This assignment was very simple — choose a word with multiple meanings and figure out how to juxtapose those different meanings visually.
I think this was kind of a technical lesson, rather that one about creating a beautiful forever-piece.
I made the “top hat” with cardboard, hot glue, and leftover black satin. I still use the “magic wand” to prop windows open.
Another awkward write-up from 2005:
The purpose of the project is to choose images that clearly relate to a single word and to each other, using cropping and other methods to see how much of the image is really necessary, and also using Illustrator to manipulate text to best further the image-word relationships.
My approach to this project is fairly simple. I chose the word “spell” to work with, and my images, a magic wand tapping a partially-seen top hat, and a piece of chalk writing on a green school room chalkboard, I think are fairly obvious. I wanted to make them a lot like stock photography, which I see as being well shot, but completely anonymous, not inspiring much contemplation, unless it is on why a certain image actually is so token in a given culture. I think that perhaps stock photography was introduced to us during this project because it, or at least its style, ignoring the drawbacks, helps relate images by removing many individualizing aspects from pictures.
I knew I would be shooting my own images because early on, I found that there was nothing exactly like what I needed on internet stock photography websites. I spent my time working on how I could relate the two images of “spell,” first deciding to use the formal characteristic of the long cylinder to tie them together, and then thinking about how much information was required.
In the end, I have mixed feelings about how obvious it is. I think it is clear, unified, and balanced. But, I am not making any earth-shattering revelations about human existence, which when paired with the simplicity of it, I’m afraid may make it boring. I feel like I might be one tag-line away from persuading children that school really is a… or dare I say? … magical place to be.