Research

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Research on recontextualisation 

I’ve done some research on ‘ recontextualisation ‘ because I will be using this aspect in some parts of my dissertation, and I have also done some research on it for my presentation so I think it is good to build up my research here.

Recontextualisation is a process that extracts text, signs or meaning from its original context in order to introduce it into another context. So it is when you put something into a new context to create a new meaning.  You can take the apple as an example.

Here is a picture of an ordinary red apple. This can be considered as its original context.

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Now look at this particular image of an apple:

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It is still a nice red apple, however it is now immersed in water. The apple being in this different context alters it slightly and now makes it look more fresh and delicious looking.

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An examples of recontextualisation of the apple, can be seen in this image, which is the cover of Stephanie Meyer’s book, Twilight. It is still an apple as we know it, however it has established a new meaning. The apple  is placed in a pair of ghostly white hands; it’s colour desaturated and luminously white against the deep vivid red colour of the apple. We assume the edited effects is to give more prominence and significance to the apple. It brings a whole new feeling about the apple – it now looks eerie and sinister as opposed to the first image of the apple. In this context of Twilight, the apple symbolises the forbidden fruit.

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twilight

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The apple is recontextualised in here again. Below is the image of an apple placed in someone’s private part. This is an image used by Vaughan Oliver in his book of inspiration, for Coco De Mer, 2005. Vaughan Oliver uses a lot of recontextualisation in his works, which is really interesting and great for me to use as examples in my text. Vaughan Oliver reappropriated the apple and created a new erotic aspect and meaning behind it. When we look at this image now, we no longer feel like eating it. I find it strange how changing small aspects such as the background, saturation and context can manipulate our feelings towards a particular image just like that.

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Below shows more examples of how changing the context of the apple changes the way we see it as an ordinary fruit. The apple here is now in the art of ‘seduction’. The red lipstick and nail varnish helps stimulate and amplify the idea of arousal and sensuousness. The colour red plays a significant part in making us think this way. Red is a colour of high visibility, and is also ‘the colour of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.'[1]

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As saying that, the role of colour is very important in any design as it really does direct our thinking and feelings to a specific direction. I remember reading an article where a girl was always around the colour blue; her mental state wasn’t good, and it lead to her over thinking about certain things. The colour blue can symbolise melancholy and loneliness…this could be one of the reasons why it stimulated her into committing suicide by jumping off the blue bridge. The psychology of colours is extraordinary. A very good and easy example can be compared with these two images of apples, both apples , however  give off a completely different feel:

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Below is another of Vaughan Oliver‘s works, a record sleeve for Ultra Vivid Scene, an American alternative rock band. I really admire his sense of style. It has an ‘edge’ to it which I find unique and his work is always full of ambiguity and unexpected juxtapositions that makes it intriguing and compelling; makes me want to find out more. He says: ”in a magazine ad for toothpaste, the toothbrush will have something to do with hygiene, but if you put it on a record sleeve and associate it with music, it will give different connotations”(2011). [2]

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toothbrush

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Yet another of Vaughan Oliver‘s work, for the ‘Pixies‘, called ‘Flavacol‘. The music he said needed more passion and seduction, so what did he do to achieve it? He simply told the dancer to take off her top to change the mood, which he commented ”now fitted more into the ‘Pixies’ rather than the dancer’s”,(2011). [3]

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Why did I choose to discuss the topic of ‘recontextualisation‘? Because I find it very interesting on just how powerful it can be when used in design. It can just so easily change our perspective and ways of seeing.

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Research about the apple as a symbol

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The apple is rich in symbolism. 

I’ve decided to do some research on the apple as a symbol because I feel it is a really good element to refer to in my dissertation if I wanted to explain the meaning behind ‘visual communication‘. The reason why I chose the apple for this is because for me, ‘visual communication‘ is more complex than it seems, there are many stages in how we perceive images, and how images communicate to us, therefore the different stages has to be broken down. I see the apple as a good symbol to represent this, so I have thought of a good structure which I should use in my dissertation in order to show the various sectors in my writing:

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The apple conveys different meanings for different cultures, and I have already established this in my previous tabs. Here are examples of what the apple means in different cultures and regions:

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‘Though the forbidden fruit in the Book of Genesis is not identified, popular Christian tradition holds that Adam and Eve ate an apple from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. This may have been the result of Renaissance painters adding elements of Greek mythology into biblical scenes. The unnamed fruit of Eden thus became an apple under the influence of the story of the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides. As a result, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality,temptation, the fall of man and sin.

Throughout Greek mythology, the apple has been a symbol for both love and discord. After Hera accepted Zeus’ proposal, she was bestowed with the gift of a gleaming fruit tree bearing golden apples. Although depicting contrasting symbolic meanings, the sacred golden apples have had a significant role in throughout the legends of Greek myths.’ [4]

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Perhaps the apple is too overly used as a symbol? I think so as you see it almost everywhere in design, literature and it doesn’t stop there…the apple is also used a lot in many traditions too. Here are some examples:

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  • ‘In North America an American Indian (Native American) is called an “apple” (a slur that stands for someone who is ‘red on the outside, white on the inside.) primarily by other American Indians to indicate someone who has lost touch with their cultural identity. First used in the 1980s
  • The apple represents beauty, innocence and wellbeing in China, and in Korea it is commonly used for nutritious beauty products such as face cream.
  • Apples feature frequently in fairy tales. A well-known example is SnowWhite, in which she takes a bite from a poisonous apple.
  • Savior of the Apple Feast Day is celebrated on August 19 in Russia and Ukraine
  • Danish folklore says that apples wither around adulterers.
  • According to popular legend, upon witnessing an apple fall from its tree, Isaac Newton was inspired to conclude that a similar ‘universal gravitation’ attracted the moon toward the Earth.
  • New York City is often called “The Big Apple.” The term “The Big Apple” was coined by touring jazz musicians and horse racers of the 1920s who used the slang expression “apple” for any town or city.
  • “Comparing apples and oranges” means to examine the similarities of things that are completely different
  • “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a popular saying, the apple obviously symbolizing health, but also the advantages of eating fresh fruit.
  • The apple is symbolic for the Trinity Mathematical Society.’ [5]
  • Red apples are often used in literature as a sign of temptation, passion and disobedience. On the cover of the novel ‘Twilight‘, the author Stephanie Meyer uses a red apple to represent one of her protagonists as the ‘forbidden fruit’, as he is a vampire who has fallen in love with a human girl.

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There are always two sides to a story…so is the apple as a symbol  more good or evil? For me, I see the apple so used in literature and design (in a way which is associated with negativity), that I feel it has influenced me a bit in thinking the apple relates more to the bad side.
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The BAD apple
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The apple is frequently used as a symbol of love.

LOVE, SIN and BEAUTY

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Pictures of Venus often show her holding an apple. Venus is a Roman goddess associated with love, beauty and fertility, all of which are also associated with the apple. In addition, Venus is also known for her skills at charm and seduction. In Latin, venus means love and desire. This is perhaps where some of the more sinful aspects of apples come from. Certainly love or carnal desire have led many men to sin. This is probably why many artists depict the Forbidden Fruit in the Bible as an apple.’ [7]

The apple seduces and the apple tempts.

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JEALOUSY, ENVY and TEMPTATION

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Love and beauty is temptation, and our strong passion to possess that love or beauty can quickly turn into lust and obsession. In this Greek tragedy, the Goddess of Discord Eris throws an apple into a wedding party. This apple was labelled with the words ‘For the most beautiful one‘. The Goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all laid claim to this apple because each thought of herself as the most beautiful. Beauty, in this case, caused envy and jealousy among those who would claim it to the exclusion of all others.

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The GOOD Apple

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HEALTH and WELLBEING

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From love and desire comes the creation of new life. As a result, the apple also symbolizes life and the the circle of life (death and rebirth).

In addition, apples have many health benefits. For example, apples can help relieve sore throat, allergies, and poor digestion. These medicinal qualities of apples further contribute to its symbolism of life, health, and fertility. This is why we say,

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Finally, apple trees grow abundant fruit, which is another association with fertility, life, and health.

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REINCARNATION and NEW LIFE
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Apples are also the symbol of reincarnation for some people. This belief stems from the life of an apple tree, where every year, new fruit would blossom from the trees as a symbol of new life beginning.
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References
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[1] Color Wheel Pro: Color Meaning. 2013. Color Wheel Pro: Color Meaning. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html. [Accessed 07 November 2013].
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[2] Vaughan Oliver: Graphic Art Work |Whimsical Things . . .. 2013 Vaughan Oliver: Graphic Art Work  Whimsical Things . . .. [ONLINE] Available at: http://omgsandie.wordpress.com/☆gamswen/vaughan-oliver-graphic-art-work/. [Accessed 07 November 2013].
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[3] Vaughan Oliver: Graphic Art Work |Whimsical Things . . .. 2013 Vaughan Oliver: Graphic Art Work  Whimsical Things . . .. [ONLINE] Available at: http://omgsandie.wordpress.com/☆gamswen/vaughan-oliver-graphic-art-work/. [Accessed 07 November 2013].
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[4] The Legendary Apple. 2013. The Legendary Apple. [ONLINE] Available at:http://adamareangere.hubpages.com/hub/The-Legendary-Apple. [Accessed 07 November 2013].
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[5] Apple (symbolism) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2013. Apple (symbolism) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_(symbolism). [Accessed 07 November 2013].
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[6] StephenieMeyer.com | Twilight Series | Twilight | FAQ. 2013.StephenieMeyer.com | Twilight Series | Twilight | FAQ. [ONLINE] Available at: http://stepheniemeyer.com/twilight_faq.html#apple. [Accessed 07 November 2013].
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The Legendary Apple. 2013. The Legendary Apple. [ONLINE] Available at:http://adamareangere.hubpages.com/hub/The-Legendary-Apple. [Accessed 07 November 2013].
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Images
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red apple – Google Search. 2013. red apple – Google Search. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=red+apple&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=BP57UpXEOoWrhQf8moCQCw&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1404&bih=694#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=6Ip1UTmD1A9xVM%3A%3BZbe1x4iHdAIt9M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Frichellerolli.files.wordpress.com%252F2011%252F05%252Fred-apple.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Frichellerolli.wordpress.com%252Fproject-4-color-strategy%252Fred-apple%252F%3B340%3B362. [Accessed 07 November 2013].

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60470477-sexy-apple. 2013. 60470477-sexy-apple. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.jokesfeed.com/sexy-apples-and-love-lore/60470477-sexy-apple/. [Accessed 07 November 2013].
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Pencil and Spoon: When beer goes bad: Acetaldehyde. 2013. Pencil and Spoon: When beer goes bad: Acetaldehyde. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.pencilandspoon.com/2011/07/when-beer-goes-bad-acetaldehyde.html. [Accessed 07 November 2013].
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