InStill Life with Rhetoric, Laurie Gries forges connections among new materialism, actor network theory, and rhetoric to explore how images become rhetorically active in a digitally networked, global environment. Rather than study how an already-materialized "visual text" functions within a specific context, Gries investigates how images often circulate and transform across media, genre, and location at viral rates. A four-part case study of Shepard Fairey's now iconic Obama Hope image elucidates how images reassemble collective life as they actualize in different versions, enter into various relations, and spark a firework of activity across the globe.While intent on tracking the rhetorical life of a single, multiple image,Still Life with Rhetoricis most concerned with studying rhetoric in motion. To account for an image's widespread circulation and emergent activities, Gries introduces iconographic tracking-a digital research method for tracing an image's divergent rhetorical becomings. Yet Gries also articulates a dynamic set of theoretical principles for studying rhetoric as a distributed, generative, and unforeseeable event that is applicable beyond the study of visual rhetoric. With an eye toward futurity-the strands of time beyond a thing's initial moment of production and delivery-Still Life with Rhetoricintends to be taken up by those interested in visual rhetoric, research methods, and theory.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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