"Part I: Theory"
In the first chapter of Part I, "Spatiotemporal Matters," Laurie Gries explains how scholars should approach thinking about research—intuitively, flowingly, ecologically—and she provides a lens through which scholars should think about images, which is deeply rooted in W.J.T. Mitchell’s theories about images (2004) and Lev Manovich’s (2001) ideas about virtual and actual space, along with notions of time and becoming (Gries, 2015, p. 37). Perhaps one of the central takeaways of this chapter, as it applies most directly to the Obama Hope image, concerns Gries’ subsection on “single multiple images” (pp. 39–42). A single multiple image can be defined as a single image that becomes a multiplicity of various iterations of the same image through remix and parody, as shown in the example below. This explains how the Obama Hope image began as Mannie Garcia's photograph of Obama and transformed into the Obama Hope image and then seemingly infinite parodies.
The second chapter of Part I, "Agential Matters," begins with attention to Marilyn Cooper’s (1986) idea of “ecology,” which Gries argues has allowed rhetoric and composition scholars to reconsider the rhetorical situation and its constituents (pp. 56–57). Thinking of images in terms of ecologies, Gries asserts, provides a more holistic and agency-centered space in which to analyze images. Throughout the chapter, Gries critiques the study of visual rhetoric, arguing that it inadequately attends to ecological thought—a concern that is difficult to dispute. To Gries, visual rhetoric from an ecological perspective takes into consideration the image’s networked relationships, especially as it pertains to "collective life" (p. 61). Gries' main takeaways from this chapter (which she further illustrates nicely in her case studies) attend to agency and actants (p. 57; p. 68), collective life and assemblages (pp. 61–63), and rhetorical transformation (pp. 63–64).