Reading Question 3/13

On pages 54-55, Sousanis outlines Decartes’ and Plato’s mistrust of visuals due to its dependence on perception. As logical positivism became the reigning ziegeist of the time, visual thinking was not the only thing that lost its credibility–rhetoric, in large part, was dismissed as well.

What are the parallels between discrediting visual thinking and rhetorical thought?

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?