Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Does a Scientific Mind Do in the Arts?

Scott McCloud (right) has written books about "Understanding Comics" (left) and "Making Comics" but everyone has come to understand that his ideas are about much more than comics. McCloud is one of the world's top analysts of visual communication - how it is done, what it means, why it's important.

McCloud talks about three types of "vision".
1. What one can not see - the unseen and unknowable. (Humanities)
2. That which can be proven or ascertained. (Sciences)
3. A vision of something which can be, which may be, based on knowledge, but is as yet unproven. (Design)

He pays homage to people in history like Chares Babbage who understood the shape of the future even though it was something that would be implemented by other people much later. Babbage laid the intellectual underpinnings for today's computers even though the main source of energy he had available to run such a machine at the time was steam.

Beginning with pre-print stories told on parchment and columns leading to our current world of print, McCloud foresees a future with some sort of immersive, post-print display, incorporating sound and time, that provides a window back into the world in which we live.

Click on the heading above to hear and see McCloud's TED talk and see an excellent demonstration of visual communication in practice. Explore visual devices used by McCloud in this presentation to help your students enhance their visual presentations and make them more visual.

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