following on from amukidis questionin the politics or not thread about abstraction & meaning: when I first read the post, I read the question as can abstract images carry meaning? I may have misinterpreted amukidi's question re-reading it, but the question of meaning is the one I have been thinking about so I'm going to stick with it.. firstly, we must have some idea of what is meant by meaning, where it comes from and how we judge it.. Is meaning simply having an effect on peoples actions or feelings, does this give us enough basis to ascribe meaning to a video piece, or does there need to be an explicit expression & transmission of ideas from the artist to the viewer? Personally I think that in order to talk about meaning in a piece of art there needs to be an explicit transmission of ideas. I do not, for that reason think that there is any meaning in the work of Rothko, or Pollock (although I love both artists work). I think it is probably worth saying here that because a piece doesn't have meaning, doesn't mean that it is pointless, there is point in bringing happiness.. Of course, the smallest amount of symbolism can give meaning to an apparently abstract piece.. perhaps in Rothko's work there is symbolism in the particular shapes/colours that are used, that I am unaware of.. but too much symbolism and in order for ideas to be transmitted the viewer must also be aware of that symbolism and the meanings of those symbols (this might be simple if using symbols common to most people, such as a plus sign), and so an extra component is added to the transmission. I think what my position is coming round to is that meaning only exists in the relationship between the artist and viewer, that a piece has no meaning if the viewer ascribes no meaning to it, and likewise if the artist ascribes no meaning to it (even if viewers do). I think that it is harder to transmit meaning from artist to viewer the more abstract you become and so the more abstract something is, the less meaning it has. So really curious, especially with those of you who use abstract alot or entirely, to hear other thoughts on this matter..