Multimodal Communication: Beef Wellington, Comics and Rubik’s Cubes

So, it turns out that every text is multimodal. The texts that I’ve chosen use different media; though what proved to be consistent, is their intent to convey meaning and perform.

This image is the thumbnail from Binging with Babish’s video, Room Service from Mad Men. The text is a video on Youtube, and thus inherently uses each of the outlined modes of communication. The text is a step by step instructional video, demonstrating how to recreate food from everyone’s favorite movies and TV. Unlike most recipes, it features the visual and aural modes, allowing the audience to be shown and not told, offering more engaging direction. The author is able to step past typical culinary jargon, by demonstrating exactly what he is saying. And further, the set of the video is spatially oriented to accommodate the camera angle – a deliberate choice in the performance. This also notes to the text’s usage of gestures. In that, the author moves and positions himself deliberately to cater to the perspective of the audience – through the camera – as seen in the thumbnail. 

The following text is a step by step instruction on how to solve a Rubik’s cube. The text uses the visual and linguistic modes. It’s organized in an efficient manner, allowing the audience to follow along with ease, and is visually thematic, in it’s color scheme. Regarding linguistic elements,the text’s use of language is concise and direct. This specificity is important, considering the text’s intention.

This last text is a comic from the series xkcd. Its tearable segments are meant to make the text look like a printed flyer, invoking spatial elements that fit the “flyer” genre. Its word choice invokes the same expectations within this genre. This is seen in the title section, as it reads, “Volunteers needed for a scientific study…”. 

Ultimately, my statement held to be true – these texts use different media, all with the intent to perform. And still, certain modes prove to be more effective in different contexts.

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