Reading Question

“This ancient ‘it’ is something I call ‘an image.’ By image I don’t mean a visual representation, I mean something that is more like a ghost than a picture; something which feels somehow alive, has no fixed meaning and is contained and transported by something that is not alive- a book, a son, a painting–anything we call an ‘art form’” (15).

–Lynda Barry, Syllabus


Barthes writes in Camera Lucida that punctum makes a photo more than a visual representation. In this passage, Barry seems to be referring to a similar phenomenon, but with an image. Since the referent of a drawing is not the same as the referent of a photograph, how would you describe its transference? What makes an image an image, and not merely a visual representation?

Reading Question (Barry)

As I read through Syllabus, I noticed how there were many times where the pictures had to contort around the text, and vice versa.  There are other times, however, where that is not the case.  The page (pg. 88) below is a good example.  I was immediately drawn to the “Hate Cr-ay-on-!” in the top center of the page.  This statement has conformed to the contortions of both the other drawings and texts.  The painted strips on the bottom left, however, are allowed to cover up Chew-Barry.  It made me think about the negotiation of space.  How do visual rhetors negotiate space between different elements, and what do those decisions imply?