Visual, Pictorial, and Information Literacy

By Jakob Krebs

Literal literacy can be used as a vantage point for the reconstruction of intricate relations between three further kinds of literacy. Pictorial literacy can be contrasted with literal literacy at least in phenomenological and epistemological regards. This contrast helps to separate different modes of representation as issues of information literacy. Information literacy relies on a productive concurrence of different types of literacies, while visual literacy is neither restricted to the search for information nor to pictorial signs. After some preliminary remarks on different kinds of literacies in the first section, the second section discusses technologically and linguistically biased approaches to information literacy with regard to a proposal by the UNESCO. Section three will then explicate certain epistemic features of pictorial literacy in regard of informative pictures, which can show us how things are looking. The broader significance of visual literacy and its relation to multi-modal articulations and artefacts is then examined in section four.