Unflattening Author Nick Sousanis
ISBN-10 0674744438
ISBN-13 9780674744431
Year 2015-04-20
Pages 208
Language English
Publisher Harvard University Press
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The primacy of words over images has deep roots in Western culture But what if the two are inextricably linked equal partners in meaning making Written and drawn entirely as comics Unflattening is an experiment in visual thinking Nick Sousanis defies conventional forms of scholarly discourse to offer readers both a stunning work of graphic art and a serious inquiry into the ways humans construct knowledge Unflattening is an insurrection against the fixed viewpoint Weaving together diverse ways of seeing drawn from science philosophy art literature and mythology it uses the collage like capacity of comics to show that perception is always an active process of incorporating and reevaluating different vantage points While its vibrant constantly morphing images occasionally serve as illustrations of text they more often connect in nonlinear fashion to other visual references throughout the book They become allusions allegories and motifs pitting realism against abstraction and making us aware that more meets the eye than is presented on the page In its graphic innovations and restless shape shifting Unflattening is meant to counteract the type of narrow rigid thinking that Sousanis calls flatness Just as the two dimensional inhabitants of Edwin A Abbotts novella Flatland could not fathom the concept of upwards Sousanis says we are often unable to see past the boundaries of our current frame of mind Fusing words and images to produce new forms of knowledge Unflattening teaches us how to access modes of understanding beyond what we normally apprehend

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