Tuesday, March 28, 2017

George Kubler

Throughout the reading, the excerpt that I found most interesting is the following: 

         "Our choice of the 'history of things' is more than a euphemism to explain the bristling ugliness of 'material culture.' This term is used by anthropologists to distinguish ideas, or 'mental culture,' from artifacts. But the 'history of things' is intended to reunite ideas and objects under the rubric of visual forms: the term includes both artifacts and works of art, both replicas and unique examples, both tools and expressions---in short all materials worked by human hands under the guidance of connected ideas developed in temporal sequence. From all these things a shape in time emerges." 

This is an interesting take on the history of the imprints we as humans have left on the world, which trace back as far as we've recorded it. Kubler views it as more of an idea,  it unifies the different types of effects we've caused on the world--whether good or bad, and puts these concepts under the umbrella of the "history of things." Once we've gathered enough under this giant umbrella, we then can step back and view the big picture, which results in a "shape in time." 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Data visualization: Escaping Flatland by Tufte

I found this reading particularly interesting because it gave light to some new ways in which we can avoid the false perspective a two-dimensional "flatland" can have for us when we view an artist's work. Because we're forced to now look at another work of art through a digitalized computer screen, we lose the connection the artist is trying to make to the viewer, to a two-dimensional surface that doesn't properly portray the work of art's meaning that the artist was trying to demonstrate. Instead, Tufte offers new design strategies that may help in sharpening information resolution on our computer screens as well as the resolving power of their paper and video screen.