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Post-appropriation, Transcoding and Recreation: The Application of The Postmodern Characteristics of the Artwork of Chris Ware
Sophia SHIH, Ling-hung
圖像小說的新穎特質近年來吸引了歐美許多學術機構將其納入研究議題，而克里斯．衛爾（Chris Ware）更是當今圖像小說研究關注的焦點之一。因此，本論文前半部份將對圖像小說的發展，以及衛爾出版的作品、素描手稿、訪談等資料進行研究分析，從挪用的觀點與當代藝術「後挪用」的意涵切入，進入跨領域挪用的議題而深入轉碼的概念；藉由詹明信的後現代文化轉碼理論探討媒介轉碼，了解後現代文化中新符碼不是新舊兩種符碼的綜合，而是由於一個符碼的文化或符號學寓意對另一種符碼的存有優先性，在吸收或拆除的過程中意識霸權不斷的興起與弱化而不斷改變人類認知的狀況。接著引用新媒體研究者Jay David Bolter 與 Richard Grusin的再媒介化（remediation）觀念，了解新媒介會有的「去媒介性」（immediacy）與「超媒介性」（hypermediacy）兩種再現邏輯，衍生的新興媒體也都會不斷擺盪在這兩種邏輯之間，說明衛爾作品中的媒體匯聚現象，並運用Lev Manovich新媒體轉碼概念進行反向操作，理解衛爾的創作如何轉碼新媒體的特質。之後再結合提里．格容斯帝恩（Thierry Groensteen）提出的漫畫系統特質，說明漫畫系統中空間專題特性能使異質媒材們獨有的語言敘事方式並存與互文的功能，也接著探討衛爾因著漫畫符碼（如面板、畫框、對話泡泡……等）轉移不同媒體，其訊息再現方式改變而產生了嶄新的形式與內容的現象。
The graphic novel is an emerging form of Western comics that has an inseparable historical connection with comix (underground comics) and alternative comics. The content of graphic novels is created for a mature audience and typically involves innovative art forms, avant-garde expression, and experimental narrative methods. Graphic novels also present realistic social conditions and humanity issues through visual language and a complex narrative structure, which are comparable with the aspects of a literary novel. The modern image of graphic novels has drawn the attention of several European and American scholars in recent years, and Chris Ware is a popular leading graphic novelist. Because his unique use of visual language has successfully initiated a new era of comics that are worth extensive contemplation, numerous journals and dissertations have addressed him and his work. Therefore, the first part of this dissertation presents an analysis of the history of graphic novels and Ware’s published works, sketches, and interviews. I endeavor to interpret Ware’s creative mind and thinking process by using postmodern theories such as “appropriation”, ”transcode” and “intertextuality.” First, I applied the concept of “post-appropriation” and probed the interdisciplinary subject. Then I discuss the issue of “transcode” by using the transcode concept of Frederic Jameson’s postmodern theory to explain that the new code of postmodern culture is not the combination of new and old codes, but that a cultural code or a connotation has a priority to other codes. During the absorbing and dismantling processes, hegemony of ideology continually strengthens and weakens, respectively, thereby changing human cognition. Second, I used the new media concept of Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin : the logic of “immediacy” , which leads new media to erase old attributes, as well as the logic of “hypermediacy” , which manages old acts of representation and makes them visible, to explain the media convergence phenomenon observed in Chris Ware’s works. Third, I inversely adopted Lev Manovich’s transcode concept of new media to explain how Ware transcoded the attribute of new media into comics. I also integrated Thierry Groensteen’s comic theory to explain how the spatio-topical system of comics enables heterogeneous media to coexist and how the intertextuality of the comic system functions. Finally, I investigated how Ware used comic codes (e.g., panel, frame, speech balloon) to transfer various media into comics, creating differences in representation as well as new forms and content. The final part of this dissertation is my artistic statement; I address how researching Chris Ware has affected my own art creation and how his thoughts and learning methods challenge my creative process to provide a methodology and a proposition regarding the function of research in creating art. I propose a hypothesis that obtaining visual information is a method of gaining knowledge. Ware’s works elicit my deeper understanding of Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction theory and free-play strategy, as well as Peter Elsenman’s practice of architecture, all of which provide that knowledge can be communicated visually and expose unconscious knowledge. Finally, the knowledge gained through my research and art creation is that a synergy is produced when creation and research are combined.
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