Reading Question (2/27)

After explaining a brief history and definition of visual rhetoric, Sonja Foss discusses what she considers three markers that qualify an image/object as visual rhetoric. She labels these markers as “symbolic action,” “human interaction,” and “presence of an audience” (Foss 144). Regarding audience, Foss states, “Even if the only audience for an image is its creator, some audience—and thus the implied act of communication—is present in visual rhetoric” (145). Since, as Foss seems to suggest, the rhetor creates an object for the purpose of communicating an idea to him/herself or others, the self can count as an audience, too.

Though this explanation seems straightforward, this particular marker seems quite broad to me, and I can’t help but wonder about the concept of an “implied act of communication” (Foss 145). Does this mean that the implied act of communication has to be intentional? What types of images/objects are created without the intention of communication? Further, how can we determine if/when a rhetor creates with the intention of communication? How does one determine the presence of an implied act of communication?