SMPTE Color Bars, Warhol, and Visual Studies

Screenshot 2014-10-24 19.48.39UCI’s Visual Studies Ph.D. Program just relaunched its website. You definitely know you’ve been in graduate school too long when you’ve weathered three site redesigns and a curriculum overhaul. The tick-tock of that dissertation clock just keeps on getting louder and louder!

But in all seriousness, the site is a welcome improvement. The SMPTE color bars juxtaposed with a sculpture by Isamu Noguchi add a strange, but fitting touch. This bizarre contrast, for me, defines our program. I remember being a first-year student, sitting in seminar, and being challenged to define Visual Studies apart from Art History and Film and Media Studies. Noguchi meets SMPTE color bars. It is as simple as that.

Invoking a Japanese American artist next to these iconic televisual bars, I couldn’t help but remember this Japanese commercial for TDK Videotape featuring Andy Warhol, the music of Jun Miyake, and a television test pattern officially called “Engineering Guideline EG 1-1990.”

赤… 緑… 青… 群青色… きれい

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