A3_Week 9: Workbook entry

Chapter 7: Changing the World, Visual Activism chapter

Mirzoeff’s definition of:

Visual Activism- the portrayal of ideas through a visual sense, today noticeably through online networks that brings upon protest and change in society. “Once we have learned how to see the world, we have taken only one of the required steps. The point is to change it (Mirzoeff, 298).

Visual Thinking- “Visual thinking is something that we simply do not study; we have engage with it ourselves” (Mizoeff, 289). Mirzoeff states that it is a form of visual culture on how we see the world through the visual that has lead to visual activism (289).

CHOSEN ISSUE: Animal Cruelty in breeding industry.

The issue has been widespread over the past few decades that has increased its significance. The breeding of animals, specifically puppy mills has horrifying conditions. This includes overcrowded and un-sanitized cages, malnutrition, forcing dogs to over breed and are killed when they can no longer do so. An important point that I would like to talk about and research is that why is it necessary to have this large breeding mills when their is an already over populated amount of abandoned animals in homeless shelters.

“It is estimated that there are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. Fewer than 3,000 of these are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture “(HSUS).

One of these reasons is money. Pet stores and breeders get more money from high prices of these poorly treated animals.

Activist Non- Profit Organisations:

  • PETA (People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
  • SAFE  NZ (Save Animals From Exploitation)
  • ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
  • Paw Justice (NZ)
  • RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
  • HSUS (Humane Society of the United States)


Researched Articles:



Puppy Mills: Facts, Outlawing, What to Do

Puppy Mills: Dogs Abused for the Pet Trade




A3_Week 9_Publishable Work: Introducing the project

In “Changing the World and Afterword: Visual Activism”, Mirzoeff discusses different aspects on how it is to be a citizen within the 21st Century (258, 290). This century is comprised of mass amounts of technology that enable current news and events to be seen globally in a short space of time. To be an individual in this era, we have become a part of the sharing and accessing this information from the visual cultures around us. It is our responsibility as citizens to be engaged with what is occurring around us. Forms of visual activism that shows this engagement includes through online social medias, graffiti art, videos and public activism gatherings. Particular issues in the world have become widespread especially due to this. A current world issue that I will be focusing on for this assessment is animal cruelty, specifically in the pet breeding industry. This will include the conflict around whether it is humane to have puppy mills or cat breeders compared to adopting from animal shelters. There are many organisations in New Zealand and throughout the world that raise awareness and create petitions for this global issue. Information for this issue is accessible through various online sources and visual texts  like articles, news hubs, television, photographs and social media pages. Over the past two decades of this century, it has become a global widespread problem. Below are examples of visual texts that illustrate this issue:

Work cited:

MIrzoeff, Nicholas.  Chapter 7 and Afterword: “Changing the World and Visual Activism”. How To See the World. Pages 253-286. London: Pelican. 2015. Print.

A2_Week 8_Task 1: Critical and Contextual Studies Toolkit

Planning and Preparation:

Certain independent study tasks have lead me to improve my process of planning for this assignment. I have found that creating in-depth brainstorms of my initial and current ideas has been a step towards a better preparation.

Going through other ways of preparation such as writing summaries of chapters, working through each idea and paragraph separately and the introductory exercises that we were given helped me better understand the ideas that I was going to write about.

Making Word Clouds

Writing skills:

I feel that this has increased my level of writing learnt to write more in depth about a particular subject. I have learnt more about how to structure essays, paragraphs and reference sources thus leading me to write better work.

Writing better Introductions

Ensuring that I read over my work

Content and Visual Text Analysis Tools:

Better skills with describing and analyzing

Looking critically when viewing a visual text

Understanding the context behind the visual text

Research and Information Gathering Tools and Protocols:

These teachings have given to us has helped source information through more credible webpages instead of the generic-non educational cities.

The reading provided to us about sourcing information from the internet has deepened my understanding of how to research.

Using the library database for finding visual texts.

A2_Week 7_Task 4: Questions to Topic Sentence

3-5 key ideas for essay:

  • technology shaping the world, having control of us
  • ‘filter bubble’- Eli Pariser, not seeing what we need to see
  • global village- ‘ultimate closed world’
  • historical example- modern machine age context
  • contemporary example- technological network, photographic myth

Chosen visual texts-

Historical example:

‘The City Rises’ Umberto Boccioni, 1910. Private Collection. Europe. Oil on Canvas. 

Contemporary example:

‘They Live’ still shot. Directed by John Carpenter, 1988. Film Camera. 

Mirzoeff example:

Google Glass User. How to see the world. Nicholas Mirzoeff. Chapter 4. page 158. Print. 


The technology that we use day-by-day is constantly shaping the way we live our lives, both how we see ourselves and see others. The global network created by technology has become its own world where the real world has appeared smaller and smaller. In this ultimate closed world we all have our own closed space referred to as a ‘filter bubble’. Inside the information given to us in consciously filtered to what the internet thinks we want to see instead of what we intentionally need to see.  In the essay, the comparison between a historical visual text and contemporary one in relation to their context will be included to show the similarities and differences across time.

Work cited:

Mirzoeff, Nicholas How to See the World.The World on Screen’. Chapter 4. Pages 129-161. London: Pelican. 2015. Print.

Beware online “filter bubbles” TED Talk video.Duration 9:04 mins. Speaker Eli Pariser. Filmed March 2011.

Marshall McLuhan – The World is a Global Village (CBC TV). Future of Health Technology. Uploaded March 24, 2009. Youtube video.



A2_Week 7_Task 2: Seeing the World, World View

A person’s world view is comprised of the individuals beliefs, personal perspectives, thoughts on themselves and others. This can also include their goals and thoughts on their purpose of life (asa3.org). Compared to Ideology, their worldview usually overrides this. Ideology is more related to views set upon from society including political, social and economic factors. A person’s world view usually determines what ideologies they set to be natural (enlightenedworldview.com).

When critically viewing a visual text, an understanding of an individuals world view and ideologies that are present in society enables the viewer to better acknowledge the meanings behind the text. The individual, that may be the artist or designer has their own world view much like the viewer having a different view. When creating a visual text it is useful to know the type of audience that would be view it and to know their particular parts of their world views. Understanding this can ensure a deeper emotional connection is made when they view that artwork. Many visual texts normally do contain a certain ideology or worldview and in many ways normalizes these ideas. For example, women magazines affirm that it may be normal to look like the models on the front cover.


Work cited: 





A2_ Week 7 Task 1: Visual analysis Meaning making and ‘Truth Value’

‘The Myth of Photographic Truth’ explains the ideas that photographs no matter when they were taken throughout time can be manipulated to alter their meaning. As stated by Sturken and Cartwright, it was debated during nineteenth century that photographs did not portray the real world but instead showing the mere surface of reality (17). However in this section of Image, Politics and  Power, Roland Barthes suggests that the term ‘myth’ is related to the hidden messages that begin to become natural within the image (20). As digital software has been used since the 1990s to enhance photographs, the deeper messages have become more clear to he viewer. Yet in turn as stated by Sturken and Cartwright, people have been more untrusting of the camera.

It is important when analyzing artists work to be aware of how it was constructed and truth behind the image in order to ultimately understand the extent of its meaning. One of the visual texts that I may use in my essay, a still shot from the They Live taken from a film camera was altered in post production in order to cater for the effect of that scene. The photograph shows an urban scene where all the billboards in a city is encased with words of conformity. The monochrome effect and wording was included later. As shown by Mark Osterman in The Photographic truth video, black and white images in the 19th Century were also altered, thus limiting the truth behind them (16).  The connotative meaning in this scene has become clear  more than simply the literal due to this use of digital media. This idea can easily be included in my essay as it is sufficiently related to my question of how technology influence us as well as is used as filter for information.

They Live still shot, Director John Carpenter. 1988. Film Camera.

Works cited:

‘The Photographic Truth’ video, The Met, Speaker Mark Osterman. Whitmore Conservation Center, George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film. Uploaded Oct 26 2012. Youtube.

The Myth of Photographic Truth “Images, Power and Politics”. Practices Of Looking : An Introduction To Visual Culture.: New York : Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-48. Print.


A2_Week 6: Reflection on Learning

From a personal perspective, the tasks from the past six weeks has been interesting in terms of deepening my understanding on my chosen essay topic. This has been through the resources provided such as the readings and videos to gain knowledge towards an understanding of critical thinking. The variety of sources gave vast knowledge into my topic and provided different view points. However, I found it difficult to find credible sources when looking for images relating to my topic. The topic that I am researching is quite broad and I did not find it easy to find works from artists or designers that directly related to this.

From the readings throughout this time, the new ways of researching topics and writing will further help me in this paper as well as other my other Design papers this year. The ways of critical thinking can assist any design or art practices by allowing us to understand other artist works and develop our own work.


A2_Week 6 Task: Essay Topic Research

Marshall McLuhan The World is a Global Village: 

The speakers in this video discuss the idea of the Global Village that has been created by electronic media. It is stated that it has not only made the world appear smaller but also become more familiar to us (0:27). One speaker briefly discusses how the book used to be where we sourced most of our information and now electronic media allows us to gain knowledge in various different ways. McLuhan then talks about the idea of how with the change of media man has gone towards the tribal man away from the individual man (3:56). He explains that we have become more influenced by the ideas displayed around us from this media than maintaining our own ideas about the world.

Beware Online ‘Filter Bubble’: 

In this video, Eli Pariser talks about how the internet personalises our search results. He states that it displays what the internet thinks we want to see compared to what we actually need to see (3:45). This is where your own ‘personal bubble’ of information is created, where what you see is not decided by you but instead the internet. He states that we also do not what is edited out of our view (4:30). He ends this talk with mentioning that we need the internet to stay in contact with one another and to gain access to new ideas and perspectives but must be aware of the control that it has over us.

These ideas talked about in these videos are important to artists and designers because becoming aware of what influences and controls us, allows them to understand how to better depict what is happening around the world.

Work Cited:

Marshall McLuhan – The World is a Global Village (CBC TV) Video. Published by Future of Health Technol0gy. Youtube. Uploaded 24 March 2009. 

Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”. TED Talks Video. Filmed March 2011.