"Pentagram" as an art form

From: Andreas Stötzner (as@signographie.de)
Date: Wed Oct 28 2009 - 15:11:45 CST

  • Next message: Mark Leisher: "Re: "Pentagram" as an art form"

    Am 28.10.2009 um 19:27 schrieb Hohberger, Clive:

    > Andreas,
    > Nice stories! And "pentagram" is a very appropriate name for the art
    > form.
    > … 

    Possibly it is. But the term is still focused on the structure (“five
    graphics”) rather than the overall idea of a new art form. Who knows
    which structure format, if at all, will proceed to overturn other
    tailorings which may be interesting as well? To radically coin a term
    of challenging aspect and sparkling novelty – suitable for a new kind
    of art – one ought to get perhaps a bit more adventurous. I’d prefer a
    name which gets translated into other languages and lately considered a
    possible German term: “Gezeig” (– resembles “Gedicht” [poem];
    ‹zeig/zeich› being the root matching lat./engl. ‹sign› as well as
    ‹draw› and ‹show›).
    This art form is neither pictorial nor literal, it is *inbetween* (I
    lean to call it “signographical”…). And THAT IS the novelty. Signs only
    used so far for passenger guidance on airports get used for expressing
    poetic thoughts! (Chinese or Japanese will find this less novel, I
    suppose, but to those acustomed in an alphabetical culture of reading
    the step IS quite novel.)

    By the way, I always suffer seven pains when serious circles like
    encoding specialists deal with terms like “emoji” or “dingbats”. This
    simply hurts my language feeling. It is the same level as if we would
    admit codechart blocks named “mixed rubbish” or “silly bits”. “Emoji”
    is nothing but a fashion term coined by some Japanese phone vendors to
    give hot appeal to a thing that is actually very common, wide-spread,
    useful and *not* restricted to Japanese culture: language-independent
    signs. (Even the frequent use of the term “symbol” in English is a
    rather unlucky choice.)
    For good reason “Emoji” does not get admitted to the codechart
    terminology. And we do good here to avoid this term *at all* (“Haiku”
    is a Japanese term for a Japanese speciality but “emoji” is a Japanese
    term for something which is common to the world!).
    The diversity of “emoji” signs may be decently adressed as pictograms,
    ideograms or “public signage”, in Swiss German “Signaletik”
    (“signaletics”) is popular; each of it being better than “emoji” or
    even ”miscellaneous symbols”.

    > Your pentagrams strike me as one continuous thought. Take  your
    > "Escapade" which really works well as one line of 5 emoji:

    I be happy if you like it :-)
    The reason why I choose this format was: in your example based on the
    2-3-2-scheme the seven signs happen to get placed in a kind of 6-to-1
    layout (6 around, 1 in the centre) and as we Westeners are used to
    perceive this kind of signs rather punctual/isolated rather than
    directional/textual, I optically missed the line-establishing reading
    impulse. Well, again, Chinese or Japanese viewers who have different
    mental viewing/reading preconditions may see this differently.

    > Excuse me if I mistranslate, but I read it as roughly:
    >         "I bought tickets and flew on a plane and cruised in a
    > boat, had dinner and went to bed."

    A most enchanting sentence, isn’t it…?!

    That might become the thrill of this “new art”: everyone can spell a
    creation like this in his very own tongue – and yet, the original
    expresses the thought in a way common to nearly all humans.
    Since quite a little time I feel that codification of public signage is
    a far more serious matter than commonly regarded to be, for the reason
    just stated before. – And now, while we are messing about destilling
    airport pictography into heavenbound poetry, the full scope of
    universality of this kind of script is descending upon us.

    > I think the beauty of a new art from is that we can make our own
    > rules: We do that now in modern versus classical poetry. I say
    > WHATEVER FORM WORKS for what you are trying to communicate!

    I’m not quite sure if I understand this properly but, in some sense, I
    believe the possible emergence of a canonical format (stoa, alphabet,
    hexameter, haiku, limerick, sonata, triptych, …) is a always a crucial
    Public signage has made it into the very culture of our days for a long
    time already, the poetic potential of it will make it into reality as
    well, I’m sure, in what format ever.

    Sorry for having been more elaborate this time than usual
    and best regards,


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    Signographisches Institut Andreas Stötzner i.A. (Pegau/Sa.)
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