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Master
Visuelle Kommunikation

Sunjung Park

How Do We Organize Our Reading Direction? — On the Organization of Our Reading Direction (this is more title-like, though your version is also correct)

The influence of the variable parameters of an image when reading a sequence of images.

The definition of a reading direction is based on its contextual varieties. One person may define it within a textual context, and another one in terms of a visual context. Accordingly, the term “reading direction” itself brings many different points of view to the surface. Based on this fact, the project particularly looked at possible factors with regard to organizing our reading direction.

On many occasions, a series of images is visually presented as a single entity. Here is one common example to understand these occasions. Whenever we look at a book, especially a book full of images, we can confront this with a whole series of images. These images might be positioned based on the topic, shape, or colour, etc. At first glance, we will see these images as we prefer and will try to understand the meaning of each image. Unconsciously, we are reading a series of images based on our preferences. But how do we decide which preferences apply to our reading of images?

Of course there are a lot of potential factors that influence our deciding on a specific preference. Among many possibilities, what the project specifically focuses on are three possible factors: previous knowledge, formal element, and cultural background.

First of all, previous knowledge is related to the content of images. Most people have their own way of reading that mostly depends on each person’s experience and knowledge. The range of previous knowledge is different from person to person, which means that, although people look at the same series of images, they will no doubt interpret them in different, individual ways.

Additionally, formal elements also play an important role when people structure their reading direction. In this context, the formal elements indicate the visual elements such as the distance between images, the shape of frames, colours, and brightness. They are not directly linked to the contents but related to a perception of form. This factor is also different from person to person. Because every person has a different perception regarding such formal elements.

Last but not least, a cultural background can affect our reading direction. In particular, the focused discussion used here is to figure out how different cultural backgrounds affect the reading direction between text and image.

Based on three potential factors, the project suggests a series of images with the help of which we can approach the main question with a practical experiment. Later on, these series of images will become the prerequisite of the main phenomena of the project as each of the main phenomena generates a tension between a series of images and the respective response to the change of reading direction.

To figure out why tension appears in relation to images, and how this tension relates to our deciding on a specific reading direction, the project aims to make this tension readable via a system called Variables Generating System. The system itself plays an important role as a grammar to analyze these phenomena and proposes possible answers to the main question.