Session 6A: New Screens and Frames
Chair: Franci Greyling
Consequences of Over Exposure to Billboards and Culture Jamming
Ionian University, Department of Audio & Visual Arts, Greece
Signs are never innocent of meaning; sometimes universally clear others having a restricted local meaning, their heterogeneity defining cultural differences, while globalization homogenizes any symbol in a unique worldwide meaning.
Welcome to our world, full of so many signs that nobody seems to note anymore, where the ability to decode is a plus because it increases the possibility of reaching success and even survive according to Darwinian evolutionary theory. A time overfull of images pumping out of screens, passing through us on our way home or towards somewhere else: in the gigantic billboards -mechanical, digital or mobile- standing all over the highways exactly 30° from our eyes angle while the automobile passes, watch out, don’t crash. Beware!
Existence has been burst by a bunch of gigantic outside images able of shrinking our brain’s capacity. On the rooftops of the big cosmopolitan centers grows a jungle of billboards covering the clouds. Everything is flashing, neon lights screaming “here, here, here!” and there isn’t anyone there. Emptiness: an existence of short term sparkling just until the next spot, the new absolutely essential thing that we just have to buy or die.
There is less space for introspection and critical thinking in the suffocating atmosphere made of billboards and other outdoors advertisement. There is less time in-between fast cars and quick emotions to deepen ideas concerning those images made to socialize a troop ready to defend the well being of endless consuming values. But sometimes the minimum becomes the most visible spot. In culture jamming the artist expresses his ideas by making use of simple resources to transform the advertisement medium. This paper intends to reflect on the intrusive role of billboards in individuals’ personality development and on the work of culture jamming in alerting conscious awareness.
Teaching Visual Literacy to Students of Communication
Department of Audiovisual Culture and Communication, School of Communication, University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain.
This paper discusses the difficulty of teaching visual literacy to students of Communication whose visual skills are compromised by an overexposure to images rather than a lack of visual experience. One of the challenges involved in the acquisition of visual literacy is to learn to think through images, a form of response which requires a capacity for reflection that can only come from a rounded understanding of the arts in general, as well as a solid grounding in visual culture; thus, study of the history of literature and the traditional arts is fundamental to the development of refined visual skills. This paper draws on the views expressed by Peter Fuller in Seeing Through Berger (1988), a strong critique of John Berger’s bestselling work Ways of Seeing. Fuller argues that Berger undermines the importance of the study of traditional arts subjects (albeit only implicitly), and that the lack of such study weakens students’ visual skills, above all, in terms of critical reflection and response. Fuller’s remarks, which address the challenges facing those teachers involved in teaching fine arts, are of equal relevance in communication, field in which I am concern at the moment.
An Illustrated Review of How Motion is Represented in Static Instructional Graphics
Jose de Souza
Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, The University of Reading, United Kingdom
This review shows how the depiction of motion in media that is intrinsically motionless (such as paper) is always a creative challenge for designers of instructional material. This is a contribution to existing visual literacy research that more often focuses on motion depiction for aesthetic (e.g. photography and painting), entertainment (e.g. comics and picture books), scientific (e.g. physics) and generic purposes. In contrast, the emphasis here is to illustrate how motion is being represented in instructional graphics that demonstrate how to do a given task in the most unambiguous way. The review uses some examples developed by the author (experimental material of PhD research, in progress) and extracted from his collection of illustrated manuals, which concentrate on motion caused by human physical intervention. In other words, people acting as the agent of the action in various highly dynamic activities: DIY, magic, calligraphy, drawing, golf, dancing, conducting, airplane piloting, juggling and skiing. The review also discusses how the designer’s choice and arrangements of “frozen” moments of the dynamic action are relevant for instructional purposes. The visual depictions for motion are divided into four categories: composite; synoptic; images of before, during and after action; and single significant moment. Ancillary graphic devices and techniques used to evoke the idea of motion (arrows, motion lines and overlapping multiples) are discussed. Where it is possible, existing evidence on the effectiveness of certain types of visual representation is mentioned. This review can be used as a starting point to inform designers of the application of established or innovative forms of motion depiction in a training and educational context.