Friday, September 14, 2007

text, image, and sound relationships

When thinking of illustrated stories, or music videos based on songs, or animated poems, what is the relationship between the various media?

Should or do illustrations merely or only serve the text of a book? I guess it depends on the book, is it a comic book, novel, or picture book.

Should the visual seek to be unintrusive, humbly self-sacrificial in serving the text?

Should one medium self-consciously contrast or harmonize with it's opposite medium producing some sort of synesthetic polyphony?

Should the visuals of a music video merely be an advertisement for the song or publicity/notoriety of the singer? (here is a good counter-example, on the right side of the page)

This is similar to the form/content discussion, but the textual,visual, and audible all have their respective contents. "Form is the shape of content"
If this is so, perhaps the images, words, and sounds are simply mediated shapes of the same 'content', though this seems too platonic. Visuals aren't simple containers for the message or meaning of a piece of artwork.

This is also similar to the form/function discussion. I like Tim Smith's “Form REJOICES in function” rather then "Form follows function."

How does this relate to film?

In film, I think we have more unity of text/image/sound then say a music video. Where do comic books, graphic novels, and children's story books lie on the spectrum?

It would also be interesting to think about the relationship of text and sound in various musical genres. For example, Country being on the content/text side of things and say, Electronica being on the sound/form side.

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Blogger paul bowman said...

Also worth some thought, I think, is the problem that when you work disparate elements together as you're discussing, they're bound to mix & merge to some degree. Where actually does 'text' stop & 'visual' start in an illustrated story, a comic, &c.? By design or by accident (or both), each apparently distinct thing in being bound may draw the other to its own most apparent patterns of meaning. So maybe it's not just a matter of relationships to be accounted for & proportion to be judged, but of change & emergence to be observed — the separate 'media' sources becoming, or being shown to be, something other, in relation, than in relative isolation they'd seem to be.

— ?

9/24/2007 10:37 AM  

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