Clarke Reading

The reading this week discusses how we use a major part of our daily conversation to describe things we have seen. Throughout his article, Clarke discusses all the different ways we can discuss our visual culture and uses examples to show the reader how they are used. Another theme that appears through the description of each of the points is that trying to describe imagery is extremely subjective when we get past literal details. For example, when he explains ‘describing,’ he says that it “often involves a delicate balance of interests [that]… might be a highly subjective, emotionally or ideologically charged account revealing as much about the speaker as the subject.” (Clarke 23) Other analysis tools such as analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating are very similar, because it depends on the viewer’s opinions on which elements of a visual object are more important. Finally, at the end of the article, the author gives us three questions to think about. They include:

1. Is the text primarily descriptive, informational, or interpretive?

2. Does the text add anything to your understanding of the image?

3. What kind of language is used?

Overall, Clarke is very detailed when it comes to discussing how we describe our visual culture everyday. It is very insightful when it comes to using language and linguistic devices to describe visual artifacts.

-Kyle Buck

Advertisements

Within the reading this week, Clarke explains through a series of examples that “interpreting a visual image involves a complete engagement with all its elements and possible meanings. It is a complex process and never conclusive [and therefore,] identifying the historical and cultural context of an image is always revealing,” (Clarke 36, 37). What is this means is that images, artifcacts and advertisements alike may not provide any literal text to describe what is going on in the visual. That is one of the beauties of art. It is up to interpretation. These images are encoded with messages through references to ideas, customs, landmarks, beliefs, figures, events and etc. that the viewer has possibly been preexposed to and will then bring meaning to the image at hand. As well, when text is provided with an image, the language should not go unnoticed as Clarke mentions. Literary devices which are useful to create a stronger meaning of an image are the following: similes, metaphors, connotations, and denotations. Every word serves a purpose and Clarke provides three questions that can be asked to identify the relationship between the text and the artifact.

1. Is the text primarily descriptive, informational, or interpretive?

2. Does the text add anything to your understanding of the image?

3. What kind of language is used?

In conclusion, Clarke wants to make clear that “what the various elements in a visual image suggest or connotate are essential in the thinking of both the creator and the interpreter of images,” (Clarke 37). There is a purpose for everything detail; it just takes the right clues to solve or admire the image’s significance.

Clarke Reading Summary

This week’s reading was about visual culture.  Overall, the article connects our use of language to our prominent visual culture.  Clarke begins the article with, “We all constantly verbalise our visual experience” (9).  Clarke took a historic approach, looking back on captions of different artworks and relating them to visual culture.  The article was divided into different sections with a summary of each section on the end.  Naming, describing, contextualising, analysing, Interpreting, and evaluating are ways in which we discuss visual artefacts.  Clarke also addresses linguistic functions such as simile, metaphor, denotation, connotation.  The article also includes an activity with the questions 1.  Is the text primarily descriptive, informational, or interpretive?  2.  Does the text add anything to your understanding of the image?  3.  What kind of language is used?  Overall, the article did a great job of connecting language to visual culture and had great explanations to back it as evidence.

While this week’s reading addresses visual culture, the core of this piece is actually about language, specifically how we (can) use it to articulate our response to our increasingly visual culture. Coupling visual examples with written responses from critics and scholars, Clarke analyzes the different functions of language as verbalizations of visual experiences. Building on these examples, Clarke also suggests a 10-part framework for using language to express ideas about the things we see.

Beginning on page 36, there is a summary of Clarke’s explanation of the relationship between language and visual artefacts. While that’s helpful, Clarke’s examples and their analysis will be very useful in putting together a strategy for writing our remaining critical analyses. There are explanations of specific linguistic devices such as metaphor and simile, as well as discussions of larger concepts, like the importance of placing objects in context when describing them. Also worth considering is the practice activity on page 34, where the author asks the reader to consider a few examples and then poses the following questions:

  1. Is the text primarily descriptive, informational, or interpretative?
  2. Does the text add anything to your understanding of the image?
  3. What kind of language is used?

These questions serve as a good starting point for approaching a visual analysis and encourage the application of the different aspects communication within visual culture.

— Nikki Pinney

This week reading is about language and visual artefacts. Clarke explains how people visualize things that relate to us and how we experience those things. Also, he says that we use those things in our culture in certain ways. He mentions ten aspects of how we visualize art in our culture. The first is how the language can interpret the object instead of naming them so, the image itself can give its meaning which help people to categories things. Second, he explains how word may not explain the meaning of the object and jus words can explain other words. Third, how the historical and cultural context of an image can identify the culture and revealing it without put more descriptive for image.  Fourth, he talks about how the analyzing visual image can help us to get the idea of the whole image. Fifth, he talks about analyzing and how it is so complex and conclusive. Next aspect is about evaluating the image by giving it our thought and meaning of it and each aspect is can be very important to us. Another aspect is how we understand that some images can be related to each other and has the same aspect. In additional aspect is the same for the pervious one, which just by represent those images as a metaphor in other images. Other aspect is that the denotatory of naming and describing can be based on evident and least debatable aspect of an image. Final aspect is that there are some aspects in the image can be interpreter differently and do not related to other aspect of the image and this is called connotation.