Midterm Exam
50 possible points
Email pdf of responses to instructor no later than Monday, March 21
Please answer the following questions in complete sentences, well organized paragraphs, and with appropriate citation of sources in Chicago Manual of Style. (Bulleted points are NOT considered complete sentences.) You may respond in hand-written or typed text, and your citations may be listed on a single “Works Cited” page at the end of your essay packet. If you work on any response with a classmate, previous student of Art 195, or other outside resource, you are expected to clearly indicate such in your essay response. You are strongly encouraged to use as many terms from Hall and other required texts in order to draft as thorough an analysis as possible. In other words, please make productive use of your glossary and notes.










This is a famous logo created by Paul Rand in 1981. What is the meaning of the logo? Identify what corporation it was made for and what kinds of products they made in 1981. Use the concepts of symbol, icon, and index to explain how the logo communicates characteristics that the corporation intended to convey about their products to consumers.
KEYWORDS: symbol, index, icon, representamen, interpretant, rebus











This 2007 America’s Milk Processors ad, featuring Hayden Panettiere as she turned eighteen years old, states: “You don’t have to be a hero to feel invincible. That’s why I drink milk. the protein helps build muscle and some studies suggest teens who choose it tend to be leaner. Cheers to that. got milk?” (see www.adrants.com/images/haydengotmilk.jpg) Use the concepts and tools outlined in Roland Barthes’ Rhetoric of the Image, Laykoff & Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By, and Williamson’s Decoding Advertisements to deconstruct this ad.
KEYWORDS: linguistic message, connotative, denotative, quality of having been there, ideology, rhetoric, metaphor, entailments, interference, metonym, reverberations, feature highlighting vs. feature suppression, ideal & real, previous experience











Given Saussure’s point that the interpretation of a sign is dependent on the context in which it is used, its relationship to other signs, and its environment, consider Beyonce’s Formation video, 2016 at www.beyonce.com/formation/#. Beyonce portrays multiple characters in numerous contexts that weave meaning through images and text in this music video. Identify at least three of the characters Beyonce enacts, and consider their context. As well, discuss the context (recent events, political history, timing of the release) in which Beyonce produced this song and video. What communication system did the singer utilize? How were her lyrics (words and message) mediated through this system? How did Beyonce acknowledge or ignore conflicts in the system in this particular work?
KEYWORDS: representation, signified, signifier, foreground & background, addresser & addressee, meaning, reception, problem & solution











Utilizing information and images found at creativetime.org/projects/karawalker/, consider Kara Walker’s, A Subtlety: or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, 2014, which the artist described as “An Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.”

Analyze this work in at least three paragraphs using the eight conceptual structures discussed in Hall, Chapter 3 and during class. Focus your questions on representation with the general question, what does Kara Walker make visible in this installation?

KEYWORDS: truth & falsity, sameness & difference, whole & parts, subjectivity & objectivity, appearance & reality, continuity & discontinuity, sense & reference, meaning & meaninglessness, refine
Kara Walker, A Subtlety: or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, 2014