the third effect

one of my flickr friends sent me a link to the 3rd effect website, seeing my fascination with juxtaposing photographs. i must admit it's become a little bit of an obsession. i wasn't thinking about the third effect in those terms before, but it is precisely the desire that the effect between two photographs be brought to some kind of invisible palpability that obsesses me.

this is how the third effect site describes the phenomenon:
The 'third effect' is what happens when any two photographs are juxtaposed - without captions, titles or any other textual clues.

We read meaning into each photograph individually. But we also read a third meaning into the fact that they have been juxtaposed. This third meaning is highly subjective, shifting and enigmatic. It is an extension of what Barthes termed the "obtuse" meaning in all photographs.

The bigger the 'gap' between the photographs [subject matter, source, genre, time etc] the greater the third effect.

this excerpt from here explains more about barthes' third level of
meaning that is perceived between two juxtaposed images:

"This next meaning, however,
cannot be coded. Its home is in feeling rather than language. It is not present in nor is it
concerned with the diegesis, but it lurks below, it punctures through, it hovers above the
signified of the obvious. It is what he calls the obtuse. It is striking and balanced at once.
It punctures and envelopes. It is a sense of whole that comes from what is both
disturbing and harmonious from the image."

so these are my third effects for this week. the first is "the art of memory, part 2," the second "the art of listening," and the third "charmed circle." all were inspired by creature comforts' friday flickr fix challenge to compose diptychs on the theme of the body.

see my flickr photostream to find the original photographers...


Bob said...

Hi Julie

Glad you found the site interesting enough to post a blog. Love your images. Happy juxtaposing...

Bob Jardine

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