writer - joseph squier

w r i t e r

My writing coheres around a core set of issues and values.

Pictures matter. Images are the vessels that carry our ideas and assumptions about life and meaning. Some have argued that, in our image-saturated world, we don’t need more pictures. I don’t necessary subscribe to that notion, but I do believe that frequently our consumption of images is uncritical and unreflective.

Creativity is the sea in which artists and designers swim. The ability to harness the power of imagination allows us to make meaning, solve problems, and create value. The skills that artists possess has value in every domain of human endeavor, and these skills can be taught to a diverse range of students.

Literacy has come off the page. The communication and rhetorical forms of the contemporary world are increasingly visual, hybrid, and performative – they function well beyond the technologies of ink and paper. Today’s students – the next generation of leaders – need to develop sophisticated communication skills across multiple modes. Fine artists are perfectly positioned to share and teach a type of visual and performative literacy that will empower students as citizens in an Increasingly complex and global society..

I hope that my voice helps readers to understand the bottomless depth of pictures and to see more clearly into those depths; to be more demanding of the pictures they encounter and to ask questions that are probing and urgent. I want to make the creative process more accessible to diverse audiences, to promote a more general understanding and respect for visual culture, and to celebrate the value of the arts and artists as increasingly essential to every facet of the modern world.


Light Sensitive | 2016
My latest fully realized writing project (I have other projects in progress). A website that features some of the most interesting photographic work from around the world that is being circulated on social networks. It promotes artists whose work engages ideas that matter, and provides thoughtful – but also accessible – analysis in this social space.

‘Beautiful Uncertainty: The Art of Making and Breaking’ | 2016
An essay on teaching and its connection to my own personal history. Published in Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching, Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2016. Editor: Liora Bressler.

 ‘Art and Innovation: Claiming a New and Larger Role in the Modern Academy‘ | 2011
An essay on the rising value of creativity and visual literacy for university students across all disciplines, with a description of Writing with Video, a composition and rhetoric course that successfully accomplishes this. Published in Disciplining the Arts, 2011. Editor: Gary Beckman.

‘Ubiquitous Learning: Writing with Video‘ | 2009
An essay detailing the conception and development of Writing with Video, a course that explored video as a contemporary rhetorical form, expanded the definition of composition and literacy beyond the technologies of ink and paper, and taught video production skills to a diverse population of university students. Co-authored with Maria Lovett. Published in Ubiquitous Learning, 2009. Editors: Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis.

‘What Happens When Composition Comes Off the Page?‘ | 2008
Exploration of contemporary composition and rhetoric. Included in RAW (Reading and Writing) New Media, 2010.

‘Signs, Symbols, and Subjectivity: An Alternative View of the Visual‘ | 2005
A response to Gunther Kress’ theories and writings on visual rhetoric.

'Tender Technology: Literary Machines in the Digital Age', Spines That Bind, exhibition catalog essay, Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock, Texas, 2003.

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