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CMN2168 (17)

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Marc Tasse

QUESTION ONE | The study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. | Semiology – the study of signs based on linguistics | “We can easily represent things as we wish them to be” | No convenient message to tell us how to feel | Use symbols and signs to relay messages | By considering who is giving messages, and how it is being perceived | Some theorists argue our perception of the everyday world involves codes – a language “perception is always already representation” and depends on coding the world into iconic signs that can re-present it within our mind. | Codes buzzwords: similarity, proximity, continuity, symmetry | Meaning is what the source or sender expresses, communicates, or conveys in their message to the observer or receiver, and what the receiver infers from the current context | Semantics is the study of meaning. It focuses on the relation between signifiers, like words, phrases, signs, and symbols, and what they stand for, their denotation. | Photography has the potential to help the ready visualize and sensationalize an image…as proven through decades of successfully studied, reinterpreted, and creative powerful imagery. | Today, four primary uses: fine art, advertising, amateur photography, journalism.We can see images which are considered to be fine art in many of these. | Paper by: Jonathan Marwil, University of Michigan, Author or Drederic Manning: An Unfinished Life “Johnathan Marwil tells how the wars of the QUESTION ONE | …mid 19th century, in Europe and beyond, prove to the perfect subject to show its amazing potential” “Nevertheless, when they first appeared, these photographs were a revelation. Viewer saw people and places as they actually were, not as a painting or a published engraving of a photograph made them appear.” . | Photographs have given us the ability to create film; an illusion and fantasy of reality. Peter Emeson called it naturalistic photography, a sub-category of “fine-arts” claiming “a photograph could be a work of art, irrespective of its genetics, it is occasioned ‘aesthetic pleasure’ in the viewer...” | Steps for full semiotic analysis: 1. Look carefully at its signs, its goals, its meanings. Ask in a general sense: what is this picture trying to convey? 2. Identify between four and six significant signs (In semiotics, a sign is something that can be interpreted as having a meaning, which is something other than itself, and which is therefore able to communicate information to the one interpreting or decoding the sign.) Signifier: physical forms of a sign, such as an image cultural meanings are associated with the words, not the final communication. 3. Constructnd initial path: Identify the theme that is common to three or more signs and narrow your constellation to three signs that most directly relate to your chosen thee. 4 Propose and refine ideology: Revealing ideology demands that you unpack the foundational theme, the unspoken truth of the artifact. What is the meaning of this photograph? What way of living in the world does it showcase? 5. Intro: Consider the following questions: why was this artifact produced? What recent news story relates to this artifact? Why should we learn about this artifact? Toward the end of the paragraph, preview your three signs and your ideology. Be brief and specific in your forecast. 6. Conclusion: So what have we learned from this analysis? What kind of world is evoked by this ideology? What does the ideology fail to reveal about ways to live in the world? Ensure that the last sentence is thought-provoking. QUESTION TWO | Doretha Lange's “The Migrant Mother” | Facts about the photo: In the space of ten minutes Lange photographed the squalid scene, moving closer to her subject with each exposure. The last was the close-up view of the woman with three children that we now know as Migrant Mother. With that photograph, Lange achieved what she had set out to do for the Resettlement Association: “to register the things about those people that were more important than how poor they were,” she explained, “—their pride, their strength, their spirit.” | The mother’s furrowed brow and deeply lined face make her look much older than she is (thirty-two). Her right hand touches the down-turned corner of her mouth in an unconscious gesture of anxiety. Her sleeve is tattered and her dress untidy; another of Lange’s photographs shows the mother nursing the baby who now lies sleeping in her lap. Evidently she has done all she can for her family and has nothing left to offer. The older children press against her body in a mute appeal for comfort, but she seems as oblivious to them as she does to Lange’s camera | Signs: Signified: Poor conditions of life, hardship; Light shines on the woman’s face, her right arm and hand lead toward her face, and the children turn toward her; The sleeve of her sweater is ragged and torn. She wears an open-neck, checked shirt under her sweater; they are poor. Face and skins worn. | Sings: Signifier: She seems to stare out into space with a furrowed brow and down-turned mouth. She appears worried and tired. Perhaps she’s wondering what to do next or where they will find food. Maybe they were shy, or maybe they were afraid of a strange woman with a camera and are seeking their mother’s comfort. Lange could also have posed them this way for greater effect. We feel close to the subject, more personal. QUESTION TWO | Yousef Karsh's famous photograph of Winston Churchill | Facts about the photo: captured in 1941 during the early years of World War II. It is said to be one of the most widely reproduced photos of all time. | Famously featured on the cover of LIFE magazine when WWII ended. The cigar-chomping, hard- drinking politician inspired the nation with his rousing speeches and roared when the British Empire needed him the most. | Churchill gave a speech to Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa. [On the 60th anniversary of that famous speech, Canada honored Karsh and Churchill with a commemorative stamp featuring above photo.] Signs: Signified: Stern cheeky gaze; proud; An Image of history; ‘determined’ look on Churchill’s face – annoyed by having his picture taken. Signifier: Is a reflection of his frustration, and illustrates his irritation with the photographer QUESTION THREE | Ferdinand de Saussure (1857–1913), the "father" of modern linguistics, to the signified as the mental concept. It is important to note that, according to Saussure, the sign is complet
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