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How to Do Things with Pictures

Skill, Practice, Performance


Edited By András Benedek and Kristof Nyiri

Pictorial meaning involves not just resemblance, but also pictorial skills, pictorial acts, practices, and performance. Especially in the classroom setting, at all levels of education, it is essential to realize that teaching with pictures and learning through pictures is a practical enterprise where thinking is embedded in doing. Promoting visual learning means to be a visionary, and to take on an enormous educational challenge. But while adaptation and innovation are inevitable in a world where technological changes are rapidly and radically altering the learning environment, educational science and the everyday practice of education clearly need to retain a measure of conservatism. And any conservatism worth the name has to take account of visuality, visual thinking, and visual learning.


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Child Art of the Z Generation. A Multimedia Model of Visual Skills Development. Andrea Kárpáti


56 Zsuzsanna Kondor one another”31 called into being the unifying term image and gave a special ac- cent to the concept of resemblance. Motor activity plays a crucial role in this conceptual setting. The lessons we can draw are: Resemblance, as Bergson suggested, beyond its role in Gestalt perception, is a conceptual construction. Against the back- ground of Bergson’s distinction, there is no need for elucidation of why we never want to climb the shadow of a tree despite the fact of similarity. Though the capacity of realistic pictures to fool us is beyond question, it is easily tran- scended with motor movements; and motor activity is exactly that which teaches us the difference between the depicted object and its depiction. We learn this with trial and error. Experiments in developmental psychology have also illumi- nated the idea that perspective in and of itself, accessible in a natural way, does not count as difference if the depicted objects are identical. Though perspective painting sometimes resulted in ambiguity, this ambiguity is rooted in an artificial method that has nothing to do with a natural way of seeing. That is, bodily ex- periences play an important role even in the case of picture viewing. Kendall Walton suggests that “the relevant resemblances are ‘conventional’ ”.32 In the context of his paper, we can think of the conventionality of categories “in which we perceive such works [works of art]”.33 In the framework of the Arnheimian conception, we can think of the pictorial...

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