Week 02- The power of images/ What is an image?


  • General understanding of the questions related to the definition of images

  • our relation to them

The thesis of this class.

  1. What is an image?


Chemical equations


What would be the characteristics of images?

What is their function?

Where does the image exist?

What does an image do?

Michel Focault:

(the word)…” is a secret that carries within itself, though near the surface, the decipherable signs of what it is trying to say” (35, THE ORDER OF THINGS)


Mental imagery (varieties of which are sometimes colloquially referred to as “visualizing,” “seeing in the mind’s eye,” “hearing in the head,” “imagining the feel of,” etc.) is quasi-perceptual experience; it resembles perceptual experience, but occurs in the absence of the appropriate external stimuli

Manifest vs Scientific: (…) the major problem confronting philosophy today (,,,) is the “clash” between “the ‘manifest’ image of man-in-the-world” and “the scientific image.”

Memory as the image of an image/experience- How to convey an experience?/ A concept? / A feeling/ Something we cannot fully comprehend?


From poetryarchive.org:

Imagery is the name given to the elements in a poem that spark off the senses.” Despite “image” being a synonym for “picture”, images need not be only visual; any of the five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell) can respond to what a poet writes.(…)”

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain (Maya Angelou)

Surrealism-  images of dreams


A chien andalou

Why do we create images? What is our relation to images?

Technical Imageshuman civilization has seen two fundamental turning points since its beginnings. The first occurred approximately during the second half of the second millennium, B.C., and may be defined as “the invention of linear writing”. The second — we are witnessing it — may be called “the invention of technical images.”

In class: What is an image?

Digital image

  • image size / resolution /

What is a pixel?


What is an apple?




  1. An image is our internal mental representation of what we externally absorb from our senses. By senses, I am including sight (eg. a picture), hearing (eg. music), touch (eg. temperature). As everyone can understand the same object by their senses at face value, for example, we generally can all see a poster. However, our mental image is unique to ourselves, influenced by our personal experiences, perspectives, and understanding of the world. The poster could be an advertisement of a movie, and even such an arbitrary visual can hold many different personal connections, emotions, and memories in ones mind. Someone may have an image about watching that movie as a child with their family, while my image may be an interpretation of what I think the movie is about as an individual that has never watched it. Thus, this idea that our perception is unique to us own is how we can understand ideas and concepts that simply cannot be described in a binary matter. In class, we talked about love, which would be an example of a topic that cannot be express in simple ways as it defines an experience. An experience is different to each person. Thus, by using images, something that is abstract, we are able to understand the experience more by relating to how it has impacted us in our own lives and our own understandings.

  2. An image is a thought process and a set of feelings, experiences, and memories that we make/ remind to ourselves in our minds in order to perceive what we see. It is the whatever that happens between seeing something and perceiving it.

  3. What is an image?

    An image is an experience in the mind. These mental experiences are composed of our past experiences and associations. When I listened to the “secret catacombs” soundtrack, I put together an image in my head with the different memories and emotions that I associate with the sounds in the track. The rhythmic and haunting tune in minor keys invoked a sense of movement and anxiety. This made me think of moving through an unexplored area that I am scared of. The echoes water droplets like sounds made me think that I’m in an enclosed cave like area which reminds me of the time I went exploring in a cave. The water droplets made the sound scape come alive like I’m not the only living creature in the space. This reminded me of the time when I was living in the Philippines where the sound of chirping bats gave life to the night. This made me further anxious. I constructed in an image in my head and I experienced and felt through that image which was invoked by a sound track outside my mind.

  4. What is an image? An image is what enters you as you read the words that I am typing. It is that lover you drenched yourself in reminiscence with when discussing the poem of Maya Angelou.
    “And suddenly we see
    that love costs all we are
    and will ever be.
    Yet it is only love
    which sets us free.”
    It draws from our experiences and it reflects our perception. An image occurs to us through different senses, through emotions and personal connection – and transforms us.

  5. An image can be a constructed representation that can be created by others, ourselves or by a third party (ex. nature).They are elusive because they move from one reality to another. The way we perceive an image or how we choose to create images can become a representation of what we perceive that image to be. Therefore images are a language that can allow us to communicate that which we are unable to communicate through a single medium. It encompasses sound/music, symbols/words, picture/painting, poetry etc. Since it is impossible to completely convey what we feel, we use images because they help us resemble that experience so that others can understand us. An image encompasses all the ways in which we attempt to communicate our inner thoughts and experiences with the world around us (also to understand the world in which we live).

  6. An image is anything (tangible or not) that represents feelings, objects or concepts. The way we understand and interpret images are through the conventions that exist within our society as well as our own personal connections. Images deeply affect our senses and emotions and they work with our current and past experiences with the world around us. Images also assist us in trying to convey our feelings and ideas to other people, even though they do not fully or exactly communicate what we are trying to say.

  7. An image is two parts. Firstly, it is in its original form. Secondly, it is as interpretation of the original image. Each person will interpret and perceive the original form differently due to the different ways they have been raised and what has influenced them. The original image is hard to separate due to everyone’s immediate perception of the image. An image evokes emotion from within which adds to how one perceives it. It can pull out other mental images from within ones mind which can also effect perception. Everyone is presented with the same original image, but their interpretations will vary. Therefore, an image is the same, yet different to everyone.

  8. An image is a memory or a moment captured in the form of a photograph, which can be interpreted by the viewer who might have a different perception or conclusion about this image in comparison to the person who has captured/taken this image. However, an image can also be an idea associated with words, emotions, symbols or a feeling. An image doesn’t have to be a photograph, it could simply be a thought or an idea which is usually interpreted on a personal level due to different life experiences. Therefore the way we perceive images are very different, unique to each individuals personal experiences. Sometimes the purpose of an image is also to convey a message to an audience, and the way this message is conveyed whether it is visual or verbal makes it a personal experience.

  9. In my opinion, an image is what we sense in reality and therefore what we thought and resembled in our mind about things or ideas. Thus, it is not necessarily an visual image but an image that related to all of our senses like feels from our skin and sounds. The image is a carrier of symbols that signifies certain meanings which can direct our mind to recreate the idea of such meanings in our mind. Everyone probably have different images of the same thing or idea because of people feels and thinks differently. Therefore, the image we try to interpret to others may different from what they actually recreated in their mind.
    The image is also the concept of things or ideas that links arbitrary symbols to meanings. For example, the word chair create the concept of chair when people see it or hear it; but without the common sense of such concept of chair, the word “chair” could means anything or nothing. That image of chair that we created when we feel things is the key that we understand and communicate.

  10. What is an image? An image is what enters you as you read the words that I am typing. It is that lover you drenched yourself in reminiscence with when discussing the poem “Touched By An Angel” of Maya Angelou.
    “And suddenly we see
    that love costs all we are
    and will ever be.
    Yet it is only love
    which sets us free.”
    It draws from our experiences and it reflects our perception. An image occurs to us through different senses, through emotions and personal connection – and transforms us.

  11. There is no specific definition of an image – there are various meanings behind them and they can be perceived in different ways. Images can both be physical representations and mental depictions of words and concepts. The mental interpretations are personally and culturally informed; the way we understand the images differ for each person and memories inform the way we comprehend what we see or experience. For example, the word “ROOM” triggers a mental image. Despite each person seeing the exact same word/sign, the individual imagines different things: “room” could signify a bedroom, classroom, bathroom, etc.. In that sense, image perception becomes a personal interpretation – one informed by our emotions, experiences, and beliefs.

  12. What is an Image?
    Based on the experience completing the first assignment, an image is the middle point between creator and perceiver. It is as much of a tool as it is a vessel in the process of communication.
    For me, the most effective way of understanding what an image is came with Octavio Paz’ “between what I see and what I say.” The passage allowed me to understand that there is always a gap between what is created and what is perceived. It is fascinating to think about the how essential ‘uncertainty’ is for the understanding of images. It seems that the forms of communication that have been created are far from being entirely deciphered. Still, they serve a ‘seemingly’ basic purpose in the exchange of ideas.
    From what we have seen and discussed, an image is a subjective and ephemeral entity. An image is a representation. An image is the result of conventions agreed upon by society. An image exists in many dimensions and can be perceived through all senses.

  13. Image is a flat 2D representation of an object. It’s a replica of an original idea or thought. The original object being reproduced as an image. Images are personal in the sense of viewers own perception and interpretation. It can spread a certain emotion and archive. To me, images are not only restricted to the visual, it could also be a sound in our head or when we listen to a soundtrack the visual creation appears in the mind. Images associate with the producer’s notions in perceiving the world. The way the producer produced the image (i.e. different angle, viewpoint, color tone, etc.) says a lot about the his/her experiences and the past. There are millions of images uploaded online everyday, most of them with a certain intention. Some images have deeper meaning behind them, but different viewers have different interpretation on the same image. There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes.

  14. The image is something that in one way which human body perceive the world. Just like other feeling, emotion, sound, taste. These things refers to the way how we see the object. But in the end, they all go to our brain, create some perception of the outside world. Image can also be a language that carries a lot information. together with the convention in human mind and you response it with the existed knowledge in your mind. However, Visual experience, sound, feeling can affect each other to give people a concept of what is something. Image exist in nowhere, you can’t find its shape and object. To some extent, is a metal experience, and everybody’s could be different. Image function from inside of us. For me, the love poetry gives us the information of the language, while language gives us the information of love, and love is a feeling that people have experienced in different ways and finally forms different images in our mind. Just like his comparison, he think is like a train, maybe someone else think is something else. I think some language is like image based, from the shape you can know it is a symbol of a tree. However, for English is a letter, not a symbol. So if someone doesn’t know English, He won’t know that means a tree. People know it is a tree is because they learn the language and they have seen the tree. However, science is people discover it, and name it and they found a rule which is relatively objective in this subjective world. Maybe what we see is not really we see.

  15. Broadly speaking, an image is the metal representations that formed on our brain cortical which response certain kind of stimuli, the stimuli is created from the exterior world, could be linguistic, visual or audio, within the dimension of our all sensation receptors, that stimulate our own experience about the information received. There are subtle differences between individuals’ experiences, different person manipulate these stimulation into different images, and the images then provoke a certain kind of meanings and feelings, that aim to resonate with the person’s own personal experiences. For me, images always carries some specific intentions, which I think may be traced back to ages a go when the function of images are ways of communication. Whatever the images are and regardless the form, images are created because of the desire of humankind, or any other species to express their emotion and translate information to communicate with each other, there have to be audience, whether the audience is the person self or other living things, thus the images are invented.

  16. From my perspectives, an image is a visual representation which transfers personal emotions, subjective experiences, particular memories and ideas to viewers. In addition, an image itself may not has power, instead, it’s us to give power to an image. For instance, we use them as a medium to communicate our intentions, stories and meanings behind to our audience. Therefore, image gains the power to enter into the viewers including us and further transforms our perspectives and understanding of the world around us. What’s more, the representation of an image and a word is different to me even though they are describing the same thing- the Tree. In my opinion, the word “Tree” is more like a stimuli than an image: it stimulates us in structuring and forming our own image about a tree in our minds based on our own experiences about a tree. As a result, an image helps open up more possibilities for us to sense the world.

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