The most precious gift a designer can give a client is the gift of someone else’s time. We, who live in interesting times, find ourselves immersed in an ocean of data. As it takes a lot of milk to make a little cream we have to ask ourselves: Are we here? Can we communicate? What is the meaning and where can we find it?
Introducing the qualities of flavor
In our personal lives conversation is the most direct form of communication. Conversation can act on a straightforward level, it can also be a highly refined art. The art of sharing personal opinions. The politics of the personal are related to background, education, literacy and environment. Conversation uses the tools of connotation and implication, thus referring to a memory, a history and a past. Or to the absense of such qualities.
Comparing taste with silence
Today we no longer belong to the classic type of human being, the homo universalis. We have become homo singularis, the type of the specialist. As education nowadays serves as an organised loss of memory we have less time and feeling for logic, the development of thought and for reflection. This situation might contribute to a feeling of uncertainty and a lack of understanding in the case of our personal intentions. It might even leave us speechless at moments when we need to go beyond simply pointing at inherent meanings. We search for the source of eureka and utter tada to make the results seem simple. But we can only fool ourselves.
Just arrived: Some do’s and don’ts
The society’s of the past consumed article’s of faith and were more authentic by their very nature. Our postmodern society consumes images, which liberates us from old adagio’s and makes us less fanatic. It also makes us less real and easily bored. Boredom is a source for ennui and spleen, a feeling of loss of strength, control and direction, which gives way to a strong desire for the exitement of the new. When such feelings become a dominant factor they will make us subsequently loose a connection with meaning in the forms of our expression. Loosing the sense for meaning in our syntaxes and vocabulaires can drive expression to inertia or homogenity. Which makes the containers of our communication a closed circuit or an archived language.
New: The quest for the lost supper
A literacy of words relates to an individual consciousness. A literacy of images relates to a group consciousness. Today images have gained supremacy over words. It took a long time to grow from a verbal society to media culture. Contemporary culture has rooted itself in the domain of the mosaic, the collage, the assemblage, and the technique of cut and paste. Words serve now as an explanation of images. The image even grows in meaning and strength in juxtaposition with words that tell another story. The question that is raised by this development is: Do we eat soup or do we eat the images of the soup?
Announcing an appetite for good soup
Words never grow sere as a vehicle for meaning. They act as a meditation between language and death, love and transformation and other fine arts of communication: from prose to poetry to well written copy. Maybe that is why we see a worldwide revival and renaisance of the old art of storytelling. An art that relates more to feelings than to facts. An art that uses interaction as an open system. An art that is predicting and entering a dialogue which gives the audience a role of participation and collaboration.
Last chance to check out the ingredients
As facts and feelings are put less into words, meaning starts to float through imagery in motion. Such flexibility of meaning acts as a caleidoscope and establishes a metaculture, with codes that belong to a new literacy. The literacy of the image has not found it’s way into a dictionary or a history of the future. It hides in ivory towers that deny access to visitors who are doomed to serve as baffled or amazed spectators. In such a situation an audience can only disagree and refute the message, as they cannot recognize their personal roles in the play. They become outsiders that ignore the esoteric.
The truth about soup
In our search for new expressions the screen has become the new face and form of privacy. The internet serves as an expansion of consciousness. It also serves as a referrer and an operator. A refined form of expression involves differences. A world without differences becomes a world of indifference. This awareness involves the operator, the designer and the publisher and the spectator, the citizen and the consumer. A new type of expression also includes an awareness of artificiality and reality and their relationship with impulse, aspiration, effort, desire, motives and themes. As our new vehicles of communication grow out of their infancy, they cannot be something else than a development under construction.
The secrets of the chef belong to the maitre’s state of mind
As we incorporate the experience of our audiences into our expressions, the product and the response of the public become one complex pattern. A pattern which has it’s roots in and is connected with shamanistic rituals. Although the actual translation of such ritual does not involve the art of healing by all means, such agency incorporates prettyness, seduction, illusion, hallucination, enchantment, metaphor, icon and serves as a guide towards a heigthened perception. Nevertheless such agency might create a spectre too, a ghost, who determines the level of illusion. Illusion as a container of intentions. Such play with meaning can lead to an aura which reflects and relates to real meaning or produces a sense of falseness that evokes boredom. This boredom adds to the disturbance of society by creating imbalance. As well in the mind of the operator as in the mind of the spectator.
Forget about canned soup. Go for the real thing. Here’s the recipe!
In times of magic or obscenity we are confronted with the kairos of desire, the challenge to take a stand and do the right thing at the right time. It is the eidos, the nature of things, that is found in the punctum, the detail. By growing beyond mere studium: I like it or I don’t like it, we might reach aliveness, rightiousness and trueness.
How to make soup and improve your sanity by making a choice
Information is addictive and creates an artificial paradise. It is not a question anymore of being informed or not. The real question is if too much information or being too well informed makes us empty minded. The contemporary role of the designer is a role of acting as a navigator through the ocean of data. We might reach common ground by transforming data into information and information into knowledge and meaning. But after all, we have to make a choice. A choice between extacy and innocence. If only to behold our sanity.