Media Language - Kennesaw State University

Media Language - Kennesaw State University

Semiotic Engineering Examples Remember Epistemology It is a Study of: what is to be known how knowledge originates how knowledge expands how knowledge collapses 2 Jakobson Communicative functions:

Channels, messages, senders, receivers, and codes. A sender transmits a message to a receiver through a channel. The message is expressed in a code and refers to a context. Playing a CD 1. users communication user inserts the CD in the drive.

2. Systems communication CD Player is launched and displays 3. Users communication user looks/opens the dialog and selects play 4. Systems communication Jakobsons model of the Communication Space Example Methodological Considerations Theories

Specific Knowledge from Theory Complement and supplement Psychological Human cognition anthropological Human emotions

sociological Human activity Ergonomic Social structures Computational Human relations in groups and communities

Semiotic engineerin g Physical and environmental constraints for working with computers Kinds of symbolprocessing machines that can be built Methodological Considerations

Theories Specific Knowledge from Theory Complement and supplement Psychological Human cognition anthropological

Human emotions sociological Human activity Ergonomic Social structures Computational

Human relations in groups and communities Semiotic engineerin g Physical and environmental constraints for working with computers Kinds of symbolprocessing machines that can be built

Semiotic engineering should 1. not be used as a predictive theory. 2. explain observable HCI phenomenon. 3. provide the necessary means to formulate HCI design problems and questions to elaborate solution solutions and answers. Repertories of problems and solutions constitute the culture of design and provide signifying orders and signification Audience

Audience: implies one-way, controlled communication In western culture of the last 50 years, what kinds of things have had audiences? Concerts, plays, films... In these traditional media: A member of the "audience" is typically a relatively passive recipient of something that's delivered at them. Different parts of the content are usually encountered in a defined sequence that is controlled by the deliverer, not the audience member Audience members typically have no chance to modify what's gets delivered at them (other than to skip or sleep through bits of it) Hence, everyone encounters more-or-less the same thing

Possible Question Zero: Give an example of this: But the web of today is very different from traditional media In 2008, someone using the web can: Choose what to view and what to ignore, and view chunks of content in whatever order suits them (e.g. think hyperlinks and banner blindness) See content outside its original context (e.g. RSS feeds let people see content outside of the originating sites) Modify what they encounter on your site, and what other people will subsequently encounter, in all kinds of ways, including (but not limited to): Changing the format (e.g., by using a different stylesheet or no stylesheet at all) Blocking certain kinds of content (e.g. Javascript, or pop-ups, or images)

Making the content easier for themselves and others to find (e.g. by tagging it, posting it to social networking sites) Creating peripheral content that is encountered by other users (e.g. comments, ratings, reviews) Changing the content itself -- this is the essence of wikis Easily see (and affect) what is being said about you / your site / your products elsewhere 2. Give an example of a web site that you look at and find the above (be specific with the website) The Semiotics in Media Language Review for Exam One

Roland Barthes: The language of signs He argued that verbal language is just one way of communicating, others include: Hairstyle Clothing Body language Make up Models for understanding language Language is CONSTRUCTED by people to produce meanings within their culture It is only when we name objects and events that they are given meaning and

definition The social contract of language means that we agree to use the same language as everyone else so they understand us. We can however play with the language of our society through signs, codes and patterns as well as words. Three parts to every sign The Signifier: The physical form of the sign. The written word on the paper, a traffic light, a smile. The Signified: This is the concept or idea

that the signifier produces. A red light signifies stop. The written word ROSE connects to the idea of a rose. A smile could signify happiness. The Referent: The real thing, not the signal or the idea but the real, individual thing. A real individual rose, the real feeling of happiness. The Semiotic Triangle Signifier Text

Signified GAP Referent Semiotics emphasises that our perception of reality is shaped by the words and signs that we use, and how we interpret the words and signs of others. Signifier A red rose

An empty chair A shaved head A leather jacket Signified Referent Task Watch the opening sequence from

Mission: Impossible without sound. What is happening? Pick three signifiers that signify this. Media Language Semiotics 2 Denotation Connotation Terms Denote (denotation) deconstruction of any media text begins with a detailed description of what is empirically present (visually and audibly) or what is DENOTED on the page / screen.

Connote (connotation) after the initial description, you can move on to assessing what is CONNOTED by the signs. Signifiers are denoted. What is signified is connoted. The connotations of the signs create the meaning. ie red connotes (or signifies) passion, desire, blood, danger etc. The terms connote and signify are almost interchangeable. What do you think these elements

would connote in a film? 1. A dark room 2. High pitched screeching music 3. Shadows 4. Rain 5. Sunshine 6. Classical pastoral music 7. A frown 8. A smile as an aside to the audience 9. Red Light in a room 10. A man carrying a rose The signs or signifiers in films

Films use the human capability for interpreting signs. The black and red background to most Horror movie titles has connotations of fear and blood. The creaky doorway in a thriller creates tension. Romantic music puts the audience in a romantic mood and allows them to realise something romantic is about to happen. To approach signifiers you have to realise there are Objective ones (put there

intentionally to give clues about how to feel or react to the film) and Subjective ones (not intentionally put there but something that reminds an individual of something in their life or memories from the past). When watching a film an audience usually picks up on the same objective signifiers but can have a whole host of connotations attached to differing subjective signifiers. The ability to pick up on the signifiers in a film depends on an audience's

Experience Emotional capacity Intellect. The less emotionally experienced you are, the less likely you are to pick up on subtle emotional signifiers. The less intelligent you are, the less likely you are to analyse the film in depth, and so on. The understanding of a film is therefore relative to the individual watching the film. This is why sometimes you can watch a

film and get a certain amount of satisfaction from it, then watch it again a few years later and get a host of new experiences and connotations from the same film. Signifiers can be created through Mis-enscene, Lighting, Music, and Dialogue. Task: Watch the opening sequence of Independence Day List ten objective signifiers (ones put there by the director to focus the audience) and five subjective signifiers (elements in the

sequence which had meanings personal to you). Task Watch the opening to Independence Day again. Describe how three of the signifiers in the sequence create meaning through their connotations. The Treachery of Images Renee Magritte 1928-29. 25 points. Bring this question & answer to Exam 1

and you can cross out any Exam 1 questions totaling 25 points. Please mark the crossed out questions with a Q0. 1. Explain how signs and signification take part in communication for a deaf person. Include the deaf persons encoding and decoding. (Should be about half a page in handwritten.) 2. Explain the need for developing a new and unique way to pay for items online. What would you suggest? How would you research? How would you design? 3. Explain Jakobsons model of communication with opening

your car door with a clicker.

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