Chosen Essay Question Presentation…

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This is a presentation that I gave created for today’s lesson, as I need to present to the rest of my class and tutor about my focus on my chosen question. As this is going to be peer-assessed I needed to cover a range of areas in my presentation. The title of each slide are the focused areas, breaking down my question so that I am able to explain it the best I can.

Bleached Dreams – Troubling Places…

Quick writing task: Non-Places

Non-Places

They are seen as places that are missing history and memories. One of the example we were given in the lecture was of an Airport Lounge area. As there main purpose is to deal with the here and now. However, I think that this place does hold memories and history, think of the millions of people that will have sat there just like you are, waiting for a plane, or those who are passing through to get somewhere else. Even though the lounge’s main focus is meant to be of the here and now and reaching your destination, all actions and existences that took place before, still matter and make that place what it is. If something is left behind on the floor or chair, that has been places there my someone else, a history or past event is marking this area.

A question raised for me while raising this entry was:

Is an Airport lounge really an example of a Non-Place? Why?

Task: Write a letter to someone from a place. My chosen place: An airport lounge , I am writing an email to my parents.

Dear Mum and Dad, 

I have been sitting here for hours, a blanket of silence fills the atmosphere, I am in a large area full of people, yet I have never felt so alone.I can’t bare it, I feel like i’m trapped. The clock ticks, yet I feel like i’m stuck in a conundrum in the present, I’m not moving forward or back. I wish you were both here, I need someone to talk to in this deafening silence. That’s the problem with Airport Lounge’s I think, you are stuck in a period of dead time, real time, a minute feels like an hour. Airport lounge’s are seen as places that are missing history and memories, a space that focuses only on the fast transportation of passengers and goods. However, as I sit here, I can see that this places holds memories and history, just by the vast amount of people sitting here too and those that walk past. They have all been here, and experienced the same thing, even though it is an environment that is individually interpreted. It’s a place that focuses on the here and now,  to ultimately reach your desired destination, mine is home right now. Its not somewhere where memories are forgotten, its a place where there made and left behind, like a food wrapper or magazine  on the floor or chair, a history or past event is marking this area. As, I am writing this only 15 minutes have gone by, I have another 5 hours to wait before I get on my flight, due to  a major delay. Hopefully, when you are reading this, I will be on my flight home, back to normality. This will certainly be a journey that I won’t forget.

see you soon, 

Love Chloe

The Author

Response:

Relates to the idea of non-intention. Rather than creating a response, the work of composer John Cage and his silent piece 4′ 33′ from 1952 is about non intention, about asking questions and provoking response from other people. Instead of putting across his own response, he wants to evoke thoughts from others. Responses are never the same no matter what the topic. Even if you share the same opinion, it will always derive from different thoughts, feelings and ideas.

Audience:

The people that are going to witness or be the main focal point of an achievement, for example, as a designer you are always aiming your outcomes towards an intended audience, the people that you wish to see your designs but to also experience your intended outcomes and feelings, whether they are positive or negative. Marcel Duchamp brought along a friend Monique Fong  to an exhibit of this work at the Museum of Art, who didn’t understand the relevance or meaning of his piece. This relates to the idea of audience because, sometimes your outcomes as a designer aren’t clear, therefore the people outside your intended audience, are no longer within it.

Silence:

Relating back to John Cage’s 4’3” piece which is silent, a thought provoking piece. This essentially I feel is the purpose of a silence. To encourage time to process information, whether its positive or negative. Its giving you an intentional moment to sit and understand what you have seen, heard or felt at any matter of time.

Material Text Lecture – Materiality and Method…

image1

This is an exercise that we created in today’s lecture, I chose an extract from Gertrude Stein’s book called How to Write. I focused on the specific section called Arthur A. Grammar. In the passage, I noticed that they were a lot of people’s names used, therefore I create a piece with all the names and the repetition of the word Grammar. Repetition is one of Gertrude Stein’s main techniques, therefore I felt it was appropriate to experiment with it.

My thoughts on Blog of the Week…

For Blog of the Week I have chosen Hannah Metcalfe’s blog:

https://hannametcalfe.wordpress.com

We were asked to comment on the following criteria:

  • Appearance

I think that Hannah’s blog is really good visually because all the images she uses for each post are really clear as well as the image of herself on her homepage. It makes her blog really interesting to look through as the visuals are intriguing.

  • Bio

Her bio is really full and interesting, it focuses on opportunities she has taken and places  where she has studied, and what she thought about them. She also discusses where her early influences came from regarding wanting to studying Graphic and Media Design. What I really like is that she discusses what she wants to achieve in the future. This gives us an insight into her personal goals, for example her dream goal is to become an Art Director.

  • Originality

I think that Hannah’s blog is original mainly due to her imagery, particularly her homepage, where you first see an image of her with her name above it. This is effective as you know exactly who’s blog you are looking at.

  • Content

Hannah’s blog has a variety of posts that talk about activities and visits from a range of projects, the written material is informative and straight to the point. One thing I would say is that some posts have more content than others,so maybe she she could add more to some posts.

  • Navigate

Easy to navigate, as the images and headings are clear. Its a joy to explore and delve deeper into.

My Brain…

My drawing of my brain

My drawing of my brain

For a task we were asked to draw a representation of our brain, which you can see in the image above. I have drawn three linear and rectangular boxes, they are meant to represent filing cabinets or a row of post-it notes. I have one representing the left hemisphere, right hemisphere and I also added a third representing constant thoughts and state of mind. Even though we work mainly from the left and right hand side of the brain, I think we still have a constant set of emotions, worries and thoughts that exist on a continuous basis. I think my illustration links to the idea of organisation and order, much like how I am as an individual and with my work in particular.

Screen-printing Workshop…

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This is the visual process of the screen-printing workshop that I completed today. It was quite a long day as I started at 10:30 am and finished at 16:30pm. However, it was vital due to it being an industrial space. Therefore, its important that you are become comfortable with the space so that the technicians and staff can trust you in the all areas of the printmaking space. I really enjoyed it, the entire process to see how you can independently create an aesthetically clean and appealing piece. I like how clear the final product is, all intricate detail is visible. Overall, I am glad I have completed this workshop as it will help me complete outcomes for my current projects, if I choose to use this process.

After a Fashion Lecture – Hegemony…

Today’s lecture has been really insightful, based on all aspects we covered. Our main focuses were Kay’s Catalogue, Modernism and Fashion Persuasion. The lecture mainly  focused on Fashion persuasion; taste; modernism and catalogue design; active and passive consumption. In preparation for the lecture we were asked to read a small passage from John Berger’s ‘The Suit and the Photograph’ (Berger.J, 1980). I found this to be the most interesting reading of the entire lecture, as it was referring to a concept I had never heard of before, Hegemony.

To explain this lecture further, I have looked at two of the seminar questions we looked at in the task during the end of the lecture. The first question was about focusing on Berger, and what he was writing about in ‘The Suit and Photograph’. It was broken down into a variety of questions, the first being:

  • Who was August Sander and what was he attempting?

August Sander was a German portrait and documentary photographer. He was attempting to find, around Cologne in the area he was born in 1876, archetypes to represent every possible type, social class, sub-class, job, vocation and privilege. He aim was to take 600 portraits. Unfortunately, his project was cut short by Hitler’s Third Reich.

  • How is John Berger using Sander’s work?

I think that Berger is using Sander’s work to explain this term Hegemony and this idea of fashion persuasion, ultimately how the two coincide. How something, in this instance ‘the suit’ as a fashion item has a dominating air about it, it creates a controlling presence and atmosphere for social classes beneath the more established and upper class who wear these ‘powerful’ suits.

  • How does Berger suggest you look at the photo of the village band?
  • What does he argue about their suits and bodies?
Group Portrait taken by August Sander in 1913

Group Portrait of a Village Band taken by August Sander in 1913

Berger wants you to understand that the way a suit is worn and whoever it is worn by you are able to tell the class of that individual, for instance here is talking about the ‘peasants’ as he calls them who are in the village band. The suits do not disguise the social class of the individuals wearing them, no matter the professional and powerful air the suit gives off. The states that the suits “deform them” (Berger, 1980).They don’t fit them properly, it gives of this impression that the men wearing them are ‘un-coordinated” and “barrel-chested” (Berger, 1980). Ultimately how these men dress and adapt their appearance, you can still determine their social class.

  • How does this compare with the photo of the four Protestant missionaries?
Group Portrait taken of Four Protestant Missionaries in 1931

Group Portrait taken of Four Protestant Missionaries in 1931

Compared to the previous image of the Village Band, the suits appear very different on the Four Missionaries in the image opposite. Berger states that   “here it is clear that the suits actually confirm and enhance the physical presence of the those wearing them.” What he is saying is that the suit essentially suits them. They are cut for their physiques, they look right wearing them. The stances these men hold are powerful and dominant, this is reinforced further by the physical and atmospheric power of the suit.

  • What does Berger argue about the creation the suit?

Berger states that the suit, as we know it today was developed in Europe in the last third of the 19th century. It was the ‘first ruling class costume to idealise purely sedentary  power.’ I have never heard of the word sedentary, so I decided to look it up. This is what I found on a website called Oxford Dictionaries: ‘Sedentary means characterised by much sitting and little physical exercise.’ Essentially, having a lifestyle where you don’t have to do much physical labour, addressing the upper classes. They are able to model, advertise and show off these clothes to the lower classes. Berger states this clearly “It was the English gentleman/which that new stereotype implied, who launched the suit.” Its an example of capital passed down through the generations. By the turn of the century, the suit was mass-produced to rural and urban mass markets. Suits became the “antithesis” of the idealistic figure/silhouette, to shape the form rather than hang from it. Over time, Berger argues, Villagers, like those in the Band group portrait were persuaded to wear suits. By the media, publicity, by salesmen, setting an example. However, the working class and villagers came to accept the power of the classes above them and ultimately conformed to those values. Leading on to one of this lecture’s main points, Hegemony. In this case cultural Hegemony.

Even though I have looked at the first question from the list of seminar questions for this lecture, we were asked to look at the second one too,which was more focused on Hegemony and what it actually means. This was really helpful, because it made me understand Berger’s text better and get a greater insight into what cultural and social issues are identified through the power of fashion persuasion. For the first part go this question we were asked to look at how Berger constructs an argument about the men and their suits via Gramsci’s use of the Marxist theory of hegemony, we then had to choose the main points from the passage, these were mine:

  • “They wear them with a kind of panache. This is exactly why the suit might become  a classic and easily taught of example of class hegemony.”
  • “The working class – but peasants were simpler and more naive about it than workers – came to accept as their own certain standards of the class that ruled over them – in this case standards of chic and sartorial worthiness.”
  • Within the system of those standards, to being always, and recognisably to the classes above them, second rate, clumsy, uncouth, defensive. That indeed is to succumb to a cultural hegemony.”

Based on choosing these main points, we were asked to use them to help us create our own working definition for what Hegemony means. For me Hegemony means how one group or social class is able to have power and dominance over another. Essentially this lecture has looked at how this term Hegemony, has coincided with fashion persuasion. How the working class conformed and were willing to, by accepting fashion and concepts from the more powerful and dominant classes above them, a clear example of this was in Kay’s Catalogue. This concept is also very evident in magazines today. We feel obliged or encouraged to buy an item of clothing based on how it looks on someone else, like a celebrity. This essentially and unconsciously has influence on what we choose to wear no matter how ‘original’ we try to be or believe we are. Everything, we choose regarding fashion has been influenced and been an aspect of persuasion. Overall, this lecture has taught me a lot about classes, the power of social groups and the impact of fashion.

Reference List:

Berger, John (1980). “Uses of Photography”. About looking. New York: Pantheon Books. pp. 27-36.  http://www.uni.edu/fabos/seminar/readings/berger.pdf

Oxford Dictionaries Sedentary definition: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/sedentary

Them.

This is from a task during my First things first lecture. This a manifesto that I cut up and then rearranged to create my own piece, it’s from the point of view of the culture jamming perspective and the idea of creating a corporate free ‘landscape’ for the future.

Five instructions from the lines workshop…

1. Get in a group of 3 or 4
2. Get a piece of paper and some pens
3. As a group come up with different types of lines
4. Create a mind map of your ideas and thoughts
5. Discuss your outcomes and share with the class

How do you think/remember a memory? Through visual stimulation, sight or smell etc.

I feel that I remember a memory usually though a visual reference, it could be a picture, in particular a photograph. I think that photos may be the most common way for remembering a memory/moment,as that image captures a moment in time of a particular event.
However, it could be through a conversation, where i have a deja vu feeling of having the conversation before, or something similar was focused on at a previous point in time.