Sunday, October 22, 2017

Quatrain #40: Quadragesimus

It's easy to call this number forty, but one of the cardinal rules of the Quatrain Project is that the use of cardinal numbers are only part of any title. So, in the search for an appropriate linguistic identifier, I found that the ordinal number fortieth, in Webster's Dictionary, has this exquisite Latin word starting with letter Q, that translates precisely to mean fortieth: Quadragesimus. So what better way is there to mark this quantitative milestone of the Quatrain Project's life than with a bit of literary and visual redundancy?
I am deeply grateful to Pearl Street Studios in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for hosting the Quatrain Project at the October 2017 First Friday Event. I was asked produce a quatrain on the spot that evening by my host, and I have to admit it that it was rather intimidating to fathom the possibility of doing so. In the trinity of art production, which I'll loosely identify as Creation, Community, & Presentation, one doesn't typically think about creating new work during their opening [presentation phase] because they are two completely different creative processes and mindsets, let alone the idea of having the right tools on hand. Nonetheless, I couldn't resist the challenge, so here's the result I produced while in the presentation mindset, and twisting the creative process into reverse flow.
For me, this quatrain turns out being a major sign post in the long journey of this project. It's numerical value is perfectly suited to offer connection to the project's identity, it's riven with multiplicity, it reveals process and viewer interaction, and summarizes the idea that it takes thousands of images to produce the few that we end up showing the world. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Quatrain #39: Smoking Semiotics

Visual literacy skills are inarguably a basic life skill to intelligently navigate and make informed decisions in a hyper-real digital age. Because what’s typically discovered in the process of understanding visual art is that it’s multi-dimensional, as it involves references to history, semiotics, and psychology, let alone it being a product and reflection of time and place.


I hope to produce a book featuring this project someday.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Quatrain #38: Finding Clarity

Over two decades of teaching has offered me anecdotal evidence that a great percentage of people do not critically think, nor do they possess adequate vocabulary to converse about visual art. The zeitgeist of science, technology, engineering, and math prevailing as the subjects that meet standards of success in most school systems is something that I want to help shift. I’m attempting to brighten awareness and bring value to visual literacy so the many forms of traditional and digital media arts are included as markers of social success. As German Bauhaus teacher Laszlo Moholy-Nagy prophetically noted in the early 20th Century, “the illiterate of the future will be the person ignorant of the use of the camera as well as the pen.”