Reflections - Language : Words : Connections between subject and object / by Ally McGinn

This grouping of words is primarily influenced by previous research into semiotics.

It is heavily related to the group ‘ Meaning : Connections : Relational Aesthetics : Definition : Association : Semiotics : Interpretation’.


This group is slightly more focussed on an interest in language and the ways we use words to describe aesthetic, philosophical or emotional ideas.

Despite being terrible at spelling them, I have always loved words. I am currently carrying a dictionary from 1964 in my bag and loving the older translations of words.

Once we reach a certain age our thoughts, and philosophically who we are, is shaped by the words we use and the meaning we ascribe to them. Learning new words adds nuance to emotions, experiences, and ideas.

Words shape what we think and are one of the most powerful tools we have.

The connection between subject and object is rooted in our language, in the way we structure sentences.

This link shows directly through my perception of my assemblages and installations; as conversations, with individual elements being words in a sentence, each construction speaks to and influences the others. In a similar way to the ways words and letters interact with each other.

This influence is external to the work. It is not something inherent in it that i am exploring or examining. It requires contextual knowledge and a perceptual viewpoint. It has risen from research done in the last module, and is something that exists as a continuing personal interest during this one.

One interesting thing i would like to note is that i plan, and have begun, to use words and numbers in my works. However, i believe this is more due to a link to documentation than to language.


Upon writing this it is clear that while these words are of personal interest, and may become more prevalent in the work, they are not a focus.

However (and maybe this should be in capital letter) this reflective exploration is an example of the importance of words in my practice. I am using them to unpick the works and understand my motivations for them. As a way to focus the message, understand the inoperative elements and to drive the practice on (contextually).

Words are the only manifestation of this part of my practice.





Here lies a tangent - (Here I would include diagrams as a form of words and language, as they are trying to communicate an idea. - but isn't that the point? That the visual aesthetic of words is arbitrary, they contain meaning because we attribute it to them. Their shape has little to do with the sound and nothing at all to do with the meaning of the word. Whereas diagrams and artworks, are the idea. They embody it and the meaning is both in the form and in the meaning attributed to them.

In a diagram the point is to show an idea without words, or often around them. In art can we do the same? Or is it from a different source?)