As it is known, people experience aesthetic pleasure from consuming different arts. In general, this process includes the creation of the pieces of art, perceiving artworks, and reflecting on what is perceived. It is important to notify that referring to the consumption of art one means visual perception in the first place because through eyes a human being consumes the major part of information. Apart from possessing significant aesthetic value, art functions to pass certain information. Thus, it is a strong means of the world cognition. In these terms, one should mention that art intake occurs much more often than most people realize. In other words, a great piece of the visual information, which can be referred to art, is perceived unconsciously and when it happens an individual may omit some significant details of consumed data. As a result, the information revealed through art may be misinterpreted. Therefore, it is critically important to enhance the awareness about the process of art consumption, which should help improving the skills of visual communication.
This class experience helps to realize that art functions to communicate certain notions from one person to the rest of the world. Comprehending this premise, I become more aware about the processes of self-expression as well as about the use of art in different life fields, such as citizens relations, marketing, technology, culture, and many others. This insight helps me utilize the art more consciously and coherently in order to generate and distribute the proper kind of information about the self. Without a doubt, this process requires mastering the skills of self-expression and self-reflection, and the awareness about this special role of art changes the entire perception about visual communion between people.
For example, one important idea that was learnt during this course is that individuals must be ready to perceive the information through interpreting the artworks. This assumption suggests two insights. Firstly, to improve the skills of visual communication, a person must be willing to consume the art. In other words, this process should be turned as much as possible from unconscious to conscious. Secondly, art is a means to increase one’s cognitive and emotional intelligence because it contributes to world cognition. Simply put, when persons become more visually literate, their cognitive skills are significantly improved.
In this regard, advancing the skills of visual literacy presumes seeking the commonalties with other individuals. This insight is crucial because to be capable of passing and receiving information through visual communication, people must have a certain mental common ground. That is why, both artists and appreciators “would also likely want the interpretation to be acceptable to others who have viewed the work in question and thought about it” (Barret 37). In this way, art becomes the common denominator that unites different individuals. On the other hand, this course educates that art is greatly subjective. For instance, people’s visual perception and, thus, communication, differs throughout their lives (Vygotsky, “The Psychology of Art”). In other words, one individual consumes and interprets the same artworks in the different ways depending on the level of his/her cognitive development. Besides, needless to say, the ways of communicating and perceiving visual information vary from a person to person. Given the above-mentioned, it is natural to deduce that art is an ambiguous matter because it, simultaneously, requires a common ground for visual literacy and implies subjective individual generation and interpretation of artworks. It goes without saying that the apprehension of the aforementioned insights makes be become more visually literate and, respectfully, arms me with the good skills of visual communication.
Moreover, it is necessary to stress that the approach to improve the technique of visual communication significantly shaped my perception about the role of art for the mankind and for my identity. Today, I understand that art is utilized in every sphere of a human’s life and, thus, the consumption of art is an ever-going process. It means that one endures constant pressure from being encouraged to perceive art. Moreover, the aforementioned premise implies that, despite the needed conscious perception, people can not shield themselves from perceiving art and, respectfully, maintaining visual communication, at a subconscious level.
Consider an example, art is the major remedy of advertising and, thus, it contributes to the financial success of an individual as well as of an entire corporation. For instance, the restaurant, Burger & Lobster proposes the visitors to get a tattoo with the restaurant’s logo and receive free meals for a year (Hurowitz, “Get a Tattoo”).
In this way, Burger & Lobster utilizes the art of tattoo for advertising. Consciously or not, people are engaged to consume this art. This example illustrates that the process of art consumption may be involuntary and, even, imposed on people. Besides, the current example reveals that visual literacy requires common ground as it was identified above. Specifically, individuals are supposed to understand that making a tattoo is quite pricy, which implies the luxury place. In addition, serving lobsters also corresponds with the rich people world because it is an expensive dish. In this way, the common ground of the diverse individuals is expected to create a particular image about the discussed restaurant. This image is the luxury and refined place. In this way, the shared common ground predefines similar perception of the tattoo in spite of the differences caused by subjectivism.
As one can observe from the example, either voluntary or not visual communication is powerful. Thus, it is utilized to pass the information and instill it in people’s minds, sometimes, at a subconscious level. In these conditions, advancing visual literacy means increasing intelligence, which is critically important for avoiding being manipulated. In addition, comprehending the above-discussed ideas, one can change the perception regarding the role of art, that is, a person begins to understand that artworks are present everywhere and their impact is immense.
A “break-through moment” when I can sense the change of personal visual literacy is when I begin to understand that that technology is art. In particular, this course provides a simple and, simultaneously, meaningful example of how a toaster can be perceived as an artwork (“SCP-426 I am a Toaster”). Viewing this item, it is possible to image the designers’ endeavor to help people obtain aesthetic pleasure from observing the toaster. Specifically, this toaster possesses harmoniously matched colors, which enhances its aesthetic value. Besides, the shape is symmetric that implies a sense of completion and reasonableness of the use of all details. In addition, it becomes clear that the designers of a toaster communicate to the consumers’ common ground regarding the size of a toaster and its place in the kitchen. That is why, the shape of the discussed item is created to fit the general interior of the modern kitchen. Moreover, comprehending that people greatly praise the functionally in technology, this toaster is designed without any distracting elements, which attracts the main attention to the functional details (operational menu). Realizing that the discussed household appliance is an artwork that serves to pass concrete information from its creators to the consumers of art implies that my visual literacy is significantly improved. The coherent observation of a toaster as an artwork is my “break-through moment” in advancing visual communication.
Moreover, this course shaped my perception of the use of art to manifest the self as the world citizen. Specifically, it goes without saying that art is a critical determinant of self-expression. Hence, in my previous perception this insight was loosely related to the field of the legal authorities, and thus, in terms of one’s presence and activity as a citizen art did not seem to be important. In contrast, today, I realize that a person’s signature is a manifestation of art in his/her citizen performance. Consider the rationale, a signature always passes information about its owner. For example, one can retrieve a person’s name from his/her signature. Besides, less obvious, but important, is the possibility to speculate about an individual’s character by analyzing his/her signature. This example illustrates that all people utilize art as a means for self-expression on a regular basis, but not many individuals actually make it coherently.
Considering the other perspectives that are acquired thanks to this course, it is appropriate to mention the understanding of the use of art in social media. I assume that social platform is a vivid example of a collaborative work of the humanity in an endeavor to utilize art for distinguishing the self from the others. At the same time, social networks display a unique collective art where every person helps constructing the modern art. In the today’s world, the Internet becomes one of the main remedies through which art is consumed (Australian Government 17). This premise implies that people from all over the world participate in the process of art creation. Besides, it means increased possibilities for art consumption. Finally, the cultures are blended in such collaborative performance, which may corrupt the function of art in terms of self-expression and self-determination.
Summing up the above-mentioned, I need to emphasize that this course was useful in increasing my visual literacy. The practical and theoretical knowledge helps advancing visual communication, which is nowadays, manifested in the improved ways of self-expression and profound understanding of the continuous art perception at both conscious and unconscious levels. As a result, my cognitive abilities were also improved. Today, I can maintain coherent consumption of art more often than previously. It means that, thanks to this course, I am capable of retrieving more information from various artworks. In addition, I am better armed to resist the manipulation that stem from the imposed art.