Visual ethics is the study of howimages and imaging affect theways we think, feel, behave, andcreate, use, and interpret meaning,for good or for bad.
• Visual ethics is not just digital ethics, or truth in advertising, public relations or TV journalism.• Visual ethics is not just avoiding imagery that stereotypes or imagery that subjugates others.• Visual ethics is about the soul of communication, "the eyes are the windows to the soul."
Ethics of Visual Production• Ethical issues involved in the production of visual images. – How do representations in newsmedia deploy cultural codes of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and so on in order to create distance from or empathy with specific people and groups? – How can visual representations of the other facilitate or foreclose certain ethical responses from viewers? – When is it ethically justifiable to capture and share images of another person in a moment of vulnerability? – With whom should such images be shared?
Ethics of Visual Reception• Visual ethics is equally concerned with the ethics of reception, that is, with seeing as an ethical act. – How do different images influence our ethical responses and moral behavior in different ways? – To what extent do our ethical responses to images take place pre-reflectively, by visual-perceptual processes in the body-mind, before images even come to consciousness?
Ecology of the VisualThinking of visual ethics in terms ofecological theory focuses attention onthe dynamic processes of makingmeaning in visual ways.
Surface attending and perceiving Interpretative recognizing, translating, recording Interactive construct, create, conceptualize, manipulate dynamic process of being, Behavior interacting, and meaning makingLayers ofEcology of the Visual
Unethical Ethical Process but Process and Ethical Meaning Meaning Ethical Unethical Process but Process and Unethical Unethical Meaning MeaningThe Matrix of Process and Meaning
Some manipulations are okay:• Intensifying colors for reproduction• Eliminating “red eye” from electronic flash• Blurring of offensive body parts
• An image is not the result of but part of the ecology of the visual, part of the process of meaning making.• The power of the visual is that it makes visible in some way that which has been invisible.