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