Module 1 Project — Due by 11:59pm, Friday, February 24th
The project for Module 1 is to analyze an image using course concepts in conjunction with a
software tool. Your exercise will take two forms: 1 to 3 images and a 3-page text describing their
visual structure and its hypothetical effects. Your image might be an advertisement, a film still, a
television program, a website, or a video game. You might use concepts such as semiosis,
speech, language, and the language community; mythic form and the dream work;
dominant/oppositional codes. You will use Adobe Photoshop to break down your image and/or
to add text, diagrammatic elements, or additional images to your chosen image. The concept that
informs your use of the software should be evident in the final image (or sequence of images)
that you submit. Your written text should describe your image then define and deploy concepts
that elucidate the significance of the elements in your description in three double-spaced pages
with proper citation.
1.) Build a dossier of image sources! Decide on what image you are going to analyze.
2.) Modify that image to create 1 to 3 images related to that image’s structure. Meet with the
Media Lab if you need help with this stage of the research, beyond the workshop.
3.) Develop your project:
(a) describe the structures embedded in the image in your own words,
(b) think of a claim about how those structures make meaning,
(c) think of a proposition about what sort of work that image does. Ask yourself: did this
proposition come to me through a particular concept? How is that concept informing my
thinking? Could I explain to someone else this connection between the concept; a
software manipulation that could highlight some aspect of the image; and the proposition
that I am making about the structure and meaning of this image?
(d) capture or create 1 – 3 images that support your claims about how (for example) this
image opens itself to interpretation; addresses its viewer’s mind; implicates its viewer in
a specific social or institutional context; or even comments on the process of change and
struggle within linguistic and social contexts of communication.
(e) Revisit your thinking from step (b) to see if the proposition you began with has been
changed by your interaction with the software tools and the image-description you wrote.
5.) Prepare your 3-page text, with proper academic citations;
and submit the images and text to me by .docx or .pdf by the due date.
In the context of the MIMS Exercises, it is important to clarify the relation between the practice-based and text-based components of the course. Let us revisit these, as stated above:
1.) “concept that informs your use of the software should be evident in the final image”
2.) “describe your image then define and deploy concepts that elucidate the significance”
With respect to item 1.), remember that I am not grading you on your expertise with the
software. Some students may come into the course with more Photoshop skills than others, so if
your use of that tool shows signs of your status as a beginner, I won’t be grading you down for
that. I will be grading you on whether your use of that tool effectively demonstrates your
engagement with course concepts. I think 1 to 3 images is a good start: more is fine, if needed. If
you are adding in extra images that you do not describe or elucidate in the text, it may not be
clear to your reader how those images contribute to your proposition about the image’s meaning.
With respect to item 2.), consider that you only have 3 double-spaced pages. I am not requiring
you to write about all the texts in the module. In fact, I recommend that you focus your effort on
the one text that has been most generative to you. Recall my advice in item c.) of the Action
Ask yourself: did this proposition come to me through a particular concept? How is that
concept informing my thinking? Could I explain to someone else the connection between
the concept, the software technique, and the proposition I’m making about the structure
and meaning of this image?
I would anticipate that the main philosophical text from the module, combined with one of the
practical texts, might be a good mix. Regardless of how many texts you mention, the main point
is to keep in mind that you must effectively present and deploy a concept—I am not asking for a
comprehensive summary of all the texts! The danger of this format is that you could get away
with only doing some of the readings. However, if you choose that route, you are taking a major
risk. If the texts you do read are uninspiring to you, or you do not leave your mind enough time
to process my sequencing of the texts (moving from philosophy to implementation), you might
have trouble writing something that shows you have engaged deeply with the module readings.
Recall the syllabus: “Read slow and deep.”
p.s., students usually ask me for an extra page: yes, 4 pages is fine. But no more!
Image Formatting and Citations
Place your images in an appendix at the end of your paper, after your reference list. Images do
not count toward the page-length requirement of the module exercise. The reference list does not
count toward the page-length requirement. Label each image with the creator’s name followed
by the title of the work and then the date of creation. Use an in-text citation to indicate the source
of your image. You are also likely to produce multiple versions of one image, e.g., to direct your
reader’s attention to a feature of an image via modifications made in software. In that case,
simply add the label (detail) after the title of the work. In the body of your text, at the end of the
sentence in which you refer to an image insert a figure number in the format (fig. 1). The
following example covers all the components of citation that you will need.
[Sample Text] Saussure proposed that it would be possible for future generations to formulate a
science of the “life of signs in society” (de Saussure 2011, 16). However, he focused on
linguistic media, foregrounding only the linear nature of speech and writing (Ibid, 70). In order
to analyze the relation of text to image in Barbara Kruger’s artwork (fig. 1), we will need to look
for further assistance from Laura Mulvey in conceptualizing not only the combination of visual
and textual features in Kruger’s artwork but also the artwork’s manipulation of gender codes.
De Saussure, Ferdinand. Course in General Linguistics. Translated by Wade Baskin. Edited by
Perry Meisel and Haun Saussy. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.
Glenstone. n.d. “Barbara Kruger: Collection Artwork.” Accessed September 14th, 2022.
– Chicago Autor-Date Style throughout (in-text citations and reference list)
-12-point Times New Roman font
-Student’s name, date, course name, and paper title at the top of the first page
-Insert page numbers.
For quick citation-formatting examples, see the Chicago Manual of Style, Author-Date samples:
I’ve added the original pdf instructions in the upload files. The second citation in the references section has examples of how the Image should sort of look like. I want the overall theme of the image to be political. For example, if I wanted the overall theme about gun violence (which I chose but the professor said I can change the theme) the photoshopped image (of the ad, film, etc.) should have implicit themes of gun violence (ex: photoshopping in custom guns into the image, making it seem like a normal everyday thing to have a lock on a gun just like a lock on the fridge, or etc). The essay also requires the image to refer to the concepts and theories in the readings such as Semiotics, Hall’s encoding and decoding theory, or Barthes two-layer approach (I really want these 3 to be the theories/concepts that relate to my image). I’ve attached the readings to use as sources. Finally, I’d really appreciate it if the image was photoshopped somewhat professionally since this is a really important project. I may add more based on how the image and essay look overall. Thank you.
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