04 November 2015

Week 10: Collage - Syntactic Thinking

Collage Making
  1. The Introduction to Collage Making reads,

    “[Collage] counters monopoly and it terrorizes guilds of knowledge. Every professional academy, institution or organization is vulnerable to collage, as orders of logic are broken apart by the collagist” (16).

    What do you make of Nicholson’s dramatic view of collage? Do you agree that collage has such a power to shatter modes of thought? Can it go so far as to threaten an institution?

  2. Why is it that juxtaposition in the creative process triggers such powerful trains of thought? Why is it fundamentally, that college is visually appealing and thought provoking?

  3. Nicholson writes of errors:
    “Consciously gluing something in the wrong order is done out of desperation to make an inroad into a mat of impossibilities. It is an activity that requires the collagist to glue anything that seems to not rely upon something else, a muculous anarchy. Once the illogical move is made the gluing continues as if nothing had happened at all. Making requires living with something that is knowingly incorrect. It is this anti-idealistic incorrectness which mysteriously permits the work to advance” (22).

     What kind of power do errors hold? Are we to leave mistakes be and incorporate them into a greater understanding of the collage, or do we correct them to accommodate your original plan?
Collage and Architecture
  1. The reading discusses a development in experimental art, starting with the cubists, and eventually leading to collage as we know it today. Can we narrow in on a definition of “collage” by looking at all the collage-like elements that influenced these movements in western art?

  2. Monumental events had a significant impact on art. Shields explains for example how the Dadaists,

    “conceived their work as a rejection of existing cultural and aesthetic values through their adoption of collage. Like the Russian Avant-Garde, their art was highly politicized, protesting the war and the political and social structures that led to it” (8).

    In any case, collage played an important role in almost every modern art movement in responding to social change. Are there social or economic factors currently influencing contemporary art and design today? How might collage be driving that change?

  3. Are there any particular advantages or disadvantages to digital collage? How has digital media influenced the way we collage?

  4. Shields cites the Fundación Sancho el Sabio as “a reappropriated landscape that has been reactivated by the processes of disassembly, fragmentation, and synthesis for the creation of a dynamic cultural space” (12).  In what ways might you see collage as a driving force in your studio projects, or in architecture in Milwaukee and beyond?
Eidetic Operations and New Landscapes
  1. Eidetic refers to “a mental conception that may be picturable but may equally be acoustic, tactile, cognitive, or intuitive.” Further, “eidetic images contain a broad range of ideas that lie at the core of human creativity. Consequently, how one images the world literally conditions how reality is both conceptualized and shaped” (153). In what way do your “eidetic” images produce an interpretation of the built environment different than that of others?

    Follow up: Corner writes that visual representation has the agency, or effect of creating eidetic images. What power does this give the architect? In what way can you influence the reality of a project through representation?
  2. Corner separates people between insiders and outsiders to a landscape. Outsiders see a landscape as an object, much like the first definition of landskip. Insiders see a landscape with no clear separation between self and the scene. Such a view falls in line with the definition of landschaff, which has an eidetic perception of patterns of occupancy, activity, space, and time. How can a distinction like this influence visual representation? i.e. How would being an insider influence a design, as opposed to being an outsider?
  3. Corner writes about “difficulties and potentials that underlie representational design, especially those conventions—such as plan, perspective, and rendering—that have become so institutionalized and taken for granted that we fail to appreciate their force and efficacy in shaping things” (162). Do you agree with Corner? In what way can our current conventions force us into the “pictoral impulse” that corner describes? In other words, are we misusing our modes of representation in order to create static, pictoral, objective architecture?

  4. How might the technique of collage aid in producing images that are more eidetic in nature?

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