patternsthatconnect

abstract art, a systems view

art signs

leave a comment »

I have written before about signs and art.

This sign is art

Arcadia

Leo Fitzmaurice, Arcadia (one of a series scattered around YSP)

whereas this sign is not

Just because it is at Yorkshire Sculpture Park does not mean it is art

The function of the Leo Fitzmaurice sign is different to the function of the caution sign. However this could simply be that they are differing kinds of sign. One is a label and the other is a warning.

Though Arcadia is a label sign, the thing (or place) labelled is absent, bringing our attention to its absence. It reminds us that the map is not the territory, the name is not the thing named (Korzybski).

The Arcadia sign refers to a past, almost forgotten, inaccessible reality (or myth) and elicits action which is more like not-acting: the act of reflecting. For me, that makes it different to other label signs.

In one way the caution sign is similar, it requires a ‘slowing down’ a reflectiveness of sorts. Though its hardly a reflection on signs and their relationship to our experience, or on art and life. If the caution sign were to elicit this kind of reflectiveness it would have failed to do its job, we would no longer be proceeding with caution.

Here’s another sign from YSP (again not art)

Warning sign alerting us to read signs!

Warning sign alerting us to read signs!

It is a sign about signs! (You might need to click on the image to get the smaller print.)

It reminds me of an episode of the Simpsons where Homer gets obsessed with putting up safety signs and eventually resorts to putting up signs exhorting us to take note of the signs.

Advertisements

Written by Andy Parkinson

May 10, 2011 at 7:11 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: