Category Archives: UVC1 Part 5

UVC1 Closing statement

This has been a tough course, I feel I’ve been led down a thought process to a series of questions I should be asking myself as I create in the future. My view of choice has changed as has my ability to engage with some styles of art.

The biggest difference to me is probably my ability to vocalise about art in a more questioning and thoughtful language in fact the more formal text style can only help me gather thoughts for my continued education as I start on Painting 1 Understanding painting media.

I’ve also learnt my lesson, I’ll be referencing each project as I go as I am not wasting 2 weeks at the end of the next course dealing with the whole course then…

Michael Camille “Simulacrum”

This essay was recommended by my tutor in assignment 5 assessment.

Camille, M(1996)Simulacrum. In: Critical terms for art history, ed. Robert S. Nelson and Richard Shiff. University of Chicago Press, 1996. pp. 31-44. Available here:

Visual arts as a study between the real and a copy (abstraction rejects resemblance, thats a negative way of putting it) Simulacrum as something trying to represent what its copying begs question of which one is real. Term ignored for a few centuries while art was valued most for being as close to that which it portrayed as it could. Postmodern re entry of simulacrum to explain representation theories.

Simulacrum latin for phantasmic-semblance Plato banished artists as he didn’t trust semblance (?) simulacrum to him was a “false claimant to being”

So Plato’s era sought to distinguish between “good and bad copies”

Old testament and false idols or Plato’s false claimant. Ambiguity surrounding image. Deluze Image without resemblance god made man in his image, we sinned, so lost resemblance while keeping image so becoming simulacra “We have become simulacra. We have forsaken moral existence in order to enter into aesthetic existence”(Deluze 1990,257) (Love island…)

Deluze argues a simulacrum as a copy needs to be viewed as equal to the original it denies the original and other copies.

Deluze used simulacrum to unpick surrealism, ‘ceci n’est pas une pipe’ Foucault argued that we no longer looked to the original item in art to compare it to the copy, simulacra was distinguishable in its own right without the comparison. He saw this as a bad thing Notes that this all came from philosophy rather than art criticism itself.

Photography in the 70’s comes under the spotlight as each repeatable copy seeks “authorship, subjectivity and uniqueness” Reagan blown up on screen being waved to by his wife small below, representing “the President” (Assignment 5)

Gaze of the camera we are :voyeurs standing behind the spectacle”  so whats the real image?

Boudrillard Simulacres et simulation. social not philosophical debate.

Uses Disneyland as a simulacra, better than real? asks what if god disappeared and all that is left is the image not the fact? if we stop basing a copy on its original, what do we reference it against?

“Baudrillard’s argument, that mass media have neutralised reality in stages, at first reflecting then masking and finally substituting themselves for reality” a reactionary lament.

Debord “the image has become the final form of commodity reification” Jameson argues that images distort history nostalgic looks at past events. Biased looks at what has happened (Corbyn through the Daily Mail?)

Cave paintings at Lascaux painted as a representation of what existed or as a memory of what had passed? (present past tense)

Look at p15 for possible quote on desire of the viewer to see what they want?

how politicians distort history to make it fit their plans for re-election?

creating a simulacra?

Assignment 5 prep Nothing to see here….


Analyse the boundaries between the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual’ in our contemporary culture. You may wish to look at reality TV or the effect of digital manipulation on photojournalism for example.


Mail owned by same family since inception in 1896, they are titled

 wiki page on Daily Mail’s history [accessed17th June 2017]

Marxist theory, base and superstructure

Are we making our own decisions or are we swayed by an overseeing power?

Is the result of the general election real as a result?

Was Corbyn portrayed accurately to the population or was much of his manifesto glossed over to the detriment of his actions, was May’s campaign backed by an unrealistic slogan and in comparison to Corbyn was her manifest reported more favourably because of the bias in the press?

Is it still a democracy if the government doesn’t do what the electorate voted them in to do? [accessed20th June 2017] base & superstructure on ownership of the press.

Mass media research in this fundamentalist tradition interprets the ‘culture industries’ in terms of their economic determination. According to this view, ‘the contents of the media and the meanings carried by their messages are… primarily determined by the economic base of the organizations in which they are produced’ (Curran et al. 1982: 18). Consequently, ‘commercial media organizations must cater to the needs of advertisers and produce audience-maximizing products (hence the heavy doses of sex-and-violence content) while those media institutions whose revenues are controlled by the dominant political institutions or by the state gravitate towards a middle ground, or towards the heartland of the prevailing consensus’ (ibid.). Marxists of the ‘political economy’ variety (such as Graham Murdock) still see ideology as subordinate to the economic base. The base/superstructure model as applied to the mass media is associated with a concern with the ownership and control of the media.


Are we making our own decisions or are we swayed by an overseeing power?

Is the result of the general election real as a result?

“Postmodernism tends to treat truth as a cultural construct, and if this is so then what is real?” course material.

Constantly watched politicians Faccoult Panopticism Lacan and because we are watching the politicians, their actions become what they believe we need to see to vote.

symbolises the mental permanence of the I, at the same time as it prefigures its alienating destination; it is pregnant with the correspondences which unite the I with the statue in which man projects himself Lacan P621 “The mirror phase as Formative of the function of the I’ 

Scrap plain assessment of Daily mail, thats second half look at media portrail.

Discuss politicians as signs straight after intro


politicians as signs Barthes + Derrida signs change depending on language, time, context, listener being same wavelength

gestalt, knowledge on presenting to the public while Lacan

Panopticism as knowledge that they are being viewed Faccault


Media representation in Marxism (above)

How we view (from historical context) lacan, Boudrillard? Derrida and context within which



After assessment my tutor suggested this further essay (reviewed below) to edit in, my notes within the essay are more pertinent than me repeating them here.




Pt 5 Project 4 Buffy the Freudian

Joss Whedon quite consciously incorporates both Freudian and Lacanian ideas into his scripts for the long-running TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the final episode of season 4 there are a number of dream sequences, each of which can be seen as, in part, exemplifying one or more of the ideas of Freud or Lacan. Watch it and note as many ideological references as you can find. Make notes as to how they manifest themselves.

Willow has a nightmare about telling her friends about who she really is, whilst still having her safe place with Tara.

Oedipus complex in Xander’s dream, he sees Buffy’s mum similar to his own so his dream has him fantasising she’s attracted to him. Buffy later refers to Xander as her brother, reinforcing the relationship with her mother. Then people watching him peeing in the toilet holding clipboards. Xander’s dream has him working out his relationships with other characters, having issues with his identity within the group

Giles is in a scenario where Buffy is acting as a small child and he is treating her as such whilst still acting as her keeper

All of the dreams are linked, they are all questioning their places within the group, or in Buffy’s case, whether she needs the group (to keep them safe or tradition) their roles having developed over the previous 4 series and the history of the slayer (dealt with in Buffy’s dream) as a solitary role. Lacan deals with this through Gestalt, Xander’s peeing in front of others with clipboards is his concern for the way he is viewed, Tara is Willows castle in her dream, threats are felt away from this place.

And Buffy whilst worrying about her place within the group worries that she should be working alone. Brave script choice for the end of season programme.

Episode 22: Restless, Buffy the vampire slayer series 4[television programme, DVD]Production company: Twentieth Century Fox, transmission date 23rd May 2000, 42mins, Buffy the vampire slayer – Season 4 box set DVD


Project 3 Being and its semblance

Read chapter 10, What Is a Picture? in the book The Visual Culture Reader by N Mirzeoff.

The object disappears? The gaze is important because its through the gaze we perceive light and can see the object? and as a result can ourselves be seen. looking at something I know that it is what it is as well as all the information behind it? -this is a vase, but its also a representation of work from a certain era and all the history that entails, or this is a vase, the flowers in it have an extra meaning than just flowers because they where a gift, (Barthes roses)-

As much as we gaze at the object, the object gazes at us it informs us what it is a “mask, an envelope, a thrown off skin.”

is the fact that we are being observed affecting how we view things?

• Look up Schrödinger’s cat. Make a brief summary of the theory.

A cat is put in a box that it can’t escape from. There is also an uncertain nuclear element that may decay. At which point a geiger counter if spiked would release poison and kill the cat. So whilst in the box, the cat’s future is uncertain as to whether it is alive or dead and so as it is in an unobserved state, it is in fact within both options of alive and dead at the same time.

Telegraph Schrodinger article[accessed 2nd June 2017]

All based on it being observed. Lucan was on about our reaction to being observed though rather than the cats point of view (which is probably with a growing fear of boxes)  Lucan would have us in a state where the cat (as object) is deciding if we see it in an alive or dead state?

• In Blade Runner there are a number of instances of reference to Lacan’s version of the gaze. Think of the blimp with its lights and sayings about the off-world colonies. Think of the Japanese woman on the billboard. They remind us that we are always being seen and the structure of seeing. Other figures fit into this category: the owl, the eye at the opening of the film, perhaps even Tyrell’s glasses. Find six other examples of this in film, TV or other imagery and annotate and make notes on your chosen examples and explain how they fit in with Lacan’s ideas.

American Gods, an adaptation of a book by Neil Gaiman on Amazon Prime has one of the  main characters Odin, receiving information from a raven [season 1 Ep5 Lemon Scented You], that has  ‘seen’ things happen throughout the series, we have watched the bird fly over the landscape viewing as we are ourselves viewing the series.

51wo3xurF1L._SX200_QL80_Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 13.52.22

Lucifer, Season 1 and 2, again with the Amazon Prime, Lucifer has a party trick whereby whilst staring at a person he can get them to tell him their strongest wishes, he can also reveal his legitimate claim to be the devil by making his eyes flame on command, this is someone we believe can dish out recompense showing us he can see your darkest desires, and us handing them over with a look. He acknowledges though that he himself is watched by God, Lucan’s viewed coming full circle.

David Inshaw (1943-) Cerne Giant III (2011) Oil on canvas, seen 31st May2017 in Salisbury Museum Exhibition titled British Art Ancient Landscapes. This picture of the chalk giant stretching up the hill, phallus displayed for all to see, under a blue sky, as circling ravens fly around, Watching him, watching us watching him, how do they see us and what are we supposed to think knowing we are being viewed looking at an ancient fertility symbol?

Mirror Mirror. (2012) [accessed 5th June 2017] The mirror can gaze across the land and predict who is the most beautiful as this is as important a power as you can get as a woman, the fact this film exists and still revolves around beauty is as sexist as it gets, showing the historical values of women impacting the present and the gaze showing that others view of us is more important than necessary.

Rachel Maclean, Feed Me. [2015 video produced for British Art Show 8, seen at Southampton Gallery in 2016 and Maclean’s website accessed 5th June 2017] This film is over an hour long, and Maclean plays all the visual roles herself. The story is about adults exploiting young girls, who sell a substance they purchase illicitly, we see this through cctv cameras, emoji icons are used to decide fates and the link to our own culture is very strong. Throughout the overly commercial lifestyle and how it creates the lives of the younger girls is a strong message, with the over large eyes of the girls and toys staring out of the tv. The gaze is used to sell within the story and help you as the viewer to draw conclusions over the comparable nature of the story with our own lives.

The Times [Accessed 5th June 2017] I’m using the Times as all the columnists are looking out of the website, all look directly at you the reader, either this is because the Times is making them out to be your equal or (and I think this is probably the case) they are commenting on our day to day lives and it needs to seem as if they see through us so their point of view is more visibly correct. Whilst we are looking into their worlds, we are expecting them to speak for us, so their gaze is showing us their truth.

Read the chapter The Subject on pps 340 – 355 of the course reader making your notes in the usual way

Lacan said he got most of his ideas from Freud, apparently note.

Silverman uses an Aristophanes story about the Gods splitting 4 legged two headed androgynous creatures in half that then became male or female and desired one another. Silverman uses this analogy to help explain Lucan’s belief that humans use this “biological dimension” to “determine their social identity”.

Lacan believed that the moment our chromosomes chose whether we were male or female, how we would react was decided. That we have to link with the opposite sex to complete this wholeness and that our social path dependant on our sex will lead us to sexual completion.

This is all learnt through childhood and our mothers teach us through their care which areas will be used for that gratification later. In fact the child bypasses its own link to those regions of its anatomy in favour of societies view as to what is acceptable.

The object now refers to something that is missing from the persons self. an item split from them.


Mirror phase, toddler sees itself as a complete comprehensive form in a stronger way than the non mirror image. In fact the relationship between the real and the mirror will seem (to me) to be almost Schrodinger like in that as long as its observed, its trapped in the knowledge and the actions of the observed.

This theory is widely used in film, where someone essentially has a lack (probably from early childhood) that they spend the film fulfilling.

Lucan states the mirror image relationship is a neutral figure with no “social determination” and that this is carried on into relationships that do have “social determination”. This initial relationship has no emotional resolve until the child gains language and enters the oedipal stage.

Signification The signifier and signification is linked to the signified through linguistics as this is the only history we have to go on to form meaning,

Signifier is the pattern and the signified the linguistic terms used to explain it so signifier is idea and form for Lucan.

Signifier has its own individual meaning that does not need to connect it to the real. To the point that we as humans are signified at birth as are the laws we will fight to keep or break and the description of us at our deaths. Wow! Also doesn’t take into account that laws will change over time either due to education or necessity.

The only thing that stops the thing entering the language are the wants and desires of the object and phenomenons around it in the world. Once its become a signified, its place in culture/society is fixed, a rose is no longer a weed etc.

Story of a challenged child who throws toys away from him, claims they are gone, then finds them. Freud says this is to do with the absences of his mother, Lucan says its to do with his view of himself, the thrown toys become the “objet” that are then drawn back to the child, the part of the child they need to become complete. The gone was confirmed by a further game involving a mirror and the child ‘disappearing’.

The next step is the addition of want, or acknowledgement of a lack. the things that amused the toddler, that were ‘his’, are no longer enough.

Desire is narcissistic in that the want is for the things that are perceived as being capable of making us whole, and are impossible as they are just out of reach.

Also, our society within which we are born decides linguistically that we have lost and socially how we perceive it.

Levi-Straus and incest (Of Course!) nature doesn’t tell us it is wrong, culture does.

Our birth in this culture tells us the relationships we have with those around us, their hierarchies and the expectations of where we will fit in, from the beginning.

Lucan points out that its only incest because of the Oedipal complex, in that language created the term mother and father to start with. In fact there is such a close link between Oedipus and language that Oedipus is a linguistic problem.

I can’t tell at this point if Lucan is merely showing us the way the system is or if he’s disparaging of it.

Lucan reckons that our mother and father can’t live up to the ideal of The Mother and Father of -well what? we get our views first from our own families, complex reading to inform is something that is learnt and we have TV, but modern fictions have a diverse range of flawed people to look up to anyway.

To Lucan, the phallus stood for everything that the person lacks but could desire, and symbolises the strength of the position of the father

The phallus cannot be the penis and the father cannot live up to the Father figure, which is separate again from the patriarchal system.

Contradicts himself on women, about cultural traps and ecstatic pleasure we women get elsewhere that presumably makes up for it.

To an extent I think Lucan’s problem is the one we women have of to many hats to start with, having to define ourselves when we have been defined as essentially pretty and caring for choice, whilst mostly lacking… balls.


Having read this chapter you should, perhaps, revisit the previous Lacan projects in this and other sections and see if they now are clearer and, if necessary, re-do the tasks associated with them

I have chosen to re-look at pt4 Project 2 The Mirror Phase

Read the article by Jacques Lacan entitled The Mirror-Phase as Formative of the Function of the I on pps 620 – 624 of Art in Theory 1900 – 2000 making notes.

Pre-linguistic identification of I, understanding that there is an I as a whole thing, that leads to the recognition there is an I others see, leading to projection of the I that others see.

Mirror phase creates the link we have with the outside of us that others can see

Fragmented body is the internal struggle of the formation of the I, the building of walls and the break downs with wrenching apart of form

Existentialism encountered because of the above, described negatively through current trend  “of being and nothingness”.

Looking into this aspect can help describe whole communities and the actions of those therein. as well as explain to people that “thou art that” (I think this is referring to the whole philosophy where we are described by what and whom we come into contact with from birth and that defines our lives)


• Lacan was associated with the Surrealist movement. Find two examples of Surrealist work that might have echoes of the mirror phase and annotate them to show how.

I’m using my original annotation from Pt 4 here as its sound my analysis is from this viewing though.

Not to be reproduced (Portrait of Edward James) by Magritte.

The viewer is presented with the back view of a man wearing a smart jacket, his hair appears to be neatly tended and he stands shoulders relaxed visible from the waist up in the painting. in front of him, we are presented the corner of a very large mirror, the frame of two sides disappearing in front of the man. There appears to be a marble mantle with a book on it under the mirror, an Edgar Allen Poe story about the adventures of Gordon Pyme.

The reflection in the mirror is of the back rather than his reflection and face, painted exactly the same as the first outside mirror version. There is only a grey background reflected behind the man.

This is someone observing themselves as they are seen by others, this is viewing our projection over actually seeing ourself.

Or its about looking at ourselves looking at others in which case we are doing the judging?

Either way, its interested more in others that aren’t in the picture than the actual person in the mirror who we can’t form an opinion on as we can’t see them.

The persistence of memory by Salvador Dali

The landscape starts with a sky that seems pleasant enough, this disappears into the suggestion of water on the left which is edged by red earth to the right, topped by mountains.

The foreground is flat with a flat raised area of rectangular form in front of the water to the left. There is a suggestion of a further raised block front left emerging into the picture at an angle and into this is a suggestion of a dead grey trunk with branches off it. over one of these branches is draped a melting fob watch. Another fob watch melts off the edge of this raised area and another fob watch is next to this, face down with ants on its back. There is a portion of a face (described by the curve on the eyelash and a suggestion of eyebrow) over which melts another clock.

The land is barren and there is no life-form included in the painting.

I see the fragment of the face as the questioning Lacan refers to in The Fragmented Body, we aren’t safe behind castle walls, there is a lack of control over time and its referred to more than once with the many clocks, the portion of the face does not appear to me old, and there is no sign of blood with helps with the dream element, this image occurs in the mind. The questions it raises are:

Are the clocks (which all show different times) referring to a holding back of time or a rushing uncontrollably froward of time

Why is there a portion of face with a closed eye? it seems to be relaxed, resting almost

Why a young face? is this linked to time in any way?

Ants are a busy insect constantly in movement, as they are on the back of a fob watch, is this another clue to time marching on as someone searches to work out  who they are?

• Find two examples of the way the contemporary media make use of Lacan’s ideas and show how.

Advertising uses the mirror phase to place the viewer into a situation where they can see themselves with a product, giving rise to the libidinal urge to purchase.

(edit) Advertising does more than that advertising makes us see how an item will fit into our lives and make them better even if they don’t show us any benefits, these objects will be the envy of our friends and will improve our social standing. This reinforces the mirror phase to us

Instagram users are sucked in by the mirror phase to liking someone they don’t know in an imaginary situation (unreal) because of photos that only show the best bits about this persons life. The social affirmation going back to the original poster of the photo.

(edit) as a poster, we seek confirmation that what we are showing is acceptable to our peers by asking for likes, the images that receive more likes inform future content, the mirror phase asks us to start the process of looking at what we project, Instagram keeps us at this level.


I think re looking at Lacan’s influence throughout this course has opened my eyes to how little choice we have probably given ourselves throughout our lives.


Lacan, J(n.d)What is a picture In: The Visual Culture Reader, second edition edited by Nicholas Mirzoeff, 2002 Routledge, London.

Merz, T(2013)Schrödinger’s Cat explained, The Telegraph, 12th August 2013, available here: [Accessed 10th June 2017]

Episode 5 Lemon scented you, American gods series 1 [television programme]Production company Starz. produced in US. Dir. Vincenzo Natali, 55 mins available on Amazon Prime here: ‘The Secret You’, Horizon [television programme] Dir. Dan Walker. BBC, UK, 21.00, 20/10/2009, BBC2. 60mins. [Accessed May 2017]

Lucifer, Series 1-2[television programme] Production company:Fox, produced in US, Time unknown available on Amazon Prime here: [accessed 1st June 2017]

Inshaw, D(2017) Cerne Giant III, 2011. oil on canvas] British Art ancient landscapes. Salisbury Museum 8th April-3rd September 2017

Mirror Mirror[feature film]Dir. Tarsem Singh, production company Relativity Media, Yucaipa films, Goldman Pictures, us/canada, 1hr 41mins, 2012 available on Amazon prime here: [accessed 10th June 2017]






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.


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:[accessed 23rd May 2017]



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.


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: [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: [accessed 17th May 2017]

Cadbury(2017)Cadbury advertising history, available here:[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:[accessed 17th May 2017]