Image & Text : a Journal for Design - Volume 20, Issue 1, 2012
Volumes & issues
Volume 20, Issue 1, 2012
Author Jeanne Van EedenSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 20, pp 4 –5 (2012)More Less
This issue marks twenty years of Image & Text. It is therefore appropriate that it opens with a Foreword by Jacques Lange, one of the founding members of the journal. In 'Foreword. Evaluation, reflection, comment and analysis: Twenty years of Image & Text', Lange gives his personal views on the origins and development of the journal and highlights its contributions. What Lange shows in admirable detail is that although Image & Text has been influenced by disciplinary and stylistic fads, it has also kept pace with the demands of international scholarship and has established itself as a reputable journal.
Author Jacques LangeSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 20, pp 6 –29 (2012)More Less
Image & Text was conceptualised at the dawn of South Africa's radical socio-political transformations and has become a mirror that reflects the changes in the country's history and the impact on disciplines such as design, fine art, art history, popular culture, visual studies, and social anthropology. Over the past two decades, Image & Text has provided a platform for critical discourse that resulted in a large body of mainly new knowledge. Since 1992, Image & Text has published more than 170 articles, editorials and reviews by around 120 authors, spanning close to 1,600 pages. This is an impressive track record when one considers that most feature articles were peer-reviewed and therefore many more did not make it to the publishing stage. The editorial focus, quality of articles and ever-expanding scope of inclusive discourse that the journal has facilitated over the years are noteworthy in the South African visual culture landscape.
Source: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 20, pp 30 –48 (2012)More Less
This article examines the printed propaganda of the Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) from the World War II (1939-1945) period by briefly describing the impact that the War had on the party and its propaganda production. This is followed by an iconographic analysis of the subjects who appear prominently in the images contained in the propaganda. Four iconographic types are described and the reasons for their emergence and visual appearance are proffered. It is argued that the impact of the War on the CPSA and its production of printed propaganda was largely positive, owing to a change in perceptions of the party following the Soviet Union's declaration of war on Germany and the easing of State repression on the party. As a result, CPSA membership numbers increased, the volume and variety of printed propaganda expanded and the audiences for the propaganda grew. The gentleman, intellectual, leader and soldier are identified as iconographic types which appear prominently in the CPSA's printed propaganda during the War. The emergence of these figures is ascribed to the 'accommodationist path' followed by the CPSA during the War, the development of closer ties between the African National Congress (ANC) and the CPSA, and the alignment of the party's propaganda with values relating to respectability, which resonated with a large part of the audience for the propaganda.
'Cloudless skies' versus 'vitamins of the mind' : an argumentative interrogation of the visual rhetoric of South African Panorama and Lantern cover designs (1949-1961)Author Lize GroenewaldSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 20, pp 50 –86 (2012)More Less
In the wake of recent national independence movements, renewed interest in the complex phenomenon of the nation has emerged; highly negative conceptions have been challenged by voices that seek to understand rather than dismiss expressions of nationalism and national identity in fields as diverse as sport, architecture, fashion, film, engineering, advertising, and currency design. The South African publications Lantern and Panorama were competing projects in a rhetorical exercise that grappled with constructed national identities in a pre-1994 South African community and, as such, these artefacts deserve interrogation. To this purpose I examine the cover designs of the journals - both to a greater or lesser degree state supported - between 1949 and 1961 in order to demonstrate how a consideration of rhetorical content not only reveals embedded ideologies, but also demonstrates the agency of graphic design in the strategies of propaganda and education as utilised by Lantern and Panorama, respectively. I problematise these concepts, and propose more nuanced readings than may be conventionally attributed to government-sanctioned visual culture from this period in South Africa's history.
'I participate, therefore I learn' : a process of co-creative graduate supervision in design research in Cape TownSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 20, pp 88 –109 (2012)More Less
Changing pedagogical contexts require a responsive attitude with regard to design research supervision. This article elaborates on experiences and lessons learnt through a co-creative approach to supervision, which draws on an empathic understanding of members in a learning space at a higher education institution in Cape Town. The Design Research Activities Workgroup (DRAW) was initiated in 2009, at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), to support postgraduate students within the design departments and to improve supervision capacity. It embraces a collective learning approach while critically re-interpreting the interaction between supervisors and postgraduate students. A narrative methodology and an interpretivist position were adopted to examine and describe the value and meaning of the DRAW forum to participants. A significant finding that emerged from the study is that the co-creative, group supervision approach to design research breaks down power differentials and enhances both the supervisor and student learning experiences in a specific community of practice.
Source: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 20, pp 110 –126 (2012)More Less
Dialectic relationships exist between architecture and emergent architecturally informed disciplines. Interior design constitutes such a discipline and is considered a critical case study. The main problem is to investigate the ontology of interior design by considering its affiliation with architecture. With the use of Julia Kristeva's construct, the abject, a synopsis of architectural and interior design theory is read to ascertain the dialectic and overlapping relationship. Through heuristic enquiry an ontological analysis of interior design (with reference to essentialist aspects of architecture) is made. The Manichean dialectic is employed to produce qualitative descriptions that portray the disciplines as discrete 'others'. Architecture is a normative profession which considers interior design as a part of itself.
Author Cheryl StobieSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 20, pp 128 –145 (2012)More Less
Beginning with a discussion of the concept of dirt, including synthetic dirt, as contextualised by film critic Peter Brook, I raise pertinent ideas from the work of Nicolas Bourriaud about contemporary visual art. I then move on to an analysis of the representation of literal and synthetic dirt within the science fiction film District 9, directed by Neill Blomkamp (2009). Using Istvan Csicsery-Ronay's work on the implications of the significance of the encounter with the alien as the ultimate contact zone between self and other, I concentrate on the physical, emotional and aesthetic effects achieved as the central protagonist of District 9 moves from a human to an alien embodiment. I chart the progress of the body-horror and ethical development entailed in this change of state, making reference to ideas first developed by anthropologist Mary Douglas. The viewer's responses are shown to be complex and muddy, composed of warring impulses of revulsion and admiration. As the central character, Wikus, becomes an alien his body becomes a rich symbolic ground. His increasingly leaky, abject body reflects ideas which can be interpreted universally, but more specifically within the South African context reveal anxieties about the cohesion of a minority group. I conclude by analysing the end of the film, which is moving, future-directed and insistent on the significance of art in society.
Author Jodi NelsonSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 20, pp 146 –161 (2012)More Less
This research is being conducted through a practice-led documentary film project, web platform and published case study. I am primarily interested in how the new paradigm shifts in digital technology and the democratisation of the filmmaking process allow filmmakers to connect to an 'expert' global niche audience with more immediacy through the internet, engaging virtual communities, crowd funding and fan building initiatives and a variety of social media landscapes. Textural and contextual significance in sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Wordpress and a host of other social media landscapes provide a rich source of material for a documentary filmmaker to utilise when creating a narrative. There are various important significances for utilising online text in this way that is visually, conceptually, socially, culturally and economically acceptable and unique in the storytelling medium.
In the case study, my film project entitled What does a 21st century feminist look like? (Nelson 2010), engages a global audience of online fans, friends and followers, asking these virtual strangers to participate in the production, creation and financing of the film. Utilising social networks, crowd funding initiatives, web blogs, viral video, virtual chat interaction and traditional modes of documentary practice, the aim is to create a documentary film that exemplifies feminism in its profoundly new image.