First, the summary of what I did this week:
Four Daily Creates
An “I Can Read” Prisoner-themed book
A few animated GIFs
An animated comic book cover
An investigation into how The Tally Ho is made
Plus, comments on the work of others. Tweets and Twitter interactions.
And dredged up a little html knowledge to repost a Patrick McGoohan interview whose original page was broken.
During this week, we were considering Design with a capital D. I read the assignments. Nothing really new for me, but good reminder to go beyond the basics. Little known personal fact: I started college as an art major. I did well in the first two design courses, but not-so-well in drawing. I dropped out and joined the Navy to learn electronics. I later considered leaving the Navy and to study design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but reenlisted instead. I am no expert, so it was good to revisit the principles.
In creating the animated cover of Jack Kirby’s The Prisoner, I was brought into the world of comics and sequential storytelling. I’ve been here before. I grew up on comic books, still enjoy the daily comic strips, and have dug a bit into the literary theory of comics. My next step is to acquire Nick Sousanis’ Unflattening, a book of his doctoral thesis in comic-book format. I expect it will give me insight into new ways to investigate other literary and artistic forms, and even life itself.
Speaking of investigating, I enjoyed my pseudo-scientific but real-learning looks at The Tally Ho and the design of Number 2’s Seal of Office. This brings up an underlying theme of the show and of art in general: what we see is a representation. It was created, and there may be artifacts of the creative process to observe. At a minimum, this could be bad art (such as microphones showing up in a movie); but, at a higher level, it points to a reality behind what we perceive.
Making an animated maze was almost trivial with an online generator. But there was a comment about having never seen an animated puzzle before. I thought about it, and wonder how an animated maze could be a challenge but actually workable, if it was slow enough, and the paths were clearly seen. Pursue this if you dare!
I was glad to see the book creations of our prisoner106 colleagues. I’ve been a book-lover since childhood, and have been known to buy a book for its cover. Designing and creating one is a different task. One must think of the design elements, but also marketing and legal items. Will this cover design attract a buyer? Do we have proper identification and pricing information? How about copyright notices and permissions? There is more to it that we might think.
For the Daily Creates, I completed two written creations and two images. The writing is something I approach light-heartedly, letting the words flow (if they start). Keeping it themed to The Prisoner made it interesting. The two images this time turned out to be collages made with public domain sources found at the Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr.
One additional experiment I performed this week was to try to merge the creative worlds of prisoner106 and the We’re Here! Flickr group. This had mixed results, with some confusion about what was going on. However, I think that it was useful as an experience to stretch the minds of those who participated.
A philosophical aside:
Today’s sermon was presented by a guest speaker, a Navy Chaplain whose D.Min. thesis is related to serving the needs of a pluralistic society. A major theme of today’s talk was related to a major theme of The Prisoner: how valid are our experiences as representing objective reality? The one statement he made that stands in my mind (paraphrased) is: “Experience is important, but experience needs to be linked to the content, the INFORMATION, the truth.”
When we see Number 6 experience hallucinations, even living out a full life under the delusion of drugs (think of episode 14 Living in Harmony), he usually doesn’t recognize the truth of his experience until he wakes up back in the Village. One exception is episode 3 A. B. and C., where he learns the truth, then is able to maintain his identity and control the next hallucinatory sequence.
How should we think about and apply these concepts to ourselves, to our everyday life? Maybe one way is to realize that (in any sphere of life) our experiences are our own, and may be similar to the experiences of others, but we shouldn’t equate them with others. We should seek to understand the underlying reality, the objective truth, that caused or mediated the experience, rather than thinking of the experience as the truth itself. I know that there is a tendency to shy away from thoughts of objective truth, of objective reality. Yet, if we make our own experience and perception the only “truth”, then we must admit to billions of “truths” all in some degree of conflict.