Virtual Idea Notebook #2

Semiosis is a concept in which a meaning is transferred to the viewer through an image or text. The transfer of information does not stop there however. The viewer will observe the image, text, etc, and comprehend it. The next phenomenon that occurs is that the viewer reacts to the piece. The reaction is based on the viewer’s background, mood, or upbringing just to name a few. The point is, a viewers reactions toward a piece are relative to the viewer. For example, I am using one of my image pairs of the silhouette of the girl walking in the cityscape. If someone viewed it, and had grown up in the city, might interpret the piece as everyday life. If someone, who had grown up in a rural area, interpreted the piece, he or she might think the girl is fighting the hustle and bustle of the crowded city.

Austin Reed Fall 08

Austin Reed Fall 08

Arbitrary symbols are very interesting, because as an icon, they project a certain meaning. Generally, the meaning is universal, reading a certain message so everyone who views the symbol can understand the meaning. An example would be street signs or symbols on a tourist map. They are abstracted so much to the point that some do not resemble the action or place it is representing, yet it is successful in providing the correct information to the viewer. For instance, the exclamation mark does not mean use caution when used in the everyday English language, but with a triangle around it, the meaning goes a different direction, saying, “Watch out!”


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