AI: (Untitled), 2011

Below is a drawing presented to you, dear readers, with no title. Take a moment to look at it.

What do you make of it? What meaning, if any, do you derive from it?
Now, look at the picture again only this time imagine that the title of it is:

While Dreaming, the Large Hadron Collider Somehow Confused Theology with Physical Cosmology

Has this changed your initial assumptions or associations? Is it different? The same? How?

How does context influence how we view a given artwork? Is intended context important to you or do you like to create your own meaning?

The ART Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Mad Art Lab community. Look for it to appear Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3pm ET.

Brian George

Brian George is an illustrator and designer who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. In his spare time he makes videos of Spirograph drawings and complains about doing laundry. Website: Twitter: @brianggeorge Insta: @brianggeorge If you're into what I'm doing, feel free to throw down a bit in my tipjar here: @brianggeorge

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  1. My first impression was, “The Return of Captain America!” Then I read the proposed title and was immediately struck with a profound sense of confusion: “That title makes absolutely no sense, and there isn’t enough to the image to make me want to try to decipher it.” The lesson I take away from this is that trying too hard to be clever can be counter-productive.

  2. First time around I figured it was a CD or record. After the you mentioned the title, then I was thinking of the whirligig images that particle colliders tend to produce.

    And now after googling for the image, I’m thinking maybe it’s supposed to be a rendering of the actual collider itself, which is a giant ring.

  3. I half think “if the intent changes the perception significantly, something must have gone wrong with the execution” the other half of me thinks “If the Hadron Collider is dreaming, it wouldn’t be running and there would be no experiments running, so where do the dreams come from…?”
    Yeah, I don’t get the title.
    On the plus side that title can induce a pseudo-noumenal experience much faster than saying “purple, purple, purple, purple, purple . . .”

  4. Okay, so it seems that opinions change after seeing the title. As for the title itself, it isn’t really supposed to make sense. It isn’t supposed to be anything, or do anything other than tie a new association to the artwork in question. I wanted to use a long, silly Dali-esque title that I thought might conjure up specific imagery that could perhaps conflict with or compliment the artwork.

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