Pt 5 Project 2 Ecclesiastes misquoted

Read the extract from Jean Baudrillard ‘s book Simulacra and Simulations on pps 145 – 146 of the course readerxxxv making your notes in the usual way

“The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.”

So there is no truth. And this is hidden behind the fact that the simulacrum is true.

However, does this mean that whats left is false or a lie. one is just not correct, possibly not knowingly and the other is a known untruth for some reason.

Abstraction is creating a replica of something, that then ends up with more meaning than the original so it becomes the original. Whereas simulations used to have noticeable differences which was part of the novelty, because the replication is now so spot on in fact improving upon, its now creating the hyperreal.

So, to usurp the original, the hyperreal starts to ignore and starve out the original so that it has less meaning, then a hollow meaning, an empty sign for what it was.

Not sure if I’m supposed to carry on reading to the end of the page, but to simulate would be relevant to the films, The explanation is that to feign an illness is to pretend you are ill, and be fine. to simulate an illness, you at least have to show some of the symptoms, to dissimulate the illness, you have to deny you are ill, even though you have symptoms.

So what purpose did Baudrillard have in trying to make out this is part of the bible? is it to show that religion is a cover based on no truth? ir showing the comfort people recieve by believing the lie?

Replicants simulate humans and the matrix simulates the real now.

• Watch Blade Runner, the director’s or final cut rather than the cinema release version.

• Is Deckard human or a replicant? Make notes as to the reasons for your conclusion. What are the visual clues?

At some point all the replicants have a bought of red-eye Deckard does only once, in a bathroom scene as Rachel is also having the same effect.

Asked if he’s ever taken the test but asleep so can’t answer, leads to an ambiguity.

Roy talks to his god (maker) but can’t extend his life, so he confesses and then kills Tyrell

“Its too bad she won’t live. But then again, who does.” (shouted by Gaff as a statement rather than a question at the end to Deckard before he returns home.

Is this refering to Deckard being a replicant? He remembers it as he picks up the origami unicorn.

My problem with this is the photos on Deckard’s piano, the replicants were implanted with the memories of one of Tyrells nieces, how far back would her memories reach? also, if Deckard is previously known to the policeman in the office at the front of the movie, it implies again, a history. The replicants do not have a history, they only live a four years after accelerated growth.

Deckard Does not have superior strength throughout the film, his ability not to fall of the building at the end could just be the desire not to die.

So to the unicorn. Deckard daydreams of the unicorn running through a forest while sat at his piano. Who else would have known he dreamt that? is the origami a reference to Deckard’s memories or to myth and magic and the unknown, or Rachel’s end date?

• Watch The Matrix. Make notes as to how far the ideas of the simulacrum inform the film.

Trinity is hyperreal, she shows superhuman strength at the start of the film, this is obviously before we understand that the world is a simulation, however, this is Baudrillard’s map.

Neo hides his blackmarket hardware in a hollow book called simulacra and simulation.  so what is he hiding in the book? is it software that makes the matrix better for someone, so its hiding the lie?IMG_1778

Mr Smiths, policing the the matrix to keep the people from finding out the big secret that their world is untrue.

Tries to enlist Neo to help trap Morpheus billed as the baddest man around (in computer crimes terms I’m guessing).

Neo is subjected to having his mouth disappear and a shrimp like machine crawls inside his navel, without damaging him and leaving a mark, giving this real world an elasticity making it malleable.

You know something, like something isn’t right, yet you don’t know what it is.

Red or blue pill, Blue pill lets him wake up in his bed in the virtual world red pill and he follows Morpheus out.

Wakes in a pod wired up, surrounded by other pods and as he becomes disconnected, he is ejected and finds his way into a ship with the others who released him.

Explanation that the simulation is used to keep what are essentially slaves happy to not realise they are batteries.

History on how the earth got scorched and when is dodgy, but in 21st C AI invented and grew using solar which was when humans mucked up the planet to stop the solar, so the AI started using humans for power.

Morpheus believes Neo is the chosen one who can change the simulation, he can see the lie and help everyone understand it for what it is, a version of the actual that uses elements to make it believable.

Baudrillard dealt with the initial Simulacrum sentence as a biblical text, so what are the links to Matrix?

The links to religion are legion, the ship is named the Nebuchadnezzar a King from the old testament, Morpheus is a believer and calls Neo the chosen one (Christ?), believing that Neo will save everyone.  The name of the place outside the matrix is Zion, in Christian terms, the kindom of Heaven. Although as a reality, is this the image of Zion that anyone would choose to awaken from the matrix for?

“Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realise the truth, there is no spoon. Then you will see it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”

Which is the simulacrum reworded and tidied up a bit.

our version of true is only as real as our certainty and comfort in it, Religion has provided the comfort we have needed for a long time, the difficulty with this film, is that the reality is the religion, so maybe that belief is the truth that needs to be realised as untrue and the matrix as an honesty is the future, or the now? Kind of a double bluff???

Smith explains first matrix was perfect but no-one believed it was real. People needed to see crops fail so the matrix is the AI construct (direct take on Baudrillard’s simulation)

Based on Baudrillard’s theory definatly, I’m not sure it shares his view on religion, all the connections linked to faith are outside the matrix and attached to the side of ‘good’. Which makes for a rounded story. However if the truth was hidden in the matrix which is the original place for religion, the story is about face from the text.

The matrix represents that which is a simulation, the story discusses the necessity to make it offer some of the symptoms of human life, whilst still stating that it represents the AI version including the hyperreal, but as spoon boy at the oracle says, there is no spoon, which leads to the further possibility to exaggerate the possibilities of the hyperreal. which only work because of their difference to the actual world.

Telegraph testing matrix theory Whilst failing to come up with a quote from Cypher I came across this link to the telegraph that says there are people out there who believe we are living in a matrix now, which has the same power to me as creationist theory. the question would be why? what possible benefit could any other intelligence have in putting us in that state? it would be less effort to just wipe us out.

References

Baudrillard, J(1988) Simulacra and Simulations In: Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings, ed. Mark Poster (Stanford; Stanford University Press, 1988), pp.166-184

Blade Runner: directors cut [feature film, DVD] Production company: Time Warner Company, produced in UK, 1982, 112mins.

The Matrix; collectors edition[feature film, DVD]Production company: Time Warner company, produced in US, 1999, 123mins.

Kinder, L(2012)Scientists believe they have come close to solving the ‘Matrix’ theory,The Telegraph, 26th Oct 2012 available here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/9635166/Scientists-believe-they-have-come-close-to-solving-the-Matrix-theory.html[accessed 23rd May 2017]

 

 

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Pt 5 Project 1 Illusion only is sacred, truth profane

Re-read the chapter by Guy Debord, Separation Perfected on pps 95 – 98 of the course reader making your notes in the usual way.

1 This was originally printed in 1967, thats before Facebook, Instagram, a whole load of reality TV, digital instant camera capabilities and mobile phones….

2 I think this paragraph is about events being recorded being more note-able than the actual happening. Modern production societies – presumably meaning ones where the population owns a TV.

4 Refers to stream of happenings occurring onscreen, separate from the real, photos and adverts as “autonomous image”? adverts where non real or tv programs where non real families live?

is the social relation between people who have watched the same program? or fake because we feel for the characters on-screen even though we will never meet them?

5 ‘the spectacle’ as a view of life, but the watched commercialised object based view.

6 Ok, this is saying that the social construct around a group, its history creates the requirement for the things produced and wanted, that this thing within the thing which justifies itself and the way its society functions (in my head that makes sense).

8 the ideal life we aspire to cannot be contrasted with how we live our lives, its ever present in how we live our lives, guiding our actions, its a production of society though. We project into it and it becomes real, which then indoctrinates it further into our system.

12 we are fed a stream of unreal through the media and because its been fed to us and we trust the source, we accept it’s for us and good for us. “That which is good appears and that which appears is good.”

15 the media industry is fed by us (this is more visibly true today than its ever been). we watch and we produce only that we want people to see, who then covet and reproduce their best bits etc. etc.

16 society is a living thing requiring funds which we produce to feed it. it reflects the things society makes and the value we place upon them as the producers.

18 ‘simple images’, (photos?) which hypnotise us into seeing a world that is only shown to us through someone else’s gaze and their beliefs and upbringing. So because we now have photographs and modern technology which before was craftsmanship/touch, which means we only ‘see’ the world from a distance and it doesn’t respond to us so reinvents itself anew.

19 the way we live in the west and our views has shaped the inventions we have needed (film?) so this thing, this construct we revolve around doesn’t do philosophy, it makes reality into a living breathing philosophy. the universe is is a best guess based on what we know because our communities decided thats what we need to look for and how we understand it.

20 As a people we need something to believe in, after religion, people can’t deal with the thought of responsibility for there own actions without there being a reason, the ‘spectacle’ takes on that position but instead of elevating our ideals to reach heaven, we a trapped into wanting the best on earth that we see is possible to achieve.

24 this construct is driven by those in charge and helps keep the classes going.

34 spectacle – all the things we are shown and want cost, so actually, what we are shown and aspire to is wealth.

Well that was quite depressing. Significantly easier to read and understand at this end of the course…

Look for three examples of current advertising that sells by appeal to lifestyle rather than the virtues of the product itself and make notes to show how.

  1. A bag by Chanel. Photo shows the outside of an industrial building with a warm light coming from inside through a blind. There is a light source also coming from the right which is helping to light the model squatting on a table wearing dressed down stylish clothing mostly black in colour high-lighting the bag she wears cross body on her hip. The model is Kristen Stewart. As much as the bag is in the advert, I think that the product is being sold through the name of the product and the cache that has as much as the use of the model who is there because of her street credibility and down to earth looks. You buy this bag to get the fake lifestyle that is perceived to belong to the model and the exclusivity of the expensive brand.
  2. SEAT Ateca car. set in the city at night, background is a building with trees in front, so not a poor area of town, its been raining, so street lighting etc is reflected in puddles and on the damp ground, we are also viewing the scene through a window upon which the lights are in reflect off. we are viewing from there. The features noted in the advert are not based around anything more than keeping us connected, and stowing shopping, or going out in the dark and spotting the car in the gloom. The lifestyle this is selling has lots of invites and spare cash to shop, and has to be available to talk to people, its not saying thats to help your job to pay for it and its not photo’d at a time you’d be working.
  3. Aston Martin Mayfair car. YOUR ASTON MARTIN EXPERIENCE STARTS HERE header over the picture of a bright blue car photo’d as if in motion through the blurred background of a winding road in hilly ground. The writing to the bottom of the ad is examples of finance and the note directly below the car is about the high performance and history over any actual features. The dream of driving through that terrain is selling that car, the aspiration to be that person driving an Aston Martin (Bond) over how its actually capable of making your life better. Its not even showing the inside, its all about how you’ll look from the outside while you are driving it.

 

Find advertisements for products that have been in production since before the second world war (Coca Cola or Bovril for example), in the Modernist period and today, and annotate them to show how, or if, there has been a change from product to lifestyle as the selling point.

 

  1. Guinness is good for you. Guinness as a product has been around since the 1700’s its advertising strapline, whilst probably not correct, helped to propel the beer to fame across the world. However, this relied upon its product being the drink you chose when you finished your day of work and stopped off for one before heading home. The advertising campaign changed in the 90’s, the person the product was aimed at was suddenly younger and dressed trendily or had an active pursuit like surfing (accompanied by wild horses as the waves and a kicking bass tune by Leftfield) Advertising stopped being about reminding you the beer existed and about encouraging a new generation to try this fun lifestyle that Guinness was a part of.
  2. Cadbury chocolate. Cadburys has been there for nearly 200 years. It saw out rationing in WWII and has fought the good fight against Nestles in advertising for as long as I can remember. Chocolate is a treat and its adverts show that, from adorning tins at Christmas time where both manufacturers are traditional household staples to Easter time and eggs. Chocolate adverts have tried lifestyle over features, take that flake bird in the bath (if you have your bathwater as hot as I do you just know that isn’t going to work) and they are trying to resurrect the milk tray man, all because the lady loves… However, the romance of being handed a box of chocolates or just being reminded they exist so you buy them next time you are at the garage forecourt or supermarket means that I think Cadburys has tried to go for memorable. Dairy milk ad 2017, doesn’t show a lifestyle I aspire to, more a moment in my life made better because of a product. The tune has a hook to remind you and the humour of the boring situation improved and overseen by another worker as an in-joke we have shared.

Both companies started advertising back when little was known about how adverts could really work, the value of informing people of your product and how it could benefit the customer has had to change over the years, if nothing else, to conform with facts over unhealthy lies.

References

Debord, G(1967)Separation Perfected In: Visual culture reader, Jessica Evans, Stuart Hall. London. Visual culture reader. pp. 95-98

Chanel(2017)Gabrielle bag advert with Kristen Stewart [online image]Available here: http://www.refinery29.uk/2017/04/148655/chanel-kristen-stewart-gabrielle-bag-campaign-film [accessed on 17th May 2017]

Seat(2016)The new seat Ateca, Autocar, 14/21 December 2016, Back page

Aston Martin Mayfair(2016)Your Aston Martin experience starts here, Autocar, 14/21 December 2016, page 58

Guinness(2017) Guinness advert archive, available here: https://www.guinness.com/en-gb/advertising/ [accessed 17th May 2017]

Cadbury(2017)Cadbury advertising history, available here: https://www.cadbury.co.uk/the-story[accessed 17th May 2017]

Yes Sir, let’s boogie again! — New Cadbury Dairy Milk TV ad 60 Seconds[company ] advertisement. 9th February 2015. 1min available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2jmOJ9ag5M[accessed 17th May 2017]

 

Basic notes for Assignment 4 (nothing to see here, move along)…

Alan Jones (1937- ) Overview of work, from furniture through Kate moss photo to current sculptural and print work with fauvist themes and view of people as stylised ideal forms, who just happen to fall into a standard acceptable European category of acceptable looking.

How are we viewing the furniture?

are we being invited to surveil something that perhaps we feel we shouldn’t or observe an absurdity?

These are an ultimate show of women as objects, Is this Jones stating his view of women? as sex toys and furniture, in which case which is first? using Judith Williamsons view of Toteism, are we being invited by Jones to be the idealised women? or view ourselves using the furniture?

As much as Mulvey was discussing the moving image, I think her comment “In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the female figure, which is styled accordingly.

(Re-read Freud) Castration anxiety, dominatrix, although the furniture is submissive which means we the viewer are in charge? is this about the artists love of his mother? Counter with mirror phase Lacan, are we projecting ourselves into the images? Are we the object or the person, woman or furniture.

 

Next, is Jones trying to elicit a response based on the absurdity of the positions? is he making it ok by making the women obviously plastic and unreal? Although turning this around, wouldn’t it look more absurd if the figures had been male? Why do they have to be female? Why white? why fetish clothing? Does it make them more sexual? does Jones think we will react more?

 

 

Work with Kate moss p63 Berger ways of seeing “in the art form of the European nude the painters and spectator-owners were usually men and the persons treated as objects, usually women. this unequal relationship is so deeply embedded in our culture that it still structures the consciousness of many women. They do to themselves what men do to them. They survey, like men, their own femininity.” Kate is complicit, is it because her wealth is attached to her looks? was it a good business deal?

Current work still based on good looking people, not natural forms, stylised.

 

 

Allen Jones images on Artnet (accessed 6th May 2017)

Alan Jones furniture photo (Accessed 7th May 2017)

Williamson, J(1978)Decoding Advertisements: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. First edition. Glasgow. Robert MacLehose and Company Limited

(2013)Visual Culture : a reader

Berger J() Ways of seeing

Pt 4 Project 6 White

Read the chapter White by Richard Dyer on pps 457 – 467 of the course reader making notes. Watch the films Simba, Jezebel and Night of the Living Dead or at least Simba. Find The Battle of Algiers (Italian: La battaglia di Algeri), a 1966 black-and-white film by Gillo Pontecorvo based on events during the 1954-1962 Algerian War against French rule. xxxiii This late neo-realist film is in stark contrast to Simba and the comparison is worth the effort.

Most of this first section is my notes on the essay, its not comment, its short hand to simplify the original writing.

White people think of their place before colour, British, Welsh, etc. followed by white.

Problem comes when you scrutinise a group of people, you inadvertently create an issue and make the group feel more different than normal.

However, we are now looking at the fact that ‘normal’ is a construct.

White and black have acquired subtitles white is good, light Black is dark bad.

“White domination is reproduced by the way that white people colonise the definition of normal.”

Cites Paul Gilroy “whiteness both disappears and is subsumed into other identities.” Questions as a nation how we use words like “we” and “our”, who do we mean by them?

It is difficult to “see” whiteness more difficult to analyse. Black people are labelled as black instead of just as people.Brief encounter is about English middle-class people, Godfather Italian Americans the colour purple is about black people before poor Southern Americans.

Being white interviewees had difficulty saying they where white over the part of England they hail from before comfortably discussing stereotypes of black people

To study white we need to look at that which is not white to find it. (thats deeply ingrained)

Jezabel; big budget attempt to outdo gone with the wind. Does not know whether to condemn or adore black. its understood as its history that slavery was about to disappear.

Simba; black people can learn white values but the fear is that white people will be engulfed by black values (blackness). White rule was on its way out and a lack of understanding as to why black people would not deal with white rule was inherent.

Night of the living dead White people turn into zombies alone? (I’ve got this to watch this week).

All three show white as ordered and rational and black as the opposite also use black to see the whiteness of white.

All three (although loosely in Simba) show whites in power but materially dependant on blacks which “throws legitimacy of white domination into question”.

 

Simba Pleasure with a tale of growth. Manchicheism (mixed Christian/pagan/gnostic Persian religion based on light and dark),  delirium (Fanon) White stands for modernity and black for backwards. Observed in meeting scenes, whites meet in daylight and debate coherantly, black meets in dark and is ritualised.

Racist but not at a physical level, at evolutionary. One black character, the son of a local chief, has trained in England as a Dr but is held at arms length till the end of the film, when he dies from wounds sustained from a black mob.

Hero of the film ends without avenging his brothers death, or saving the farm. Just gets the girl and an understanding that this is the end of white colonial rule. From the beginning, the role of black people in this film is to unsettle and create distrust.

Simba is much investigated by Dyer in his essay, However I will add that I wasn’t expecting the level of talking down that I observed in the film. White characters spoke about black people as the general rather than the rule, whilst in the same room. The condescension is noticeable as is the overall attitude of talking to and about the natives like recalcitrant children. The fact that they should be grateful because they have jobs and food but are treated the way they are. The ‘normalising’ in film of the white way of life as the better way reiterating Dyers essay. The dependance on black labour to run the farms as cheap labour and surprise that this wouldn’t be accepted.

The Battle for Algiers is different whilst not dissimilar to Simba. There is a recognition from the start that this is about two comparable views. The reading out of the manifesto for the National Liberation group of Algiers sets the standard for equality. Seeing Ali tripped by the young french man then seeing his rap sheet, whilst music plays softly in the background, with a close up of his face not looking at the camera, signs of a bloody nose insights feelings of sympathy. The contrast From Simba’s glossing over of the culture that the white people where calling backward is immense.

The film continues to show the trapping of the much needed and relied upon workforce in the Casbah, the control points seeing the workers in and out, whilst showing the struggle from the natives side. one scene where an innocent road sweeper is hounded down and arrested for his looks showing the class of labour that the Algerians filled.

the outcome of the movie is the same as Simba.

 

Jezabel. This film shows the reliance on the black slaves, but seems to show it all as one big happy family, Davis’s character hands down her fine evening gowns, only worn once to her maid. Theres a point where another actor reminisces with the houseman and offers to drink with him then theres the great sing-a-long on the porch with the happy workers and their children. This film is the contradiction to the other two as it isn’t showing dissent of the black workers, shows them as happy to be there. It also as a film, uses the black parts for comedic value over content.

• Note how Dyer uses some of the theories alluded to earlier in the course (hegemony and Sartre’s ideas of the self) to analyse the films and construct his argument.

Dyer is highlighting, in his study of Simba, that the only black character trusted is the one taught in white ways and the Mau Mau where heathen. I think this eludes to Sartres noting that the indiginous cultures  whites ruled over were different and that plays into Dyers use of differences to find out about white (also a tool of deconstruction, finding the differences to work back into a subject)

This also leads back to Gamsci and the dominant fundimental group using its norms to set the tone of its rule. I don’t believe we can take Marxist or Bergeres theory into account for Dyer as in the instance of Simba, the Mau Mau are failing to be ruled by/ conform to the ruling/men classes.

 

• Over the period of a week, see how racial identity and identities are dealt with in the visual media: film, newspapers, the web, any exhibitions you might visit, advertising images and, particularly, the television. Make notes, illustrated where possible, of your analysis, taking Dyer as your model.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/29/renamed-and-shamed-taking-on-britains-slave-trade-past-from-colston-hall-to-penny-lane

Renaming of Colston Hall in Bristol as its named after a slave trader. This is about people not being reminded of slave trade, from the perspective of the slaves descendants. the argument in terms of Dyer could be part of white normalisation making it ok as on the other side of being a slave trader, Colston was a philanthropist using his money for the benefit of poor white people in his local area. Which cultural history does the name invoke? Does the fact that his philanthropy was propped up by the sale of black people belittle the honour of naming the building after him?

Turner prize nominees Himid and Anderson

The nominations for the Turner prize have been announced. The headlines were about the age of the Turner prize being raised, and Himid is over 60, however, articles have covered some of her work which has themes raising awareness of black culture and recognition. I saw her Guardian pages reworked at Oxfords museum of modern art, the bright colourful patterning is eye-catching and given she has chosen a supposedly liberal paper to decorate in the first place, her point about glossing over black culture is clear. Andersons work links back to his parents jamaican backgrounds however, the Turner script in most of the papers doesn’t seem to be commenting on content over the age.

Is the Turner prize the bigger story than the message in the artwork? previous years I would argue that hasn’t been the case, Tracy Emin’s unmade bed springs to mind.

 

Dyer, R(1988)White In: Visual culture reader, Jessica Evans, Stuart Hall. London. Visual culture reader. pp.457-467

The battle of Algiers[feature film on DVD]Igor film, Casbah film. Italy, 1967, 121mins

Jezabel[feature film on DVD]Warner Bros. America, 1938, 1hr, 44mins

Simba[feature film on DVD]J Arthur Rank organisation. UK, 1955, 99mins

Saner, E(2017)Renamed and shamed: taking on Britain’s slave-trade past, from Colston Hall to Penny Lane,The Guardian, 29th April 2017. Available here: Renamed and shamed: taking on Britain’s slave-trade past, from Colston Hall to Penny Lane[Accessed 6th May2017]

Singh, A(2017)The not so Young British Artists: All 2017 Turner Prize nominees are aged over 40, The Telegraph, 3rd May 2017. Available here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/03/not-young-british-artists-2017turner-prize-nominees-aged-40/ [accessed 6th May21017]