Wednesday, October 15

COMMUNICATION MODELS 1 :: reading assignment one

Read "This means This..." pages 19-32 and post your reflection to the comments of this post. Find the photocopied reading on my reserve shelf in the library. Yes -- go to the library.

14 comments:

GENIA NARINSKAYA said...

The reading presents a few interesting ideas. The one that seemed to be the most interesting to me was the constant change of messages and how we interpret them. How do we make our messages clear not only to our generation, but to people who come after us?
It was also interesting to see the examples of how one message can be read in multiple ways. It made me think about the postcards and how the message we are sending can be changed by additional elements.

Jessica Lyew-Ayee said...

I thought it was very interesting, It reminds me a lot of reception theory which is how people interpret things based on their past experiences.
Yes the ideas and examples portrayed in the reading showed me that you are able to change the message sent on the same image, with different formal elements, and qualities such as colors, different techniques, information given with the image, etc.
Though we can manipulate the image in a way the the majority consensus is how you wanted it to be interpreted, no two peoples will interpret it the same either.

Meredith Adams said...

I found the ape painting concept to be the most relevant to the reading. Before reading about the painting, I assumed it was an painting from the abstract expressionist genre. but! the painter being an animal completely changed the message. It became immensely more interesting and changed the message from theories from abstract expressionism to something the reader may not have seen or heard of. It's an entirely new message.

Ian Tirone said...

this reading seemed kind of juvenile. right now since the rhetoric project i've been thinking about how we assign words to things and how we try to give things general definitions, and we come to an "understanding" about what we agree those definitions mean, and we even go so far as to agree that these definitions aren't steadfast, and can have variance; however, whenever we talk about what we have created in these terms, we jump down each others throats about how true their work is to the letter of the law, and we allow a convenient lapse of that aforementioned concurrence. this troubles me deeply.

Ian Tirone said...

why should we care about how future generations interpret what we have done? it is absolutely ludicrous to think that in a dynamic changing society it would be possible to create anything that would be interpreted properly even ten years after its creation.
ancient Egypt was a static society and much of their culture remained (for a relatively long time) unchanged and so their images stood the test of time within their culture. So if timeless design is what your after don't let society advance. of course then you'll have to consider that the rest of the world will advance and eventually take you over. That's what happened to Egypt.

thenewprogramme said...

ian, can you clarify more? are you saying that when we look at each other's work we are overly critical based on narrow definitions of words and meanings? i'm curious... can you give an example?

regarding your second comment, ian, we should care about future generations in one important example -- yucca mountain nuclear waste repository. the waste from yucca mountain will be there for millenia to come, and our language will have changed significantly by then. the problem of how to warn future generations is a serious one.

that's loosely what matt judge's video game project was about last year -- learning an unfamiliar language. granted, it was a huge problem with an esoteric solution, but that was his starting point.

most visual communication only lasts a few minutes or hours, but there is definitely a range of existence -- some books have lasted for multiple centuries and become incredibly valuable cultural artifacts. why would you assume that nothing from this era would be valuable enough to last into the next hundred years, whether it's digital or analog?

Ian Tirone said...

I can't think of an example of the top of my head, I'll try, but what i'm saying is that in critiques it seems like at times we critique the exactitude with which a person has presented the definition of one of the terms because we can't think of anything truly constructive to say.

i understand the importance of designing for future generations, but my point is that in a dynamic society it won't work. We change to much and too rapidly for the things we create to have resonance with the future. Styles and trends can come and go so quickly any more that the messages we create become distorted and detourned almost immediately after their inception.
so the future is equipped with a skewed view point.
Even the books that have lasted multiple centuries, we still don't have an entirely clear picture of their meaning because we are not the people that created then and are not the people they were created for. so all we can go on is what some very intelligent people have assumed their meaning was. albeit they are probably damn close, i don't think it is possible for the whole picture to be had.

Greg Gentry said...

I really found this reading to be helpful by talking about how we interrupt art or things really is different for every person and it depends on how much they know about what they are viewing. The second example was probably my favorite because it takes an abstract painting done by the chimp. If some one were to tell the viewer that its was by a famous artist, it could sell for millions because of that artists success. So the way we look at things and take it in has to be thought about in several ways because if you dont think about it from different perspectives you might miss the intention of the artist and really miss what the piece is trying to say. So also doing research about the artist of the piece will tell you just as much and even more about it than just looking at with no previous knowledge.

gerg.kaufman said...

i couldn't imagine anyone successfully designing for the future. I've never met a soothsayer, but if i did i'd punch them in the tooth. there is no past and present but only in the now. remember flying cars? i don't because they aren't available on the market. strong designs made for the 'present' usually end up being something looked back upon in the 'future'. i find it very discouraging we view all types of artifacts in a certain light based on the 'sender'. based on who is behind the project, connotations are attached to it and if the name brand is popular at the time it's usually glorified and drooled upon. the hard thing to know is if the people of the time influence the product, or does the product influence the people.. messages of the present are misinterpreted all the time, but when it arrives to the intended destination with a skewed message, new ideas and connections may be made. the noise that's created may indeed turn out to be a benefit to the original message. and i have no idea what i'm talking about anymore, so i'm going to go pick my nose.

rmasri said...

When I read about semiotics, it usually feels like... well - duh! I agree with Ian in that the reading felt elementary, but it raises some important points. I understand the importance of context regarding interpretation, and how noise can affect the message between sender and receiver. Keeping these things in mind when designing can help to yield a more effective result.
I thought about Matt's Senior degree project when reading about communicating to future generations. This concept is really interesting to me, as it forces one to think about what is universal in terms of communication, what is unchanging -- primitive. I disagree with Ian about the importance of designing for the future, and see it as our responsibility to the people of tomorrow -- how could we just leave something that potentially dangerous unmarked? Though it may be difficult,m though language may change, it's waste that we've made and therefor we must at least try to make sure it causes no future harm.
In addition, the part about the chimps creating art raised some important points. I thought it was a Pollock at first, and because of this assigned art historical and monetary value on it. Then, when I found it was a chimp, the value I assigned to it changed completely. Not that I thought it was worthless, but looked for different things in the image that I wouldn't have looked for previously. I think the context surrounding the work though should never influence the meaning to the extent that one can judge it. Meaning should always be so clear that the context surrounding it becomes irrelevant. I do understand, however, how these factors can affect and distort our perception.

Poor Oswald. Everyone knows it was a conspiracy.

One more reason that Dallas sucks.

Jason Comotto said...

i found the part about how people read and look into things differently very interesting. we have the luxury of the designer giving us a detailed description of why they made all the choices they made and the meaning or concept behind there work. how do we make these things clear when our audience is not our classmates. i also found that part interesting because everyone that comes into my work interprets everything differently.

Laura Berglund said...

I thought it was really interesting how the meaning of the phrase "I didn't eat Grandmother's chocolate cake" changed dramatically, just by which word the reader chose to emphasize. I find that really interesting- how the human mind and I suppose personality and scenario can effect something so seemingly concrete. I am interested to explore this in this class!

MATT URLAUB said...

Sending a message seems particularly uncertain and from the reading I got that in some cases it is up to the receiver to decide what the meaning is. Also how things like time really play into it. Not knowing the history. or making a message that will be for distant future receivers. In my view i really how they explained how we receive things just depending on a human or chimp even though one can imagine it would most likely be a human...

Nik Smith said...

I think it was particularly interesting how the author raises the question of the source of information in relation to what is being said. This is something I don't think about too often, but probably should. I can think of a few times where I wish I had read the meaning between the lines and it could have helped me understand the satire behind a statement...

I suppose the method something is being sent or made in does play a decent sized part in how it is interpreted. This was brought up in talking about methods of transmission. I think that certain media that you can render something with have connotations of their own that can add noise or meaning. watercolors (which are representational in a finished form) are generally romanticized for their soft qualities, while a dramatically lit photograph can carry negative connotations a lot easier because of the easily added drama.