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

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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).


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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.


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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.


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“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

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“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.



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