Preliminary Exercise

The student is asked to photograph as many photographic images as they encounter in a single day, as a way of getting a sense of how people are overcome with the amount of images that they can see.

Since I am visually impaired, mobility impaired and have just started rehabilitation for a shattered ankle, I was unable to leave the house. So as an alternative, I browsed news sites and social media for part of the day and took a screenshot of the images I encountered

The student is asked to then
• Construct a grid or compile a contact sheet of all your images.
• Write a short reflective piece in your learning log about this exercise. What have you
learned from this exercise? Has it alarmed you? Has it confirmed any preconceptions?
What do most of the images you encountered show? Does this tell you anything about
the environment you live in?

The grid compilation is shown below, the images are mainly advertising which is to be expected considering where I was browsing.

Contact Sheet of advertising images and screenshots of either GIF or video adverts
Contact Sheet 1
Contact Sheet of advertising images and screenshots of either GIF or video adverts
Contact Sheet 2
Contact Sheet of advertising images and screenshots of either GIF or video adverts
Contact Sheet 3

I was surprised and alarmed to find the number of adverts on news sites, some sites had the article framed with adverts, some of which were larger than the article itself. The number of adverts of social media is to be expected but again the use of tracking cookies alarms me as it means that I am pestered with the same adverts again and again.

Certainly I was not surprised by the adverts I encountered many of them layered with semiotic messages linked to mass consumerism, show of wealth which is linked to fitness and health. I did it quite interesting that some images which were either shot for the purpose of an advert or were stock images, changed in narrative once they were removed from the advertising text. For example, the man floating in the pool of water, which was a advert to show how calming and easy it was to form a fully working website using their tools, became a surreal image of a person floating in formless shape of gel and rocks.

It is as predicted by Aldus Huxley in ‘Brave New World’ , George Orwell’s ‘1984, and Ray Bradburys ‘Fahrenheit 451’ that there is always a presence of a screen which is either trying to catch your eye to fill your mind with allusions of wealth, bombard you with infotainment or to track and trace you to show that you are never alone with internet advertisers and marketing people.

References

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper Brothers, 1932. Print

Orwell, George. 1984. London: Secker and Warburg, 1949. Print

Bradbury, R. (1967). Fahrenheit 451. New York, Simon and Schuster.

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