Sunday, August 23, 2009

Coding in images...

One of the things I was looking at with five was ambiguity and what 'tool set' a viewer might bring to a viewing experience.

Every individual approaches images differently - ie. a historian and a child will have distinctively different takes on the same motif.

It's important to note that this is not a die-cast experience. Each visitation of an image will change as a referential 'library' of the viewer expands... put simply, each experience will affect the next.

What I was interested in was how much information you can withhold before an image collapses into abstraction yet still feeds into the psyche of the person who is reading the image? If you don't provide 'answers', how does this lack of information affect the viewing experience? How do various people 'decode' what they are looking at?

This in some way replicates the general contemporary art 'experience'. There is often this fear that you won't 'get it' when looking at 'Art'. If we are not aware of the 1930s Peruvian nose-flautist that the artist is 'obviously' referencing, is our experience lessened? Is the work then too heady for it's own good? What does it accomplish by 'proving' it's smart?

Too often art is 'built' for the two people with a doctorate - in Peruvian nose-flautism perhaps? - who might view it but, at the same time, work aimed at the lowest common denominator equally accomplishes nothing.

I guess what I'm pushing around is this idea of 'what is it for?'

Ideally, 'good' art should engage, challenge and/or inform but does it need to 'answer'?

In this contemporary world, do the masses expect to be told what's 'right'? If the answer is not forthcoming, is the work unsuccessful? Equally, if the experience is hyper-obscure and 'exclusive', what is it trying to accomplish?

Talking myself in circles here... sniffle, sniffle, cough, cough.

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