Saturday, September 19, 2015

Graphically True

I am in the middle of an intriguing book.  Nick Sousanis, who calls himself a comics artist, has written a philosophical treatise in a comics format that links graphics and words, and thus the format itself becomes part of the subject matter, one of those mind-twisting connections I love.  As I read, I continually find myself saying---Whoa! That is really cool!--or making some equally erudite or perceptive comment.

Unflattening begins with demonstrating that, because of our binocular vision, we are primed from the very beginning to see things from more than one viewpoint and the implications of that are significant for us citizens of a complex world. But I am not going to follow that path. Instead, I will focus on an art connection he makes on the way to making another point.

We live in both mind and body, in our thoughts and in our senses, one obviously influencing the other. Conceiving a thought and perceiving an object are two different aspects of how we function but creating art joins these two in a dynamic way: the idea in our minds becomes visible and tangible (take note, fiber artists) as the work takes shape, and then we in turn are perceiving, looking at, touching what was once a concept only in our minds. As we work, we continually move back and forth between conception and perception. His explanation of this point is of course enhanced immeasurably with his clever graphics.

Perhaps this joining of the two aspects of our nature is one of the reasons we can lose ourselves so entirely when we are making art.

And if I haven't entirely lost you, thanks for the company!

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