A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FINE ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011 BY SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE ROBERT J. FINKEL BRIAN SLAWSON, Chair LAUREN LAKE Member
COPYRIGHT ROBERT J. FINKEL
I am grateful to my committee for providing me the structure, enthusiasm and opportunity to explore this topic and the many ways of presenting it. Brian, thank you for the innite network of ideas, references, and resources. Lauren, thank you for providing clarity in the hazy moments of creativity. To all my studiomates, thank you for the camaraderie, critiques, and collaborations. To Dori Grifn and Maria Rogal, thank you for instilling in me the discipline and enjoyment of research. A special thanks to Charlie Cummings, Brad Smith, and Bob Mueller for all of their technical assistance and for simply talking shop with me. And to Kate for all your support, patience, understanding, and love. Up Down Left Right 03 Acknowledgements
04 Table of Contents ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION PROJECT REPORT H istory of the Arrow The Collection Form and Structure Visitor Contributions Exhibit Design and Process The Practice of Meaningful Work PLATES BIBLIOGRAPHY BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 03 05 08 09 14 18 21 23 26 2 9 34 37
The image of the arrow is nearly everywhere we look. It suggests and controls the movement of information, people, and machines. However, the use of the arrow as a symbol is believed to be less than four hundred years old. Up, Down, Left, Right explores the ubiquity, inuence, and variety of arrows within our visual culture. The exhibit consists of four main sections: a printed booklet titled, Up, Down, Left, Right: A Brief History a collection of eighty photographs and thirty silkscreen prints of arrows found throughout the region, a display of visitor contributed arrow artifacts and a comparative anatomy of the three main parts of arrow: the tail, the shaft, and the head. Central to Up, Down, Left, Right is the practice of collect ing found vernacular signage and then recontextualizing those ndings by masking the surrounding environment thereby foregrounding the arrow forms in each image. Through the process of collecting, a unique way of seeing is established creating a participatory subculture whose methods of observation and interpretation are centrally aligned around the nuances of arrows. Exhibition visitors are able to engage further with arrows through methods of play and interaction. A set of wooden blocks inspired by German educator Freidrich Frbels concept of Gifts and Occupations provides visitors the op portunity to explore the formal diversity of arrows through recombination. Additionally, contributions of arrows from visitors are displayed in the exhibition space and the mean ings of those artifacts are docketed according to a schema of signs and symbols outlined by Swiss designer and typog rapher Adrian Frutiger. Up, Down, Left, Right embraces the notion that a cohesive visual identity is integral to the successful communication of message and content. This is achieved through the explo ration of different materials and production techniques that are applied consistently throughout the exhibit. The creative process behind Up, Down, Left, Right engages notions of craft, production, and presentation as they contribute to the engagement and retention of an audience. Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida in Partial Fulllment of the Requirement for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts December 2011 Chair: Brian Slawson Major: Art Up Down Left Right 05 S ummary of Project in Lieu of Thesis
We only see what we look at. John Berger, Ways of Seeing
08 Introduction Many aspects of our lives that require a type of instruction or direction utilize an arrow to illustrate the desired action. As a substitute for verbal communication, the arrow assumes a sort of universality of meaning. Symbolic languageincluding the arrowemerges as a way to mediate the increasingly complex and technologically evolved global culture. This phenomenon is linked closely to the nineteenth-century Industrial Revolu tion when means of transportation became mechanized and there is a increased need for maps and signs that are easily understood. 1 In the twentieth-century the built environment and highway system in America, for example, creates more congested commercial zones that forces buildings to be placed further from the road requiring symbols like the arrow to help attract and direct customers to the businesses. 2 As the current Information Revolution connects disparate cultures more closely to one another communication demands to be more unied and globalized. The need for symbolic and pictorial language forms, independent of culturally specic written language, may become more common in our public spaces and a symbol like the arrow will most assuredly be embedded in this evolution. Introduction 1. Peter Wildbur, Information Graphics: A Survey of Typographic, Diagrammatic, and Cartographic Communication. 5. 2. Lisa Mahar, American Signs: Form and Meaning on Route 66. 138.
09 09 History of the Arrow The image of the arrow is nearly everywhere we look. It sug gests and controls the movement of information, people, and machines. 3 However, the use of the arrow as a symbol is believed to be less than four hundred years old. During its earliest depic tions in maps and diagrams it is often illustrated as a version of an archers arrow complete with tail feathers. Over time the arrow became increasingly simplied and abstracted to the degree that the only recognizable feature of the original archers arrow is simply a triangular point for the head. This subse quently becomes the most elementary characteristic of every arrow regardless of its meaning or application. EMPIRICAL ORIGINS Early evidence of an instructional illustration is that of a foot print next to a womans face. (FIG. 1) This image is inscribed into the pavement of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus (now pres ent-day Turkey) around the rst-century AD It represents a reductive set of directions to the local brothel. The two symbols, a footprint and the womans face, when combined are read to suggest: Walk in the direction that the foot is pointing towards to reach the brothel. 4 The critical piece of waynding information represented here is the orientation of the foot. The toes are pointed towards the direction of the brothel literally indicating to the viewer the way. It is the visual equivalence of the phrase we might use when giving directions: Follow the footprints The illustra tion is based on the empirical observation that a footprint can direct and lead us to a destination. Similarly, the image of a pointing nger is found in early instructional illustrations and signage. One example is the n gerboard a road sign that is shaped like an elongated hand with an extended nger pointing towards the direction of the nearest town. 5 Pointing ngers are also used in early printed texts and manuscripts. They are referred to by a variety of names, including 3. Gillian Fuller, The ArrowDirectional Semiotics: Waynding in Transit. 239. 4. Piet Westendorp & Karel van der Waarde, Icons: Support or Substitute. 91. 5. Elizabeth S. Helfman, Signs and Symbols Around the World. 142. FIG. 1 Instructions inscribed into the pavement of Ephesus, Greece (present-day Turkey) from ickr.com/photos/vyno/326571554/
10 printers st pointers and manicules These pointing ngers are drawn in the margins of books by the reader when mark ing up and dividing long and crucial passages of text. Author G. A. Glaister believes that their usage can be traced as far back as the twelfth-century. However, they are more common in books produced and annotated in Italy during the fourteenthand fteenth-centuries. 6 It is believed that French typographer Claude Garamond designed the rst set of manicules within a typographic system around 1530. Manicules have since been modied and reinterpreted in numerous ways. In 1933, Ameri can typographer Bruce Rogers designed a version of Aesops Fables using the cuff of a harlequin outt combined with the pointing hand to serve as indicators throughout the book. (FIG. 2) Sixty years later Dutch type designer Martin Majoor revived Rogers harlequin sts for his type family Scala. 7 TOWARDS SYMBOLIZATION In the essay Pictorial Instructions historian E. H. Grombrich suggests that the rst usage of a symbolic arrow does not occur before the eighteenth-century and believes that such word less pictorial instructions even then were rare. 8 However, one example of a symbolic arrow is found in Bernard Forest de Blidors treatise Hydraulic Architecture published in France in 1737. Blidor, an engineer, uses an arrow to indicate the ow of water and direction of a waterwheels rotation. (FIG. 3) In his diagram, the arrow is illustrated to resemble an archers arrow. The head is a triangular point connected to a thin shaft and nished with a feathered tail. Around the same time in Germany, arrows are also being employed by cartographers to indicate the direction and ow of rivers and streams. The maps and illustrations of German cities and landmarks created by Friedrich Bernhard Werner in the middle of the eighteenth-century exemplify this particu lar form of arrow and application. 9 (FIG. 4) Similar to Blidors arrow and other samples from this time period, the arrow is depicted as an archers arrow. FIG. 2 Bruce Rogers version of Aesops Fables with harlequin manicules, 1933 from ickr.com/photos/martinmajoor/sets/72157622194884410/ FIG. 3 Blidors waterwheel diagram with arrow. from Hydraulic Architecture 1737. FIG. 4 Map by F.B. Werner, View of the City of Opole (detail) commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oppeln_F.B._Werner.png 6. William Sherman, Toward a History of the Manicule. http://www.livesandletters.ac.uk/papers/FOR_2005_04_002.html. 7. Martin Majoor, FF Scala Hands. www.martinmajoor.com/1.1_scala_article_majoor.html. 8. E. H. Grombrich, Pictorial Instructions. 228. 9. Ibid., 288.
11 Like the Greek brothel directions and the various manicules, the symbolic arrow is derived empirically through observing the straight trajectory of an archers arrow being shot from a bow into the air. The movement and direction of a discharged archers arrow are embodied in the symbolic arrow. ABSTRACTION & VARIATION By the mid-to-late nineteenth-century, there is a notable shift in how the arrow is rendered. The tail ornamentation that ref erences the etching of an archers arrow is removed and what remains is the triangular head or diagonal lines converging to a singular pointthe indispensable qualities of an arrow. For Swiss typographer and designer Adrian Frutiger, these are the dening features of the arrow that represent its basic function. (FIG. 5) Frutiger states, When two oblique lines come together to form an angle, the expression of a movement or direction is produced in some form. 10 Accordingly, the embellishments of either a shaft or a tail become superuous. English cartographer Emil Reich is credited with pioneering the application of arrows for analytical and pedagogical uses in his book, A New Students Atlas of English History 11 Reichs maps are a cartographic complement to John Richard Greens History of the English People 12 The maps incorporate solid triangular arrowheads placed intermittently along curving lines to indicating the army movements across Europe of various English military campaigns as well as other notable events and migrations. (FIG. 6) As the arrows form is reduced to the primary shape of the triangle, there is an increase in the variety of messages and meanings that an arrow is capable of conveying. One example, is the use of the arrow in Set Theory and Logic. (FIG. 7) In 1922, German mathematician David Hilbert introduces the arrow symbol to represent logical implication, so that a formula may read as follows, X implies Z, or read another way, Z is a consequence of X. A decade later, Albrecht x z p q FIG. 5 Adrian Frutigers diagram of oblique lines forming an arrow from Signs and Symbols: Their Design and Meaning 1989. FIG. 6 Map by Emile Reich using arrows to represent military movements from A New Students Atlas of English History 1903. archive.org/details/newstudentsatlas00reicuoft FIG. 7 Arrows being used to represent logical implication (left) and logical equivalence (right) 10. Adrian Frutiger, Signs and Symbols: Their Design and Meaning 48. 11. Jeremy Black, Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past. 94. 12. James Tait, Review of A New Students Atlas of English History. 540.
12 Becker uses a double-headed arrow to represent logical equiv alence. Here it may read as, P is equal to Q. 13 Today there are a myriad of usages for and forms of arrows. Most retain close ties to their origins as means of communicat ing direction and movement. Others begin to leap into more abstract ideas that are contingent upon socially constructed meaning and interpretation. For example, the image of a broken arrow for Native Americans serves as a sign for peace. The viewer is required to have prior knowledge that the arrow rep resents a weaponyou cant nd with a broken arrow. 14 Similarly, contemporary designers utilize arrows in their work to represent specic concepts that directly relate to a particular product or service. An arrow hidden within the FedEx logotype represents the transportation and movement of packages and shipments. Subway Restaurants uses a simi lar concept in their logo, however, instead of packages, it is the customers that move swiftly through the deli sandwich line. Automaker Volvo incorporates the Roman symbol for Mars that includes an arrow projecting outwards from a open circle. The Roman symbol which is also the sign for the element iron alludes to the strength and quality of the metal Volvo uses in the manufacturing of their vehicles. (FIG. 8) UNIVERSALITY Although the arrow comes in a variety of forms and may convey different meanings, it is generally assumed to be universally understood. And while its history is punctuated with evolutions in both form and meaning, its universal interpretations may be far from complete. 15 In 1972 NASA prepared to launch the Pioneer 10 spacecraft to observe Jupiter. Prior to its launch, they asked astronomer Carl Sagan to develop a message that would facilitate communi cation with extraterrestrial life in the event that contact should occur. Sagan, along with fellow astronomer Frank Drake and Sagans then wife Linda Salzman-Sagan, developed a pictorial message that was placed aboard the spacecraft. (FIG. 9) FIG. 8 FedEx logo (top), Subway Restaurant logo (center), Volvo Car Corporation logo (bottom) FIG. 9 Pioneer 10 Plaque from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pioneer_plaque.svg 13. Jeff Miller, Earliest Uses of Symbols of Set Theory and Logic. http://jeff560.tripod.com/set.html. 14. Elizabeth S. Helfman, Signs and Symbols Around the World. 31. 15. Phil Patton, Setting Sights on the Arrow. http://www.aiga.org/setting-sights-on-the-arrow.
13 Among the images and iconography depicted on the plaque is a diagram of our solar system including a small icon of the spacecraft with an arrow pointing to it extending from Earth. The assumption here is evident: Even extraterrestrials, with no assumed knowledge of any of our languages or forms of communication would recognize that the arrow indicates that the spacecraft they have just encountered originated from this mysterious planet Earth. To this end, it appears that the arrow can be considered as a universally understood symbol. UP DOWN LEFT RIGHT: A BRIEF HISTORY For my MFA thesis exhibit, Up, Down, Left, Right I created eighty-ve copies of the booklet entitled Up, Down, Left, Right: A Brief History (Plate 1) These booklets were displayed on a table and could be picked up and read alongside the work pro viding historical context to the other pieces. They also doubled as a takeaway for visitors of the show. Throughout the course of the exhibition I replenished the stack of booklets maintaining the variety of colors represented and ensuring that a healthy quantity were displayed at all times. The shifting stack of booklets and the reorganization of them on the table prompted visitors to pick one up and read it while walking through the show. By allowing the books to leave the exhibit and exist outside of its four walls, my show is able to be shared with more people and generate additional interest that would entice more visitors.
14 The Collection The Collection I believe that because the arrow is such a ubiquitous symbol in our visual culture it is overlooked for critical investigation we see it everywhere, but tend not to think about it. We are nearly always relying on arrows to supplement any verbal and/or textual instructions or for them to conrm any observ able knowledge we may possess. Yet, we rarely are attentive to their formal characteristics and instead automatically obey their commands to full l the task a t hand. The notion of collecting the found visual graphic environ ment is an enduring method of appreciation. Examples of vernacular designthe omnipresent low design that is counterpart to the high modernism that permeates most cor porate designhave been analyzed by designers and architects alike. 16 Notably in the early 1970s architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown along with Steven Izendour used the Las Vegas strip as fertile ground for studying the ugly and ordinary architecture that is common in America and suggest ing that such design shouldnt be ignored, but even embraced in contrast to the modernist ideal that had been idolized since the middle of the twentieth-century. 17 The advocation of any spe cic stylevernacular, modern, or otherwiseestablishes its own subculture whose ardent members both praise the styles virtues and oftentimes religiously document their observations. American designer Ed Fella is one such champion of the ver nacular. His book, Edward Fella: Letters on America compiles over a thousand Polaroids he has taken of the everyday letter ing and design found on the storefronts and signage across the United States. (FIG. 10) As the title of the book suggests, these are letters on America. They are not from it, about it or out of it... they are literally on it. 18 The lettering and typography is an embedded feature of the built environment that was rapidly developed during the 20th century. Through Fellas obsessive documentation of these letters he has recontextualized them so that their form becomes more dominant than their function. FIG. 10 Ed Fellas Polaroids of found letters. from Edward Fella: Letters on America 2000. 16. Glauber, Barbara. Lift and Separate: Graphic Design and the Quote Vernacular Unquote 5. 17. Venturi, Robert, Brown D. Scott, and Steven Izenour. Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form 129. 18. Lewis Blackwell. Edward Fella: Letters on America n. p.
15 The Collection Viewed as a collection, the individual characteristics and nuances of form are displayed for comparison and contrast. HOUSE NUMBERS 112 In her book, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection Susan Stewart writes: T he collection is a form of art as play, a form involving the reframing of objects within a world of attention and manipulation of context. Like other forms of art, its function is not the restoration of context of origin but rather the creation of a new context... 19 A n early project I undertook that informed my MFA exhibit is a collection of mailbox numbers found along a dirt road near Ft. White, Florida. The nal piece, House Numbers 1 began as a compilation of fty-six photographs tightly cropped and centered on mailbox numbers. (FIG. 11) I selected twelve of those photographs based on the variety of the numeral styles, composition and alignment and with a ball point pen I slowly and tediously masked out all of the surrounding environment except for the numbers themselves. (FIG. 12) For Stewart, In order to construct [a new narrative] it is necessary to obliterate the objects context of origin. 20 The masking of the context foregrounds the typographic forms. The mailbox numbers which had previously appeared as just se ries of uninteresting and seemingly uniformed house numbers, were transgured and made more signicant through empha sizing their form. Recontextualized, they now function not as indicators for street addresses, but as individual specimens of vernacular typography and form. ARROW COLLECTION A collection represents not only the subject matter that is being collected but that the owner of the collection is attempting to reorder and restate the surrounding culture through their own interpretation. 21 Every collection is didactic. And by creating a collection, you establish a new way of seeinga subculture dened by its own method of observation and interpretation. FIG. 12 Sample of reframed house numbers FIG. 11 Samples from my collection of photographs of house numbers 19. Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. 151. 20. Ibid., 158. 21. Lorraine Wild. Edward Fella: Letters on America n. p.
16 The Collection Stewart suggests that, the collection represents a hermetic world: to have a representative collection is to have both the minimum and the complete number of elements necessary for an autonomous world. 22 My collection of arrows consists of eighty photographs taken in and around the greater North Florida, Georgia and Alabama region. It reects a conscious attempt to nd unique and signicant arrowsthose forms and shapes that sim ply appealed to me. I converted thirty of these photographs into screen prints with only the arrow forms printed on the paper. The collection contains mostly signageboth large free standing monument signs and at, two dimensional signs at tached to or painted on the side of buildingsand to a lesser degree smaller printed signs and instructions. (FIG. 13) The photographic collections of Bernd and Hilla Becher pro vided initial inspiration for my documentation. The Bechers photographic images of industrial structuresgrain elevators, water towers, and the likewere arranged as typologies of sim ilar forms thus accentuating the similarities and differences. (FIG. 14) The Bechers methodology renews the positivists en cyclopedic compulsion to catalog the world in the belief that to know something is to subdivide it, quantify it, and recom bine it... 23 However, the more I collected the less concerned I became about creating a strict coding system since it would interfere with the sense of play that is central to my project. Ultimately, the criteria for inclusion into my collection was based on a combination of personal judgement, an attempt to nd a variety of forms, and oftentimes simply looking right instead of left. For each image, I masked all the visual information around the arrows in order to construct a new narrative focused on the shape and form of the arrow, further accentuating the differenc es between each one. (FIG. 15) When viewed as a collection these masked arrows acknowledge the immense variety of forms and shapes that are present. And when viewed in conjunction with the photograph of origin the diversity of messages associated with arrows are revealed Turn Here Entrance in Rear Exit Now, and so on. FIG. 13 Samples from the collection of 80 photographs of arrows FIG. 14 Bernrd and Hilla Becher, Tiples From Small Mines, East Pennsylvania, 1991 from Seizing the Light: A History of Photography 22. Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. 152. 23. Robert Hirsch, Seizing the Light: A History of Photography. 438439.
17 I created a companion website that displays all eighty pho tographs and their masked counterpart. (Plate 2) Visitors to the exhibition were able to interact with the website by rolling the cursor over each masked arrow to reveal the surrounding context. The act of revealing became a revelation for some: I recognize that sign from driving out to the Springs! was one comment overheard at the shows public reception. The pho tographs are objects of familiarity for visitors that connects them to my collection and facilitates their participation in the new culture of seeing arrows. In this regard, the phrase, Ive never noticed that arrow before, evolves to become I just saw this great arrow and thought of your exhibit. The Collection FIG. 15 Samples of photograph and masked arrow counterpart
18 Form and Structure Form and Structure At the turn of the seventeenth-century, evolutionary biologists proposed the concept of comparative anatomy to describe the similarities and differences between the body parts and struc tures of organisms. Two sub-concepts were developed to char acterize the unique differences. 24 The rst, homologous structures, describe how similar structures in different organisms may have different func tionsthe wing of a bird and the ns of a whale, for example. The second concept, analogous structures, shows how similar structures in different animals may serve similar purposes although those animals originated from different ancestors. For example, the body shapes of dolphins and sharks are simi lar but these organisms do not share a common ancestor. In a study outlined in K. P. Szlichcinskis essay, The Syntax of Pictorial Instructions, eighty-two volunteers were asked to draw instructions that would explain how to operate a series of controls to someone unfamiliar with them. Ninety-six percent of the subjects choose to draw arrows to represent actions in their drawings. And half used either arrows or pointing n gers or hands, and twenty percent used both hands and arrows within the same diagram. But among those that used arrows drew them in a variety of ways with little discretion and from a seemingly endless cache of possibilities. 25 The three parts of the arrowthe tail, the shaft, and the headexist as similar, yet unique forms. Although certain stylized features may have a specic socially constructed meaning associated with ita curved shaft suggests a slippery roadmost serve similar purposes. Therefore, the arrow can be considered as exhibiting analogous structures. TOWARD A COMPARATIVE ANATOMY OF THE ARROW Prior to my exhibit, I explored the concept of comparative anat omy as it applies to the arrow through the project, Toward a Comparative Anatomy of the Arrow The book combines both photographs of arrows and at, vector renderings of arrows that are tightly cropped and printed on the page as a whole of all three partstail, shaft, and head. (FIG. 16) FIG. 16 Toward a Comparative Anatomy of the Arrow 24. Wikipedia Contributors, Comparative Anatomy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_anatomy. 25 K. P. Szlichcinski, The Syntax of Pictorial Instructions. 118.
19 Form and Structure Each page is trimmed into thirds so that each arrow part, on its own one-third page, could be combined and read in con junction with any other arrow part from any of the other pages. The ipping of each page creates complete arrows constructed and recombined from different ones. My initial search for different arrow forms led me to German typographer Hermann Zapfs collection of arrows, Zapf Arrows One and Two. Created for Linotype in 2002, Zapfs arrows are part of a larger collection of symbols and dingbats known as Zapf Essentials. 26 When I began typing these arrows out in Adobe InDesign I realized that each one had its own descriptive name Heavy Wedged Tail, Dashed Triangle-Headed, and Notched Tail are just a few. Searching for more glyphs and symbols I explored the arrow sets found in the Unicode character sets. There, too, I found distinct names for the each arrow symbol, Downwards ZigZag Arrow Harpoon with Barb Open Circle Arrow and so on. 27 I combined these two resources along with my own naming constructions to create an anatomical chart for the three different parts of the arrow. (FIG. 17) The poster, Structure: A Comparative Anatomy lists twelve unique iterations of form for each of the three parts. (FIG. 18) ARROW BLOCKS To complement the anatomy chart I created eleven wooden blocks with a single arrow part screen printed on each surface. I was inspired by how the action of play can facilitate learn ing. Nineteenth century German educator, Friedrich Frebel utilized wooden blocks as part of his concept for kindergarten. [Frebels Gifts and Occupations were] a set of geometric blocks (Gifts) and basic craft activities (Occupations)... The sequence [of gifts] was intended to mirror the childs physical and mental development: the malleable, brightly colored spheres from the rst gift are followed by a hard, wooden sphere in the second gift, conveying a tactile, material progression; the second gift of the wooden sphere, cube, and cylinder encouraged an understanding of the cylinder as a combination of sphere (motion) and cube (stability). The fourth gift, a cube divided into eight smaller blocks, would teach the relationship of a whole to its parts... 28 FIG. 17 Sample of arrow anatomical parts: Tail (left), Shaft (center), and Head (right). FIG. 18 Structure: A Comparative Anatomy 26. Linotype. http://www.linotype.com/1769/ZapfEssentials-family.html. 27. Unicode 6.0 Character Code Charts. http://unicode.org/charts.
Up Down Left Right 20 Form and Structure T he divided cube, provides the child with a nearly limitless opportunity for recombination and thus the creation of unique whole shapes. (FIG. 19) Each iteration is its own complete self. The process of analysis becomes a synthesis where one is always doing right and destroying nothing. 29 In the exhibit my oversized colorful arrow blocks invites the visitor to learn and analyze the unique arrow parts and re combine the forms to create a variety of whole arrows complete with any permutation of tails, shafts, and heads. (Plate 3) The act of playing becomes a method of learning and understanding. The constant rearrangement of blocks and their shifting position on the table also serves as a prompt for interaction. The blocks are never arranged the same way on the table after each recombination. Their position near the main window al lowed passersby to observe each new iteration further encour aging them to visit the show. FIG. 19 Frebels Fourth Gift, a cubed divided into eight parts. from Friedrich Frebels Pedagogics of the Kindergarten. 28. J. Abbott Miller, Elementary School. 10. 29. Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith, Frebels Gifts. http://www.archive.org/stream/froebelsgifts31097gut/pg31097.txt.
21 Visitor Contributions Visitor Contributions Prior to the shows opening I distributed letterpressed announce ments to students and faculty of the School of Art + Art History in addition to others around campus. (FIG. 20) The cards serve the dual purpose of 1) announcing the show and 2) soliciting physical arrow contributions from visitorswhat I call arrow artifacts The announcements consist of information about the show a description, the dates and directions to the galleryas well as a perforated hand-stamped and numbered tag that could be detached and afxed to each visitors contribution. The tag was used to docket each contribution according to a table of signs outlined by Swiss designer and typographer Adrian Frutiger. Within the exhibit a pedestal was also set out where additional copies of the announcements could are obtained and lled out during the shows duration. ORGANIZATIONAL SCHEMAS Shortly after arriving at UF I read University of Reading Department of Typography & Graphic Communication pro fessor Michael Twymans essay, A Schema for the Study of Graphic Language (Tutorial Paper). In his own words, This paper presents a schema that attempts to embrace all graphic language. 30 Twyman created a twenty-eight cell matrix that cross-references four modes of symbolization representing how a message or concept could be visualized (verbally, pictorial, a combination of both, or schematically) and seven methods of conguration representing the visual processing (i.e. how we read the information) of the symbolization (linear, non-linear, lists, etc.). (FIG. 21) The matrixs purpose is not necessarily to dene graphic language, but to provide direction for action. It serves as a framework to aid a designers exploration for all the possible design solutions available. More succinct than Twymans schema, but closely related to it in terms of purpose, Adrian Frutigers table is a comparative guide to the different kinds of expression that can be obtained through various means of graphic modications. (FIG. 22) These modications can be applied to a symbols form, the method of reproduction, and even through the combination of different symbols to create new meanings. 31 Many of these expressions FIG. 20 Letterpress announcements FIG. 21 Twymans 28-cell schema for the study of graphic language from A Schema for the Study of Graphic Language (Tutorial Paper) 30. Michael Twyman, A Schema for the Study of Graphic Language (Tutorial Paper). 117.
22 Visitor Contributions are culturally constructed, and some are based on empirical observation. But once learned and applied, the table provides a foundation for organizing and classifying a variety symbols including arrowsaccording to meaning and function. The poster, Function: A Schema for Classication recasts Frutigers original table of signs to specically address the modications and means of expression that the arrow is capable of conveying. (FIG. 23) In the exhibit, the poster was displayed alongside a series of shelves where the outside contributions of solicited arrow artifacts were exhibited. The poster gave visi tors the opportunity to cross examine their arrow artifact with Frutigers schema and to correctly catalog and add their con tribution to the other submissions The accumulation of visitor contributions creates a collec tively curated environment where the awareness of arrows and the variety of meanings and functions is learned through the act of participation. As more artifacts are added to the shelves each return visit to the exhibition offers new objects to look at and observe. (Plate 4) The accumulation of these contribu tions is an additional motivation for return visits. The variety of objects further reinforces the ubiquitous inuence of arrows in our physical and material culture. S I G NAL (direction) INSTRUCTIONfor traffic, operation, etc. F U N C T I O NA SCHEMA F O R CLASSIFICATION (picture) (constellation) DRAWING (peace) (love) SYMBOL REALISTIC SIGN o r OBJECTraised to be a symbol SCHEMATICdiagram, technical drawing COMBINATIONmultiple signs in a symbol SIGN (high voltage) (cattle brand) (mars) (scorpio) (british rails) SCIENCE SIGNwith recognizable object SIGNATURE SIGNmark of ownership EMBLEM SIGNsign for a group TRADEMARKcompany logo SCIENCE SIGNloss of object FIG. 22 Frutigers table of signs from Signs and Symbols: Their Design and Meaning FIG. 23 Function: A Schema for Classication 31. Adrian Frutiger, Signs and Symbols: Their Design and Meaning. 356.
23 Exhibit Design and Process Exhibit Design and Process I believe that the success of educating an audience is through the creation of a memorable experiencewhether it is a printed book, a website, or even an exhibition. Essential to that experi ence is the creation of a culture around your message. SOCIETY OF SAGITTOLOGISTS When I began researching arrows, prior to formalizing my thesis exhibit, I recognized that my obsession appeared both eccentric and highly individualized. To avoid the potential of exclusivity, I initially created a ctitious organization called the Society of Sagittologists that would welcome outside participation and membership. (FIG. 24) Derived from the Latin word for arrow, sagitta Sagittology is the faux-science of studying arrows. The Society functions as a more approachable and lively face to my otherwise seemingly dry research. According to the organiza tions mission, the Society of Sagittolgists is committed to the collecting, documenting, and classication of arrows. The rst product to bare the Societys insignia was the booklet, The Ofcial Field Guide to Sagittology As the name suggests, these booklets were a eld guide for anyone interested in learn ing about the fundamentals of sagittology and for individuals to collect and document any arrows they may nd in the wild. The eld guide integrated my research with humorous writing as a way to present the information in a more accessible form. I found through the Society of Sagittologists that the cre ation of a culture and narrative helps narrow the gap between a rareed subject matter and an audience. Furthermore, main taining a consistently applied visual aestheticin traditional corporate design vocabulary, a brandprovides an additional measure of recognition that contributes to the audiences reten tion of message and content. EXHIBITION PLANNING I was mindful of both aspects of the design experiencea com prehensible narrative presented through a consistent visual formwhen developing Up, Down, Left, Right The planning of the exhibition required three general stages: The rst is to understand the dimensions and limitations of the space, the second includes design and production, the third stage is the nal installation. FIG. 24 Society of Sagittologists
24 Exhibit Design and Process SKETCHES & MODEL I began by looking at the oorplan of the Focus Gallery where I could immediately recognize the natural divisions of the walls dened by the doorways and windows. Sketching and the construction of a scale model of the space provided me with opportunity to quickly divide the gallery into distinct zones where each feature of my narrative could live. (FIG. 25) I could also visualize the movement of people through the space and understand the various sight lines that a visitor would have when inside the exhibit. This led me to consider how information could be presented at different spatial distancesthe hierar chy of the exhibit. EXHIBIT HIERARCHY In typography, hierarchy expresses the organization of con tent, emphasizing some elements and subordinating others. 32 I translated this concept three-dimensionally creating three distances in which a viewer could read my exhibit. (Plate 5) At the furthest viewing distanceoutside the gallery space looking in through the windows from the hallwayI wanted a bold expression that would draw peoples attention to the exhibit. This is achieved by hanging the thirty multicolored screen printed posters on the opposite wall from the entrance way. At the middle distance and mirroring each other on oppos ing walls the two posters Structure: A Comparative Anatomy and Function: A Schema for Classication are viewed from the center of the gallery space. The yellow painted sections of wall that these posters are displayed against acted as a frame to provide an additional balanced visual weight. The artifact shelves function similarly at this middle distance. The shelves are backgrounded with black paint to tie the individual con tributions together. These itemsdifferent in shape, medium and scalecan be investigated individually at the closest dis tance. Similarly, the wooden blocks, the history books, and the masked arrow/photograph website, can also be engaged with at this intimate level. Displaying those items off the wall and on tables creates individual playing elds for interacting with each piece. FIG. 25 Early sketch and model of the Focus Gallery (1:20 scale) 32. Ellen Lupton, Thinking with Type. 94.
25 Exhibit Design and Process RENDERINGS & ELEVATIONS My next steps were to create scale renderings of each wall eleva tion using Adobe Illustrator. As I continued to design and produce the individual pieces for the show, I could easily render them within the context of the three wall elevations to test the mea surements and proportions of each piece adjusting the design as needed before nal production. (FIG. 26) These elevations also served as blueprints for determining the exact specications for the nal installation. By adhering to this process I devel oped efciencies for my creativity. I could quickly recognize what the inherit constraints of the space were and proceed towards achievable solutions more readily. The deliberate na ture of this process also made for a relatively trouble-free installation. I used the nal wall elevations as guides during the exhibit preparation, referring to the prints during the course of the three-day installation. Each piece of the exhibit functions on its own and be expe rienced individually because of the spatial organization. But when viewed holistically, the pieces all relate to each other visually. This is achieved through two primary methods: the use of a six-color color palette dened by the paper stock and ink, and a limited choice of typographyMonotype Grotesque (both regular and bold extended), New Century Schoolbook and Bitstream Futura. (FIG. 27) Through the limitations of color and typography the exhibit becomes a cohesive visual experience presenting the content in a clear and distinctive voice. Monotype Grotesque Bold Extended Monotype Grotesque Regular New Century Schoolbook Bitstream Futura FIG. 26 Printed digital renderings of the exhibit design and photographs of the nal installation FIG. 27 Color Palette and Typography
26 The Practice of Meaningful Work The Practice of Meaningful Work The process of developing, designing and building the pieces for Up, Down, Left, Right reafrmed by belief in the simple yet enriching practice of doing work. In the book Shopclass as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work author Matthew Crawford suggests that thinking and knowing are inextricably linked to doing. 33 Cognition is the product of deliberate action. I approached the design and construction of my exhibit with the same spirit of creativity by exploring different means of production, and various mediums and materials for audience interaction. These methods are undertaken for both my own personal edicationmy species character 34 and for creating different opportunities to engage with the content. PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES Each piece in the exhibit relies on its own method of produc tion determined by the following criteria: the best presentation of the content, the degree of desired audience interaction and the placement within the exhibition space. Within this trin ity content preceded form and form determined the production method. For example, the thirty posters needed to have a mix of colored backgrounds. This is achieved through using differ ent colored paper stocks and printing both Black and White arrows on the sheets. Screen printing is the best solution be cause I could rely on the paper to serve as my ground and then execute both a dense, rich black and an equally opaque white for the gures. (FIG. 28) Unlike the screen printed posters that hang on the wall the two-hundred letterpressed announcements are handled and touched by each recipient. The paper impression from letterpress ing provides a tactile quality to the cards that enhances the user experience. The hand-crafted quality is further reinforced by the individually numbered rubber stamping suggesting greater importance and care in the nal product. (FIG. 29) These produc tion details not only increase the signicance of the items themselves, but also are a reection of the exhibit as a whole. FIG. 28 Screen printing process for masked arrow posters FIG. 29 Detail of the letterpress announcements 33. Matthew Crawford, Shopclass as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. 163. 34. Ibid., 186.
27 The Practice of Meaningful Work Two of the processesscreen printing and carpentrywere techniques I had not explored prior to the exhibit. But, in the spirit of both inquiry and craft, I happily embraced them. I could use my previous experience in letterpress printing and production to assist me in understanding the basic concepts and methods of both techniques. The wooden blocks are con structed from a single sheet of plywood cut and mitered into six individual pieces that are glued together to create a single ve inch hollow cube. (FIG. 30) Because the blocks demand a high level of audience inter action I chose to screen print the arrow parts on the wooden surface nishing them with a coating of clear gloss acrylic. The gloss not only protects the screen prints from ngerprints and smudges, but is an indicator to visitors that the blocks are durable enough to be handled. THE GIFTS OF PRODUCTION If to know is to do then to learn is to proceed slowly. I found that each step in the production process is dependent on the previous steps and along the way the materials will provide you with gifts. I experienced many of these gifts through attentiveness and exibility. For example, after the blocks were made I needed to begin planning and building the three tables. (FIG. 31) Happily, the off-cut from the plywood for the blocks provided the ideal size for the table that held the computer monitor. This set the standard unit of measure for the other three tables. For the table legs, I discovered a set of safety yellow steel saw horses that informed my choice of an accent color throughout the exhibit. The yellow complements the existing color palette I had already selected in the paper stock for the posters. Although preparation plays an important role in setting a process in motion, the actual doing becomes its own form of knowl edge. The production process allowed me to capitalize on oppor tunities that determined subsequent stages of manufacturing. DESIGN AND THE AUDIENCE In Shopclass as Soulcraft Matthew Crawforda philosopher and motorcycle mechanicchallenges Marxs contention that the worker is alienated from his labor the further he is dis FIG. 30 Wooden Arrow Block construction and screen printing processes FIG. 31 Table construction and assembly
28 The Practice of Meaningful Work tanced from his product. 35 Instead, it is the use of ones labor by others that is the enriching and fundamental reason for doing work and creating. I am continually thrilled when I see a book I designed or a poster Ive made living independently of myself and existing in the public sphere. In fact, this is the primary goal of every project I undertake. The external con sumption of my work does not alienate me from my labor but actually intensies its signicance for me. Design, in particu larly, is predicated on the awareness of an audience. A project is only complete when it is shared with others and being aware of this provides me with a sense of responsibility to my ideas, craft and presentation. (FIG. 32) I have found great peace during the process of creating and developing my thesis exhibit. The research, design and build ing of the pieces provide me with a sense of accomplishment and purpose and instilled in me a heightened sense of pride in my work. I have become more aware of my role not only as a designer but of a thinker, an author, an editor, a narrator, a producer and a builder. The details in my work and purposeful ness of my process are integral to how my design is presented to and shared with a community whether large or small. To this end, I happily embrace my responsibility as a de signer to my concept, craft and presentation as I hope that it acknowledges the respect I have for my audience and serves as a reection of myself. FIG. 32 Public Reception in the Focus Gallery on October 14, 2011 35. Matthew Crawford, Shopclass as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. 186187.
Up Down Left Right 29 Plate No. 1 Up, Down, Left, Right: A Brief History 5" 7.5", 36-page self cover, 85 copies screen print covers, black & white laser print interior pages
Up Down Left Right 30 Plate No. 2 Masked Arrows | Website 19" 12.5", 30 screen prints locally hosted website, 80 rollover masked arrows/photographs
Up Down Left Right 31 Plate No. 3 Wooden Arrow Part Blocks 5" 5" 5", 11 individual blocks plywood, screen printing, clear gloss acrylic
Up Down Left Right 32 Plate No. 4 Visitor Contributions various dim ensions & mediums
Up Down Left Right 33 Plate No. 5 Furthest Distance Middle Distance Closest Distance Exhibit Spatial Hierarchy
Bibliography Berger, John. Ways of Seeing New York: Viking Press, 1973. Black, Jeremy. Maps and History: Constructing Images of the Past New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997. Blackwell, Lewis, Off the Road, in Edward Fella: Letters on America Edward Fella, et. al. n. p. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000. Crawford, Matthew. S hopclass as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York: Penguin Books, 2010. Frebels, Friedrich. Pedagogics of the Kindergarten or His Ideas Concerning the Play and Playthings of the Child Translated by Josephine Jarvis. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1895. http: // books.google.com / books?id=KpUWAAAA IAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false. Fuller, Gillian. The ArrowDirectional Semiotics: Waynding in Transit. Social Semiotics, Vol 12, No 3, (2002) 231. Frutiger, Adrian. Signs and Symbols: Their Design and Meaning New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989. Glauber, Barbara. introduction to Lift and Separate: Graphic Design and the Quote Vernacular Unquote ed. Barbara Glauber. 5. New York: Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, 1993. Gombrich, E. H. Pictorial Instructions, The Use of Images: Studies in the Social Function of Art and Visual Communication 226. London: Phaidon, 1999. Helfman, Elizabeth S. Signs and Symbols Around the World New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co, 1967. Hirsch, Robert. Seizing the Light: A History of Photography Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2000. Up Down Left Right 34 Bibliography
35 Bibliography Linotype GmbH. A Monotype Imaging Company, accessed November 7, 2011, http://www.linotype.com/1769/ ZapfEssentials-family.html. Lupton, Ellen. Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004. Mahar-Keplinger, Lisa. American Signs: Form and Meaning on Route 66. New York: Monacelli Press, 2002. Majoor, Martin. FF Scala Hands, Martin Majoor Type Design http://www.martinmajoor.com/1.1_scala_article_ majoor.html. Miller, J. Abbott. Elementary School, in The Abcs of [triangle Square Circle]: The Bauhaus and Design Theory ed. Lupton, Ellen, and J. A. Miller. 4. New York: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, 1993. Miller, Jeff. Earliest Uses of Symbols of Set Theory and Logic http://jeff560.tripod.com/set.html. Patton, Phil. Setting Sights on the Arrow. AIGA (Blog) 3 Feb. 2010. http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/ setting-sights-on-the-arrow. Szlichcinski, K. P. The Syntax of Pictorial Instructions, in Processing of Visible Language 2 ed. Paul A. Kolers et al. 114. New York: Plenum Press, 1980. Sherman, William H. Toward a History of the Manicule. Last modied March 2005. http://www.livesandletters.ac.uk/ papers/FOR_2005_04_002.html. Stewart, Susan. On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984.
36 Bibliography Tait, James. Review of A New Students Atlas of English History by Emil Reich. The English Historical Review vol. 18, no. 71 (Jul., 1903): 540. Twyman, Michael, A Schema for the Study of Graphic Language (Tutorial Paper), in Processing of Visible Language 1 ed. Paul A. Kolers et al., 117. New York: Plenum Press, 1980. Unicode 6.0 Character Code Charts, last modied Sep 22, 2011, http://unicode.org/charts/#symbols. Venturi, Robert, Brown D. Scott, and Steven Izenour. Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1977. Westendorp, Piet & Karel van der Waarde, Icons: Support or Substitue, Information Design Journal. Vol 10, No 2 (2001). Wiggin, Kate Douglas and Nora Archibald Smith. Frebels Gifts 1895. Project Gutenberg Ebook, 2010. http://www.archive.org/stream/froebelsgifts31097gut/ pg31097.txt. Wikipedia contributors, Comparative Anatomy, Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/ index.php?title=Comparative_anatomy&oldid=460911276, accessed November 9, 2011. Wild, Lorraine. Notes on Edward Fella: Design in a Border Town (1991), Edward Fella: Letters on America Edward Fella, et. al. n. p. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000. Wildbur, Peter. Information Graphics: A Survey of Typographic, Diagrammatic, and Cartographic Communication New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989.
Robert J. Finkel is a designer in the broadest and most specic sense of the word. He was born in 1980 and raised in Bir mingham, Alabama. He attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Sociology concentrating in cultural anthropology and so ciological theory. He is also a graduate of the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2011 he received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Florida where he studied graphic design. Prior to attending UF Robert was employed for several years at the design rm Slaughter Group in Birmingham, Alabama where he worked as a designer specializing in corporate identity and branding, and custom letterpress printing and design. He has also served on the board of AIGA Birmingham. At the University of Floridas School of Art + Art History, Robert co-founded with his studiomates the organization I___Local whose mission is to promote the activities of local businesses, organizations and individuals that make up the unique and diverse Gainesville community. He taught courses in Typography, Graphic Design for Non-Majors and assisted in the Letterpress Shop. In addition to completing his course work and thesis project, Robert maintained a small selection of clients for commissioned design work. Robert continues to build a practice of design with a strong foundation of concept, craft, and presentation. Up Down Left Right 37 Biographical Sketch