Linkage Does More than Complicate Meaning

In “Toward a Hyperphotography” Fred Richin discusses the Cubist nature of internet images. Internet allows for a unique opportunity to piece information together by linking websites and images. He argues that this cubistic quality of  internet imagery complicates viewers’ understanding of images by adding additional information that can subvert or complicate their original purpose.

Richin only touches upon one of the qualities  linkage. With the example of an image found while searching “occupy wall street art” in google search, one discovers that this cubism goes further to help a movement and to promote individual success.

by Guy Denning

This image by Guy Denning comes up on the google image search. On this post he is described as  “Guy Denning Homeless Artist From Occupy Wall Street” The website from which this image comes offers a link to another. This new website offers the story of Denning, a self-taught artist who participated in the Occupy movement and illustrated some of its imagery. More linking exists and the information about Denning and the Occupy movement proliferates.

A link to Dennings’s youtube account provides videos of his process. He has 91,571 video views (and counting). One can purchase his artworks through another link to his website.

The benefits of such linkage work both ways. Those interested in his approach to art might become interested in OWS, thus helping the movement. Those interested in OWS might become more interested in his art, therefore helping the artist.

This example shows that image linkage promotes the success of individuals and interest in OWS while complicating meaning simultaneously.

see:  Ritchin, Fred. “Toward a Hyperphotography,” After&Photography. W.W. Norton & Company, New York: 2009.

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7 responses to “Linkage Does More than Complicate Meaning

  1. Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

  2. coffeeshoprhino

    Can you tell your viewer a little more of a story about how all this linking builds an image of Denning (beyond his move from homeless artist to career artist)?

  3. illustrationboom.com doesn’t say Denning is homeless; rather, it describes his medium as the same (stereotypical) material that homeless people use in their lives. None of the press/media archived on Denning’s personal website, which you link to as a store site, refer to him being homeless. Even Wikipedia, often the first destination for information in this age of linkage, refers to him as an established self-taught artist with no mention of homelessness on the main page, the talk page, or the edit histories. I think you’ve proven that, yes, there’s an argument here for image/text linkage complicating meaning and further, but not in the way you intended.

    –Cody VC

    • i apologize, the other link: has the title “Guy Denning Homeless Artist From Occupy Wall Street”

      I will edit that now.

      • Your post still says “no longer a homeless man, but an artist.” He was, as far as is publicly known, never identified as homeless. He has been referred to as a street artist, but that is not synonymous with being homeless, and has been a successful artist with gallery exhibitions and sales (and therefore, an income to support housing) since the 1990s. Again, this information can be found on his personal website, guydenning.org, which you still link to with wording that makes it sound as though it is merely affiliated with him.

        There is nothing about him, in what you’ve provided, that indicates that linkage “changes fate.” Your argument is an good one in theory, and I believe that it would be much stronger if you had better evidence.

  4. ramblerofoccasionalbrilliance

    I think this discussion is a prime example of how we are overloaded with information, and misinformation especially in the cubist nature of internet images and the cubist nature of anything found online. While your specific example with Denning may be flawed, I think it’s a very valid argument. Especially since it is not only individuals jumping onto the #Occupy bandwagon, with corporations such as Tide and parodies like occupy-northpole.com (the latter is my most favorite) having popped up during the OWS movements “prime.” What I have begun to realize, partially through this movement is how much we are all still learning about the internet as a source for reliable information. A prime example of this is the George Mason University course where students create a false internet story as part of a project (http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/05/how-the-professor-who-fooled-wikipedia-got-caught-by-reddit/257134/). Within the OWS movement some of the strengths are that there are so many primary sources of video, photographs, and personal narratives. But those narratives can be shaped just as much as corporate controlled media outlets. During and after the UC Davis pepper spray incident on November 18th, 2011 there were dozens of videos of the pepper spraying that spurred a huge outcry about police brutality all over the country. Most of those videos did not show that the police went to each person and reiterated individually that if they did not move out of the way, they would be pepper sprayed. I wonder how many people searched past the minute long pepper spraying clips to find the 10 minute clips that show the before AND after the incident. (I’m looking now and the Before video is difficult to find, though it existed as of a few weeks ago) There’s a narrative to everything, but in the cubist hyperphotography of the internet how can an individual possibly keep up?

  5. コストコ ムートン オススメ ブーツ http://www.pcffy.com/

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