Flight

Flight

The Photograph:

Flight, Danbury, CT

Introduction:

My Photo
Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Jeanne Iris

xo

30 June, 2015

Walt Whitman and Iconic Realism


Adler Planetarium Astronomy Museum, Art Institute of Chicago
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1053/5097973137_718735c9c6.jpg
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
by Walt Whitman
When I heard the learn'd astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

In Walt Whitman's poem, "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer, the speaker leaves an astronomy lecture to step outside the fixed parameters of the building. Subsequently, this individual learns first hand of the beauty when viewing the same firmament of which the lecturer speaks but viewed simply with the naked eye in silence. By leaving the lecture, the speaker, with scientific information gained from the the astronomer's lecture inside, now enjoys the silent beauty with appreciated knowledge, but more importantly, with appreciation of the significance of the stars’ natural condition. 

This poem illustrates iconic realism in that the subject,  constellations in a contrived setting, brings the audience and the speaker in the poem to a recognition that education of natural phenomena includes the experience of the real connection between humanity with nature. 

I warmly thank the Art Institute of Chicago for purchasing a copy of my book, The Theory of Iconic Realism: Understanding the Arts through Cultural Context.

13 April, 2015

Brandon Balengee, Bioartist, and Iconic Realism (Click onto this title to see and hear Brandon Balengee discuss his research/art.)


Here, Brandon Ballengee, artist and scientist, collaborates with communities around the world to bring awareness of environmental change. His source is the iconic feature of ancient civilizations, the pond. Ballengee's research follows the phenomena of mutation in the amphibian populations worldwide. Then, he uses his skill as an artist to create awareness of this biological variance, focusing his audience's attention on environmental transformation.

13 March, 2015

Iconic Realism and Photograph of a Baby Swaddled in the United States Flag

Yes, according to the official rules regarding our beloved United States flag, wrapping a baby in the flag is not on the list of appropriate uses.
 
However, these two photographs creatively illustrate my semiotic theory of iconic realism in that we see a baby, comfortably situated in the midst of a United States flag, held by a soldier in one photo and a responsible adult in the other. The photographers represent the infancy of hope, relying on adults to show strength and determination as facilitators of this human quality.
 
The future generations of U. S. citizens are dependent on the adults of this great nation to make decisions that will create an environment which enables these children to contribute their talents and skills to move humanity forward.
 

 
Photographs from Bing Images

28 October, 2014

William Butler Yeats' "The Tower II" and Iconic Realism

I took this photograph of Thoor Ballylee, June 2009

 
I pace upon the battlements and stare
On the foundations of a house, or where
Tree like a sooty finger, starts from the earth;
and send imagination forth
Under the day’s declining beam, and call
Images and memories
From ruin or from ancient trees,
For I would ask a question of them all.
(“The Tower II,” ll. 18-25) [1]

Here, Yeats places himself in the midst of the Tower, the earthen icon of the human soul. Born of the ancient source of all life, this soul’s power rests in the simplicity of a child’s voice, echoing for the “blind man’s joy.” This simplicity is so powerful that “certain men, be[come] maddened by those rhymes,” (l. 42) a magnificent union of the duality existent in imagination and reality. 

To further illustrate this duality, Yeats incorporates the iconic representation of “The Great Memory” to signify the reality of human consciousness. The speaker is out of control while at the same time, he is in control, “Come old, necessitous, half-mounted man;/And bring beauty’s blind rambling celebrant” (ll. 91-2). This ambivalence, accented with alliteration, leads to Yeats’s revelation that from chaos comes order and from dissonance, consonant harmony. He continues with his reference to human consciousness with an allusion to his recurrent swan’s song: “When the swan must fix his eye/ Upon a fading gleam, /Float out upon a long/Last reach of glistening stream/And there sing his last song” (ll. 141-45). 

The central theme of this poem is the realization of life’s paradox that art is both illusion and ideal. When Yeats reveals through the alliteration and rapid meter of “Man makes a superhuman/Mirror-resembling dream” (ll.165-66), he draws upon his references of the Easter Uprising and WWI in which reality of life recreates itself through the restructuring of chaos. 

Yeats’s iconic-bucolic imagery of singing birds in the introductory and concluding lines of “The Tower” reinforce his message of universal harmony that echoes throughout the sphere of life’s transformations. His final lines, “Seem but the clouds of the sky/When the horizon fades,/ Or a bird’s sleepy cry/ Among the deepening shades” (ll.193-96), indicate his reconciliation of life, art, Ireland and reality. It is not by accident that this poem leads directly to “Meditations in Time of Civil War.” 

In “The Tower,” Yeats illustrates the necessity for humanity to acknowledge the reality of life’s paradox and to nurture human consciousness with eyes wide open to human frailties as well as the glorious harmony of creative endeavor.


[1] Yeats, William Butler. The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats. (Hertfordshire, G.B.: Wordsworth Editions, Ltd., 2000)

[2] Lakatos, Jeanne. The Theory of Iconic Realism: Understanding the Arts through Cultural Context. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2008, pp. 54-55.

28 April, 2014

Emily Dickinson and Iconic Realism

Portrait of Emily Dickinson painted by William Rock
Chinese calligraphy painted by Huang Xiang 
Click HERE to go to their site. 

(calligraphy is from Dickinson's "The Soul selects Her Own Society,"
"My Life Closed Twice Before Its Close" and "Presentiment")
by Emily Dickinson

Calligraphy Translation:
 
The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.
Unmoved, she notes the chariot's passing
At her low gate;
Unmoved,
an emperor kneeling
Upon her mat.
I've known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone.
I never saw a Moor

My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

Presentiment
is that long shadow on the lawn
Indicative that sun goes down
The notice to the startled grass
That darkness is about to pass

By displaying the countenance of this reclusive poet in the midst of so many cultural icons, these two artists, Huang Xiang and William Rock, illustrate iconic realism of Emily Dickinson's poetry. In this painting by William Rock and the calligraphic representation by Huang Xiang, the iconic presence of Emily Dickinson's simplicity in connection with this honorable position illustrates her impact on human consciousness and the importance for humanity to look inward. Indeed, through her darkness, enlightenment has come to many. The use of blue and purple bring to mind the spirituality that surrounds this poet's expression: in her eyes, around the 'upper floor' of her mind and in her heart.