VISUAL LITERACY Another medium for constructing meaning and the terminology that goes with it
*What are different forms (genres) of visual communication? -posters/bumper stickers -commercials -buttons, bobbleheads, other paraphernalia -billboards/signs -fliers/pamphlets/brochures -clothing/costumes -cartoons, anything animated -videos, movies, TV shows -anything on the internet -graffiti -art forms -graphs/charts, etc. *What can be interpreted/analyzed through visual literacy? -symbolism -viewpoints -tone -bias -actual information -allusions -intended audience -purpose -credibility -emotions -popularity
My list of genres • In general: gestures, objects, signs, symbols • More specifically: dance, film, fashion, hairstyles, exhibitions, public monuments, interior design, lighting, photography, computer games, advertisements (print and TV), pamphlets, bumper stickers, posters, architecture, and art
My list of aspects to analyze • Subject matter • Cultural context • Structure (how it’s organized) • Techniques used to produce it • Aesthetic merit • Purpose and audience • Merit in terms of communicating purpose and reaching intended audience • Emotional impact
Visual literacy can be analyzed in terms of: • Syntax (textual definition?) • Semantics (textual definition?)
Syntax – arrangement or structure of words in a sentence Semantics – study of meaning in words. This involves issues in: • connotation vs. denotation • how language can be manipulated, logically, ethically, and emotionally • context • tone/emphasis • bias and propaganda *Visual Semantics = Semiotics= study of signs/symbols What might we therefore look for when it comes to visual syntax? Visual semantics?
Visual syntax terms (aka techniques that produce effects that influence the semantics of the visual) Harmony, contrast, emphasis Resemblance Juxtaposition of images Depth, color, light, shadow Filled space (vs. purposeful white space) Symbolism • Font (bold, italics, style, size, sans) • Scale and dimension • Motion • Arrangement/layout (balance b/w text and image) • Framing/zooming/ cropping • Relative size of items within images • Labeling • Captioning
Five Key Questions to answer in order to understand the semantics of a visual • Who created this message? • What techniques are used to attract my attention? • How might different people understand this message differently from me? • What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message? • Why was this message sent?
Visual Literacy Activity • Study the visual your group has been given. • Discuss the 5 key questions about visual semantics and how they apply to your group’s visual. • Write answers to the key questions using the terminology of visual syntax to support, especially for Question 2 where it is most relevant.
Politics/Social Media/Punditry Seminar Questions *For all questions, use examples from your HW explorations to support. • How does social media influence politics? • How does punditry influence politics? • How does the combination of social media and punditry influence politics? • How is a bias in an issue? Does technology enhance the possibility of bias?
Op-eds Comparison • Discuss your annotations on both op-eds. • Compare and contrast: content, context, audience, purpose, writer’s techniques, credibility/background of publication (look up more info on publication if you need to). • Answer the question: what textual conventions do you think are particular to the op-ed genre?
Op-ed vs. editorial vs. blog • How are they similar? • How are they different? (discuss specific examples of features/conventions)
Essential Unit Topics/Terminology • Language • Technology • Social media • Visual language/visual literacy • Visual syntax/visual semantics/semiotics • Objectivity vs. subjectivity • Bias/propaganda • Punditry • Ideology • Mass media/communication • Rhetorical appeals • Rhetorical strategies • Public speaking strategies • Historical politics vs. modern politics • Partisanship/party affiliation • Audience/purpose • Context • Genre • Persona • Message