part of the MSc in E-learning at the University of Edinburgh

How exactly is the ‘world told’ different to the ‘world shown’?


The world told The world shown
shape poem escher
Makes explicit types of relation – causality, agency and
power are explicit.

Makes explicit position in a framed space – relations of
entities made explicit.

Objects are vaguely specified

Objects are fully specified

Fixed order of ‘reading’ determined by the author

Open order of ‘reading’ established by the designer/viewer

Causality is inescapable

Causality barely figures

+ve empowers/stimulates the reader to paint the scenes and
settings of a text. Individuals can shape their own avatars in their

-ve linearity determines our path and can constrain our
view/thinking. Draws us away from seeing things as a whole or choosing our
own start point.

+ve empowers/stimulates the viewer to generate several
causalities that could fit a single representation. Enables seeing with
different eyes.

-ve down plays our visual imagination – shape, form,
colour and positioning always is always predetermined.

Some of these gains and losses show how these modalities have ‘different positionings in and to the world’ and bestow ‘different powers on the makers and remakers’ of these representations. However will multimodal communication just fill in more blanks and leave less for the ‘reader’ to ponder?

Perhaps not, perhaps it will help highlight different perspectives for example optical illusions can challenges our reading of the visual and literary devices such as puns can do likewise in the textual world.

Posted by Geraldine May Jones on October 12th, 2011 at 11:04 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

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