Sunday, December 9, 2012

a step by step ballpoint pen drawing titled, Sink or Sail - a metaphorical folly illustrating social relations totally mediated by the Internet.

This post depicts my current interest in illustrating the absurdity of navigating the Internet and the World Wide Web. The folded paper with circular holes and paddling oars depicts the  precarious and fragile nature of surfing the World Wide Web – especially the ‘time-wasting social [things]’ like Twitter, e-mail, Facebook and Web-surfing. 
The sail-shaped paper, hovers just above the twirling water, representing the vast expanse of the ocean - no land insight. The folded paper manifests the actual physical page (folded and pierced), aimlessly blowing in the wind – aligned to the fact that I am creating an artists book (a page in the book). Referencing the art of paper folding - traditionally called origami.  Suspended between the water and the sky it symbolically represents our physical space (the tangible) – reality if you like. 

The circular holes drawn in the paper represents virtual information spaces we frequently inhabit, in particular those individuals whose social lives are mediated by Facebook and texting - visit previous post tiled Hon's Artist book; abook with a face of loneliness - the paradox of social networking and alienation. 

Inserted into these holes are rowing oars that extend into space beyond the format of the square page. They cross over each other like pickup sticks, suspended in space before they collapse (idling time).  Instead of tracking in unison (and tacking in sailing) see definitions below, they add to the alienation of the individual (lost and distracted). Especially those individuals who are seeking fulfillment in a world where surfing the Internet takes priority over everything else. 

The blank spaces in the frenetic and colourful sky represent speech bubbles, illustrating voids left by un-fulfillment in the futile act of virtual engagement. This is a metaphorical folly for ‘sink or sail’ in a world where virtual engagement is being favoured above face-to-face conversation. 
This ballpoint pen drawing is ultimately an artist’s impression, illustrating the ever-increasing domination of social relations mediated by the Internet (addiction to be connected and noticed). With regard to the creating the artists book – I am exploring the impact of the ever-increasing number of virtual information spaces – it will lead to demise of the paper (increasing overlapping holes), and eventually the physical book itself.

Inspired by the patterns of visual data as illustrated in the books tilted Data Flow and Visual complexity mapping patterns of information by Robert Klanten (one of the editors) and Manuel Lima respectively. One in particular caught my attention titled us and them.
Community Marian Bantjies 2005,
cited in Visual Complexity Mapping Patterns of Information. page 181.

The word community usually makes us think of friends, allegiances, commonality and unity. But in any community there is necessarily a division between us and them. That which unites must also separate. It is often by defining them that we define ourselves.  
A diagram exploring the concept of community, specifically the ideas of inclusion and exclusion as they relate to geography, personal identification, interests and involuntary circumstance. (Cited in book Visual Complexity, Mapping Patterns of  information editor Manuel Lima 2011; 181)
Definition of tracking
Definition for tacking
4 Sailing an act of changing course by turning a boat’s head into and through the wind, so as to bring the wind on the opposite side.
a boat’s course relative to the direction of the wind: the brig bowled past on the opposite tack.