Berger’s text is relevant today for historical study of art and design. I believe that his discourse is foundational of recent inquires where digital technologies become center of attention and other transformations of the work of art occur. Even the reproductions he analyzed, print and video, have been reshaped with digital technologies. For example, microcinemas are video reproductions that can be done with simple cell phones and modified online for collectives. This type of new possibilities generates other interactions among image, context, author, and spectator. In this matter, Landow (1992) pointed out that boundaries between author and spectator actually become blurred.
One issue that Berger discusses and has still relevance is the bias that we subjects have in the processing of images according to culture and context. Even though images began to be ubiquitous initially with the camera, as he mentioned, and later with digital technologies, everyone sees different mental images because the process “is affected by what we know or what we believe” (p. 8 )
My area of research interest in graphic design has a connection with this issue. I am focusing on design principles that can increase human ability to understand visual information and hence to reach underserved populations. This means that through design strategies such as monosemous signs or visual rhetoric, it may be possible to reduce the difference among multiples mental images of people with different literacy and beliefs. Finally, Berger’s discourse around reproduction technology invites me to investigate more about implications of contemporary media in image processing.
Landow, G. (1992). Hypertext: the convergence of contemporary critical theory and technology. Johns Hopkins University Press.