Integrated Seminar 2
April 2nd 2018
Whitney Museum Research Exercise
Harvey Hacker’s Laser-Printed Untitled Piece of 1970
A white paper with a red symbol on the page centered. The symbol seems to be a universal signifier of a human hand. The hand is in a fist. Curled fingers in towards the palm. The palm facing forward. The page is white paper and the ink is one solid red. A bright eye catching red.
initially I thought it was a claw but there are human shaped knuckles and a human thumb.
This piece is made with one red shade solidly placed on. Red means power and a fight can mean fighting. This piece being screen printed seems like a basic way to make something. Relating to my topic of digital devices, there are new basic titles on old things humans think they have figured out. At this time laser printers have just been created. This material works for its purpose of protest so people can easily recreate the work with a cheaper material. The unrealistic hand makes it easy to be an icon and a form of a symbol. Being in the propaganda section, it fits perfectly because propaganda was typically symbols for people and movements.
-What was Hackers purpose in creating this unrealistically formed?
This can be useful to know because it could have been a start to a new form of communicating. It relates to my topic of visual communication. It could be understood in different countries depending on what was occurring at the time. it can stand for many things so I wonder if it was created this way to be reproduced and looked at as a symbol not an art piece. This relates to my issue because my issue speaks of universal visual communication and making something human and unrealistically colored can relate to all humans in some way.
-Why did Hacker choose red?
This is important to know if red specific to something at this time. The cause of the symbol having to due with red or just the symbology of red? What red meant to this piece? If red was used often in propaganda or if it is eye catching. This is important for my issue because humans use emojis each day and they are also unnaturally colored “human like” representations.
-What was this a symbol for? To know what this print was made for we must know what it stands for. Knowing what it stands for means we know what is going on at that time. if it is propaganda or a protest of some sort.
-What was happening in the world during this time?
To understand the true meaning of propaganda and protests in the 1970’s when this poster was made we must know what was occurring at the time of its creation. This is important in relating it to my issue because my issue relates to every day visual communication that relates to human like symbols but this is not an every day used symbol. The fist is an emoji but not a red one. Theres also a way that emojis in my issue are supposed to make up for empathy that is lacking when connecting digitally.