Member 1874
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(M, 34)
Vancouver, CA
Immortal since Aug 18, 2008
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arecraft.net / Design
elihorn.net / Fine Art
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    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    Good morning SpaceCollective, this is my first post, so I am excited to be able to take part in these discussions.



    I was having a drink with friends the other evening and someone asked "What is the most offensive thing you could say right now?". A couple things were thrown out there before we gave up, concluding that there probably wasn't much that could be said that would be truly offensive. Part of that is because it's very hard to be offended when everyone is making an effort to offend, but I think another part of that is that we are so used to being 'shocked'.

    Something I have been thinking a lot about lately is the effect of the age of information on our language—specifically our visual language. The means we use to communicate (words, symbols, images, etc) is not a static form and is in constant evolution. Virtually every symbol evolves slightly every time it is evoked. Each time it is used, its meaning has the potential to change, eventually rendering it an entirely different usage. Obviously the extent of a symbols evolution depends on the context it is used in, and probably more importantly, the scale at which it is registered.

    Music is a good example of a medium which has an incredible amount of influence on our spoken language: Hip-hop itself has probably re-appropriated a huge amount of words to spit them back out with a completely new connotation. A lot if could be passed off as 'slang', but slang is only slang until the generation that used it becomes the establishment. I think everybody can agree that the language we have now, despite sharing a majority of words, is not the same language we had a century ago.

    Now, as communication increases, symbols get recycled at a faster and faster pace. Advertising is a non-stop communication device that is now reaching a global audience. Pop-culture feeds of advertising (and vice-versa of course) and in the process endless standards, ironies, and cliches are invented and re-invented. It's almost impossible to say 'I'm loving it', or 'just do it' (obvious choices, but phrases that could be used numerous times throughout a day) without bringing to mind everything that associates with the companies that 'coined' them.

    How long can we recycle symbols before they become impotent?

    We see an enormous amount of images every day from every direction. Some of these images are incredibly beautiful, or heart-retching, or absurd, or at least they would have been years ago, but now they are just another advertisement to ignore? As an artist and designer, I am very aware of keeping my eye out for good images (photography, paintings, designs, etc), but more and more I feel like it's all the same. I've seen it all a million times in one way or another. Lately I feel like there is no point in continuing as a visual artist, because what is another image, and do any of us really need more? Contemporary art feels like it is falling in the same hole: how many times can people try to communicate an idea through a round-about, slightly awkward process shown in a large white room full of people who are there for the exact reason of trying to interpret it.

    We know that we can be desensitized to certain things (violence, sexuality, you know everything that gets hyped in the media), but why couldn't we lose the impact of a whole form of communication?

    This is still a pretty abstract thought in my mind, so I'm interested to see what people's opinions are, and if there are any ideas for alternative to the languages we use now. It seems like a shared opinion that our current forms of communication do not have the ability to express our truest meanings, so when do we start doing that?
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