In a society networked by digital information, we transmit gendered roles, responsibilities and expectations through a system of signs. In what way does the aesthetic language of online media encode our cognition of and affect towards gender? To what extent does our biological inheritance influence the socio-cultural expression of gender-typed behaviors and their imaging? And how does visual literacy empower an active deployment and valuation of a gender’s morphology, activity, grouping and ritual? Crafting a multimodal visual essay (screenshots and textual inquiry) on the computer desktop that is my canvas, I employ biology as a point of departure rather than a reductive destination. Analyzing specific case studies from news media, advertising and art history to illuminate universals, within a monitor’s picture plane and PowerPoint iconography I probe the ways in which our body schema informs image composition, our homeostatic regulation qualifies image interpretation, and our organismic imperatives shape image function. As we exchange ‘link’ and ‘like’ in an imagocentric knowledge economy, and digital technologies perform as communal points of contact, I demonstrate how images document and reciprocally construct the gendered self, exhibiting the paths by which media rhetoracy may advance a critical understanding of such formative acts of communication. [works cited and continued essay coming soon]



The Gendering Image, visual essay, digital, 13 1/4 x 70 1/2 inches, 2014.

Move your mouse cursor over image to magnify.


The Gendering Image, Panel 1, visual essay, digital, 13 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches, 2014.



The Gendering Image, Panel 2, visual essay, digital, 13 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches, 2014.



The Gendering Image, Panel 3, visual essay, digital, 13 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches, 2014.


Artworks © 2014 Devon Schiller. All rights reserved.

One thought on “The Gendering Image

  1. The interactive format of your website looks great! I found the directness and immediacy of In a Word quite stunning and stylistically different from your other visual essays. The artist inquiry for The Gendering Image comprises very dense and erudite language in examining the public and historical portrayal of gender identity. Additionally, in the visual essay The Gendering Image, your awareness of and sensitivity towards social issues and their related ethical concerns are revealed with beauty and with graphic and associative clarity. There’s a rhythm with the color and to the organization of the images in The Gendering Image, as in WE, where you further demonstrate an interplay of perspectival and illusionistic space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *