VISUALITY BEYOND REPRESENTATION
For 2012, SPJ in collaboration with i-view (visual research community of DKV Binus University), invite you to explore the visuality beyond its usual scope as representation. Of course, the power of visual to represent various things has long been the cornerstone of graphic design. But precisely in our era of effortless “digital template library and CTP”, considering graphic design as a mere visual representation may put the existence of design & material quality themselves in great danger. To cut the chase: to merely ‘represent’ something e.g. business with “good visual and fancy printing” can be easily done within the digital process, substituting the long & painstakingly creative and collaborative efforts of excellent individuals, from visual designers, design critiques, material providers and even dedicated printer, making all of them ‘things of the past’.
SPJ and i-view share the same concern for this unfortunate circumstances. Therefore we ask Yasser Rizky to carry out an experimental homage to “visuality” and “materiality of the paper” as a response. The goal is to rediscover the vitality of visual design in its vicinity to materials (paper and ink), by pushing the boundaries of design thinking beyond merely representing things. The result we hope, is shown in this calendar. But we also realize that the issue here is bigger than just all of us who were involved in the project. In fact, what we do here is only a small step.
Therefore, the spirit of unleashing our “daily” design world from the tendency of “representation through templatization” can only be carried on together with you, the true creative people. Let’s make our design world once again comes alive, through the re-union of visuality and materiality, visuality beyond sheer representation.
Jan-Feb: To define visuality as representation, is to deny ‘the essential origin’ of representation itself. In other words, it is a bold rejection to ‘the condition of possibility’ of visuality before it becomes representation itself. In fact, representation is only one mode of revealing visuality, which conceals other possible modes.
Mar-Apr: For how come arbitrary things like dots, lines, shapes, patterns, shades, composed together in two or three dimensions become something ‘familiar’ called ‘representation’? Representation is only ‘a happening’ of what aesthetics called ‘mimesis’. That is, an image appears to resemble things, even pictures, other than the image itself.
May-Jun: To measure the quality of mimesis, people just need to see how faithful it is to its reference point. But we know that great works of art are not only constituted by realistic, or naturalistic works. There are expressionist and even abstract-formalist creations has to be taken into account. Hence, it is impossible for us to term visuality as mere representation, for it precisely ‘lets’ all art possible. Therefore our quest is to penetrate deeper into the nature of visuality itself, beyond its usual role as ‘tools’ of representation or expression. The quest begins by inquiring visuality in its close relation to materials, to our perception and palpation, while we are working on, or simply encountering them.
Jul-Aug: What is called visuality? Is it simply an absurd idiosyncratic expression of its maker? But how can one make visuality since from the beginning men did not invent it themselves? It was always already there, waiting to be revealed by eyes that see? Sun, soil, stones, horses, oxen, all of them are visible. How can men claim any credit for visuality that has already existed before their mind’s eye? There is something ‘divine’ or ‘enigmatic’ about visuality, since it was no man’s creation. So to deal with visuality is to deal with something beyond mere idiosyncracies of men. Visuality goes beyond mere expression of those who creates it.
Sep-Oct: But then again, what is visuality? Have we understood it so completely then we may declare any homage to it a mere idiosyncracy? Don’t we have to think otherwise? That it is the enigma of visuality which silently call us to journey into it? The call of straightness of lines, boldness of shapes, vividness of colours, in their intertwinings with the fragility and strength of the materials, the paper and ink, in their structural belongs together with each other? How do we make a return this unexhausted source of ‘appearance’ with joy, wonder and awe?
Nov-Dec: Surely, it is not a way of mere idiosyncracy. Because it’s already there, but forgotten, waiting to be revealed by those who are willing to be ‘attuned’ with its ‘grace’. Its grace is beyond mere form (read: formalism), since art did not begin in an empty void of fixed heavenly forms, but was always created in the midst of apperances of things. The Being of the visual goes beyond how something appears or is thought of it is fundamentally which makes them all possible.
Yasser Rizky, Calendar “Visuality Beyond Representation”, Surya Palacejaya + i-view (visual research community of DKV Binus University), 2011
Click on the image to fit on your monitor
D. Rio Adiwijaya
CMYK + metallic color (TC 6306)
Closed 21 cmx 30 cm
Spread 42 cm x 30 cm
Rives Artist Natural 2 x 250 gsm (glued together)
K + Hot stamp foil
Related article: Visuality Beyond Representation