Chapter One Art and Visual Culture Summary

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In our current popular culture, images are a major means of communication as we are bombarded with imagery every day. Most of the imagery we see is used as combination of facilitating propaganda and as a means to sell (I do not see any distinction between the two motives in our current culture). This imagery not only reflects reality, but it shapes it. However, it is not an accurate representation and its influence cannot completely dictate reality. The relationship between visual art and visual culture is one that is intertwined and blurred. Visual art can be a used as means to an end, or a tool used within our visual culture to manipulate through propaganda and subliminal messages. It also serves as a reflection of or commentary on society by individual artists. Visual art and visual culture cannot exist separately. Visual art today in our prevalent culture is largely a means of personal expression of the individual artist. It can serve to influence, connect, separate, reveal, engage, challenge, and move the emotions of the viewers. Visual art can serve to lead the viewer to pause and think in greater depth about themselves and the world around them. Visual art plays on our perceptions of the meanings we associate with images, form, color, and their context. Our perceptions are very subjective. The author states that “We construct the meaning of things through the process of representing them.” This idea relates directly to my process of art-making and personal discovery. By making, my unconscious mind and my conscious mind work simultaneously through my hands. It is only through this process and by subsequently distancing myself from the work to observe the product of my labor that I am able to label and assign meaning to the imagery that has been revealed to me. In producing vessels that have humanistic, animistic, vegetative, or simply non-ceramic attributes, I play with the associations and meanings we typically assign to...
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