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28 Feb

The analogy I chose to represent Exactitude is chemistry– the act of mixing compounds for a specific and exact desired result.

Both the E-Lit work “Endemic Battle” and the process of chemistry evoke a great sense of Exactitude because of their extreme precision and specific attention to detail structurally and in terms of the results rendered. In looking at the E-Lit work and examining the chemistry process, the thought or feeling of “micro-management” comes to mind and I cannot help but feel a sense that can only be characterized by Exactitude.

Chemistry is, like other sciences, one that requires great attention to Exactitude. However, I almost feel as though the argument can be made that chemistry is the most exact science because of its necessity to be, for fear or creating harmful results. In every step of a chemist’s process there are methods of maintaining consistency and Exactitude when measuring, comparing, weighing, etc. Take pharmaceuticals, for example. If one ingredient of a drug is off by even a milliliter, it changes the purpose and effectiveness of the drug completely. It could become harmful for the patient or ineffective altogether. For this reason, there are exact methods of measuring liquids and powders.

A meniscus is the curve in the surface of liquid when held in a cylindrical container. The purpose of the term meniscus is so that across the world and scientific process, the same amounts of liquid can be measured the same, by the meniscus, and matched.

On an atomic level, the number of particles in an element, protons, neutrons and electrons, can make the difference in one element or compound and another. For example, simply adding or subtracting an electron to one atom changes its purpose and behavior completely by creating a positively or negatively charged ion. At this small of a scale, the principle of Exactitude cannot be topped.

Both the E-Lit work Endemic Battle and the process of chemistry evoke a great sense of Exactitude because of their extreme precision and specific attention to detail structurally and in terms of the results rendered. In looking at the E-Lit work and examining the chemistry process, the thought or feeling of “micro-management” comes to mind and I cannot help but feel a sense that can only be characterized by Exactitude.



28 Feb

The emblem I chose to represent Exactitude is a Rubik’s cube.

This puzzle, invented in 1974 is the ultimate emblem of Exactitude. In order to “solve” the puzzle, one must make each side of the cube solid with one of six colors. Although there are multiple ways to solve a Rubik’s cube, all methods are algorithms- they require exact and specific steps in order to sort the colors to their appropriate sides.

The algorithms themselves are an example of Exactitude, but so is the movement required to rotate the sections of the cube. Divided into three-by-three square cubes, the entire puzzle is composed of 27 individual cubes that rotate on two axes. The algorithms require a code, and each side, direction and layer has its own letter, so a string of instructions can look like this:

middle edge case 1U R U R’ U’ F’ U’ Fmiddle edge case 2U’ F’ U’ F U R U R’

The cubes cannot be turned on diagonal axes, which is part of the challenge. Their limited ability to turn only on an X or Y axis is part of how I feel these puzzles fall under the quality of Exactitude because of their constraints and requirement to be solved a certain, or exact, way.


28 Feb

The graphical element I chose to represent Exactitude is a grid, or the system of grids used in design.

A grid is a system of guidelines that help the designer to align elements in relation to each other. The purpose of using a grid system in design is for the creation of order, hierarchy and specificity of layout and art. A grid is a great representation of Exactitude because it serves as a type of constraining system that simultaneously allows for and enforces structure on a design. Order is important so that the viewer sees what the artist wishes for them to see first, exactly according to their plan. In other words, they employ Exactitude to ensure that their piece of work is interpreted correctly so as to evoke the desired aesthetic effect.

Grids do not always need to be strictly followed,  but they do, when used well, enhance the quality and balance of an image, further supporting the quality of Exactitude in literature. While stories are not always arranged in the most logical of fashions, they are in some sequence of order. The most understandable and sensible stories are those that do adhere to a more strict order, which is a grid in design, and this therefore enhances the reader or viewer’s ability to better comprehend what is happening in a piece of work.

E-Lit Example

28 Feb

The E-Lit example that I chose to represent Exactitude was “Endemic Battle” by  Geof Huth.

I feel as though this piece of E-Lit represents Exactitude is because it is based on and around the pixels of a computer screen. It builds off of a singular pixel and each letter or character is structured by pixels that are nothing but exact in their placement. Pixels by nature are exact because of the way they fit together, but do not quite touch. They create images that only allow for structured placement, especially with pixels of the size in this piece of E-Lit. Because of the large-sized pixels, no image is allowed to have a rounded edge, therefore implying, if only subtly, extreme geometric precision and Exactitude in each of these characters and lines.

Even the aesthetics of the piece, more specifically the colors, black and white, create a sense of Exactitude. There is no stronger contrast than that of black and white against each other. They are at the farthest ends of the color spectrum, and therefore there is no question as to the extent of their contrast. This, in my mind, is another aspect of this piece that implies Exactitude due to the definite line that is created at the seam of the black and white pixels next to each other.

Not only is the piece precise in aesthetics and design, but it is also exact in the way that the text is displayed one character or word at a time. Each action is deliberate so as to create the most exact and precise experience for the viewer possible by guiding where the eye looks at every moment of the piece.

It is for these implied and explicit aesthetic reasons that I believe this piece of E-Lit is the picture of Exactitude- a perfect example of the power of direction and deliberateness.

Calvino’s Exactitude

26 Feb

The third quality that Calvino presents is Exactitude. According to Calvino, Exactitude means three things above all:

1) a well-defined and well-calculated plan for the work in question

2) an evocation of clear, incisive, memorable visual images

3) a language as precise as possible both in choice of words and in expression of the subtleties of thought and imagination

The polarity of Exactitude is defined by its contrast with vagueness, or lack of detail. Calvino expresses through other literary examples the quality of Exactitude. For example, he draws upon Leopardi who maintained that the more vague and imprecise language is, the more poetic it becomes. I interpret this to mean not that language with exact meaning cannot be poetic, but that it simply comes across as being more factual and straight forward than that of language that paints a picture with flowery and extraneous details.

The emblem chosen by Calvino for Exactitude is a crystal. He chooses this because of its geometric composition which is based on the contrast of order and disorder. He says that a work of literature is a portion of the universe in which the existent work crystallizes into a form and acquires meaning, that it is then alive as an organism.

An example I feel demonstrates Calvino’s quality of Exactitude are the Harry Potter books. Not only have they come alive as a living organism due to widespread popularity, but they perfectly demonstrate each of the three attributes that Calvino expresses as defining Exactitude. There is most definitely a well-defined and calculated plan as there are seven books in the series, each of which is part of the whole saga, yet is conclusive and directive in and of itself; there are undoubtedly vivid, clear and memorable images painted for the reader through exceptional description, yet J.K. Rowling still leaves room for the imagination to fill in the gaps; and finally the language is so precise in choice of words and expression that the reader has no question as to the happenings of the current thought or overall point to the story. This achievement is especially commendable because of the way that Rowling constructs each story so that it is in a way a mystery or puzzle until events unfold so that the story comes full circle for the reader.