Sunday, November 1, 2009

VISUAL LANGUAGE: Project 3; Postcard 3 Research

I began my research based off my intended interpretation of postcard one as well as my interpretation of postcard two. In referring back to my initial word list for "glass jug" as well as the key words that have made themselves evident during our communication process.

Some of the most relevant words were:
- Fermentation
- Homemade
- Do it yourself
- Step by step
- Brew
- Dated
- Alcoholism

The idea of fermentation, I felt, stresses the idea of time and it was therefore the one I spent the most time researching. I discovered that fermentation means "without oxygen" and that it can occur with foods, wine, beer, and tea. It is the formation of alcohol from sugar; a state of agitation or intense activity. I then decided to look in to the word "agitation" to broaden my exploration of words that could lead to my systems idea. defines it as: irregular, rapid, or violent action (motion); excite, trouble the mind, restlessness.

From there I then began to do image searches with "fermentation" and "agitation" and again, like my initial research for postcard one, I found a lot of it lead back to alcohol, more specifically beer. I continued my research towards the direction of the systems level and began to take into further consideration the negative perspective I sought to bring fourth in my first image and these were the system level ideas I came up with:

Prohibition- historical
Alcoholism- social/cultural

and on a more positve note...

Octoberfest- social/cultural
Self-sustainability (agriculture)- environmental (in relation to homemade)

Ultimately after doing more image and fact based research as far as justifying a cause that could be strongly portrayed through my initial image, I arrived at going with Prohibition. In doing research about prohibition in the United States I discovered that the expanse of prohibition made it illegal to manufacture, transport, import, export, and sell alcohol. Prohibition is a historical system because of its attention to beer, alcohol, liquor, and moonshine (products) that in their simplest forms relate back to fermentation as well as a glass jug; whether it was used for storage, transportation, or fermentation itself.

Nationwide prohibition went in to effect on January 16th, 1920 and was short lived as it was lifted by FDR in 1933. It was the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that started in the U.S. Senate in 1917. The following research further justifies my negative perspective that I was/am attempting to portray...Prohibition was put in to place by the government because of alcohol abuse, and the failure of social control in the home and community. Officials considered the idea of moderation versus prohibition, but it was ultimately brought to prohibition. Another negaitve attribute brought to prohibition itself was the fact that because of this Act the smuggling and "bootlegging" of alcohol became very popular and widespread through the U.S. and began to be taken control of by organized crime groups.

In recap, this proves to be a historical system due to its negative impact before and during prohibition was put in to place; alcohol abuse and control (before), and smuggling/bootlegging (during). I also wanted to further stress the idea of vintage, rustic, and handmade that was not interpreted by the receiver (Josh) in my first postcard. This also further justified the benefit of using prohibition as my system for communication.

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