Mary Lim

Monday, February 03, 2014

act: refined ideas/notes

Terms Defined
denotation - factual information on an object/idea
connotation - an understood view on the object/idea
anchorage - text that reinforces meaning on an image
relay - text that adds information to an image

Symbols

Subtle Racism
ignorance - eye with tape
stigmatization of race - jar with firefly&person
us&them mentality - two spheres divided by a podium (supposed to reference the mathematical division symbol and also how viewing another race worse/better than the other creates hostility)

Notes on reading

Visible Signs by Crow, pg 52-57, 70-75

  • meaning is affected by who reads it
  • Barthes includes the reader, science of signs is considered
    • systems of signification: ritual and social conventions
    • suggested that semiotics was one part of linguistics
    • two levels: denotation/connotation
    • humanized process
    • denotation - physical reality
    • connotation - understood reality (relative and arbitrary), based on convention
  • convention: an agreement on how we should respond to a sign
  • a sign with little convention needs to be highly motivated
  • motivation: how much signifier describes signified
    • the less motivated a sign is, the more important it is for the reader to know the convention
  • Advertising
    • effective advertising
      • of interest/value to reader
      • get to the point quickly
      • concise
    • Three messages
      • System for reading text/image combos
        • first message - linguistic (slogan or caption, brand name holds connotations)
        • second message - coded iconic (symbolic message with connotation)
        • third message - non-coded iconic (works on level of denotation)
      • viewer needs both second/third messages at same time
      • parasitic message - text and image (meant to quicken meaning of w/ additional signifieds)
      • Text can be used to alter the meaning of message
      • When text is coupled with an image, it has two functions: 
        • anchorage - directs the reader of a number of possible readings of the image.
          • text answers "what is it"
          • Text on a connoted (coded) image helps the reader to interpret the signifiers they are presented with
          • text on a denoted (non-coded) image aids recognition
          • sometimes has a repressive value when applied to an image because the reader is controlled to understand the image that was pre-determined...
        • relay - adds meaning to image
Type & Image by Meggs, pg 14-15, 58-59
  • images convey perceptual image and a cultural image
  • image prompts a conditioned response

1 comment:

  1. mary, your concepts are quite smart. very nice ideas, particularly "division". the idea of a sequence could work, but it may be best to work out a sequence for each signifier for the sake of consistency. either that or go with the single image of the eye taped shut. the black and gray effect of the eye image is nice. i wonder if the tape should be opaque to be more clearly shutting the eye. also, it's unclear if this was done to someone or if they have done it to themselves.

    the person and firefly in the jar is hard for me to understand. it seems to be about stereotyping or "containing" someone. then the firefly makes me think they have a special light to share, but are bottled up.

    the us/them image is very nice, particularly with the reference to the division symbol. i wonder if the wall needs to be multiple heights though. if it were one simple rectangle it would look even more like a division symbol and still look like a wall. also, this one is rendered quite a bit different from the other two. it uses gradients and implied dimensionality on the wall (with nice pos/neg space). i'd make all three signifiers more visually consistent.

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