Essay Draft 3 – 23/03

Explain why the processes of looking closely and thinking critically about visual texts are important to art and design practices.

By looking closely and thinking critically about a visual text you are able to gain a deeper understanding of the text. This comes in many forms, from understanding the context surrounding the visual text, being able to interpret the artist’s intentions behind the text, and applying this enhanced understanding to your own work as an artist or designer.

Understanding the context behind a visual text is important to understanding a visual text itself. Michael Clark discusses the importance of context in Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design into Words, “all artefacts are products of specific conditions, social, economic, technical, cultural, both the character of the object and how it was understood at the time are determined by these factors.”(Clarke 25) Learning these specific conditions surrounding a visual text can help contextualise it and aid to understanding the intention of the artist in the specific conditions. Mirzoeff adds to this, exploring the idea visual imagery in the world being in a state of constant change and contextualising a visual text can also prevent you from viewing the art with any prejudice and look at the text objectively. (Mirzoeff 3-11)

An example of the importance of looking closely at a visual text is the Te Papa Dreamworks Animation Exhibit. The whole concept of this exhibit is to not take the animation films at face value and dig deeper, to see the huge amount of work that goes into creating each scene. The exhibit is warm, entertaining and informative. By thinking critically about the exhibit details that normally go unnoticed such as the sound of familiar Dreamworks music playing in the room, location of big bubbly signs around the room, immersive movies and even the low ceiling and lush carpets become noticed and analysed as to their effect, all chosen carefully to serve the artist’s purpose- to create an engaging exhibit that entertains both adults and children.

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Kids Corner, Dreamworks Animation Exhibit, Te Papa, Personal Photograph by Jacob Paterson, 15 Mar 2016
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Dragon Flight: Dreamworks Animation Exhibit, Te Papa, Personal Photograph by Jacob Paterson, 15 Mar 2016
 

As an artist or a designer being able to critically examine other artist’s visual texts allows one to dissect their work and apply the same techniques to their own work. This is important in art and design practices as without understanding the techniques of how to manipulate an audience into seeing what you want them to see, you cannot create a fully compelling visual text. “To be made to look, to try to get someone else to look at something you want to be noticed, or to engage in an exchange of looks entails a play of power.” (Sturken, Marita and Cartwright 9) This is something that design students are taught by studying other artists and the way they use aspects such as fundamental design principals in their work to create more successful compositions.

Overall art and design is all about thinking critically about visual texts and unpacking their meaning. It is a skill required by all successful people in the art world, which is why it is so prevalent in the world we live in and there are so many opportunities for people to look closer and with a critical eye in our own lives. By looking at other artist’s visual texts that surround us in everyday lives we can then apply their techniques to our own as well as gaining a greater understanding of our world.

Works Cited

Clarke, Michael. “Language and Meaning” Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design into Words. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Publishing, 2007. Page 25. Print.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Introduction”. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. 1-27. Print.

Sturken, Marita and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics” Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York, Oxford University Press,  2009. 9-48. Print.

 

Essay Draft 2 – 21/03

By looking closely and thinking critically about a visual text you are able to gain a deeper understanding of the text. This comes in many forms; from being able to interpret the artist’s intentions in creating the text, to understanding the context surrounding the visual text, and as an artist or designer being able to apply that to your own work.

Understanding the intentions behind a visual text is important understanding a visual text itself. As Michael Clarke puts it in Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design into Words, “all artefacts are products of specific conditions, social, economic, technical, cultural, both the character of the object and how it was understood at the time are determined by these factors.”(Clarke 25) Learning these specific conditions surrounding a visual text can help contextualise it and aid to understanding the intention of the artist in the specific conditions.

An example of the importance of looking closely about a visual text is the Te Papa Dreamworks Animation Exhibit. The whole concept of this exhibit is not taking the animation films at face value and actually digging deeper and finding there is a huge amount of work that goes on to creating each scene. The exhibit is warm, entertaining and informative. But by being aware of the space and the design of the exhibit you can figure out what the designer of the exhibit has done to create this effect. By thinking critically about the exhibit details that are normally not noticed such as the sound of familiar dreamworks music playing in the room, location of signs around the room and even the low ceiling and lush carpets become noticed and analysed as to their effect, all chosen carefully to serve the artist’s purpose.

As an artist and a designer being able to look critical about other artist’s texts allows one to dissect their work and apply the same techniques to their own work. This is very important in art and design practices as without understanding the techniques of how to manipulate an audience into seeing what you want them to see, you cannot create a fully compelling visual text. “To be made to look, to try to get someone else to look at something you want to be noticed, or to engage in an exchange of looks entails a play of power.” (Sturken, Marita and Cartwright 9)

Overall art and design is all about thinking critically about visual texts and unpacking their meaning. It is a skill required by all successful people in the art world, which is why it is so prevalent in the world we live in and there are so many opportunities for people to look closer and with a critical eye in our own lives. By looking at other artist’s visual texts that surround us in everyday lives we can then apply their techniques to our own as well as gaining a greater understanding of our world.

 

Bibliography:

Clarke, Michael. “Language and Meaning” Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design into Words. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Publishing, 2007. Page 25. Print.

Sturken, Marita and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics” Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York, Oxford University Press,  2009. 9-48. Print.

Essay Draft 1 – 20/03

Explain why the processes of looking closely and thinking critically about visual texts are important to art and design practices.

Possible Key Ideas:

1. It gives a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

2. Different perspectives can be observed

3. See a change over time in visual texts

4. Can apply this to your own work

5. Appreciate the power of visual texts

 

Deeper Understanding: Split into 2 parts; artist intentions and context.

Possible Quotes:

“all artefacts are products of specific conditions, social, economic, technical, cultural, both the character of the object and how it was understood at the time are determined by these factors.”(Clarke 25)

Mirzoeff: example of blue marble/ general contextualization

Example from te papa/ lasertag?

Application to own work quotes:

“To be made to look, to try to get someone else to look at something you want to be noticed, or to engage in an exchange of looks entails a play of power.” (Sturken, Marita and Cartwright 9) – talking about the power of getting people to look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

week 3, Task 2b: The Author’s Voice 18/03

I found this text revealing into what critical thinking actually is, especially the details on what critical thinking covers; creative thinking, analyzing, problem-solving, reasoning and evaluating. (Wallace, Schirato and Bright 46,47)

I also found it useful for the text to outline, in a clear direct way how a critical thinker looks at the world, “The critical thinker is sceptical- always ready to ask whether we really know that something is so, and always willing to take compelling new evidence into account.” (Wallace, Schirato and Bright 49)

The authors write in a clear, concise manner which is easy to read. The text is pitched towards people starting at university therefore the simple tone is appropriate and coupled with the repetition of personal pronouns such as ‘you’ and ‘we’ makes the possibly inexperienced reader feel comfortable and connected from the beginning of the text.

I enjoyed reading this text because I have found may of the other set texts more difficult to read and use more complex language as well as a large amount of arguably irrelevant information which confuses the message of the text. This text did not and I thought i grasped the ideas presented in this text better than any of the others presented in this course.

Week 3, task 1: Context 18/03

Context is important when critically thinking about a visual text because without grasping the whole scenario surrounding the making and producing of the visual text, one cannot truly critically unpack the possible meanings and artist intentions behind the text. This could alter depending of the time/place/views of the artist at the time of making the visual text. (Ruszkiewicz, et all 32)

Task 4 Week 2: Visual Text Analysis 16/3

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Dragon Flight: Dreamworks Animation Exhibit, Te Papa, Personal Photograph by Jacob Paterson, 15 Mar 2016
The visual text I chose was the short movie “Dragon Flight: A Dragon’s Eye View of Berk” which was displayed in the Te Papa Dreamworks Exhibit.

This movie is entertaining as it takes you on a first person view of the dragon, toothless, from the Dreamworks movie ‘How to Train your Dragon‘ which explores the animation process behind each creating the world they live in, in the movie. This movie is clearly important as it requires you to stand in a small line within the actual exhibit to go in a separate room to view it and has a sign above and a person standing to monitor the line and usher people in. The movie is made recently, specifically for the exhibit and is extremely immersive, being first person as well as having the screen curved around half the room to make it seem like the world surrounds you in every direction. It also exemplifies the whole exhibit, being immersive, entertaining and educational.

Week 2, Task 3: Comparison 16/03

Sound:

The Dreamworks exhibit had the soundtracks to its popular movies playing while walking through the exhibit, this made you feel more immersed in the experience as you walked through. As well as this it included various short movies you could watch and listen to, and a whole area dedicated to sound and music where you could listen to the score from their movies.

In Laserforce there was no music playing until you got into the laser tag arena, the arcade sound was just the sound of machines buzzing. But in the arena there was fast paced action/space themed music and mission announcements. Perhaps this lack of music outside was to courage you to spend money to get to the more face-paced, fun area.

Visual Feel:

Dreamworks having a closed ceiling, friendly staff and generally warm feeling with carpets and seating locations and even a kids area gave the whole exhibit a welcoming feel to it. While laser tag had an ‘open’ ceiling and a colder warehouse feel that was not as welcoming and didn’t encourage you to stay, this is most likely due to the difference in money available to each place. However both places had bright imagery and interactive elements that appealed to young people.