08
Nov
08

Hocks and Kendrick’s Eloquent Images

Mary E. Hocks and Michelle R. Kendrick, eds.
Eloquent Images: Word and Image in the Age of New Media
Area: Digital Media

•    Responds to current questions like whether digital media should be understood simply as a pastiche of existing forms or if digital media have brought forth a radical paradigm that requires new methods of inquiry and understanding
•    New media: radically different? Revolutionary?
•    Distinction between print and visual culture: Latour’s binary-based thinking
o    Modernist thinking: posits radical paradigm shift
•    Modern—two sets of entirely different that must remain distinct to remain effective
•    The idea of new media as ‘revolutionary’ or ‘radical’ rupture has been overstated
o    This book favors a more cautious, historicized, and situated perspectives
•    Borrowing Latour’s model: new media is a hybrid of word and image
o    Something knowable in ‘only specific local practices and contingent change’
•    Bolter: all words begin as images first—pictoral quality becomes more transparent over time
•    Kirschenbaum: complicates our ideas about the function and consumption of images
•    New media artifacts construct hybrid experiences, identities, epistemologies, and virtual realities
•    DeCerteau: practices must occur in specific, culturally controlled contexts, but they also often exceed and complicate those contexts in surprising ways
1: “Eloquent Images demonstrated that to attempt to characterize new media as a new battleground between word and image is to misunderstand radically the dynamic interplay that already exists and has always existed between visual and verbal texts and to overlook insights concerning that interplay that new media theories and practices can foster.”
5: “Outlining broadly the historical and cultural tensions between print and visual culture, Bolter concludes that, with the advent of new media, the ratios have changed to privilege practice over theory, production over critique, formal over ideological, and visual over verbal.  He ultimately sets up the dichotomies as heuristics to be subjects for debate as we move into a more complex understanding of new media.”
6: “Wysocki argues against two assumptions in new media studies: that hypertext creates politically engaged and empowers readers and that images weaken readers by making interpretation too easy.”
7: “LaGrandeur uses classical rhetoric to set up images and text as separate means of persuasion that support one other rhetorically, drawing precedents for this activity from classical texts and applying them to Web site design.”
7: “Understanding the image, according to LaGrandeur, also means comprehending its dichotomous possibilities: its persuasive power might add to an argument by using ethical, emotional, and logical appeals, but its force and nonrational nature might also distract from a message’s logical appeal.”

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