Prof Kay O’Halloran, Curtin University, Australia
„Words and Images of Contradition:
The Art of Being a Space Invader“
Wednesday, 16 May 2018, 12.15-1.45 pm
The proliferation of media channels enables individuals and political sub-communities to manage and control the creation and dissemination of information, including advertisements that are personalized according to user profiles and false news stories which have been found to spread faster and more widely than true news stories in platforms such as Twitter. In this presentation, I consider the semiotic mechanisms through which contradiction flourishes in these media channels.
I first analyse Donald Trump’s domination of media coverage during the US presidential campaign. In presenting himself and his agenda, he made himself the focus of attention through strategies that invaded various semiotic spaces of others. The effects of this were that what he did and what he said captured the majority of media attention at the expense of his opponents which, aided by other campaign strategies, enabled him to win the election.
Following this, I present a multimodal approach to big data analytics aimed at tracking patterns of recontextualization across media. The approach is illustrated with examples from online extremist communications. The aim of the discussion is to highlight key questions of how meanings arising from the integration of language, images and videos can undercut or repoint fragments of discourses to promote more loaded, extremist and often contradictory formulations.