As I was walking to the back door of the Urbn Center on Filbert St. this afternoon, I saw an x, a circle, and a line spray painted on the building. I don’t know who put those marks there. I don’t know the purpose of the marks. I also don’t know what the marks mean or if they have any meaning at all. Out of context, things can be made to be something else. To me, the combination of the marks formed a smiley face. Typically smiley faces have two circles for eyes, but the x makes the face seem less innocent. There is also a dot centered within the circle that dripped on the wall. This simple part adds a eery mood to the face.
As I thought about the marks, I realized that they exemplify the Gestalt theory. Where the marks were placed in relation to each other in addition to my prior knowledge of smiley faces led me to relate the marks as a smiley face when in fact they could simply be just marks on a wall.