7. Other Media &
Images & Text -
the tradition of ekphrasis, collage, montage – (William
John Cage, Picasso, Schwitters, Ezra Pound).
an illuminated manuscript, the complexity of the decoration was intended
to mirror the complexity of the biblical passages. The printing press
separated words from images. Words were easily reproduced whereas
engraving is a highly skilled and time consuming craft. Can hypertext
re-associate words and images in a creative way?
the screen, as on medieval parchment, verbal text and image
interpenetrate to such a degree that the writer and reader can no longer
say where the pictorial space ends and the verbal space begins.’
Bolter (Writing Space, p74).
electronic writing is not limited to verbal text: the writeable elements
may be words, images, sounds, or even actions that the computer is
directed to perform.’ (Bolter, Writing Space, p26).
Bolter, ‘Ekphrasis, Virtual
Reality, and the Future of Writing’, in Geoffrey Nunberg and
Patrizia Violi, Eds. The Future of
the Book, University of California Press, 1996. (Special Reserve but
How do texts and
images work together? Write a hypertext piece that works with an
(Web texts are
becoming more like visual art works)
when conceiving his "Song of Innocence" or his "Prophetic
Books," 'strongly desired to accompany and complete them with
images. Words, in his view, had to be continued and integrated by visual
forms, as of old, when writing consisted in grasping and visualizing
ideas, before the "dangerous" phonetic alphabet
Have a look at http://www.blakearchive.org/
Exchange of Graphics
Karl Young and Reid Wood at Light
and Dust. It uses text and
graphics – (but is not hypertextual).
Levi Asher and Mark Napier at Enterzone. How
are the images being used?
have mentioned Walter Benjamin - IF you have time read some, especially
the essay, 'The
Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.' (He
was a Marxist and saw the new media technologies such as phonographs,
epic theatre, and especially film and photography, not only as
destroying art's aura' but demystify the process of creating art.
He praised their
liberating, democratizing influences, with new access and roles
for art in mass culture. The spectator becomes a participant, joins the
author in the production; a collaborator - ( not unlike procedural
authorship which we have discussed).
Mclaughlin's 25 Ways To Close a Photograph'
uses bland images -- old school photos to set off McLaughlin's miniature
character sketches http://www.nwhq.net/tim/tim_25.html
On the Inversion of Ekphrasis
(the description in prose or
poetry of an artistic object or striking visual scene)
As Bolter puts
it, 'Rather than defining a new orality, as McLuhan and Ong predicted,
electronic technology seems to me to be moving us toward an increasing
dependence upon and interest in the visual.' (Ekphrasis, Virtual
Reality, and the Future of Writing in The Future of the Book, Geoffrey
Nunberg, Ed., p270).
renegotiation of the word and image that is taking place in our
traditional and new media is leading to a crisis in rhetoric. For both
ancient and modern rhetoric have depended upon subordinating images to
words. In ancient rhetoric it was the spoken word that controlled the
image; in modern rhetoric it has been the written or printed word. Now
when neither the written nor the spoken word can exert effective
control, the result is an inversion of traditional rhetorical practice.
In particular, the effect of turning a newspaper into a multimedia
screen can be seen as an inversion of the classical device of ekphrasis.
Ekphrasis is the description
in prose or poetry of an artistic object or striking visual scene; it is
the attempt to capture the visual in words. Today, as the visual and the
sensual are emerging out of verbal communication, images are given the
task...of explaining words, rather than the reverse.'
There is criticism of Bolter:
Bolter's lack of convincing examples is most damaging to his assessment
of hypertext's visual dimension. Using the history of pictographic
writing as an entry point for his discussion of visual communication,
Bolter has somehow overlooked an entire century's discourse in art,
photography, film, media studies and design.