Formalism And Semiotics

Describe and analyze the formal devices at work in an advertisement of your choosing (may be visual or time-based/audio-visual) and connect them to semiotic reading of the piece. Think of the formal choices as signs that contribute to the way in which the ad creates meaning. First, analyze the formal construct of the advertisement, paying attention to line, shape, color, texture, and composition, among other elements, or mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, and sound if it is a time-based work. Then, engage in a semiotic analysis, utilizing the concepts explored in Ch. 1 of Practices of Looking and “Rhetoric of the Image” by Roland Barthes. What are the layers of meaning-making signs in this artifact? What is the denotation and connotation? Identify and analyze the use of signs, separating them into signifiers and signifieds. Identify the use of icon, index, and/or symbol if relevant. Consider the interaction of text and image in meaning making: if relevant, does the accompanying text anchor or relay meaning? Why? Finally, evaluate whether your interpretation of the image changes after a detailed formalist and semiotic analysis.

Note: You may NOT choose any artifact analyzed in class, in your reading, or by you in a previous assignment

Required word/page count: 500 words, 2 pages double spaced, with works cited on a separate page

Additional Notes: The video attached below is a good example of a formalist and semiotic reading of different films. Use it as a guide. I have also attached a link to student samples, but keep in mind that your prompt is different from theirs. For these essays, they were only asked to do a semiotic analysis. You are doing both a formalist AND semiotic reading of your image.

Formalism And Semiotics

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