Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0034, March 10, 2015


Visual Nonsense?

Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

     "Absolutely," says Prickles, "this is pure grade A, unmitigated nonsense. But it's kind of pleasant to look at - maybe it's the colors, or maybe it's the texture, maybe both - I don't know. Nonsense, in any case." So you say it's nonsense but in a good way? "Something like that," she agrees. What if I told you, as the author of this image, that it is a profound and strikingly eloquent statement about an aspect of reality, about its intrinsic discontinuity and dependence on the foreground/background contrast without which it could not exist? "I'd say you are a born Art critic having kissed the Blarney Stone while yet in utero," says she. (Prickles certainly has a way with words. She may be the one who kissed the Blarney Stone. And to think it's only a couple of years since she only spoke Hedgehogese and Latin.)

     Well, be that as it may, it happens to be true (in so far as anything can be said to be true). I should know, I made it. Technically it's an abstract, meaning it abstracts something from reality and presents it in a symbolic way but using non-objective symbols. "Meaning nonsense," Prickles insists. Can't call it nonsense because it makes perfect (well, almost perfect) sense. In this case the shrededness of the foreground suggests discontinuity while the fuzzy background provides the sine qua non contrast. "I bet you made it all up after the fact to justify your accidental chaotic nonsense," Prickles sticks to her guns. Actually I made it up while making the image, not that it matters. This is not just retinal candy. It also appeals to the mind which recognizes the truth of it. "So you say," says Prickles.

Comments to
(The Ed will post and may respond to selected comments, if any)