Glossary of Terms
‘Visual context’ (n.): The social and cultural connections humans make between words and their meanings. Context is the bridge between what we know, and how we express it; it is the knowledge we bring to the words we use (Clarke 22-23).
For example, the 4 letters that make up the word ‘fork’ denotes the image of a pronged metal instrument. Culturally, we connote this with food and European styles of dining. Socially, the word conjured up images of gatherings and civilisation. With this knowledge, we are able to communicate a meaning behind the word.
‘Context’ (n.)/’Contextualisation’ (v.): Context is the process of appreciating the value of an object or concept present in its origin and history. It provides a depth of understanding beyond what can be found at face value (Clarke 24-25). To understand context is to appreciate how the origins of the piece inform its purpose (Ruszkiewicz 32-34).
Contextualisation is the act of placing something within its context.
‘World view’ (in relation to audience): World view is the way in which mass audiences are exposed to the world. In consideration of the audience, it is necessary to consider who the audience is, and what image of the world is portrayed. The world view as it stands is often filtered to show the audience a view of the world for a specific purpose (Mirzoeff).
‘Tiled rendering’ (n.): A method of changing the way visual media appears using digital image editing. This is accomplished by ‘tiling’ or dividing the existing image into a grid pattern, which can composite multiple images in one in a way that appears natural.
‘Visualise’ (v.): The process of being able to see a subject or landscape in the mind’s eye, without necessarily having the subject of visualisation present. Visualisation implies a thoroughness of seeing that would not be possible by looking – it involves a visual understanding from multiple viewpoints, of form, texture, elevation, etc.
‘Batik’ (n.): A technique of textile treatment founded in Indonesia, popularised in Africa after textiles were imported by Dutch merchants. It involves a layering of dyes, retained on the textiles by painting them with bees wax to resist new layers. Veins of dye from cracks in the wax are iconic of batik textiles.
‘Photomaps’ (n.): Maps created by photographing landscapes, a technique developed by the US military between WWI and WWII (1919-1938). This created more accurate representations of landscapes than man-made maps, revolutionary in war technology. This method would later inspire drone reconnaissance in the 21st century.
‘Ideology’ (n.): A system of beliefs and/or dogmas subscribed to by social, religious and political groups within all societies. Ideology can be expressed with intention to spread beliefs to other groups, though is mostly acted upon at a subconscious level in our daily communications.
- Clarke, Michael. “Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design into Words.” Language and Meaning. Lausanne: AVA Publishing, 2007. Print.
- Ruszkiewicz, John J et al. “Reading Texts.” Beyond Words: Cultural Texts for Reading and Writing. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson, c.2012. 9-39. Print.
- Mirzoeff, Nicholas. How to See the World: A Pelican Introduction. London: Pelican Books, 2015.