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On the Meaning of the Syllabus Cover Art, Hereinafter Named Reppreason Titus
Socrates: Reppreason Titus, I have been charged by the Authorities with the Inquiry of your Meaning. I ask that you forgive my interrogation, and the limitations inherent in translating your intentions into those inadequate scratches we call words.
Reppreason Titus: Socrates, you may inquire of my meaning free from concern for my insult, or offense as I will simply tell you what you already know: that I, like all in existence, am spinning with our planet or in our universe, or swimming in the consciousness of various beings, and this constant motion, combined with what we call time, makes my meaning as alive as you, a human, and similarly as vulnerable to infinite possible interpretations at any given moment.
Socrates: Yes, we do agree on the inevitable variability permeating our existence, but perhaps we can record for the Authorities one interpretation by making observations, factual observations, of your physical being, and then deducing what this physical evidence represents. May I propose the observations most readily visible?
Reppreason Titus: Being what I am, a piece of paper with a reproduction of an Artist’s work, I am vulnerable to dissection. I may prefer you to live with me, see me, take my image into yourself thereby extending my life and producing many generations, and connecting me to my kind; but you, being what you are, must obey the Authorities.
Socrates: Reppreason Titus! We may both be satisfied, for I did as you prefer already. And the Authorities are to thank, for I would not have chosen you otherwise. Let us both be sorry for the experience put upon us, yet glad that we may share some satisfaction in the symbiosis you desire. Now, please allow me to list what I consider factual observations.
Reppreason Titus: I cannot deny you this.
Socrates: 1.) You are two dimensional, although in reality you do have a thickness, the Artists would categorize you as two dimensional.
2.) You present colors, lines, shapes, and shadows, and varying degrees of hue, and contrast. These we can view individually, and as small groups, and as a whole group; all of which we can view additionally, in a large number of permutations, in relation to each other.
3.) Some of your shapes and lines form imitations of three dimensional objects while others do not. In particular, there is the imitation of a three dimensional cube, and the imitation of a three dimensional rectangular shape. Then, there are three main delineated elements that appear two dimensional: 1) a relatively long and thin rectangle, 2) a circle, and 3) the area surrounding all of the previously mentioned shapes—what I will call the environment.
4.) Some of your lines imitate letters and punctuation marks used in the English language, and are grouped so as to form the words "understanding" and "is" while the punctuation marks, representative of a question, are organized into two sets of three, forming a group of six question marks. I could continue this list further to include descriptions of your dominant colors, their placement, and relationship; the smaller shapes, subshapes, groupings, and relative sizes; the varying thickness and orientation of the lines, and much more; but I wish to verify thus far my observations. So now I will ask, my vision, do you agree?
Reppreason Titus: Oh, my dear Socrates! Trouble yourself no further with verification! You have truthfully documented several of my main characteristics. There should be no question that you have examined me thoroughly. The Authorities should be convinced that the interrogation included investigation of not only the obvious, but also the minute and the subtle. Please come to your deductions. Tell me what you make of your observations.
Socrates: My vision, being examined in this way must be uncomfortable. I will cease for now, and offer you reprieve by sharing my responses to our first few meetings.
At first I noticed a darkness indicated within and surrounding the three dimensional cube and what appears to be its supporting base. Then I noticed that, none of the indicated objects are touching or overlapping, and furthermore the objects do not appear to be weighted as by gravity on the suggested ground of the environment. In fact, the objects also do not appear to extend three-dimensionally into the environment (this is not surprising as three dimensions are not suggested in the environment). Instead they appear to be an artificial part of it, like a reflection on the surface of water. At the same time, my emotional aspect sensed the mixture of black and blue surrounded by yellow as a bruise, which led me to think of pain. Altogether I sensed disconnectedness, fluidity, insecurity, and physical injury.
Later, I noticed the word "understanding" which I sensed was representing its literal definition, and by its placement as the stand of the base, I thought it was happening in a particular direction: from the base at its bottom to the cube at its top. Then, realizing that the question marks are on the base underneath the stand (labeled, perhaps as a pun on its suggested position and function, "understanding"), I thought the composition suggested that questions lead to understanding. But, when I looked again, I saw that the word "understanding" was placed so that to read it, which most humans would reflexively do, the eye would have to travel from the top of the stand to the bottom.
That is not the only contradiction in direction I see. There is the indication of puzzle-shaped pieces of the cube falling "down" to the disc (which seems intended to represent a sphere, the success of which is debatable), and yet there is the suggestion that puzzle-shaped figures are rising up out of the disc.
At this point Socrates and Reppreason Titus are interrupted by Old Master Tymis Waystusis who informs them that they must cease their debate until further notice from the Authorities.
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