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Week 7 presentation for ARIN6912 DRP

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  1. 1. Visuals A. Cranny-Francis in Multimedia: texts and contexts
  2. 2. Dr Anne Cranny-Francis • Professor in Critical and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University • Chris Chesher’s PhD Supervisor at MQ • First conference paper was given at Syncon '83: the 22nd Australian National SF Convention
  3. 3. Beata Beatrix, Dante Rossetti
  4. 4. Take your Son, Sir!, Ford Maddox Brown
  5. 5. Work, Ford Maddox Brown
  6. 6. The Singh Twins • Critique Anglo-British society from their position within it as non-Anglo citizens • Questions of identity • Visual cues from both cultures – Indian miniature painting juxtaposed with Western celebrity iconography • Intertextuality
  7. 7. Les Girls, Amrit and Rabindra Kaur Singh
  8. 8. From Zero to Hero, Amrit and Rabindra Kaur Singh
  9. 9. H.R. Giger • Swiss painter, sculptor, set designer • Won an Academy Award for his work on Alien • His art is influenced by Gothic, surreal and grotesque sources • Uses darkness, bodily fragmentation and bodies in extreme states of pain or pleasure to shock the viewer
  10. 10. Biomechanoid, H. R. Giger
  11. 11. Birthmachine, H. R. Giger
  12. 12. Current exhibition in Frankfurt at the German Film Museum
  13. 13. Giger’s alien • “From its penile ‘face- hugger’ stage through to full-grown state the alien is a monstrous projection of Western fears about sexuality – as penetrating and/or devouring. But it articulates most dramatically the fear of the feminine, as it deconstructs ‘normal’ masculine (hetero)sexuality.” (p.32)
  14. 14. fonts are significant “Visuality is not only the use of images; it is a function of all aspects of the ‘look’ of a text.” (p. 35)
  15. 15. Locating meaning in a visual text • More than just reading images • Need an awareness of visual conventions and the meanings associated with those conventions – complexity and sensual richness of Indian miniatures – darkness and dankness of Gothic – play with line in typography
  16. 16. Newspapers • Complex texts that include both images and writing – looked at together • Pictures can give meaning not specified by the words on the page • Visceral reading – from instinct rather than intellect • Visual texts are not removed from the everyday
  17. 17. September 9 2008 Filling the coffers Little has to go a long way Budget crisis Catholics welcome, Garnaut Muslims not condemned Hillsong’s Palin packs racist secret schools punch push Looking for ‘God’
  18. 18. • Visual literacy is less developed as an area of study than verbal literacy • Part of numerous other disciplines that studied them in their own way • Results in an eclectic mix of concepts and ideas
  19. 19. • The Singhs’ and Giger’s art relates to a specific time and culture • Also related to other art/texts – indian miniatures, surrealism and Gothic • Viewed within a broader intertextual understanding of late twentieth-century visual art and media
  20. 20. Giger Saturn Devouring His Son, Goya Autumn Cannibalism, Dali
  21. 21. The Singh Twins Something More #1, Tracy Moffatt HHH #1, Fiona Foley
  22. 22. White paper – an informal name for a parliamentary paper enunciating government policy
  23. 23. • Choices that the author makes are important – the visual skill and knowledge of the designer/author should not be downplayed • It is neither possible nor desirable to attempt to lock down the meaning potential of a text
  24. 24. • Primer – a guide to the literacy that is shared by many viewers • Can open up for the designer or author the possibilities for text production within current literacies by mapping the ways in which users respond to visual materials
  25. 25. Discourse • Usually linked to verbal, but essentially is about exchange, the communication of meaning, so can be used with the visual • Derived from Foucault – a set of statements that articulate a particular way of thinking, feeling and being in the world
  26. 26. • Giger’s work can be located in the discourse surrounding Gothic • More than a style, it questions the meaning of ‘normality’ by being provocatively engaging – either erotically, sensually, sexually or intellectually • Giger’s art can also be located in Freudian discourse, as can most surrealist art
  27. 27. Genre • Any set of texts using similar strategies to make meanings • Does not spell out how a text should be composed and read, but rather describes how they are read • Websites are a distinct genre – own meaning-making practices – own social and cultural function – own way of addressing viewers
  28. 28. Sub-genres of websites • Government / Institutional • Commercial • Fan • Portal • Family • Educational • Useful in identifying the potentials of a site
  29. 29. HistoryWired • Institutional website – communicate effectively – represent identity of democratic state – articulate meaning of citizenship • Museum website – education – access to collections – demonstrate value of cultural items / society
  30. 30. Visual conventions of websites • Mix of modalities – verbal and visual text • Layout • Use of images • Fonts • Colour • Trajectories
  31. 31. From Kress and van Leeuwen, Reading Images Margin Margin Ideal Ideal Given New Centre Margin Margin Real Real Given New
  32. 32. National Museum of Australia
  33. 33. AGNSW
  34. 34. • Visual strategies are not simply chosen for their aesthetics effects – politics and aesthetics cannot be separated – construct abstract ideas and concepts – convey cultural and social meanings • Layout, colour, image and font can be used to construct meanings • Visuals can evoke, construct and deconstruct issues of identity • The viewer/user is a social subject
  35. 35. websites • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
  36. 36. Further reading • Cloninger, Curt. Fresh styles for Web designers: eye candy from the underground. Indianapolis: New Riders, 2002. • de Lauretis, Teresa. Technologies of gender: essays on theory, film, and fiction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987. • Heller, Steven and Philip B. Meggs. Texts on type: critical writings on typography. New York: Allworth Press, 2001. • Kress, Gunther, and Theo van Leeuwen. Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication. London: Arnold, 2001. • Kress, Gunther, and Theo van Leeuwen. Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design (2nd ed.). London: Routledge, 2006. • Lynch, Patrick J. and Sarah Horton. Web style guide : basic design principles for creating web sites (3rd ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. • Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed.). The Visual Culture Reader (2nd ed.). London: Routledge, 2002. • Morra Joanne and Marquard Smith (eds.). Visual Culture: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies. London: Routledge, 2006. • Sturken, Marita and Lisa Cartwright. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. • Wroblewski, Luke. Site-seeing: a visual approach to Web usability. Indianapolis: Hungry Minds, 2002.