Image AnalysisArt & Design in Context Sara Andersdotter
Today’s session• Introduction to the Wish You Were Here brief• Introduction to image analysis and semiotics• Individual image analysis (your brought-in image/s)
Brief: Wish You Were Here Wish You Were Here is an individual, written assignment that runs parallel to the Time Travel group assignment you are currently involved in. For Wish You Were Here, you need to pick an artist or designer from your time period in your Time Travel project and thenRichard Billingham, research them in depth usingRay’s a Laugh, 1995 libraries and the internet.
Wish You Were HereOnce you have chosen your artist /designer, you will the start acorrespondence with them in theform of a series of postcards, letters,text messages, e-mails [or any otherform of written communication youcan think of] Martin Parr, Benidorm, 1997-98This will be a fiction and be made upall by you, but based on all theresearch you have done about theartist/designer. You will also have tointroduce your chosen designer toone that will be given to yourandomly.
Wish You Were Here You will be both yourself and the artists/designers in this correspondence. Your first series of post cards/letters will be to introduce yourselves. This will be easy for you but you will have to do a great deal of research for your artists/designers. After you have introduced yourselves you may want to ask aAugust Sander, Peasant Girls, series of questions to gain asWesterwald, 1928 much information about each other as possible.
Wish You Were HereEach time you send a message it will need tobe illustrated with either some of your ownwork and that of the artists/designers whenthey send you their correspondence. Thesecould be drawings, photographs, stuff youhave done in this or any of your othermodules, or something completely new.This correspondence will build up over thenext few weeks and it should become longer Richard Wentworth, Genoa, Italy,and more complicated as the more you find 2004out about your artist/designer. The first set ofcards/letter could be about 100 words andtowards the end could be up to 300 words.The research you will have to do for this willalso help you with your Time Travel project.
Wish You Were Here When you have finished your correspondence [postcards/letters] you must then present them as a part of your own blog. You should make sure that:• they can be read easily and are presented in the order that they were written• the correspondence itself indicates where you got your information from (eg. ‘When I read this book *insert name of book+ by Professor Sir Ernst Gombrich he said, “You liked to design letter forms in your spare time”. Is this true and why did you do it?’)• you include a separate bibliography of your information sources
Wish You Were Here This summative assessment (25%) should be found on your blog, should be uploaded onto Moodle, plus form part of your presentation of your final portfolio during the lastRobert Smithson, from the series session of this term:Incidents of Mirror-travel in theYucatan, 9 parts, 1969 Wednesday December 14
Image Analysis• Semiotics: the study of signs - semiotic analysis• Context and context• Visual analysis
René Magritte, The Treachery Of Images, 1928-9
Actually, its not a famous painting by Magritte… … its a digital image of the painting
Or, to be even more precise… … a digital image of a photograph of Magritte’s painting
All of which illustrates Magrittes point, which is simply that an image or sign of a thing is not the thing itself. One could make the same point with any number of images, signs, and symbols…
Semiotics – the study of signsns. Semiology, SemioticsBranch of linguistics concerned with signs andsymbols.As a discipline, it is the analysis of signs or the studyof the functioning of sign systems.From Greek: sēmeion = sign (sēma = mark) sēmeiōtikos = interpreter of signs + -logy or -ics (semiology or semiotics)
“Nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a sign” A sign is anything that makes meaning SignCharles Sanders Peirce(1839-1914)
What is a sign? A sign is a meaningful unit which is interpreted as standing for something other than itself. Signs are found in the physical form of words, images, sounds, acts or objects – the result of cultural productions. As such, semiotics can be used in order to analyse anything from images, texts, TV programmes, ads, radio, songs, etc.Jasper Johns, Flag, 1954 The sign (or word etc.) is made up of two parts: - a signifier (the acoustic image; the ‘thing’ / object represented) - a signified (the mental concept; the idea this ‘thing’ signifies) … these two terms are used in semiotic analyses of signs
Saussure & the sign as a dyadThe signifier = the material The signified = the mental concept of the signaspect of the sign
“Dog” is made up of the signifiers d, o & g The word prompts the hearer to think of a mental concept (signified) of “dogness” Canine, quadruped, barks, has sharp teeth, wags its tail, buries bones, howl, eats biscuits, fetches sticks, growls, urinates on lampposts.
Advertising & SemioticsThe reading of images, texts etcaccording to semiotics is alwaysdependent on a cultural and contextualunderstanding. What does this mean?It means that: we read the image/textbased on a certain cultural familiarity,and the context in which it appearsaffects our reading of it. It may mean acultural familiarity of other countries(quite often stereotypical ideas), thoseof our own or particular elements ofthose cultures. The context of the signmay vary – a TV ad is seen differentlyfrom an ad in a medical journal, from anad in the Sun, to an ad on a billboard…to the back of a New York cab!
If we see this ad for aSeeds of Change Jalfrezisauce as a sign (which wecould say containsfurther signs)…SignifiersSignified/s
Thinking about images: content and contextContent- what is the image of?- what information does it give us?Context- context in which image is made -social processes in which it is produced- context in which the image is seen - mechanisms governing its circulation & consumptionMore information: Open University, Reading Visual Images:http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=398988§ion=1.5.4
Three Part Visual Analysis Anecdotal: Describe the artwork in general. What is its medium (oil painting, tapestry, lithograph, cast sculpture, domestic architecture, etc) and its genre (landscape, still life, portrait, commercial art, etc). Is it representational and does it tell a story? What is its background or historical context? For what purpose was the artwork created?Nan Goldin, One Month After BeingBattered, 1984 Formal: Explain the mechanics of the artwork, using terminology appropriate to the medium. Discuss focal point, color, texture, movement, perspective, etc. Symbolic: Analyse the hidden meaning. Discuss gestures, objects, lighting, color, etc, and explain how the anecdotal and the formal aspects of the artwork create a synthesis which imbues the image with meaning.
Image Analysis Look at the image your brought in for today’s session and think about ways of analysing it. Take notes by hand or use your laptops in order to write a brief analysis of your image:• Content and context elements• Anecdotal, formal and symbolic parts• The image as sign (signifiers and signifieds)
Next week’s sessionIn connection with TIME TRAVEL & WISH YOU WERE HERE... youare required to conduct your own research on Modernism andPostmodernism at the Victoria & Albert Museum and/or TateModern in place of taught classes on Wednesday 16th NovemberUse the instructions found on the Art & Design in Context Moodlepage (Word document relating to G2 & G4), or on the Art & Designin Context blog under Sara Andersdotter / Tasks / Tasks to do before23 Nov 2011Please allow at least three hours for your museum visit. You shouldcomplete this worksheet and use it as the basis for discussion andthe development of further research on your blog. You should comeprepared to discuss your findings in class on 23rd November.