Brooke Notes: 3/20


Sousanis, Nick. Unflattening. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.


perspective, imagination, self-awareness, viewpoint, seeing, constraints


Our imagination fills the gaps in our understanding. Our understanding of new things relies on what we know. Awareness of what we know allows us to venture into the unknown. The unknown is sought to feed our imagination.

Works Cited

Aiken, Nancy E. The Biological Origins of Art. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998.

Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Moore, Alan. Watchmen. Illustrations and lettering by Dave Gibbons. Colorist John Higgins. New York: DC Comics, 1987.


“When ideas are written in stone with the certainty that we got it right, we risk following without reflection” (110).

“Through repetition over time, we become proficient. Forming habits is essential so we do not have to relearn every activity continually” (111).

“To set ourselves free, we can’t simply cut our bonds. For to remove them (if we could) would only set us adrift, detached from the very things that make us who we are” (134).


What is the significance of restraints in relationship to developing an identity?


Abbott, Edwin Abbott. Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions. London: Seeley, 1884. Reprint, New York: Dover, 1952.

On the surface, Flatland is a quaint story about A. Square, resident of the two-dimensional Flatland, exploring different lands of different dimensions.  The book, moreover, is an analysis on the effects of different perspectives within different spaces, and how those perspectives conform or disconnect to the worldview of others. [CR]

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972.

Campbell explores the commonality between different themes throughout many different mythologies.  The main theme is the hero’s journey, or the main character’s development from inexperienced youth to wise master.  How this journey is portrayed is analyzed through the difference perspectives. [CR]

Gravett, Paul. Graphics Novels: Everything You Need to Know. New York: Collins Design, 2005.

Gravett analyzes the effectiveness of the medium of graphic novels through his exploration of thirty of the most prolific ones.  Through those examples, the author discusses different themes, influences from outside of the United States, and even how to view graphic novels. [CR]

Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

As the title of the book implies, Latour introduces the concept of Actor-Network-Theory, where objects participate in the construction of social objectives.  Latour argues for this viewpoint as opposed to the one where the social is just a collection of viewpoints applied to certain situations. [CR]

Shlain, Leonard. Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light. New York: Morrow, 1991.

Although art and physics may seem diametrically opposed, Shlain explores in his book that they are more connected than people will acknowledge.  He analyzes the development of both throughout history, revealing how art has often predicted the trajectory of the development of physics. [CR]

Big Ideas–The Individual

Who is the individual within an interpretation? “The notion that the most important
aspect in understanding a visual image is what its maker intended to show is sometimes called auteur theory. However, most of the recent work on visual matters is uninterested in the intentionality of an image’s maker” (Rose, 22-23). Yet  it doesn’t seem we can forget the individual without removing their agency. If intent is disregarded, does the individual lose their seat at the negotiation? But. “This doesn’t mean erasing or ignoring differences. Instead, it’s a complex dynamic, what Simeon Dreyfuss calls ‘holding different ways of knowing in relationship.’ in recognizing that our solitary standpoint is limited, we come to embrace another’s viewpoint as essential to our own” (Sousanis, 38).