The Reality of
VDL Categories: Visual Culture, Visual Science
activity with discussion.
this as a student at RISD in Al DeCredico’s RISD Freshman Foundation 2D Design course (1982).
from Roland Barthes, Camera lucida: Reflections on photography; 1st
American edition, Hill and Wang, 1981, ISBN: 0809033402.
O'Connor ripping up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live in 1992.
OK, you can't find
this picture anywhere. But here is a
very interesting write-up of the event (for which NBC was fined 2.5
- Masaccio, Trinity,
1427-28. Fresco, 21' 10 1/2" x 10' 4 7/8" (6.67 x 3.17 m), Santa
Maria Novella, Florence.
The first painting to use accurate linear perspective. Linear perspective
applied to painting gave viewers a startling sense of "reality"
and made these early perspective painting seem magical.
Skill set being developed
Relevance to VDL
The issue of visual truth is central
to many image-making technologies. Students must understand the role of photography
before they can understand the role of digital photography. Issues of image
manipulation also build on this realization.
Interactive multimedia software
of each student's head. These may be produced with a digital camera and
printer, a Polaroid camera, or by students at kiosks offering identity and
(push pins are best)
or other surface that tacks can be pressed into
Examples of relevant applications of the
assessing the impact of photographic-looking material in venues from the
arts to media images to courtrooms, and beyond.
about when to use photographs vs. other types of representation
Photo Eye Puncture: Student take photographs of themselves
and hang them on the wall. Students then approach with a push pin, one at
a time, and put the pin through one of their photo's eyes. Students take
now of how this makes them feel.
(or short written summary of thoughts on):
- Why did this feel the way it
- Do you think this would be different
with a drawing (vs. a photograph)? (What if Sinead had ripped up a drawing
of the Pope, vs. a photograph?)
- Should NBC have been fined for
the Sinead incident? Is there an equivalent to "freedom of speech"
- Does this exercises shed any
light on why we don't have
professional drawings of ourselves on our drivers’
licenses? Even if an artist might be able to accentuate features that would
make it easier for police to identify you?
- What changes would make a photograph
NOT seem so realistic (color, scale, etc.)?
- How can we reconcile the visceral
reaction with our intellectual knowledge that photographs are not reality?
- Do these topics extend beyond
photography to virtual reality? If so, how?