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>> Male: When we talk about images, we talk about the nature
of images and a field of study called, "semiotics."
So, looking at images there are several basic types of images.
There's the volatile, the fixed and the mental image.
And we can unpack that with an understanding
that a volatile image is something
that changes very easily, is very fluid,
like a television picture, or a projection.
A fixed image has a tendency to be on something
that is more permanent, but even a photograph will eventually
fade or be destroyed.
There's really no such thing as permanence in imagery.
And the last type is probably the most ephemeral,
it's the mental image.
And if you studied psychology you know that in terms
of memory our minds basically reconstruction our memories
from little tiny pieces.
So, a mental image, whether it's real or whether it's imagined,
is sort of a composite, and it's a fabrication of sorts.
Now, when we think about images, when we look at images,
or when we talk about images, we're talking specifically
about something called, "the sign."
Now, the sign is made up of two parts,
the signifier and the signified.
The signifier typically is the thing
that represents that other thing.
In this case, if we're talking about a tree, the word,
"T-R-E-E" is the signifier, and the tree,
or the idea of treeness is the signified.
So, in looking at this image, we see this picture of a tree,
and the picture of the tree is then again even
It doesn't actually represent the tree.
An actual tree is every idea that we have about a tree,
but it's also the way that it smells, the way that it tastes,
the way that it, the sound of the rustling of the leaves,
the way that it looks, and the way that it feels
to our skin when we touch it.
But then again, each of those references to the tree passes
through something else,
like light is the light that's bounced off of it,
the sound is the -- are the compression waves
of the atmosphere that happened in that area.
So, our real experience
of a tree is not the tree itself generally,
it's all through these sort of filtered experiences.
Semiotics, though, and science in particular,
goes off in another direction.
If you look at this upper left image,
we see a dollar sign equals smiley face.
That's a sentence, and those are --
that's all written out with these sort of signifiers,
and we understand what it means.
Like money is happiness, right?
Below it the letters, "D-O-G" spell out dog,
and when you hear the word, "dog," you think of a dog.
You probably think of a very specific dog,
maybe even your own dog, or the dog that you had
when you were growing up.
And again, that's -- the text is representing something else.
In the upper right-hand corner we see a picture
by Negrete [assumed spelling], and it says underneath it,
it says, "Si nipa sun piek," [phonetic] and that is,
that this is not a pipe.
Well, what is it?
It looks like a pipe.
It's an image of a pipe.
And again, he's responding to the fact
that the image is not the object.
And then below that we see the universal symbol for a dude,
like particularly a dude that has to go to the bathroom.
So, I want to talk about another construct
in images that's called, "the simulacrum,"
and the simulacrum is a little bit --
it's a little bit different.
It's much more -- it's about like creating a representation,
like a statue can represent the hero or the deity
that it was created after.
A painting can represent the person, but then again, these --
like in semiotics, like science,
these aren't actually the things.
Like the painting could have been painted from a photograph,
and the photograph could have been taken of the person
when they were alive, and that person could have been dead
when the painting was made.
The painting doesn't actually -- isn't actually the person,
it doesn't actually completely represent the person.
But this construction, in terms of putting this pigment
to canvas, then attempts to describe this person,
or create a recognizable image of this person.
Now, along these lines, if you use something
that has meaning -- we will assume
that you're using a meaning, that is to say that as an artist
if you take and you use a sign that we recognize,
we will assume that you're using the universal meaning
for that sign, and not that you are using anything else.
So, in our conversations with -- particularly in critique,
you'll hear us asking, "Well, did you mean to do this?"
"Is this what you mean by that?"
"Do you realize that this has that particular meaning?"
So, last thing I want to look again at a variation
on Negrete's image here.
And what we see here is something
that adds actually a little bit more meaning to it.
I mean, what is it about this image?
What is it about this image that you recognize
that makes it different?
Well, it's the blue and the red around the edges, right?
What does that mean?
That means that this image is meant to be viewed in 3D,
that there is a certain -- that this image was put together
in such a way that it has a representation to the mind,
yet has a three-dimensional object.
Lastly, I want to notice that there is, in this case,
this same image, this 3D image was taken
and then fabricated into an object.
It was a needlepoint.
And so what we have here is this like sort of a reference,
to a reference, to a reference, to a reference.
And it all comes down to this like sort of craft-like object.