Week 4 Task 4 (A-C)

237130_A2_Wk4_Task 4(A)_Image Selection_13 April 2016

Video Review

Of the 3 video links provided, I personally found that each video gave a more in depth explanation of visual literacy than the last. The second link involved Martin Scorsese talking on the importance of visual literacy,which was of a good length giving enough relevant information to be useful, but not too long that I lost interest. I found it interesting to listen to him talk about specifically which tools to use and how they come together to communicate a specific message using a visual vocabulary. This video is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to know more about how to interpret what they want to visually say.


237130_A2_Wk4_Task 4(B)_Image Selection_13 April 2016

Image selection

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 4.02.33 PM.png

Jordan, Chris. “Chris Jordan – Running the Numbers.” Chris Jordan – Running the Numbers. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.

“Plastic bags” is of 60,000 plastic bags from an aerial viewpoint showing the amount of bags used in America every five seconds. This work by Chris Jordan in 2007 was chosen because it shows the consequences on a mass scale for the planet as humans consume relentlessly with such disregard for the earth and its resources. This relates to the essay question no.4, which looks at similar ideas such as human influences and impacts upon the planet which are discussed in ‘The Changing World’ (Mirzoeff, Chapter 6. 211-252).


Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.50.54 PM

Messinger, Kate. “June 4, 2014.” Thewildmagazine.com. N.p., 4 June 2014. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.

This image is of a collage by Eugenia Loli, named “the conquest of nature”. The title of the collage implies the artist is discussing environmental issues, and how there is much meaning to be extracted from this image. This piece shows how nature is much bigger than mankind and yet how we still try to conquer it, the same idea surfacing in the Chapter 6 of Mirzoeff’s How to See the World.


Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 6.04.15 PM

Jacobs, Liz. “Gallery: Edward Burtynsky’s Extraordinary Images of Manufactured Landscapes.” TED Blog Gallery Edward Burtynskys Extraordinary Images of Manufactured Landscapes Comments. N.p., 31 Oct. 2006. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.

This image titled: ‘Iberia Quarries #8’ was taken by photographer Edward Burtynsky, who documents landscapes that have been altered by the presence of humans. The image above was taken in 2006 at a quarry in Portugal; drawing attention to the environmental impact humans have on our planet and showing how gradually our earth is being turned into an industrial wasteland. Again this relates back to human influences on the environment and the grave consequences that follow when humanity strives for the conquest of nature.


Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.56.20 PM.png


“Inhabitat.com.” Inhabitat Green Design Innovation Architecture Green Building. N.p., 19 Mar. 2014. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.

This photograph was taken by existential artist Isaac Cordal, depicting a sculpture that comments on the lack of action being done around climate change. The piece critiques politicians everywhere and their lack of action on the subject. The scale of Cordal’s sculptures are to be noted as he wants to “celebrate the small”, communicating how all our individual smaller actions can add up collectively to make a bigger difference.  This piece asks viewers the question “what are we doing to our world?” a question that Cordal is inspired by.

237130_A2_Wk4_Task 4(C)_Image Selection_13 April 2016

Visual Analysis

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 9.48.31 PM
“Chroma.” John Sabraw. N.p., 2013. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

This abstract piece “CHROMA S1 17” by artist and environmentalist John Sabraw is part of a series as a strong display of the artists’ passions of caring for the environment and creating art. Made in 2013, this mixed media painting aims to communicate to the viewer what beauty can come of cleaning up the environment. This is especially evident when considering the production of this work, which involves the artist collecting water samples from a polluted stream. The samples then go through multiple processes to clean the water of toxins, as well as bring out the bright pigments in the leftover sediment which later becomes paint. The paint is then mixed with water, applied to an aluminium panel and left to dry for months as the water evaporates, leaving the pigments behind.  The pattern left behind is reminiscent of colourful water movements within a circular frame, leaving the viewer’s eye to bounce around the frame to different swirls of colour.

The bright colours immediately draw in the viewer, opening up an opportunity for the audience to learn more about the environmental inspirations behind Sabraw’s work. The abstract patterns paired with the circular frame make for an eye catching piece, as well as being symbolic of the deeper ideas that lurk beneath. The circular shape containing the watercolour patterning effect shows how the artist has chosen to interchange both controlled and organic processes; the precision of the perfectly circular frame alongside the uniquely organic shapes within the fame. The use of the circular frame is also symbolic of earth and the theme of ecosystems involved within it.

This work and others in the series have been so successful as to be part of collections in various places such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Elmhurst Museum in Illinois,  Honolulu and Emprise Bank. The fame of these pieces allow the audience to be exposed to the messages Sabraw is trying to communicate here, which also tie in to the environmental ideologies discussed in Mirzoeff’s “The Changing World” (Mirzoeff, chapter 6 211-252)

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “The Changing World”. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. 211-252. Print.



Week 4 Task 3 (A-G)



Written Response

Through Chapter 6: The Changing World, Mirzoeff asks us to think about the environmental impact that humans have made on earth and how rapidly this is making changes around us. The term “anthropocene” (meaning the “New Human Era” (Mirzoeff 219)) which is very relevant in this chapter, demonstrated through the use of various visual examples to demonstrate change over the centuries as a result of humankind’s lack of concern for the environment. Mirzoeff is asking us to pay attention to how much the world is changing all around us, not just where the effects aren’t as dramatic.

I think it is important that we learn more about these environmental issues, or at the very least be aware of them, as they are the driving force behind such dramatic environmental changes happening all around us. If humankind considers these issues, then we can have a better understanding of the constant changes that are happening and shaping our world as we see it. This is important because as a race we should naturally be interested anyway in the conditions of the places we live, and taking responsibility for what we put in and take out of the environment.

The image below is a photograph of a visual text in Mirzoeffs “How to See the World” that best exemplifies my understanding of this chapter as a whole. This image was chosen because it shows us so much information. The diagram on the top half of the page is a representative of the countries that produce the highest global percentage of carbon emissions with the size being relative to emissions produced. Therefore, bigger the country, the more emissions produced. The lower diagram shows us an estimated rate of mortality per country, again with size of the country being relative to the mortality rate.

Lambert, Shannon. Figure 66. 2016. JPEG.



Free Writing Task: noting down as much as possible on the chapter within 5 mins.




Paragraph Summary

Paragraph 16 in the Chapter 6 of Mirzoeff’s novel “How to See the World” talks about how birds are considered “inexhaustible resources” (Mirzoeff 224). The paragraph then continues to use the Passenger Pigeon as an example of how this common attitude was actually quite the misconception of its day. Even John James Audubon (a bird artist and ornithologist) was afraid humans would be the cause of the Passenger Pigeon going extinct, but could not fully imagine it due to the many birds he saw every day. Audubon’s attitude represents how most people feel about species on the verge of extinction today.




Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 9.32.47 AM.png


3E & 3F








Week 4 Task 2 (A-C)


Essay Question: no.4; ‘The Changing World’ (Mirzoeff, Chapter 6. 211 –252) considers human influences and impacts upon the environment, flora and fauna. He proposes that western cultures in particular have had a preoccupation with the ‘conquest of nature’ (220). Explain what he means and then discuss some of the different ways artists, designers and concerned others are drawing attention to the implications and consequences those influences and impacts have for people, and/or their environment. Conclude by considering the overall consequences for the planet and its different life forms.


From my own interpretation this essay question is asking me to explain and analyse using my own words to show how a number of artists/designers/others have chosen to draw attention to certain environmental issues and their impacts or potential impacts for people and the earth. This means I am going to have to analyse a number of art works, and present it in an essay format, complete with an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.



Mind Map (Thinking and Planning)



week 4 Task 1 (A-B)


Analytic Essay Writing

Online sources containing information about analytic essays

– Meirow, Eden. “This Analytical Essay Outline Will Kick Start Your Writing.” Kibin Blog. N.p., 8 Dec. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

“How to Develop and Write an Analytic Essay:.” How to Develop and Write an Analytic Essay:. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

“OnlineSpeechWriting.” Understanding The Essense Of Analytical Essay Writing. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

“Analytical Essay.” Hints for Faster Writing. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

“Differences between Descriptive and Analytical Essays.” The WritePass Journal. N.p., 15 Mar. 2013. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.


What an analytic essay is and how to approach writing it

An ‘analytic essay’ is a form of academic writing which discusses and analyses a specific idea from a chosen text such as a novel, painting, poem or film. Analytic writing is different to other forms of writing in the way that it uses a formal tone, ideas are generally straightforward and presented in a concise manner and does not try to convince the reader to agree with a given perspective.

It is important to consider the basic structure of an analytic essay during the planning stages, in order for ideas to be mentioned efficiently. This involves an introduction; the opening paragraph to both draw the reader in, containing a thesis sentence stating specifically what ideas are going to be expanded upon during the analysis.  Next are the body paragraphs; usually only three are required but more can be added if necessary. Here the idea is broken down further and discussed more specifically while supported by evidence from the text. Lastly comes the conclusion, where the reader senses the essay is coming to a close. To do this; the main points are mentioned again and the ideas are briefly related beyond the text to the real world.


Brief response to questions (activity 16, pg 76)

“Different approaches to planning and organising your writing” (Creme and Lea 72) all have their advantages and disadvantages. Most approaches either fall under the category of a shorter process that may risk skipping over important information or a longer process meaning there are too many irrelevant aspects mentioned because the writing process is so thorough. My own approach is most like “the architect writer” (Creme and Lea 76) because using diagrams and annotations is important to me when planing my writing. My own personal method differs though, because I see aspects of my own work ethic in all of the listed approaches, making it harder for me to narrow myself down to one. This is because during my writing process I use a range of methods which change depending on how well I know what I am talking about, and how much research is required.


Description of my own essay planning and organisation 

For example; when writing a major essay (and if time is not a factor), I begin by reading and researching widely around my given topic until I am confident enough to explain it using my own words.  During my research process I highlight and make annotations, before moving on to creating mind maps which help to form a rough plan and have more ideas to work with and link together. Sometimes I feel the need to make a more concise plan to go by while I write. I often edit as I go, pausing sometimes to re-research certain concepts, then revisit my draft essay until I am satisfied it is ready to be properly presented in a standard essay format.


Essay Planner/s I identify most with 

As stated above, I identify most with the “architect writer” (Creme and Lea 76) due to my habit of using brainstorms and mind maps, and how they play such a big part in my essay writing. Other writing styles that I work similarly to include the “grand plan writer” and the “patchwork writer”. I found it useful to read about alternative methods that others use to write essays because it broadens my thinking. It also provides another way of writing which may benefit me later, should I choose to adopt a new process in the future.



  • Creme, Phyllis, and Mary R. Lea. “Reading as Part of Writing.” Writing at University: A Guide for Students. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education, 2008. (71-76) eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 12. April. 2016.