French nationalism, or a sense of pride in France, inspired French impressionistic landscape paintings (Belloli 27). The French landscape "inaugurated in the seventeenth century and constructed through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was a landscape of communication through transportation" (Belloli 32). When highways were added in seventeenth century France, the highways were lined with trees for the aesthetic aspect of the French landscape (Belloli 32). The aesthetic and function of the background are important factors when planning out settings for stories. For example, French tourist pamphlets and advertising had made the promotion of French architecture a tacky concept to Impressionist painters (Belloli 34). The Impressionists were choosing to ignore French history and look forward to the future. I am looking to do a similar thing with my comic Oak and Wendy. I want to imagine a fantastical future, instead of simply romanticizing the past. The train was personified as the "human beast" and the "hero" in Zola's 1890 novel, matching the common themes of "speed" and "change" in nineteenth century France (Belloli 48). The function of the background is an important factor when thinking about how technology influences the setting. Transportation can help determine background.
Architecture is a significant part of everybody's background, whether they are aware of it or not. As a student at the Institute of American Indian Arts that majors in studio arts with a minor in Indigenous liberal studies, the book Native American Architecture stood out to me. There were multiple copies of Native American Architecture in the architecture section of the library, which made me think that for somebody this book is important. Reading something described as "Native American" worried me. I am wary of pan-Indianism, but at least I could learn about architecture, if anything, from this book. Maybe the anthropologist that helped make this book is more aware than I expect, but I am wary. The term "Central Eskimos" is used which makes me doubtful of this book's credibility (Nabokov 28).
Different people and nations of the Americas have various building forms including domical, conical, and rectilinear (Nabokov 16). Some Indigenous domical building forms are the iglu, wigwam, wikiup, grass house, ki, cribbed-log hogan, and barabara (Nabokov 16). Some Native conical building forms are the tipi, forked-pole hogan, earthlodge, and pit house (Nabokov 16). Plus, some Native rectilinear building forms are the chickee, longhouse, plank house, pueblo, summer house, winter house, and King Island house (Nabokov 16). Of course, there are many diverse Indigenous building types all over this continent. These buildings fit their environment and climates (Nabokov 24). Something that I appreciate about this text is that credit is given to Indigenous peoples' technology, instead of the usual Indigenous erasure. Another refreshing feature in this book is seeing the variety and diversity in buildings and structures of Indigenous nations.
Our "experience of architecture is not one of static images" (Kostof, Spiro, and Greg Castillo 10). In other words, the human eye experiences "an infinite number of impressions" depending on our distance from the building (Kostof, Spiro, and Greg Castillo 10). The human relationship with space and time is a philosophical topic that impacts political and social discussions of our institutions. Prisons and many other institutions can be inhumane, because institutions tend to cause the occupants to lose a sense of space and time. Having stark backgrounds for characters can show a numbness and lack of freedom. Having characters with large, dynamic backgrounds, such as Spider-man, can show life and freedom. Without a dynamic perspective, Spider-man is no longer Spider-man. How we depict architecture determines our perception (Kostof, Spiro, and Greg Castillo 10).