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Iconoclasm: The loss of iconic image in art and visual communication

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Why is the urge to lose the iconic image relevant to reformation and modernism? A question so central in a society built more than ever on visual media dependency. Is that relevant to sceptical questioning of the essence of reality, and if the image is a reflection of reality in the era of new technology of image creating and manipulating? As iconoclasts began deliberately destroying images at the alter as a sign of reformation, modern art was no longer bound by truthful representations of iconic reality; from shift in colour as a medium to a scientific light reflection, to pushing colour boundaries in reality, to losing the object for the absolute representation of abstract and supermatist visual, to deliberate losing of intended visual representation to materials, then to the empty frame, and to the empty gallery … on goes the iconoclastic gesture of modern art.

Followed by a transitional shift from iconic representation all the way to resonance in visual communications, exploring with the possibilities of different referential functions of signs, and thru to minimalism and replacing visual by verbal referential codes.

This article studies actions and motives of deliberate loss of iconic image, examining the factors associated with the development and process, criss-crossing the boundaries of two image dependant yet very different domains; art and visual communication.
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Keywords: digital image; hyperreality; iconoclasm; image credibility; photography; photomontage; semiotic codes; visual communication

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: American University in Cairo

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • Technoetic Arts focuses upon the juncture between art, technology and the mind. Divisions between academic areas of study, once rigidly fixed, are gradually dissolving due to developments in science and cultural practice. This fusion has had a dramatic effect upon the scope of various disciplines. In particular, the profile of art has radically evolved in our present technological culture
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