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Xiangbo AAD251 Assignment 4 Exploring an Object: My Grandfather’s CZ USA Shotgun Right from the early stages of my childhood, ever since I have acquired the ability to observe things and cherish the memories about them, I have remained fascinated with my grandfather’s favorite possession, a shotgun…
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Xiangbo AAD251 Assignment 4 Exploring an Object: My Grandfather’s CZ USA Shotgun Right from the early stages of my childhood, ever since I have acquired the ability to observe things and cherish the memories about them, I have remained fascinated with my grandfather’s favorite possession, a shotgun. Though this object has not much significance in my daily life, it inspires me greatly and reminds me of my grandfather, who has passed away during the spring of 2011. This weapon of considerable elegance and power, with all its meanings, intonations and connotations, still remains with me as one of the most valuable of my possessions. Description: My grandfather’s weapon is a doubled barreled, semi-automatic CZ-USA Sporting Shotgun, which uses “ammunition of 12 or 20 gauges” and best suited for hunting, which is one of his most favorite hobbies (CZ-USA Shotguns 17). As a young boy, I have immensely enjoyed the experience when my grandfather encouraged me to fire from the gun and guided me how to shoot it. Thus, I have done some shooting with the gun though I always missed the targets. It is capable of firing both lead as well as steel pellets. With walnut wood gunstock and fore end, and “checkering” on its “gripping surfaces, it acquires a sleek outlook. The components of the “barreled action” are prepared in “construction steel” with the protection of “alkaline oxidation” on the surface (17). Its comfortable grip enables it to be balanced in both hands and it is easy to aim and shoot. Besides, the weapon facilitates best results even on the occasions of instinctive firing. Similarly, its trigger pull weight is low, and it possesses a high accuracy of fire, apart from having a “long service life and “high reliability” (17). The brown wood with a silver patch and the metallic steel barrels offer it an elegant look and render it a remarkable grace. (Image Source: CZ USA Shotguns 17) Formal Analysis: While normally people perceive a gun as merely a weapon, the fact remains that it connotes to concepts far beyond notions of an object of destruction. It represents class and power as well as emulates the emotion of pride in the person who possesses the equipment. Therefore, makers of gun pay meticulous attention in its design and visual appeal. The design of my grandfather’s shotgun illustrates these concepts and much beyond. Its whole structure and design inspires awe in the beholders’ eyes and the elongated barrel offers an impression of its muzzle power. The firearm’s heel is broader, which tapers down to its toe to a slightly pointed shape. Similarly, the stock is designed with a sharp slant upwards to the grip, while the grip is shaped to offer maximum comfort to the shooter when firing from the weapon. In addition, the checkered design on the grip offers it great charm in close up besides providing extra firmness to the hold while gripping the weapon. The fore-end is also made in brown walnut wood, with the same checkered texture as in the case of the grip, to offer better hold on the weapon while firing from it. The magazine loading port is rendered in silver color, thus providing a contrast with the brown stock and base of the magazine tube. Similarly, the barrel done in metallic steel also compliments the color and appearance in full alignment with the stock and fore-end. The upper barrel is lined with steel grids, which give its design a three dimensional effect apart from providing it more sleekness. Further the elongated and rather narrow barrel best fits the athletic appeal of a sporting gun as well as renders it uniqueness from similar weapons. This object falls in the category of functional art, which envisages the concept that a piece of functional art is beautiful because of its “exquisite functionality” (Cairo xx). Thus, it can be construed that since the weapon serves a purpose and has functionality as a firearm, it needs to be categorized as functional art. Similarly, Cairo (2013) further clarifies that the ability to visualize is a tool and, therefore, functional art is a device, the aim of which is to “help an audience complete certain tasks” (23). Thus, it transpires that an object that serves a purpose falls in the category of functional and the weapon possesses the characteristic of functionality. Therefore, it falls in the category of functional art. Tactics and Strategies: The old adage “Beauty lies in the beholder’s eyes” applies to all objects. While to some people, who have no sense or appreciation of the deft manner in which this weapon has been designed, it may appear to be a mere firearm. However, those who know about the relevance of design, in making a tool more functional, will be able to notice and appreciate the various aspects of design that make this weapon easy to carry and use. One of the visual tactics used for this object is its relevance to a specific lifestyle. The design offers a sleek and sporty style, thus alluding that the object is best suited for people of this category. Besides, it also evokes a sense of power thus alluring people who wish to show their might. On the other hand, it will also perfectly appeal to plain folks also due to its sleek look and design. Besides, the color schemes, texture and style are all aligned to inspire awe in the person who sees it. On the other hand, to a designer, this piece represents an amalgamation of pattern and shape, color and texture that spells its uniqueness – a lethal weapon representing artistic elegance. Perhaps, to a philosopher or writer, it will represent the violence it had unleashed in historical wars or in a rebellion. In the context of lighting, the object has been designed to reflect light and shine when exposed to natural or artificial lights. All the parts have a glazy surface so that the entire object will have a shining look when the light from any source reflects on it. This gives the weapon a sense of being new and strong. The designers have also taken to ensure that every time the user cleans it, the object will attain the shine on its surfaces, thereby facilitating it a feeling of freshness and cleanliness. Image Style: In the context of image style, the object primarily falls within the “functionalism” style as the designers of the weapon have taken meticulous care to ensure that the shooter received a high level of comfort while using the weapon. This becomes evident from the shape of the grip as well as the fore-end, where it has checkered texture so that the person handling the weapon can attain a firm grip for both hands. When a person looks at the object, these features become evident to him or her because of the shape and the texture. The image of the weapon also gives out a sense of its lightness and viewer readily recognizes that it will be easy to carry, hoist, aim and shoot. On the other hand, the image style of this weapon also conforms to certain elements of formalism in terms of its characteristics such as color, shape, texture and its 3D form. All these features have been rendered in a formal style, which offers the weapon a classic outlook. However, a more significant style element about the weapon is how it represents the concept of contextualism. It envisages different meanings in different situations and people who observe it. For example, when the weapon is hung on the wall of the living room, it can be seen as a decorative piece to embellish the wall. It hangs there, drenched in the overhead lamp’s light, surfaces shining and transmitting its elegance. The viewers will appreciate its beauty and elegance not as a firearm but as a show piece. I know that people in some cultures place it on their living room wall, which seems to offer them a sense of class and authority. On the other hand, when one takes the weapon to an unruly, violent mob, it assumes the role of a threat and any miscreant will have the apprehension of an imminent danger. The presence of a gun intimidates people who assemble in a place with any nefarious intension and trigger fear in them and they will desist from committing any misdemeanor. Similarly, when my grandfather takes it to the forest for hunting, the image of the weapon will alert the monkeys or the deer, though he never intended to shoot them. They will respond to the danger they perceive in their unique ways. To them, the object is something dangerous, one that makes a lot of noise, makes the other animals skitter. However, when an expert on guns sees this object, he admires it, not merely as a weapon of immense power, but as a piece of elegant art also. Me and the Object: My personal traits and characteristics allow me to experience this object in different ways and it evokes different emotions in my senses every time I look at it. The sensory feels I have, when I view it, can be summarized as the following: Senses: The weapon has significant impact on all my senses. When I see it, I feel happy and always remember my grandfather. Thus, sometimes it evokes in me sadness that he is no longer with me. Simultaneously, I feel proud because this object has a lot of power and it is a prized possession for me. However, every time when the weapon goes off, I cringe at the noise it makes and as its reverberations course through my body I feel goose bumps rise on my skin. On the other hand, when I touch the weapon, it feels smooth and slithery on my skin and my hands slide easily on the surface. It always emits musky the scent of Ballistol, a gun cleaning oil. However, whenever it is fired the pungent gunpowder smell makes my nostrils flare. When I touch it, my tongue tastes the walnut wood and the cold, metallic steel, but still on the wooden frame, I feel its warmth as if my grandfather had just held it. My sense of aesthetics makes me look at it again and again, to immerse myself in the glory of its elegance, the power it evokes and the beauty it transmits all across the room. Emotions: Personally, I have a deep rooted attachment with this object primarily because it has been my grandfather’s cherished possession. Thus, whenever I view the weapon it strikes an emotional chord in me. It evokes mixed emotions in me, making me sometimes happy and at times gloomy when the feeling of the absence of my grandfather takes over. However, the most dominant emotion is my sense of belonging to my home, my culture and values. The gun thus evokes in me different emotions most of which relate to my grandfather. Personality: My personality traits allow me to experience this object from different perspectives. I cherish this weapon as a symbol of class and power. My grooming under the patronage of my grandfather has enabled me to appreciate objects from the perspectives of the different values they possess. Therefore, I am able to see it as utility equipment as well as a piece of art and design. To me, it also represents the culture and tradition that my grandfather has followed and his sporting spirit. Intelligences: My spatial intelligence enables me to transform the image of the gun in different ways and I perceive many meanings to it. It sometimes evokes in me the ravages of war and the violence that a weapon of this sort can unleash. On the other hand, it also brings to mind the rebels who fight against authoritarian rulers. Whenever I fire from it, I brace in anticipation as I know its recoil is highly powerful. As I squeeze the trigger, I could feel it jerk in my hand, the power surge through my left forearm, and jolt my right shoulder. Needs: I feel an emotional need to look at the weapon, hold it in my hand or simply aim it, just to enjoy its whole meaning to me. Social Motives: I consider the weapon as a powerful means to bring social justice whenever injustice engulfs the society. The civil war, the war of liberation etc have become possible due the power of the gun. Biases: Though I recognize that I am biased towards this object, especially due to my feelings for my grandfather, I still cannot change my attitude. I obstinately cling onto the notion that this is the best weapon in this world, the most elegant and the most powerful. Findings: I find that in the context of design concepts, the object sets a good example of how a good design can render artistic appeal even to a weapon of destruction. The gun, with its grace and elegance evokes in the connoisseur a sense of aesthetics as well as power. This has perhaps been the most unique characteristic of the weapon. Maker’s Intent” The maker’s main intent with this weapon is to provide the users with a unique piece of weapon that has a good design that appeal to their sense of aesthetics. The maker has also paid extreme care to ensure that the weapon is easy to carry and its design provides maximum possible comfort to the users when they fire from the shot gun. The makers also intended the object to be a fine piece of design that combines the elements of color, texture and shape. Most Surprising: The most surprising element about the weapon is its sheer sleekness that immediately catches the viewer’s eye and makes it both a powerful weapon as well as an elegant piece of art. Conclusion/Judgment: My grandfather’s shot gun is an object that has many meanings to me than a mere weapon. It evokes in me a sense of belonging to his culture and traditions. It also reminds me of his warmth and affection for me and the wonderful days I have spent in his company. The gun, to me, represents the bonding I have with my family, especially my grandfather. It also signifies to me a combination of highly aesthetic design art with the ease for use. Works Cited Cairo, Alberto. The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization. Berkeley: New Riders, 2013. CZ-USA Shotguns. Instruction Manual: CESKA ZBROJOVKA. Web. 29 October 2013. Read More
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