Week 7

237130_A2_Wk7_Task 1_Visual analysis Meaning making and ‘Truth Value’_11 May 2016

It is interesting when viewing these two texts, when they explain their points about whether photography is subjective or objective. They both make reference to the oldest forms of photography and point out how it differs from the real thing, and make comparisons to painting or drawings. Photography gives a very realistic impression of what the original subject matter once was, yet details vary  (such as lighting which alters colour and the subject matter itself if the image is over or under exposed). Like truth, there is always something objective, yet the versions differ slightly depending on perspective, just as in photography there can be multiple photographs of the same subject, yet all will differ in exposure, cropping, angle, or focus.

This is important to recognise when analysing visual texts as it gives the viewer a clue of the meaning behind the work or insight into the artist’s intentions. By considering this we can have a better grasp of what the artist is trying to tell us and our own experiences of the text are made richer. This relates to the terms denotative and connotative which each communicate different depths of meaning, while closely aligning with the aforementioned terms objective and subjective. ‘Denotative’ relates to the image’s ‘face value’ or what subject matter appears at first glance and aligns with objective viewpoints to give a literal meaning. Whereas ‘connotative’ lends itself more to the deeper meanings beyond the explicit subject matter, and is relates to the word subjective or caters more towards a certain perspective. Connotative imagery concerns links with cultural or social aspects, which inform the context of work.

These ideas are important to consider when analysing visual texts in an essay, as these terms help inform the reader of hidden meanings of images.




Sturgeon, 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. 11 may 1016.


237130_A2_Wk7_Task 2_Seeing the World_11 May 2016


One visual text can be viewed various different ways, depending on the people who are looking at the visual text. For example, everyone has different life experiences, interpretations, and knowledge to bring to the text when trying to analyse it, so undoubtedly there will always be different outcomes when analysing works. It all comes back to a single person’s perspective. This is useful to consider when critically analysing the producer of a visual text as it can reveal to us how they might want us to ‘take in’ their work, this can also be applied the opposite way too. The artist could consider the ideas of world view, ideology and ‘the myth of photographic truth’ when considering how the audience may take in their work and whether the viewer’s own ideologies and worldviews will get in the way of them finding meaning. A visual text can also help represent, affirm, normalise, and promote dominant world view if it becomes popular enough, or relates to a wide enough social group. As the popularity of it increases, so does the awareness around it which others may start to believe, and adhere to their own situations. As an artist, it is important to consider these ideas when making art in order to do it well, as well as communicate to an audience that may or may not know what you are trying to say.


237130_A2_Wk7_Task 3_Contexual Understanding_11 May 2016



A map of pros and cons weighing up whether climate change is a result of human influence


The idea I chose to explore is the statement “Is Human Activity Primarily Responsible for Global Climate Change?”. This is a contestable issue as some people believe it is caused by human influence, whereas others maintain that it is part of earth’s natural cycle.  This is an important issue because Mirzoeff touches on it as well as how we are seeing its effects already in different parts of the world, and it is likely that there are more changes to come. During the Introduction of How to See the World, Mirzoeff talks about the how the world is changing, and makes reference to a “changing climate” (Mirzoeff 7) and again glosses over it during Chapter 6: The Changing World. In Chapter 6, environmentalist issues are discussed more than climate change itself, yet Mirzoeff goes more into depth about human contributions to the damage of our planet so far.

One visual text that comes to mind is Eve Mosher’s work called HighWaterLine, from the book  Art & Ecology Now by Andrew Brown. Mosher’s work involves a painted line on the ground stretching seventy miles along the waterfront of New York City, that marks ten feet above sea level. Ten feet above sea level is a significant number as it shows the potential for water levels to rise to as a result of global warming.

Both Mirzoeff and Mosher set out to draw awareness to the changes happening or the potentential for what climate related changes in the future could look like. Mirzoeff also mentions climate change briefly in order for it to link with his environmentalist ideologies such as the Anthropocene, and The Conquest of Nature.

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Mosher, Eve. HighWaterLine. 2007. Jpeg




ProCon.org. “Climate Change ProCon.org” ProCon.org. 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 11 May. 2016.

Brown, Andrew. Art & Ecology Now. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2014. Print. 11 May 2016


Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Introduction”. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. 11. Print. 11  May 2016

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Chapter 6”. The Changing World. London: Pelican, 2015. 11. Print. 11  May 2016

“HighWaterLine.” Eve S Mosher RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.


237130_A2_Wk7_Task 4_Questions to Topic Sentence_11 May 2016

The Anthropocene as mentioned by Mirzoeff in Chapter 6: The Changing World of How to See the World  is also known as The New Human Era, which follows the industrial revolution. This refers to how humanity’s impact on the earth has significantly affected its ability to cope with the changes.  Another term used often throughout Chapter 6: The Changing World is The Conquest of Nature, which basically talks about the obsessive Western ambition to harness the power of nature for humanity’s convenience. These two terms both relate to the environmentalist Ideology of conserving natures finite resources. This ideology is shown through images I have chosen to use to support my claims, which also deal with environmental concerns.


Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Chapter 6”. The Changing World. London: Pelican, 2015. 11. Print. 11  May 2016





Week 6


237130_A2_Wk6_Task 1_Library Research_10 May 2016


Useful Books Found During Library Task


237130_A2_Wk6_Task 2_Who Else Is Talking About This Stuff?_10 May 2016



237130_A2_Wk6_Task 3_Contextual Understanding_10 May 2016


Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics”. Practices Of Looking: An Introduction To Visual Culture. NewYork: Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-48. Print

Video: (explaining Ideology)



  1. Glossary entry: Ideology –  https://shannonlambertblog.wordpress.com/glossary/

2. One aspect of ideology that can be applied to my chosen images (for use in my essay) is ‘environmentalism’. This ideology can be defined as a system of values and beliefs that revolve around caring for the state of the environment. The term environmentalist however can be quite broad, with varying levels of commitment, yet it is obvious how some of the artists and their work mentioned in my essay align closely with this particular Ideology, by creating works that deal with drawing awareness to environmental issues.


237130_A2_Wk6_Task 4_Essay Topic Research_11 May 2016

The video above talks about the indigenous (aborigine) relationship with the land. This demonstrates how these people see the land as more than just their surroundings, but more of a sort of divine being that nourishes and feeds those who dwell there. This is an interesting point of view to consider, as Bob Randall’s attitude toward the land could fall into the environmentalism category of ideologies. Yet his ideas and beliefs seem to go further than a simple set of ideals and beliefs, he appears to genuinely live out his beliefs that he holds toward the land. This video gives us insight as to what environmentalist artists and designers may be channelling their creativity through in order to spread the message of environmentalism ideals through their work.


Week 5


237130_A2_Wk5_Task 1_Visual Literacy_10 May 2016


One idea that is continually brought up in this video is the concept of ‘perspective’. One way the ideas are communicated, is by the mirror which relates to perspective, because of its ability to literally warp perspective, as well as how it gives the viewer an idea of their own perspective within the painting (as a witness). Another aspect which is interesting to note, is the male gaze – as this is the perspective that the viewer assumes.  At first glance, this may not seem like it relates to my own images that may end up being used in my essay, but in fact perspective is important to consider. The male gaze (in the age when this painting was done) is the dominant perspective, just as the artist caters to it. This can be applied to environmental works as they appeal often to specific perspectives, here the artist’s message is aimed at everyone who has a part to play in the problem of the growing amount of pollution in the world, therefore the dominant perspective here is for anyone who makes rubbish, so basically the majority of people that view the art.  This video is also useful to refer back to when looking at how to analyse artwork properly.


Updated Word & Image Map


237130_A2_Wk5_Task 2_Contexual Understanding_10 May 2016

After reading the few pages in Practices of Looking, it was interesting to compare between the children and adult’s faces in the image The First Murder (before 1945) provided with the article. The context of the image is briefly mentioned in the article, informing the reader that the people in the picture were looking at the body of a dead gangster when the photograph was taken. Weegee (Arthur Felig) has managed to capture the contrast in emotions of both children and adults as the scene unfolds. The children do not understand the seriousness of the situation, so their faces appear to be caught up in the excitement of the event, craning their necks to catch a glimpse; while oppositely the two adults nearer the background avert their eyes and wear expressions of discomfort and grief. This emphasises the range of emotion associated with the practises of looking and the stimulation of voyeurism when looking at subject matter that is “taboo”.


237130_A2_Wk5_Task 3_Essay Topic Research_10 May 2016


Updated Word and Image Map


By reading the provided articles and annotating images, it helped to open my mind in terms of analysing art works. The articles showed me how to consider aspects which I had not considered before such as genre, medium, media, and the artists intention behind why they have done an artwork a certain way. These points will help me when analysing works of art in my essay, in order to help me get my point across to the reader better and communicate my ideas properly. By reading as well as annotating I feel more prepared to write my essay as well, seeing as I have used a range of study techniques to deepen my understanding of the art works I plan to use. By knowing how to consider these different aspects, it will assist me in my own art making and how i want to communicate my own ideas to viewers at a more advanced level.



237130_A2_Wk5_Task 4_Blog Post_10 May 2016

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Mount Zhong in the Mist (2007) by Yao Lu

Photographer and digital artist, Yao Lu digitally edits photographs of chinese landfills, covered in a green netting that at first glance appears as ancient Chinese hills. The end result consists of images that resemble ancient chinese landscape paintings. Through the work Mount Zhong in the Mist from 2007 as part of the series: ‘Concealment and Restriction’, this piece shows China’s problem of overflowing landfills, shown by the way the artist has disguised the nets that protect the landfills. The purpose of the covers is to contain dust, but some residents regard these as ugly. The netting also symbolises urbanisation and is there to remind viewers of the impact it has on the area nearby. This piece compares opposites such as nature vs urbanisation, and past vs present to comment about how times have changed. Similar to the way Impression: Sun Rising shows The Conquest of Nature through Impressionism, Mount Zhong in the Mist shows how nature has been conquered and overwhelmed by the huge population living there. A landscape that was once clean and thriving, now regarded as a dumping ground for the urban population.



Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics”. Practices Of Looking : An IntroductionToVisualCulture.:NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress,2009.9-11.Print.

Czeck, Jessica. “Landfill Photography: Chinese Garbage Style.” Visualness.com. Column Five, 27 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 May 2015. 

“Daniel Beltrá.” Daniel Beltrá. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2016.

“García Uriburu Y Greenpeace Tiñeron De Verde Las Aguas Del Riachuelo Para Exigir El Saneamiento De La Cuenca.” Greenpeace Argentina. N.p., 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 04 May 2016.

Gersh-Nesic, Dr. Beth. “A Beginners’s Guide to Impressionism.” Khaacademy.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 May 2016.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Daniel Anderson, and Christy Friend. “Reading Texts.” Beyond Words: Cultural Texts for Reading and Writing. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson, c2012. 10-37. Print.

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.


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.




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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.