Repetition and Variation

Noa Yaari, CRRS 4/30 (detail), 2019. Mixed media. 21 x 28 cm. Toronto

Every combination of words and images includes both repetition and variation. For example, when we use a letter, symbol, word, or phrase more than once, or when shapes and colours reappear. Some of the repetitions result from an echo between the words and the images, which may express different kinds – as well as degrees – of similarity.

In the image above, the letters C (c) and O (o) in “Commander,” and the circular shapes in the image of the ship, maintain similarity. They echo one another as if they have shared ancestors, culture, history, something beyond the division of “verbal” and “visual.”

What does this affinity between words and images or their elements do to our communication? What does it do to us? One possibility is to ask whether the letter O (o) could have more in common with a window of a ship than with the letter E (e), which may share the same word with O (o). Another possibility is to harness letters such as O (o) and windows of ships to increase cohesiveness in a hybrid environment such as verbal-visual communication. This approach to repetition would surely see the value in the variation.      

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