Greg Linch's Commonplace Book

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He is one of my favorite artists not only for his surrealism, but for his reuse in different elements of his paintings. Those who study art might call them “recurring themes,” but “reuse” makes more sense to me as an engineer. Those of us who write code every day find ourselves reusing elements of our work in different projects – be it formatting, framework, algorithms, etc. The same goes for most artists.

"The camera introduces us to unconscious optics just as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses." In other words, the camera’s-eye point of view is a privileged perspective. It does show us things as they are or, perhaps if not as they are, at least it reminds us that things as we see them with the naked eye aren’t necessarily "as they are." It’s not, perhaps, so much a notion of privileging what the camera sees as real over against what I see. It’s a question of the camera reminding us—demystifying our ideology, in short—reminding us that things as we see them aren’t necessarily the way things are. The camera, too, may have its bias. Slow motion is an obvious bias, speed-up is an obvious bias; but the speed at which we see things may be a bias, too.

Distraction is the atmosphere or medium in which the shock of revelation can take place, and that’s the advantage of distraction.

Open Yale Courses

Prof. Paul H. Fry discussing Walter Benjamin

What’s so special about all those amazing British children’s writers, those who gave us Alice in Wonderland and Robinson Crusoe and Pooh Bear and Peter Pan and Peter Rabbit and the rest, was that they didn’t set out to seduce. The great children’s writers were authentic, they copied no one, they didn’t set out to make money or to preach ideas. They just transcribed their dreams.

The art of the page is as different from the real art as a map or an atlas is to the real geography. It’s meant to guide you through, so I’m very focused on how someone looks at this page and use it as a jumping-off point. I want their mind, not the panels but their mind, to be moving–connecting things and adding to it, bringing their life experience to it, and completing it all in the mysteries of their head and connecting to it inside them. That’s where the real art of comics are for me. When they’re done right, when they’re done at their best, the real story happens completely in the reader’s head, and the comic itself is just a really fun artifact and by-product to get them there.

I don’t think the original is the real art. I think that the real art of what happens isn’t in the page; it is what happens in the reader’s mind when they’re connecting it. The actual art page and the printed version of it are really my best way of making a navigational instrument for the reader to complete that piece in their head.

whereas the early African art depicts abstract geometric patterns, the early European art is figurative, showing naturalistic representations of animals and humans. So did early modern humans from Africa enter Europe with abstract, nonfigurative art and then develop naturalistic representations gradually in their new homeland? Or had they already developed this sophisticated style of cave art in Africa, before they reached Europe?

Comics start with two images, each slightly different from what came before, but, when you put these two images together, it’s just human nature to construct a dialogue between them. We construct a continuity: whatever happens in this image was before in time, and this happens after it. Nothing’s moving at all; nothing’s said in between. Even if things are completely different from this panel to that panel, our natural instinct is to construct order out of that juxtaposition and to create a narrative in between those images. So what I love about comics is that the readers themselves are really making what’s happening in comics in their own mind. When comics are done right, when they meet the reader halfway, when they don’t give too much… I think if they give the reader too much information, the readers don’t have to use their minds as much. But, if you finesse it and give them just the right amount, the readers then really start actively completing everything inside their minds. This makes the reader an active participant in what’s happening.

A characteristic feature of Imagism is its attempt to isolate a single image to reveal its essence. This feature mirrors contemporary developments in avant-garde art, especially Cubism. Although Imagism isolates objects through the use of what Ezra Pound called “luminous details”, Pound’s Ideogrammic Method of juxtaposing concrete instances to express an abstraction is similar to Cubism’s manner of synthesizing multiple perspectives into a single image.