Representations possess a point of view


“The most fundamental and persistent problem one encounters in teaching visual communication is the routine confusion of pictures and reality, the naive view that images produced by photographic media (i.e., most of the images we encounter) are simply direct mechanical records of the world around us. This confusion takes place on multiple levels: at the level of single, photographically ‘recorded’ still images, at the level of selected and ordered sequences of ‘recorded’ action, and at the level of conventional formats and structures for audiovisual storytelling and exposition.

The most basic misconception is that cameras [and other tools of abstraction, i.e., statistical tools] replicate the processes of human vision, reproducing a sensory record that mimic the way we see.”

I couldn’t help thinking, when reading this, of genre and generic conventions – as tools which aid us to make sense of narratives in particular ways…

Ref: Griffin and Schwartz, cited p.47 in Mike Nelson and William Chandler (1999) Some tools common to Art and Science’ Art Education 52(3), pp. 41-47 [NOTE: the quotation is apparently taken from p.41 Griffin, M. and Schwartz, D. (1997). Visual communication skills and media literacy. In J. Flood, SB Heath, & D Lapp (Eds), Handbook of research on the teaching literacy through the communicative and visual arts (pp.40-47). New York: Simon and Schuster, Macmillan.


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