Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Monday, 21 March 2011

Task 6 - Theory Into Practice

Look at the CTS blog that Garry Barker has been writing to complement the lecture programme this year. Write a short response to one of the posts on the blog. Use the ideas that Garry is discussing to mount a short critical evaluation of one piece of Graphic design that you have produced on Level 5.

Looking at this piece http://graphicdesigncontextualstudies.blogspot.com/2011/01/illustration-on-doorstep.html
and applying it to one of my books made for "Book Works" on level 5:

One thing I picked up on in Gary's post is " One other issue that is of continuing interest is the integration of contemporary technologies with older formats" as what I chose to do for my books was illustrate a number of characters and people using just their clothes to symbolise them and make them recognisable. The old format / technology was me deciding to hand draw each character initially and then integrate the contemporary use of the computer to aid the digitsing and adding colour to the images. This is how I prefer to work and more often than not I prefer the outcome of the work and feel I have a style coming on. I feel the drawings retain a sense of humanity - that someone hand rendered them - it's so simple to just use contemporary technology to create artwork but there is something quite lovely to me about hand drawn art. 
I also chose to keep the format simple and small so it appeared more like a 'zine' and integrate illustration with the use of type to enhance the image and give it purpose. 
This book actually sold so maybe it will one day feature in an exhibition (highly unlikely) but you never know. It's quite exciting to perhaps have my books profiled at an event. 

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Task 5 - Sustainability & Capitalism

Read the text- Balser, E (2008) 'Capital Accumulation, Sustainability & Hamilton Ontario'. We have copies in the CTS office, 115.

Write a 500 word critical summary of the text which explicitly adresses the following questions

  1. How is sustainability defined in the text?
  2. What are the main characteristics or tendencies of Capitalism
  3. Define a 'crisis of Capitalism'. Offer an example.
  4. What solutions have been offered to the sustainability question? Are these successful or realistic? - If not why are they flawed?
  5. Is the concept of sustainability compatible with Capitalism?

Task 4 - Communication Theory

Use Shannon & Weaver's model of the communication process to write a 300-400 word analysis of a work of Graphic Design. Comment on the ways in which the piece of Graphic Design attempts to communicate to a specific audience, using techniques of redundancy, entropy or noise. 

Laswell's maxim - "Who says what in what channel to whom with what effect?"

The piece of design I want to talk about us the coca cola advert in the centre on the tower in Times Square - a highly busy place to advertise in terms of noise. The channel in which it sits on the centre of the tower is a strong focal point in Times Square so it has prime location amongst the noise.
Coca Cola in my opinion uses high levels of redundancy in their advertisements - they are all very predictable in what they present in terms of colour (red and white), content (logo and bottle image). However it seems to be an effective method for them - everyone knows straight away when they look at the advert who it is and what is being sold. But then that is why the message is redundant - as we are bombarded by Coke adverts constantly, we take less notice and the message does't go in as much - however they have such a strong foundation and global awareness maybe the pieces just need a great level of redundancy - it is a deliberate tactic for combating noise and especially in such a heavily advertised place such as Times Square it seems to stand out amongst the rest of the adverts and the noise surrounding it. 
There doesn't seem to be a need for entropic methods in Coke's advertising as we all know it is a huge brand and doesn't need any extra gimmicks in their designs as the product and name should just sell the product to the customer. 
Viewers see the adverts and because it is so redundant in the message transmitted it has built an automatic response in people who often choose Coke as a brand probably because we are so bombarded with drinks messages that the Coke adverts combat the noise produced by the other adverts and is more well known.  They don't need to decode any messages as the imagery is straight forward.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Task 3 - Essay Proposal

"Video Gaming and it's effects on young children - is it having an effect on the reshaping of modern day society?"

  • Start with an introduction as to the meaning of gaming and it's social effects of the media on children. 
  • Argue that games such as Call of Duty and such like are desensitising children and also bringing about the possibility of increasing violent behaviours in society. 
  • Begin to look at suture and narcissistic identity
    References -  Practices of Looking: an Introduction to Visual
    Culture. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
    Visualizing Theory: Selected Essays from V.A.R. 1990-1994. New
    York, Routledge, pp.363-384.
  • Then argue that cyberculture is reshaping cultural form and behaviour.
    References - Baudrillard, J. (1976) Simulacra and Simulations: the Body in Theory. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan
    The Cybercultures Reader, London, Routledge. (306.24)
    Gibson, W (1984)
    Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man. London, Routledge. (302.23)
    Scott, R. (1982)
  • Conclusion

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Lecture 5 - Hyperreality - Jean Baudrillard

Coke - cognitive illusion - "we taste the branding". We care more about the logo than the product.

Baudrillard (1929 - 2007).
French philosopher, critic, social and cultural theorist, (Pioneering theorist) Post structuralism.

Other included - Bathes, Focault, Cixous, Deleuze, Dirrida.

Structuralism theroists:
Levi Strauss, Bathes, Lacan, Kristera, Leroi-Gourhan, Althusser.

Debord - Marxist theorist. Revised Marx's main concepts to analyse commodity relations in the age of consumer culture. Commodity society had become immense accumulation of spectacles - looking at images and making sense.

Marx - pioneering philosopher and political economic theorist
Developed the critique of political economy.
Capitalist society in the industrial age functions on the basis of the 'labor theory of value' and exchange of commodities.
Capitalism constitutes one kind of mode of production and that it would eventually be replaced by another society - socialist / communist etc.

"All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profound".
Money is an abstraction of value.

Saussure - Linguist and pioneer of semiotics - language functions also on the basis of a theory of value - "linguist value" rather than labour value and basis of exchange (signs) exchange words, signs, images, gives the value of an object. 

Mauss - anthropologist - renowned for the analysis of the economy of the gift.
Explored the idea that gifts are only given as part of an exchange and that the gift always has to be reciprocated in come form.

Bataille - philosopher, novelist. Renowned for his writings on transgression, death and general economy (gift economies, economies based on expenditure without return. E.g. the Potlash.

McLuhan - media theorist who developed the distinction between "hot" and "cool" medias and who argued.

Baudrillard - key works:
Simulacra and Simulation (1981) elaborated hos theory of simulacra - copies of the thing they are intending to represent or stand in for - or - copies of copies. Controversial concept.
Explicitly name checked in the Matrix - ironic postmodern play on themes.

Reflection of the Profound reality - masks and denatures a profound reality.
If there is good there is evil.

3rd masks the absence of a profound reality.
Has no relation to any reality whatsoever - it is it's own pure simulacrum.

Disney character - trying to find the reality - but there is none. Real in the fact it exists.

Santa - hyperreal - real in the fact it exists.
Neither Coke nor Santa are real in the sense of profound reality - pure simulacra - copies of copies.

Why (reality) T.V. is not real - Video editing to make a situation - it is Hyperreal.

Symbolic exchange and death (Baudrillard)
3 orders of simulacra:
The counterfeit - scheme of classical period.
Production - Dominant scheme in industrial era.
Simulation - Dominant scheme in current code - governed phase.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Seminar 3 - The Gaze (notes)

Every glance is a judgement - looking is not a neutral activity and not passive.
Continuous surveying - women by men - men are watching women while women watch themselves being watched. (Direct link to Focault).
Behaviour change - self regulation - acting up to the gaze.

Patriacle gaze - women self regulating - men holding the power.

Hans Memling "Vanity' 1485
Narcosits - Vain obsessed with images - mocking element for being vain - reason - reinforces the idea of men having power over women - image of dominance and subordination. Controlling the idea of female beauty.
Made by a man for the consumption of a man.

Alexandre Cabanel "Birth of Venus"
Idea of idolised body - available - averting eyes - doesn't meet the gaze.
Look is encouraging the viewer to keep looking.
Pure ideology - dominated.

Manet - "Olympia" 1863
More of a reality.
Power relation - different - idea of a women available - never controlled.
Challenging the gaze - closer reality to human relations.

Ingre - "Le Grand Odalisque" 1814
2 gazes - man gazing at women - power control.
West to East - Orientalism - silk sheets - primitive - racist stereotype.
Almost a fantasy.
Cultural gaze.
Face - young and innocent - taken away by the womanly body.
Dominance over children.
Doe eyed look - classical art and seen in Hollywood starlets.

Manet - Bar at the Folies Bergeres 1882.
Literally forced into the position of the man. Seeing it through the eyes of the man.
Not a neutral gaze relationship.
Insists it is the man looking at the woman.

Jeff Wall - "Picture for women" 1979.
Mirror - women looking at him watching her.
He's looking at her.
Audience - we are the camera.
Woman - dismissive / standoffish?
Still a man looking at a woman.
Photography - neutral objective gaze. Seems to be natural and real.
Reminds us - behind the device - person controlling the camera.

Key points - look controlled by men.
Men control society (base).
The camera is an extension of male gaze.
Repeated ideas of women representations.