Tag Archives: experience

Visible: Experience

22 Apr

So much of  The Giving Tree  is experienced through the quality of being visible. However, there is much to the story that is not explicitly visible because of lack of color or extreme detail in the drawings or even detail in the text. The visibility of this work is provided through the work of the imagination. As an experience, the visibility of The Giving Tree is such that the mind creates the forest as the environment in which the boy and tree’s relationship is kindled and therefore allows for a sense of happiness and adventure because of the mind’s freedom to go where it pleases.

Personally, when reading the story, I fill in the gaps, imagining other trees in the forest, a blue sky, bright sunshine. I imagine the boy shimmying up the tree rustling the branches, ruling the forest as a boy with such a wide open imagination. I imagine his life when he is away, at home with his family, spending time with his girlfriend under the tree. I imagine the boy carving the initials into the tree as a young boy, and again as an adolescent with the initials of his love. I imagine the boy growing older as a man, marrying his love from younger years, making a life with her. He needs a house so we see him return to the tree and ask for some wood. The tree of course gives him the wood and as the image on the page shows the boy, now older, walking away with the wood, one imagines him cutting this wood and building a house.

This story is so beautifully written that I would describe this experience of reading as imaginative and emotional. The visibility that the imagination provides is quite pleasurable and one that is most definitely unique to this work of literature.

Quick: Experience

22 Apr

Not only is The Giving Tree light and exact, but it represents the quality of being quick very well. There is no delay or hesitation to the story, no drawn out sequences of action that keep the reader from experiencing the true movement of the story in reasonable time. The book is  a concise, exact and quick read. This is another quality in which synchronicity is demonstrated. Although there are only a short 25 pages, most with only one line, the story spans the entire life of the boy in close to three minutes- if read leisurely. The reader is seemingly deprived of details of the in-between times of the boy’s life, however, I choose to see the gaps in story or the brevity of the content as an opportunity for the imagination. The mind must act quickly if it is to fill in the gaps between pages, as each sheet represents a number of years passing between one’s fingers.

This is the kind of book that is over quickly and that one wants to read again, but the feelings caused by reading this story remain for such a period that the soul and emotional palette need a time for recovery and to process what just happened in such a short amount of time. My personal experience with The Giving Tree in terms of quickness is such that it has forced me to think about the speed with which life passes us by. In so many ways, our lives are long and take thousands of days to pass us by. However, all those of older age express to the younger generations the speed with which time flies and the way one wakes up one day and realizes the majority of their life is behind them. In reading this story, it can be understood that the boy’s life seems to pass him by a great deal faster than does that of the trees. The tree endures a life of waiting for her friend to return and enjoy her happiness which in turn provides the tree with happiness. It does not require a great deal of time to understand that this is the basis for their relationship, and this brevity or quickness is a huge contributing factor to the success of this story- such power and emotion evoked with the definition of conciseness.

Multiple: Experience

21 Apr

Calvino describes multiplicity as a quality that involves explaining until something cannot be explained any more- until a new topic is reached by the over explanation of an original topic. However, The Giving Tree, in its 25 pages, is not an example of this. It demonstrates a different kind of multiplicity, and that is the repetition of certain elements of the story.

I found this experience of repetition or multiplication to be endearing, especially since at its core, The Giving Tree is a children’s book. This is not only easy for the children to understand, but from an adult perspective provides a sense of enforced meaning and a deeper emphasis on the message of unconditional love and understanding. The fact that the tree continues to give and support the boy is a true testament to her love, and therefore the aspect of the story that is multiplied simply enhances this attribution.

Exact: Cornell

21 Apr

For the development of a blox through the instructions of Cornell for exact, I have reflected on what things are exact about The Giving Tree and how they make me feel. One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of being exact is a ruler. Although there is nothing specifically mentioned about a ruler in this book, the specificity of word placement and clarity that each page has because of the white space has influenced me to want to include a designer’s rule which is clear and includes different measurements of points and picas. These types of rulers assist in the placement and spacing of text and because of the text’s involvement as a portion of the art work, I feel as though this is important. I have learned about these rulers from school and have kept the knowledge with me through notes and practical use- in reflection of how Cornell himself relied on personal experience and memories.

The next item that I will include is an old-fashioned typewriter. Although this is similar to a ruler in is meaning or symbolism, it is still different. These typewriters were unique in that each letter had a lever that was unique to it, and when the button was pressed, the lever would extend in a rapid and forceful motion. As a child I had experiences with an old typewriter and enjoyed pressing the buttons to see the levers come out and type words on a page. This book was not printed with an old fashioned typewriter, however the precise placement of the words reminds me of how exact a typewriter’s actions must be and therefore will be a prominent element in my blox.

Another item that brings to mind exactness is a tuner for musical instruments. Without precise intonation, instrumental music does not sound as it should. Finally, I will include a saw in my blox image because the boy uses a saw to cuff of the limbs of the tree and takes them away. A saw is an instrument that provides precise actions as well as an exact cut when used properly. As a perfectionist, I can relate personally to the use of a saw as a tool to get things accomplished correctly.

Were it not for the exactness of letter placement and the hand drawings the reader would gather a completely different experience, and it is because of those things that I have associated precision and the necessity to include tools that ensure this type of achievement.


28 Feb

The graphical element I chose to best represent Visibility is color.

Color is a part of our lives that many of us take for granted. It is how we perceive the world around us, it defines, instructs and differentiates all of the things that we use or come into contact with every day. Without color, our lives would be bland, like a neutral palate of colors- much like a black and white movie.

While color does not define the Visibility of objects, it does enhance our aesthetic experiences and vivify our individual worlds. As a generation having grown up with color TV, watching black and white movies or television creates almost a sense of anxiety, like we are deprived of something. I know personally, I can only stand to watch something black and white for a few minutes, without reaching for the remote to change the channel, no matter how engaging the story is.

Color was then a luxury, it is now a “necessity” and to imagine life without color, especially in the film entertainment sense, is to imagine life with no excitement or spontaneity. I feel as though Visibility can be equated with excitement and therefore I would like to draw a comparison to say that without color, there is no Visibility in our lives.

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.



24 Feb

The analogy I am using to represent Lightness is of free-falling on an amusement park ride such as the Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Doctor Doom’s Fear Fall at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

I feel as though free-falling is comparable to the work of E-Lit that I have chosen for Lightness because they both imply or provide explicitly a sense of weightlessness and discomfort. The weightlessness in the E-Lit work, “in the white darkness” is found from the transparency of the overlay that is layered on top of the actual image. There is a white mask on top of the picture beneath, but the picture is not clearly visible because of the opacity of the white layer and the blurred effect that it creates. This white layer, although evoking a sense of haze, also evokes a sense of weightlessness because it acts as a veil and we understand aesthetically the purpose of a veil and know that it is not of great weight. Free falling also provides a sense of weightlessness because of the physics involved in such an amusement. Typically these types of rides take the rider to the top of the tower or structure at a rather fast speed, therefore pressing the rider into the seat in which they are strapped. When they reach the top, the hydraulic system is released and the vehicle is released so that the passengers are for a moment suspended in the air, weightless.

I have also mentioned that both the E-Lit work and the act of free-falling provide an experience of discomfort. There is discomfort in experiencing the E-Lit work because of the inability to clearly see what is beneath the layer of whiteness. As discussed in the Graphics section, humans’ natural inclination is to feel a sense of discomfort or anxiety when we know that something is there that we cannot see or understand. The free fall also provides discomfort or anxiety to those experiencing the sensation of weightlessness because of the adrenaline that our bodies release in response to being in an atypical situation. Not only do we experience physiological discomfort, but some people have genuine fears of heights or falling and therefore also experience a great emotional response that elicits screaming and sometimes crying to release their feelings of discomfort and anxiety.