Visual Intelligence: Perception, Image, and Manipulation in Visual Communication

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Today, our environment is dominated by the visual. This book explores “visual intelligence” as a basic and indispensable tool of cultural survival. The author offers a practical manual on a non-superficial level for those who seriously want to know how images are processed, how they function in relation to our innermost beings, and how they form the psychological fabric of our political, social, and economic environment. Barry defines how we derive meaning from images and examines perceptual process, how it has evolved, and the role it plays in our thinking. She critically examines the concept of rationality and explores how visual logic works to create meaning. The book goes behind the obvious and beyond the superficial as it critically examines the visual power and logic of images, cutting across a variety of areas: perceptual psychology, art, television, film, literature, advertising, and politics.

The second section of Visual Intelligence examines the role which various media play in creating the images which impact our lives: how visual images create a language with profound psychological meaning, and how print, television, and film media manipulate images to create desired emotional effects. Close-ups explore visual subtleties in such areas as digital manipulation, camera attitudes, and contextual framing, as well as the social consequences of “image” as an abstract concept expressed in concrete visual terms. Part III looks critically at the most controversial areas of image persuasiveness today—advertising, politics, and entertainment.
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About the author

Ann Marie Seward Barry is Associate Professor of Communication at Boston College. She is the author of The Advertising Portfolio.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
425
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ISBN
9780791495841
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Movements / Phenomenology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book explores the nature of one of the most ancient tools for nonverbal communication: drawings. They are naturally adaptable enough to meet an incredibly wide range of communication needs. But how exactly do they do their job so well?

Avoiding the kinds of aesthetic rankings of different graphic domains so often made by art historians and critics, Manfredo Massironi considers an extensive and representative sample of graphic applications with an open mind. He finds a deep mutuality between the material components of images and the activation of the perceptual and cognitive processes that create and decipher them.

Massironi first examines the material components themselves: the mark or line, the plane of representation (the angle formed by the actual drawing surface and the depicted objects), and the position of the viewpoint relative to the depicted objects. The roles played by these three components are independent of the content of the drawing; they function in the same way in concrete and abstract representations. He then closely scrutinizes the choices made by the person planning and executing the drawings. Given that any object can be depicted in an infinite number of different ways, the drawer performs continuous work emphasizing and excluding different features. The choices are typically unconscious and guided by his or her communicative goals. A successful graph, be it simple or complex, is always successful precisely because the emphasized features are far fewer in number than the excluded ones. Finally, he analyzes the perceptual and cognitive integrations made by the viewer.

Drawings are not simply tools for communication but important instruments for investigating reality and its structure. Richly illustrated, the book includes a series of graphic exercises that enable readers to get a sense of their own perceptual and cognitive activity when inspecting images. Massironi's pathbreaking taxonomy of graphic productions will illuminate all the processes involved in producing and understanding graphic images for a wide audience, in fields ranging from perceptual and cognitive psychology through human factors and graphic design to architecture and art history.

Antifragile is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. 

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.

Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.

Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.

Praise for Antifragile

“Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist

“A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.”—Newsweek
A beloved multidisciplinary treatise comes to Penguin Classics

Since its initial publication in 1958, The Poetics of Space has been a muse to philosophers, architects, writers, psychologists, critics, and readers alike. The rare work of irresistibly inviting philosophy, Bachelard’s seminal work brims with quiet revelations and stirring, mysterious imagery. This lyrical journey takes as its premise the emergence of the poetic image and finds an ideal metaphor in the intimate spaces of our homes. Guiding us through a stream of meditations on poetry, art, and the blooming of consciousness itself, Bachelard examines the domestic places that shape and hold our dreams and memories. Houses and rooms; cellars and attics; drawers, chests, and wardrobes; nests and shells; nooks and corners: No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries. In Bachelard’s enchanting spaces, “We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.”

This new edition features a foreword by Mark Z. Danielewski, whose bestselling novel House of Leaves drew inspiration from Bachelard’s writings, and an introduction by internationally renowned philosopher Richard Kearney who explains the book’s enduring importance and its role within Bachelard’s remarkable career.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Winner of the International Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction

Animal tracks, word magic, the speech of stones, the power of letters, and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us. This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perception.

For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature, and they carried on active relationships not only with other people with other animals, plants, and natural objects (including mountains, rivers, winds, and weather patters) that we have only lately come to think of as "inanimate." How, then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world? What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing earth? 

In The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand of magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with a passion, a precision, and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley, Annie Dillard, and Barry Lopez.
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