Context is important when looking closely and thinking critically about visual texts in art and design practices because it gives us a starting point when we are analysing it. Context isn’t something that we should let constrain our imaginations “Writers and artist may stimulate your imagination, but they cannot control it.” (Rusczkiewicz, John J., Daniel Anderson, and Christy Friend [Reading Texts] 34) we shouldn’t let the context limit our imaginations. It is important to think critically and look closely about visual texts in art and design practices because it means that we get a deeper understanding of what the artist or designer are portraying. Although context is very important we don’t all see the same context when looking at a visual text “The contests we bring to texts personally aren’t a matter of right and wrong; they are crucially distinct ways of seeing” (Rusczkiewicz, John J., Daniel Anderson, and Christy Friend [Reading Texts] 34). Depending on the way that we view the context can change what we take away from that visual text. I think that without context visual texts especially in art and design practices, we wouldn’t know how to look at them or interoperate them.
Another factor that is important when we are looking closely and thinking critically at visual texts are the assumptions that we make. People can think of assumptions as being a bad thing but that doesn’t have to be the case, assumptions can give us a good starting point when it comes to thinking critically about a visual text. This is because from there we can start to engage with it and form our own opinions about it. An image is a powerful thing and can make us think that we know a place or something just because we have seen it, this is our brains making assumptions. “Most of us feel that we know how the Earth looks because of the Blue Marble.” (Mirzoeff, Nicholas [‘Introduction.’ How to See the World.] 4) This quote from Mirzoeff talking about the Blue Marble shows that even though most of us have never seen the Earth we all assume that we know what it looks like, when actually we only know what it looks in in pictures such as Blue Marble (Fig 1). Assumptions are important when we are looking closely and thinking critically about a visual text because it allows us to make connections that can be very important