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Explore an object

Explore an object
Project description
To Begin, Choose an Object that is part of your everyday life (you may select a Place if you feel confident in your ability to analyze a Place visually), something that you do not ordinarily give much attention to. Be sure it is a three-dimensional thing and not a picture (e.g. not a 2-D photo, calendar, poster, postcard). [If you choose an object that is somehow musical, be sure to explore it as a visual object first.]
Write (7 pages, double-spaced):
Step 1 Description: Describe your object (what is it, whats it made of, how big is it, where is it, how was it made, etc.). Start with what you already know about it, then explore it deeper
Step 2 Formalanalysis [more significant than the initial description]: Push your description further by analyzing the object visually, using the Design: Elements, Design Principles (e.g. color, form{s}, shapes, patterns, textures, value, rhythm, repetition, etc.and remember the note, above) and Design Continued (e.g. what Reading Path does your eye follow which may vary) plus consideration of materials and techniques (how the object was created). Try examining it closely, from multiple angles (points-of-view). Examine light and shadow. Set aside what you know and try to find out more about what is actually therethe visual parts, and how those parts work to create the visual whole. Examine and describe your object in formal terms, as a physical object in the world.
Step 2a Identify which Category of the Visual Arts your chosen POE may represent (it could be more than one) explain how and why it belongs in that category(ies). See the Reading Categories of the Visual Arts in the POEs folder.
[Steps 1, 2 and 2a, combined, are worth 10 points]
Step 3 Tactics & Strategies: At this point the visual Tactics (Visual Tactics and Strategies: Media Literacy and Beyond) may not apply to your object, but start stretching your mind, stretching ideas to see where they might lead, and ask yourself (and then explain in the paper) how the various visual Strategies might be applied to understanding your object (e.g. does it appeal to plain folks, is there something unexpected about it?). Ideas from the Moving Pictures document may also apply here, such as the discussion of different kinds of lighting (e.g. how might different lighting conditions affect your experiences with the object: can you use that toothpaste tube in the dark; does backlighting give the object a dramatic impact?).
Indicate and discuss which strategies / ideas from the readings you tried. What did they reveal about your object? [I recommend going through the list and asking yourself how each idea might be applied to your object. You the readings as guides, as inspiration, as jumping off points, as questions to ask about the object: How might this idea work? Or that one?]
Be sure to go beyond the initial set of general questions and explore the Tactics and Strategies used to answer such questions.
[Step 3 is worth 5 points]
Step 4 Image Styles: Now stretch even more: How many Image Styles are significant for your experience of the object? Describe and explain in as much detail as you can. [And rememberwere more interested in the ideas behind the styles than in slotting your object into a category or two, e.g. those clean white lines might indicate a sense of Idealism because., or the crumpled and dirty appearance of my X reflects the hardships of my life (Social Realism) because. Any number of Styles may be applied to any POE. Again, I recommend going through the list and asking yourself how each idea might be applied to your object: what about it as an object, and your experience of it, is Romantic, Naturalistic, Conceptual, and so on.]
[Step 4 is worth 5 points]
Step 5 You & the Object: At this point we focus more directly on YOU (the Viewer). Explore, describe and explain ways in which who you are as a person may influence your experience of the object you have chosen. Consider how your experience(s) of the object involve your (do all 7 of the following):
Senses (recall that humans have far more than the classic 5 so be sure to explore beyond the 5)
Intelligences (see Gardeners Intelligence Domains, note that this includes many aspects: from your physical body-in-the-world to your knowledge, beliefs, values)
Needs (see Maslow-related Needs in the related Reading)
Social Motives (this may include your dreams, desires, interests, but be sure to use Social Motives from the Reading)
Biases (e.g. how they may have influenced your choice, how they may influence your responses to the Object)
In other words: How do you physically and mentally (perhaps even spiritually) interact with the object? How does the object (and your interactions with it) reflect who you are? How might it influence / shape who you are? What role(s) does it play in your life?
Be sure to include discussion related to all above aspects, with specific references to the related Readings.
Dont make up your own.
And we are interested in you, your reactions / responses, not other people in general, not hypothetical others, and not even specific other people (except as may be relevant only if you explore the Interpersonal Domain).
[Step 5 is worth 14 points]
Step 6 Findings:
6a. Makers Intent: Do you experience the object as you believe its maker/designer intended? [Recall those Gilbarco gas pumps and the design intent that people who use them establish a positive emotional relationship with them: I need gas. I could stop here, but that other station has these gas pumps thatI dont knowsomehow I just like using them. All right, maybe not on a conscious level, but if some people unconsciously happened to prefer those Gilbarco pumps.] Do you experience it in ways the maker / designer may never have intended?
6b. Design: How you assess the quality of its designeven if it is not human-made (be sure to include references to the Design: Judging Design document).
6c. Surprising / unexpected discovery: During your exploration, what did you discover about your Object that most surprised you? Why was it a surprise / unexpected?
6d. What conclusions / judgments have you reached about the object as a visual object, and as an object in your life (your experiences of it)?
What the object means for you (no matter how significant or trivial the meanings may be).
[Step 6 is worth 6 points]

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