Week 7

Student name: Matt Hillesheim

Date of post: 8/9/2014

Topic and relevant lecture week: Interaction, Semiotics

Semiotic Analysis

savioursaviouredit

Image Source – Google Images

The image is of a young African child being treated and cared for by a doctor. It is a symbolic image that resonates the issues that third world countries face. In this case the image is a representation of medical issues that young children face growing up in these countries. The building blocks identified are the doctor, the child, the mirror and the medical gown covering the child.

 

The main signifier is the image of a doctor holding a helpless child. He is signified as a saviour who is helping to save a child who gravely needs help. He is seen as a moral compass which is magnified with the light settings around him. Using dyers list representation of manner is important as he is looking down gracefully yet somewhat saddened at the state of the little boy.

 

An element that further portrays this imagery and even subjectively adds a spiritual or religious sense is the signifier of the mirror. The camera angle, distance and the standing position of the doctor give the illusion that the mirror signifies (signified) a halo. From the audience perspective the camera appears slightly tilted downwards. This gives the audience a perspective which helps emphasize guilt and sadness.

 

Finally the signifier that is the boy being held in the arms of the doctor. He is signified as helpless, ill and in need of medical treatment. His eyes are closed and he appears in a state of complete vulnerability, fully trusting the doctor to care for him. He can also be used as a metaphor for the health issues young children face growing up in poverty. The fact that he is a young child clarifies this as a stronger humanitarian problem than if it was an older man or woman. Collectively these signs have a symbol relationship due to the overall composition of the image which revolves around the focal point of the doctor and child but becomes symbolic due to the staging, lighting and the distance/perspective the photo was taken.

 

Despite the image being very symbolic it is seen as a narrative as the viewer naturally asks questions of why the child is in this state and being treated by a doctor. A journey clearly took place to lead to the point where the image was taken.

flowerflowerdit

Image Source –

http://vi.sualize.us/war_war_soldier_peace_flower_picture_bo17.html

This image is taken in Iraq with a young girl giving a soldier a flower. The image at glance symbolises the innocence that can unfairly be engulfed in war. It is represented as a narrative because of the well-publicised issues in Iraq and the context in which a young Iraqi girl is interacting with a Caucasian soldier. This image is similar to the other as they are both narratives despite having very strong symbolic elements.

 

There are three main signals that represent the building blocks for the image. The first signifier is represented by a young female child. This is signified as the innocence and unfairness of the situation. Although there is no violence depicted it is clear that the child is present in a warzone and a dire situation. Their representation of activity portrays this innocence as despite engaging with the soldier she is still standoffish and maintaining a distance from a man perceived as a stranger. Salience is present by the bright clothing strongly standing out compared to the low value and dull colours of the background and soldier.

 

The second signifier is the armed soldier receiving the flower. Signified his role can be interpreted in a variety of ways. He can be signified as the image of violence and destruction due to his occupation, a figure of war. However he can also be viewed as a hero who is protecting the nation from more harm. Considering the interaction with the young girl she must perceive him as an approachable figure. His sitting position with the gun on his lap is quite unopen yet relaxed.

 

The last and most important signifier is the flower. The flower as a signal in interaction with the other signals is a relationship that is symbolic. If there was no flower the interpretation of the image would be vastly different. As well as if the image was zoomed in on the flower and hands, the context would be more universal to the world than strictly to the situation in Iraq. It is signified that the flower represents peace, compassion, innocence and friendship. The distance of the shot fits both child and man evenly and makes them viewed as strangers and unfamiliar with each other. Metaphorically the image represents the innocence that is present in an area torn apart by war.

References

Gillian Rose., (2001). Chapter 4: Semiology. In Gillian Rose., Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials, (pp.69 – 99).

Jewitt, Carey and Oyama, R, (2001). Visual Meaning: A Social Semiotic Approach. In Van Leeuwen, Theo and Jewitt, Carey, Handbook of visual analysis, (pp.134 – 157). Thousand Oaks [Calif: Sage.]

O’Neill, Shaleph, (2008). Chapter 5 : Semiotic Theory : Signs and Signification. In O’Neill, Shaleph, Interactive media : the semiotics of embodied interaction, (pp.67 – 82). London : Springer.

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Week 6

Student name: Matt Hillesheim

Date of post: 8/9/2014

Topic and relevant lecture week: Advertisement, Semiotics

Semiotic Analysis

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Image Source –

http://perezhilton.com/tag/diet_pepsi/#.VAx-Q7DlrIU

 

This is a new Pepsi campaign featuring Sofia Vergara promoting the new slim can Pepsi range. On the surface the advertisement represents a beautiful mysterious slim woman drinking a Pepsi.

 

The Pepsi can is the focal point of the image due to its central positioning and high colour value in comparison to the blues. The Pepsi can is the first signifier which is signified as the new popular soda can. There is an implied correlation to the slimness of the can and the slimness and beauty of the women. The women and Pepsi can are intended to have this direct icon relationship. The women signifier is signified to have many desirable attractive qualities to both a male and female audience. Firstly she is only partly in the shot, concealing the majority of her body. Along with the large hat which conceals her eyes and hair. Her representation of body as used in dyer’s list is to be elegantly beautiful, yet mysterious. This mysterious imagery implies that she is secretive. The ad can be seen as her drinking the slim Pepsi can as her secret to staying slim, young and beautiful.

 

The distance of the shot is semi close, if she was looking at the audience it could be intimate. However she is gazing across to be unattached to the viewer. This is to assert her higher value and make her presence appear exclusive. The text on the left side is a signal to textually empathise the ‘slim’ relationship between the elements. The text is all white with the word ‘new’ being dark blue against a light blue background. The dark blue word doesn’t stand out as strongly as the white text does against the background. It is intended to single out that the Pepsi can is new. However Pepsi wants to further empathise that the can is ‘slim’. The textual and visual term of slim is intended to be attractive and valuable to the audience. Another aspect is that the text is on its side. This is also to empathise slim by instead of having horizontal text it is vertical. As slim is identified by horizontal length and not vertical length.

coke_01coke_01edit

Image Source –

http://murraydms.ning.com/forum/topics/rock-lobstahs-looking-at-aesthetics?commentId=6143950%3AComment%3A45440

 

This is an advertisement for Coke that illustrates an unusually amount of colourful objects exiting the coke bottle implying a party is happening. The image is conceptual as it’s meant to symbolise the connection between drinking coke and having fun.

 

The first signifier is the simplified all white coke bottle. This is the first building block which the rest of the focalised elements build off. The all-white high value colour stands out in the highly saturated image. Although it is difficult to identify it as the focal point because of the amount of contrasting objects above. Signified the coke bottle is presented as a party drink. The other signals in the image further support this point.

 

The second signifier is the collective content of colourful objects flowing out of the coke bottle. These are in the form of rainbows, bubbles, teddy bears, vehicles and more. This is the most important and focalised signal in the image as it represents the conceptual symbolism which is consistent with Coke’s branding. Signified these collective designs represent a fun and party element. Implying that drinking coke equals having fun, being in a party mood and youthful energy. Suggesting that drinking coke will give you a buzz and extra energy. This is further implied by the disco ball at the top of the image that supports the party vibe implied.

 

The third signifier is the red clouded background. Signified the clouded background is to show that the Coke experience takes you to new heights. Clouds can be used to represent the visual aspects of heaven or a greater place. Coke uses this add to imply that drinking Coke is an enhanced experience. The red clouds are used to support the overall party vibe of the advertisement.

 

The text establishes the relationship within the imagery and puts it into context. The text implies that a Coke will open up a new experience. Connecting all the elements implies that drinking Coke will open up new fun experiences.

 

References

 

 

Gillian Rose., (2001). Chapter 4: Semiology. In Gillian Rose., Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials, (pp.69 – 99).

 

Jewitt, Carey and Oyama, R, (2001). Visual Meaning: A Social Semiotic Approach. In Van Leeuwen, Theo and Jewitt, Carey, Handbook of visual analysis, (pp.134 – 157). Thousand Oaks [Calif: Sage.]

 

O’Neill, Shaleph, (2008). Chapter 5 : Semiotic Theory : Signs and Signification. In O’Neill, Shaleph, Interactive media : the semiotics of embodied interaction, (pp.67 – 82). London : Springer.

 

 

Week 5

Student name: Matt Hillesheim

Date of post: 8/9/2014

Topic and relevant lecture week: Selfies, Guest lecture

lefielefieedit

Contextual information:

Artist – Ricky Gervais

Title – Selfie

Year of creation –2013

Dimensions – 620px x 388px

Collection/source – Twitter

Technique, material – Camera

Genre – Selfie

Style – Comedy

Image URL / originhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzT3cj_biwA

 

Content

A selfie taken by comedian Ricky Gervais with Conan O’Brien in a bathtub during the Conan O’Brien Show on live television

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis

The image has high colour value and high saturation with rich intense colours. Hue ranges from dark browns and contrasts to the lighter hues of the skin and white foam.

 

Spatial organization

The image is very confined with the two faces occupying the majority of the image, being the clear focal points. The man on the left is the first focal point because he is perceived as being in front of the man on the left due to his shoulder being visible in front. Because the camera is focused predominantly on their faces means that their facial expression evoke the overall vibe of the image to the audience.

 

Light

This photo was taken in a studio with strong overhead lighting. There is no shadow or elements with low colour value. This adds to the humour of the image as the intense lighting adds to the context of creating the most unflattering photo as possible

 

Expressive content

The purpose of the image is to take an unflattering photo in an awkward situation (two semi-nude males in a bathtub together). The facial expressions are intentional awkward and weird in a humorous manner.

Rock-selfieRock-selfieedit

Contextual information:

Artist – Dwayne Johnson

Title – Selfie

Year of creation –2014

Dimensions – 1024px x 768px

Collection/source – Twitter

Technique, material – Camera

Genre – Selfie

Style – Aggressive

Image URL / originhttp://dailywrestlingnews.com/crazy-new-selfie-rock-working/

 

Content  

A selfie by celebrity Dwayne Johnson ‘The Rock’ during a workout at the gym.

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis  

The image features predominantly greyscale colours as seen in the background and the shirt Dwayne is wearing. Although Dwayne’s face is the focal point the red boxer on his shirt stands outs because of its high colour value in relation to the lower value of the grey shirt.

 

Spatial organization  

Dwayne Johnson’s face is the focal point as his skin tone stands out from the greyscale surroundings. When viewed the audience looks at the top centre first where the face is and goes downwards to his shirt then to the background landscape. The camera lens is from below looking upwards. This angle looking from below expresses masculinity and dominance.

 

Light

There are two light sources. One which is behind Dwayne that projects a low saturated yellowish light and one to the right which projects a low saturated whitish light. The yellowish light is almost like a sun behind Dwayne and adds to the dominant image Dwayne is displaying. The light source is not as dominant as the other example, influencing the saturation and colour value of the image.

 

Expressive content  

The expression on Dwayne’s face is an angry expression which he is using to portray himself as an alpha male who is dominant. He is attempting to make himself look scary and almost make the viewer feel like a victim who is looking up to him. This photo perhaps could have been taken to show him releasing his anger after a workout. Similar to the other example where Dwayne is not attempting to make himself look flattering, rather gauge an emotional response from the audience.

 

 

References

 

Gillian Rose., (2001). Chapter 4: Semiology. In Gillian Rose., Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials, (pp.69 – 99)

 

 

 

Week 3

Student name: Matt Hillesheim

Date of post: 8/9/2014

Topic and relevant lecture week: Video Sequence, Compositional Interpretation

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Contextual information:

Artist – Vince Gilligan

Title – Crawl Space

Year of creation –2011

Collection/source – Breaking Bad

Technique, material – Film

Genre – Drama

Image URL / originhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWfK5JyD2bA

 

Content

A screen capture of several scenes at the end of the Breaking Bad episode ‘Crawl Space’. The scene involves Walter White losing his sanity when it is discovered his wife Skylar had used his money to pay off an associate.

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis

The saturation through the scene is low with low colour value. The characters are wearing lowly saturated dry coloured outfits as well. This is very deliberate as the context of the scene is very dark and manic and the colouring and editing throughout the scene matches these emotions.

 

Spatial organization

In the scenes where the two main characters are interacting the camera is angled for the viewer to have the perspective of each character looking up and down. When looking down at Walter in the crawl the camera is quite shaky, whereas when looking up at Skylar the camera is stable. This is to symbolize the franticness of Walter in the context of the situation compared to Skylar t. At the end of the scene when zooming out the focal point is at the centre as the perspective depth becomes deeper. This part is very symbolical and could be taken as a metaphor or foreshadow to Walter’s subjective decay.

 

 

 

Light

There is little perceived lighting as the scene involves heavy shadows deliberately to add to the darkness of the scenario. As seen in the first image there are three light sources. One from above Walter, one behind him and one to our left. The light sources are all shining into Walter’s direction without having an impact on his dark shadowed figure. Also seen in the image 5, light has little effect on the overall colour and saturation with her face concealed in shadow.

 

Expressive content

The overall atmosphere of the scene is very negative and dark with even positive forms of colour (light sources) unable to rise the value of colour throughout the scene. The feeling is very negative and somewhat frightening once Walt begins laughing with the phone conversation in the background. The way Walter is portrayed at the end in the crawl space with the zooming out camera gives an impression of an ending with loud nonsense music adding to the mania just experience and the uncertain future.

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Contextual information:

Artist – Dethklok

Title – The Doomstar Requiem Toki/Skwisgaar Guitar Duel

Year of creation –2013

Collection/source – Metalocalypse

Technique, material – Animation

Genre – Cartoon

Image URL / originhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBYQAR8fG1w

 

Content

Several screen captures from an animation depicting a guitar duel battle between two fictional characters

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis (this is a discussion of the Hue, saturation, value across the image and as applied for emphasis & perspective and requires some annotating)

 

Saturation and value both change dramatically through the development of the scene. The scene starts with very low saturation and high value with bright white colours. Then as the scene develops the saturation raises and the value drops as the scene gets darker, yet the blue and pink colours become more prominent.

 

Spatial organization

In each scene cut the camera slowly zooms in to emphasize the building up of the music. In images 2 and 3 the vanishing point is the opposite character in the distance. Perspective lines are drawn from the top and bottom of the closer inwards to the opposite character.

 

Light

In images 1 and 2 the light comes from behind the eagle and is strongly enhanced because of the high value in colour. In contrast to images 6 to 10 the light comes from the glow of the characters and the lightning strikes. Because of the low colour value and high saturation these light effects are far more prominent by becoming focal points.

 

Expressive content

The entire scene is designed to build up a crescendo, both musically and visually. Visually this is done through the changes in colour previously explained and adding visual effects such as lightning. This is very similar to the other example where the scene builds up, although different methods are used to empathise the crescendo.

References

Gillian Rose., (2001). Chapter 4: Semiology. In Gillian Rose., Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials, (pp.69 – 99).

 

 

 

Week 2

 

Student name: Matt Hillesheim

Date of post: 8/9/2014

Topic and relevant lecture week: Artwork, Introduction Perception

axeaxeedit

Contextual information:

Artist – Jacob Bannon

Title – Axe to Fall

Year of creation –2009

Dimensions – 1379px vs 1225px

Collection/source – Converge album Áxe to Fall

Technique, material – Watercolour

Genre – Portrait

Style – Modern

Image URL / originhttp://uploads7.wikipaintings.org/images/rembrandt/self-portrait-with-plumed-beret-1629.jpg!Blog.jpg

 

Content

An illustrated piece of artwork used as the cover for the band Converge on the record ‘Axe to Fall’, depicting a repeated image of a woman’s profile broken down in repetition. Each copy is differentiated from each other with one woman’s teeth being shown and various forms of indented lines on the woman’s neck. The women are depicted from side on slightly gazing upwards with a combination of warm and cold colours to create contrast between the woman’s features. Artist Jacob Bannon described the artwork as following; “just wanted to have something that felt timeless and sort of embodied the whole emotional gamut of the record, something that was explosive and powerful but also something that felt poetic and soft at the same time. It could look violent and beautiful at the same time”.

 

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis

The image is highly saturated to stark contrast between the prominent colours. The rich saturation is due to technological processing and editing. The use of warm (blue) and cold (black, gold/brown, grey) colours are used to emphasize the contrast between the various features of the women. For example the blue emphasizes the neck area, gold/brown emphasizes the facial features and black emphasizes the space, eyes and the outline of the teeth.

 

Spatial organization

The focal point of the image is the bright blue colouring slightly below the centre of the image. This makes the audience view the bottom half of the image before moving up in an anti-clockwise manner to the woman on the right with the teeth before moving towards the left. Perspective is difficult to interpret due to the failure to see any depth or horizon in the image.

 

Light

The light comes from the illustrated features of the women with a dark backdrop. In other words the colours (especially the bright blue) are the points which give the image light.

 

Expressive content

The image as a whole is difficult to fully take in without viewing for a period of time. The graininess and high saturation gives the image as a whole multiple layers and design elements. These features make the image cold and dark yet attractive through design and colour elements.

 

Contrasting elements with the use of colour almost make the user ignore the dark space. As it took me a while to realize the black space between head and neck gives an indication that the woman’s neck has been snapped. Illustrating the violent portion of the image as Jacob Bannon described. While the feminine features of the central woman are the beautiful aspects of the image.

 

The_ScreamThe_Screamedit

Contextual information:

Artist – Edvard Munch

Title – The Scream

Year of creation –1893

Dimensions – 91cm x73.5cm

Collection/source – National Gallery, Oslo

Technique, material – Tempera, Cardboard

Genre – Landscape

Style – Modern Art

Image URL / originhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Scream.jpg

 

Content

A painting of an alien like man screaming on a boardwalk during a settings sun. Edvard Munch described the scenario which inspired the painting in his diary as “One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream”.

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis

A wide range of colours is used in the painting with low saturation. Compared to the other example the colours and style is very organic. Value across the image changes between different sections and highlights. For example the boardwalk and water have dark (low value) highlights and the clothing of the central character and two background people have low value. In contrast to the bright yellow and orange sky which has high value.

 

Spatial organization

The vanishing point appears to be off the painting on the left side in line with the horizon. The horizon is somewhat skewed from the waved lines which helps emphasize the confusion and eeriness of the painting as a whole. These feelings evoked are emulated from the central figure whose body is waved itself, then leading the eyes to the sea and sky which is continually wavy. The central figure is the focal point and is viewed from the audience from above with the horizon.

 

Light

The light in the painting suggestively comes from the red and orange background which signifies a sun setting. This is further proven as the dark highlights on the boardwalk implies a shadow.

Expressive content

The painting as illustrated in its title is to evoke the emotions of a scream. Suggestively in the form of distance between reality and delusion felt from the central figure as seen from the colours and waves. The reality is the realist form of a boardwalk occupied by seemingly normal human figure whereas the delusional aspect is in unnatural wave form. The central figure is portrayed as an unhuman alien like form in agony. It could either be suggested the central figure is unhuman or they are human and are experiencing feelings of disconnect with reality, which would mean the painting is the perspective of the central figure. The overall atmosphere is conceived as creepy or eerie because of the unnatural elements being connected with natural ‘normal’ elements.

References

Gillian Rose., (2001). Chapter 4: Semiology. In Gillian Rose., Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials, (pp.69 – 99). [Follow the link to this eBook, and click on Chapter 4.]