Essay Draft 2

Essay Draft 2

The idea of how visual texts are important to artists and designers can be explored through the key points and ideas of Compare and Contrast, Contextualizing and Perspectives. These are crucial and vital elements to which artists and designers of today rely on to think critically about visual texts to put into practice.

One of the key ideas that I have learned from my previous assignments is just how important comparing and contrast is when analyzing visual works. Our field trips forced us to analyze the areas, unconsciously we were already comparing one location to another. To define the term in relation to critical thinking, it is to draw the differences and similarities between two things and analyzing it in depth.

A prime example of this was during the visit to the Michael Fowler Centre in central Wellington and the visit to San Fran Bar on Cuba Street. Both were vastly different and at first glance, one would not be able to connect the two locations to find an instant similarity; instead finding dozens of differences that kept the two locations in stark contrast to one another. However, upon writing the ‘Compare and Contrast’ task in week two, I came to the sudden realization that these two locations were actually similar. They both hosted a large audience and put on shows – albeit they were different types of shows but had the same objective none the less. This process of closely looking and critically thinking about the visual texts are incredibly relevant, important and vital to all art and design practices. Especially by comparing and contrasting, this allows for differences and similarities to the surface which enable us to analyze in more depth and with more logical reasoning.

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Contextualizing is another key idea that stood out to me throughout the past three weeks of study. To contextualize, one must put things in place in order to give it background to further the understanding of it. This could relate it to the time or place where it began or was found. Michael Clarke further defines this as “Identifying the context of the object of attention is to locate it in a particular time and place” (Clarke. 24) This key concept of contextualizing is a primary requirement of critical thinking which helps to strengthen and connect artists and designers in their practices.

Change of Perspective was a key idea that I realized was an essential and relevant part of critical thinking. Perspective is the point of view or an attitude towards an idea, this is susceptible to change upon learning new information. Seeing something from another perspective and learning new information helped to change mine so I could better my understanding. Nicholas Mirzoeff discusses this in his work when he states, “We assemble a world from pieces, assuming that what we see is both coherent and equivalent to reality. Until we discover it is not” (Mirzoeff. 10). We as people, build up an image, an idea, a concept based on the knowledge we already have from the things we see, hear, touch, smell and discover with the various senses. However when we see a change of perspective, whether it is by listening to others with opposing viewpoints or learning new information, we learn what we previously thought was correct was not and, therefore, a new or changed perspective is born. This is especially critical and important for artists and designers who require different viewpoints to express their chosen practice in.

The above clearly illustrates how the key elements of Contrast and Comparing, Contextualizing, and Perspective all collectively contribute to looking and thinking critically. They help to enforce and better artists and designers practice to become more successful and better thought out.

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Essay Draft 1

Essay Draft 1

The idea of how visual texts are important to artists and designers can be explored through the key points and ideas of Compare and Contrast, Contextualizing and Perspectives. These are crucial and vital elements to which artists and designers of today rely on to think critically about visual texts to put into practice.

One of the key ideas that I have learned from my previous assignments is just how important comparing and contrast is when analyzing visual works. By visiting both chosen field trips and analyzing the areas, unconsciously we were already comparing one location to another. To define the term in relation to critical thinking, it is to draw the differences and similarities between two things and analyzing it in depth.

A prime example of this was during the visit to the Michael Fowler Centre in central Wellington and the visit to San Fran Bar on Cuba Street. Both were vastly different and at first glance, one would not be able to connect the two locations to find an instant similarity; instead finding dozens of differences that kept the two locations in stark contrast to one another. However, upon writing the ‘Compare and Contrast’ task in week two, I came to the sudden realization that these two locations were actually similar. They both hosted a large audience and put on shows – albeit they were different types of shows but had the same objective none the less. This process of closely looking and critically thinking about the visual texts are incredibly relevant, important and vital to all art and design practices. Especially by comparing and contrasting, this allows for differences and similarities to the surface which enable us to analyse in more depth and with more logical reasoning.

Contextualizing is another key idea that stood out to me throughout the past three weeks of study. To contextualize, one must put things in place in order to give it background to further the understanding of it. This could relate it to the time or place where it began or was found. Michael Clarke further defines this as “Identifying the context of the object of attention is to locate it in a particular time and place” (Clarke. 24) This key concept of contextualizing is a primary requirement of critical thinking which helps to strengthen and connect artists and designers in their practices.

Change of Perspective was a key idea that I realized was an essential and relevant part of critical thinking. Perspective is the point of view or an attitude towards an idea, this is susceptible to change upon learning new information. This is something I unexpectedly realized when I was involved in a discussion with my peers. Seeing something from another perspective and learning new information helped to change mine so I could better my understanding. Nicholas Mirzoeff discusses this in his work when he states, “We assemble a world from pieces, assuming that what we see is both coherent and equivalent to reality. Until we discover it is not” (Mirzoeff. 10). We as people build up an image, an idea, a concept based on the knowledge we already have from the things we see, hear, touch, smell and discover with the various senses. However when we see a change of perspective, whether it is by listening to others with opposing viewpoints or learning new information, we learn what we previously thought was correct was not and, therefore, a new or changed perspective is born.

The above clearly illustrates how the key elements of Contrast and Comparing, Contextualizing, and Perspective all collectively contribute to looking and thinking critically. They help to enforce and better artists and designers practice to become more successful and better thought out.

 

 

 

Task 2 – option B

Task 2 – option B

“Critical Thinking” by  Wallace, Andrew, Tony Schirato, and Phillippa Bright.

Beginning University: Thinking, Researching and Writing for Success. St Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 1999. 45-61. Print.

After reading the writing on “Critical thinking,” I now understand how critical thinking encaptures more than just logical thinking and reasoning. It further includes aspects such as ‘creative thinking’ which helps to look at things with a different and new perspective instead of staying in familiar patterns that already exist. I already understood how critical thinking included problem-solving, reasoning, analyzing and evaluating but it was reassuring to see that critical thinking was not just for those who excel at logical thinking but for those of us who are creative and think differently.

The voice of the author in the text sounds informing and educating. Their tone is critical of what ‘critical thinking’ is and they thoroughly explain how we as students can use it during our study. Their use of 2nd person pronouns such as “You”, “We” directly addresses the reader and helps to capture the reader’s attention due to the inclusive pronouns. There is a slight authoritative voice which rather than sound commanding, it is used to inform and educate as the purpose of the text is to do so. My response to their voice, tone and approach are that I am eager to read and learn more about the subject as they used understandable text and real life examples that were relatable. This also made their language interesting despite being an informative text as opposed to an entertaining piece. The text was straightforward and relatively easy to understand which made me enjoy the text as a whole.

Visual Text Analysis

Visual Text Analysis

The object I have chosen for the visual text analysis is the mixer at San Fran bar.

The mixer is of the brand, Stanton and is a reasonable distance away from the stage and is presumably for the DJ. The intended audience is for the audience of gigs and for the nightclub visitors.

This item is important enough to be housed at San Fran because it is required for DJ’s and therefore needed for a night at nightclubs.  In relation to its distance from the stage, it’s far enough from the audience area to not interrupt people moving or dancing yet at a close enough proximity to be connected to the wires, cords and electrical equipment necessary for it to work. Alongside the mixer station is the soundcheck desk where it works together to enable the correct sound to be emitted from speakers and the stage. It sits across from the bar (as seen in the picture below).

 

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Stanton mixer. San Fran Bar. Photo. 2016

 

 

 

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Soundcheck station. San Fran Bar. Photo. 2016

 

 

 

Compare and contrast

Compare and contrast

There are obvious similarities and differences that the two sites have and that is mainly due to the different purposes of each site. San Fran is obviously a more casual kind of hangout and a bar while the Michael Fowler hosts orchestras, special events and the ARISE church. These different functions attract different visitors.

Differences

  1. The San Fran bar entrance is much more tolerable for graffiti, stickers and things others may consider borderline vandalism. A great example of this can be seen in the photo below where someone has painted ‘IDIOT’ in red paint that drips down the wall. The Michael Fowler centre, on the other hand, would never display such graffiti. Instead, their entrance foyer is clean with pristine white marble walls.

 

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Graffiti scribble at entrance of San Fran

 

 

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Pristine tiled floor and clean white marble walls

2 . The signage that is present in both San Fran and the Michael Fowler centre differ significantly. This is due to he fact that both have different atmospheres and functions. San Fran has brightly coloured posters framed around their bar with varied fonts and images. The Michael Fowler has limited signage but use a classic, elegant font in all capitals. They both signify the difference between both sites in how they present themselves. San Fran is casual and cool, Michael Fowler is elegant and striking.

 

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Posters and signage at San Fran bar.

 

 

 

 

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Signage at Michael Fowler Centre

However, it is also apparent that there are some significant shared similarities between the Michael Fowler Centre and the San Fran Bar.

Similarities

  1. Both host an audience – while they may be a different type of audience, they are audiences none the less. San Fran hosts many tours, gigs and international artists which attract visitors while the Michael Fowler centre hosts orchestras, church sessions and many other special events. They are both different but are unified by their shared hosting environment.

 

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Seats at San Fran for guests

 

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Seating at Michael Fowler in foyer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Field Trip 2

Field Trip 2

 

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San Fran Bar signage. Photo. 2016

 

Our next field trip took us down to Cuba Street on a Tuesday Evening to visit the ever so popular San Fran bar. Its associations with the NZ music industry has existed since the 1960’s and is widely known through the country as one of the top bars with acts and tours from all over the world.

The main purpose of the bar is to cater to the multi- functioning event building
– A bar, cafe, restaurant and a nightclub all in one.

The first impression of the bar was given during the entrance of the bar. Scribblings of graffiti and a random assortment of stickers along their cracked walls provided a sense of concern as it echoed the idea of a hideaway for teenage ruffians. Fortunately, we were wrong and after climbing the stairs we were exposed to the hip and retro looking space of San Fran bar – “beats and beverages”.

 

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Fire Sprinkler box. San Fran. 2016

 

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Bar. San Fran. 2016

San Fran is essentially where the ‘cool kids’ hang out but it’s not strictly limited to young people, as we saw some older patrons. Space is filled and furnishes with cool, colourful and retro-looking posters framed nicely with wood. They advertise the upcoming events and are placed around and above comforters, around walls and along the stairs to the bar. The bar itself is decorated with cage hangings which double as a storage place for alcohol supplies.

 

The lighting is much less overly bright and white, black covers the ceilings and the stage area which help provide a dim setting and boosts the ‘chill’ vibe of the bar.

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San Fran’s website. Screenshot. 2016.

The online presence of San Fran contrasts against the real San Fran having little to no white in their space. However, the cool vibe is still present in this website with many pictures of their past and present gigs.