Thursday, January 11, 2007

Communication Theory: Code of the Jazz Musician

One of the most rewarding projects in graduate school was for the course: Theory of Information and Communication. We were asked to study several communication theories and select one and demonstrate its application.
I selected the W. Barnett Pearce theory on Representation and Interaction: Designing the Position of the Viewer in which to study. This social model of communication suggested that the point of view of the creator of a graphic piece can be determine by analyzing the product along key criteria. The idea was that there were three kinds of relationships embedded in images: 1) the relations between represented participants 2) relations between producer and the represented participants and 3) relations (interaction) between the producer and the viewer of an image.

I chose the Blue Note Album Art as the subject of my analysis. The graphic art of this history making jazz record label was fitting for this inquiry because its imagery was both radical and rare for the time. The use of black male imagery to sell a commerial product was precedent setting.

My research would reveal a deep appreciation and admiration for the creators of jazz music by the photographer Francis Wolff and graphic artist Ried Miles. They captured intimate protraits of artist engaged in their craft then translated those images into heroric reflections of black males for public consumption.

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