58 terms

Visual Rhetoric

visual rhetoric
the persuasive force of images- three themes: 1. Audience 2. Strategy 3. Messages
History of the image
Phase 1: pre-historic (cave art) Phase 2: Ancient- invention of writing, orally preferred medium, roughly 2500 years ago- Plato Phase 3:Print- 17th-19th century, return of secular images, Gutenberg printing press, photography Phase 4: Electric- 20th century, radio, film, television, rise of "image politics" Phase 5: Digital- 21st century, social media, digital media, radical transformation, the "correct questions"
Plato's allegory of the cave
Strong opposition to images- reality vs. sight
Aristotle's response to Plato
Connection between thought and imagery, images help direct attention
Greek term- vivid language
Image politics
People understand politics based on optics
3 Postman Principles
1. Don't embrace easy pleasure 2. No crap- don't venerate crap 3. No oversimplifying
DeLuca's defense of images
1. Not so easy pleasure- false dichotomy, images compliment thinking 2. Not all "crap"- depends on usage 3. Anything but simple- useful simplification, increased complexity, feeling and action
Image event
Staged and controversial, an action designed to gain mass media attention
Mind bomb
Expand the thoughts of humans- images that change how viewers see a situation
The use of words, symbols, and images to create meaning about the world
How is language/images used to represent the world, what are the implications, how might different representations suggest new social realities?
1. Selection 2. Reflection 3. Deflection
Visual Pleasure Theory
Argues that visual images in media encourage viewers to look pleasurably at females via a male gaze
Fetishism- getting pleasure looking at objects
voyeurism- where people engage in sexual, sordid or scandalous acts are being watched without them knowing it
narcissism- obsession over becoming the image.
4 visual rhetorics of disability
1.The wondrous- disabled body as a form of extraordinary, makes the rest normal- spatial organization: ways that photographs make you look at an object from a particular view to make you see it at their view point
2. The sentimental- makes the abled feel better about helping the disabled. The disabled is the victim.
3. Exotic- entertainment, makes people look distinct and like you're examining the people.
4. Realistic: normalize the differences, minimizing visual marks of disabilities.
Focusing on the sign of disability- intense focus. "discomforts both the people engaged in this awkward partnership. Versus gaze which is constant movement, pleasurable for the viewer
Contrast of black and white
Logic of figuration
The spatial and temporal organization- spatial, straighten, looking down, looking up
Organizes where/how you should look at an image- depth of field
Expressive Content
Combination of subject matter and visual form- the "feel of an image"
Cinema verte
"True cinema" lowering the presence of the camera to make it seem more real
Magic hour lightening
the golden hour
Sepia tone
creates a sense of nostalgia
News media bias
news media produce narratives, professionalization of news, value of objectivity.
5 modes of visual argument
1. Visual Flag- argument used to attract attention to a message
2. Visual demonstration- convey information visually, can present abstract information clearly( learning map)
3. Visual Symbols- visual representation based on common vocabulary
4. Visual archetype- visual symbol whose meaning comes from popular narrative.
a syllogism with a missing premise that is provided by the audience
1. Biological: human eye works different than camera lens
2. Technical: angle photo was taken; all images are manipulated
3. Cultural: "seeing is believing"
Naturalistic Enthymeme
Assumption that images and photographs are real until proven otherwise- missing premise: the image is real
Unnaturalistic enthymeme
presumption an image is fake unless proven otherwise- missing premise: pictures are fake
Advantages of digital manipulation
1.Political critique
2.Imaginative and expressive
Disadvantages of digital manipulation
1.Unreasonable expectations of perfection
2.Lack of political engagement
3.Overt deception
Foss's Schema
Rhetoric vs. Aesthetic (Function vs. beauty)
Step 1: identify the function being communicated in the image
-What is the image trying to communicate, what is the image trying to do?
Step 2: Evaluate how well the function is performed in the image
-Does the image successfully support the function? Is the function well executed?
Step 3: Scrutinize the legitimacy of the function
-Is the function ethical, truthful, good?
Metaphor for human relations- the play/Dramatism; interpretive method for studying human relations and motives
Advantages: 1. Straightforward sequence. 2. Very flexible 3. Third level of signification

Four parts:
1.Create a representative anecdote- sentence or phrase that captures the "essence" of the text
2.Pentadic Analysis- drams/plays have 5 elements: 1. Act (what) 2.Agent (who) 3. Scene (where) 4.Agency (with what) 5. Purpose (what for)
3.Ratio Analysis- all texts contain each 5, some elements carry more significance, create ratio of most salient/prominent relationship between elements, first term is dominant and second is subordinate.
4.Ideology: Selections reveal assumptions, what are the shortcomings or outcomes- ratio analysis.
5.Pentad: Ideology- 1. Act (Realism- actions shape events) 2.Scene (materialism- social and environmental conditions shape events) 3. Agent (idealism- individuals shape events) 4. Agency (pragmatism-tools and technology shape events) 5. Purpose (mysticism- abstract ideas and forces shape events)
Study of ideas- three perspectives:
1. False consciousness- false, inaccurate, political, manipulative. used to control people and societies.
2. Pre-existing social arguments- cultural agreement on what is important/true/appropriate
3.Prescription/description- every ideology presents an idea world (description), but also a plan to get there(prescription)
Visual Ideograph
Four characteristics:
1. Ordinary words
2.Represent collective commitment
3. Culture bound
4. Warrants power and ideology
Borrowing (stealing) an element of cultural expression and placing it in a new context
Combining several cultural fragments to create a unique whole- both old and new
Culture Jamming
Process of re-appropriation that directly misrepresents
Deliberate exaggeration for humorous effects- potential for backlash
appropriation that tries to break routine- violation of expectations
Responses to violence
1. Traumatic- violent images should be avoided; perpetuate violent, punctum.
2. De-Sensitization- should be avoided because over time make us less sympathetic, insight behavior- become more accepting.
3. Pedagogical- should be seen because they provide knowledge
4. Cathartic- should be viewed because they allow for emotional release
Visual Literacy
Fluency in visual media. Much of visual literacy is devoted to a systematic synthesis of the theoretical and empirical grounds for believing that proposition to be true
False information that is given to people in order to make them believe something or to hide the truth
Media Determinism
Changes in media have determining effect upon culture
Public sphere vs. Public screen
Public sphere: 1. physical place where people discuss issues 2. Rationality and logic should guide judgements 3. Goal is consensus vs. New media that calls for new metaphors- there is no real public but rather... the public is the product of publicity of pictures
Refers to the actual colors in paintings
Refers to the purity of a color in relation to its appearance in the color spectrum
Refers to the lightness or darkness of a color
Atmospheric Perspective
Where color works to suggest an effect of distance in a painting
Geometrical perspective
Depends on the geometry of rays of vision
Words stabilize meaning of picture
The text adds meaning and both text and image work together to convey intended meaning. ex: comic strip
Can images argue?
Flemming says images are ambiguous
-so are words!
-Are images totally ambiguous?
Flemming says images are not two sided
-We don't read words in a vacuum
-We use context to argue
Definition of argument
Range of standards:
1.deductive logic: operates through syllogism- premises that do or do not support a conclusion
2.Aristotelian Model:consists of 2 parts
3.Toulmin Model: 1. Claim 2. Support 3. Warrant 4. Qualifier
Appeal to ethics and it is a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader
An appeal to emotion and is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotion response
An appeal to logic and is a way of persuading an audience by reason
Unites Verbal and visual aspects of rhetoric
Functions: 1. Focuses attention
2. Provides interpretive context. 3. Directs actions and reponse
by adopting a new term, lens or package
About to die images
The moment that people are about to die and how they die pictures.
Made sense as a way to depict the deaths incurred during the war in Afghanistan.
Freezes a particularly memorable moment in death's unfolding and thereby generates an emotional identification with the person facing impending death.
Final Girl
Resourceful, resilient, survivor, point of identification
Problems with "final girl" empowerment:
-Mostly geared toward men
-Most focus is on female body (male gaze)
-Still dependent on male intervention
-Privilege aggression and violence