CS2006 Curation [The Wired Child]


I selected this picture mainly because of memory, in the sense of cognitive theory. This resonated with me as it seemed like an exaggerated scene of what I had witnessed myself — of my baby cousin completely ignoring a puppy because she was too engrossed in playing pet society (which became the inspiration of the project’s theme). The visual cue of color here plays a significant role in drawing attention to the crux of the picture’s message, the girl’s headphones. Her bright pink headphones starkly contrast the brown-green hues of the rest of the picture. Applying the rule of thirds, it is also notable how the focuses of the picture (the girl, her headphones and the lion) are all in the center grid. The visual cue of depth with the girl interpositioned in front of the lion works together with the eye line of the lion to evoke pathos — depending on cognitive theory again and the viewer’s syntagmatic view, the lion could be preying on the girl or a sad moment of the girl not realising the majestic nature around her. This entire picture plays on metonymic codes to signify the ignorance of children when addicted to technology.


This picture caught my attention as it was successful in relying on memory and culture of cognitive theory — with one look, I am aware that the man’s facial expression is an emoticon. The man’s facial expression is both a paradigmatic and indexical sign of the emoticon. What is interesting is that these signs of the facial expression work together with the stereotype of an old (creepy) man to develop condensed codes to deliver the message. Separate the emoticon facial expression and the entire stereotype of an old man, and the picture would be very much less effective. This advertisement mainly plays on two persuasive appeals. Ethos — the logo ensures that this is credible source with the intention of warning, in line with the organization’s mission. Pathos — the text summarizes the entire point of the ad into a single question that haunts that the viewer, and the entirety of the ad has a shock-factor that provokes fear in viewers for their children’s online activities.

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