I came across I book about the month ago and haven’t wanted to take it back to the library. Information is Beautiful by David McCandless, its filled with data from the internet, crunched and formulated into highly aesthetic diagrams. Some of these diagrams and charts utilise figuration, some are abstract – but the the book is also about bringing together seemingly profound and trivial information on the same plane. Now he also wrote an essay on Postmodernism, which is processed web information like the rest of the book. I found it short and succinct and very optimistic (unlike other texts I've tried to read) but not completely naïve – if we embrace complexity, diversity and ambiguity there is a danger at arriving at no meaning – he calls it a grey goo.
While participating in the march last week, I was thinking about the temporary nature of collective political identity – I wasn’t going to see those people again but we banded together, under one cause for a moment and then dispersed… I’m jumping now, but I had also attended a talk the week before at INIVA. At some point in questions, the inadequacy of the term ‘Black’; used as broad brush to politically encompass very different ethnic communities was discussed. In a sense that inadequacy is what brought the International Institute of Visual Arts into being.
Anyway they found a way around that one – but in the end my little niece still has to workout whether she is black or brown – that’s a big distinction for a 6 year-old to make. To be honest I've always struggled with never being ‘Black’ enough. I'm working in 'watery' ambiguity but going back to McCandless it might more resemble his meaninglessness goo.