Rhetoric of the Image
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Cezanne, Basket of Apples, 1893.
Roy Lichtenstein, Still Life with Pitcher and Apple, 1972.
 
Numerous relationships can exist between signifier and signified.
 
Signifier
Signified

|
|
|
|

Signifier
Signified
|
|
|
|
Signifier
Signified
apple
health
apfel
health
apple
crunchy
teacher
pomme
teacher
sweet
temptation
manzana
temptation
fruit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

symbolic = stands for, means, or signals

Relationship between representamen and object must be learned

e.g. language in general (plus specific languages, alphabetical letters, punctuation marks, words, phrases and sentences), numbers, morse code, traffic lights, national flags

 

The symbolic mode is arbitrary and culturally based

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A symbol whose meaning transcends the tangible realm of simple, one-to-one relationships = metasymbol
History, culture, and tradition help form metasymbols.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Symbols can be schematic or topographic
   
schematic = information represented abstractly
topographic = information represented in exact manner
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signs can be easily misread or misunderstood
 

Andres Serrano, Piss Christ, 1987. 5' 0" x 3' 4".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The meaning of signs can be easily forgotten
 

Vincent Van Gogh, Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, c. 1885 - 86.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We don't need to know a sign's history of use in order to understand its meaning.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Les Incroyables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Messages are always transmitted through a medium
medium = carries message from sender to receiver
 

Lucas Cranach, Adam and Eve, 1526.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medium may be:
presentational = through voice, face, or body
 
representational = through paint, book, photo, drawing
 
mechanical = through telephone, internet, TV, radio
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Warhol, Apples from Space Fruity series, 1979.

 

addresser
 
where the message says its from
sender
 
a message from an actual person
addressee
 
a person (real or imagined) who is the target of the message

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On April 1, 1976, Apple Computer, Inc. was founded.
 
icon (representation) = apple dropping to the ground
 
metaphor = brilliant insight and discovery (discovery of gravity by an index: the apple)
There's even a halo around the apple!
 
symbol = discovery, insight, man taming nature
First logo for Apple Computer from first manual

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
One early problem noted with the apple icon was that it could easily be confused with a potato.
   
destination = when message has been received and successfully decoded, we can say that the message has arrived at its destination
 
The message received, may not be the message sent because of:
    • Problems in transmission
    • Ambiguity in medium or sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lasswell Communication Model

 

 

Shannon-Weaver Communication Theory Model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

noise = distortion or alteration in the meaning or method of transmission of a message
 
noise can be intentional or unintentional

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

symbol - Apple Computer, Inc.
 
icon - fruit
 
metonymic play on words - "bite" referring to "byte"
 
metaphor = brilliant insight and discovery

indexical sign = Newton's discovery of gravity suggested by the object that supposedly fell on his head

 
But, what does the rainbow mean?