A short presentation to Visuality / Gestalt.
ART HISTORICAL CONTEXT
"Gestalt" needed an English word, which became Visuality, used in many fields. I approach visuality as designer and filmmaker.
In the 60's artists began challenging the idea of Art as an Artifact objectified and so Performance was born, often off-stage, in the public space. Like Butoh (Japan, 1960). Then, the performer added the audience to the performance. Example: Marina Abramović, 2010, The Artist is Present. Finally they remove themselves as The Objectified and replaced the object to be looked at with the audience themselves, thereby minimizing both the preconceived aesthetic practice and the planned Visuality of the piece. Example Marina Abramović, 2017, The Cleaner, Stockholm, MoMa. This was a mass meditation, ceremonial experience, where the audience was The empathical Cleaner, both for oneself and for others visiting the space.
Now imagine that you choose to make the opposite choices, embracing everything visual and aesthetic - maximizing the visual effects of the work at hand. That is Visuality in Design, Art and Filmmaking. This brings back and deepens ideas from Bauhaus and the Renaissance, such as compositional and painterly ideas like Chiaroscuro, but in a contemporary context as a counter-reaction to post-modernism, which threw out so many great ideas from Art history.
aka Production design, Art direction
The idea that everything together creates a narrative motif grounded in the context and subject matter. Everything working together shows more of the story than the separate pieces by themselves. Characters, costumes, makeup, hair, voices, sets, decor, acting, action, animation, interaction, lighting, editing, colours, graphic design, rendering, photography, edge quality etc. Every design element and principle in the show represents something in the dramatic question at hand – be it literally in the design itself or as a visual allegory, metaphor or even as indirect subtext like a color cue lighting mood.
E.T.'s glowing finger, touching and healing Elliot's emotional wound: empathy.
Mozart's crazy wig, bright colours and hysterical laugh ridiculing Salieri's strict grooming and faith in Amadeus.
The colour details In Schlinder's List representing hope and faith.
Se7en's open titles characterizing the insanity behind humanity's worse sin: murder
Apple's Apple icon referring to the Apple from the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden, the source of good and evil.
Ie composition, design and culture creates context.
THEMATIC GESTALT / VISUALITY
Thematic gestalt is an interdisciplinary research area between gestalt and philosophy. It is inspired by semiotics in communication studies and symbolism through art history but brought into a practical, contemporary context for modern production cycles.
Each design, such as a character's design, represents something within the theme. Such as a skull for mortality. It is the theme visually. Instead of using text to say what it is one can use a picture to say what it is. This can be on a literal level, symbolically, metaphorically or as subtext planted from previous story beat. Or it can have a hidden meaning, privy to those in the know. Such as the Kabbalah and the Rabbi.
Thematic gestalt was introduced by me in my reSearch at Uppsala University, Sweden 2010-2020 as I explored my artistic methods during my tenure as Associate Professor in Gestalt.
This playful typesetting of research represents that I am re-visiting – re-searching – my artistic methods. I am questioning how I am creating things and what I am doing as I do so. Thereby re-search. I am making intuitive, subconscious methods conscious by documenting and thinking about why and what I am doing, artistically. What am I basing my assessment criteria on as I create? I do this for the infinite game, to pass it forward.
A NOTE ON REFERENCING
I try to give proper, academic credit and referencing as often as I can, but often the true source of the knowledge has been lost.
If I mention a contemporary source it is often not the origin but a solid source for further studies. It does not mean I credited them as the actual, historical source because many artists today do not credit their sources unfortunately. Like the "Zorn" palette was not invented by Zorn. He learned it at The Royal Art Academy in Stockholm as student. Source unverified.