28 Critical Reflections: random 1 t0 7

The singularity of specular reflections is demanded by the fact that if one tries to apply to them the schema of communicational process many puzzling questions arise: source and addressee coincide (at least in cases where a human looks at him or herself in the mirror); receiver and transmitter coincide; expression and content coincide since the content of the reflected image is just the image of a body, not the body itself; as a matter of fact the referent of a mirror image is pure visual matter.[3]

But the first thing to make clear is that a specular reflection cannot be taken as a sign if one follows the definition given in this book. Not only can it not be properly called an image (since it is a virtual image, and therefore not a material expression) but even granted the existence of the image it must be admitted that it does not stand for something else:on the contrary it stands in front of something else, it exists not instead of but because of the presence of that something: when that something disappears the pseudo-image in the mirror disappears too.[3]

Even admitting that what happens in a camera obscura is something 'similar' to the phenomenon of the specular reflection (which is not questionable), what changes is the fact that an image remains traced somewhere, and any successive discussion about its iconic properties deals with the imprinted image and not with the process itself.[3]

Terrific contrast between the strong, tactile sculptures and the exuberance of the foliage and flowers. Apart from one or two pieces marked Do not Touch, you can touch and stroke the sculptures in the garden: take advantage, it's quite an experience.[8]

There is an immediate transference of sensation, a response within to the rhythm of weight, balance and tension of the large and small form making an interior organic whole. The transmutation of experience is, therefore, organically controlled and contains new emphasis of forms.[7]

And the play of inside against/with outside, the seeing through, the laid bare view, makes everything that is around part of the sculpture too.[4]

"Shut up", I told the breakfast table. "I asked for coffee and waffles, not your dream from last night."

I finished my breakfast in a silence that was, I suspect, sulky on one side. "Reflective surfaces, huh? Sometimes they can get above themselves."[2]

28 Critical Reflections random 8 to 14
Back to Clive's home page


[1] http://www.neworleanspast.com/art/id62.html

[2] Ken MacLeod, Reflective Surfaces, New Scientist, 2009.

[3] Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics, Indiana University Press, 1979.

[4] Clive Fencott, Reflections on seeing River Form in Barbra Hepworth's garden in St. Ives.

[5] http://www.flickr.com/photos/nigelhomer/316548379/

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specular_highlight

[7] http://www.barbarahepworth.org.uk/texts/

[8] tripadvisor.co.uk