more important, as we need it more now than ever to determine the most relevant context belonging to an artefact.

Blue Marble
Schmitt, Jack. NASA. Apollo 17 Crew. Blue Marble. 1972. Photograph. NASA Johnson Space Centre. Przyborski, Paul. “NASA Visible Earth: The Blue Marble from Apollo 17”. visible earth.nasa.gov. NASA. 22 March 2016. Web. 23 March 2016.

If artists did not understand the the work of other artists, and the world around them, they would cease to create art with meaning. Therefore, the use of close examination and critical thinking to determine the meaning of a text remains a relevant skill that every artist and designer should utilise. After all, one’s own art and design practise is determined by how well one understands the art and design practises of others.

237130_A1_Wk2_Task #3_Comparing and contrasting_Left Bank Graffiti Wall vs. Slow Boat Records_16/03/2016

Key Similarity
Both sites are used as forms of advertisement. The Left Bank mural promoted the 2015 Wellington On a Plate festival, and now promotes the cultural diversity and culinary creativity of Wellington City and its inhabitants.
Slow Boat Records promotes itself, and the products it sells; records, cds, tapes, posters, and other musical merchandise. The t-shirts of people passing in and around Slow Boat Records are also promotional; the bands or brands the wearer of the shirt chooses to endorse are promoted to the rest of the general public who view the shirt.

Key Difference
The key difference between the two sites is their establishment.
The Left Bank graffiti wall was constructed on an already existing site. It was painted just last year on a wall that had already been standing; a wall which was not built for the sole purpose of being the canvas on which to paint the mural, but was built for the purpose of simply being a wall. The Visa Wellington On a Plate mural was added to a construction that already existed as a stand-alone subject, therefore transforming it into a new subject and giving it a whole different meaning.

Slow Boat Records differs from the Left Bank graffiti wall in that it is a long-established building and was constructed specifically for the purpose it currently serves. The entire building is a record store. It was built to be a record store in 1989 ago, and has remained so for 27 years. It itself is a stand-alone subject, not a modification of a stand-alone subject.
The t-shirts of the pedestrians and customers of Slow Boat Records are much the same as the store. Each t-shirt is an individual product, made specifically for the buyer who consciously chose to buy and wear that t-shirt. The shirts are not modified versions of other products – they are stand-alone pieces.

237130_A1_Wk1_Task #3_Reading Reflection_A response to Mirzoeff’s ‘How To See The World’_09/03/2016

Key Phrases:

  •  “All these photographs and videos are our way of trying to see the world. We feel compelled to make images of it and share them with others as a key part of our effort to understand the changing world around us and our place within it.” (Mirzoeff 6)
    To me, this statement indicates deterioration in human interaction, which is simultaneous with our technological advancements as a race. It forces one to question why should we share images with one another as a means to communicate the world we live in, when we can go out and actually live in it.
  • “Sure enough, people worldwide are actively trying to change the systems that represent us in all senses, from artistic to visual and political.” (Mirzoeff 7)
    This statement seems to be a positive one in that it tells of the human race continually striving to better themselves; but I also perceive an underlying note of sinisterness. It seems to warn us that by progressing too much we could potentially undo or overwrite the history we have built up over our many years on Earth.