A2_Week 5_Task 4: Visual analysis and contextual knowledge paragraph

The City Rises, Umberto Boccioni, 1910, Oil on Canvas. Europe.

The painting above done by the artist Umberto Boccioni that was part of the futurist movement during the 20th Century Early Modernism era. The work is comprised of the fundamentals of both the Modernist era and its movement. The title explains a component present, that the setting is within a modern city in Italy being constructed. This is seen with the vertical lines and buildings in the background. During this time many large cities were being modernized and new machines were being invented. The background shows the literal representation of the its time whilst the foreground illustrates a different approach. The focal point of the painting, through the use light and different brushstrokes makes the viewer look at the red horse in the center.(Ruszkiewicz, 11) The horse and elements around it is captured in a moment of movement,speed and chaos. Understanding the context of the modernist era will allow the viewer to understand  the reason behind the technique of the vivid brushstrokes. The modern age brought vast change to society, as mentioned by Mirzoeff it altered many people’s lives as a result.

In relation to my chosen question, during this time technology shaped our lives (Mirzoeff 131). The futurists works were largely inspired by these vast affects of technology. This is one of many works within this movement that illustrates this point. In reference to the idea of a filter, in this work the city is captured in bright colours and excitement of the everyday class whilst in reality this is not the case. The working class suffered hours of strenuous labour and hardship. On the other hand this work acts as a de-filter, as the working class were not normally portrayed in paintings before this time. As a different type of technique of painting is used the artist strays away from the traditional methods, thus display a more authentic feel of the world.

Works cited:


Ruszkiewicz, John J., Daniel Anderson, and Christy Friend. “Reading Texts.” Beyond Words: Cultural Texts for Reading and Writing. 3rd ed. Boston: Pearson, c2012. 9-39. Print.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas “The World on Screen” How to see the World. Chapter 4. 129-161. Print.




A2_Week 5_Task 3: Essay Topic Research

The City Rises, Umberto Boccioni. 1910. Oil on Canvas




The Bride Striped Bare by her Bachelors, Even. Marcel Duchamp, 1915/23. Multimedia sculpture. Philadelphia Museum of Art, US.

The artwork above created by Marcel Duchamp, a well known artist during the early Modernism era is a conceptual piece depicting the modernist machine age. Its materials it is made out of consists of “lead foil, lead wire and dust in two glass plates mounted with aluminium, wood and steel frames” (abcgallery.com). The work is in a cracked glass frame that is divided into sections. Each section depicts an industrial process constructing what may appear to be clothing or objects. In relation to my chosen topic, the work can be seen as a mockery of the machine and the title stating it being about a bride and her bachelors. Here they are shown as a machine process.


D. From brainstorming ideas for each of the artworks that may be used in my essay, I was able to understand the importance of context for the work. Either Boccioni’s The City Rises or Monet’s La Gare Saint Lazare have a close relation with their particular time period.When the context is unknown it may be difficult to understand the meaning behind the work. In relation to my chosen topic, I found this process and the associated texts useful because it helped develop a more in-depth way of describing artworks and its context that will be used throughout my essay.the bride

Websites Sourced:









A2_Week 5_Task 1: Visual Literacy

Homage to Bleroit, Robert Delauney. 1914. Oil on Canvas. Kunst Museum, Basle.

This work painted by Robert Delauney was part of the Orphism movement during the Early Modernism era. This short lived movement consisted of portraying the fast paced energy of the modern world. One of the ideas that John Berger discusses in he video, The Ways of Seeing is that on screen the meaning of the painting could be different. This may be through camera movement such as zooming in on the smaller detailed aspects of the painting as well as background sound.

If one were to zoom in on the the small Eiffel tower depiction with the soft background to the right of the painting on a screen they would not understand the entire meaning of the work. They might get the feel of calm due to the solid, smooth background but when viewing the painting as a whole that section is quite different from the rest of the painting. In relation to sound, if there was a documentary that included this painting this could also allow for a different version of meaning depending on the music being played. This could be a reference to technology being used a a filter where it shows only the section that it thinks we should see, thus blocking out other meanings behind the work.

Work cited:


John Berger/ Ways of Seeing Episode 1, 1972. Youtube video published Oct 8, 2012






A2_Week 5_Task 2: Contextual Understanding

From the reading, I found what was noticeable was the authors vivid descriptions of each of the photographs. Sturken described each important aspect in the work and how it related to the overall meaning. These two artworks were also those that had a somewhat harsh emotion or idea that it inflicted (10,11). They accompanied reality in a real sense rather than covering up the truth to any extent. The main moral of this piece of writing was of how visual images may appear ordinary have power to evoke strong emotions in the viewer (Sturken 9). The selected photographs contained a clear essence of this power.

Work Cited:

Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics”. Practices of Looking: An Introduction To Visual Culture.: New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-49. Print.

A2_Week 4_Task 4C: Visual Analysis of selected image


Nature Deficit Disorder, Gary Varvel, Cartoon. Indianapolis Star 2008

The image above is a cartoon created for the Indianapolis Star newspaper for the public displaying the problems with society. The Artist, Gary Varvel of this works that was created in 2008 often involves themes of politics or social issues of that time. This work appears to not be part of a series. The image consists of two characters, a mother and child in the middle of the work walking outside of their house. We are first drawn to the figures and then view what they are saying. Their speech bubbles above their heads display their conversation about the mother making a comment about the son being outside. The son replies with the comment relating to the social problem that are current in society. This is that children are spending more time with their electronic devices than experiencing the outdoors. The conversation has a sense of humor included with it even though displaying a the harshness of problems in society. The colour and medium is similar to most cartoon that appear in newspapers. These are particularly those that have a moral relating to society.

The original audience is similar to those who may view it today. This would be towards almost everyone who may read the paper or has an interest in social issues today. The people who would view this would only need to see the image to understand the meaning behind it, due to the image already including text within it. However, this may attract parents more than young people as they may relate more to its intention. Whilst a young person might relate to the the image differently as they might not believe the accusations being made are true.

A2_Week 4_Task 4B: Image Selection

Nature Deficit Disorder, Gary Varvel. Cartoon. 2008

I chose this image because the dialogue of the two characters shows how technology, specifically video games has an effect on ourselves. The cartoon illustrates the issue that children are spending more time playing video games than being outside, known as Nature Deficit Disorder.  These devices attract our constant attention and having control over us as discussed by Mirzoeff (156,157).

Big Brother. Surveilance Art. dailyalternative.co.uk

The image above is related to what Mirzoeff talked about the technology having control over us and the idea of data surveillance through our devices (160). As mentioned in an article on dailyalternative.co.uk, the concept of ‘Big Brother’ watching what we do via our laptops and cell phones the government could easily listen to our conversation and read our personal information.

Embed from Getty Images

The image above is relevant to my topic of how the world on screen has shaped the world around us. Thomas Edison was the inventor of the Kinetograph as shown in the image and mentioned by Mirzoeff which was a device displayed moving pictures at 48 frames per second (131). As discussed in the chapter, the Lumiere Brothers were the most successful at achieving a faster frame speed but Edison was still notably among the first to create moving pictures. His films were also shown to the public at the same time and were said to have profound effect on public and contributed towards future visual technologies.

Works cited:




A2_Week 4_Task 4A: Video Review

From watching both videos, Toledo Museum of Art. Visual Literacy and Critical Thinking and Martin Scorsese on the importance of Visual Literacy, Uploaded by Edutopia. Filmaker, I found that I the video with Martin Scorsese provided a good perspective on visual literacy. From his experience and success in the film industry as a director, producer and screen writer, it has a more profound effect on the viewers of this video. I found many parts of the video interesting such as him emphasizing the importance on teaching visual literacy and critical thinking to young people. It is how we look at the movies we watch “through how ideas and emotions are expressed through a visual form” (Scorsese 3.30). I would recommend this to others because Scorsese not only discusses the importance in visual literacy and storytelling in films but also gives some interesting insight into the concepts behind his movies.

Videos sited:

Toledo Museum of Art. Visual Literacy and Critical Thinking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jR8zWqyHBY Web. Feb 2015.

Uploaded by Edutopia.Filmaker Martin Scorsese on the importance of Visual Literacy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I90ZluYvHic Web 2015.


A2_Week 4_ Task 3F: Bringing Your Knowledge to the Topic

Other issues, concerns, events, ideas etc. related to this topic:

Loss of face-to-face communication: Most people living in first world countries carry a cell phone with them everywhere they go. In the ‘Connected, but Alone’ video presented by Sherry Turkle, she states that she came across a persons that said to her “I would rather text than talk”. As well as “We are tempted by machines that offer companionship”. There are concerns that we are using them more than talking to others in person. People seem to think that communication through social media is also easier than talk face-face, where they have a degree of control over what they say (Turkle).

Future Technological Inventions bettering our lives: There are numerous concepts and planned inventions for our future world, as stated by Dr Michael Walden from an N.C State University in his article about this topic. There are varying opinions whether these new technologies will be advantageous for our lives or contribute to a further control over society.

Industrialisation: Over history technology has accelerated the growth and development of major cities around the world, especially during the Industrial Revolution since the mid 1800’s.

Globalization: the internet allows businesses to promote and grow to other countries across the world. The growth of technology also enables efficiency of international trade, the global economy and provide connectivity and aid to developing nations (smallbusiness.chron.com).

Wealth outweighing the poor: the vast amounts of technology is mainly available to developed nations and the production of more advanced devices will most likely continue. Those that are able to afford them will further create digital divide from the undeveloped world, with those that cannot.

Cyber bulling: the constant access to digital devices such as cell phones and laptops linked to social media sites the risk of this among teenagers can be high. As stated by scientificamerican.com, studies have been done that there is a connection between abuse via social media to depression and suicide.  In 2013, the articles says that on the Ask.fm site where people are able to ask others question anonymously a large number of suicides were associated with this site.

Technology affecting Heath: Studies over the past few decades have said frequent use can cause problems such as eye defects, headaches, back and neck problems and sleeping (greatist.com). A recent study involving a more serious side effect is stated in a bioinitiative.org article ““There is a consistent pattern of increased risk for glioma (a malignant brain tumor) and acoustic neuroma with use of mobile and cordless phones” says Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD at Orebro University, Sweden, according to studies released in 2012 and 2013.”


Source Cited:

Connected, but alone. TED Talk. By Sherry Turkle, video listed in Resources section.









A2 Week 4 Task 3B: Free Writing

Throughout the chapter Mirzoeff explains how over time we have been influenced by both historical and contemporary technologies, including the camera and film camera, cell phones, social medias, the internet as a whole, video gaming and television.

He explains how in the late 1800’s, the train and railway was a step towards creating a new world. People were able to travel to and discover more places thus developing the Industrial Revolution. Similar to the internet today is also a closed world and global much like the scene on a train or along the tracks. These networks have created their own invisible world where we are able to access a large amount of information from but in turn are taught and controlled to think particular ideas about the world around us.