Thursday, July 20, 2006
abus padlock on blue
Well I've just got into photographing padlocks after looking at someone else's collection on Flickr. That's made me look at padlocks in new ways - their material variety, their trademarks, product details, signs of use and so on - and of course their function and symbolism. At the same time I've been thinking about Kress's idea of motivated sign-making, re-making and transformation. But somehow that doesn't quite tell me enough about this padlock thing. It's more of a visual meme, a contagious image. But all it does at this stage is to remain a dumb image, a copy or perhaps to be more generous it communicates an interest, possibly a shared interest, an empathy or acknowledgement. On the other hand, photographing wall textures for the virtual world is more overtly purposeful. It means in a different way. Are these sorts of images easier to explain as motivated signs? And does this reflect the detail (or the context) of social participation? Or, do I completely misunderstand the concept of a motivated sign?