Visuality and new Media: The Transformation of the „Seen“ and „Seer“ and the Stability of Visual Content
As John Berger asserted, “seeing” has been a central form of cognition from the past to the present: “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak”. The age in which we live is definitely a visual age. In other worlds, media visuality in particular is an important part of our lives. Many media messages are not only supported by visuality but also constructed by it. Images and visuality determine the “reality” in today’s world. Can we understand, analyse and regularize this visual feast? Are we able to notice the reality and the partial representation of the reality in pictorial information? Cyberculture is rapidly absorbing all other forms of the media. Moreover, structured and processed images are used regularly in media contents. We can certainly recognize this visual bombardment by looking at both the historical change in the “seen” and the “seer” and the stability of the media contents for construing the images. “Seen” is now perceived to be more “real” with developments in image-based new media. On the other hand, according to some scholars like Giovanni Sartori (1998), from now on the human eye is not the subject of the seeing. It now is the object of seeing activity as a “seen eye” instead of “seeing eye”. The seer is humbled in front of the visual image at which he is looking. On the other hand, many viewers still have difficulty reading pictorial information and derive from it only hegemonic meaning. In other words, the visual contents of the media reproduce over and over again the systems’ codes in stereotypical representations. The transformation of “seen” and “seer” serves to reproduce the stereotypes by imagery content. Although the case study and samples of this research have not been clarified yet, this project aims to study visuality and identity in terms of the visuality of gender.