237130_Wk7_Task#2_Seeing the World_World Views

Ideologies are what make up our world views. Visual texts are used to capture these ideologies, but the ‘myth of photographic truth’ can mean that the perception of these ideologies change between the point a text is made available for viewing by the creator, and the point it is viewed and interpreted by an audience.  This means that our perception of an ideology- and therefore our world view – is easily warped and manipulated.
The producer of any visual text is likely to be someone who has access to the many modern technologies made available to Western cultures in the present day. Therefore the producer is likely to create a text that conforms to Western ideologies and enforces the dominate Western world view upon the viewer of the text. The viewer of this text may not be a Westerner, however, which means they will interpret the text differently from someone who has had direct experience with the ideologies depicted by the text. It is in this way that the meanings of visual texts are changed.

References:

Stachl, Erna. 237.130 Communications in Creative Cultures: Week 7 lecture.

Wellington, New Zealand: College of Creative Arts, Massey U. 27 April

2016. Slideshow and lecture. 17 May 2016.

Whyte, Dick. 237.130 Communications in Creative Cultures: Week 7 lecture.

Wellington, New Zealand: College of Creative Arts, Massey U. 27 April

2016. Slideshow and lecture. 17 May.

237130_A2_Wk4_Task#2_Question Selection_Choosing an essay topic_15/04/16

Question 4: ‘The Changing World’ (Mirzoeff, Chapter 6. Pages 211-252)
This topic explores the negative effects/consequences of human interference with the natural environment and the living things that inhabit it; an interference which is fuelled by mankind’s desire to ‘conquer’, tame, or control nature. The question asks me to investigate and examine these effects/consequences, and the ways that artists are bringing these to the attention of the general public in order to change the way we behave towards our environment and all that occupies it.

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Molly McGrath. MindMap of ideas regarding question topic. JPEG image. Created with MindMup. https://www.mindmup.com. April 24 2016.

PDF Version: MindMap: The Changing World

237130_A1_Wk3_Task #2_Writing Response_A response to Wallace, Schirato, and Bright’s “Critical Thinking”_14/03/2016

Ultimately, this text is intended to be a guide of sorts for university students in “thinking, researching, and writing for success”. Its purpose is to provide the reader with the skills to enhance their ability to think critically and analyse; to identify key terms and put them in context with what the author is trying to express, using logic and creative thinking to form conclusions about the author’s intent. The text is successful in this sense. I myself am the exact embodiment of the intended target audience, and I found the text easy to understand and engaging due to the casual phrasing and the way the authors ‘speak’ directly to the reader using a second person point of view.
The point I found most intriguing was that we must “test” every key word or phrase of everything we read for “reasonableness”. This means that we must second-guess the meanings of words that could be interpreted in more than one way, to ensure we fully understand what it is the author intends us to take away from the text. I hadn’t wholly considered this to be a problem, but it caused me to realise that many of the texts I’ve read could have meant something different than what I took away from them. The author’s thorough explanations of the most reliable ways to ‘absorb’ academic texts was enlightening.
Despite the text being engrossing and informative, I didn’t particularly enjoy reading it. I found the author’s tone to be slightly condescending, as if they were writing for an incompetent child. Their authoritave stance was a little too overbearing, and I found it off-putting when reading.

237130_A1_Wk2_Task #2_Field Trip Site description and analysis_Left Bank Graffiti Wall_16/03/2016

Situated in the dimly lit alleyway that connects Victoria Street to Left Bank Arcade is the Visa Wellington On a Plate 2015 mural by Ruth Robertson-Taylor and Rachael Gannaway, also known as the Left Bank graffiti wall. Viewers are free to come and go as they please, and take in one of the prime examples of Wellington’s creative culture. The bright block colours of the painting that spans the 15.3 metre long brick wall greatly contrast the dirt caked cement floor and discarded cigarette butts littered down the alley. The pop art style and use of shapely geometric forms is almost absurd in a place that can only be defined as ‘grunge’.

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McGrath, Molly. Photograph. Left Bank Graffiti Wall, Left Bank Arcade. Wellington.
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McGrath, Molly. Photograph. Left Bank Graffiti Wall, Left Bank Arcade. Wellington.

Food is an obvious theme throughout the mural. The Wellington Culinary Events Trust commissioned the artists to create a piece that “represented the strong connection between Wellington and its hospitality community” (Sarah Meikle) for the Wellington On a Plate Festival in 2015. The mural stands as a “lasting reminder of the festival’s influence on the city” (Sarah Meikle). Imagery of chopsticks, wine bottles, and teacups encompass the different cultures and lifestyles of Wellington citizens, those for whom the mural was created. This unification of diversity could only have garnered a positive reaction from the festival-goers, as it tells of the differences we have had to overcome in order to embrace one another’s cultures and live harmoniously. The wall acts as a promotion not only for the 2015 Wellington On a Plate festival, but also for Wellington’s culinary community in general.

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McGrath, Molly. Selfie in front of ‘Visa Wellington On a Plate 2015’ plaque. Photograph. Left Bank Mural, Left Bank Arcade. Wellington.

237130_A1_Wk1_Task #2_Personal Response_The art of analysation (a.k.a thinking critically)_09/03/2016

Critical thinking is the conscious act of acknowledging one’s own thoughts and questioning why we hold certain perspectives. It allows us to process what is on our minds, and therefore apply these reformed mindsets to everyday living.
Without critical thinking, there is only subconscious thought – the tiny judgments or ideas that flicker through our brains on a whim. Critical thinking allows us to hone these and turn them into fully formed thoughts.
One such example is if you were to see an overweight passer-by wearing tight clothing; an immediate reaction would be “they shouldn’t wear that, it accentuates their flaws”. Critical thinking would enable us to change this opinion to “they are obviously proud of their body”.
If we apply critical thinking in any situation, we are able to alter the things we have been subconsciously conditioned to think or believe, in order to make these thoughts our own.