Learning outcomes (end of part four)
I have enjoyed this part of the course and learning about semiotics, deconstruction and the grammar of photography. In the previous part of the course I submitted an assignment (photographing the unseen), on Illiteracy. I unwittingly preempted some of this current learning when I considered the different types of language we use in order to communicate. I was interested in all the different codes that form the way we transmit meaning and tried to articulate it in preliminary work for the ‘unseen’ assignment. Here is what I attempted:
A post to show my thinking is here
I was trying to visually articulate some of the different codes that we use and how some people can read some codes and not others, rather like some people can read French but not Spanish; as Philip-Lorca diCorcia said, “Photography is a foreign language everyone thinks he speaks.” (Likesuccess.com, 2018).
Creation of images that demonstrate a practical and conceptual understanding of the appropriate use of techniques
This assignment was not image based. However, choosing the one image to analyse for assignment four, involved research into a short list of possible images and this necessarily involved considering the ideas and meaning behind them. For my work on image consideration please see below:
Demonstration of an emerging critical awareness and ability to translate ideas into imagery
On the contrary, this written assignment encouraged the translation of imagery into ideas. The image that I selected for the essay was this one by Dulcie Wagstaff and I enjoyed the deconstruction of this image in order to present my own interpretation of it.
Sharon Boothroyd said in the OCA course materials, ‘a picture might mean one thing to one person and something entirely different to another’ (Boothroyd, 2014 p 100). So, thinking about how the image created ideas in my mind and how it triggered a particular meaning for me made me aware of the deconstruction of an image rather than the making of one.
Conduct research, development and production in response to the themes raised in this course
During part four I have engaged with the main terms associated with semiotics and have an understanding of photography as a visual language with its own codes and grammar. I have also understood that a photograph is not something that can be merely ‘translated’ as there is a subjectivity that results in ‘interpretation’ as Boothroyd says ‘ an interpretive approach to understanding pictures takes into consideration the fluctuating and conflicting codes inherent within them’ (Boothroyd, 2014, p 100). Two main ‘light bulb’ moments for me was the understanding of ‘denotation’ and ‘connotation’. and the terms ‘punctum’ and ‘studium’.
Show a critical understanding of contemporary imagery in relation to historical practice and theory
I have considered Wagtaff’s image for the assignment but I was keen to inform my understanding of it by considering other practitioners who have engaged with issues of psychological illness. Considering Jeff Walls’ Insomnia and some of the work of Francesca Woodman brought the artists together in my mind to allow a wider appreciation of work in the field of mental health generally.
I enjoy essay writing and have appreciated the chance to remind myself of the correct approach after having ten years’ absence from HE academic writing.
Boothroyd, S (2014) Context and Narrative, Open College of the Arts.
Likesuccess.com. (2018). Photography is a foreign language everyo by Philip-Lorca diCorcia @ Like Success. [online] Available at: http://likesuccess.com/1480202 [Accessed 1 Mar. 2018].