Dimensions of Viz Rhet eye in digital code (Major Misconceptions of the…
Dimensions of Viz Rhet
Methodologies for studying visual artifacts
McLuhan and Power'
s Tetrad to depict a more ecologically-minded approach to analyzing a visual.
Three criteria for a critical methodology: (1) take images seriously, (2) consider the social conditions and effects of visual objects, and (3) be reflective of you (the critic) are looking (
Major Misconceptions of the visual
The image doesn't merely reflect meaning elsewhere, We must look at what images DO, not just how they look (Pinnery, 2004).
: the visual artifact has no inherent meaning. Furthermore, "visual theories do not begin with the assumption that language is paradigmatic for meaning" (
: the image is weak, rudimentary, illiterate. By contrast,
describes the theory of
. Maybe the visual is central, not ancillary.
The visual is supplementary/ancillary to the linguistic/textual.
challenges this with CD-ROM examples where the visual arrangement adds substantial meaning.
also challenges this misconception with a more materialistic bent.
that design is a fixed and determined subject matter.
directly contradicts this to say design is both created and discovered, inherently rhetorical.**
Definitions of Visual Rhetoric
: the pictorial turn as a postmodern concept is a "postlinguistic, postsemiotic rediscovery of the picture as a complex interplay between visuality, apparatus, institutions, discourse, bodies and figurality" (p. 16).
My early definition of visual rhetoric:
The meaningful employment of communicative cues that are consumed and produced visually, often to enact change, subject to all the complex rhetorical negotiation found in myriad modes.
"the art of using visuals to communicate a message. Includes a focus on the full spectrum of the communicative act with an awareness of the biases and power structures inherent in visual choices."
Pathway to New Materialism
The visual-material spectrum, as introduced by
, asks us to understand rhetoric as embodied. She applies Carole Blair's theory of embodied rhetoric with Foucault's theory of heterotopias to understand visual-material objects/spaces.
5 questions to gauge what counts as text: (1) what is the significance of the text's material existence? (2) What are the apparatuses and degrees of durability as displayed by the text? (3) What are the text's modes or possibilities of reproduction or preservation? (4) What does the text do to (or with, or against) other texts? (5) How does the text act on people? (Blair, p. 30)
asserts that design artifacts are inherently rhetorical in that they "generate and proliferate cultural belief systems." She proves that design elements (like color, lines, etc...) are meaning-making symbols--not merely decorative elements.
claims that Aristotle's rhetoric was not strictly one of words, but of thought that found
examines the material nature (specifically of the hard drive) as agentic, helping to ensure that materiality doesn't forget to include digital media.
Pedagogies for Visual Literacy
To fully and critically analyze an image, you must examine three sites: production, the image itself and audiencing. Within each of those sites are three modalities: Technology, compositionality, and social (
Porter & Sullivan
's study of consistency in page design in student evaluations of a case student "Max" to examine how students learn the difference between helpful and non-helpful repetition.
Helmers & Hill
help us see that we must teach visuals as rhetorical.
: Emotion, not just reason, factors into usability of an object and should be accounted for in design.
Theory Undergirding Visual Rhetoric
Ethics of studying the visual (
) help us see how the visual can make visible (or render invisible) particular subjects.
Warnings of ocularcentrism
Representational v. Non-representational theories: Representational: See
. For Non-representational, see
describes an affective theory of visual artifacts in
refers to "all that sets the text in a relationship, whether obvious or concealed, with other texts" (p. 14).
: presence of of material around the primary text.
moves outward to critical relationships between texts.
indicates dependence between texts.
refers to that which is the result of paratextuality (library classification letters).