Tag Archive: Clarke

Visual Culture-Clarke-Ragains-10/25

Clarke discusses associative learning is his article.  This is how one learns by associating items they see with images they already know, in other words, recognizing things because you have seen them before. Everyday things’ appearances are how people teach our language. This is a key part of human language and is extremely import in human communication.  Not all people and cultures see the same thing, though.  Clarkes article discusses how communication is more difficult with other generations or cultures, and uses the example of paintings and pictures to illustrate how different a point of view can be.  I feel the article basically discusses how experience is subjective in nature.  Even seeing something new brings about connections in the brain of similar or other image, so that the brain can understand what it is seeing.  Clarke makes a good claim in the paper.


In Clarke’s article, he talks about how our language is conveyed through the use of imagery from things that we interact with on a daily basis.  With these images, it can be interpreted many ways depending on the person’s culture or something called associative learning.  Clarke talks about associative learning and how when we see an image we relate it to something we have seen before.  The things that people relate the image to are different for everyone because some people may not think the same thing as you would.  He explains this through examples of paintings and pictures pointing out certain aspects of the pictures and comparing those points to something that has been learned before.  Getting the interpretation through a friend is easier because they are in your generation compared to getting it through a different generation.  It is hard to find the balance when closing this generation gap in order for them to interpret the correct thing.  The use of metaphors is one good way to help close this gap so that everyone understands what is being represented.  I believe Clarke makes a good point on how we take these “images” and associate it to something that we have learned prior to seeing that “image”.

Reading Summary-Clarke-jpagels-10/25

Through Clarke’s reading we gain insight as to how we describe visual artifacts.  It is through techniques such as naming, describing, contextualizing, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, similes, metaphors, denotation, and connotation that we describe visual artifacts.  I will take an example from the reading and use a few of these techniques to describe aspects of the image.

From the reading, for example, the Dashboard for the Cadillac by Harley Earl 1954 Clarke describes this as being influenced by the beginning of space travel mimicking the controls of a space craft cockpit.  This gives the consumer a sense of sophisticated technology with the urge for exploration.  This photograph also has other meaning besides exploration.  Because analysis is never conclusive we could also bring up the fact that this design was not only meant to mimic a cockpit, but it was also designed fancily for the rich man’s tastes.  In terms of naming, Cadillac in general is associated with US manufacturing and being a top-of-the-line automobile brand.  In terms of description, like analysis, it is also never conclusive.  If a person who has owned Cadillacs his whole life were to describe the dashboard of a 1954 Cadillac, it would be very different from a person who has only owned Ford vehicles.  The amount of description a person gives can depend on many subjective factors.

Here I have taken a few techniques mentioned by Clarke to describe the Dashboard for the Cadillac by Harley Earl 1954.  Hopefully through this example some insight can be gained as to what the reading was about.