This weightless object bears an equivalent color as that of the golden glow from the rising sun. Measuring 24 cm long and 2 ½ cm wide, a long rectangular object feels smooth on one side and rough on the other. A closer look reveals that this aureate fabric is formed with a satin weave in which the threads of polyester intersect to purposely create a smooth, lustrous surface and a dull, matte back.
Side stitching is noticeable on each side of the fabric’s width but on each end of the fabric’s length exists frays. With one simple pull on one of these frays, the fabric will quickly and easily unravel, which discloses the object’s delicacy.
Four tiny pin holes are visible on the fabric, two of which appear approximately 6 cm from each end indicating that these two tiny holes were created by the same pin. When metamorphosing the object to have the two pin holes from each end align, the fabric acquires varied symbolic shapes to which depends on the consumer’s purpose. The shape is now similar to that of the Ichthys yet without a profound loop and more fabric dangling below the pin. The position of the pinholes suggest that, unlike that of the Ichthys, this object is to be represented vertically.
The Air Jordan Retro 11, which serves as the subject of my analysis measures to twelve inches long and six inches high above the ankles. The sole is divided into two parts, which the designers have said create a more flexible feel for Jordan’s feet while he played basketball games. The bottom portion of the sole is a light shade of red and resembles that of a rubber material. Horizontal ridges begin at the toe of the shoe and transition around the entire sneaker. The upper portion of the sole is an inch and a half of white cushion that when contrasted with the lower red portion and the materials of the actual shoe, make the shoe more noticeable.
The section of the shoe that covers the toes rest on the double-layered sole, and is made of black patent leather, which resembles the dress shoes of an army command sergeant major. The black patent leather on top of the double-layered sole creates a red, black, and white combination that goes perfectly with the Chicago Bulls game jerseys. This patent leather was unpopular when the shoe was first released, because of the fact that before the shoe’s release, the only shoes that made use of patent leather to date were worn by women.
Above the patent leather portion of the sneaker is a material with more texture than the black patent leather and possess six vertical slits on each side in order to hold the shoelaces. On the tongue of the shoe, there is writing that if you look at forwards resembles Greek lettering, but if you turn it sideways reads, “Jumpman Jordan.” In between the words “Jumpman” and “Jordan” is the iconic Jordan symbol, which is also on the back of the sneaker.The Jumpman Jordan symbol, which is also the logo for the entire Air Jordan brand, is a silhouette of Michael Jordan flying through the air palming a basketball over his head with his right hand in what appears to be an attempt to slam dunk the basketball. His left hand is lowered behind his body with all five of Jordan’s fingers extended near his thigh. His legs are spread as if Jordan is attempting to do a split in the air. His left foot is pointed in forward, which one can only guess is the location of the basketball rim Jordan is attempting to slam the basketball in, and his right foot is pointing outward making Jordan’s posture a position only a well trained athlete could accomplish.
The final project for this class asks you to craft a multimodal object analysis. This project, Project 6, is modeled on an assignment designed by Jules David Prown for his students, which is described in Kenneth Haltman’s “Introduction” to American Artifacts. The first stage of the assignment requires students to write a detailed description of an object:
Thoroughly describe this object, paying careful attention, as relevant, to all of its aspects–material, spatial, and temporal. Be attentive to details (for which a technical vocabulary will almost certainly prove useful), but ever keep an eye on the big picture. Imbue your description with the thick texture of taxonomy yet with the flow of narrative. Render it as easy and appealing to read, as effortlessly interdependent of its parts as the object itself. Producing a sketch or schematic drawing may further this process, but avoid wasting precious words at this point on introductions, conclusions, restatements of the assignment, or autobiographical confessions; just describe what you see. But be sure to enjoy the pleasures in close looking–in translating material object into narrative description.
Posting: Groups 1 and 2
For your blog posting this week, everyone will post an object analysis written to Prown’s specifications. This should be a description of a particular material object. So, even if your object of study up until this point has been relatively abstract–necessity, college, value, motherhood; even pizza is a kind of abstraction–your description will focus on one specific and material thing. That thing may be an empty Coke can, a slice of leftover pepperoni pizza from your refrigerator, a doll, the Pounce statue in front of the GSU Student Center, the left shoe from your pair of vintage Air Jordans, your two-year-old iPhone with the cracked screen and the leopard print case, the papier mache sculpture you created for Project 5, etc. The object you select will be the focus of the description you post in response to this prompt, and it will provide the central focus of your multimodal object analysis for Project 6.