The five papers we publish in this section of Opus et Educatio emerged from the 7th Budapest Visual Learning Conference, directed by Professor András Benedek, held on Nov. 11–12, 2016, at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. In the framework of the conference, altogether 34 talks were presented. Fourteen of them have been chosen for publication in the seventh volume of the VISUAL LEARNING series, volume title: Virtual reality – real visuality: Virtual, Visual, Veridical, edited by András Benedek and Ágnes Veszelszki, to appear later this year.1 Another five of the talks given last November have been selected to form the cluster of papers published in the present section.

The first of these papers, “Visual Argumentation in Commercials: the Tulip Test”, by Hédi Virág Csordás and Gábor Forrai, claims that, contrary to what until recently was definitely the mainstream view, it is indeed possible to construct arguments on a pictorial level. Csordás and Forrai show that such arguments display significant parallels to verbal arguments. Their case study is a commercial advertisement. Advertisements are one of the topics in the paper by Vladimir Dimovski and Irma Puškarević, “Creative Approach to Visual Learning: The Use of Filmmaking Techniques and the Rhetoric of Typography”. How can advertisements exploit some prominent semantic properties of specific typefaces? Another topic the paper discusses is the way in which the moving image – animation, video, film – can enhance learning in the field of art history. The moving image is the enframing theme of Matthew Crippen’s paper “Politics and Visual Rhetoric in Film: The Apologetics of Pleasantville”. As Crippen puts it, analyzing the 1998 film Pleasantville, “Moving images – whether in film, television or videogames – are primary modes through which most in industrialized regions encounter the world. In this sense, they are virtually reality for many.” An intriguing, sometimes perhaps frustrating, phenomenon of the virtual reality surrounding us is the genre of digital memes, analyzed in the paper of Laura Ambrus from the perspective of cognitive linguistics. Digital memes are “a combination of pictorial and textual elements, created and shared online”. Ambrus elaborates a new theory of memes – memes traveling via the internet – which she contrasts with the traditional theory by Dawkins and by Susan Blackmore, who argued that “a meme is what travels from brain to brain”. The final paper in the present Opus et Educatio section, “The Veracity of Adolescents’ Drawings”, by Judit Hortoványi, is a study of the way emotions can can be communicated, not from brain to brain, but from mind to mind, through pictures drawn in a specifically designed framework of symbolic images. As Hortoványi shows, visual communication can often achieve what verbal communication cannot. And this indeed sums up the central message of our Visual Learning conference series. Education in visual thinking, visual creativity, and visual literacy, is the paramount new task pedagogy today faces.   

[1] Let us here list the previous volumes: András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri (eds.), Images in Language: Metaphors and Metamorphoses (series VISUAL LEARNING, vol. 1), Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang, 2011; András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri (eds.), The Iconic Turn in Education (series VISUAL LEARNING, vol. 2), Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang, 2012; András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri (eds.), How to Do Things with Pictures (series VISUAL LEARNING, vol. 3), Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang, 2013; András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri (eds.), The Power of the Image: Emotion, Expression, Explanation (series VISUAL LEARNING, vol. 4), Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang Edition, 2014; András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri (eds.), Beyond Words: Pictures, Parables, Paradoxes (series VISUAL LEARNING, vol. 5), Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang Edition, 2015; András Benedek and Ágnes Veszelszki (eds.), In the Beginning was the Image: The Omnipresence of Pictures: Time, Truth, Tradition (series VISUAL LEARNING, vol. 6), Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang Edition, 2016.


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