Category Archives: Visibility

Emblem

Unfortunately, I am unable to use a comic as an emblem for visibility because Calvino has already done so and the E-Lit I selected is based on comic strips. The second emblem I look to in order to convey the E-Lit’s quality for visibility is that of a sun rise. The sun rising is an emblem for visibility because, like the comics do in “Brainstrips”, the sun rise represents multiple ideas. The first thought that comes to mind when looking at the sun rising is the thought of beauty. The image conveys the thought that the earth is naturally beautiful. The second thought that comes to mind is the thought that the day has begun. The sun rising indicates that the day is beginning and we must begin our daily routines. Like the images in the comics do, the sun conveys important details in our life and without words is able to influence our thoughts.

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Analogy

Calvino discussed two processes of imagination. My analogy is one that relates to the process of reading words on a page and being able to develop an image that the author was looking to convey. This is similar to someone reading a treasure map. Although thought of as a childish action, The reading and following of a treasure map is just like reading text and receiving an image. One must first work to read the map and follow its steps. Like the map guides the hunter, the words of the author guide the reader towards the image he or she is looking to convey. When the reader has developed the image, it is like he has found the treasure. He used his guide to find the ultimate prize, knowledge. “Brainstrips”, by Alan Bigelow, uses the images of  the comics to guide the reader towards the ultimate meaning behind the piece.

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Graphic Design

I was overlooking the options for the graphic design elements we can use to best describe our selection of E-Lit in “Graphic Design The New Basics” by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips. I noticed the first major elements discussed is Point, Line, Plane. These three elements are considered the “building blocks of design”. I assumed I would not find an E-Lit work that these elements could be used to shows the core aesthetic value. Then I realized that they are the core elements that allow the comics in Alan Bigelow’s “Brainstrips” to convey the images that help show the author’s meaning behind the piece. The comics are a combination of points, lines and planes. They are very basic and show little dimensional quality. Calvino discusses that images are an important part of aesthetics and without the simple elements of points, lines, and planes, these images would not be able to be drawn.

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E-Lit

While journeying through the E-Lit anthology, I was having trouble finding a piece of work that can truly conveys the qualities of visibility. Most of the E-Lit work has relatively good visual effects but the interest of the authors did not seem to be in the visual quality. Fortunately, I stumbled across the work of Alan Bigelow. Bigelow created an E-Lit piece called “Brainstrips”. It consists of multiple live action comics that discuss major issues and concerns in the world. Although the author was most liking mainly concerned with issues discussed, his piece’s true quality is in the visual aspect. He uses comic stripes and then adds small action details like the firing of a bullet. The combination really allows the reader to understand the comic and ultimately understand the message the author is looking to convey. This appeals to the second imagination process that Calvino discusses, the process of an image giving the reader the sensation of verbal expression. The author hopes that the piece of E-Lit influences the viewers to express their feelings towards the discussed issues.

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Calvino’s Visibility

If I have included visibility in my list of values to be saved, it is to give warning of the danger we run in losing a basic human faculty: the power of bringing visions into focus with our eyes shut, of bringing forth forms and colors from the lines of black letters on a white page, and in fact of thinking in terms of images.” – Italo Calvino

The quote above is from Italo Calvino’s book, “Six Memos for the New Millennium“. This quote shows Calvino’s passion in respect to this specific quality. In his other memos, Calvino mentions the importance of using the qualities as a guideline for one’s literary works, but when discussing the quality visibility, Calvino seems to be concerned that we are losing this quality. He explains his concern about the loss of such an important aspect of aesthetics. Aside from just his concern with the loss of thinking in images, Calvino also expresses his worry for the change from people thinking of original images to people thinking of others’ images and replicating.

Calvino expresses visibility in relation to imagination. He believes that imagination has two processes: the process by which the words on a page can guide a reader to create the image being discussed and the process of an image giving a person the sensation of verbal expression. Although Calvino is and has been highly regarded for many years, not everyone agreed with his thought process of imagination. Dante the poet wrote about Dante the character in “Divine Comedy” as having his images “rain down” from the heavens into his mind. Dante didn’t even wait for the images to fully form. He discussed how they came in time and became clearer as time went on.

Calvino looks to relate visibility to en emblem. He mentions how italian comics convey the power of visibility. At the time, comics had yet to develop the word bubbles that we are accustomed to here in America. This left it all up to the image to convey the thought the author was looking to get across.

Visibility leads my mind to think about one of my favorite books of all time, Patrick D. Smith’s “A Land Remembered“. The story follows the generations of a family that looks to start off a career in cow herding in the early years of Florida’s development. Smith does an incredible job at conveying the beautiful natural scenery of old Florida. Being a life-long Floridian, I can truly appreciate the beauty he discusses that we have lost over the years. Smith is able to use “lines of black letters on a white page” in order to convey an absolutely beautiful scene that the reader can vividly see in their mind.

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