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an introduction to visual culture
by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright powerpoint by Donnie Taylor
2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Practices of Looking: Images, Power, and Politics Viewers Make Meaning Spectatorship, Power and Knowledge Reproduction and Visual Technologies The Mass Media and the Public Square Consumer Culture and the Manufacturing of Desire
Practices of Looking: Images, Power, and Politics
. To look is to actively make meaning of that world. To see is a process of observing and recognizing.Practices of Looking Everyday we are in the practice of looking to make sense of the world around us.
Looking can be easy or difficult.Practices of Looking To look is an act of choice. Looking is used to communicate. harmless or dangerous. Looking involves relationships of power. . to influence and to be influenced. Looking can be conscious or unconscious. fun or unpleasant. Looking is a practice much like speaking or writing.
and mean different things to different people. of school children in the early 1940s who see a murder scene in the street. was taken by Weegee. .Practices of Looking A single image can serve a multitude of purposes. This image. appear in a range of settings.
Representation Representation refers to the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around us.I. These systems have rules and conventions about how to express and interpret meaning. .
the distinction can often be difficult to make. emotion. and mediate our understanding of reality. . construct. or do we construct the world around us through our use of the systems of representation? Social constructionists argue that systems of representation do not reflect an already existing reality so much as they organize. However. and imagination.I. as a form of mimesis or imitation. Representation Do systems of representation reflect the world as it is.
Pieter Claesz. 1642 Is this image simply a reflection of this particular scene or does it produce meanings about these objects? .
I. 1928-29 . Representation We learn the rules and conventions of the systems of representation within a given culture. The Treachery of Images. Images such as this show the complexity of how words and images produce meaning in our world. Many artists have attempted to defy those rules and conventions and to push at the definitions of representation. Rene Magritte.
. The combination of the subjective and objective is a central argument about photographic images. Despite this. and personalization. framing. The Myth of Photographic Truth The creation of an image through a camera lens always involves some degree of subjective choice through selection.II. photography has historically been regarded as more objective than painting or drawing.
This picture was taken by the Mars rover Spirit on January 14. What scientific evidence can be derived from this photo? What other meanings can you infer about this photo? . 2004.
.II. The Myth of Photographic Truth All images have two levels of meaning. The denotative meaning of the image refers to its literal descriptive meaning. The connotative meanings rely on the cultural and historic context of the image and its viewers.
Trolley-New Orleans. 1955-1966 .Robert Frank.
refers to the cultural values and beliefs that are expressed through connotations parading as denotations. Myth is the hidden set of rules and conventions through which meanings.II. as used by Roland myth. which are in reality specific to certain groups. Barthes. The Myth of Photographic Truth The term myth. . are made to seem universal.
The Myth of Photographic Truth Myth allows the connotative meaning of a particular thing or image appear to be denotative.II. .
. The Myth of Photographic Truth The cultural meanings of and expectations about images are tied to the technology through which it is produced.II.
Images and Ideology All images are produced within dynamics of social power and ideology. .III. Ideology is the shared set of values and beliefs through which individuals live out their complex relations to a range of social structures. Ideologies often appear to be natural or given aspects of everyday life.
categorization. the government. Each change in context produces a change in meaning. . education. identification. the law. and the entertainment industry. and evidence. such as the family. among others. Images are also used for regulation. medicine. Images often move across social arenas from documentary images to advertisements to amateur video to news images to art works.III. Images and Ideology Ideologies are produced and affirmed through the social institutions in a given society.
Images and Ideology What ideological assumptions might be said to underlie the differences in these two magazine covers? .III.
or the sociosocio-historical context in which it is presented. instantly. unintended. shade. . giving little thought to our process of decoding. and contrast. and even suggested meanings. These clues may be formal elements of the image. or read. How We Negotiate the Meaning of Images We decode. such as color.IV. complex images almost decode. We decode images by interpreting clues to intended.
What does this image mean? When and where was it taken? What kind of event does it depict? What is the advertiser hoping to communicate about its company to consumers? .
written word. . The sign is composed of the signifier (a sound.IV. semiotics. and objects) are vehicles for meaning. and it is the labor of our interpretation that makes meaning of those signs. or image) and the signified (which is the concept evoked by that word or image). How We Negotiate the Meaning of Images The process of interpretation is derived from semiotics. We live in a world of signs. images. a theory of signs which is concerned with the ways things (words.
and sign in this advertisement? . What is the signifier. signified.
The Value of Images What gives an image social value? Images do not have value in and of themselves. in the art market. and political ± in particular social contexts. a painting gains its economic value through cultural determination concerning what society judges to be important in assessing works of art. . social.V. they are awarded different kinds of value ± monetary. For example.
8 million in 1991.Vincent Van Gogh¶s Irises sold for $53. Why is this painting worth so much? .
postcards. and t-shirts. the value of the original results not only from its uniqueness but also from its role in popular culture. . The Value of Images Fine art objects are also valued because it can be endlessly reproduced for popular consumption on posters.V. coffee mugs. tHence.
Coolidge sold with another µdogs playing poker¶ painting in 2005 for over $590.M.000. by C. 1903.A Bold Bluff. .
V. The Value of Images
The value of a television news image lies in its capacity to be transmitted quickly and widely to a vast number of geographically dispersed television screens.
VI. Image Icons
An icon is an image that refers to something outside of its individual components that has great symbolic meaning for many people. An image produced in a specific culture, time, and place might be interpreted as having universal meaning.
Raphael, The Small Cowper Madonna, c. 1505; Dorothea Madonna, Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936 Mother, How do each of these images represent different icons of motherhood?
He emphasizes that cultural icons can and must be massmassdistributed in order for them to have mass appeal. Image Icons Andy Worhol¶s Marilyn Diptych (1962) comments on the star¶s iconic status as a glamour figure and a media commodity.VI. .
. they also can become the object of humorous or ironic interpretations. Image Icons When images acquire status of icons. Through cultural appropriation. Madonna acquired the power of icons and reflected ironically on their meaning in the climate of the 1980s and 1990s.VI.
Viewers Make Meaning Chapter 2 .
images also construct audiences. .Viewers Make Meaning Meanings are produced through a complex social relationship that involves at least two elements besides the image itself and its producer: (1) how the viewers interpret or experience the image and (2) the context in which an image is seen. Just as viewers create meaning from images. Works or art and media rarely ³speak´ to everyone universally.
Producers¶ Intended Meanings Artists. graphic designers. people often see an image differently from how it was intended to be seen. and other image producers create advertisements and many other images with the intent that we read them in a certain way. filmmakers. .I. However.
in addition to juxtapositions with other images. .The visual clutter of the context alone may affect how viewers interpret these images.
I. Rather meanings are created in part when. or that images fail to persuade viewers. control of the meanings that are subsequently seen in their work. but he or she is not in full text. Producers¶ Intended Meanings This does not mean that viewers wrongly interpret images. where. An artist or producer may make an image or media text. . and by whom images are consumed and produced.
. taste. Aesthetics refers to philosophical notions about the perception of beauty and ugliness. All viewers interpret two fundamental concepts of value ± aesthetics and taste. Taste is something that can be learned through contact with cultural institutions that instruct us in what is in good taste and what is not.II. shocking or banal. Aesthetics and Taste The criteria used to interpret and give value to images depend upon shared concepts of what makes an image pleasing or unpleasant. interesting or boring.
How do museums and other cultural institutions influence our interpretations of taste? .
Aesthetics and Taste The notion of connoisseurship refers to one who is considered to be an authority on beauty and aesthetics and is more capable than others to pass judgment on the quality of cultural objects.II. Thus. but rather is learned through exposure to social and cultural institutions that promote certain class-based classassumptions about correct taste. taste is not inherent in particular people. .
and initially for cinema. opera.II. Aesthetics and Taste The distinctions between different kinds of culture have traditionally been understood as the difference between high and low culture. and ballet. high culture has meant fine art. television. classical music. . Low culture was a term used for comic strips. Traditionally.
How have divisions of high and low culture been criticized in recent years? .
.´ In other words. ideology is the necessary representational means through which we come to experience and make sense of reality. Reading Images as Ideological Subjects When taste is naturalized. In the 1960s. it embodies the ideologies of its context and time.III. French Marxist Louis Althusser argued that ³ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence.
we are not so much individuals but rather we are ³always already´ subjects. Reading Images as Ideological Subjects The process of interpellation refers to how we are constructed by the ideologies that speak to us everyday through language and images. According to Althusser.III. .
How much agency do we have in our lives? .III. Reading Images as Ideological Subjects Althusser¶s concepts of ideology have been influential. but can be seen as disempowering.
. political. Reading Images as Ideological Subjects In the 1920s and 1930s. Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci introduced the concept of hegemony to understand the plurality of ideology. and ideological arenas in which they live and work.III. rather. CounterCounter-hegemonic forces are political movements or subversive cultural elements which emerge and question the status quo in ways that may not favor the interests of the marketplace. power is constantly negotiated and changing among all classes of people. Hegemony emphasizes that power is not wielded by one class over another. social. who struggle with and against one another in the economic.
Barbara Kruger¶s work functions as a counter-hegemonic statement. Who is the ³you´ of this image? .
. decoded. Encoding and Decoding All images are both encoded and decoded. It is then decoded by viewers when it is consumed by them. These processes work in tandem.IV. An image or object is encoded with meaning with meaning in its creation or production and when it is placed in a given setting or context.
How does encoding and decoding work in a television show? .
. Encoding and Decoding Three positions viewers can take as decoders: Dominant-hegemonic reading ± identify with the Dominanthegemonic position and receive the dominant message of an image or text in an unquestioning manner. Oppositional reading ± completely disagree with the ideological position embodied in an image or reject it altogether.IV. Negotiated reading ± negotiate an interpretation from the image and its dominant meaning.
Encoding and Decoding The dominantdominanthegemonic position can be said to decode images in a relatively passive manner.IV. It can be argued that few viewers actually consume images in this manner. .
IV. Encoding and Decoding
In negotiated reading viewers actively struggle with dominant meanings, allowing culturally and personally significant meanings to transform and even override the meanings imposed by producers and broader social forces. Image decoders are active meaning makers and not merely passive recipients.
How would a dominant hegemonic reading of the show Who Want to Be a Millionaire be different from a negotiated reading?
V. Appropriation and Oppositional Readings
Appropriation can be a form of oppositional production and reading. To appropriate is to take something for oneself without consent, to steal. Cultural appropriation is the process of ³borrowing´ and changing the meaning of cultural products, slogans, images, or elements of fashion.
Andy Warhol appropriated Da Vinci¶s The Last Supper. How does Warhol change the meaning of the dominant ideology of Da Vinci¶s work? .
.V. Appropriation and Oppositional Readings As viewers. reading. Great Garbo has a cult following among lesbian viewers appropriating her sometimes gendergenderbending performances. we can also appropriate images and text by strategically altering their meanings to suit our purposes. This is one method of oppositional reading. For example.
V. How is the owner of this low-rider lowchanging the meaning of an automobile? . Appropriation and Oppositional Readings Bricolage is a tactic of appropriation meaning literally to ³make do´ or piecing together one¶s culture with whatever is at hand.
. it is a form of counter-bricolage. When hegemonic forces rereappropriate tactics of marginalized cultures into the mainstream. For example. is not always an oppositional practice. vintage thrift store clothing fashions originally associated with oppositional youth were re-appropriated by rethe mainstream fashion industry. counter-bricolage.VI. Re-appropriations and CulturalReCulturalbricolage Appropriation. however.
How is the mainstreaming of rap music an example of counter-bricolage? How does the mainstream culture constantly mine the margins of culture for meaning? .
and Knowledge Chapter 3 .Spectatorship. Power.
This chapter focuses away from reception to concepts of address. whereas reception is about the ways in which actual viewers respond. . and Knowledge We invest images with the power to incite emotions within us. Address refers to the way that an image constructs certain responses form an idealized viewer. Power.Spectatorship. and between individuals and institutions. and images are also elements within the power relations between human subjects.
I. and fantasy ± in the practice of looking.´ . desire. and the relationship between our desires and our visual world. Spectatorship theory emphasizes the role of the psyche ± particularly the unconscious. When psychoanalytic theory talks of the spectator. Psychoanalysis and the Image Spectator Psychoanalytic theory has addressed most directly the pleasure we derive from images. it treats it as an ³ideal subject.
Who is the ideal spectator for Star Trek films? How can the ideal spectator be constructed .It can be said that particular films. targeted toward specific categories of viewers during particular periods create and offer to their views and ideal subject position.
often with eagerness or desire. In psychoanalytic film criticism. the gaze is not the act of looking itself. to gaze is to look or stare. . The Gaze The concept of the gaze has been the focus of inquiry in both art history and film studies. The concept of the gaze is fundamentally about the relationship of pleasure and images. In common parlance. but the viewing relationship characteristic of a particular set of social circumstances.II.
. The Gaze In 1975. She argued that conventions of popular cinema are structured by a patriarchal unconscious.II. positioning women represented in film as objects of a ³male gaze´ Her theory stated that the camera is used as a tool of voyeurism and sadism. disempowering those before its gaze. filmmaker and writer Laura Mulvey published an essay about women in classical Hollywood cinema.
in essence their ability to be pleasing to look at. women appear. who is implied to be male.II. .´ This way of viewing women thus defined them by their appearance. Woman with a Parrot. 1866 In the history of art. ³men act. The Gaze Jean-Desire-Gustave Courbet. John Berger wrote that in his history of images. In a typical female nude. most of the collectors and primary viewers were men. a woman is posed so that her body is on display for the viewer.
. The traditional roles of men and women are in upheaval and the theoretical concept of the male gaze has been rethought. we are surrounded on a daily basis by images of fashion models whose looks conform to a rigid set of normative codes about beauty.III. Changing Concepts of the Gaze Today.
III. . Changing Concepts of the Gaze The concept of regressive cinematic viewers. who are encouraged to repress their identities and to identify with the screen has been replaced by a broader set of models about the multiplicity of gazes and looks that mediate power between viewers and objects of the gaze.
discourse is a body of knowledge that both defines and limits what can be said about something. . French philosopher Michel Foucault uses the term discourse to describe a group of statements which provides a means for talking about a particular topic at a particular historical moment. and the Other Images can both exert power and act as instruments of power. Discourse. the Gaze.IV. For Foucault.
and the Other Photography has been central in the functioning of discourses since the 19th century. Discourse. .IV. Photographs have been deployed as a means of categorization in order to distinguish the normal and the abnormal according to the discourses of a particular time. the Gaze.
. and education while other knowledges are discredited. Modern societies power relations are structured to produce citizens who will actively participate in self-regulating behavior.V. participating in social norms. Certain kinds of ³knowledges´ are validated in our society through social institutions such as the press. and adhering to dominant social values. the medical profession. Power/Knowledge and Panopticism Foucault believed modern societies are structured on a basic relationship of power/knowledge. such as obeying selflaws.
Who in these images are you most likely to believe? .
and to have healthy and capable bodies to do so. . In order to function. modern power is not something that negates and represses so much as it is a force that produces knowledge and particular kinds of citizens and subjects.V. to fight in wars. and to reproduce. the modern state needs citizens who are willing to work. Power/Knowledge and Panopticism For Faucault.
Power/Knowledge and Panopticism Photographic images are instrumental in the production of what Foucault called the docile body of the modern state ± citizens who participate in the ideologies of the society through a desire to fit in and conform .V.
. Power/Knowledge and Panopticism According to Foucault. we internalize a managerial gaze that watches over us. and this imagined gaze makes us behave and conform. produces conforming behavior. This is called panopticon. It idea is that the structure of surveillance.V. whether active or not.
How prevalent is the idea of photographic identification? To what extent is the photograph integrated into institutional life? How are these photographs tied to questions of power? .
to represent codes of dominance and subjugation. difference and other.VI. . white/other. Images operate within binary oppositions such as civilization/nature. and male/female. The Gaze and the Exotic The photographic gaze helps to establish relationships of power. Binary oppositions designate the first category as unmarked (the norm) and the second as marked (the other.
How is meaning established through difference? .
The Gaze and the Exotic Images are central in the production of Orientalism.VI. ways in which Western cultures attribute to Eastern and Middle-Eastern cultures Middlequalities of exoticism and barbarism. the Orientalism. The consumer is interpellated in this ad as a white person who can buy an ³authentic´ exotic experience. .
Reproduction and Visual Technologies Chapter 4 .
photography. and formal qualities. . medium.Reproduction and Visual Technologies Both the conventions of imaging and the concepts of the visual have changed throughout history. and electronic imaging. A viewer may make assumptions about the historical status of an image from its style. through the evolution of art.
. Realism and the History of Perspective Examining the role of realism in art throughout history helps us to see how images indicate changing ways of seeing the world. The concept of what makes an image realistic has changed throughout history and varies between cultures.I.
I. Linear perspective requires objects to recede in size toward at least one vanishing point. . Realism and the History of Perspective The development of perspective as a convention of European art during the 15th century Renaissance marks a fundamental shift in the depiction of reality.
I. Thus. Perspective emphasizes a scientific and mechanical view toward ordering and depicting nature. Realism and the History of Perspective The European Renaissance has been defined as a time of intellectual and artistic resurgence that was fueled by a renewed interest in Classical art and literature. through the development of perspective. and focuses a work of art toward a perceived viewer. . the relationship of science/technology and vision is firmly established in Western philosophy.
School of Athens.Raphael. 1510-1511 .
Baroque.II. Rococo. including the Renaissance. and Romantic periods (3) the modern era of technical developments with the rise of mechanization and the Industrial Revolution (4)the postmodern era of electronic technology . Realism and Visual Technologies The history of image production in Western culture can be viewed in four periods: (1) ancient art produced prior to the development of perspective in 1425 (2) the age of perspective until the era of the mechanical.
II. photography is in many ways the visual technology that helped to usher in the age of modernity. yet also employing a mechanical device. . In combining scientific technique with art. like the technique of perspective. Realism and Visual Technologies It can be said that photography emerged as a visual technology because it fit certain emerging social concepts and needs of the time.
Section of the Seine Near Giverny Many styles of modern art that followed the invention of photography defied the tradition of perspective.II. Realism and Visual Technologies Claude Monet. For instance. the style of impressionism shifted its focus to light and color and aimed for visual spontaneity. .
II. and focused on the visual relationship between objects. 1911 . Georges Braque. Realism and Visual Technologies Cubism was a style in which painted objects as if they were being viewed from several different angles simultaneously. The Portuguese. it is a means of depicting the restlessness and complicated process of human vision and a new way of looking at the real. According to Cubists.
The idea that a perspective-based realistic perspectiveview is actually no more than one of the many ways of representing human vision has been taken further by many contemporary artists. . Realism and Visual Technologies Modernist styles declared vision to be infinitely more subjective and complex.II.
What is the ³real´ image here? At what ³moment´ was this image taken? Where is the spectator of this image positioned? .
For instance. Thus the value of the one-of-a-kind art work is one-ofderived from its uniqueness and its role in ritual. This aura of the image is a quality that makes it seem authentic because of its unique presence in time and space. ultimately. the role images play in society. the invention of photography coincided with a cult of originality. The Reproduction of Images Mechanical reproduction changes the meaning and value of an image and.III. .
. we live in a world in which the concept of authenticity is routinely reproduced. packaged. and sold. The Reproduction of Images The concept of authenticity refers to something that is thought to be genuine or original.III. Paradoxically. bought.
. than the copies. an image can now be seen in many different contexts. but rather from it being the original of many copies. is more valuable.III. Through reproduction. in both financial and social terms. The Reproduction of Images Many copies can exist of a photographic image. Some argue that the higher value comes not from the uniqueness of the image as one of a kind. The original. cultural. however. and social worth. of which their value lies not in their uniqueness but in their aesthetic.
changed in each new context? How does the reproductions change the meaning of the original? .How is the meaning of Edvard Munch¶s. The Scream (1893).
This definition could also fit advertising images. Adolf as Superman: ³He Swallows Gold and Spits out Tin-Plate. Reproduced Images as Politics Propaganda can refer to any attempt to use words and images to promote particular ideas and persuade people to believe certain concepts. John Heartfield. This is what is meant by the use of images as politics.´ 1932 .IV.
This appropriation.IV. Reproduced Images as Politics Text can dramatically change to signification of the image and can ask us to look at an image differently. depends on the viewer being familiar with the original meaning. . however.
Visual Technologies and Phenomenology Phenomenology is the belief that all knowledge and truth derives from subjective human experience and not solely from things themselves. This is a criticism of the rational age of scientific inquiry. and imagination are key concerns of phenomenology. Perception. . memory. and its impact on the lived body of the viewer.V. film. Phenomenology offers a means to examine the distinct materialities of how various media ± such as photography. and television ± affect the viewer¶s experience of it.
Digital images are encoded with bits of information and can be easily stored.´ The digital image gains its value from its accessibility. the development of digital images began to radically transform the meaning of images. and information status. and reproduced. The Digital Image . Analog images bear a physical correspondence with their material referents and are defined by properties that express value along a continuous scale. manipulated. malleability. VI. A ³copy´ of a digital image is exactly like the ³original. Since the 1980s. such as gradation of tone.
How does this effect the idea of photographic truth? What impact does this have on news and historical images? . The Digital Image Most digital images and simulations cannot be said to have been in the presence of the real world that they depict.VI.
VI. The Digital Image The discovery that a news organization has altered an image often sparks controversy and debate. These organizations¶ reputations were based on modern notions of photographic truth that clashed with the digital possibilities for image manipulation. .
Virtual Space and Interactive Images Virtual images are simulations that represent ideal or constructed rather than actual conditions. and can be both analog and digital.VII. .
VII. Virtual Space and Interactive Images Virtual reality (VR) describe the way that users experience the computer worlds in science and computer games. and game systems. . These include pacemakers. flight simulators. Virtual reality systems attempt to create an experience in which the user feels as if he or she is physically incorporated into the world represented on all sensory levels. hearing aids.
Virtual Space and Interactive Images Virtual space exits in opposition to the rules of traditional physical space. How can traditional cultural notions of authorship remain in place with the introduction of digital images and virtual space? . Users can navigate the space to create their own individual pathway.VII.
The Mass Media and the Public Sphere Chapter 5 .
and places.The Mass Media and the Public Sphere Those of us in Western industrialized cultures live in a multimedia environment in which mechanical and electronic images. The mass media refers to forms and texts that work in unison to generate specific dominant or popular representations of events. people. and sound are an almost constant presence. The term mass media has been used to define those media designed to reach large audiences perceived to have shared interests. . text.
.The Mass Media and the Public Sphere Some critics of the media have argued that radio and television largely control the exchange of information by restricting authorship of information to those with access to the means of media production.
.The Mass Media and the Public Sphere There are phenomenological differences in the way that we experience media that are particular to their material qualities.
such as cable television and internet. more fragmented audiences form to replace the undifferentiated mass. .The Mass Media and the Public Sphere It can be argued that the term ³mass media´ is no longer entirely applicable. As more diverse media forms emerge. and the mass media are less pervasive.
Triumph of the Will. Critiques of the Mass Media The historical critique states that TV and radio provided a centralized means for mobilizing the new mass culture or mass society around a unified set of issues and ideas. Current critics of the mass media argue that the new electronic technologies are powerful new tools for propaganda or mass persuasion. 1935 .I. These critiques see viewers as passive if not gullible recipients of media messages. Leni Reifenstahl.
is understood as convincing people that being informed about a social issue by seeing it covered in the media is the same as doing something about it. in this concept. Critiques of the Mass Media The concept of a narcotic effect refers to the way that time spent with the media replaces actual participation in organized action. The mass media. .I.
I. tragically. can no longer see the difference between the real world and the illusory world that these popular media forms collectively generate. . the culture industry generates false consciousness among its consumers. Critiques of the Mass Media A group of cultural critics known as the Frankfurt School describes the culture industry as an entity that both creates and caters to a mass public that. encouraging the masses to buy mindlessly into the ideologies that allow industrial capitalism to thrive. In their view. They hold a traditional Marxist view of ideology.
Tiananmen Square. The Mass Media and Democratic Potential Another view of the mass media is that it is a promising tool for democratic ideals which will promote an open flow of information and exchange of ideas.II. This view challenges the very idea of a mass media or mass society. Goddess of Democracy. 1989 . It stresses the potential of individual media forms for the development of community and identity on a much smaller scale.
The Mass Media and Democratic Potential A technologically determinist way of viewing media implies that content is not as important as the medium through which you receive it. . Canadian communication theorist Marshall McLuhan argued in the 1950s1950s-1970s that media technologies give greater potential for power to our individual bodies by extending our senses and thereby extending our power in the world.II. To put the means of media production in the hands of ordinary citizens they would be empowered rather than being molded.
. product endorsements were enmeshed with programming itself. making it difficult to separate the product from the program. Television and the Question of Sponsorship Consumers watch television programs primarily to see programs.S. television¶s early years. In U. but what keeps television afloat is the viewers not-so-incidental not-soexposure to advertisements for products.III.
have opted for state-controlled television. France.III. Meanwhile. statein which the government plays a more active role in the industry and programming. such as Canada. U. . England. and Germany. television is shaped by free market forces which relies on corporate sponsorship and advertising. Television and the Question of Sponsorship Some Western countries.S.
In events such as the assassination of John F.IV. the media serve to create a sense of community at local. the funeral of Princess Diana. and global levels. Princess Diana¶s Funeral . 11th. 2001. and the attacks of Sept. Kennedy. national. Media and the Public Sphere A public sphere is ideally a space where citizen come together to debate and discuss the pressing issues of their society.
Media and the Public Sphere The television talk shows creates a forum for contemporary issues and thus promotes the formation of public spheres.IV. Who is the audience of this genre? .
Scott Peterson on trial for killing his wife Laci and their unborn son. Media and the Public Sphere Some critics have faulted the media for sensationalizing events involving stars and notorious individuals over important global news.IV. famine. and international politics. . such as wars.
V. It is diverse at both the level of the media themselves and at the level of national and cultural boundaries. What constitutes a medium? . New Media Cultures The status of media in contemporary culture is contradictory and mixed.
Consumer Culture and the Manufacturing of Desire
Consumer Culture and the Manufacturing of Desire
Visual images play a primary role in the commerce of contemporary societies. Commodity culture and consumer societies are dependent upon the constant production and consumption of goods in order to function. Advertising images are central to the construction of cultural ideas about lifestyle, self-image, self-improvement, and selfselfglamour
Consumer Culture and the Manufacturing of Desire
The advertising world works by abstraction, a potential place or state of being situated not in the present but in an imagined future with the promise to the consumer of things ³you´ will have, a lifestyle you can take part in. Images can be presented as art, science, documentary evidence, or personal memories.
closer- . It has been argued that people derive their sense of their place in the world and their selfselfimage at least in part through their purchase and use of commodities which seem to give meaning to their lives in the absence of the meaning derived from closer-knit community. Consumer Society Fundamental changes in the experience of community in the rise of the consumer society came through an increased complexity and diversity of the urban population.I. and a loosening of the hold of small and stable communities and families on social values. increased immigration.
Consumer Society The late 19th century rise of the department stores represented the merge of commerce and leisure. flaneur.I. a man who strolled the streets as an observer. . French poet Charles Baudelaire wrote about the flaneur. never engaging with surroundings but taking an interest in them. Window shopping is thus related to a more mobile vision of modernity.
pleasure. and as a form of therapy. Commodities can fulfill emotional needs but those needs are never truly fulfilled as the forces of the market lure us into wanting more or different commodities. . consumption is thought of as a form of leisure.I. Consumer Society Today.
What precisely is it that ads sell? . Advertising encourages consumers to think of commodities as central means through which to convey their personalities. Commodity Culture and Commodity Fetishism The term commodity self is the idea that our selves are constructed in part through our consumption and use of commodities.II.
Commodity Culture and Commodity Fetishism Marxist theory critiques the emphasis in capitalism on exchange over use value. monetary terms. in which things are valued not for what they really do but for what they¶re worth in abstract. Why are diamonds more expensive than a necessity such as water? .II.
Commodity Culture and Commodity Fetishism Commodity fetishism refers to the process by which massmass-produced goods are emptied of the meaning of their production and then filled with new meanings in ways that both mystify the product and turn it into a fetish product. The experience of the labor process is devalued and makes it harder for workers to take pride in what they have produced.II. .
Two Hundred Campbell¶s Soup Cans. Commodity Culture and Commodity Fetishism Pop Art in the late 1950s and 1960s engaged with mass culture in a way that did not condemn it but demonstrated their love of and pleasure in popular culture. 1962 . Andy Warhol.II.
. false idea of identity. The ³you´ that advertising addresses is always implied to be an individual. Ads perform the very contradictory work of convincing many different consumers that a massmass-produced product will make them unique and different from others. Thus. Addressing the Consumer Like other images. advertising images interpellate their viewers in particular ways. a psuedoindividuality. it can be said that advertising asks us not to consume commodities but to consume signs.III. hailing them as ideological subjects. This concept is known as psuedoindividuality.
.III. Addressing the Consumer The advertising strategy of repeating a motif can be used to establish familiarity with a product and to keep viewers¶ attention.
Ads also create a relationship of equivalence between elements within the frame and between the product and its signifier. Addressing the Consumer Ads operate with a presumption of relevance that allows them to make inflated statements about the necessity of their products.III. Companies also differentiate products from their competition. .
. and graphics that ads speak to consumers. Images and Text It is through complex compositions of photographs. text.IV. Text can often have a powerful effect in establishing or changing the meaning of the photograph or image presented.
and Glamour All advertisements tell consumers that their products will change their lives for the better.V. They often do this by presenting figures of glamour that consumers can envy and wish to emulate. Desire. and authenticity. Advertisements make references to art to give their products a connotation of prestige. Envy. . tradition.
selfselfcontrol. and conformity. Desire. and Glamour The world of advertising speaks the language of selfself-management.V. Ads use anxiety by suggesting to consumers the ways in which they may be not only inadequate but potentially endangered or weakened without a particular product. . Envy.
community. family. they attach to their products concepts of the nation. . and democracy.VI. Belonging and Difference Sometimes when advertisements ask us to consume commodity signs.
Bricolage and CounterCounterbricolage Bricolage is a mode of adaptation where things are put to uses for which they were not intended and in ways that dislocate them from their normal or expected context. CounterCounter-bricolage refers to the repackaging of bircolage commodities to be resold to mainstream consumers. Counter-bricolage: Pablo Picasso and Apple Computers .VII.
. but for people who appropriate signifiers of products for a style of themselves or their culture. The Brand The circulation of brand names.VIII. and logos are a means through which identities are constructed not only for goods and corporations. trademarks.
Anti-ad Practices Anti Advertisements can be the subject of artistic parody and the site of on-site political onmessages. .IX.
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