Visual Rhetoric, September 4th, 2013


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Visual Rhetoric, September 4th, 2013

  1. 1. TODAY 1) Icebreaker 2) Overview of some material from the readings
  2. 2. Icebreaker For today I want you to tell us all your name and your favorite logo.
  3. 3. Checking in Things to check: 1)Are you on the blogroll? 2)Have you thought about the logo assignment? 3)Are you keeping up with the readings?
  4. 4. Some quick Visual fun Take a look at the next few slides and tell me what’s going on here. Look carefully. Sometimes you might need to squint.
  5. 5. These illusions depend on intricate line work, very specific color and contrast choices, the mind’s desire to complete shapes and patterns and the fact that our eyes jitter a bit normally. If you squint hard and look at each of these images, they WILL become still. But not for long.
  6. 6. … I want us to engage the readings and really sort of grapple with them, but as you might guess, if we tried to grapple with every part of all five of those readings we’d end up sitting here a long, long time grappling with a big ol’ bunch of ideas. So I’m going to suggest a strategy– pull key ideas and illustrate how they work/see if we can convert them to a sort of tool, or a roadmap, if you will, to understanding visual rhetoric. Something like this:
  7. 7. Roland Barthes Barthes challenges us thusly: “Now even– and above all if– the image is in a certain manner the limit of meaning, it permits the consideration of a veritable ontology of the process of signification. How does meaning get into the image? Where does it end? And if it ends, what is there beyond?”
  8. 8. What?
  9. 9. So…. .. Images carry meaning. But how’d the meaning GET there, Barthes asks us to consider.
  10. 10. Gunther Kress Kress tells us: “The approach from Social Semiotics not only draws attention to the many kinds of meanings which are at issue in design, but the “social” in “Social Semiotics” draws attention to the fact that meanings always relate to specific societies and their cultures, and to the meanings of the members of those cultures.”
  11. 11. Like…
  12. 12. 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? = SOr is it?
  13. 13. Walter Benjamin Benjamin, who I promise is not the bad guy from Apt Pupil even 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. Replicas were made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing their works, and, finally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain.”
  14. 14. What is the Aura of This?
  15. 15. What is the Aura of This?
  16. 16. Anne Wysocki Wysocki reminds us: “Because we have all grown up in densely visually constructed environments, usually with little overt instruction or awareness of how the construction takes place, it is easy to think of the visual elements of texts as simply happening or appearing…as though… television sitcoms were the result of a camera crew following a typical family through their day.”
  17. 17. Single, nerdy college professor on TV
  18. 18. IRL
  19. 19. This remind you of your friends sitting around?
  20. 20. And these are just normal people enjoying normal products
  21. 21. 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/why isn’t it sort of a big deal to most Americans?
  22. 22. Now it’s your turn Break into five groups. That should mean 5 per group. Once you’re grouped, from my podium going clockwise around the room: Group 1: Kress Group 2: Barthes Group 3: Wysocki, Eyes Group 4: Benjamin Group 5: Wysocki, Meaning of Texts Pick between no less than 1 and no more than 3 main ideas, support them with source quotes, and find examples for discussion. As you finish, email me your materials:
  23. 23. Now… Armed with your new understandings from these readings, go to my tumblr. There, you will find your group definitions of visual rhetoric from our first class. What I want your group to do is further synthesis. Make the definition as long as you feel it needs to be, talk it out, but when you’re done, email to me your group’s “where we are now” definition of visual rhetoric. if you’ve forgotten. 
  24. 24. And… Work on the In-Design tutorial!
  25. 25. Moving to next week… DO NOT FORGET THE IN-DESIGN TUTORIAL! DON’T FORGET IT! I’m serious!
  26. 26. Homework For next Monday, read: Read for class: Williams Chapters 4 & 5: repetition & contrast; Kimball & Hawkins Chapter 1 Make sure you come in ready to work in In-Design, because we’re going to!  Also make sure you do design task 2, which is to take two sports logos of your choice and change their colors to earth tones (see example on my Tumblr). See you Monday!