Since I experienced quickness as an auditory property of the book, I face the challenge of finding a way to adapt that experience to the visual medium of the blox. As a musician, I have always associated music with color. For example, a high E is an orange note to me, while the C, D, and E above middle C are more in the green range. This condition is called synesthesia; it means that when my auditory senses are stimulated, it triggers a neurological response which stimulates my visual senses, thus creating my dual experience of sounds and colors. With that in mind, I wish to combine sound and color in my blox, making what was previously an auditory experience into one which is also visual.
Tag Archives: perspective
I think my images of LEGOS and letters will guide my visual adaptation of the multiple aspect of the novel. The two units are similar in many ways; they complement each other the way natural language complements code. Both are geared towards some type of constructive problem solving, which reflects the characters’ cooperation.
Again, since there is such a clear relationship between multiplicity and the visual in the novel, I don’t think it will be too difficult to adapt this experience as a blox. I will continue with my practice of making an abstract aspect of the novel concrete through use of a visual motif within the novel.
Lupton and Phillips state that “Modularity is a special kind of constraint. A module is a fixed element used within a larger system or structure. For example, a pixel is a module that builds a digital image. . . . A nine-by-nine grid of pixels can yield an infinite number of different typefaces. Likewise, a tiny handful of LEGO bricks contains an astonishing number of possible combinations. The endless variety of forms occurs, however, within the strict parameters of the system, which permits just one basic kind of connection.”
This relates to multiplicity in art because although humans are pretty much the same biologically, each human being has a different experience and attitude toward the world. This is what enables us to create such a stunning variety of art and literature; each of us has something unique to bring to the creative process, allowing for many facets of experience across one human “kind.”
As I have said before, lightness is not a mode of escape, but a way of looking at the world. I related this to the concept of figure and ground in graphic design. What you “see” is often a question of perspective: in the photograph, the sky, which we would normally think of as a background to the buildings, actually forms letters when we look more closely. This connects to the two, ultimately converging perspectives in Flight Paths: in the fourth episode, we’re not sure at first whether Yacub is flying or falling to his death. It is only after he gets up off the car that our mental perspective “adjusts” to the fact that he is not dead after all.
Our eyes do a similar thing when we look at these letters; this lightness in design challenges us to reframe our way of seeing the world. It also encourages us to be on the lookout for new perspectives, in art and in life, which both surprise us and make the work more interesting and engaging.
For my E-Lit example, I chose Flight Paths by Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph. As in the Kafka story Calvino mentions, Yacub’s privation leads to a flight to another world. In this case, it is a literal flight: Yacub stows away onto a cargo plane to escape his miserable life in Dubai. By contrast, Harriet’s life seems mundane: we first meet her as she’s driving to the grocery store to shop for her family. The lightness comes in when the two characters’ storylines converge.
Calvino says that lightness is a way of looking at the world, and the parallel perspectives in the fourth episode of the story illustrate two completely different viewpoints. Yacub, falling from the sky, feels light and free. Rather that be alarmed, he reflects rather poetically, “I am flying.” Harriet, however, sees that Yacub is clearly falling to his death. Nothing could be more fatal than smashing into a car roof after falling from a plane, yet surprisingly, Yacub does not die. Through the power of the story, Yacub is able to transcend mortality and survive the fall. Even more amazingly, he and Harriet bypass all language barriers and can communicate perfectly in English. She is surprised by this, but Yacub immediately announces he is hungry, and the two go off in search of food. leaving little time for us readers to be incredulous.
The lightness of the story allows Yacub to overcome the laws of physics. It also allows us, like Harriet, to suspend our disbelief and accept Yacub’s survival. Since this is a work of literature, we can read his flight and escape from poverty as a metaphor rather than an actual event. In any case, the lightness in Flight Paths surprises us because it interrupts our normal patterns of thinking and allows us to exercise our imaginations.