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Kelli Gemmer WEPO MW 2-3:15 SRR 4 Kress & Wysocki The first article by Gunther Kress is about multimodality, as the title suggests, a social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. According to the article, multimodality can tell us what modes are used (like writing, images, and color), but not how these modes differ in style. Kress answers this question through the aspect of social semiotics. Kress explains a number of concepts which are all interconnected to create multimodality. Critique, design, competence, and representation are all examples of these connected concepts. Kress says “now there is an attempt to bring all means of making meaning together under one theoretical roof as part of a single field in a unified account, a unifying theory” (5). Kress also mentions the fact that communication is ever-changing, and to account for this is globalization. This means that different impacts and effects are interacting with each other in different ways. These can include cultural, social, economic, and political conditions. In this article, Kress’ main purpose is to place emphasis on the importance of a rhetorical focus in teaching and multimodality focuses on this importance. Both the Kress article and the Wysocki article focus on the main idea of building communication. Wysocki agrees with Kress that combining the main elements we’ve discussed in class the past two weeks – audience, context, purpose, constraints, and other communication strategies – is important in communication. However, she says that she wishes to push the boundaries of Kress’ approach by questioning “what becomes unavailable when we think of word and image as bound logically and respectively with time and with space” (2). Wysocki demonstrates the importance of visual space in her title “awaywithwords”. It can be read as either “a way with words” or “away with words”, both of which imply an entirely different concept. Wysocki continues on this notion of space between words by quoting Saegner, who argued that space between words encouraged silent reading, leading to individuality. This also depicts that spaces reveal how we read and understand words. Wysocki mentions Kress and references her article several times while agreeing with his statements, but emphasizes the importance that there is more to what he says. For example, Kress claims that words are governed by a “temporal and sequential logic” relating this to dichotomous logic and explains that “image representations” must be governed by “spatial and simultaneous logic”. Wysocki points out a few discrepancies in using dichotomies of logic to depict multimodalities. The dichotomy that Kress’ article is particularly addressing is word and image. However, Wysocki points out that an image exceeds the logic of space that both she and Kress discussed. Using a single image to classify an object is almost impossible to just capture on specific object because there are so many elements to an object. Shape, color, texture are among just a few of the elements you can see in a picture and each of these have a specific word to describe them. Even though Kress uses images to prove his point about images as an element of dichotomy, Wysocki makes a strong point in the spatial aspect of an image. Wysocki does not say that Kress is wrong, she simply states that there is more than what he explains because communication is constantly changing and adapting.


Kelli Gemmer WEPO MW 2-3:15 SRR 4 Kress & Wysocki

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