Modes of communication over time: Some notes

THERE is a constant tug-of-war in me between being rational and theoretical vis-a-vis art. I can rationalise what I do but to theorise is taking things too far – that would not probably result in art that's any good. In any case, reading theoretical heavyweights seriously has become an absurdity for me. I tend to forget most of it and now treat it as an act in futility. In the last few years, however, I did read a couple of pieces mainly to compile some notes on the history of communication, and to see how they can inform my work in some way. This is the result:**

** I wrote this out after a friend introduced me to Walter Benjamin’s The Story Teller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov. It made me go back to The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, also by Benjamin, and an essay by Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modern Challenges to Education.

The notes, which have not been subjected to any discussion, are good enough for my purposes i.e. to see how I can pick and choose different media to combine into a piece of art. The great thing about living in these times is that we can see how much communication has evolved. The number of combinations we can do is endless.

I must emphasise that these are merely “ideal types” in Weberian terms, to be treated as heuristic tools more than anything else.

Lim Siang Jin

Lim Siang Jin