Figure/Ground

1 – The Optical Unconscious

Rasalind Krauss’ “The Optical Unconscious”

-about avant-garde’s attempts for form an alternative scopic regime.

-central to Krauss’ methodology is the theory of visual analysis: theory that depicts seeing as the subjective activity.

Marcel Duchamp: criticizes types of modernist paintings such as impressionism, abstraction, cubism, as “retinalism,” a shallow attempt to appeal to the field of vision alone.

-experiments with optical illusions to foreground the “gray matters”

Marcel Duchamp - Self-Portrait in Profile - (1958)

Marcel Duchamp - "Self-Portrait in Profile" - (1958)

-eg the “Large Glass”

Marcel Duchamp - The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, or the Large Glass - (1915-23)

Marcel Duchamp - "The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, or the Large Glass" - (1915-23)

Max Ernst: his collage demonstrates the surrealist’s undoing of the figure/ground binary as well as the stability of the viewer’s perspective.

-eg. his collage novel “La femme 1000 tetes” (The hundred headless women)

http://www.kb.nl/bc/koopman/1926-1930/c53-en.html

2 – Children’s Literature

Surrealists looked to childhood experience as a means of transforming humanity’s relationship to everyday life. they try to enter into this childhood world by experimenting with game-playing, non-sensical babbling, and interntional distortion.

-various instances of nonsense, such as pun or macaronics, are utilized as means of distorting the rational world and entering the world of children.

-nonesense can take us across cultural and cognitive fields, forcing us to confront the other, and his/her methods of organization (p.81)

-we can say that the model for an electronic textuality can come from “nonsense books” for children and also from their video games and television shows as well.

-eg. Lewis Carroll’s “Adventures of Alice in Wonderland”and his nonsense verse. (find many examples online)

3 – Digital Media

-compuer, along with tv, video games, cellphones, and any marginal form of electronic media, play a part in education eventhough they’re not integrated into the the regular curriculum.

Richard Lanham: book “The Electronic World” examins the figure/ground relatinoship in a graphic-rich computer environment.

-also suggests that the role of scholars will change as they gain greater awareness of and abilities in desktop publishing tools. (p.82)

4 – 1/0

– i don’t think we need to talk about this at all. 1/0 is just a project the prof did back in 1997 that experimented with hypericonomy.

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