Task 3 – Critically investigate assumptions – 29.09.2017

Go back to your assignment 1 (critical review text). Read it again and look for any such assumptions you might have introduced within your text. Ask yourself: is this a fact? How do I know this is a fact? Can I prove this is a fact? Pick one element/argument/proposition which is left without enough explanation and depends on the reader having to “believe” in what you say. If possible, choose an assumption that underpins most of your text.

For example, in one of the texts there is reference to ‘paradox’ in glitch art but without explaining exactly what is meant by that. If this is something that is important, the writer’s task would be to establish this in/through writing by:

– introducing it as an argument and explaining what this paradox is?
– how does it (this paradox) operate?
– is it a general feature of glitch (or glitch art)? if so can you refer to other writers/critics who recognize this paradox.
– if it is something that you have noticed while putting together your collection can you support it with good reason; build good support for your view and consider possible disagreement.

In your own text you might have referred to something else altogether. It might have been a statement about artists’ intentions when making artwork. If you claim that artist’s intention was to comment on contemporary politics (in Alternative Face 1.1) and not simply train the neural network, explain how we know it. 

While writing, pay attention to the reader whose task will be to follow and try to understand your argumentation. Make this task easy for the reader by being clear and concise.

The goal of this post is to critically review this review, by looking into what assumptions are made, and further clarifying them, making sure this time around it is not just an assumption, but explained in a reader friendly manner.

So in before-mentioned review I talk about the art piece “The Garden og Emoji Delights” by Carla Gannis. My review focusses on how the emojis are used in the art piece, how the world they are put in is designed to match them, and how they function differently in a picture than in text, which is how I have prior studied emojis.

One big assumption I make is that emojis are text – and that they function as such as icons and symbols. This assumption is made based on my bachelors project where I studied emojis in text-messaging, and looked at how the emojis were read and understood. When I say an emoji has an iconic and symbolic meaning, there obviously needs to be a further distinction of what this is, and what it means in relation to the art piece that I am reviewing.

When I categorize emojis as being icons and symbols, I do this in relation to theory by Pierce, his theory applies to words as icons and symbols as well. An Icon represents what it is referring to by similarity, and I’ll reuse my example; a pig-emoji is an icon for a pig, the meaning you get it “pig”. But it can have other symbolic meanings – other things we humans think up when we see a pig: Somwhing smelly, dirty, pink or cute… These things are what the pig-emoji is then a symbol for.

To dig even deeper an emoji can have a metaphoric -symbolic meaning, which is often seen with the 🍆 example. This here is a icon for an aubergine, and it is a metaphoric symbol for a penis. The reason this is not just a symbol but a metaphoric one, is because the understanding of this is based off of the physical parallel between the aubergine-emoji and a penis. Whereas another just symbolic meaning could be “vegetables”, “purple” or “health” – because it is a vegetable. I truly love this example, because very few Apple users, as far as I know, can look at this emoji and see anything but a girthy dick 🤷‍♀️

So now that I have defined the emojis as icons and symbols and shown how they mean different things according to how you read them, I want to focus on why emojis to me are text and not pictures.

All signs that you can write; such as any Chinese, Japanese, Latin, Cyrillic sign, INCLUDING the emojis, are digitally based on something called unicode. This means emojis are placed in a category with other text elements defined in a specific way digitally, thus being one of these text elements; a letter, a sign, an emoji. They are via unicode defined as text elements. The unicode describes digitally what is written – theres a code for every letter, sign, emoji ever – and then the font reads this, and renders it readable for the user, fx in Times New Roman or Arial, or Apple emojis or Samsung emojis. So when I question why the artist, Gannis, is using Apple emojis over any other type of emoji, I’m actually asking why the artist chose the font she did, this must be an artistic choice, right? Often the answer will be “because Apple emojis are the most used emoji-font on this planet” – which is the same answer I used when I wrote my bachelors on this subject.

As to review what I actually did in that prior post, I did something I think happens a lot – I assumed that the leanings from my too many hours of research were obvious to the whole world, when in fact most peoples understanding of emojis is not what they are or how they work – which I believe is what the art piece partly comments on – but just that they exist and they potentially spice up a textual conversation. 🌶 yeah…

Task 2 – Glitch Aesthetics – 22.09.2017

||| Individual work (this task is only for MA students)

# taking as the starting point the collection of glitch artefacts which you created with your colleagues, write a proposal for a small exhibition of glitch art presenting a minimum 3 artworks from the collections.
# give it a title (this title should refer to your reflections based on comparative analysis of the works, something that you have noticed that is particular about these works and with this exhibition you want to make it more explicit.)
# write a statement of 500 words: explain what the exhibition is about and why these artefacts are the best in representing and/or illustrating this; make sure that you have read the texts for this session as they will help you in contextualising your choices.

Upload this to your blog by 22/09 17:00

Glitchart Glitchart

This small exhibition of “Glitch art” is supposed to represent both the glitch and art world. It is supposed to aim attention towards the glitch/art paradox – that art is purposeful and glitches by definition cannot happen based on human purpose. The exhibition’s aim is to question actual glitches as art, and look into when a glitch becomes art. And the other way around: Question actual art as glitches, and look into when art becomes a glitch.

As my group and I started collecting glitch artefacts for last weeks work, we quickly started discussing what we ended up calling “the glitch-art paradox”. The paradox really just states that an actual glitch can’t be art, because it is, per definition, a malfunction or defect, and never intended by man. And a “glitch” created by man as art can never be or become a glitch. From dictionary.com:

1. a defect or malfunction in a machine or plan.

2. Computers. any error, malfunction, or problem. Compare bug1(def 5).

3. a brief or sudden interruption or surge in voltage in an electric circuit.

But again a glitch does at some point become art, as it is collected, presented and analysed, as we are doing it in this class, for example.

Quickly my search for glitch art ended up being a search for actual glitches that was not created as art, in a project to see when it – for me personally – would become art. And as we’re sitting in a group of four people the talk went to many different areas, such as sound, text, the tumblr glitch, and whatever else we could bounce off of each other. One thing though, that seems inevitable when talking about glitches, is the interest in glitches in bigger role playing games. A google search for glitches in one of the biggest role playing games, Skyrim, quickly showed a lot of results with horse glitches. Simply put: The horses in Skyrim tend to behave rather strange, even for an imaginary world were a certain plot or known physical rules, similar to those of the real world, applies.

So as I went through all these pictures I found that dead horses – or other animals – with their front body – mistakenly – buried and just their butt and hind legs sticking out, was not just a glitch, but one that had me laughing, and the size of the collection of these pictures made the whole glitch that much more laughable. In this small collection we see a horse, what I believe to be a donkey or a horse, and a goat placed in this before mentioned obscure position, completely interferring with the known physical rules of the game world and with whatever else is on the game map – often the ground. There’s something comedic to this collection – and as art is meant to spark emotion, I’m getting closer to how a glitch can be art.

Something else that happened as I, silently giggling, collected these pictures was that I saw references to an older art piece, including an actual dead horse. Bjørn Nørgaards “Hesteofringen” (1970) consists of a video of him and several other characters participating in a horse sacrifice, where the dead horse is cut into several pieces, later to be displayed in art museums (currently in Aros) in mason jars. The display also shows the video of this event and plays the song sung as the horse was cut into pieces. The art piece is known to be highly political, and often people will question wether it is art at all. The similarities between this art piece and the glitches are of course the dead horses in focus, and also the weather in both scenarios are rather depressing: cold weather, and especially in Skyrim that holds a very cold, dark and grey landscape, for the most part. But if I can relate the Skyrim horse glitches to something an artist made, then my train of thought is at least artistic, thus we can no longer argue that the horse glitches are not art.

A glitch appears as a defect (a voltage-change or signal of the wrong duration—a change of input) in an electrical circuit. Thus, a glitch is a short-term deviation from a correct value and as such the term can also describe hardware malfunctions. The outcome of a glitch is not predictable. (Olga Goriunova and Alexei Shulgin, “Glitch”)

But can it go the other way around? Are the two other art pieces in this exhibition – created on purpose by man, glitches? We can see how they refer to actual glitches and how they portray the fault in technology, but as they are made with intention, can we ever define them as something that per definition is unintentional? We can define them as glitches because they look like glitches, or what we imagine a glitch looks like. These two art pieces are in high contrast to the horse-butts and “Hesteofringen” because they are colorfull and beautiful, subjectively, of course… They have taken the “best” of glitches and turned it into art, both beautiful and intriguing , where I have taken just a silly corner of the internet and related it to art, by collecting and commenting on it.

Task 1 – Choose one of the artefacts in the BB and critically review it – 18.09.2017

So OBVIOUSLY I didn’t realize we had to do this, but now we need it for another written task, and so I have some catching up to do. Seriously 💀 

Anyways, I’ve decided to review “The Garden og Emoji Delights” by Carla Gannis:

What first got me interested in this art piece is the amount of color and contrast. I enjoy the “Where’s Waldo?”-vibe that comes with it – it invites you in on a hunt for, first of all emojis, and secondly, what’s not emojis. The piece have a lot of religious references (courtesy of here blog) which unfortunately for the artist and myself, will go right over my head and into an abyss of nothingness. I am here for Waldo 🤷‍♀️

The piece function as a digital piece as well as a physical piece. On before-mentioned blog you can see it hanging on a wall, but you can also see a digital version with movement, on the blog in video format, uploaded through Vimeo. There are several videos showing different details in the piece, and several digital drawings portraying part of the piece seperated from background and surroundings.

What I appreciate in this piece is the way the artist is relating it to something of great cultural value and in doing so, being very obvious about it. I obviously know nothing about the art piece that this piece is referring to, but I can appreciate the parallels of the two and how the similarities are so very eye catching. But what is more interesting to me is the use of emojis and the manipulation used to make this work: The emojis are not proportionate, they are sometimes mirrored, repeated and combined in ways that are different from how we normally read them.

I have earlier studied emojis as a form of text, but here they are used as a form of picture, and the narrative becomes very different. When emojis are part of a text (or when they are perceived as text) they have one meaning as an icon and thereafter often other symbolic meanings. When you use an emoji in a picture like this, it is very much the straight-forward iconic meaning of the emoji you see – pig emoji = pig, and then they are interpreted in a bigger picture with great symbolic value.

What I question here is that the blend between what is emoji and what is not is difficult to spot. Of course the piece is not supposed to give the emojis away – in that case the “Where’s Waldo?”-vibe would have not come to mind I bet, but the artist has made not-emoji elements look very emoji-like. For example the many naked bodies that are matching the emoji-faces perfectly, but are in fact not emojis nor part of any emoji vocabulary. It’s as if the artist has tried hard no to just place emojis in an existing world, but instead make an emoji-like world for the emojis to exist in, which I bet calls for much more work – so kudos to Gannis for the hard work.

But where’s the other emojis? You know, the Samsung, Google, Twitter, Facebook etc. etc. etc. emoji-renderings, and how will the art piece look in the oldest Apple emoji rendering? Or in the newest Apple emoji rendering? The piece is beautiful in my opinion, and it works wonders at commenting on our use and understanding of emojis, but it stops a bit too soon for me – there are so many more emojis, and so many other gardens to build.

Task – First post – 11.09.2017

Task: Choose a platform for your Digital Aesthetics research blog an write your first post

Deadline for submission: 11 September. 

Most of you came across blogs. These are very popular digital forms which are typically authored by individuals or small groups of people. You are asked to start an individual blog which will document your research activities, your writing and your exploration of digital content online and offline. This way you will start building your digital research portfolio for Digital Aesthetics course. You will use it also as a place where you will collect your data (notes, links, comments, questions, etc.) which will be helpful in writing your final exam paper.

There are a number of blogging tools, but most popular are WordPress.com and Tumbrl.com. Visit these or any other blogging platform and make decision which platform you want to use for your blog. When making your decision note why you decided to choose this platform and what influenced your decision (criteria); include such things as: look and feel, user interface, ease-of-use, and any other reasons and criteria that contributed to your choice. Write introductory blog post which will include this information. Include also a few examples (min. 2) of other blogs which you consider interesting, nice looking, etc.

And here we go with the first blog post relating to Digital aesthetics, a course in Digital design (MA) at AU, above is the first task relating to this course and below you’ll see my response.

I chose to put my Digital aesthetics portfolio/blog on my already existing blog, because obviously it would be silly to create a whole other website just for that (also my blog is dead, so like, yay reborn!) Really all I did was add a second category for this purpose and then add that category to whatever menus I needed to, just to keep things organized. Also I found it silly having to play with any other platform, when I have wordpress downloaded and done for me already. Honestly thanks, dad, I can WordPress very well, but the magic behind the scenes I have no idea how work 🤷‍♀️😂

Linking to examples of blogs I find interesting or whatever is a whole other shitshow, because I don’t read blogs – circling back to why my blog is dead 🙃 – but I’ll give it a try here:

SUPERMARIE is a Norwegian blogger, whom I only follow (lightly) because she’s Norwegian, and anything Norwegian sounds DOPE AS HELL in my head when I read it. Also she’s a bad ass. She writes things I would write if I had the guts, and ever felt compelled to drown the internet in my stupid thoughts (again: my blog is dead for a reason ✌️).

I know this is a link to an Instagram profile but it counts. Heather is an intentionalist and queen of the “zero waste”-life and I only thought of her in this context because she is blogging-ish but on another platform than suggested above. Her dedication to her cause is unmatched by anyone, ever.

Jeg er fuld

Og her går jeg rundt og er tom
Fuld af følelser
Helt ud i mine fingerspidser, helt op i mine hårrødder
Og det spilder over
Som den hårfarve jeg ryster
På en kedelig lørdag der bare skal gå
Og der kommer overtryk i flasken

Det hele bliver lilla

Og det er godt og ondt og sorg og glæde og kærlighed og ærlighed
Det er på mit badeforhæng
Og på mit hår
Og indeni mig
Blandet med mine følelser
I alt det tomme, hvor jeg er så fuld
At der næsten ikke er plads til mere