So how can you use these theories to open out ideas related to art history as a whole?
I wasn't totally convinced by Scott McCloud's triangle of abstraction but it helps to resolve several issues surrounding levels of reality and can help us to rethink Plato's old 'Theory of Forms' that suggested that the reality we experience is only a shadow of true reality which is in fact a Realm of Forms, which are abstract, time transcending, perfect concepts or ideals. As we move through McCloud's triangle, we get a sense of moving between different levels of realism and this is in itself very interesting.
I'm not sure about the three points of the triangle, having one as reality, another language and a third as the picture plane is awkward because these are very different concepts. Even so it sort of works and I can see clearly what he is getting at. The dotted line that separates the emoji from the word is an interesting one, but if he had been Chinese perhaps a more subtle line could have been drawn.
Derrida came up with the term ‘parergon’ when he was writing ‘The Truth in Painting’, using it to explain why when looking at a framed work of art, the frame is part of the wall but when looking at the wall it is part of the work. The frame existing as an idea between the two, as a separate entity. He stated, "neither inside nor outside, neither above nor below, it disconcerts any opposition but does not remain indeterminate and it gives rise to the work.”
The function of the parergon being to create a context for the process of framing.
The parergon being both a literal framing and a metaphysical concept.
Such stretches of the theoretical frame, may indeed break the rules of logic, but at times we need to break rules in order to arrive at a new framework of thinking. For many years the comic book world was excluded from consideration by fine art historians, but the reality is that we can use any discipline to give us insights into any other discipline. For instance death doulas exist as a profession to help individuals cross the divide between life and death. Images can exist in order to meditate on exactly the same thing, but perhaps it gets more interesting if we ask a death doula to help us reflect upon an image? Would we in doing so be using shamanic thought processes and if so does this take us back into engaging with pre-historical types of consciousness?