Visual Rhetoric Barack Obama and John McCain choose superhero character to represent themselves. Barack Obama: Spider man-?The guys who have too many powers, like Superman, that always make me think they weren?t really earning their superhero status. It?s a little too easy. Whereas Spider-Man and batman, they have some inner turnmoil. They got knocked around a little bit. John McCain: Batman-?He does justice sometimes against insurmountable odds. And he doesn?t make his good worked known to a lot of people.? The Importance of visuals were important before present day times I. Classical figures recognized the visual dimension of rhetoric. A. In his Encomium of Helen, Gorgias celebrates and bemoans the persuasive power of sight. Sight engages the intellect more directly than the words of the rhetor B. In Aristotle?s discussion of style, the concept of ?bringingbefore- the-eyes? (pro ommaton poiein) explains how rhetors may actualize actions for audiences. Introduces this in a discussion on metaphor and how visuals can signify different words and ideas. Words are insuited to the words they signify In terms of actualization-things should be seen as being done now, as opposed to the future. Use word pictures that are fitting. Focus is on the here and now. C. Roman writers also appreciated the rhetorical power of vision. Cicero identifies the sense of sight as the keenness of sense, and claims that people best remember things that are presented to the eyes Reptilian-oritory fails at it?s full affect II. Contemporary interest in visual rhetoric has increased significantly. A. The neo-Aristotelians focused on the speech as the primary?if not exclusive?rhetorical text. Were concerned with explicit acts of persuasion Their adoption of ethos, pathos, and logos made them qualified to speak on certain reasons. Imagined speakers to represent arguments in a propositional way B. In the 1960s, scholars rediscovered the rhetorical power of visual texts. Kenneth Berksworth defiend rhetoric expansively, and the 190s report of the committee also made reference to a broader view. Shift from object based to a perspective based Also increased electronics, such as the television debate of the 1960s for the presidential election Today scholars appreiciate the use of the internet Use of vernacular websites differs greatly visually from academic web-sites C. Scholars of visual rhetoric have explored images as powerful, public texts. Some focus particularly on iconic images Late 1980s, people created gay images for antihomophobic campaigns III. Missing Person Posters A. The posters created a hopeful relationship (i.e., subjunctive voice) with spectators. Wrote that the photographs repossessed what the attacks had taken away Functioned rhetorically to freeze time, so those looking for lost loved ones could hold on to hope before the realization that they were truly gone Other scholars cited the relationship between spectator and image and applied it to the posters, and asked people to aske not what they are looking at, but instead what it reminds them of B. The posters helped families and friends of victims to cope with the grief and trauma of their loss. Personal touches let spectators identify with missing persons. Such as roadside memorials-personal touches in photos, stuffed animals Missing person posters reminded viewers of the emergence and desperation of the situation, enlisting others to join in. Haunted the places they were hung They juxtaposed the visual rhetoric with the vernacular rhetoric Many photos displayed people doing ordinary activities so they could return to normal activity when they were found Missing are portrayed with loved ones Emphasize interpersonal relationships Stated the function of the subjected voice by citing how certain images could portray a subjuctive images Cast family members as proactive Gives a sense of doing something for the dead. Constituted an image of love and companionship Posters also inlisted spectators for the search of the missing Posters inacted communites of grieving, letting people support each other in their grieving Said first there is an instrumental layer Also there is an expressive layer, which constitutes a relational act of listening Ultimately posters empowered the survivors, that they would otherwise not be able to experience They were able to create an awareness amoung strangers that would otherwise not be important Blurred the boundry between public and private spheres
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