2Public relations as visual meaning-making

Kirsten Kohrs

Introduction

The visual culture and media theorist JWT Mitchell (1994), who coined the term the ‘pictorial turn’ to describe the (re-)orientation of modern society towards the visual, highlights that many questions regarding how visual communication works remain unresolved:

The simplest way to put this is to say that, in what is often characterized as an age of “spectacle” (Guy Debord), “surveillance” (Foucault), and all-pervasive image-making, we still do not know exactly what pictures are, what their relation to language is, how they operate on observers and on the world, how their history is to be understood, and what is to be done with or about them

(Mitchell, 1994: 13)

30 years ...

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