Figures: The social in the visual - A context centred graphical news magazine

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




Medley, S., & Kaye, N. (2008). Figures: the social in the visual–a context centred graphical news magazine. In Proceedings of Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools Conference: Sites of activity /On the edge. Adelaide: UniSA Press.


Our proposal seeks to bridge the gap between art and design through a collaboration between colleagues in visual arts and graphic design. This comprises research from cognitive and sociological backgrounds. Specifically, we are involved in constructing an on-line/off-line magazine built entirely from information graphics. Our research examines the potential for visuality to reconfigure news information. We are exploring if this approach has the potential to generate its own particular aesthetic range to bridge art and design. Our common research interests lie in exploring what Jeffery P. Jones has termed alternative media through spaces of interpretation and communication away from mainstream notions of news, information and public space. It is our contention that the scope for art and design as tools for non-profit information dissemination has had scant exploration. While we adopt Hans Rosling’s call to liberate the public data held in user-unfriendly formats, our approach is new in exploring the possibilities of a context-centred graphical news magazine in examining what constitutes ‘liberation of data’. The key idea is to visualise data as a communicative tool through which to expose inequalities as a function of globalisation. We propose that globalised contexts demand alternative communicative spaces to mainstream media that allow diversity, plurality, intersubjectivity and new forms of interrogation.