I’ve found the, “this is not a pipe, this is a representation of a pipe,” image rather amusing and witty since I read about Hazel Grace consistently wore the shirt printed with said pipe to enhance her already sarcastic and humorous personality – so this topic definitely caught my attention. Of course, I find the ‘complex’ sign context interesting, as I remembered exactly where and when I had seen the quote before. Throughout life, we as a society see millions of signs on a day to day basis – whether we notice or its subconscious, these signs and their meanings which we’ve all somehow picked a meaning for, are constantly around. As I sit here at the hairdressers now, I am familiar with two signs.
One is a green sign with a fluorescent white man running which is ideally perceived as an exit sign. Most people know this, or so you would want to hope in case of an emergency. The other sign is a “caution, wet floor.” If one didn’t speak fluent English and couldn’t read the text, the puddle of assumed ‘water’ displayed in the image is the only real universal recognition of what is trying to be communicated. If it wasn’t for the fact that the sign was one the floor and not the roof – it could mean anything. So where do we perceive our ideas about what signs mean if they are supposed to be universal through all languages?
This leads me to discuss the one thing that literally ‘broke the internet,’ (sorry Kim Kardashian, not today.) Reading this, you probably have some idea about what I’m about to say. The dress. Put simply, it’s the only way to describe it due to the fact that nobody can really say, ‘the blue and black dress,’ or the ‘white and gold dress.’ This is because everyone who has come across this image of a dress has different opinions and ideologies about what they actually see. This is well and truly why it has become such a popular topic – nobody can really justify their point of view about what they see. With that being said, if you haven’t seen either of the two colours on the mentioned dress, have you been living under a rock?
Never heard of the word, ‘semiotics?’ Neither had I, until I realised the meaning is generally, how do you see things? Why could this be different to how other people see the same image? Back to my point about the ‘dress’, The controversial topic was that everyone saw the dress differently, leading each individual to interpret the complex image in a different way, ie; “Do I need to get my eyes tested?” Individual context regarding this dress has varied greatly regarding the debate and many have taken to arguing their point vastly, eager to prove that their individual context and ideology is the correct one. Though, does it really matter? It’s only a dress. The point is, many people see one image a different way.