Message and medium overlap

Elmediat of  left the following comment on my blog.-  “Consider the following concepts, it may resonate with your path, as you seek to unpack your compartmentalized creativity .
Content, context , form. Content and context are the message. Context and form are the medium. Message and medium overlap. Context also includes the setting (time & space) in which the message is received. The reader/receiver of the message brings meaning because they carry a personal context of understanding & memory – knowledge, skills, and experience.
Artists have been attempting to encompass content, context and form in one way or another. Shakespeare attempts this by using plays within plays in both Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, thereby stretching thin the fourth wall and turning the audience space into an extension of the play.
Visual artists muse multi media and performance art to extend content, context and form. Digital text includes and interconnects multiple media to create new media , while the technology is expanding to expand context and allow the reader/receiver to interact and become a contributor .”

Elmediat’s in depth response to my blog post  almost an epiphany has taken me closer to defining just what I meant in that post but to get there I had to  unpick his comment point by point.   This part I  understood quickly – “The reader/receiver of the message brings meaning because they carry a personal context of understanding & memory – knowledge, skills, and experience.”    My art practice at art school was based on these ideas.   I liked to create open ended narratives where the viewer could find their own meanings and tell their own stories –

20110219_4 - Copy   mixed media on illustration card – 2006

but that was years ago and I seem to have lost the knack of being quite so open ended.

Elmediat is currently considering asemic writing on his blogs.   Wikipedia defines asemic writing as – “Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means “having no specific semantic content”. With the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret.”

I used to do a lot of this kind of writing long before I knew it had a name.

In 2006 I made this image – 20110219_3 (2)  mixed media on illustration card.

It is an autobiographical piece that describes how I felt myself to be at that time.   A few years later I learnt the basics of digital image making and created this image by superimposing one scanned image on top of another.

This time the image worked as a reflection of an emotional state.  <SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA>

Perhaps these images are an example of Elmediat’s view that ‘Content and context are the message. Context and form are the medium .’

chronicals  In 2010 I made this image by layering scanned images of journal pages.  Perhaps this is what Elmediat meant when he wrote ‘Digital text includes and interconnects multiple media to create new media’.

In 2015  I took a series of photos of fireworks.   When I posted them online earlier this year someone commented they looked like asemic writing.  It was the first time I had heard the term.

039 An example, perhaps, of Elmediat’s insight – “technology is expanding to expand context and allow the reader/receiver to interact and become a contributor .”

Perhaps I am missing the point of Elmediat’s comment.    I think I need to muse further on this part of his comment “visual artists muse multi media and performance art to extend content, context and form.”

snapseed-04 (1) ‘Immersed in life’ – digital image 2016

Extending content, context and form – now there’s the new horizon I want to explore in 2017.

At the moment I cannot see the wood for the trees – DSCN8493-01

It is, perhaps, a little clearer when things are reduced to black and white but then the context becomes more obscure – DSCN8493-01 (1)

At least now I have established just which direction the new horizon lies –



linked to –


17 thoughts on “Message and medium overlap

  1. Excellent post, Suzanne. Glad I found this one. I chanced across a great ‘formula’ a while back. From Jude Hill (Spirit Cloth). Idea+Technique=Form. And I’m also, right now, serendipidously (is that a word? It is now) looking into Asemic Writing – as a technique. It has occurred to me so far, in this research, that Asemic Writing strips worldly significance from words, leaving – the other-worldly – which is expressed only in terms of the forces and energies inherent in the pressure of the tool (brush/pen etc) on/against the ground (paper etc), its motion, speed, direction, gravity. And other things. It is visual music. It yet retains the ghost of writing and all that that signifies.

    1. What very interesting thoughts . I just had a frustrating morning achieving not very much but getting very fed up out in the world. I drove home and realised that I need to stop wasting time and get back to some serious work. Your comment reminds me of the joy and fascination working on your own projects can bring – and the synchronicity. Thanks for visiting my blog and taking such an interest in it. You have really helped me get back on track today.

      1. I know that what I do is always just a drop in the ocean of humankind, but oh, boy, when somebody writes to tell me they heard the drop fall, er, or maybe ‘land’, that means so much to me. You are a gem and your writing is remarkable. Love it! Have you published anything? I also had a frustrating day yesterday and YOU have helped ME back on track. We are both going to have a lovely creative day today, in different parts of the world. Cool! 🙂

        1. I think many of us are giving each other support via the internet at present. I did write asmall book and sold it online a few years ago. It was too inconclusive and people wanted a sequel. I took it offline last year and am currently considering what to do with it. Its like the 1sr draft of what should be, a much longer work. Right now I am just treading water creatively. A funny state – not sure where it’s going.

          1. I am in a similar situation. I have a ‘collapsible’ studio that I carry between one place and another at present – I feel a bit like one of those travelling medicine men that work from the back of their wagons. Though I hope I’m not quite the ‘quack’.

            1. Definitely not a quack but I am intrigued by the portable studio. Mine’s a corner of the garage at present. Making a portable one might work for me too. I’d love to know how you do it.

              1. It’s a large box that goes in the back of the car and travels from ‘studio 1’ (attic bedroom) to ‘studio 2’ (flat/appartment). Life is a bit complicated.

    1. Thanks Derrick. I am just digesting his latest comment and scratching my head. I think I know what he means butvI am not sure. Maybe I will have to do another oost about it 🙂 It certainly is a stretch but a fascinating one.

  2. This is excellent. We have expanded the context and inter-acted in the creative process. First through a series of comments on blog posts. Comments and likes extend the context of the post through responses from the receiver. In the past ( way back in the 20th century before world wide web and the social media ) in most cases the receiver had limited opportunity to interact with the creator of the message, nor could they contribute the art ( message ).
    The old comic-book letter pages were interesting, because fans could read the letters of other fans (sometimes their own – real status) and get a response. Marvel even handed out their famous No-Prize ( real status).

    Now, comments can be added to the post, so that they extend and create added context and depth of message. Posts can be linked and re-posted , increasing the context and the complexity of message. The art piece, in whatever form it takes , now expands into art pieces of others. My posts and comments are now part of your work, in a way that could only exist in a digital text environment. Open ended collaboration through hyper-links that allows for many different types of media responses, digital images ( static and animated), audio, video, prose, poetry, and just about anything.

    Between Scarlett & Guest is an excellent example of intentional collaboration – a blog where two bloggers carry on a non-verbal conversation from opposite sides of the globe.

    Another one is strata of the self (an exploration of our selves in images and text) , Ashley brought together a multitude of diverse bloggers around the topic of self.

    The Such Tweet Sorrow Project, where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was performed on Twitter over a five week period, turned the bard’s work into a live audience online participation event.

    So we move on to bigger and better things . Perhaps this creative populism can be used to move public discourse into a more positive sphere. One can but hope & try.

    1. Hi, one question. Your comment comes up on my reader in orange ink with a pink background instead of the usual black on white. I looked on the actual post and I can’t see it all. I would like it to be a public comment because you make some really good points. Maybe there is something in this idea of a cross blog inter-action that can, as you say, move public discourse into a more positive sphere. We could well be generating some new form of communication and inter-action between bloggers and readers here.

      1. When I look at it on the computer screen, I see the full comment black text on white background, with links in a green teal. The internet gods have their own mysteries at play here.

        The deteriorating public discourse derives in part from a lack of media literacy. The public has been left to find their own way. Savvy users of social media have turned that to their advantage. This is not an entirely new problem, but it is compounded by the open ended quality of social media. As I told my students, you can be media consumers, conveyors, creators, producers, and content. Most of the general public are consumers, producers, conveyors/transmitter, and content (Facebook is an excellent example of this trend). They really don’t create – to create requires an understanding of how to create a composition. You have understand the principles of mass media and in particular the codes and conventions. This also means you are aware of what you are consuming. You have some inoculation against emotional manipulation.

        What we get is an opinion and false information ( constructed reality) re-produced and
        transmitted multiple times . It creates a context in which public discourse is managed rather than generated through careful expression, and fact based observation.

        The difficulty/challenge is reclaiming the social media context so that dialogue occurs.
        I’ve been contemplating some creative responses to Fake News, Click Bait Headlines, and counter informative messages. I need to stew this idea a bit more. 😀

        1. Yep the comment stream is now functioning normally. Your comment intrigues me . I will also need to stew on my reply a bit more. Ways we consume a constructed view of reality …. ah I feel another blog post coming on 🙂

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