Semiotics as visual codes

Monday, February 1st, 2016


“a tool for analysis, a communication by means of SIGNS.”

SIGN -words, images, sounds, flavors, acts or objects,…)

                               A: Connotation as myth about cultural values and meanings

                                 B:Denotation as referent in reality

  • Signifier—-a concept(codified)
  • Siginified—-a form(interpretive)


Dog (description word of dog) —-Signifier

18360-doge-doge-simple.jpg(picture of a dog)—-Signified





*meme: internet based



communication with signs based on shared meanings and understandings, which I think all the memes are really a popular sign for people nowadays to convey their status or thoughts based on the shared understanding of the memes and updated culture on internet..

The installation is thus composed of an object(a manufactured chair), an image(photograph of the chair), and words(copy of a dictionary entry for the word “chair”). Which representation of the chair is most “accurate”?  Kosuth wanted us to think about this open-ended question when he said that “art is making meaning.” By assembling these three alternative representations, Kosuth turns a simple wooden chair into an object of debate and even consternation, a platform for exploring new meanings.

One and Three Chairs

Joseph Kosuth
(American, born 1945)

Flatcap, different value behind the character of money,


Ideology—-a sets of shared believes and values.

language, clothes, shapes, colors … all convey taste, emotions, ideal self-image, and values of their society


images and other signs draw on meanings that are already existing and in circulation(normal values)

they are not just reflecting them but also producing these values)

people on instagram show their identity to make other people chasing of their life for unreasonable standard/

 What meanings are attached to visual codes of gender?

I saw this work in Tate Modern, which talks about how the


What did you notice first? Why did it grab your attention? What did it make you think of? Do you notice anything else after looking at it for a while?

Once you’ve done that, you can often identify cultural codes by using substitution: what would happen if the image used a model that was the opposite sex? A different race or age? What if the background were different? Answering questions like these helps develop an understanding of the key signifying elements of the ad and the ways that they relate. 


Cohesion in writing: an image analysis

1.Use key words and concepts to show how semiotic analysis bring to light cultural values in an image.

2.What meanings are attached to visual codes of gender?

3.What is problematic about the commonplace assumption that images ‘reflect’ values?


How does this image function as a sign?

• How does it convey meanings?

• What values are being produced and circulated in the show itself in relation to food , eating and cooking?
In TV show

Diners Drive Ins And Dives

,the man drive to everywhere and not only see how small restaurant make foods but also make food width them together and eat the foods like a hungry wolf. The speed of the show goes quite quick, so The food was been eaten quite rudely somehow I think. The food show is quite like a talk show TV series because he interact with the cooks and foods, also made lots of jokes, saying loudly and trying to be funny. I feel like everywhere he goes are American fast food,m. They were all been made a lot once. So he is an classic American man who likes various kind of delicious fast food, which suit for audience just like him. But the atmosphere is quite cheap, easy and happy in some degree, So the values are about cooking at your pleasure (not so restrict, but be more straight and easy), eating at your pleasure(enjoy the food in front of you,

The taste of foods are not delicate, but they are delicious)

The cinematography of the TV show is quite different, the tone of the image we see, the voice of holder , the background music/sound, and the talking lyrics in the show all convey different meanings.

I watched three of them to compare the different so the characteristic of each one will be more obvious.

And I think since the camera moved quite straight lay into the character and the food by zoom in or move directly towards the object.

And the image are all original shooting quality, the tone was never been changed and also there are no lighting in the show because all they want is imperfect, original scene in real life. Also the hilarious music in the background also make the show like a comedy.
Also they choose a man to do it also have reason. Because he was just like a classic rough MAN like personality(not pay too much attention to details), some people regard this kind of man to be true man. (大口喝酒大口吃肉). But it cannot be a woman to do it or she will be regard as not attractive enough because she eat too roughly, and she just cannot eat so roughly like a man to create a right feeling for the audience no matter man or woman, because woman should be like more delicate than man.

The women in the TV show hold the kitchen by herself, so she just keep talking to the audience to audience outside of the TV. She is like an character just exist in there near me and you. The camera move so much that we cannot exactly see each step so clearly but an moving figures. In the home food making process in her kitchen

An A to Z of Theory Roland Barthes and Semiotics



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