IMAGE 22 (Ausgabe Juli 2015) 

Release date:


  • Elisabeth Birk, Mark Halawa: Introduction. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Visual Literacy

  • Jakob Krebs: Visual, Pictorial, and Information Literacy

  • Andreas Osterroth: Das Internet-Meme als Sprache-Bild-Text

  • Andreas Josef Vater: Jenseits des Rebus. Für einen Paradigmenwechsel in der Betrachtung von Figuren der Substitution am Beispiel von Melchior Mattspergers »Geistliche Herzenseinbildungen«

  • Axel Roderich Werner: Visual Illiteracy. The Paradox of Today's Media Culture and the Reformulation of Yesterday's Concept of an écriture filmique

  • Sascha Demarmels, Ursula Stalder, Sonja Kolberg: Visual Literacy. How to Understand Texts Without Reading Them

  • Kathryn M. Hudson, John S. Henderson: Weaving Words and Interwoven Meanings. Textual Polyvocality and Visual Literacy in the Reading of Copán's »Stela J«

  • David Magnus: Aesthetical Operativity. A Critical Approach to Visual Literacy with and Beyond Nelson Goodman's Theory of Notation

  • [kein Autor]: Das bildphilosophische Stichwort. Vorbemerkung

  • Tobias Schöttler: Das bildphilosophische Stichwort 4. Bildhandeln

  • Christa Sütterlin: Das bildphilosophische Stichwort 5. Maske

  • Martina Dobbe: Das bildphilosophische Stichwort 6. Fotografie

  • Impressum


Introduction. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Visual Literacy
Authors: Elisabeth Birk, Mark Halawa
[Thema des Artikels]

Visual, Pictorial, and Information Literacy
Author: Jakob Krebs
Literal literacy can be used as a vantage point for the reconstruction of intricate relations between three further kinds of literacy. Pictorial literacy can be contrasted with literal literacy at least in phenomenological and epistemolog-ical regards. This contrast helps to separate different modes of representation as issues of information literacy. Information literacy relies on a productive concurrence of different types of literacies, while visual literacy is neither restricted to the search for information nor to pictorial signs. After some pre-liminary remarks on different kinds of literacies in the first section, the second section discusses technologically and linguistically biased approaches to in-formation literacy with regard to a proposal by the UNESCO. Section three will then explicate certain epistemic features of pictorial literacy in regard of informative pictures, which can show us how things are looking. The broader significance of visual literacy and its relation to multi-modal articulations and artefacts is then examined in section four.

Das Internet-Meme als Sprache-Bild-Text
Author: Andreas Osterroth
The present article’s goal is to explain internet memes from a linguistic point of view. Therefore a brief overview concerning the subject of Bildlinguistik is needed and the so called pictorial turn is to be assessed. Terms established by leading linguists such as Sprache-Bild-Text, Sehflächen and others have to be considered before the analysis. Memes or artefacts which are capable of becoming memes, are not created by single individuals, instead they evolve from a collective process of semiosis which is not intentionally controlled by an individual or a small group. Change, variation and hereby conventionaliza-tion are constitutive for internet memes. The meme itself, after being estab-lished in specific contexts, is used for communicational acts within the mean-ing of Austin. Meme-users communicate with these artifacts instead of using only written graphemes or emoticons and so on. The meme inherits a specific meaning and can only be used in pragmatic contexts. Assuming better bandwidth and accessibility to the internet in general, memes may replace emoticons and some communicational acts in future. Already today, one can have entire conversations based mostly or even only on memes.

Das Ziel des vorliegenden Beitrages ist die Vorstellung verschiedener Mög-lichkeiten, Internet-Memes aus linguistischer Sicht zu betrachten. Hierfür ist ein kurzer Überblick über die Bildlinguistik nötig und der sogenannte pictorial turn muss bewertet werden. Ausdrücke verschiedener führender Linguisten, wie Sprache-Bild-Text, Sehflächen und andere, müssen vor der Analyse be-trachtet werden. Memes, oder Artefakte, die meme-fähig sind, werden nicht von Einzelpersonen erschaffen, sie entstehen in einem kollektiven Semio-seprozess. Konstitutiv für Internet-Memes ist Veränderung, Variation und auf diese Weise Konventionalisierung. Das Meme kann, nachdem es in verschie-denen Kontexten etabliert wurde, für kommunikative Sprechakte im Sinne Austins genutzt werden und Meme-Benutzer kommunizieren mit diesen Arte-fakten, anstatt nur Buchstaben, Emoticons oder anderes zu nutzen. Das Meme trägt eine spezielle Bedeutung und kann nur in bestimmten pragmatischen Kontexten genutzt werden. In Zukunft könnte es sein, dass, bedingt durch bessere Bandbreite und Verfügbarkeit des Internets überhaupt, Memes Emo-ticons und bestimmte kommunikative Akte ersetzen. Schon heute kann man ganze Unterhaltungen führen, welche ausschließlich oder doch größtenteils auf Memes basieren.

Jenseits des Rebus. Für einen Paradigmenwechsel in der Betrachtung von Figuren der Substitution am Beispiel von Melchior Mattspergers Geistliche Herzenseinbildungen
Author: Andreas Josef Vater
The bible-compilation Geistliche Herzens-Einbildungen in zweihundertund-fünfzig biblischen Figur-Sprüchen angedeutet was first published by Melchior Mattsperger in 1684. The work’s most notable feature are figures substituting words. Today they are mainly considered as an educational instrument for children to improve their language- and reading-skills. In my paper I am ques-tioning this point of view by taking a closer look at the figures and by investi-gating the reasons for such a misguided interpretation. I will demonstrate that Mattsperger’s book was originally intended as an intellectual game. Fur-thermore, I will argue that such a reevaluation requires a fundamental shift in the so far one-sided linguistical perception of figures of substitution.

Visual Illiteracy. The Paradox of Today's Media Culture and the Reformulation of Yesterday's Concept of an écriture filmique
Author: Axel Roderich Werner
According to art historian James Elkins, the very term of ›visual literacy‹ is to be assessed as an at least »slightly dubious expression« (ELKINS 2008: 8) if not, in its linking of the scriptural to the pictorial or the discoursive to the non-discoursive, as an outright »self-defeating paradox« (ELKINS 2008: 5). In much of the same sense, William Mitchell views this arguably problematic though historically quite successful term as »a strong and seemingly unavoidable metaphor« (MITCHELL 2008a: 11) in which, though not mutually exclusive, the term of ›reading‹ serving as the vehicle and the term of ›vision‹ as the tenor thus are establishing a kind of hierarchy by apparently privileging the former over the latter in a kind of catachresis (in which the metaphor fills the gap of the lack of a literal or ›proper‹ designation)—literacy explains visuality just as texts explain pictures. At the same time, however, this relation might as well be reversed (so that Mitchell in fact wonders if one should speak of ›visual literacy‹ or ›literary visualcy‹): even verbal literacy does in fact rely on vision as, most evidently, for example, »the skill of reading is already a visual skill« (MITCHELL 2008a: 11), just as even face-to-face communication is governed by the recognition of facial expression, gestures, posture etc. (or ›body language‹, to use another metaphor of that kind). Neither, then, is literacy ever thoroughly independent of vision (or, more generally, communication of perception) nor is vision itself ever ›purely optical‹ regarding its physiological predispositions—let alone a ›natural‹ capacity exempt from learning and training (cf. MITCHELL 2008b: 13, 15).
The same metaphorical, paradoxical, or oxymoronic combination of this seeming contradictio in adjecto, I would like to argue, can be found in the concept of an écriture filmique, or ›filmic writing‹, which in the following I will discuss with special regard to recent changes in the wider scope of today’s media culture: just as film, according to intermediality scholar Joachim Paech, has ultimately become a mere metaphor for virtually »every kind of moving picture« (PAECH 2011: 8), writing correspondingly may as yet be nothing more than a metaphor for its own remediation in a postmedial era (cf. BOLTER/GRUSIN 2000; WEIBEL 2005), along with ›literacy‹ as a metaphor or synecdoche for several kinds of ›new literacies‹ (cf. BUCKINGHAM 1993; LANKSHEAR/KNOBEL 2006; LEU/KINZER/COIRO/CAMMACK 2004)—›computer‹,› digital‹, ›information‹, ›media literacy‹ etc. as certain particularly mediatized ›cultural techniques‹ considered elementary for current quotidian communicative competence—in short, to quote Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, the general and extensive »semiotic competence« necessary to cope with today’s multimodal »post-typographic texts and technologies« (LANKSHEAR/KNOBEL 2006: 3, 5).
The comparative linking of both concepts characterized in this way, then, hopefully still will not result in an explanation metaphoram per meta-phoram, that is, rather tautologically, idem per idem, or even obscurum per obscurius and ignotum per ignotius, but rather aims to contrast two particular reflections on visual literacy by their respective depictions of the lack of it; one philosophical-textual as a general diagnosis of today’s media culture and one artistic-filmic as a specific case in point. In a very cursory way, then, I will discuss
• firstly Vilém Flusser’s concept of the ›techno-image‹ as the latest and, implicitly, also the last ›symbolic form‹ of cultural history, and
• secondly a film by Peter Greenaway centrally addressing the problem of the ›reading‹ of an image—The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)—in order to
• thirdly and conclusively address the concept of an écriture filmique as founded in Alexandre Astruc’s seminal essay The Birth of a New Avantgarde and its possible uses for the situation of today’s media culture.

Visual Literacy. How to Understand Texts Without Reading Them
Authors: Sascha Demarmels, Sonja Kolberg, Ursula Stalder
Storytelling as a means to raise the motivation of recipients to process infor-mation and to support the comprehension of marketing texts written for products that are in need of an explanation. Recent studies on marketing for sustainable energy products have shown that comprehensibility for complex goods often fails because of the low motivation of the recipients to read and process information. We therefore ask how texts have to be shaped in order to reach consumers. Today ›texts‹ are no longer considered to consist only of verbal material but of different codes—they are multimodal. The question is, then, how to increase motivation by enacting the content, by ›staging it‹. Dual processing theories and the strategy of storytelling may prove to be helpful, as some outstanding examples in current marketing practice for sustainable energy have shown.

Weaving Words and Interwoven Meanings. Textual Polyvocality and Visual Literacy in the Reading of Copán's Stela J
Authors: John S. Henderson, Kathryn M. Hudson
Orthodox analytical approaches to analyses of Maya stelae—monuments that celebrate Maya kings visually and in hieroglyphic texts (see fig. 1)—proceed as though each contains two distinct and only vaguely related elements: the text and the accompanying imagery. These features are most often conceptualized, analyzed, and interpreted separately in a methodological framework that has created a widely shared perspective in which text and context have become thoroughly divorced from each other but reified as distinct con¬stituent elements. Epigraphic and art historical approaches to Maya monuments thus operate independently from one another, and they are rarely well integrated with archaeological analyses. One result of this separation is that studies of Maya monumental texts have become so intertwined with the practice of epigraphy that they are conceptualized in narrowly linguistic terms. This affords linguistic texts a privileged status disproportional to their total contributions to the textual whole and promotes a narrow understanding of how Maya texts should be read. This paper illustrates the problematic nature of this orthodoxy through an analysis of Copán’s Stela J (see fig. 2), showing how Maya stelae were polyvocal, designed to be read in multiple ways.

Aesthetical Operativity. A Critical Approach to Visual Literacy with and Beyond Nelson Goodman's Theory of Notation
Author: David Magnus
The term visual literacy has been used in numerous fields of research for al-most half a century. Despite its ›interdisciplinary career‹ the different ap-proaches share a pedagogical tendency which has somewhat informed this notion since the Rochester Conference in 1969 at which it was first discussed. The present paper, however, will leave aside the educational aspect in order to give way to an inquiry from the perspective of contemporary writing theories that set their focus on the iconic potential of notations. A reconstruction of the main aspects of Nelson Goodman’s theory of notation, which has been enthusiastically adopted by several contemporary authors will be followed by an account of the epistemological understanding of what has been lately de-scribed as notational iconicity. This approach shall be enriched by a termino-logical supplement capable to meet the requirements of pictorially designed notations. The term proposed in this paper is aesthetical operativity and its explanation will be based on the pictorial music notation of the Austrian-Greek composer Anestis Logothetis.

Das bildphilosophische Stichwort. Vorbemerkung
Authors: [none]
[Thema des Artikels]

Das bildphilosophische Stichwort 4. Bildhandeln
Author: Tobias Schöttler
[Thema des Artikels]

Das bildphilosophische Stichwort 5. Maske
Author: Christa Sütterlin
[Thema des Artikels]

Das bildphilosophische Stichwort 6. Fotografie
Author: Martina Dobbe
[Thema des Artikels]

Authors: [none]
[Thema des Artikels]