Clueless Context

Clueless Context

http://www.tmz.com/2013/10/24/lindsay-lohan-wine-bottle-photo-denies-drinking-alcohol/

In Monday’s class we discussed the concepts of decontextualization and recontextualization. Recontextualization occurs when a text is extracted from its original purpose and put in a different angle to give it another meaning or significance. However, in the age of new media, a ‘text’ can be anything from actual text to a voice clip, really anything that can be replaced or altered to manipulated to have new and unintended meaning, Photos are a popular text that is often taken out of context to have a completely unintended meaning, A photo might be taken of a pair of friends and once it has a hint of romanticism suddenly the two are dating one another and are a new couple. Likewise, in my example I fund an example of a photo being manipulated to evoke a different meaning in the consumer’s mind. A photo was recently taken of Lindsay Lohan at a friend’s house reaching for an object on the counter. Photographers captured her leaning over the counter with an outstretched arm looking to grasp something. However, a half empty wine bottle was also on the counter and tall enough to make it in the picture whereas her bag and cell phone were not. Immediately reports swirled on the internet that she had been drinking again without actual photos of her hand on the bottle or drinking at all. In this case, her career and professional life may be damaged. If she really is reaching for her belongings there will be people who read the article about her falling off the wagon and not believe she will follow through on her professional commitments. I think this is a severe case of recontextualization because it may hinder someone’s ability and opportunities to get a job. In this case a photo of someone picking up a phone and a bag and being recontextualized to create a new story in which she is looking for alcohol. This fits into the category of recontextualization because a photo (text) is being intentionally misconstrued to look like a different story, thus giving the old text a new meaning. This can be harmful because photo of video that is even slightly suggestive may be edited or manipulated and turned into a different text with a different meaning that isn’t necessarily true. This may be detrimental for careers in the public or even admissions to a college or potential job. What then stops others from acting as TMZ editors and creating untrue parodies of our lives?

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