Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Representational Systems' keyword pg.1 of 1
29 OCTOBER 2013

Skeuomorphism has fallen out of favour in recent years

"Skeuomorphism has fallen out of favour in recent years, and is almost regarded as a dirty word by many in the design community. Apple this week announced a radical revision to the approach at its annual developer conference in California and its new mobile operating system will ditch real world visual metaphors in favour of a stripped–back minimalist approach. ... The podcast app recently lost its reel–to–reel tape deck look, a reference which would have been lost on many younger smartphone users. Not everyone will be pleased with the decision though, and some regret the decline of the skeuomorph."

(Sam Judah, 3 June 2013, BBC News Magazine)



Apple OS • binder • clipboard • de-facto symbol • desktop metaphor • envelope • golden compass • GUIinterface designinterface metaphor • jotting paper • leather-bound desk blotter • mimesismimicry • mobile operating system • nostalgic yearningoffice metaphorold-world equivalentsreal world objectsreal world visual metaphor • red wax seal • representational systemsresemblancescissorsskeuomorphskeuomorphic designskeuomorphismsoftware programme • sticky notes • trash canUIvisual metaphor • Windows 7


Simon Perkins
25 MARCH 2011

Photorealism: a reaction to the detachment of Minimalism and conceptual art

"Chuck Close is associated with the style of painting called Photorealism or Superrealism. In this style, artists in the early 1970s created a link between representational systems of painting and photography. Photorealism developed as a reaction to the detachment of Minimalism and conceptual art, which did not depict representational images. Photorealists frequently used a grid technique to enlarge a photograph and reduce each square to formal elements of design. Each grid was its own little work of art. Many of the Photorealists used the airbrush technique.

Big Self–Portrait, in black and white, was the first of Close's mural–sized works painted from photographs. This painting took four months to complete. To make this work, Close took several photographs of himself in which his head and neck filled the frame. From these he selected one of the images and made two 11 x 14–inch enlargements. On one of the photographs he drew a grid, then lettered and numbered each square. Using both the gridded and ungridded photographs, he carefully transferred the photographic image square by square onto a large canvas measuring 107 1/2 x 83 1/2 inches. He used acrylic paint and an airbrush to include every detail.

When Close was making his painting he was concerned with the visual elements––shapes, textures, volume, shadows, and highlights––of the photograph itself. He also was interested in how a photograph shows some parts of the image in focus, or sharp, and some out–of–focus, or blurry. In this portrait the tip of the cigarette and the hair on the back of his head were both out–of–focus in the photograph so he painted them that way in Big Self–Portrait."

(ArtsNet Minnesota)

Fig.1 Chuck Close 'Big Self–Portrait', 1968 acrylic on canvas 107 1/2 x 83 1/2 in. Walker Art Center



1970s • acrylic • Big Self-Portrait • black and whiteblurry • Chuck Close • conceptual artcraftdesign formalism • enlargement • focus • grid technique • grisaille • hyperrealismminimalismout-of-focusphotographphotographic imagephotographyphotorealismportraitrepresentationrepresentational systemsscale • sharp focus • superrealism • techniquevisual elementsWalker Art Center


Simon Perkins
23 OCTOBER 2008

The Logic of Hypermediacy

"Unlike a perspective painting or three–dimensional computer graphic, this windowed interface does not attempt to unify the space around any one point of view. Instead, each text window defines its own verbal, each graphic window its own visual, point of view. Windows may change scale quickly and radically, expanding to fill the screen or shrinking to the size of an icon. And unlike the painting or computer graphic, the desktop interface does not erase itself. The multiplicity of windows and the heterogeneity of their contents mean that the user is repeatedly brought back into contact with the interface, which she learns to read just as she would read any hypertext. She oscillates between manipulating the windows and examining their contents, just as she oscillates between looking at a hypertext as a texture of links and looking through the links to the textual units as language.

With each return to the interface, the user confronts the fact that the windowed computer is simultaneously automatic and interactive. We have argued that the automatic character of photography contributes to the photograph's feeling of immediacy, but with the windowed computer, the situation is more complicated. Its interface is automatic in the sense that it consists of layers of programming that are executed with each click of the mouse. Its interface is interactive in the sense that these layers of programming always return control to the user, who then initiates another automated action. Although the programmer is not visible in the interface, the user as a subject is constantly present, clicking on buttons, choosing menu items, and dragging icons and windows. While the apparent autonomy of the machine can contribute to the transparency of the technology, the buttons and menus that provide user interaction can be seen as getting in the way of the transparency. If software designers now characterize the two–dimensional desktop interface as unnatural, they really mean that it is too obviously mediated. They prefer to imagine an 'interfaceless' computer offering some brand of virtual reality. Nevertheless, the possibilities of the windowed style have probably not been fully explored and elaborated.

One reason that this style has not been exhausted is that it functions as a cultural counterbalance to the desire for immediacy in digital technology. As a counterbalance hypermediacy is more complicated and various. In digital technology, as often in the earlier history of Western representation, hypermediacy expresses itself as multiplicity. If the logic of immediacy leads one either to erase or to render automatic the act of representation, the logic of hypermediacy acknowledges multiple acts of representation and makes them visible. Where immediacy suggests a unified visual space, contemporary hypermediacy offers a heterogeneous space, in which representation is conceived of not as a window on to the world, but rather as 'windowed' itself –with windows that open on to other representations or other media. The logic of hypermediacy multiplies the signs of mediation and in this way tries to reproduce the rich sensorium of human experience. On the other hand, hypermediacy can operate even in a single and apparently unified medium, particularly when the illusion of realistic representation is somehow stretched or altogether ruptured. For example, perspective paintings or computer graphics are often hypermediated, particularly when they offer fantastic scenes that the viewer is not expected to accept as real or even possible. Hypermediacy can also manifest itself in the creation of multimedia spaces in the physical world, such as theme parks or video arcades."

(David Bolter and Richard Grusin, 33–34.pp, 2000)

David Bolter and Richard Grusin (2000). Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation. "Remediation: Understanding New Media", The MIT Press.



bringing into relationcomputer graphicscomputer interfaceDavid Bolter • desktop interface • digital technologyframed by the window • graphic window • heterogeneity of contents • heterogeneous space • human experiencehypermediacyhypermediated spacehypertextilluminated manuscriptillusionistic spaceimmediacy • interfaceless interface • James Joycejuxtaposed imagesjuxtapositionlayered meaninglayeringlayers of data • layers of programming • logic of hypermediacy • looking at a hypertext • looking through links • manipulating the windows • mediated environments • multimedia spaces • multiplicities • multiplicity of windows • painting as illusionperceptual organisation • perspective painting • perspective viewphotographyphysical worldpictorial systemsrealistic representationrepresentational modesrepresentational strategiesrepresentational systemsRichard Grusinrupture • sensorium of human experience • signs of mediation • simultaneously automatic and interactive • technology as neutraltechnology transparency • textual units as language • texture of links • theme park • three-dimensional computer graphics • transparencytransparency of meaning • two-dimensional desktop interface • unified medium • unified visual space • unified wholeunifying metaphorvideo arcadevirtual realityvisual languagevisual literacyvisual representation • visual space • visual traditions • whole is other than the sum of the partswindow on to the world • windowed computer • windowed content • windowed interface


Simon Perkins

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