Sound Arts: Reading Assignment


What is sound?

Sound is the wavelength and vibrations we hear transmitted from everyday things we see, hear and touch. According to the article, almost all activities in the world has an aural component. There’s 4 different kind of sounds found in the article. Namely sound art, sound scape, sound sculpture and sound design.

How has it been used in society?

Sounds are everywhere around us and we can never avoid sounds. From the alarm we hear in the morning, to the youtube videos we watch right before we head to bed. Sounds are used as a form of entertainment, such as television shows, music and movies. At the same time, sounds are used as a form of an emergency. From sirens to the SOS signal. Lastly, sounds are also used as a form of communication. We talk to people everyday face to face and also through phone call or video call. It’s mostly used as a form of communication to understand each other.

What makes it an art?

The composition of the sound determines whether it’s art. Adding melody and tunes can make the sound an art. For example music, producers and composers compressed, normalized and fill every moment and crevice of the groove with sound. Something that is pleasing to the ear can be an art. Audience must feel an emotion to let that particular sound be an art. If that sound does not spark much feeling in the audience, then it’s not really an art.

How does advancement in audio technology affect our sense?

Aural displays are mostly associated with visual screening to aid us in our journey of looking/listening to Art. They are there to guide us and to not make the audience confused about the art piece. It sparks a tint of excitement when we hear sound art with a visual screening on the wall. We’ve became highly dependent on technology to determine our emotions of a particular piece.



Reading Assignment: Rhetoric of the Image Reflection

  • What are some of the key questions Barthes aims to investigate in the article?

a) Can analogical representation produce true systems of signs and not merely simple agglutinations of symbols?

b) Is it possible to conceive of an analogical ‘code’ (as opposed to digital ones)?

c) How does the meaning get into the image? Where does it end? And if it ends, what is there beyond?

  • What are some of the key terms/ concepts introduced and discussed?

Three Messages:

Linguistic: Images and photographs has different supports such as captions or texts. By using texts with images, it helps the audience to receive a more detailed information as to what the company is advertising. It is a support to the image as some advertisements can be lacking in their photos but with the texts, it has helped the companies get their messages and agendas across.

A coded/non-coded iconic message: Information are gathered from what is seen from the advertisement visually with no texts or words involved. Audience judge the content by being able to identify identifiable objects and then decode the message from there. Able to judge cultural/literal messages too. Literal image is denoted whereas the symbolic image is connoted. Literal images are in a pure state (unedited) and taken by cameras whereas symbolic images are created based from different artists with different styles.

  • Do you agree or disagree with his argument and point of view?

I agree with his argument as it is important how the audience are able to denote/connote the information by just looking at the advertisement without having to refer anything. Audience are also able to denote the advertisement with the help of the additional texts added. Placement of images and texts, colours, shapes and sizes also plays a major part in providing a good user experience to the audience. For example, placement of texts help guide the user to read from a direction they would want. Same goes to colour. A bright colour will mostly likely attract the attention first compared to a dimmer/dull colour. Realness of the photograph plays a big part too. Some people would refer the images to be snapped on cameras instead of it being hand-drawn or done by human as that will be less-detailed compared to capturing a shot on the camera.

  • Provide a brief analysis (200 words) on an advertisement of your choice by using the terms/ concepts proposed by Barthes and discuss the role of text and its relationship with the image in the advertisement. Please include an image the advertisement in your post.

Milo advertisement Philippines

I have chosen this Milo advertisement as an example. In here, you can see the spillage/explosion happening from the cup of Milo, which allows audience to see how this cup of Milo will give them a boost/blast of energy when they drink it. The advertisement has a consistent colour of green (Milo’s colour) which gives it a recognizable feeling when this advertisement is viewed from far. Sans Serif font is used to show a sporty side to the drink. Even the sentence “Get Champion Energy Every Day” shows how the drink is for those who are having an active day ahead and to kick-start it with a cup of Milo to give them all the energy they need. They even added in the lists of the nutrients to show the power of the drink. Lastly, an added bonus, they added in an image of a good-looking man to attract the attention of the users.