The mythology of white-on-white​




Last night I am at a party with creative people, artists, gallery owners, designers, bankers, and academics in a loft in downtown Manhattan. Meeting a fashion person, we exchange business cards. His is thick, white, embossed on white. (Mine is colorful.) I look at it last night and cannot read it, assuming it will become visible in the morning.


This morning I look again, nothing is readable. I become intrigued. I look at it under a bright reading light, then scan and set it into blue-and-orange powerpoint to make it visible. Much time is being spent on this envisioning activity, much more time than with any ordinary readable business card. I still cannot.


However, I acknowledge mentally that the card's owner's persona is indelibly imprinted on my mind. My efforts to make the invisible, visible, have created him as a solid vision, one whom I would now know if I encounter him again.


Mythologically, something about a totally white-on0white expensively embossed business card that seems initially unreadable points to a sign of the times. We now live in a virtual environment in which communication is possible at every level, constantly, wanted or unwanted, with or without our permission. The idea of inaccessibility seems resonating, contemporary, appealing. An invisible calling card may allow us to retain control and be seen only by those whom we allow ourselves to become visible.


Is this the myth of the invisible, powerful warrior? A god of the unseen? A deity of the underworld? A conquest within a computer warrior game that is spoken about but never shown? The eternal allure of the invisible? The irresistible motivation to make what is unseen, seen? To have what cannot be easily owned? To make the aspirational a reality? To recreate what is already there but needs to come into visual generation? The psychological dynamics of emergence theory?


I am considering a new branding that will appeal to technologically advanced, higher echelon, upper-income, educated targets who are bombarded by communication and seek another form of motivation -- the ability to remain fashionably invisible, which prompts such powerful curiosity.. that we are motivated to make the unseen, seen. There is a Magician archetype in operation, as a result of wishing to become warriors of creation. By being initially aloof and unreadable, we begin to strive for greater control in a new kind of emergence experience.