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- Volume 2008, Issue 14, 2008
Image & Text : a Journal for Design - Volume 2008, Issue 14, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 2008, Issue 14, 2008
Source: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 3 –5 (2008)More Less
The nine articles in this special edition of Image & Text are derived from two institutions, namely the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Pretoria and the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg. The articles reveal common areas of research such as identity, ideology, ethics, sustainability and the politics of representation in design and visual culture, yet also consider the ontology and epistemology of specific fields of endeavour. The first four articles are contributions from members of staff of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Pretoria and reflect some of the research interests of the Department as well as engaging with the Centenary of the University. The Centenary was marked in May 2008 by two exhibitions curated by the Department of Visual Arts : Visuality / Commentary and X-ings : shaping culture through design.
Author Duncan ReyburnSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 6 –17 (2008)More Less
In various discussions on design it is evident that the idea of competition is a central concern (Bonsiepe 2006 : 27, Buchanan 1985 :7, Lasn 2006 :14, Margolin 2007 :6). Owing to its rhetorical nature, design automatically fosters a culture of comparison and competition is merely its logical dénouement. Design frequently, if not primarily, deals with demonstrating to an audience that a single information product or brand is superior, and not just different, to another. This fact alone is not problematic. Design can often be used, however, to create a perceived hierarchy of difference where no actual hierarchy exists. This idea is perfectly sensible in a capitalistic culture, since competition and the creation of perceived difference are matters of economic survival. Nevertheless, the ethical implications of this competitive streak in design are clear when applied to the way cultures are represented in a complex communication context such as that of South Africa.
Author Jenni LauwrensSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 18 –28 (2008)More Less
Deceptively straightforward, the contemporary visual terrain in westernised, post-industrial cultures is increasingly developing into a complex smorgasbord of visual spectacles available to potential viewers. Discourse dealing with issues arising from this field of the visual, or 'visual culture', is evidence of an intellectual acknowledgment that present-day (post-industrial) social, political and cultural life is undeniably entangled with (and complicated by) images. As a result, over the past two decades or so, institutions worldwide have adapted their teaching programmes to accommodate the field of visual culture as a site that requires serious academic attention. Recent enquiry into the ideological underpinnings of images in general, as well as the assumption that vision is a learnt activity, has led to new questions being asked in (and of) art history. In response to the disciplinary challenges that have now been lodged against the subject art history the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Pretoria has significantly modified its theoretical subjects to 'deal' with the visual with a view to affording students opportunities to develop critical thinking skills in the present image-laden world. In response to the tone of the University's centenary celebrations - based on retrospection, evaluation and looking to the future - this article considers the rising production, reproduction and consumption of images that have dominoed into academic unease over the most suitable way / s in which images should be dealt with as both sights and sites in art history and / or visual culture studies by briefly contextualising the programme offered by the Department of Visual Arts within these debates.
Author Amanda Du PreezSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 30 –41 (2008)More Less
If one of the leading media theorist of the twentieth century, Marshall McLuhan's dictum, namely that 'the medium is the message' holds true, how does it apply to the medium of art? Does McLuhan's statement reveal something of the matter of art by commenting on the complex relationship between the message and the medium through which it is sent? McLuhan (1994 : 17) explains the close relation between medium and message as follows: 'For the "message" of any medium or technology is the change in scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs.' According to McLuhan, it is therefore not only a question of how the content of the message interacts with society and brings about new ideas, but, more importantly, the revolution that comes through the medium itself. In terms of art, it means that we are advised not only to judge art in terms of its content (what it means), but that we should also take into account the vehicle or materiality through which it manifests itself (how it matters). If one were to change what art was made of, in other words change its matter, then it could be surmised that art's meaning or message would literally also change.
Author Elfriede DreyerSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 42 –52 (2008)More Less
It is fair to maintain that every world construction, also a "world" of learning such as a tertiary institution, is blueprinted in some form of ideology. The lecture halls at a large university such as the University of Pretoria also speak about this expanding cultural horizon and it is not uncommon to have a class where there are students from Korea, Zimbabwe and Namibia mingling with a range of South African ethnicities. The picture now is very different from the picture of years ago when South African universities were predominantly "white" as a result of the ideological patterns of the time.
Countering stereotypes : the representation of Africans in Communist Party of South Africa Cartoons 1930 - 1936Author Deidre PretoriusSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 54 –68 (2008)More Less
The construction of racial difference as a strategy to legitimise colonialism and imperialism in Africa found expression in a visual tradition of racist representations of Africans. Numerous studies have been conducted into this visual tradition, especially with regard to popular cultural forms such as 'ethnic' shows (Shephard 1986), exhibitions (Hodeir 2002), advertising (McClintock 1995 ; Burke 2002), comics (Hunt 2002), photography and film (Richards 1986 ; Mirzoeff 1998 ; Landau 2002) and in popular culture in general (Pieterse 1992 ; Grinker & Steiner 1999). These studies make it clear that significant energy and resources were invested in the wide distribution to large audiences of colonialist and imperialist propaganda and associated racist imagery.
Author Amanda BreytenbachSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 70 –80 (2008)More Less
In South Africa (SA), the time period from 1994 to 2007 gave rise to a number of education acts, policies and discussion documents which aim to reform and transform a diverse and fragmented pre-1994 higher education environment. In 1997, the publication of the Higher Education White Paper 3 : A Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education (SA 1997 : Foreword), communicated the vision for higher education as follows '... to establish a single, national co-ordinated system, which would meet the learning needs of our citizens and the reconstruction and development of our society and economy'. Ten years later, on 5 October 2007, the Higher Education Qualification Framework (HEQF) was finally approved and it addressed the need for a single qualification framework as identified in the Higher Education White Paper (SA 2007).
Author Angus Donald CampbellSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 82 –99 (2008)More Less
The first tertiary programme in industrial design in South Africa was offered at the School of Art, Johannesburg (SAJ) at the start of 1963 (Wood 1963 : 88). The SAJ then became the Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR) in 1979 (Brink 2006 : 119) and finally the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in 2005 when it was merged with the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU). This was the only programme in industrial design in South Africa for 25 years, until the establishment of a second one at the Cape Technikon in 1988 (Verveckken 2007) and a third in 2008 at Tswane University of Technology (TUT). Since the curriculum for any technikon programme was controlled by the convener technikon, which in the case of industrial design was the TWR, the two technikon programmes have maintained many similarities particularly in terms of the curriculum (Verveckken 2007) and the TUT programme has been started by an industrial designer educated at the TWR. Both UJ and CPUT have been required to cater for the growing demand for designers in industry and have only as recently as five years ago been increasingly pressurised to expand areas of design study from vocational training into research at post-graduate level. In keeping with all tertiary offerings in the country, the unique political and economic challenges facing South Africa have demanded a reconsideration of what is taught and how it is taught.
Author Desiree SmalSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 100 –112 (2008)More Less
Awareness of the impact current practices have on the environment is applicable to all spheres of life, industries, and countries, with emphasis placed on the wise and sparing use of resources. Similarly, eco fashion has become one of the lifestyle issues of the twenty-first century with some designers in the global and local fashion arenas, developing their collections around this concept. Yet, as pointed out by Lee and Sevier (2008) in discussions and debates on eco fashion, differing interpretations and endorsements of eco practices emerge. Does eco fashion refer to organic products, recycling, re-use, restoration? There are questions as to whether the concept could even be considered compatible with the idea of fashion. Breds, Hjort and Kruger (2002 : 27) maintain that many in the textile and apparel industry '... believe that there is a contradiction in working with sustainability [eco] and fashion'. This quote seems to be a true reflection of the fashion world where the consumer is constantly presented with seasonal and inter-seasonal changes. That consumers have an innate desire to have the next best thing is an idiom widely embraced in the fashion industry. How then, would it be possible to ensure, instil or develop eco-awareness and acceptance in the current consumer-based culture?
Body, light, interaction, sound : A critical reading of a recent installation of Willem Boshoff's KykafrikaansAuthor David PatonSource: Image & Text : a Journal for Design 2008, pp 114 –131 (2008)More Less
In this article, I explore the use of digital presentation strategies in a recent installation of Kykafrikaans by Willem Boshoff. In relation to a dominant metaphor of our time, the notion that digital information is disembodied I take a critical stance on two key elements of the installation, namely, the digital projection of images and the broadcast of recorded sounds. I discuss these framing elements both in relation to themes of disembodiment, as may be found in the installation and in terms of the conventional reception of this work in print and book forms as embodied.