I gave an initial response to my tutor’s feedback on assignment 3 here. I have since then spent some time reworking and re-writing elements of the essay to try and make improvements or fill in gaps that my tutor had a highlighted.
One of the main things my tutor highlighted was ‘the need to work on integrating relevant ‘theory’ with your solid analysis’. I read Walter Benjamin’s essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction some time ago, but recently read Ways of Seeing by John Berger. I found within Berger’s book (which draws heavily on many of the arguments Benjamin’s essay made), much more accessible. I also found that Berger’s arguments were relevant to the assignment, particularly the issue of the distinctness of an original and the notion of a ‘language of images’. I’ve tried to incorporate these arguments in my revised essay.
My tutor also noted that Golz work (the artist whose re-appropriation I studied in my essay), was postmodernist. I had manged to get part way through reading Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction by Christopher Butler, so I carried on reading, and discovered that Golz work was a good example of postmodernism in it’s obsession with using elements from art of the past, and in it’s bid to force viewers or audiences to question art by taking elements of past movements and re-working them. Golz work also has a feminist slant to, and I found Berger and Butler both useful in explaining her effort to address the representation of women in society at the time of Vermeer and in today’s postmodernist society. I’m aware that I still don’t have a comprehensive understanding of Postmodernism but I feel like at least I’ve tried to grasp some key concepts and refer to them in a way that’s appropriate to the subject of the essay.
My tutor also noted that Golz had drawn on elements in her re-appropriation that were similar to elements seen in typical Vermeer paintings, again this highlighted to me the need for further research. I found a book in my library dedicated to Vermeer; A view of Delft Vermeer then and now, by Anthony Bailey, which me to uncover how The Girl with The Pearl Earring would’ve been seen by an audience at the time. I used this to help improve my semiotic analysis of the original. Which leads to my final point of improvement – I was encouraged to be more deliberate in my semiotic analysis, so I decided to make that the initial starting point of my re-written essay, beginning with the denotation and then moving on to the connotation of the original.
I think (at least hope), these changes and further research have made my essay much more informed. I’ve certainly tried to incorporate wider themes, refer to key course textbooks in the revised essay.
I realise I often don’t give the time/space to reflect on my tutor’s feedback on an assignment before diving straight into the next one. Her feedback was lengthy but helpful. There’s a few things I want to pick up on as room for improvement following her feedback:
- I need to make sure when I read recommended texts for the course I do the following things;
a) Make notes on my responses, thoughts, questions that arise on my blog as I read – this isn’t something I’ve done so far.
b) Make space/schedule time for reading these texts – I’ve given a large proportion of the time allocated to study to working on the exercises and assignment but haven’t set aside an amount of time for reading to support or supplement my studies. In all honesty I’m not sure how best to do this! Should I set aside an afternoon a week to read textbooks? Or a couple of hours a week?
2. Learn from previous mistakes:
For the next section on Photography, I’ve gone ahead and bought the texts my tutor recommended; Ian Jeffrey Photography: A Concise History, Susan Sontag On Photography, Graham Clarke The Photograph: A Visual History, Charlotte Cotton The Photography as Contemporary Art.
3. Recommended Essays or Documentaries;
My tutor mentioned Walter Benjamin’s 1936 Essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, as an important essay exploring mass communication. I found a version of it online, here.
She also recommended I watch John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, series of programmes made in 1972. I have also found a link to these on YouTube and will begin watching those and making some reflections in my learning log.
For this assignment we have been asked to identify an example of re-appropriation within visual communication. I have chosen to consider a re-appropriation of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring. The re-appropriation is a digital creation by Vienna based artist Dorothee Golz. In the post that follows I consider both images and collate notes ready for the assignment, a 1,00 word essay reflecting on questions from the workbook…
So this exercise feels like an bit of an odd end to part three of this module. It’s about considering and finding examples of new forms of media, can be games, video, other interactive media, which I consider cutting edge or inventive forms of visual media.
I’d like to take a moment to say I am not massively cutting edge – I still think Instagram and Twitter feel like fairly new versions of media, they haven’t really existed for that long now have they!?
In this exercise I needed to;
find examples of different visual conventions used to convey time/or place/space – frame by frame storytelling, handling of perspective, use of speech bubbles – from different time periods.
I also needed to use the exercise to develop research skills through the use of OCA online resources, websites, or visiting local libraries.