Semiotics: Research

Below is a body of research I have done into the various ways in which designers have approached the language of body language. With each image I have analysed the work that has been created and noted what direction I believe my project could take if inspiration by that image.

The Nonverbal Dictionary of Brazilian Bars by Nei Valente. Catalogue of Boteco language, which is the signal and gestures used when drinking in bars in Brazil. Inspiration to catalogue english gestures from bars, or even personal gestures.

A Series of Visual Signifiers by Femke Campbell. A body of work collecting visual signifiers of the word violence. For my own work I could collect a series of visual signifiers for an aspect of body language.

Hands On Zine by Josh Harrison. Uses collected imagery to create a dictionary of hand gestures, mainly contemporary. Could produce my own dictionary with contemporary gestures as new gestures are constantly being created in the media and on the internet.

Decoding the V Sign by Giulia Valeria Jolk. Collection of found imagery looking at the significance of the V sign. I could focus on one particular gesture of interest, collect imagery and information about it and then analyse it.

Female Body by Calia Lima. Female body language from pornography is contrasted with female body language in classical art, making an interesting comment on what female body language is appropriate in what contexts. In my work I could explore how the same gesture or body language changes depending on context.

The Glamorous Fist by Myriam Waldbillig. Demonstrates the manipulative power of words and image, she questions how meaning is formed and manipulate our thinking. There is the possibility for me explore imagery and warping it’s meaning through the use of accompanying text. It may be interesting to research how this is done in advertising and propaganda.¬†

The Art of Nonverbal Communication by Umer Ahmed. Publication exploring forms of nonverbal communication. The above image is looking at proxemics, which the study of the amount of space people feel is necessary to set between themselves and others. This study is interesting to me as I had never considered the psychology behind why we position ourselves at certain distances from others, furthermore this varies between cultures which is also of interest to me.

The Art of Nonverbal Communication by Umer Ahmed. Above is an analysis of body language in existing imagery. My project could focus on analysis existing imagery and presenting it to the audience.


Semiotics: Library Research

Whilst browsing photography magazines at the library I came across the following work by two separate artists. I believe that the work produced by Simon Menner relates to the topic of the semiotics of body language as in his work he is playing with changing the meaning of his images through juxtaposition.

Role Models by Simon Menner

The work of Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa focuses on body language, specifically facial expressions. The closely cropped images strip the images of their context, however the context that these images were all taken at political rallies.

White Noise by Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa

White Noise by Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa

Both artists work have a strong political message behind them, which is not something I intend on pursuing within my own work, however the way that they have used semiotics to change the meaning behind images is extremely interesting and a technique I could utilise within my own project.