This Means This, This Means That, by Sean Hall, Published by Laurence King Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-85669-735-4
I have just finished reading a good book on the subject of semiotics, this is a comprehensive that looks at how and where semiotics can be found and used. As semiotics is fundamental to communication this book illustrates how it can be employed in practically any field of study.
I am currently working on me second assignment, the subject being ‘The Unseen’ and this book has helped me think, a little more, outside-the-box.
This is a book I would recommend to anyone studying the Arts, literature, Photography, Cinema, Theatre or even Sales and Marketing. Perhaps OCA should add it to their list of recommended books to read.
In this last project of this section, I have looked at the concept of creating images that convey a sense of the unseen, for example feelings and emotions. I have already started to think about this form of art with my last exercise of creating images for a poem and this project is moving this theory forward in to use of every day life and personal experiences.
I have been introduced to three different projects by photography students as examples of creating images out of the unseen. The first is by Peter Mansell (My Space) who has taken photos of objects and even of empty spaces that represent his disability and his life. I very much like these simple but well thought out and composed images. I got a very real sense of his visits to the hospital and Peter’s life at home.
The second project is by Dewald Botha (Ring Road) I liked the interesting perspective and sense of being on the outside. The timing of the photos suggest early morning with a cold mist and overcast looking skies this could of course just be smog but it evokes a sense of cold and the unusual locations of not belonging almost like trespassing.
The third project is by Jodie Taylor (Memories of Childhood) the link for this only illustrates three photos but I was able to understand the sentiment and sense of nostalgia as we see these places of her childhood. I think that all of the photos from all three projects are cleverly conceived and nicely composed. The project that resonates most with me was Dewald Botha’s, ‘Ring Road’. I have been in sales for much of my life and I was a Territory Sales Rep. I was working from home; so I was always a little bit of an outsider even with my own company as I would only visit their offices for sales meetings and training days. I have often found that we set boundaries for ourselves in both our professional and personal life and boundaries is the subject that Botha explores. I often used the M25 to travel to all compass points of my sales territory and his choice of subject matter struck a cord.
This concept of loss of authorial control doesn’t mean a lot to me. The point of creating an image, sculpture, music or literature is to express your ideas in to something of substance; but how other people choose to interpret the work is up to them. Hopefully if you have done a good job the meaning of that idea is obvious and will be experienced as you intended it to be. (Unless the idea was to be deliberately ambiguous and to enjoy watching others make interesting interpretations.) A photograph can be easily re-used re-labelled and re-contextualized and perhaps as students and later as photographers we will do this to other peoples work and one day others will do it with ours. That’s life. Moreover, if a photographer is employed by a magazine then that employer must have rights over the editorial decisions. A wedding photographer on the other hand has more control; but at the end of the day the Bride and Groom can always re-frame the pictures and add their own captions etc. In my opinion it’s not worth loosing our hair over this idea of authorial control.