Symbolism, Semiotics and the like.

The word symbol comes from the Greek “Symbolon”, an object cut in half constituting a sign of recognition when people are able to reassemble to two halfs. It stems from the human ability to deal with metaphors and how we associate certain objects with certain thoughts/feelings/ideas or emotions.

Task 1 of this: Explore and explain the terms metaphor, hyberbole and simile citing examples that can be found in animations and other art work.

First things first, let’s get the descriptions down:

Metaphor: A subject that is on some point of comparison, the same as an unrelated object. (“All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players, they all have their entrances and exits.”)

Simile: A phrase that describes something by comparing it with something else. (“Strong as an ox.” Or even “How do I compare thee to a summers day?”)

Hyberbole (Hi-Per-Bully): Use of exaggeration as a rhetorical/figure of speech to create strong feelings or emphasise the impression.

Felix Colgrave released animation on youtube, if you haven’t watched it, it is RIFE with metaphor. Pig’s killing themselves and each other all for a few pennies from a faceless man in a suit whom takes their parts home, and gorges on them, revealing he is already beyond greed when his entire belly spills out of his suit and onto the floor in a massive exaggeration of gluttony (hyberbole). The simile being the pigs are most likely compared with the lower and working classes of society where as the suit is meant to be a higher up corporate type. Felix himself specifies it is JUST about pigs, but whether that is the case, I don’t know. I see a lot of society reflected in it.

Well, now on to task 2: read pages 23 – 32 of Richard Williams “The Animator’s Toolkit” and watch Saul Bass – Advice to design students (“Learn to Draw”, if I remember correctly). Then write a summary of my understanding of what is discussed. (Example, how do the cognitive abilities discussed in the first part of the session relate to the practical skill sets in the second? How do examples in Richard Williams’ book fit with Leonardo’s Seven Sensibilities.) Also, look at the work of Karl Yung and Sigmund Freud.

Leonardo da Vinci listed seven attributes that formed the centre of his work;

Curiosita (Inquistive, Curiosity): An insatiable quest for knowledge and continuous improvement, delving into your subject area for yourselves and not just believing what you are told, but researching in and around your subject.

Dimostrazione (Demonstration, Proof, Evidence): Learning from experience, practise and repitition of skill building excersises. Particularly in any specialisation within your field. This covers areas like drawing, use of perspective, composition, light and the use of colour and colour theory, and the use of sign and symbol to good effect.

Sensazione (Sense, Feeling, Sensation): Sharpening the senses, observation of the real world, whether when simply walking through it, or when focused on the recording of it. Pay attention to your surroundings, miss nothing, synthesise your observations into your work.

Sfumato (Vanished, Disappeared, Shaded): Managing ambiguity and change, adaptability and a lack of fear of things outside of ones comfort zone.

Arte/Scienza (Art/Science): Whole-brain thinking, not just applying an artistic interpretation, but allowing logic and science their place in your explorations too. When investigating, don’t simply look. Read and experiment.

Connessione (Connections): Systems thinking, making new connections, creating new out of the mixture and blending of the old or pre-existing, pariedolia, apophenia etc.

Corporalita (Corporality): Body-mind fitness, making sure the body is capable of carrying the mind well enough o do the things above. (go for a run every now and then).

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Symbolism, Semiotics and the like.

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