“It seems as if we live in a time of permanent revolution” (Mirzoeff 7)
To revolt is to forcibly initiate change in social order or custom in favour of a new system (Oxford Dictionary). Permanent revolution, then, would be the constant initiation of change throughout the rest of our existence on Earth.
Visual texts are, quite simply, anything we can view and consequently glean information from. They can take the form of any medium, whether it be photographs, films, paintings, music videos, sculptures, buildings, or even x-rays (Mirzoeff, 11-13, 16). Visual texts not only things that have been made to seen, but also those that are “invisible or kept out of sight” (Mirzoeff, 11). For example, a plain brick wall can still be considered a visual text; it may not be as optically appealing as one that is decorated with advertisements or posters, or one that is painted with a mural, but if it tells the viewer something – anything at all – it is a visual text.
Any imagery at all can be considered a visual text, if one chooses to analyse it.
“All artefacts are products of specific conditions; social, economic, technical, [or] cultural” (Clarke, 25). These conditions – as well as politics, religion, ethnicity, and social trends or attitudes – are what compose the context of a subject (Ruszkiewicz, et al., 32). The history behind an object, its purpose, and how it is deemed significant by us in the present day is determined by these factors (Clarke, 25). Simply put, context is the environment something belongs to or is found in. As the environment (a.k.a the state of the world) is constantly changing, the context of every existing artefact is constantly changing too (Ruszkiewicz, et al., 34).
The context in which we place a subject also largely depends upon the personal connection we have to said subject (Ruszkiewicz, et al., 34). “Because of our distinctive life experiences, we all come to texts differently, find different things in them, and react to them in unique ways” (Ruszkiewicz, et al., 34). The variation of personal responses from the audience of a visual text means that a single artefact can have many contexts (Ruszkiewicz, et al., 34).
To contextualise, or to identify the context of the object of attention, is to “locate it in a particular time and place” (Clarke, 25). Mentally visualising a subject in the environment you believe it belongs to is contextualising it.
Assigning a word or set of words to a subject in order to convey its visual appearance or features and allow us to identify the object (Clarke, 22), without necessarily needing to even see it.
To convey meaning using language specified for your audience (Clarke, 22).
The attempt to interpret a visual artefact or ensemble by identifying singular significant aspects of said artefact, and forming a particular point of view based off one’s observations (Clarke, 25).
World View in Relation to Audience
Our ‘world view’ is how we see the world; “we don’t simply see what there is to see… we assemble a world view that is consistent with what we know and have already experienced” (Mirzoeff, 11). Therefore, our world view is based largely upon images we encounter, and depends greatly upon global and technological development that allows us to continuously create and distribute new forms of imagery.
Our world view is continuously changing due to people constantly creating, viewing, and circulating images in huge capacities and never-before anticipated ways (Mirzoeff, 12). The constant production of “vastly expanding quantities of imagery” implies many emerging different points of view across the world (Mirzoeff, 13). People are “reimaging how they belong and what that looks like”, and from that comes many new images, which are made available to others over the internet (Mirzoeff, 22). When we view ourselves in new ways, we allow others to view the world in different ways also. The internet allows us to look at things from the point of view of those who share theirs online, therefore influencing the way in which we view the world ourselves (Mirzoeff, 17).
The act of conquering or seizing control of someone or something/ to conquer or seize control of someone or something.
The Anthropocene is the time period in which humans have had more impact on the Earth than any other life form. It spans from the 18th century to the present day, and onward (Mirzoeff 219, Smithsonian).
To hold a point of view where one ignores the repellant or grotesque aspects of something in favour of a pleasing and aesthetic fabrication of ideas formed by exaggerating the aspects of this thing that you find appealing (Mirzoeff 232).
Having selective perception means that one ignores certain realities of something that one does not want to accept or believe in. This is different from beautification because one is not romanticising the aspects they dislike of a particular thing, one simply refuses to acknowledge that they are there (Mirzoeff 234).