Danbury, CT

Danbury, CT

The Photograph

A Wintry Bench in Connecticut


My photo
Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris

To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

16 February, 2017

Brian Eno's Ambient Music and Iconic Realism (Click here to view and hear video of Eno's Earth, An Ending)

From my book: 
Some musical composers apply electronically produced music with natural sounds from the environment to provide the audience with a real association, such as wildlife, bodies of water, seasonal sound sources, and weather phenomena. This particular form of musical presentation, known as ambient music, for its affect on the ambience of one’s surroundings, is often recorded for health facilities.
An example of such musical composition is the healing music of composer, Brian Eno, and his 1978 release, Ambient I: Music for Airports. In the liner of this album, Eno writes, “My intention is to produce original pieces ostensibly (but not exclusively) for particular times and situations with a view to building up a small but versatile catalogue of environmental music suited to a wide variety of moods and atmospheres.” [1] This form of incorporating musical sounds with nature provides the added aesthetic of stimulating the senses with a portion of reality to which the audience relates through memory, transporting an individual to an aspect of memory, aligning the audience with the composer’s perception of reality.
        In his musical composition, Earth, An Ending, he provides the audience with a reality that heightens awareness of the possibility of positive cultural change either within an individual or within Earth’s community as a whole.
[1] Eno, Brian. Music for Airports/Ambient 1. Liner notes. PVC 7908 (AMB 001), 1978. 

01 February, 2017

Longfellow's "Evangeline" and Iconic Realism (Click onto this title to hear the song, Evangeline, sung by Annie Blanchard en français)

Photo from Google Images

My favorite narrative poem, Evangeline, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, beautifully illustrates the theory of iconic realism. Longfellow writes of an iconic love between two Acadian villagers, separated by imperialistic orders of the British military.

As the two lovers set off on their lifelong quest, alone yet jointly searching through the American wilderness with hope of an eventual reunion, the audience becomes aware of diminishing cultures across this vast continent as one community gains control over another with little regard for cultural tolerance. In the final stanza of this epic poem, Longfellow illustrates that a culture, like love, may go through changes, but with God's gift of human perseverance, both a culture and love will prevail:

Still stands the forest primeval; but far away from its shadow, 
Side by side, in their nameless graves, the lovers are sleeping. 
Under the humble walls of the little Catholic churchyard, 
In the heart of the city, they lie, unknown and unnoticed; 
Daily the tides of life go ebbing and flowing beside them, 
Thousands of throbbing hearts, where theirs are at rest and forever, 
Thousands of aching brains, where theirs no longer are busy, 
Thousands of toiling hands, where theirs have ceased from their labors, 
Thousands of weary feet, where theirs have completed their journey! 
Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its branches 
Dwells another race, with other customs and language. 
Only along the shore of the mournful and misty Atlantic 
Linger a few Acadian peasants, whose fathers from exile 
Wandered back to their native land to die in its bosom; 
In the fisherman's cot the wheel and the loom are still busy; 
Maidens still wear their Norman caps and their kirtles of homespun, 
And by the evening fire repeat Evangeline's story, 
While from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced, neighboring ocean 
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

(Longfellow, Evangeline, Part II, Canto V)

22 January, 2017

The Tiny Hand of Samuel Armas

Photo from Google Images

In 1999, Michael Clancy captured on film the little hand of Samuel Armas, held here by Vanderbilt University Hospital surgeon, Dr. Joseph Bruner. The iconic element here is the hand of the human fetus, for it represents life, innocence, complete vulnerability.

This is an excellent example of iconic realism in photography, for one usually would not think that the connection between a 21 week old human in the womb and a surgeon could physically take place in this manner. 

One cultural dilemma that this photograph reveals is that even though there exist limitations and possibilities of medical science,  the beauty in the touch of a human hand is a divine statement that life is precious and can be meaningful... from the womb... before birth!

04 January, 2017

"Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and Iconic Realism

The significant "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is another illustration of iconic realism. From behind bars, King wrote this eloquent epistle, begun in the margins of discarded newspapers, then from a borrowed legal notepad. In this piece, he elaborately describes his educated and passionate belief in freedom of speech. Written in April, 1963, he had no access to a computer, nor spellcheck, yet his hand-written expression is clear, coherent, concise, and cohesive, utilizing classical rhetoric to elucidate for his audience the possibilities that could evolve from cultural reform.
To view an excellent rhetorical analysis of this letter, click onto the link below:
Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

11 December, 2016

Frank Capra's 'It's a Wonderful Life' and Iconic Realism (Click this title to view bar scene from the film.)

Photo from Google Images: bar scene from film, It's a Wonderful Life

The 1946 film, It's a Wonderful Life, produced and directed by Frank Capra, illustrates iconic realism through the character of Clarence the angel. Here, an icon of virtue takes the good-hearted man, George Bailey, by the hand to show him the positive impact he has made on the consciousness of his hometown. 
This juxtaposition of the wealth in righteousness versus the poverty of the inane demonstrates how one individual's benevolent acts can positively affect the lives and ultimately the culture of a community.