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Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Free form already produces a different perspective. This submission is an investigation of how digital manipulation enhances that perspective.


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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: August 13, 2007
Latest Update: August 13, 2007

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Digital Enhancement of a Free Art Form

The piece was first created in free form crochet and knitting. It was then scanned, and digitally manipulated.

Free form knitting with which digital image began. - first scan.

First scan of free form piece.

Second scan of free form piece.

Second scan

Manipulating the file:

Used the eyedropper to duplicate colors, and the sprayer to soften edges. Have just covered the background and will now start to work on it.

Sagrada Familia with Background for a Print
I used Microsoft's PAINT program, as it came free on my computer, to color in a background that would let us print and disseminate the piece. I think it might make a pretty set of cards.

Once the piece named itself, I continued to play with it, not entirely sure how its name had come about, except that I knew it held some kind of meaning for me, and I knew how much I loved Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, and how much "family" meant for me. As I turned it, and let it speak to me, I saw this:

Turning the piece around..

A Different Perspective on Sagrada Familia

I'm still not sure I can describe the process cognitively, but I realized there were many elements that said Sagrada Familia to me. One, the colors, which had been clear all along, that reminded me of the night-time beauty of Gaudi's well lit buildings with all their mosaics. Two, I could vaguely discern Mother and Child in the piece:

The Mother
The Mother


The Child
The Child


The Egg and Sperm
The Egg and Sperm


The Child Exiting the Mother's Womb
The Child Exiting the Mother's Womb


Discussion Questions

  1. Did I actually think of a Mother and Child while creating the piece?

    Absolutely not. Never entered my mind.

  2. Is the Mother and Child I can now imagine in the piece the "real meaning" of the piece?

    Absolutely not. That's what I see right now. That's what I thought about vaguely as the name came to me.

  3. What if you see a cow? Could that possibly be related to the "meaning" of the piece?

    You bet. If that's what it says to you. That's a very simple translation of the meaning of the death of the author, the death of the painter, etc. Once we create a piece that matters to us, and launch it into the world out there, we cease to exercise control over the piece. You, the viewer then bring your own apperceptive mass, your own vision of the world, your own values and definitions of beauty and good, your own context to the piece that has been launched, and the meaning comes from the interdependence of the piece and of your experience of the piece. That's a postmodern interpretation of "meaning," but one I can comfortably live with. Oddly enough, that view makes both the author and the viewer equally important factors in "meaning" through their interdependence.

    Just as there is no single metatheory, not even that of either aesthetic or rational criticism (pace Habermas), that can accurately capture a myth or story that encompasses "truth" or "beauty" for everyone, across ethnicities, across human differences, there is no "meaning" that is independent of the unique context that each viewer, even the artist hereself, brings to that work of art. We are social creatures. We thrive with others. Some of us, some of the time, perform best in solitude, but absolute solitude makes us crazy, and eventually, dead. For me and Susan, postmodernism best describes that interdependence of spirit and action that respects both the individual AND the family or community. It is in that sense that the piece named itself Sagrada Familia for me.

  4. Why add digital manipulation?

    Consider that the piece as created was three-dimensional. It was also a single piece, best shared only in a gallery or museum type setting. By digital manipulation, it could be more readily adapted to a two dimensional form that adds to the possibility of changed perception, and increases its accessibility to a viewing audience both over the Internet and through prints.


  • Meta theory and meta narrative are expressions in postmodernism that reflect postmodernism's rejection of a single explanation or meaning for truth, for theory, for the "story" (narrative) of manking and mankind's meaning for humans and other living creatures or specimens. I'll post some explanatory references soon. jeanne

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