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About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 30 April 2023

Our daily access to reality is mainly based on visual media and visual representations. Websites, social media, and online platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or Twitter foreground communication as visual communication. Each search query, whether on Google or image banks, leads to a kaleidoscopic ...

Our daily access to reality is mainly based on visual media and visual representations. Websites, social media, and online platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or Twitter foreground communication as visual communication. Each search query, whether on Google or image banks, leads to a kaleidoscopic flood of visuals. Images and other forms of visual representation are part of the public sphere and, as such, they influence our lives. Images are not merely passive testimonies, but possess an active semantic power (intrinsic power) that turns them into visual agents or "quasi-living organisms" (Mitchell, 2005; Rose, 2016). They act to frame our perception of the world including gender, age, ethnicity, and social behavior. They act to confirm, reinforce, or dispel stereotypes. They act to constitute reality. The power of images is therefore tremendous.

This Research Topic addresses the power of images, whether still or moving, and other forms of visual representation with a strong focus on digital media. The aim is to investigate the power of images, how they create meaning in political, social, and cultural contexts, and what worlds are constituted by images.

We are looking for contributions that include, but are not limited to: image theory; the semiotics of images; the critical handling of images; the perception and reception of images; practices of image production, use, and recontextualization; and the image-text relationship.

We welcome interdisciplinary research that addresses the following questions:

- How powerful are images and other forms of visual representation in specific contexts (e.g. politics, journalism, advertising, public relations, health communication, geography, education, and social relationships)?
- How do images act, and where does their intrinsic power come from?
- How do images influence our decision-making?
- How do people (e.g. politicians, journalists, photographers, communication experts, influencers, young people, and artists) act with images?
- How can the interplay between image and text or image and other modes be explored?
- What do we know about visual framing in terms of theory, methods, and perception?
- What do we know about the work of images in the built environment, e.g. in urban spaces?

The call seeks to provide an overview of recent studies that examine the power of digital images from different research perspectives, preferably based on empirical or theoretical approaches.

Keywords: image theory, image use, perception, reception, recontextualization, image act, visual framing, image-text relations


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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