Visual Communication

The Pictorial Human

How can ‘The Pictorial Turn’ be explored through a collection of pictures?

What did you want to explore?

The project started when I noticed that images and visual expressions occupy an increasingly prominent position in our everyday lives. Today, everyone with a camera phone and an internet connection, amateurs as well as professionals, are invited to make, watch and circulate pictures. This has started a visual revolution that media theorists call ‘The Pictorial Turn’. My master’s project is an exploration of ‘The Pictorial Turn’.

What has the process been like?

Collecting and analysing a dataset consisting of about 5,696 pictures of myself made up a big part of the research in my master’s project. You could say that this has made the project a very personal one. I have used the pictures as the raw material for my exploration of individuals’ pictorial culture seen in conjunction with ‘The Pictorial Turn’.

How have you chosen to solve this task?

In the course of my research, a character emerged that I decided to call ‘The Pictorial Human’. I define this character as ‘a person who understands him/herself and the world through images’. The research I have carried out in this project will be presented through this character. I would like ‘The Pictorial Human’ to be a character the audience can relate to and that can make people reflect on their own relationship with images.

Who will benefit most from your project?

My project is for everyone who makes, watches and circulates pictures in their everyday lives. People who grew up with ‘The Pictorial Turn’ in the 1990s and early 2000s may find it particularly easy to relate to this, however.