Urban voodoo: an ambiguity document, seeking to record the disruption of language through imitation

Paraone, Israe
Amundsen, Fiona
Engels-Schwarzpaul, Tina
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Master of Arts in Art and Design
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Auckland University of Technology

Urban Voodoo mimics semiotic phenomena, which constitute language and functions as a system of signs that intra-act ambiguously within their own system. This project explores the link between the ambiguous signs of the worm, what looks like a mimesis of icons/symbols, and the way in which simulations are caught up in semiotic implications. Urban Voodoo, which followed on from my earlier Project Iroiro, developed language precursors from the study of the marks of the worm, creating different patterns and styles, and generating language-like effects. Using this system of signs, my project explores the idea that humans are part of a system operated by language, and examines the notion that language itself may be disrupted. To explore this, my project is about layers of competing imprints, about 'languages' tagged into spaces occupied by several graffiti artists within a local skate park. Urban Voodoo acts as a new Graffiti system. In mimicry, organisms make themselves resemble others or their environment. Icons 'look like' what they represent; simulation proposes 'to be' what it suggests. These concepts of assimilation and representation will be explored to understand and interrogate the power balance of language systems, starting with a specific local situation, the skate park. Latin; Inter" denotes "among" or "between," so "between symbols" or "among symbols" is a reasonable meaning. "Intra" denotes "within," as "intra muros," meaning "within the walls.". See also http://arden.aut.ac.nz/moodle/login/index.php#_ftn1 Iroiro, the mark of the worm found in nature, under the bark of trees or etched into the surface of seashells. It is these intriguing patterns that are of interest to this research. These marks perform a role in which systems of language surface. See also http://arden.aut.ac.nz/moodle/login/index.php#_ftn2 Graffiti Piece; the terminology used to define larger works of graffiti art as opposed to tagging, a form of territory recognition mark. See also http://arden.aut.ac.nz/moodle/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=3410#_ftn3

Semiotic , Signs , Language , Graffiti , Subculture
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