This week for independent study we were asked to review videos from Resources for building a visual and contextual analysis. I watched The power to tell the difference: visual literacy in a visual age and John Berger/Ways of Seeing, Episode 1 from the section Making an analysis of a visual work—Visual Literacy—Contextual and Critical Analysis. In the first video I thought that the idea of “the more convincing the imagery, the gap between fact and fiction blurs” was very interesting. That because of all the advanced technology we now have and the way we can make a fabricated reality with visual and auditory experiences seem like actual reality is profound. Visual literacy requires critical thinking and awareness; we need anchors to be able to tie ourselves down to what’s real.
John Berger made some valid points when discussing how the invention of the camera has changed not only what we see, but how we see it. He back this idea up by stating that looking at painting used to be a unique experience, but now they can be seen in a million different places at the same time. I agree with this notion of how seeing an amazing work of art used to be a privilege only experienced by few and now you can just type it in on Google and see it for yourself at home. I think, in a way, this does detract from the experience of going into a museum and witnesses firsthand an artwork. “Paintings now lend themselves to easy manipulation. They can be used to make arguments or points which may be different from their original meaning.” I fully agree with this notion that people can interpret art and spin it’s meaning however they want to benefit their beliefs. In our society today we are taking things that are supposed to be unique, wonderful experiences and making them easily transferable digitally for the masses to see.
From the Visual Analysis Meaning making and “Truth Value” section I viewed A Photographic Truth. Photographic truth is characterized as a myth. This is because everyone has his or her own truth when looking at an image. Also, more often than we think those “candid” shots that photographers are always seemingly able to capture can in fact be purposeful manipulation. I thought this video gave great insight to the process behind pictorial manipulation and why we shouldn’t always take things as factual just because it’s an amazing photo in a popular magazine.
Lastly, I watched World Views vs. Western World Views. I was aware of the different viewpoints from western and indigenous people, but to see the animations and facts in this video that go along with it make these two different views even more obvious. The way of thinking is opposite in almost every element, from how we think about nature, the community and the market economy. In the western market economy 40% of the Earth’s resources are owned by 1% of the population. How does that make any sense? We have a terrible sense of community that is just driven by competition for personal gain. In my opinion, the indigenous people have the right idea about how to view the world.