MA Graphic Design & Typography Project Conceptual Art Digital | 3D Print

Enigmatic
This was the outcome of the Module Process and Practice as Research from the MA Graphic Design & Typography at the Anglia Ruskin University. The MA Graphic Design & Typography was a unique opportunity to develop my innate creative qualities and by the direction of Professor Will Hill and Dr Sergio Fava.

Proposing to investigate the variability of our perception and use of objects, the way objects have been developed in response to its interaction with people as users I have created this post-modernist object that I named Enigmatic.
I tried to answer several questions such as does an object have an absolute meaning? Can these meanings be changed? When and how that process happens? By understanding the given reference meaning of objects and compare it to the real way we use them I questioned if this reference was social, cultural or historic. Is it personal, individual, or both? What is the relationship they have? What is the process? Is it a static or continuous changing process?
I proposed to research using the following objects: spoon, fork, pencil, a cup, and a mirror. In a later phase of the project, I have taken the mirror out due to its potential greater meaning scope.
I have created the Enigmatic Object, product of the research to understand the variability of our perception and use of objects. This is a miniature 3D printed object. The object was designed by myself on the paper first, then in Illustrator. Finally, the object was commissioned to the 3D artist Andre Wharton, from LLUAPP’s Hub, 3D Hubs.
My research was experimental and with research and references from the following books and materials:
The Story of Post-Modernism
Charles Jencks, John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2011
An Anthropology of Learning: On Nested Frictions in Cultural Ecologies
Cathrine Hasse, Springer, 5 Dec 2014
The people of Calicut: objects, texts, and images in the Age of Proto-Ethnography
Christian Feest, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, EUA
http://www.scielo.br/pdf/bgoeldi/v9n2/a03v9n2.pdf
Article by Julie Cruikshank. The article first appeared in 1992, in Anthropology Today
8 (3): 5 - 9. Assistant professor at the Museum of Anthropology, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver.
The Meaning of Things: Domestic Symbols and the Self
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Eugene Halton, October 30, 1981
Surface Tensions: Surface, Finish and the Meaning of Objects
Glenn Adamson, September 17, 2013
Video The Toulambi:
The Toulambi meet the team of Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, explorer and ethnographer. Jean-Pierre Dutilleux was born in Malmedy, Belgium, director, anthropologist, explorer, and defender of Indian rights.
My contribution was Innovation and make new use of objects. To clarify the way we perceive physical objects, the way we create them and why. In an age of limited resources and the urgency of good environmental choices, this would be a great start for new points of views.
I also wanted to make my personal contribution to Post-Modernism. Why Post-Modernism? Why not? Why not seems the correct word that a Post-Modernism would give. As per the Book “The Story of Post-Modernism” of Charles Jencks, “Venturi’s ‘gentle manifesto’ Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, 1966, makes the argument supporting contrast and the importance of mixing tastes, which was soon called ‘inclusivism’ in architecture.”
“Because Venturi’s book coined and borrowed from literature so many tropes - ‘ambiguity’, ‘contradictory levels’, ‘contradiction juxtaposed’, ‘the obligation towards the difficult whole’ - it became the first textbook of Post-Modernism.”
“These keywords and concepts became part of the post-morn lexicon, especially the title itself, ‘complexity and contradiction’ (...) a full-blown complexity theory was formulated later in the 1980s by scientists. It underpins the key ideas of the nonlinear ‘post-modern sciences of complexity’ and the hence the core idea of the movement: self-organising systems, emergence, chaos, fractals, etc. Jane Jacobs adumbrates these ideas for the ‘life of the city’ (she calls the city ‘a problem in organised complexity’) just as Venturi does in architecture.” Page 43
I too wished to mix contradictory terms, terms that were complex and making notion to a certain iconography of meaning.
In fact, as per the Post-Modern concepts, as
“for the iconography, The General Assembly Building at Chandigarh is designed around a cosmic and nature symbolism focused on the sun.” Page 37
In conclusion, I found out that “objects are affiliate and emerge in relations rather than having properties sui generis (Suchman 2005:381). Artefacts are objects which are material and meaningful. Words are also artefacts. For the child, the world consists, at first, in  separate objects; then we begin to grasp the actions and words tied to these objects, and finally, we move on to think with words as anchors.” An Anthropology of Learning: On Nested Frictions in Cultural Ecologies Cathrine Hasse, Springer, 5 Dec 201 page 91
“What I have added (or made more salient) in the Vygotskian theoretical framework is that materials also anchor thinking.
Materials and words intra-act in creating the phenomena, which we perceive. When we perceive our environment as meaningful, perception is something we have learned. We are not born with it.” Vygotsky 1987: 297


“Culture is a process of meaning-making in a material world; it is not stable and isolated but constantly on the move. Word meanings keep changing; yet even if the subject-object relation is only momentarily separated over time, the word meanings gradually align with a locally situated collective consciousness, which builds on a common (and often very abbreviated or even gestural) language. (...) A newcomer has to find ways to tap into this shared understanding of the physical surroundings and for the newcoming ethnographer its part of the craft.” 
An Anthropology of Learning: On Nested Frictions in Cultural Ecologies
Cathrine Hasse, Springer, 5 Dec 201 page 91
Based on this new knowledge I decided that a Post-Modernist object that mixed the spoon, fork, pencil, and cup were the right decision. Contrary to the absolute concepts of the Modernism, I wanted to make a point. I wanted to appeal to “the post-modern commitment to the many-voiced discourse that the contemporary novel celebrates.”

“Beyond revisiting ornament, iconography and pluralism there are other post-modern ‘returns’.” This project would be one. As Charles Jencks writes on “The Story of Post-Modernism”, “What is a typical Post-Modern building? One that is hybrid, one that dramatises the mixture of opposing periods - the past, present and future - to create a miniature ‘time-city’. Hence it is based on multiple codes (...) in a recognisable ‘double-coding’.” The Story of Post-Modernism Charles Jencks, John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2011, page 9

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Want to read my research study?
Please contact Estela Gaspar at
thatfireflycreative@gmail.com and request a copy of my Research Project Enigmatic Book.
Copyright belongs to Estela Maria Janela Gaspar and Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

Research Project Enigmatic Book


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(ii) Estela Maria Janela Gaspar

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