Art & Technology
George Legrady

What is An Image? Diverse Perspectives

What is an Image?

. A visual representation: graphs, maps, doodles, paintings, photos, anything visual [Cohen]
. Its elements are the relationship of forms, colors, (and text as typography)
. It can represent something about the world,…[news photos] MRI or just patterns [abstraction] Jager or data [Algorithmic]

Techniques of Realism

  Early historical innovations
1) perspective [Camera Obscura][Durer][Veltman]
2) oil medium [Holbein's Ambassadors] [anamorph] [szmz]
3) lens [Vermeer] [2]

The Self-Referential Image  

. The image as mirror, reflects the world
. Next question: What does it mean to be an image? [Velasquez: Las Meninas][2]

Perception of the Image

. Images are analogous to visually perceived scenes in the world [Archigram]
. But the observer's psychological [Mark Cohen], physiological [Jonathan Crary]
. perceptual [Eckstein] and mental operations [Julesz] [random dot] all impact on meaning

Language of the Image

. Roland Barthes asks if the image is a language [Rhetoric ][Panzani ad][Notes]

Early Optical Mechanical Images

Scientifc/Artistic Motion studies: [Marey] | Muybridge | Abbott | Duchamp [1] | Man Ray | Hoch |


. Painting [Courbet] [Turner] [Monet Haystacks]
. Balla | Picabia | Moholy-Nagy |

Visual Syntax

. Meaning through organization of form [Cartier-bresson][Max Bill]
. Vantage point: [Moholy-Nagy bird’s eyes view)
. Meaning emerges through composition / the organization of visual elements: [Winogrand][Friedlander] [Baldessari]
. Many times the subject matter is purely a means to explore form
. Meaning in an image is both encoded and decoded (Information Theory)
. Meaning: sometimes the image is an empty sign pointing somewhere else
. Meaning is cultural and learned

The Medium Shapes the Image

. Drawing [Archigram] [Lesak] [Denes]
. Optical/lens based[Joachim Smid] [Scientific] [NYTimes News Photo]
. Optical/Computational [Burson] [Walicsky] [Light fields] [def]
. Computational/Algorithmic [Calculating Images Conference]
. Data Visualization [Time Graphs] [Exif] [Exif def]
. Optical time-space [Art + Com] [Photosynth]

Various Forms of Notation

. Notation: Visual articulation of a concept suggesting further action
. Musical Notation: Representation of aurally experienced music through written symbols
. Sketch: Rapidly executed freehand drawing to convey an idea
. Scripts: Instructions for a performance work | computer, cooking, etc. sequence of actions
. Computer Code: Human readable statements executable by a computer
. Schematic: Diagram that represents the elements of a system using abstract, graphic symbols
. Mathematical Notation: Symbolic expressions with precise semantic meaning