Thursday, September 2, 2010

August 27, 2010 Lecture

Composition and Elements of Design

A composition is an organization of ideas as in music, writing, visual arts, theatre, etc.  To create meaning within a composition, elements such as point, line, shape/form, color, texture, space, and value are arranged to unify a concept.  In gestalt theory, the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.  John Bowers' Introduction to Two-Dimensional Design: Understanding Form and Function, describes good (regular) gestalt as having high organization and weak gestalt having weak organization.

There are clues within a composition that indicate meaning.  In music, for example, space creates rhythm and beat.  Other meanings such as harmony, discord, variation, and value can build suspense, curiosity, tension, emotion, or anticipation.  We experiment with composition in our life experiences through our senses and create shortcuts for processing information.  Artists can use this information to manipulate meaning within compositions.  Using the gestalt principles, proximity, closure, continuance, and similarity, meanings can be communicated such as tension, wholeness, motion, or harmony respectively.

To illustrate these concepts our group assignment was an exercise in creating a sound composition .  Lauren, Ryan, Josh, Milah, Cara, and myself enacted a demonstration of texture.  We made a sequence of different sounds (snapping, scuffing, clapping, cracking) to create a textural meaning.  We were successful! 

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