Monday, 12 October 2015

OUGD501 Design and Authorship, Study Task One (Studio Brief One)

In the next 2 weeks, think about possible questions to write a 3,000 word essay for.
What kind of designer do you want to be? What kind of person are you? What interests you?

Image Music Text - Roland Barthes (1960's French philosophy)
At its core - a set of ideas about the world that are relevant to Graphic Design students, and also society in general and every individual in the world.

Barthes, R. (1977) 'Image-Music-Text', London, Fontana Press pp.142-148.
Barthes, R. (1968) 'The Death of the Author' in May 1968, 'Image Music Text', London, Fontana Press, pp.142-8.

Written in the moment of a revolutionary uprising. Psycho-social and sexual revelations - reinvention of life, morals and identity.

'Auteur theory' if someone has a particular style/technical expertise/underlying inner content that reflects their ideas about the world. You understand the world through the person who produced it.

  • Putting an author to a text makes the text close ended and not open to interpretation.
  • Author - closed rather than open ended.
  • Reader should be interpreting and creating own opinions from text. Should be challenging the author not conforming. 
  • There's an idea that nothing is original without any knowledge of anything that has happened before.
  • Meaning only ever happens when we create it.
Study Task: how does the text relate to graphic design process?
My groups words; History & Politics.


  • Removal of the author by the internet.
  • Author nowises to text.
  • Modern separator is simultaneous with text.
  • Authoritative/Author
  • Author = limit.
  • These limits create conformity.
  • Modernism.
  • Cultural authority.
  • Original ideas.
  • Culture - Popular culture.
  • The meaning isn't fixed e.g. Burberry.
  • Modernism removes author.
  • The 'author' of history.
  • Birth of the reader - take charge of your lines; make your own meaning of the world.

This text was written in the 1960's by Roland Barthes. Back when this text was written, it was not as easy a task to obtain information. The age we live in nowadays can still be interpreted through the text, for example online the author is often removed so the information can be interpreted by the reader and not just by the author, for example on news websites, there are comment sections below so you can get an opinion from people all over the world and not just the writer. This is key to Barthes theory, as he wrote 'Once the author is removed, the claim to decipher a text is quite futile' (Barthes, R, 1977).

Another example of the internet supporting Barthes theory is the fact that with image, text and audio online, it is often hard to decipher the owner (author) of that creation, as online it is very easy to copy and paste and share, especially on social media websites where information gets shared worldwide. Barthes wrote ‘The removal of the author is not merely an historical fact or an act of writing; it utterly transforms the modern text’. This shows that the creation can be interpreted a lot easier these days and we can have opinions on certain things that back in 1977 might not have been apt. 

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