Rather than seeing the logic of modes as inherent to the mode, Wysocki highlights the ways that modes are shaped by social-historical conditions, i.e., the way that the page, as a visual space, has become natural to how we read insofar as we look for spaces inbetween words. Pointing to a difference between tattoos and a film – both having the same affordances in Kress’s view, Wysocki argues that “how different people in different places and times understand what they do—are different. And so to use image to name some class of objects that function in opposition to workd is thus either to make an arbitrary cut into the world of designed visual objects or to try to encompass a class so large the encompassing term loses function. To say that all these objects rely on a logic of space is to miss their widely varying compositional potentials.” (think: Alexander and Rhodes).

Further: “But we can only do this if we look beyond what appear to be constraints. As we analyze and produce communications, we need to be asking not only what is expected by a particular audience in a particular con- text but also what they might not expect, what they might not be prepared to see […] By focusing on the human shaping of material, and on the ties of material to human practices, we might be in better positions to ask after the consequences not only of how we use water but also of how we use paper, ink, and pixels to shape—for better or worse—the actions of others.”

Leave a Reply