Visual culture

Visual culture

Images reign. Words are past tense, in this world. There may be different realities, in which it is the other way around. But in this one, this is the truth.

Images are universal, words need a shared language. But ultimately; everything is language. On the internet, there is no limit to the possibilities of expressing yourself. Theoretically, anyway. Theoretically, it is a democratic medium. In effect, there are economical, political, moral restrictions on publications. Some good, some not.

Back to the language; the universality of images works as a boundary to their distinctiveness. In order to reach a big audience, a picture needs to be cleared of any personal value. Individuality is not the characteristic that makes a photo successful, being easily understandable, using a common idiom is.
So, when is a photograph really excellent?
If it is a powerful depiction of a situation or a condition. If it reduces that to evoking one emotion or thought. If that is recognizable for spectators regardless of background, or social status.
Every once in a while you come across such an image.

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