Identity Through Emoticons: A collection of emoticons showing the range of virtual expression

The Aided Eye: A look at how technology has affected visual culture by aiding the human eye

Logo Culture: Logos that have pervaded our visual culture

World War II Poster Identities: Poster advertisements giving a glimpse of WWII visual culture

Video Game Culture: Video games and their vivid presence in today's visual culture

Welcome to the Visual Culture Collective, an online gallery displaying images of our visual culture, enabling discussion through tagboards in the galleries as well as the Visual Culture Collective Blog. Our mission is to display visual culture images to facilitate an exploration into the meaning of culture as well as the construction of culture. We focus on the construction of identity through visual imagery that surrounds us in our everyday world.  Check out the galleries and let us know what you think on our blog! The Visual Culture Collective is always looking for input and new members - e-mail us if you have ideas for this site or if you wish to be added as a member of the blog.

What is visual culture?

Visual culture has many definitions and is still being defined and explored by art educators.  The concept began in cultural studies as an examination of imagery produced by a culture in terms of its use and construction or reinforcement of that culture in a visual form. According to Nicholas Mirzoeff, the significance of visual culture as a method of inquiry into a particular culture is that it examines the consumer rather than the producer of the imagery/artifacts of that given culture. Mirzoeff states that visual culture examines the aesthetic view of the world rather than the images themselves.  According to Mirzoeff, seeing is interpreting as opposed to believing. In other words, culture is understood in relation to those from that culture through an interpretation of signs.


Why visual culture?

Our galleries represent various levels of imagery from the everyday world that visually surround us. These images are used to define ourselves as well as our culture. The world we create around us through imagery represents how we perceive the world as well as how we construct the world. Visual culture involves interpretations and examinations of culture as well as providing multiple viewpoints of that culture.  It is beneficial to examine these images in terms of visual culture, examining the layers of cultural issues involved in the creation of these images and use of these images in the creation of a national identity and culture.   


For further information/exploration of visual culture check out:

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. (1999). An introduction to Visual Culture. London: Routledge.

Introduction to Visual Culture by Georgetown University 

Visual Culture on Wikipedia 

Journal of Visual Culture