November 4, 2012
Admittedly, I found some of the theory this week to be a bit dense and difficult to work through. Nonetheless, I still found the Metapictures piece interesting to reflect upon, particularly the pictures it focused on, such as Saul Steinberg's The Spiral. I'm intrigued by the idea that an image can be a sort of second-order commentary upon itself without recourse to language or any other non-pictoral discourse. The Spiral certainly does seem to meet this description. Very shortly after seeing it for the first time I felt as if this work was trying to say something about it's own nature, though I wasn't entirely certain as to what. The analysis offered within the text interpreted it as a sort of two-way timeline in which the countryside on the exterior or the man in the interior is the genesis of the scene. This was roughly tantamount to my own reading, though I found myself asking what the piece would be saying (or we would interpret it as saying) about itself according to either interpretation, though I couldn't come to any one conclusion even on the basis of two perspectives. Unlike the "dialectical images," the spiral is perhaps unique in the sense that it can be read as a unity whereas the other images must be read in a necessarily conflicting fashion.