The Power Of The Image Within The Realm Of Media And The Digital World

1310 Words6 Pages
Most media scholars assert that contemporary culture is dominated by images. Furthermore, it is widely understood that images articulate ways of seeing the world. Given that the average American is confronted with up to 5,000 advertisements a day, it is difficult to refute the legitimacy and impact of these claims. Advertising, film, print media, and the digital world all rely on the visual to transmit potent messages to the public. These images are rarely just aesthetic displays. Each visual put before us is replete with meaning- cues that tell us what to think, how to feel, and how to act. Enveloped within images are social, political, and cultural ideologies. Images, in short, are dominant vessels of persuasive communication and influence, dictating social norms, communicating rhetoric, and acting as representations of values implicit in culture. In this colloquium and rationale, I aim to explore the power of the image within the realm of media and the ways in which this power is created, exercised, and then negotiated by the viewer. What is the power of the image? This is a question addressed significantly in Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida. The author tells us that paintings are powerful in that they can reproduce fictional representations; they can portray that which is not there. However, it is the photographic image that contains genuine power because of its indexicality, that is, the viewer always connects the image to the notion that “the thing has been there”
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