Monday, July 30, 2007

Aspirations & Intentions


Image: Harry Beckhoff, two-color illustration for Colliers, 1937

This is an activity--serial writing on [ideally] linked topics--which poses certain dangers, not the least of which may be to mistake one's own preoccupations for others' concerns.

I intend to frame some thoughts about modern graphic culture that I hope will help to clarify terminology, establish commonalities, sharpen distinctions, and otherwise bring some analytical rigor to a subject that suffers from 1) an excess of enthusiasm and 2) longstanding aesethetic dismissal.

Plainly 1) is the greater danger to the field. If we can think, speak and write clearly about images in a functional context we can dispense with some of the old hierarchies.

During the months of August and September I intend to use this forum to chart some visual and argumentative territory for ongoing consideration. For example: why does illustration lack a theory of itself? What is a cartoon? It will be necessary to define a few terms, both verbally and visually, to make any progress on such topics. On the whole, I think that English, otherwise a useful language, has done less well than it might have in commercial imagemaking. Our vocabulary under-performs.

So expect some editorial flag-planting in the next 60 days or so, as well as intermittent posts about studio projects and idle visual pleasures.

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