By Sarah McNabb – Text & Image NMS 504

Trying to give the “satellite view” of my interpretation of Kress’ argument with human agency (the photo of my face) being central to the creation of communication (the modes of communication being those circles which intersect with the center circle of human agency), I wanted to create a 3D piece that spins as an interactive metaphor on Kress’s idea of “movement, motion and pace”.

Kress mentions “shifts in representation” so I allowed this piece to shift visually and physically. Kress also says “Modes and media exist in culturally and historically shaped ‘constellations’”, I wanted the project to embody this idea and so I arranged a celestial-inspired format with circular shapes and rotation.

“A multimodal social-semiotic approach assumes that all modes of representation are, in principle, of equal significance in representation and communication, as all modes have potentials for meaning.” (Kress) Therefore, the old and new “mode circles” are the same size and equally spaced apart, as are the smaller “example” circles in between.

“…social interaction and interchange around meaning, oriented to the processes of making and remaking meaning through the making of signs – simple or complex –  in representation.” (Kress) I tried to portray this by playing with arrangement of back-to-back modes that can be seen when the project is rotated clockwise (for the older, original modes) and counter-clockwise (for the newer modes). Focusing on a look of  “modular-ness” I wanted my advocacy of Kress’s theory to be something a person can engage and physically interact with.

“This model of communication rebalances power and attention, with equal emphasis on the interpreter of a message-prompt and the initial maker of the message, the rhetor.” (Kress) To communicate “balance”, I created literal balance with equally distributed weight and a point of rotation and each of my circular “modules” tends to demand the same amount of attention.

“…social dimensions of meaning” (Kress) I worked to re-create social dimensions historically and with the evolution of technology in the images in my piece, that in and of itself has 3 dimensions.

“Linking of entities – humans with humans, with places, with objects; objects with objects; objects with processes; processes linked with processes – is a major resource for making meaning.” (Kress) The old modes are in black and white and are back to back with the new modes which are in color, with examples of each mode (both in color and in black and white) in between them and each mode is arranged to technologically and/or historically link to the next.

“A frame defines the world to be engaged with; it excludes and it includes; and in doing that it shapes, presents the world according to the interest and the principles of those who frame.” I wanted a project with which a person could engage on a physical level, which is demonstrated in the video. The circular “modes” intersect with and frame the central agent of communication represented by the photo of my face surrounded by black and white images of the ways in which a human engages in communication – singing, talking, typing, listening, etc.