Multiplicity/Tautology (Ode to MSM)

How many ways can you say the same thing and should you?


If I think about language, as in the written or spoken word, it becomes more and more complex. The intent behind the words can be obvious or obtuse but it is how it is perceived by the listener or the reader that has the impact. Mainstream media are very good at managing how their audience perceive their intent. Headlines, or tag lines, often give the promise of one thing but the content snakes back and forth with an altered narrative. It's a bit like receiving a large gift wrapped present, which, once all the pretty paper has been removed and the flaps of the box outturned, presents only a sheet of wrapping paper.


As I've been experimenting with different forms of language and subverting them I realised I am also 'presenting' them together and and apart. The current moving image works are a blending of all the processes I have used. The sound work and the still images are presented on their own. All three are saying the exact same thing but differently. This multiplicity or repetition is more than tautology. It is not the same thing said twice, but multiple times, using semiotics, sounds, music, text, colour, code, movement.


I realised that before I went any further with the work I needed to focus on a workable code for converting text and it was during this process that I really began to think about colour and how I was using it. I used existing codes as a starting point and added or subtracted from these to create one that worked for me at this point.




Once I'd got a working code I was able to then experiment with different surfaces and I chose to use the titles of two tabloids and a broadsheet to convert.




The titles used were: The Sun, The Times and the Daily Star, as can be seen in the first image. Ink on transparent paper, ink on cartridge paper and pastel on black sugar paper. It had been suggested to me to show the musical stave within the image. This does ground the shapes formed, and also retains that link to how the shapes came to be. The black ink was used as a replication of black ink used in newspaper printing. The opposite of this permanency of black ink was the white chalk pastel. I liked the idea of the pastel being easy to remove, wipe away. It made me think of the saying "today's news tomorrows chip paper".


Thinking about the black ink - it feels very permanent, it is permanent. Yet daily newspapers are trash as soon as they have been read (often before!). No longer relevant once the next day’s edition is printed. This lack of permanency - should I represent that, how would I represent that?


Chalk pastels (a medium I have used a lot in the past), a medium that is easy to manipulate, distort, remove.


Flipping the base colours of black and white around - again subverting what is commonly and traditionally used within newspaper printing.


This constant subversion is a removal of power, a power used by MSM to sway public opinion. By altering the form of the language it becomes nothing more than an aesthetic, something that, on the surface, means nothing.






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