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the world through the eyes of sweet melancholy. about the arts, science, and personal affairs.
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Titles, part 2

Let’s dig deeper into the matter.

Have you ever thought about another form of titles?

When you see a title, in it’s classical shortened text form (one or a few words, a short phrase or sentence, etc.), as just another meta message (like every piece of art has DOZENS of), you may easily be able to think of other meta messages as a title, which does not consist of a line of text.

For example think of a painting which is based on a song. Such does exist, but the common viewer can’t recognize this, as long as the painting does not show explicit imaginary from the song lyrics or – et voilà – shows an direct connection to the song with its title. I personally do this quite often. I have made some pictures which aren’t only inspired by a certain song, but do actually visualize it. So, and now that we have this particular image – a work of art – focusing on a specific song, but does not directly let the viewer know about this connection, think about the following: Doesn’t the actual song do the same, or at least a similar thing, to the painting as a title would?

Both the song, as well as the title, do directly link the actual content of the painting to the visual part, the painting itself! In this scenario both, title and song, are just another meta message to the meaning of the image.

So you see, instead of the title you could easily put another instance as a description of the artwork into connection. And this would work easily with other things, also absurd things, like a certain smell, a story, a color, and things like that. Even another pieces of art could refer to it, like a specific book or a game. Sure, that doesn’t make much sense, because it clearly lags of the important usability of giving the object of desire an identifying character, as a title would do. But as I said, just in case an artist would not want to be THAT directly giving hints to the meaning of his work or any text-related meta message at all, this would work.

Now I start to dream about methods which would connect different kind of arts together, like a picture book with animated pictures which let the viewer interactively play with musical elements of the pictures within the book. That would be at least 4 different sorts of meta messages in one medium.

The problem with todays art presentation forms still is this fixation of being able only to connect ones art with text meta data. You can upload your image and give it a title. Optional you can write a comment in most cases, which is a great relieve for everybody whodoes not want to stick to a short message text in title form. But still you are forced to stick to text. You can write a poem, post a link to another related project, talk about the background of the picture, and so on. But it’s all text. What else do you got… maybe camera meta data which comes with the image file. And user comments in which you can discuss the picture.

So you see, all these are text based metas. And the title is the most basic and stylized form of meta description.

That we are so fixated on short-text art-description, in order to identify and hinting out artworks, is a sad thing, but I accept the fact that this is more than enough with like 99% of all works. Because this is how we are used to “use” our arts and everybody lives with it.

And it’s okay the way it is.

But just think about the rest, the 1% artists out there, who disapprove of this usage.

I for myself do not approve. I hate giving my art a stupid title just because the upload script of the web page does not allow me NOT to do it. How stupid is that.

With my last series of photos I wanted to parody this whole topic. I gave the images I shot purely random titles, which do not refer to anything at all and do not make much sense – especially in connection with the image it SHOULD name! Some of the titles are quotes from movies and series, some are gibberish, some are words I just read seconds before I entered the title. The only intentional thing I did when giving all the titles was paying attention to the fact that the title should not make any logical reference to the picture. So when I accidentally came up with a random title which seriously could be interpreted with the image in an at least slightly logical way, I changed the title again, until it finally did not make any more sense.

And yes, I find this comedic! It is meant to be funny. The images should stand for themselves, they present certain moods and tell you about geometrics and stuff like that. But they don’t try to tell you what those are, because it is up to you. Any logical title would force the viewer to stick to a more specific interpretation which he connected from the title AND the image. And because I did not want to do this and give the viewer his freedom I came up with this parody which by chance nobody understood and nobody asked. And why? Because everybody is used to titles. Everybody instantly thinks that the artist thought about it and its connection to the image, no matter if you as the viewer understand this connection or not. The common viewer does not think any further, and because of his habits he doesn’t even question it or consider the possibility that the title is random and has no connection to whatsoever.

So. This is what I think about titles in art.

I hope this short essay gave your horizon at least a little punch in neck. Think about the artists who think different!


and i make stitches

a long way of denial

omg the vain


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last modified: 2010-Nov-29, 0:20:03
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