Week 2 – The Gaze and the Narrative

Today we were looking at Piet Mondrian’s work and how it relates to Schröder house, we then had to discuss if they corresponded more with 1D, 2D, 3D or 4D.

Piet Mondrian ‘Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red’, 1937–42   Rietveld Schröder House

In our group we discussed a lot of theories, we though of looking at Mondrian’s work as blueprints for Schröder house as they’re so simplistic so this would be turning a two dimensional plan into a three dimensional object. We discussed that we were only looking at the Schröder house through a photograph, all though we can see perspective of the house it is still only two dimensional.

We then started discussing what 1 dimensional and 4 dimensional mean, some looked at it as shadows which isn’t a physical object and other saw it as being a singular particle, I don’t think one dimension is made out of anything physical, it could just be in our thought or an idea we have. We all agreed that four dimension would have to include another sense such as smell, touch or noise. I think dimension is similar to a process, 1D would be the thought and idea of what I was going to make, 2D would be my designs and drawings, 3D would be the object which I created from those designs then 4D would be me experiencing o’r using the design.

The Narrative

We started to look at different theorists and how they viewed things.

Our first theorist was Colin Rowe (1920 – 1999) who was a design historian, he liked to look at formalism and the issues surrounding it.

Should visual and spatial forms be seen as design’s irreducible essence, or does form represent only one layer in a set of values that includes psychological meaning, social intention, political ideology and other human factors at work in the urban whole?

During this era surrealism was at it’s peak, artist such as Rene Magritte challenged how everything was symbolized and perceived, his piece ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ is a perfect example of this.

The Treachery of Images, 1929 by Rene Magritte

I found a quote from another theorist which questions similar philosophy as Colin Rowe

“If I chance to look out of the window onto men passing in the street, I do not fail to say, on seeing them, that I see men… and yet, what do I see from this window, other than hats and cloaks, which cover ghosts or dummies who move only by means of springs? But I judge them to be really men, and thus I understand, by the sole power of judgment that resides in my mind, what I believed I saw with my eyes” Rene Descartes

The last theorist we looked at was Rudolf Arnheim (1904 – 2007) he was a German author, art and film theorist, and perceptual psychologist.

Intelligence of Perception:  ….I assumed that sound and dialogue are not suitable for promoting the image formation on the film screen; rather, they significantly limit the expression of the image….

I agree and disagree with Rudolf Arnheim, when we look at an image we rely on our imaginations and creativity to bring that image to life, this allows us to have limitless perception. But if someone wanted us to experience a film in a particular way I think sound and dialogue would have to be essential for us to see their expression of the image. I could argue by saying that technology has developed a lot recently so he couldn’t have experienced the full quality of dial, but he was alive during the 60’s where color film and dialogue became common, I wonder if he thought black and white limited the expression of an image ?



%d bloggers like this: