Post #7

Barthes Studium and Punctum form “Camera Lucida”

Picture 1 Posted


On the surface, the photograph above is quite explanatory; people raising their hands as the sun sets in the background. Although we don’t know why the hands are being raised, we understand the broad sense of what the photo represents and can undertake a general interpretation of what the artist is depicting.  This photo fits as an example of “studium” as described by Roland Barthes. Studium refers to the interest which we show in a photograph and the range of meanings available. According to Barthes, the studium of a photograph is its culturally determined context; that is to say the studium is the mild and average interest that we have in a photo and is subjective to our interpretation of the photo. While I like this photo, I understand when Barthes identifies the difference between “like” and “love”.  Although it is a simple photo, it does not make me want to know more about why the hands are raised.



On the contrast, the photograph below offers quite a different perspective. This photo evokes a more intense and heightened experience which Barthes equates to the “punctum” of the photo.  The punctum of a photo is that detail that Barthes identifies as “that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, poignant to me).”  Punctum is more than a polite inference, it creates a new dimension to the photo. It occurs when something dominates the photo and captures our attention on a more personal level.  The thought of the photo will stay in our memory even after it is gone from view and makes us wonder what the impact will be when the people unexpectedly approach the stature.

Picture 2 Posted


Barlow and Leston “For the Love for Zoe”

a look at the tremendous amount of technology that has influenced our lives.  One of the technology mentioned is the online social network “Facebook” (20).   Launched by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates, Facebook has become a well-established medium.  Starting from its initial limitation to Harvard students, to now being available globally, it has become the premiere site for social networking.  It has more than 800 million users and as pointed out in the chapter, Facebook has joined together the world of work and play.  That is to say, we use it for communicating with friends to making business contacts. While it is true that Facebook is valuable and has improved our lives, it has also imposed on our lives (22).  With too many contacts, and the rate at which Facebook is growing, it seems that the quality of our relationships has diminished.  Instead of face to face, we talk through our screens (see picture below) and instead of making a few meaningful relationships, we believe the larger the network of friends and colleagues, the better.  In fact, I believe that it takes so much energy to maintain anything of quality at it is much better to form a few strong relationships that can be cultivated and grown.




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