Tag Archive: Visual Culture

Clarke talks about the importance of words and how we verbalize our visualization. We do that everyday in our daily lives, trying to explain a beautiful painting, a movie that we just went, a commercial that was interesting, and a lot more. They all require some explanation in words. “The frequently voiced claim that we live in a culture dominated by visual communication, advertising, film, television or the Net may be true but this has not diminished our need to articulate in words our response to this overwhelming visual culture. When we are naming things, its very different from one person to anther and it all depends upon the words to convey the visual appearance of something. “In any gallery, museum, temporary public or commercial exhibition, it isn’t only the name of the artist or designer that viewers are seeking when they lean forward to read the little card on the wall. It is the title too. This alone indicates just how closely related are the visual and the verbal, even if the title turns out to be the paradoxical, ‘this is not a pipe’, or enigmatic, ‘untitled'”.


This is Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, which I went to see last weekend in The Museum of Modern Art in New York. It is one of his most well known images in modern culture. He painted this in his later years where his inspiration came from death and his interpretation. If he were to convey what he saw from his window through words, I don’t think anyone can paint a better picture in their heads than van Gogh.

Visual Culture application

 I found an interesting example but it will require you to understand some Chinese if you want to view the web page.

It is true that an image will give a quite understanding of what someone is trying to give but it will also have a downside of turning the meaning to something else because there are many text and information have been left out.

The example I found is E-temple (like E-church). In Chinese culture religion plays a huge role in the culture, people go to temple to pray (pray for different god) or light lanterns (paid)  for their health, work, relationship, study, business and so on. There are many historical stories or personal experience behind these behaviors but recently I found a web site that allow you to pray through a web site and choose the god you want to pray by scroll down the drop box and pay (or donate) for the lantern online. It is very cool for people who is far away from their country but I feel that the entire meaning of go to the temple is gone. This visual culture is a great idea but when it comes to practice I feel that there is a huge cap between the actual culture and the visual culture that it becomes. This new form of visual culture might cause a huge misunderstand of the old and tradition culture to the future generation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7HS4hejtdI – video of the tradition practice

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Ftwn.ufuin.com%2F – new form of e-temple

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.