Well, why not?
You probably didn’t think I had a picture of Oprah Winfrey. True, this morning I didn’t, but now I do. Just to remind you that absence can be turned into precence if you work on it. Please read this post and stay alert for more .
As I told you, Oprah Winfrey is in Copenhagen for the last push for the 2016 Olympics to be held in Chicago. Here leaving the lunch at the Royal Palace Amalienborg in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Yes, the Danish Queen was there too. In pink.
Go here for more images moving into precence .
Following this blog you will agree with me that it stills needs a more practical approach to phenomenology. We need some tools that can be applied when doing, understanding and analyzing pieces of communication. Being it text or pictures or other.
Aspects of gestalt psychology have been pretty well covered in a number of posts. So have certain practical aspects of semiology. And there are plenty of useful information on both advertising efficiency and human behaviour, for readers that seek that kind information. (To be linked later).
The next series of posts will deal with a more practical approach to phenomenology. This is important since we have stated several times, already, that phenomenology takes up a special position within the barebones universe being both the basic of reflection as well as a particular area of investigation. Normally you refer to phenomenology as the method of phenomenology. The phenomenological method has been randomly covered by a series of posts taking it offset in the big book on phenomenology by late philosopher Herbert Spiegelberg. The big book being his The Phenomenological Movement. This however is by far not enough. Spiegelberg’s steps of phenomenology may be good, but not very practical.
Making the whole area more practical shall be very interesting since a similar effort had never been done before. Correct me if I am wrong here, but in my humble opinion this is the case. I am pretty sure that this effort have never been tried in anything that resembles a communication theory. So, it will be interesting to see what develops in the course of the future posts on barebones.
It is all in the photograph above. I call it Presence and Absence. There may be some presence, but there are certainly more absence. Let’s see, then, if we can get more absence present.
Please take a note that this post is written the day before President Obama arrives for the IOC conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Michelle Obama arrived early yesterday and so did the Spanish King, The Brazilian President, and Oprah Winfrey. And many more celebrities doing a warm up of for the 2016 Olympics. Chicago Tribune calls it The Big Push. Friday all will be settled since the voter’s votes will have been cast. And all the presidents will leave.
What this last information has to do will phenomenology? Well, the facts are certainly there, aren’t they? And the celebrity information around IOC’s meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, is likewise missing from the picture above, right? That is precisely why this information belong to the photograph.
Confused? Just wait till you read the next post on phenomenology. That post will deal with presence and absence and everything will become clear to you .
Have a good morning.
Finally, the last of Barthes’ connotation procedures coming up. And maybe the most obvious one. I has to do with picture syntax. Barthes is simply stating that when more than one image is involved, there emerges a new connotative level based on the series or cluster of images. Please read the quote below to get a better understanding of the matter.
Look at the picture above. It is perfectly possible to analyze each individual photograph on its own, but you can also analyze the combination of the series of pictures. Sometimes, but not all the time, you might end up with connotations that differ from one image to all of them taken as a cluster. There are individual pictures in there, that e.g. do not connote “liveliness” or “youth”, but if you look at the cluster as a whole you will find such connotations.
We all know that series, or clusters, of pictures are very common. Newspaper, or magazine, articles are obvious examples where more than one image often are used. An advertising campaign, most of the time, uses more than one picture. So, be aware that you can deliberately provoke connotations by using a multiple of images. But you need to know what you are doing.
Go here to get to the other connotation procedures.
Barthes: “We have already considered a discursive reading of the object-signs within a single photograph. Naturally, several photographs can come together to form a sequence (this is commonly the case in illustrated magazines); the signifier of connotations is then no longer to be found at the level of any one of the fragments of the sequence but at that – what the linguists would call the suprasegmental level – of the concatenation. Consider for example four snaps of a presidential shoot at Rambouillet: in each the illustrious sportsman (Vincent Auriol) is pointing his rifle in some unlikely direction, to the great peril of the keepers who run away or fling themselves to the ground. The sequence (and the sequence alone) offers an effect of comedy which emerges, according to a familiar procedure, from the repetition and variation of the attitudes”.
Library Thing. (Roland Barthes: Image, Music, Text, pages 15-31, Fontana Press 1977, UK. Essays selected and translated by Stephen Heath).
I just did you a favour.
From time to time I have posts that simply consist of a quote. Often an image added. These posts are all tagged “pitstop”, but unless you go for that tag in the tag cloud, you will never find them in one go.
I have collected them all for you. Linked from the same blog post. This one. If you visit the blog page pitstop puzzle you will find the same linked there. I will update that page whenever I publish a new pitstop post.
The idea with the pistop posts is simply to give you a break. Read them, or leave them.
Each pistop is a breath of fresh air. They all stand on their own and can be read in isolation. However there is an intention with these pitstop posts. Not expressive written down, or instructed. They are pieces of the same puzzle. They are pieces of the same picture. The are pieces of barebones.
Take a closer look at the photograph above. It is one single shot. Not a compilation of many. By viewing them all together you get a picture that is different from viewing each “piece” in isolation. You get THE picture.
Your turn now. Here are the collected pistop posts. Collected for you. You must make the picture by piecing them together.
Here you go: The Barebones Pistop Puzzle.
Good luck with it. I never told you it would be easy.
The good news, however, is that these pitstop posts do not only fit into one particular picture. They fit many. Could even be yours. There are stuff in there that will last you a lifetime. You need to fill out the blanks.
For once, I have listed things in a chronological order. Bottom up.
Ever felt that you had too much to do? Not being able to raise you head for a breath of fresh air? Or tend to your favourite blog as often as you would like to?
Well, in the meantime you need to look for additional connotations in this photograph. Is that ok with you? For the moment?
Stay tuned. Plenty of more posts to come And photographs.
I am going to continue a bit with Roland Barthes.
Not because his name is Roland Barthes, and since he already has made a name for himself within the broader field of communication. But for two other reasons. The first one being that the posts tagged “Barthes” seems to work pretty good on this blog, and secondly because he is central for the barebones themes in that he works with both verbal and visual communication.
A section in his famous article The Photographic Message is about Text and Image. Barebones want to make the points Barthes addresses, in that section, operational, and show how they can be used both proactively when constructing a message e.g trying to communicate a thought, and reactively when deconstucting a message for e.g. analysis.
Barthes addresses three points in the combination of text and image. There are probably many more, but we will start with blog posts on these three:
1) Text as parasite to an image (post coming up)
2) Text as innocent to an image (post coming up)
3) Text as contradiction to an image (post coming up)
Even if the wording here is esoteric the content of what Barthes is saying is not that hard to grasp.
I will treat these three points/procedures in separate posts. Now you are warned. The separate posts on text and image will be linked to this introductory post.
And remember: reading blogs are not a substitute for reading books. And reading books are not a substitute for reading life. If you want to know more about Barthes, go get the book. If you want to know more about life, buy a camera.
You could start with the link below.
Library Thing. (Roland Barthes: Image, Music, Text, Fontana Press 1977, UK. Essays selected and translated by Stephen Heath).
For more posts on Roland Barthes go here.
This portrait was never intended for this site, but I’ll bring it anyway.
Remember Roland Barthes and his connotation procedures in photopraphy? One of his procedures is trick effects, and that procedure is probably that which comes closest to my point here. The mere quality of the equipment is yet another parameter for handling connotations.
This shot has been made with a Carl Zeiss lens (Zeiss Planar 1,4/85 mm ZE), and, in my opinion, is has connotation qualities that goes far beyond what I have seen with other lenses. What these lenses are famous for, are the ability to render 3D like effects. I am amazed, particularly since this is the first portrait, ever, I have shot with this lens. This person comes to life way beyond my expectations. Because of the Zeiss glass in the lens.
What has this to do with connotations? Well, this equipment based qualities certainly contain connotations. Thinks like “strong personality”, “stern”, “in control of things”, “highly skilled”, “professional”, et cetera. You can add to the list yourself.
Barthes himself was not a photographer. He did not think he had the talent for it. He had to contribute to the art of photography by writing about it. That is probably why he never knew about Carl Zeiss and his glass.
And talking about quality: this picture is best viewed on a Mac. The bigger the better. And I am not joking.
And no, this is not a picture of Carl Zeiss. Have a good day .
If you want to read more barebones’ posts related to Roland Barthes, you should hit “Roland Barthes” in the tag cloud.
Roland Barthes had another flamboyant idea. Analysing stills from another great master, the Russian Serge Eisenstein, he lacked a word for the meaning that was bluntly there. So he invented a label for that kind of meaning. He called it obtuse: the blunt meaning. You can read all about it in his essay “The Third Meaning”, or you can read a bit about how others interpret it, by following this link. The article on obtuse meaning was originally written in the French magazine Cahiers du cinéma in 1970.
As you clearly can see, the photograph above are embedded with obtuse meanings. Well, bluntly …. . You need to take a good look at the photograph, because as Barthes says, the obtuse meaning cannot be described. Good luck with it.
Picture shot at Lousiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark 2008.
It is long over due, I know.
On occasions I have used the term “hermeneutics“, but so far refrained from explaining what hermeneutics is, and how is it to be understood as a barebones notion. I will do that now.
Some of you may remember the very basic barebones communication diagram (below), that I posted last year. No need to change that, and I will show it here once more. See the word “hermeneutics” on the horizontal cloud in the illustration? Why it is placed there in the same section as phenomenology, and not as a separate vertical cloud similar to semiology, gestalt psychology, et cetera?
The answer to these questions are easy to give: In the barebones universe hermeneutic is not considered as a special region of the communication area, is it considered as a communication fundamental.
Using the esoteric words of philosophy, you could say that hermeneutics here have an existential or even ontological status. Don’t let yourself be scared away from this area by these words. Existential means simply: that which fundamentally comes with human existence, and ontology is simply the science of that area. If you are in for an academic career, you are welcome to obscure this to a lesser and even larger extend (irony). You’ll find indications of such obscurities when you look these words up on Wikipedia
The barebones’ stand on hermeneutics has been phrased very well by David E. Linge in his in Editor’s Introduction to Hans-Georg Gadamer‘s “Philosophical Hermeneutics”, University of California Press, 1976. Here is what he says, and you are welcome to read this as a statement that goes along perfectly with barebones communication.
“The task of philosophical hermeneutics, therefore, is ontological rather then methodological. It seeks to throw light on the fundamental conditions that underlie the phenomenon of understanding in all its modes, scientific and nonscientific alike, and that constitute understanding as an event over which the interpreting subject does not ultimately preside. For philosophical hermeneutics, “the question is not what we do or what we should do, but what happens beyond our willing and doing.” Hans-George Gadamer, Philosophical Hermeneutics, University of California Press, 1976, page ix.
To be continued …
Why is hermeneutics important?
Why is hermeneutics important? Why is it even very important? Here as some of the obvious reasons, spelled out:
1) If hermeneutics is fundamental, as we see it on barebones, it attach to every act of communication.
2) If hermeneutics attach to every act of communication, it a good idea to understand a bit of how it works.
3) If you have the idea, that you want to have a bit of control over what and how you are communicating (many people have that idea), you might want to use hermeneutics in an active way.
4) If you have the idea, that you want to understand some of the mechanisms at work at the receivers end of your message, verbal or visual or other, you may want to use hermeneutics in an active way, as well.
5) As advertising is not different from communication, but just a special branch of it, advertising people should take notice as well.
I good way of getting you there is to have a look at a new model of communication, and that will come up on this blog pretty soon. From this post on, there will be more posts on hermeneutics. I am sure that you want to know the basics of the hermeneutic circle, and the hermeneutic spiral.
So you need to stay tuned. Have a good day.
Looking for the right direction to take in 2009?
At barebones communication, that is not a big deal since it has been advertised along the way. So, like the beach man, in the picture below, we are slightly turning our head, but keeping our body steadfast. Eyes wide open.
1. The first year, barebones communication, has concentrated on cutting through the soft tissues of communication, and has tried to lay bare the bones that effects every real life acts of communication. There are still missing links in this work, and I will continue to fill in what is missing. Roughly this work will add to the themes that are already well established on the blog; semiology, phenomenology, gestalt psychology, naturalistic human sciences and types of experiential resources. These themes are the barebones pillars, and they will continue to play a crucial part of what is going to come on this blog.
3. The turning of the head, however, means that I, to a larger extent, will put these things to practical use. Elaborating more on specific real life communication. You already find a hint of this direction reading some of the recent posts published. I am referring to the post on a Danish commercial, and the post on Canon and their black dots.
4. Last, but not least, I will continue using photographs to illustrate.
What you will see in 2009, then, is a mix of the above mentioned with eyes wide open particularly towards what I call real life communication. As a consequence you will see more of the newly introduced theme Barebones Orchid Scale (BOS).