October 26, 2012

Anamorphosis


Daniel defines the separation of voices inherent in the prison system very easily in the first introductory part of her project, by pointing out the features of the visitor’s entrance with its incongruous manicured lawn and rosebushes. Once inside, on the inmate’s side, such greenery immediately disappears. This very neatly demonstrates the permeated heteroglossia of the prison’s “language” without delving into heavy terms or definitions. The evidence is simply offered up and left for the audience to see the disproportion. One of my favorite characteristics of the project was when the smudges began to appear on screen. Those smudges greatly helped my interpretation of the concept of anamorphosis, which would not have had nearly the impact, nor would the term have stuck itself so much in my mind, had the essay not paired it with a visual. Another characteristic of the essay that eases interpretation is the separation of the stark black blocks over the white background, naturally dividing the confessions into inside/outside categories. The closing sequence very neatly and quietly covers the screen in black, edging out all the windows of white. Every visual element of the essay is organized as a metaphor for the subject manor, allowing the audience to fully understand the impact of the content through analysis afterwards, all without having to spell out those concepts she wanted to convey.

8 comments:

michelle reyes said...

I see what you are saying regarding the visual aids I too felt they were very beneficial. I was not able to see it as language in terms of heteroglossia, but once you pointed it out it is very noticeable. I too believe the imagery helps represents a metaphor discussing an issue or subject matter like you said that Daniel has with the prison facility.

Kyle Vann said...

I enjoyed the visual components of this case as well. I thought about the use of heteroglossia in the text and language of the case, but like you said I thought the greatest overall impact/lasting impression of "Public Secrets" came from the combination of elements compiled together. I was really happy that most color was omitted from it as I think Daniel tried to use black and white to emphasize the contrast she spoke of so often.

Catalina said...

I thought the presence and absence of greenery around the prison was itself particularly interesting. It seems as if the landscaping itself is a rhetorical text. The greenery is meant to welcome visitors, to set them at ease in an environment in which they may not be particularly comfortable. On the other hand, the inmates are not meant to be comfortable -- their side, lacking greenery, reflects the barrenness they are exposed to all the time. Prison isn't meant to be welcoming for the prisoners -- it is supposed to scare them straight, give them a reason to want to return home. Was the landscaping composed deliberately in this manner? Or was it only designed on the visitor side, the prisoner side merely being neglected? Either way, it is a text which demonstrates the ideological ideals of the society in which it exists.

Megan Conner said...

I as well thought a lot about the smudges on the screen. They are representative of the blurred and hidden secrets of they women prison system. They stand for the uncertainty and dirtiness that these women deal with while in these facilities. I thought it was interesting how you focused mainly on the visual aspect of the essay. It is a very important part of the tone that Daniel emits and a helpful depiction of negative experience. It also visualizes the ever-present heteroglossia of the work.

Jen said...

I agree as well that the images were super helpful. I also offered up a similar question to what heteroglossia is. Whether the different mediums within it can count as languages involved to make different voices come about. I think it's worth examining and I believe it to be true. I think Daniel's work was an excellent example of that question with at least one side of an answer because of the visual aids. I also agree with Kyle that the black and white are important and perhaps another voice in and of itself.

anaistamayo said...

The visuals of the website contributed greatly to its own discourse. It set up the stark difference between the inside world of the prison and the outside world, everything from the opposing terms on the tabs, to the black and white emphasized that idea. I think part of Daniels point in doing this was to show that though the prison is pretty a world removed from ours, the people there still have individual, complicated lives and their voices are worth being heard.

Joel Bergholtz said...

I hadn't thought about the visual components serving as voices quite as much as I had thought about the selection of quotes and authoritative figures. It is an interesting concept though, and the black and white definitely serve as dichotomies with the inside/outside prison life/real life, etc. It is true, Kyle, that the black and white seemed to emphasize and reflect the idea that this problem is black and white, there are no shades of grey. We see the white side, they exist in the black side. We like to keep the black side a "public secret", and so Daniel is making us see the black side. However, is it true that all of the quotes stayed on either the black or white side? I remember seeing similar quotes on both sides, and although I like the idea that the inside reflects the black, I don't know that the author did a good enough job of portraying that. I think we are digging out some fantastic ways to view the essay and are digging out some of the intentions of the visuals, but I don't think the author did a good enough job of making this immediately apparent to the viewer. I think the author needed to draw some more distinct lines between the inside and the outside to really convey how we see things so "white".

HScott3 said...

I agree. It is very evident she wants to amplify the distinction between being inside the prison and being outside of it. Adding the prison voices also enhance this effect especially when they begin to start their stories. Nice job with the black book/ white background contrast. It's an interesting insight, and it relates to to the separation. As we already learned visuals do depict a higher sense of meaning of just text alone. Great job by the author of including that in the project. For example, the smudges can be representative of the secrets being hidden by the prison.

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