Semiotics: Final GIFs

Touching necklace and licking lips

Touching neck and looking up

Touching lips and biting lips

Licking lips and playing with hair

Touching face and winking

Above are my final set of five GIFs, to play on each GIF simply click on the image. I choose these five GIFs as there is variety within each GIF between the two combined gestures, there is also variety between each of the five GIFs. Despite being variety between both of the gestures in each GIF they still run smoothly due to the similar lighting and positioning within the photographs.

These GIFs combine two different flirtatious gestures together, both of which would be subconsciously understood by the viewer. However the way in which they are combined causes confusion and distorts the meaning of both gestures, despite them both trying to convey the same message. These GIFs can be seen as a play on the idea of someone receiving mixed signals. Mixed signals is when an individual believes that another person is sending signals that they are interested in the individual and at the same time also sending signals that they are not interested.

Semiotics: GIF Photography

    

During my crit it was suggested that I further develop my self portrait photography of me re enacting gestures related to flirtatious body language. It was suggested I make a series of GIFs of me acting out a gesture, however one frame in each GIF is replaced with an image from another gesture, therefore mixing the gestures and the meaning associated with them. To begin doing this I reshot the photoshoot, this was due to all images for one gesture needing to continuously shot and have the same lighting, which was not the case with the first photoshoot. Above are my contact sheets from the photoshoot, each gesture is represented by a row of 10 images, which will make a 10 frame GIF. In the contact sheet in each row I have replaced the keyframe for that gesture with a frame from another gesture.

The gestures featured in the above contact sheet include: winking, lip biting, licking lips, playing with earrings, playing with necklace, playing with hair, touching face, touching neck and touching lips.

Semiotics: Crit

During my crit I had a large body of work to present however I did not have a final outcome. In my work I had explored a range of areas relating to body language, for example proxemics, flirting and advertising analysis, however I was struggling to refine my work in a creative and effective outcome. Whilst discussing my work with the tutors and other students many possible ideas for how I could progress my work were highlights, such as:

  • Go back to proxemics or an area of body language I am interested in
  • Analyse a single particular gesture of interest
  • Look at combining body language with another theme
  • Look at a way of giving people dating advice based on body language
  • Cut gestures or body language out of magazines
  • Analyse eye shapes or something small where you have to look at details
  • Research gestures in jobs such as dancers
  • Look at the ways in which different jobs change the body
  • Investigate the speed of gestures
  • Create GIFs mixing frames from different gestures
  • Look at the books ‘Decoding Advertising’ and ‘Notes on Gesture’
  • Whitechapel gallery books on body language
  • Look at how artists show expressions in fine art
  • Censor body parts in body language
  • Analyse when gestures become meaningless
  • Distances between people and what they mean
  • Look at gestures in film and focus on how one gesture is portrayed, for example how people hold cigarettes

From the wide range of ideas given there are some that particularly interested me, these were looking at how the gestures in jobs change the body as well analysing a specific gesture in film, for example how people hold cigarettes. Both of these ideas however would require extensive research to produce a well researched outcome, therefore due to not having much time before assessments I decided to go with the idea of mixing gestures together through GIFs. This idea was inspired by my contact sheets where I used self portrait photography to capture myself reenacting flirtatious body language. It was suggested that I take a series of photographs for one gesture, and replace the key from from that series with a frame from another gesture. This idea I thought was quite amusing and it creates confusion and distorts the intentions of both gestures, even though they both aim to appear flirtatious.

Semiotics: Advertising Analysis

After researching flirtatious body language I realised that many of the gestures associated with flirtatious body language are included in advertising to help sell products. I found that this technique was particularly used in high fashion and perfume advertisements. To investigate this association between flirtatious body language and advertising I have analysed the two advertisements below. Not only have I noted the gestures displayed, but I have also looked at the context of the advert and the other semiotic devices used as these are also important in forming how the advert is interpreted as a whole.

‘Heat’ Women’s Fragrance by Beyonce

  • Beyonce is a well known American singer known for being strong, confident and seductive, these traits are imbued onto the perfume
  • Directly looking at the camera, is a strong sign that someone is interested when flirting
  • ‘Heat’ and ‘catch the fever’ are associated with heat, sizzling, steam, these words all have sexual connotations
  • Hand raised to her face drawing the viewer’s gaze to her face
  • She is wearing silk which is associated with luxury, wealth and is sexual
  • Connotations of red include heat, love, lust and sensuality
  • A low camera angle makes her appear powerful and confident
  • Her dress is short and ends at her upper thigh conveying seductiveness
  • ‘Catch the fever’ is written on top of her breasts, immediately drawing attention and making the perfume appear sensual
  • Her mouth is open which connotes sexual desire, temptation and playfulness

‘Miss Dior’ Women’s Fragrance Advert Featuring Natalie Portman, Photographed by Tim Walker, 2013

  • Dior are a French brand known for class and sophistication, ‘Miss’ suggests that this perfume is for younger women who aspire to the brands identity
  • Natalie Portman is smart, sexy, charismatic and sophisticated, these traits are applied to the character Miss Dior, as well as the perfume
  • The pink rose connotes romance, love and flirtation
  • Directly looking at the camera, eye contact is a strong sign that someone is interested when flirting
  • Biting a rose and holding her hand near her face is a way of drawing attention to her lips and face
  • Open mouth connotes sexual temptation, desire and seductive playfulness
  • Seemingly naked women leaning on a chair signifies confidence, sexual desire and playfulness
  • Her eyes draw the viewer down to the rose

Semiotics: Photography Cropping

As influenced by my research into books exploring the themes of love and flirting, I have closely cropped my a select few of my photographs from my previous photoshoot. The photoshoot featured a series of self portrait photography, documenting me reenacting flirtatious body language gestures. From the series of photographs I selected those which best illustrated some of the main flirtatious gestures to experiment with. Above I have experimented with the gestures winking, licking lips and lip biting. In photoshop I explored cropping each image in a variety of ways and found that the more closely the cropped the image the more successful it was. By closely cropping the image you feel closer to the subject and therefore it is more intimate, this idea of an intimate distance relates to my earlier research into proxemics. Furthermore I enjoy how the photographs are closely cropped as they remove the subject’s identity, which not only help the audience to focus on the body language and not on the model, but it also allows the audience to easily identify with the model or apply the actions being shown to someone else.

Semiotics: Photography

 

I started to exploring flirting through self portrait photography, above are contact sheets showing me reenacting flirtatious body language. To capture the entire of the gestures I set the camera to take 10 continuous shoots once the trigger was pressed, therefore capturing the action of the gesture in 10 photographs. The body language included are as follow:

  • Lip biting
  • Licking lips
  • Winking
  • Rapid blinking
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Looking up
  • Looking down
  • Looking away
  • Touching face
  • Touching lips
  • Touching neck
  • Touching jewellery
  • Leaning in close

Semiotics: Font Exploration

Image 1 – Tracking makes the title appear open, Image 3 – Font may be too stylistic to use for titles, words may become difficult to read

LinoType fonts research into professional black letter fonts inspired by the font used in ‘OF LOVE’ by Saxon Campbell. These fonts all need to be purchased, however I used this initial research to inform my search for free fonts.

Image 2 – Tracking makes the title appear too open, Image 3 – Angular style would be better suited to the close cropped aesthetic I have been exploring, Image 6 – Too stylistic, Image 7 – Too Stylistic, Image 8 – Rounded so appears more cartoonish than sophisticated and intimate

 

 

Semiotics: Tutorial

During a tutorial with the tutors many suggestions and ideas were brought up in relation to where I could take this project, as previously I was struggling to think of how to progress the idea of using the proxemics illusion. Below is a list of all of the ideas that were suggested:

Format

  • A set of three books ‘the gesture of… flirting/knowing the rules of positive non-verbal communication/contemporary gestures’
  • Foldable proximity illusion poster on contained within a book
  • Set of cards on flirting
  • Pub flirting game

Flirtation

  • Explore how in noisy environments such as bars and clubs we can still communicate
  • How flirting links to dress
  • How tattoos link to flirting
  • Analyse flirting in Hollywood e.g. how often does George Clooney smile
  • Explore the link between smiling and endorphins
  • Explore how laughing is contagious

Semiotics: The Language, Symbols & Signs of…

Semiotics

Semiotics is the theory of signs, taken from the Greek word semeiotikos which means ‘an interpreter of signs’. Signing is vital to human existence as it underlies all forms of human communication.

Icon

The signifier (denotation) is perceived as resembling or imitating the signified (connotation). A pictorial representation, a photograph, an architect’s model of a building, or a star chart are all icons because they imitate or copy an aspect of their subject.

Index

An index has a factual or casual connection that points towards its object. Wet streets are a sign that it has rained recently. Smoke signifies fire. A nest image is an icon of a nest but an index of a bird.

Symbol

A symbol has an arbitrary relationship between the signifier and the signified. The interpreter understands the symbol through previous knowledge and experience – it must be learned and agreed upon. Spoken or written words are symbols. There is no reason that the word ‘cat’ should represent a cat instead of a tree.

Metasymbol

A symbol whose meaning transcends the tangible realm of simple one-to-one relationships. History, culture, and tradition all play a role in creating metasymbols, such as a dove with an olive branch as a symbol for peace. For certain audiences, religious and magical signs and symbols take on these properties.

The Language, Symbols & Signs of…

Brief: To research, visually explore and investigate a form of communication. In this project you should explore visual language and how personal/collective visual signifiers are communicated in relation to meaning and audience (e.g. semiotics). You should also develop an awareness of content and visual hierarchies, and develop research and self-evaluation skills.

The language of…

  • Language is a system of communication both written and visual which when used in various ways conveys a message. Some languages are read consciously or subconsciously. There are many examples of visual systems/matter that utilise a language of their own such as smoke signals and flowers. The messages communicated can be life-saving when denoting ‘friend or foe’ or as everyday as a team affiliation.

The Signs of…

  • A sign is an object, quality or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else. A gesture of action used to convey information or an instruction. We scrutinise each other’s faces all the time consciously and subconsciously looking for signs of agreement, affection, mistrust, interest, etc.
  • When a comet shoots across the sky ancient people saw this as a sign of doom, whilst others interpreted it as a prophecy of a forthcoming Saviour King. More mundane signs guide us every day and help us navigate ur journeys from A to B. There are universal signs (signage) and personally significant signs whether linked to relationships, profession or belief systems.

The Symbol of…

  • A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating links between otherwise very different concepts and experiences. Symbols are people, objects, events, designs, places and are at the pinnacle of communication, what is associated with them carries the impact of the idea. An example of fast evolving symbols are emojis, being refined and expanded on all the time.

On the brief a list of 30 forms of communication were provided, 10 examples each for language, signs and symbols. From this list I have chosen to investigate the option ‘body language: posture; attraction; flirting; tattoos and/or body modifications’ found within the section ‘the language of…’