Visual Rhetoric, January 24, 2013


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Visual Rhetoric, January 24, 2013

  1. 1. Today1) Icebreaker2) Quick overview of a few ideas from the readings3) Your turn – group work with readings4) Report back/email to Dr. Phill5) Some work time6) Next week…
  2. 2. IcebreakerFor today…Share your name, obviously, and tell us what the oldest thingyou own is (excluding antiques… the thing you’ve had thelongest, presumably acquiring new or newish).
  3. 3. Dr. Phill still has one of these: It’s a talking Alf doll (it took cassettes, like Teddy Ruxpin). I got it for my 9th birthday. Interesting– perhaps—fact. I used it as a guest speaker as part of my senior capstone presentation. It’s from 1986. Which means it’s older than most Miami students. *cringe*
  4. 4. Random digression: does my dog look likeAlf?
  5. 5. Today…… I want us to engage the readings and really sort of grapple withthem, but as you might guess, if we tried to grapple with every part ofall five of those readings we’d end up sitting here a long, long timegrappling with a big ol’ bunch of ideas.So I’m going to suggest a strategy– pull key ideas and illustrate howthey work/see if we can convert them to a sort of tool, or a roadmap, ifyou will, to understanding visual rhetoric.Something like this:
  6. 6. Barthes challenges us thusly:“Now even– and above all if– the image is in a certain mannerthe limit of meaning, it permits the consideration of averitable ontology of the process of signification. How doesmeaning get into the image? Where does it end? And if itends, what is there beyond?” Roland Barthes
  7. 7. What?
  8. 8. So…... Images carry meaning. But how’d the meaning GET there, Barthesasks us to consider.
  9. 9. Gunther KressKress tells us:“The approach from Social Semiotics not only draws attentionto the many kinds of meanings which are at issue in design,but the “social” in “Social Semiotics” draws attention to thefact that meanings always relate to specific societies and theircultures, and to the meanings of the members of thosecultures.”
  10. 10. Like…
  11. 11. These images have meaning……because we know them.They emerge from our culture and are reinforced by our culture.Recognize this?That isn’t this, is it? =Or is it? S
  12. 12. Walter BenjaminBenjamin, who I promise is not the bad guy from Apt Pupileven if he looks like him, reminds us:“In principle a work of art has always been reproducible. Man-made artifacts could always be imitated by men. Replicaswere made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters fordiffusing their works, and, finally, by third parties in thepursuit of gain.”
  13. 13. More on copying later…
  14. 14. Wysocki reminds us:“Because we have all grown up in densely visually constructedenvironments, usually with little overt instruction or awareness ofhow the construction takes place, it is easy to think of the visualelements of texts as simply happening or appearing…as though…television sitcoms were the result of a camera crew following atypical family through their day.” Anne Wysocki
  15. 15. Single, nerdy college professor on TV
  16. 16. IRL
  17. 17. This remind you of your friends sittingaround?
  18. 18. And these are just normal people enjoyingnormal products, right?
  19. 19. What Wysocki would ask us to do is…..ask why. Think about why those images are chosen.And maybe more importantly… why don’t people think about it/whyisn’t it sort of a big deal to most Americans?
  20. 20. Now it’s your turnBreak into five groups. That should mean 4 or 5 per group.Once you’re grouped, from my podium going clockwise around theroom:Group 1: KressGroup 2: BarthesGroup 3: Wysocki, EyesGroup 4: BenjaminGroup 5: Wysocki, Meaning of TextsPick between no less than 1 and no more than 3 main ideas, supportthem with source quotes, and find examples for discussion. As youfinish, email me your materials:
  21. 21. With our remaining time…..please resume working on your class website headers.Also note that design task 2 is to create a header– much like the classone– for your response blog. You may work on that during this time ifyou wish as well.
  22. 22. For TuesdayRead for class: Williams non-designers design book Chapters 4& 5: repetition & contrast; Kimball & Hawkins Chapter 1In class, we will begin talking much more about how all of thisrelates to down and dirty document design.