Monday, February 28, 2005

The Hypertextuality of Graphics - Journal 2 C&C

For the most part, I am inclined to believe that even as we go to an image and visual based society from a textual, logic based founding we are still more inclined to use visual media arts as a enhancement of textual applications. Even if the text is not completely visible, as a viewer and reader, we are more inclined to pay attention to it and focus our attention on it if there is a visual stimulus accompanying the words. I was searching on, trying to find a pen pal and updating my profile when they showed a statistic stating that you were three times as more likely to receive a response to your profile if you included a picture with it, and ten times as likely with a video file. There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this age of hypermediacy, those thousand words may very well be hidden in the picture to start with. One of my favorite examples, which you can see below, is the header graphic for a site that is no longer runnning. Elaine Castillo is the author of the picture, and she incorporates the words into a montage of pictures giving the feel of dispair and loss to an otherwise normal picture of a man and mulitple shots of a woman. It’s the text that lets you understand what is hiding in his eyes and what exactly she’s bracing herself against. Even though the words overlap themselves in a display of color, the words that are discernable say enough about the picture to not need to be able to see every part in its entirety. The fact that you can’t see every part of the text or the graphics also gives a sense of chaos and the unknown between these two people. Perhaps they are lovers. Perhaps it is a tale of unrequited love. Perhaps they love each other and don’t know it. The fact that there are so many different ways the picture can be interpreted with the texts given, or judging from the text missing, leads us to realize the hypertextuality of the graphic in regards to the user’s definition of the outcome of the picture based on what they see of it.

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