Reading Response 3

I am responding to the concept of strange design loops. Strange design loops happen when a design "evokes a sense and notion of infinity" by calling out some connection between our physical universe and abstract concepts, and then offers the mind "room to roam" (143). I really like how this concept was broken down, because it helps me verbalize what is going on when a piece of art creates this particular type of uncanny feeling.

Now that I know about strange design loops, I can see it at play in one of my favorite comics, which is the last comic ever made for A Softer World. The words say:

The sun is shining
and the birds are singing
and because today
is the very last day
they will sing forever.

This comic evokes a sense of infinity by playing on the inherent qualities of its medium. It calls out that the internet is, for all we know, forever - because whenever you go to this webpage, the comic will always be there and the birds will always be singing. It also takes advantage of the structure of a webcomic, because webcomics usually display the most recent strip on its homepage, and this will always be the most recent strip.

This image also calls out how comics are expected to represent real time. In most comics, there are multple images, and your mind fills in the gaps between frames as if they represent something moving in real life (pg 129). But what does it mean when a comic only shows one image? How does time pass? What does forever mean here? I personally imagine some infinity that exists within the web page, where I can always return to and where the birds will always be singing. If this was a different medium, like a picture with overlaid text or a video, it definitely wouldn't have invited the same sense of infinity and time moving continuously.