VisVS User Guide

This site is designed as an activation environment: it teaches a hermeneutic method by modeling acts of interpretation, ways of seeing, and steps in creating meaning. In the spirit of exploratory activation, VisVS flirts with spontaneity, coincidence, and surprising juxtapositions, as images are brought together on the basis of the acts of interpretation they mobilize (rather than grouping artifacts around predetermined themes or historical chronologies). These interpretative focal points, or ‘nodes’, provide organizational structure for the site, as guided entryways to hermeneutic process and as places where the site expands out to support independent exploration among the images.

Each node contains one or more multimodal displays that engage you in unfamiliar, unexpected interactions with images, an intentional playfulness that is given meaning through the careful practice of looking we undertake together. Currently the site includes nodes for connection, contrast, and disruption (and plans for other nodes on repetition, echoing, and perspective). The nodes that appear thus far contain examples of the kind of experimental, process-oriented image displays I am developing to model interpretation.

The site’s activating features invite you to practice the interpretative skills you’ve learned with the assistance of prompts to jumpstart critical engagement. Each node contains an expandable bank of additional images for use in teaching and learning, along with framing questions and directives aimed at eliciting active noticing and spurring further inquiry with a given interpretative approach. Using a simple form, I welcome visitors to submit visual materials for addition to one or more image banks across the nodes (visual artifacts invite multiple ways of seeing, after all) or to contribute your own activating questions that prompt interpretative activity among the images in a particular node.