Whole Other
Assemblage, Exhibition, MFA

As a culture, we are bombarded with an alarming number of messages on a daily basis—the majority coming from digital sources. These messages, both in our lives and this work, are curated, repeated, fractured, processed, filtered, distorted, layered and juxtaposed. Codified with language and filtered through form—each element representational of a singular meaning.

Paraphrasing gestalt psychologist, Kurt Koffka, we are reminded that no single element ever exists independently, but signals a larger whole. Meaning and significance never isolated, but mutually exclusive to understanding. No sense pulled from separate points, but only from a constructed whole. Often expressed as “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” implies that many has more value than the single. But, more appropriately, the whole is only representational of an independent element completely autonomous from the singular parts.

This work is created with randomly selected images from the 20 most trusted online media sources, according to a PEW research survey, to synthesize the nature by which we encounter them. Image sources are pulled from remote servers returning their representational value. Images are then organized and manipulated through Processing. Processing code is employed to create independent compositions separate from both creation, context and output.

Compositions are layered within typographic forms representing an interdependent system. Images and type juxtapose for the viewer’s consumption. Each step in the process redefining relationships between the single and the whole, providing each person with their own unique reading and interpretation of the singular and the whole.


Client — Johnathon Strube, M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition
Design & Direction — Johnathon Strube
Exhibition — Assemblage of Meaning, Solo M.F.A. Exhibition, 2016
Location — Gallery 215, DeKalb, IL
Committee — Ola Giza, Chair; Steve Quinn; Bart Woodstrup

© Johnathon Strube, 1982–2020.