Ways of Seeing

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Zach Porterfield Introduction to Media, Society, and the Arts John Berger's Ways of Seeing Response John Berger has shown how to take any image, whether it is a painting, an advertisement, or a picture, and dissect it into a branching, almost fractal, network of deeper meanings. He has done this by changing observational techniques of looking at the image; by focusing in on specific areas within the image to reveal scenes within the overall scene or by controlling the arrangement in which we view the image (e.g. left to right, right to left, etc.). By pairing an image with music, or the context of which it is being shown, a different meaning altogether is presented, as opposed to viewing the image in silence, or out of context.…show more content…
“Not only our home, but all of our relationships will become radiant because of our new possessions.” There is a juxtapositional phenomenon between the capitalistic publicities, and the European oil painting portraiture. The only difference is that the portraits were used to demonstrate power manifested monetarily or authoritatively. Advertisements are tools for creating envy and thus causing one to go out into the world market and trade their money for the power and happiness that these products can bring to you. Instead of promoting power of an individual, publicity has turned money itself into a divine entity that is capable of not only enhancing your hierarchical position in society, but by making you seemingly more attractive to the opposite sex. “The passivity of the present is replaced by the activity of an imaginary future, pictures conjured up by publicity” This is to say that advertisements are able to fulfill a sense of lack of fulfillment by implementing an image of happiness and overall acceptance. With that achieved, one does not need to worry about their position in the world. In essence, imagery, no matter the purpose, has the ability of transforming itself within the eyes of the beholder. It also has the ability to transform the beholder, or at least the emotion of the beholder. By implementing a contextual background of social nature, or of individual circumstance and experience, no two people on earth
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