THE U IN UTOPIA

11/03/2019 – 15/03/2019

CTS: WEEK 5

 

What is the U in Utopia? Under construction. As a society we are constantly building, developing and every businessman’s favourite word: innovating. From lighting fires to designing spaceships, mankind is in a constant pursuit to better our lives. The vision doesn’t always line up with reality. Some dreams become living nightmares. Some are driven by greed and don’t care about what people want. Some actually are making a difference in people’s lives and destroying them. There are a lot of things I would want to  talk about: Robert Moses and his plans to build a super NYC, Judge Dredd and the anatomy of the architecture of its cities, Antonio Sant’Elia’s drawings, Buckminster Fuller, Rick Guidice’s NASA commissioned drawings for space colonies, Blade Runner, High-Rise by J.G.Ballard, and so many more. However, as interesting space exploration and colonisation is, the possibility of oceanic living spaces are becoming a possibility. Many people across the world in places like Hong Kong, Amsterdam, London etc. already live in houseboats, moored or slow-travelling boats converted to homes. An Asian community living in South-East Asia called the Bajau have almost completely adopted a Maritime lifestyle, they only return to the mainland for supplies or shelter from violent storms.

 

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Fig. 1

 

Some of the Bajau experience land-sickness and need to return to the sea, some sailors are the same way. Humans are fascinated by the ocean and with a growing world population, we cannot keep building on top of natural sites or else we won’t be able to feed ourselves. Maybe building into the ocean, might be a possibility.

 

According to the Future Living Report by Samsung in 2016, we will be digging homes into the earth, building higher into the sky and into the ocean. There are already super luxurious home boats for sale with master bedrooms in the lower deck with the view of the ocean. Though we as creature have evolved from the ocean, it still took millions of years before we achieving humanity and establishing an international community based on land. Wouldn’t it be too drastic to suddenly fit hundreds if not thousands of humans and moving and floatable homes. It would take several generations and probably a lot of mistakes, if not deaths to build a mentally solid aquatic human communities. Children born under the sea or on Mars, could be a reality, but are we really ready for all of this. Flying cars would be a disaster if we already had those. Wouldn’t it make more sense to fix the problems we have right now on land and on earth before we start destroying other planets? We are chaotic enough as it is and there is so much to be done to fix plastic oceans and empty forests.

Although, with proper funding, research, equipment and a team making the dream come true, this may very well be a possibility. There are a lot of people out there who would be willing to start a new life and be forerunners in human development. English designer Phil Pauley has come up with floating modules that would submerge during stormy times and reemerge when it’s calm again. He calls it the Sub-Biosphere 2. Eight biomes, one central nucleus supporting the whole on a structure of beams anchored to the seabed. Pauley spent 2 decades designing this world suitable for 100 people to live in. Using the water around, flora and fauna will be watered, fed and grown used for human consumption. The structure is made viable due to tensional integrity = tensegrity coined by Buckminser Fuller 1960. this means the building would not be like our homes or most buildings where the compression is held together from the bottom brick to the top brick, but instead floating bars put under tension by cables. These bars don’t touch each other, but with each beam held by tension. This makes for a longer lasting structure in a moving ocean unlike a solid ground.

 

The Sub-Biosphere 2 is: “designed for aquanauts, tourism and oceanographic life sciences and long-term human, plant and animal habitation” meaning this isn’t a gimmick or a the next aquatic Vegas, this is for long-term human development and research.

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Fig. 2

 

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Fig. 3

Similarly, Samsung designed an underwater sphere when they wrote their Future Livings Report back in 2016. The sphere is capable of desalinating the water around the sphere and splitting H20 into Hydrogen for fuel and Oxygen for breathing. Energy would come from the ocean’s current and the sun. This concept is a little more far-fetched and makes Pauley’s a little more realistic, but with time anything could be possible.

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Fig. 4

There is also the luxury side to the world. From personal homes floating off the coast of Dubai to five star hotels in the ocean. Most of the time what starts as a luxury soon becomes trivial, like cars, only the elite has them in the beginning now anyone can save up for one. In the Maldives on the five-star Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort, they built hotel suite which cost 15 million dollars and it’s famous for the first ever underwater glass room. It has all the living essentials on top, like showers, toilets and meals are delivered at specific hours three times a day. What was once reserved for luxurious leisure we can make this a foreseeable future. We can turn 15 million dollar hotel suites into affordable housing, this could be a possibility.

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Fig. 5

The world is getting smaller, humanity is getting bigger and we only have one planet at the moment. So, innovation is key if we want to upkeep cushy and environmentally exhaustive lives and make them more eco-friendly and safer for the planet. Maybe, in the next 10, 50 or 100 years permanent aquatic cities and homes could be a possibility and maybe the Bajau aren’t so crazy to live on water after all.

 

Bibliography

Grant Geary, B. (2015) Available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3063691/The-incredible-Bajau-refugee-community-told-not-allowed-live-Malaysian-land-built-homes-ocean.html (Accessed: 04 April 2019)

Lavinia (2014) Self-Sustainable Underwater Living: Sub-Biosphere 2. Available at: https://freshome.com/2014/03/05/self-sustainable-underwater-living-sub-biosphere-2-phil-pauley/ (Accessed: 14 April 2019)

Im, J. (2018) World’s first glass underwater hotel room. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/03/photos-worlds-first-glass-underwater-hotel-suite-at-conrad-maldives.html (Accessed: 14 April 2019)

Deist, C (2013) Ocean Living: A Step Closer to Reality. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20131101-living-on-the-ocean (Accessed: 14 April 2019)

Samsung (2016) Futre Living Report. Available at: https://wewanttolearn.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/future-living-report.pdf (Accessed: 29 March 2019)

Mexican Architects () Available at: https://www.mexican-architects.com/en/bnkr-arquitectura-mexico-city/project/the-earthscraper (Accessed: 28 March 2019)

Weller, C. (2017) These ultra-luxurious underwater homes are being built in Dubai. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/dubai-floating-seahorse-underwater-homes-2017-8?r=US&IR=T#the-floating-homes-will-have-a-massive-floating-bed-as-well-as-an-observation-deck-above-water-3 (Accessed: 29 March 2019)

Wikipedia (2019) Houseboat. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houseboat (Accessed: 04 April 2019)

Richman-Abdou, K. (2017) Dubai Is Building Beautiful Underwater Homes with Exceptional Aquatic Views. Available at: https://mymodernmet.com/underwater-homes-dubai/ (Accessed: 29 March)2019)

Gerdhart, N. (2019) 17 Bold Predictions of How the Future Will Look. Available at: https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/17-bold-predictions-of-how-future-houses-will-look/ (Accessed: 29 March 2019)

Mexican Architects (2009) The Earthscraper. Available at: https://www.mexican-architects.com/en/bnkr-arquitectura-mexico-city/project/the-earthscraper (Accessed: 29 March 2019)

 

Images

Fig. 1

Choo, N. (2015) Bajau people living on water, Hotspot Media. Available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3063691/The-incredible-Bajau-refugee-community-told-not-allowed-live-Malaysian-land-built-homes-ocean.html (Accessed: 25 April 2019)

Fig. 2, 3

Pauley, P. (2013) Sub-Biosphere 2. Available at: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/sub-biosphere-2-is-a-self-sustainable-underwater-habitat-10-10-2013/ (Accessed: 25 April 2019)

Fig. 4

Samsung (2016) Smartthings Future Living Report. Available at: https://www.topsimages.com/images/future-underwater-towns-6e.html (Accessed: 25 April 2019)

Fig. 5

Underwater Room (2017) Muraka, Hilton Conrad Hotel. Available at: https://www.finder.com.au/bucket-list-underwater-hotel (Accessed: 25 April 2019)

 

FINE ART VS. GRAFFITI VS. STREET ART

04/03/2019 – 08/04/2019

CTS: WEEK 4

 

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From Graffiti’s roots in 1960s Philadelphia to today, a lot has shifted in the eye of the public. It has always been hated, but in present times not as much. Graffiti used to be completely illegal, teenagers who painted on walls were being put in jail with murderers. Nowadays certain countries have accepted graffiti artists into the urban environment. In England, Switzerland and other countries, the local authorities make certain public walls legal for the artists. There has also been an explosion in graffiti related activities, walking trips, festivals, workshops, etc. It is especially used to revitalize dilapidated areas. Like skateboarding and rap, I feel that graffiti has grown to unimaginable heights considering their disregarded status 50 years ago. This is thanks to Haring, Basquiat and Banksy.

 

 

Recently, Basquiat’s ‘Untitled’ skull sold for a record 110.5 million dollars (Sotheby’s, 2019), the highest for an American and graffiti artist. All three began spraying illegally making a name for themselves and soon, their fame turned vandalism into Fine Art. Their cult names brought the streets into the gallery and the gallery into the streets. As a new market and a demand for painted walls is sprouting in cities all over the world, they casted a spotlight on Graffiti and made it mainstream. Worldwide, we see graffiti artists exhibiting and the value of their pieces are only climbing. What would never hang in the walls of an esteemed gallery is now fighting to have an original Banksy. Though they opened the doors to a whole community of artists, the raw and authentic side has watered down.

 

 

Big brands like H&M, Oakley and GM are appropriating and stealing counterculture from the artists to sell it back to us, something they would not have done before graffiti’s popularity. Even among street artists there is conflict, Jeffery Dietrich in 2011 stated “a whole new tribe of artists who are exploiting the street-art aesthetic” which is true. They steal someone else’s style, notoriously Basquiat, Banksy and Haring to make easy money, how many cheap copies are there? Too many to count. However, Shephard Fairey, street art legend and owner of Obey, said in 2018: “Sometimes you can change the system from within.”. You do make a difference introducing new artists with inspiring messages to larger audiences and local communities. The giant mural Wynwood walls is the central attraction that helped revitalize a derelict neighborhood in Miami and today is a thriving hub. However, when you run a street art empire and clothing brand, it is convenient for Shephard Fairey as it keeps his business alive. It is safe to say that we will see more of Graffiti in the years to come and it will fill some bleak walls, but to find the next graffiti rebel like Banksy in an age where it is so accepted will not be so easy. Even Banksy has been attacked by the graffiti community claiming he sold out. The appeal of this counterculture is the niche community and the hatred from the public and authorities, so how can Graffiti find its spark in an age of mainstream counterculture?

 

 

Bibliography

Adams, A. (2017) Basquiat versus Banksy. Available at: https://www.spiked-online.com/2017/10/02/basquiat-versus-banksy/(Accessed: 30 May 2019)

Dickens, L. (2014) How Did Banksy Become the World’s Most Famous Vandal. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/timelines/zytpn39(Accessed: 29 May 2019)

Pape, C. (2013) 50 greatest graffiti artists of all time. Available at: https://www.complex.com/style/2013/02/the-50-greatest-nyc-graffiti-artists/riff-170 (Accessed: 25 April 2019)

Shaw, A. (2018) Available at: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/street-artists-come-in-off-the-streets(Accessed: 30 May 2019)

Sotheby’s (2019) From Basquiat to Banksy how street art became high art. Available at: https://www.sothebysinstitute.com/new-york/summer-institute/from-basquiat-to-banksy-how-street-art-became-high-art/(Accessed: 30 May 2019)

Sprayplanet (2018) A History of graffiti – The 60s’ and 70s’. Available at: https://www.sprayplanet.com/blogs/news/a-history-of-graffiti-the-60s-and-70s(Accessed: 25 April 2019)

White, K. (2018) 7 Things You Need to Know About Street Art. Available at: https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/7-things-you-need-to-know-street-art(Accessed: 30 May 2019)

Sutton, N. (2018) How Graffiti Artists Are Fighting Back Brands That Steal Their Work. Available at: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-graffiti-artists-fighting-brands-steal-work(Accessed: 2 June 2019)

McCarthy, M. (2018) Street Art As a Tool for Change. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mary-mccarthy/street-art-as-a-tool-for-_b_15329722.html(Accessed: 2 June 2019)

 

Images

Halsband, M. (1985) Warhol and Basquiat. Available at: https://www.vulture.com/2015/05/bromance-of-warhol-and-basquiat.html(Accessed: 3 June 2019)

Warhol, A (1982) Portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Polaroid dye diffusion print, 9.5 × 7.3 cm (3 3/4 × 2 7/8 in.). Available at: http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/125802/andy-warhol-portrait-of-jean-michel-basquiat-american-1982/(Accessed: 25 April 2019)

Levine, C (2018) Banksy, Lenticular print on lightbox, 75 by 55cm., 29½ by 21½ in. Available at: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2018/made-in-britain-l18144/lot.240.html?locale=en(Accessed: 25 April 2019)

Warhol, A. (1982) Portrait of Keith Haring, Polaroid dye diffusion print, 9.5 × 7.3 cm (3 3/4 × 2 7/8 in.). Available at: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/415738609323063961/(Accessed: 25 April 2019)

CBS News (1982) Haring arrested. Available at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/keith-haring-how-a-furtive-artist-invaded-the-art-world/(Accessed: 3 June 2019)

Basquiat. Available at:http://thebluerider.blogspot.com/2008/03/photograph-of-jean-michel-basquiat-by.html(Accessed: 3 June 2019)

Kasper, W. (2007) Banksy. Available at:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4400836/Has-mystery-Banksy-finally-solved.html(Accessed: 3 June 2019)

PDF Pictures Link

Hand & Eye

 

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Various screenshots:

Björk, Gondry, M. (1995) Isobel Music Video. Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd/Warner Chappell Music Ltd/19 Music/BMG Music Publishing Ltd.® 1995 BjörkOverseas Ltd/One Little Indian Records Ltd. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1QtZqCiP7s (Accessed: 26 February 2019)

 

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Pintreset (2019) Emperor Gum Moth. Available at: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/644366659157145434/ (Accessed: 26 February 2019)

 

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Teller, J. (2019) The stories behind Juergen Teller-s best shots. The Telegraph. Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/9795601/The-stories-behind-Juergen-Tellers-best-shots.html (Accessed: 26 February 2019)

 

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Wikimedia Commons (2004) Emperor Gum Moth. Available at: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Emperor_Gum_Moth.jpg (Accessed: 26 February 2019)

 

 

Hybrid Forms

 

Paine, Shelia (2006) Various scans. Fabric Folios.

 

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Roland, S. & M. (1971) Kirghiz Woman. Available at: http://www.theemptyquarter.com/artists/roland-sabrina-michaud/ (Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

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Roland, S. & M. (1971) Young Kirghiz Girl. Available at: https://loeildelaphotographie.com/en/roland-sabrina-michaud-afghanistan-from-the-past/ (Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

 

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Skateistan (2009) Akram. Available at: https://skateistan.org/ourstory/ (Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

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Westling, N. (2016) Skateistan. Available at: https://www.openingceremony.com/Discovery/Culture/SKATEISTAN.html (Accessed: 3 June 2019)

Through a Lens

 

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Amazon (2019) Angela Anaconda. Available at: https://www.amazon.com/Angela-Anaconda-Season-1/dp/B01JPUXH1O (Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

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Big W (2019) Giant Rubber Duck. Available at: https://www.bigw.com.au/product/giant-rubber-duck/p/672000/ (Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

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Dazed (2016) Cool 3D World. Available at: https://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/32813/1/enter-the-3d-world-where-nightmares-comes-true Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

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Glass Bottles (2019)10ml Green Glass Dropper. Available at: https://glassbottles.co.uk/product/10ml-green-glass-dropper-bottle/ (Accessed: 7 May 2019)

 

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IMDb (2015) Cool 3D World. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7631546/mediaviewer/rm467492352 (Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

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MANAKUSTRA (2017) Duck Master’s whole roast duck. Available at: https://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/makan/makansutra-duck-there-price-war Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

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Masai Gallery (2019) Philippine Duck – Skeleton – Anas luzonica. Available at:https://www.masaigallery.com/en/product/canard-des-philippinnes/ (Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

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Pintrest (2019) Spook Graveyard. Available at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/126804545728353254/ (Accessed: 7 May 2019)

 

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Reago, A., McClarren, C. (2019) Mallard duck. Available at: https://www.thespruce.com/pictures-of-mallards-4121965 (Accessed: 3 June 2019)

 

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Vasquez, M. (2018) Ed. Screenshot instagram

 

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Vasquez, M. (2018) Finn. Screenshot instagram

 

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Vasquez, M. (2018) Spongebob. Screenshot instagram

 

FOLK TALES AND FAKE TALES

25/02/2019 – 01/03/2019

CTS: WEEK 3

 

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We all grow up listening, reading and watching tales told long ago, from little red riding hood to the Pied Piper. What we don’t realise until later on is how institutional they are to our development. They introduce us to adult themes such as death, kidnapping, pedophiles, strangers, murder, etc. and teach us about courage, lying, hard work, compassion, kindness etc. So much of it is so fantastical that we dream about fighting monsters and mimicking our heroes. The best way for a child to learn is by themselves, they need to understand their mistakes and learn from them and having a role model or someone to look up to helps them achieve this. Why do some stories become iconic and some we have never heard about? In ancient times, stories were transmitted from word to mouth and most of these stories have definitely changed over time. Many of the reasons are linked to the stories morals no longer conforming to societies beliefs, for example a story about a brother and a sister falling in love was once normal, but if society has evolved and condemns this act then the story is either swept under the rug or changed. There is also the scenario where the society regresses and the story is too modern, imagine a story about a black man and a white woman falling in love, if society no longer accepts this union then story disappears or changes. Another reason why most stories are long forgotten is because one generation stopped passing it down or were simply killed. We mustn’t forget, stories are organic, if people die, stories die, if people grow, stories grow, if people change, stories change.

 

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I believe that the past should be preserved, because there is so much rich knowledge and unrecognised storytellers who have passed down centuries of tales no one has ever heard about. The brothers Grimm are a proof of that, they helped preserve so many of the stories we hold dear today and still retell. Though many of the stories were generally intended for adults, in modern times changed some of the outcomes and original plots to suit it for children. In Cinderella, one stepsister cuts off a toe and the other her heel to try and fit into the glass slipper and once Cinderella is queen, the birds pecked the eyes out of the stepsisters. There are many more gruesome examples and generally the original plots were no longer suited for larger audiences. We needed people like the Brothers Grimm to inspire future generations to preserve these stories and save our past, but we needed modern storytellers to make it an undeniable part of our modern society. There are many versions to one story, but only one can become the official version and from there, anything else is a deviation (when in reality the official ones have been also changed). Today most of us would consider the Disney version, the official version, as no other company has retold these stories to such praise and long-lasting glory. Interestingly enough, movies like Bambi and Pinocchio were box office bombs when they were released, but with time and re-releases they have matched Cinderella’s reputation and are extremely difficult to compete with. When it comes to folk tales and fairy tales, it is the magical aspect we cannot be drawn away from, until someone can show us magic like Walt Disney and the Nine Old Men, it will be very hard to create a new official version for a fairy tale.

 

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Time has trickled down millions of stories across thousands of years to a select few. There is a quote by Trevor J. Black “Contrary to popular belief folk law is just as much, if not more, of an agent of the present as it is of the past.”. I believe this to be true, if the tale persists and is accepted, even indoctrinated, as a part of society then the longer the tale lasts the more engrained it becomes in our minds. If it survived this long it must mean that it’s important, like the boy who cried wolf, it has become a point of reference and now it’s a part of our vocabulary. We use the past to teach us about the present, to not make the same mistakes as the characters we hear in our stories. This is why they are so important for children’s development, they are institutional more than anything. Children are wondrous beings so important life lessons, which seem simple need to be told in wondrous ways. Usually fear is the best way to make them behave, you always remember more vividly a nightmare than you do a dream. So good and evil is taught in a black and white way, because children lead black and white lives. The only problem is when they grow up, good and evil tends to have a lot of grey in the middle and this is the part which most parents fear, how dark will their grey get.

 

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So how do folk tales fit in the modern world? The answer is urban legends. With technology stories as well as fabrications and myths can move much faster. It takes one newspaper to pick up a wrong or falsified article and soon enough other, maybe even major, newspapers will spread fake news. The truth becomes confused and we all believe that a story that never happened or happened differently to become true. Sure enough, if it becomes part of our vernacular than the story will persist and it will live on regardless if it really happened. As time moves on, movies become a powerful motor to keep urban myths alive and fresh, if we see it, it’s almost like we believe it. Typically in horror movies, there is a famous story about a boy and a girl who drive out to lover’s lane to make out and soon enough a man with a hook kills them. This has become a cliché in so many horror movies and now whenever we find ourselves in that situation, we tend to believe it might happen, because we saw it we cannot get it out of our minds anymore. The same with the Bloody Mary game, I’m scared to even utter it three times into the mirror, I believe that it might actually happen weirdly enough. In countries like Korea, Japan and China the number 4 is bad luck because it is homophonous to the word death, you see in most hotels, residential buildings and even hospitals the 4th floor is completely omitted, because people genuinely fear it.

 

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With the internet, the same occurrences happen, people devise fake stories, use photoshopped images and write fictitious backstories and soon enough it takes a few websites to repost it before becoming viral. Most commonly people use chain emails, social media and viruses to spread them. The most famous example is Eric Knusden’s  Slenderman, a tall tentacled man that appears and kills you or kidnaps children. The falsified images he made were for a brief back in 2009 for website called Somethingawful.com. Within 20 minutes people latched on to it and continued spreading more stories, until slowly but surely it became part of mainstream culture and started hitting our shelves in stores. Today it is part of modern society, we cannot deny that slender man was never created, and strangely he almost becomes real. So real that in 2014, in Wisconsin two 12 year-old girls lured another girl of similar age into the woods and stabbed her 19 times, because they reported seeing Slenderman and wanted to impress him and become his minions. The girl thankfully survived, however it left a mark on the family and especially the girl. The creator was so saddend, his small, even innocent internet post within 5 years almost killed an innocent girl. The internet is excellent at promoting more stories like it, from the Russian sleep experiment to Robert the Doll. All these unexplainable half truths just create this eerie feeling where you don’t know if it’s true enough to kill you and don’t really intend to find out. In the same category are conspiracy theories that circulate about major events in history such as the twin towers and Area 51, the latter becoming famous for people falsifying images of aliens and Facebook spreading lies claiming they were true. The image of the aliens was for the set of X-Files and the artists who made it said it was faked, but it just takes one person to say that it is real before it spreads.

 

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We did an exercise during class where one person from a group would go and be shown an image, have to describe it to us and then draw. They were all horror characters, but since everyone imagines the description in a different way, the horror characters all looked different from another. For some there weren’t huge differences, but for others, people either didn’t know the references or chose to change it to suit them. The best example was the drawing I received, it looked like a fat cigar with Mickey Mouse hands sticking from its sides and a tennis ball shaped head with a basic two-eyes, mouth and a nose.  I had to explain this to my group and all of them drew similar characters. We couldn’t determine who this monster was, no one had ever seen him before. Once we compiled all the drawings together from other groups, we determined it was Dracula. The real problem were the people before me, someone drew the image and maybe didn’t care, didn’t know how to represent it. The image was then shown to me, even though there were better variants within that group, someone thought it would comical to choose that one. It worked, I was puzzled and so was my group. This is exactly what happens on the internet or in the news, the source material was wrong, but because I didn’t look anywhere else or couldn’t find anywhere else, I assume it’s right. Then I say it’s true and then 6 other people confirmed it, one wrong thing became 7 more wrong things in mere minutes and with the internet it happens in mere milliseconds. This is the danger we live in, falsified or badly recorded information can have on our society and people’s lives. The following are images from the workshop we did.

 

 

More than ever we need to be careful with what we come across, because as enchanting as the internet is, there are a lot of dark and scary corners with a lot of disturbed imagery and fantasies.

 

Bibliogrpahy

Wikipedia (2019) Cinderella (1950 film) Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinderella_(1950_film)#Critical_reaction (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Morfin, M. (2016) 13 Twisted Tales by The Brothers Grimm. Available at: https://theculturetrip.com/europe/germany/articles/13-intriguing-fairy-tales-by-the-brothers-grimm/ (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Wikipedia (2019) Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimms%27_Fairy_Tales (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Greenwald, M. (2018) 27 Spine-Tingling Internet-Era Urban Legends. Available at: https://bestlifeonline.com/scary-urban-legends/ (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Images

Walt Disney Productions (1950) Cinderella. Available at: https://www.sweetyhigh.com/read/best-disney-princess-cinderella-truths-011817 (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Getty Images (2018) Brothers Grimm. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/ai-robot-brothers-grimm-fairytale-write-story-the-princes-and-fox-a8393826.html (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Crane, W. (1875) Little Red Riding Hood, Illustration, Available at: https://exhibitions.fitnyc.edu/fairy-tale-fashion/fairy-tale-art/ (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Bustle (2015) Available at: https://www.bustle.com/articles/98853-5-urban-legends-that-are-actually-true-so-you-may-want-to-check-your-backseat-for (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Hoaxeye (2017) Aliens Area 51. Available at: https://hoaxeye.com/2017/06/13/area-51-aliens/ (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

THE MEME THAT MAKES ME LOL

18/02/2019 – 22/02/2019

CTS: WEEK 2

 

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Humour, comedy, jokes and banter, we all love to laugh until are sides split, our lungs collapse and our faces turn red, but what makes something funny? Laughing is much linked to society and culture. How we grow up, language, expressions, history, politics, social classes, etc. There are a lot factors that go into comedy and I personally believe the hardest genre to be a master in. When someone delivers a terrible punchline and the room fills with crickets there is no harsher or more awkward feeling, it’s almost embarrassing not only for you but for the person cracking the joke. Timing, execution, material, these are some things that take years to master, but are so easily overlooked as being just a natural trait, because above all a comedian has to appear completely natural when delivering. Thankfully, comedy is being take more seriously and academics around the world are writing books, studying it at university and are even bringing in comedians to help educate audiences. I will explain and analyse why the following meme is funny, funny enough the word meme doesn’t come from the media, but from an English biologist called Richard Dawkins in 1976. He coined the term because he said ideas spread and mutate just like genes, we notice this with memes that are created and widespread daily. It is much dependant on every day life the news and pop culture and we see how fast the internet picks up funny or shocking news and turns it into something funny.

The meme begins by someone posting a disturbing photoshopped image of the famous Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup oozing baked beans instead the signature filling. The mere thought of biting into a sweet, chocolate cup to find beans inside is repulsive and haunting. Immediately you question if you could ever fully trust Reese’s again. This is the first sign of incongruity. Incongruous is defined as (Merriam Webster, 2019) “incompatible”, “disagreeing”, “inconsistent within itself” and “unsuitable”. We can clearly see how unsuitable and disagreeing filling a chocolate cup with baked beans is, but it also stains the image of the brand. You don’t associate a brand built on delivering sweet flavours with disturbing flavours and in turn can also ruin childhood memories of Hallowe’en and birthday parties. It also plays with your sense’s, you try replicating the taste in your mouth and imagine what it would be like to live that horrible experience, because your mind is trying to wrap its head around the inconsistency of it all. The caption: “If I bite into a Reese’s and beans come out everybody dying” . This accentuates the possible scenario by adding hysteria making it funnier, an obvious response in comedy when an unsuitable action happens is to reply with an unsuitable reaction which most of the times wants to top the initial one. In comedy we can make references to death and violence without it offending anyone, because no is going to get hurt, it’s just a joke. So when he mentions everyone dying, we imagine all the ways he would kill somebody if they were to feed him this vile food. It reflects our total disagreement, even hatred for this image, it’s so wrong we would kill because of it, thus exaggeration emphasises the situation, the same way a swear word can. The way all jokes work is based on a setup and a punchline, the setup takes you in one direction and the punchline either changes direction or exaggerates it. A few things happen when you hear a joke: You have a moment of listen, realise, laugh and then cool down. However, a lot of ways comedians keep their audience laughing is to take the punchline and spin it in another direction, continuing the joke. This is what the comment by sosa_on_the_beatv2 does, by saying: “I think it’s kinda quirky” reinforced by a quirky-winking and a licking-lips emoticon. We establish an initial point: Reese’s beans make us feel gross, we then amplify that emotion and spin it back round making us consider the possibility of trying it. The way it’s said as well: “kinda quirky”, it’s what someone would say describing somebody, but in a romantic or sexual way. It’s an unusual, but cute trait, a girl might make that kind of comment if she saw a boy she was interested in make. In the end, the meme relies on absurdity and exaggeration with an intent to get a deeply emotional reaction out of us.

 

Bibliography

Macmillan, T.(2017) The Art and Science of Comedic Timing. Available at: https://www.thecut.com/2017/05/the-art-and-science-of-comedic-timing.html (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Jeffries, S. (2014) The science of comedy: can humour make the world a better place Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/feb/11/science-comedy-academics-social (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Jr., M. (2017) More Than Funny. TED. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twSvd5bQLDw (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

 

 

BEAUTIFUL COLOUR

18/02/2019 – 22/02/2019

STUDIO: WEEK 2

 

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To become better artists we need a better understanding of colour and how they work together. Some colours together vibrate differently and their meaning and overall appearance change. During the lesson we stuck colours on the wall and then a grey square in the middle of each of those colours. It was interesting to see how the grey impacted the base colour, making it duller, brighter, lighter, darker etc.

 

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Colours hold so much power and can convey the ultimate meaning we want if done correctly. A lot of people use the wrong colours or the same colours too often that they become cliché and easy. It is easy to make a statement with black, white and red, nowadays it doesn’t look like a lot of effort was put into choosing those colours because everybody knows they work. They will work regardless, but an age of constant reproduction, we need to go beyond the black-white and red combinations to find new and emotively stimulating combinations. There are artists who are changing the game either by going back in time or leaping into the future.

 

Our lives are filled with colour every single day, everywhere we look we see colour and how they transform with shapes, shadows, textures and time. It truly is a blessing to see colour every day, however somedays as an artist you just can’t make the right choice. Though it isn’t vital to be an artist and see colour, Cassatt, Milton, Degas and Monet all have or had problems seeing colour, and for Milton it’s a blessing as he doesn’t have to worry anymore and works only in black and white. As much as colour theory is interesting I want to go in other directions in which how colours are perceived.

 

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Milton, P. (1994) Point of Departure I: Mary’s Turn, etching and engraving, edition 175, 18×28 inches

 

The Op-artist Neil Harbisson can only see in grayscale. Firstly, Op-Art or Optical Art was an international movement in the 60s from South America to Europe. The grandfather of Op-Art is French-Hungarian Victor Vasarely who started as early as the 1930s. In 1965, MoMA showcased artists like Richard Anuszkiewic, Bridget Riley, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Josef Albers who were inspired by Vasarely. It was received to much commercial and critical praise, the fashion world adopted the patterns. Artists and neuroscientists study the eye how they perceive lines, shape and colour. Here are some examples:

 

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Vasarely, V. (1990) Kezdi, Painted Wood, 26 × 25 × 3 in, Edition of 175
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Riley, B. (1963) Untitled for Conspiracy the Artist as Witness (Schubert, 15), 1963, Acrylic on board, 28 × 24 in
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Cruz-Diez, C. (2013) Week Series – Monday, 2013, Color lithograph, 23 × 23 in, Edition of 75
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Cruz-Diez, C. (2015) Caura 4, 2015, Lithograph, Edition of 75

 

Neil Harbisson lived his whole life colourblind and has always seen it as a bonus, he sees better at night, better understand shapes, light and dark. Having everything stripped back to black and white forces you to find beauty which is masked by colour. As beautiful as colour is, it can easily hide faults in an artwork and make something better than it actually is. However with black and white, I feel that all your mistakes are much more visible and asks more out of your abilities to execute and achieve. A good example is the semi-autobiographical, black and white movie Roma by Alfonso Cuaron.

 

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It is filmed in Mexico, a country that boasts vibrant and lush colours, thus the story, the filming and actors can hide behind the colours. The movie breathes even more life in black and white, you see, feel and understand so much more, because there are no colourful distractions. I was completely absorbed by the technicality, the story, the actors and the attention to detail to make every shot a photograph and every minute visually compelling. There isn’t a single moment that does not captivate you, there are no cheap or easy scenes, probably the best cinematography I have ever seen. I saw how the shadows impacted the building, how the expression on the actors faces was accentuated, how the textures were more textured and every sense was tingling and heightened.

“There is something about Roma—it produces a reverberation, it lingers inside you, way after the movie has ended.”

– Valeria Luiselli

I believe this quote to be true, from the moment the credit rolled I was motionless and in awe. This reverberation is produced by the powerful imagery and is only attainable through black and white, if this movie were in colour, it would not have had the impact it had. We’re filled by colour day in and day out, it’s the standard because we have the technology to feed it to us. A lot of the colour combinations we are used to a provide moods and feelings have been so overused, that they are a bit washed out, cliché almost. Black, white and red is so easy to get away with, it’s no longer special unless done extremely well. In the Western World, we live in an age where most companies are pushing for the smooth, clean, bright, animated, vibrant spot-coloured aesthetic. It all looks the same for better or worse, we’re materialising modern/futuristic looks into workspaces, universities, our homes etc. We’re not accustomed to this polished look, because it feels so sterile. Without a human touch certain places don’t feel nice to be in, it may be fun for a bit, but we don’t have things that represent us, it’s not authentically ours. We’re losing sight of the beauty of natural. The surge in popularity of retro/vintage/second-hand objects and clothing is filling that gap, because we miss used things. This is something major that the movie accomplishes for us. So much can be revealed from black and white and it is something I want to study and develop further in my practice along with. Here is some imagery to get a better understanding of what I’m talking about. When you look at the following images, put yourself in the eyes of Neil Harbisson and imagine your life like that every single day.

 

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Now that we can see how colour can distort and change our perception of the image and black and white can highlight lost details, imagine combining someone who can see the world more clearly and then represent it in colour. He’s kind of like a cyborg, he has what he calls an “eyeborg” attached into his skull along with a chip implanted into his brain. Since he was born completely colourblind with a rare condition called achromatopsia . The following is a picture of him wearing the “eyeborg” and how It works.

 

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He became a Cyborg back in 2003 when he convinced doctors to surgically implant an antenna in the back of his skull which connected to a chip. He worked with scientists to help him perceive colour through sound. In his TED talk he shows us how it works and it’s very interesting the sounds that are emitted from each colour, this is something I never even thought of: colour has sound. I knew of synesthesia:  “a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway (for example, hearing) leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway (such as vision).” (Psychology Today, 2019). It happens automatically without provoking it through thought, it’s just something that happens which you have no control over, there are approximately 60-80 types of synesthesia most of which haven’t been recorded and it affects . Misophonia (translates to ‘hatred of sound’): sounds trigger negative emotions, lexical-gustatory synesthesia: words become tastes in your mouth, mirror-touch synesthesia: feeling what the other person is feeling like, i.e. they touch their chin and you feel it and personification: numbers, letters and days of the week have their own personalities. The following are what could be considered visually artistic forms of synesthesia, grapheme-color synesthesia:  individual letters and numbers have specific colours and sometimes colour patterns. Chromesthesia: sound-to-colour synesthesia which Kandinsky had is when sound makes you experience colour. Number-form synesthesia: when your mind creates maps of numbers. It is interesting that people live their day-to-day lives experiencing this. So what does Harbisson have? He explains it as such: “sonochromatism – the inextricable linking of hue and tone to audio frequencies” (Huffington Post, 201..). So with the development in technology new abilities, not conditions, are created. I say ability and not a condition, because a condition can hinder your life and hold you back from being fully functioning, whereas he now has the ability to recognise colour, something he didnt even think he would be able to do when he was a child.

Now that he can hear colour, his mind begins to recognise it and he even started dreaming in colour. It’s crazy what a small piece of technology can do and change someone’s life. He creates musical portraits with your face and even analyses famous speeches and songs. For every sound that is sung or spoken or played by instruments, he records the colours and creates large paintings based off of them. A interesting example is the one below, naturally our eyes tend to gravitate towards the left, because of the brighter colours. The one on the right seems sadder. What if you knew that the left painting is a speech by Hitler and the one on the right was by Martin Luther King Jr., then which one is your favourite?

 

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The future of colour is developing as we speak, if technology will push the limits of our eyes and brain, we might be able to see infrared or ultraviolet. We might be able to see more colours than we already can, humans have 3 colour receptors red, green and blue, whereas a Mantis shrimp has 12 colour receptors. Imagine if we could harbour the power of 9 more colour receptors and see a whole new world of tones and hues. Neil Harbisson wants to make the world a little more cyborg, even if we do have external membranes like our phones and computers and in this day and age we can almost not live without it. Our society has become so dependent on these devices we are forced to be cyborgs, we can live without one, but it would make life so difficult. Imagine having the opportunity to see more than you already can, would you risk it? Or would you want to modify something else about you?

 

 

 

Bibliography

Evancie, A. (2014) For One Artist, Colorblindness Opened Up A World Of Black And White. Available at: https://www.npr.org/2014/11/16/364092778/for-one-artist-colorblindness-opened-up-a-world-of-black-and-white?t=1551607901297 (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

Artsy (2019) Op-Art. Available at: https://www.artsy.net/gene/op-art (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

Gottesman, S (2016) The Neuroscience of Op-Art. Available at: https://www.artsy.net/article/the-art-genome-project-the-neuroscience-of-op-art (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

Sharp, R. (2016) The Vantages of Being a Colourblind Artist. Available at: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-the-advantages-of-being-a-colorblind-artist (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

Harbisson, N. (2012) I Listen To Colour. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/neil_harbisson_i_listen_to_color (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

Murphy, B.J (2018) A conversation on cyborgism: an interview with UK cyborg Neil Harbisson. Available at: https://www.grayscott.com/seriouswonder-//a-conversation-on-cyborgism-an-interview-with-uk-cyborg-neil-harbisson (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

Psychology Today (2019) Synesthesia. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/synesthesia (Accessed: 4 March 2019)

Harbisson, N. (20Available at: https://vimeo.com/118166526 (Accessed: 4 March 2019)

Cyborgarts (2019). Available at: https://www.cyborgarts.com (Accessed: 4 March 2019)

Elise, K (2016) 12 artists who have synesthesia. Available at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/88417/12-famous-artists-synesthesia (Accessed: 4 March 2019)

Uncube Magazine (2014) Meat Machines: Body-building, cyborgs and grinders. Available at: http://www.uncubemagazine.com/blog/14274527 (Accessed: 4 March 2019)

Christie’s (2017) 10 things to know about Kadinsky. Available at: https://www.christies.com/features/Wassily-Kandinsky-10-things-to-know-8600-1.aspx (Accessed: 4 March 2019)

Hong, J. (2017) The Worlds First Official Cyborg: 10 Things To Know About Him. Available at: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/the-worlds-first-official-cyborg-10-things-to-know-about-him (Accessed: 20 March 2019)

Images

Vasarely, V. (1990) Available at: https://www.wright20.com/auctions/2016/06/prints-multiples/177 (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

Riley, B (1963) Untitled for Conspiracy the Artist as Witness (Schubert, 15). Available at: https://www.karstenschubert.com/m/news/71/ (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

Buzzfeed (2018) Available at: https://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/971487-alfonso-cuarons-roma-poster-released (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

Comingsoon (2018)Available at: https://www.buzzfeed.com/luisdelvalle/roma-is-def-the-best-movie-of-the-year-dont-at-me (Accessed: 3 March 2019)

https://fakuto.com/neil-harbisson-is-the-first/

VISUAL ESÉ

11/02/2019 – 15/02/2019

CTS: WEEK 1

 

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This year’s challenge is to make a visual essay and actually print it and bind it as we please. I have never made a visual essay before, but I’m eager to. Not only do I get to make all the content in terms of writing, but I get to make all the executive and stylistic choices when it comes to the shape, size, the way it’s bound, the type of paper, the design and the font. I included images of my top 3 favourite books I saw by previous IVM students. I’m very keen on taking it to the next level and making my visual essay look as professional as possible, like it belongs in a book store.

 

Before I delve into the definition, I want to start by representing my peers work. The reason I selected these visual essays from past students is because they were the only ones I feel were being more creative and experimental. The laser-engraved cover for Nudity is absolutely eye-catching. The confident drawings of different types of breasts really compliments the classic, straight-edge typeface against wooden cover.

 

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The hand stitched cover is also beautiful bringing in a natural and rough feeling to the publication world which is always so smooth and polished.

 

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The images I think are amazing in the open book and work well with the off-white paper, the contrast between the bold spot coloured images with the historical, blue images play an interesting contrast.

 

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The front cover of the previous images is a testament that outside should reflect the inside. There is nothing worse than a bad front cover and great contents and vice versa, I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I do. There has to be the same level of care and attention to detail with the physical and written aspect.

 

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I enjoy the  experimental cover mixed with the quickly scribbled masking tape title, its nice to see a more rugged and street style and immediately tells you how to feel about the book itself.

Now let’s explore what a visual essay is? It’s a piece of work that’s made entirely of images and the narrative should be mostly understood through the visuals. Words can be used, but they should be used restrictively to not take away or distract from the images. The subject of the visual essay is derived from the 1500 word written essay about one of the sessions we have done or will do across the year in CTS. I had never seen one in person, it is not the typical format you see when you research a subject, much less likely to be seen in a bookstore or a museum. It is a very ubiquitous format, because you are more likely to see an essay with lots of images, graphs, etc. or a picture book, comic book, graphic novel, etc. A visual essay is this grey area where different institutions have different definitions, some believe a visual essay has the full essay in between the visual aspect, some have a limited amount of words whereas us in IVM want to remove as many words as possible. This made my research difficult, because the internet wasn’t helpful and neither were the online databases that UAL offers. I found 4 copies which call themselves visual essays from the library, 2 normal books and 2 from the special collections of the Chelsea College of Arts library.

 

Gutai-group-in-Osaka-1959.-Photo-by-Christo-Coetzee-courrtesy-of-Wikipedia

 

The first book, A Visual Essay on Gutai at 32 East 69th Street, was made for the exhibition they held in that New York address. It’s about a collective of avant-garde Japanese artists from 1954-1972. They were a young group of artists who experimented in a new realm of aesthetics.

 

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Lead by Jiro Yoshihara, the artists came into prominence in New York when they exposed 28 paintings selected by Yoshihara in the Martha Jackson Gallery on 32 E 69th St. and renowned French art critic Michel Taipé encountered their work. Even with the help from the gallery, they were dismissed for being derived of Abstract Expressionism – spontaneous and expressive mark-making and brushstrokes inspired from surrealist idea that art must come from the unconscious mind and Miro’s automatism (or making without conscious decisions), Rothko and Pollock are some famous examples- and Art Informel – highly gestural paintings popular in the 40s and 50s with important members such as de Kooning and Dubuffet. However, this group was highly conceptual and philosophical. Their gained prolificness during the 60s for their performance paintings and gained international recognition.  They were open to constant experimentation and extracting shapes from everyday life and materials. The electric dress was inspired by the Osaka street station, paper breakthrough came from Murakami’s son bursting through the sliding doors while his dad was working. Their goal was to create powerful and stunning imagery “never seen before”, instead of ‘just experimenting’ it was more about making something completely original in artistic creation. These artists were trained in painting and with Yoshihara’s guidance broke tradition in Japan when Western Art was still seen as the highest form. Their financial constraints forced them to do the best with the little they had and used tin, newspapers etc. because they couldn’t afford canvases mixed in with odd tools such as umbrellas, electric cars and vibrators. This quote resumes it the best: “the group realised that the elements needed to make art “never seen before” were in fact found in unexpectedly familiar places”. The group officially disbanded in 1972 with the departure of prominent artists and the sudden death of Yoshihara.

 

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The book is made of 10 pages of a non-industry sized paper, like A4 or B4 for example, and then wrapped in a thicker cover and stapled down the middle. The publication is very neat and organised, all the text are in columns and leave priority to the image being the dominant figure throughout the book. The text serves as contextual and historical background and explains the origins of the paintings, the artists and the movement itself. There is a separation between the art and the text, the art is elevated on a glossy and brilliant white paper. The paper is a heavier, glossy stock and of very high quality allowing the high quality pictures shine in the readers hands. This allows us to enjoy every detail of every artwork displayed. Another reason why the art is on better paper is mirrored with the extremely expensive art books that are being made and how artists work is set to a high standard in publication. Since the art is precious so is the book. Another financial aspect aside from the actual printing is the cost of the art in today’s market compared to the past, Gutai is now an internationally recognised movement whereas in the past they were dismissed that is another reason it’s on more expensive paper it’s on another level. The essay is written on a thinner, matte off-white paper which reflects the artists financial limits of the past and it also reinforces the history of the movement. Off-White paper is synonymous with the past, because old books become yellow with time and it contrasts the present of the 2012 exhibition with the early days in 1954. Another contrast is the use of colour, to print colour on thick, glossy paper is expensive, whereas printing black on off-white is inexpensive. This further accentuates the use of time, the past is in black and white, because they could afford black and white film. Today they have professional, full colour photoshoots for their artwork. This separation between off-white and brilliant white lets us jump through time, we get to go to and fro Japan and New York. The white paper is in the middle of the essay and the off white is at the beginning, middle and end. As much as we should celebrate the success it has in the present and future we must not forget where it comes from, the past is more important than the now. That is why it envelops the artwork at the exhibition, the artwork is a small part of the ideological movement and of the artist themselves, kind of like Jiro Yoshihara’s circles. In fine art, sometimes the artwork will shadow the artist and its roots, this is why the author decides to end with a glimpse of the past. The design is minimal and angular, trying to occupy the least amount of negative space possible to maximise the impact of the artwork. I personally think that this is an amazing publication and has definitely inspired to mix different types of paper and given me thought to experiment with my final outcome, maybe I will fade the paper from white to black, who knows, but this is definitely worth investigating.

 

Here are some of their famous pieces:

Atusko Tanaka, Electric dress, 1956, LED lights,

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Yoshihara Jiro, 1967, Work, oil on canvas, 90.9 x 115.5cm

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Kazuo Shiraga, Red Fan, Red-lacquered tissue paper and wood, 310 x 155 x 155cm

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Noiro Imai, White Ceremony-G, 1966, Acrylic, cloth, plastic old, 162 x 130.3 x 18cm

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Takesada Matsutani, Work65-Daiwa, 1965, Polyvinyl acetate adhesive, paint on canvas, 183.4 x 183.5cm

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Shuji Mukai, 1963, Work, mixed media, 93 x 71cm

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Tsuruko Yamazaki, Work, 1967, Tin, wood, lights, 160 x 224.8 x 12.7cm

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Shozo Shimamoto, Indicators, 1953, ink on paper, 36.4 x 25.8cm

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Shozo Shimamoto, Bottle Crash, 1962, Glass and paint on canvas, 162 x 130cm

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In Victor Pasmore’s limited collection of his book The Man Within, he mixes 8 pieces of poetry with illustrations.

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The book is perfect bound with a hard cover and the paper is a thick, matte, watercolour paper. The paper has this beautiful texture even though it is smooth at the same time giving the artwork a more organic feel to it, almost as if it were drawn into the page. Each poem has two pages. The first, seventh and eight poem are in the middle of the right page. The other, shorter ones all occupy the far-centre left of the left page. The illustrations are coloured and linear, they are very scratchy and child-like and represent an abstract visualisation of the poem they are associated with. It’s simply designed and very minimal, but it does the job. The poems are abstract, making you ponder on what they mean. The artist gives us as much visual information required to get the point across and stripped away all the useless bits. Minimalism is a very difficult thing to accomplish because you need to know when you have stop and when you need to add, this style mixed with Gutai could be an interesting visual experimentation.

 

The following two books from the Special Collections archive in Chelsea aren’t the best and definitely I can make something superior. I wasn’t allowed to photograph them, because they are “special”. The first was a book called Terra Nullius Acts of Possession: A visual essay by Elisabeth Tonnard. A Dutch artist who specialises in making books and poetry, however I don’t know what she was trying to achieve with this. Each page is made of 6 boxes with pictures of the Dutch countryside and underneath there are passages in English of famous explorers like Colombus, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Master Edward Hayes etc. The book didn’t spark any interest and felt like it was put together in less than an hour with no attention or thought behind it. The second book was by Elina Pavildes called Home Sweet Home: A Visual Essay, a Cyprian artist, who had a mix of writing and poetry. The colour was like this terracotta and dirt yellow and It was all messy and all over the place, it was mostly confusing and wasn’t put together correctly. Again, it sparked no interest. However, this must be some sort of a study for a larger project and not a final piece, they might be experimentations or the beginning of an idea, because it does look more like a research essay rather than something finished.

 

More inspiration from this special commission from Frieze Magazine: Lacrima: Viviane Sassen’s Specially Commissioned Homage to Lee Miller. It’s a beautifully organised, intimate and polished to perfection. I absoluelty adore the composition and it made me think photographically how I would print and organise it. Please see the link for what I mean: https://frieze.com/article/lacrima-viviane-sassens-specially-commissioned-homage-lee-miller

 

Bibliography

University of Hertfordshire (2019) The Visual Essay. Available at: https://catoolkit.herts.ac.uk/toolkit/the-visual-essay/ (Accessed: 2 March 2019)

Tate (2019) Art Informel. Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/art-informel (Accessed: 20 March 2019)

Tate (2019) Abstract Expressionism. Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/abstract-expressionism (Accessed: 20 March 2019)

Nishizawa, M (2012) A Visual Essay on Gutai at 32 East 69th Street, Hauser & Wirth New York, New York.

Pasmore, V. (1997) The Man Within, Enitharmon Press, London.

Tonnard, E. (?) Terra Nullius Acts of Possession: A visual essay, Special Collections archive, Chelsea College of Arts Library.

Pavildes, E. (?) Home Sweet Home: A Visual Essay, Special Collections archive, Chelsea College of Arts Library.

 

Images

Art trip museum (2019) Yoshihara Jiro, the Leader of the Gutai: his Life and Works. Available at: https://www.city.osaka.lg.jp/contents/wdu120/artrip/en/gutai_yoshihara.html (Accessed: 25 March 2019)

Coetzee, C (1959) Gutai Group in Osaka

Contemporary daily (2012) A Virtual Essay on Gutai at Hauser & Wirth. Available at: https://www.contemporaryartdaily.com/2012/10/a-visual-essay-on-gutai-at-hauser-wirth/yoshihara1965_edited/ (Accessed: 25 March 2019)

Schofield, N (2019) The Man Within. Available at: http://neil-schofield.squarespace.com/victorpasmorebook1/eqaglvvw43ah211hokuxd82tx78k1k (Accessed: 25 March 2019)

Past Students work

Nudity – artist name wasn’t mentioned inside the book

Tell me what you think – Kathy Hayes

Pizza Planet, cover + inside – artist name wasn’t mentioned inside the book

Catalogue – Ruiyao Zhu

 

 

 

BODIES HIT THE FLOOR

11/02/2019 – 15/02/2019

STUDIO: WEEK 1

 

NEW YEAR, NEW BLOCK, NEW PROJECT.

To investigate the world of fear and horror, we were taken back to the 19th century. Mary Shelly wrote the book Frankenstein about a doctor called Frankenstein who resurrects a dead body and discovers how to reverse death. Resurrection has always been a common theme throughout religion: Jesus Christ and Lazarus. In medical terms, Lazarus Syndrome is when a patient is pronounced dead after multiple attempts of resuscitation, but then comes back to life minutes to hours later. Literature: Gandolf, Harry Potter, Aslan, Juliet, etc. Mythology:  but this is the first time it is done by science and defying nature and religion. In the end, it is critique on society and how we judge people by what they look like and not who they really are. Frankenstein’s monster wasn’t the real monster, we were. A very avant-garde story for its’ time, but as well as how the story was told, because many consider it the first horror story. The first day back, the assignment was to pair up and draw the outline of our bodies and fill it with our biggest fears.

 

 

I drew a lot of disturbing images all over my body, because I didn’t want to draw my fears. I wanted to explore disturbing imagery instead, imagery that can cause fears, like Giger for example. I hope this something I can explore and create powerful and skin-crawling images that will repulse audiences.

 

 

The only fears I have are drowning and being buried alive, those are the two things that frighten me, not being able to escape a situation that stressful and horrible. I don’t have phobias of spiders or small spaces, but they still make me uncomfortable like most people. The most important thing about fear is that it can overshadow anything, your mind and body are solely focused on the thing that is paralysing you with dread and anxiety. It is very powerful, nothing can divert your attention from it because it is so consuming and powerful for some. It is one of those emotions that will chew you up and spit you out and do it over and over again. In the past I used to have very frightening dreams, even though they can be very real, I know now how to distinguish them from reality. I know that when I wake, I will be alive. Fear has been vastly explored in the art world in all shapes and sizes, from wars to religion, reality and fantasy. It is something all of us have gone, go and will go through our whole lives. I’m very intrigued as to how this will develop and play a course in the art we’re going to produce in the upcoming weeks.

GANG VIDEO SOURCES

SOURCES

A study into the realities and the distorted image we have on gangs and drugs.

Here are all my sources of the videos that don’t belong to me, they are solely used in the name of research. It is a compilation of visual research for a university project.

All rights reserved to the authors of the videos.

SONG:

Ten Crack Commandments:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikq5ZmsBd6s

Ten Crack Commandments lyrics:

https://genius.com/1902548

 

PICTURES:

Terrible pictures of drug addicts. Part 1.: Scary pictures of drug addicts 6

https://abuse-drug.com/drug-addiction/terrible-pictures-of-drug-addicts-part-1/attachment/scary-pictures-of-drug-addicts-6#main

 

Terrible pictures of drug addicts. Part 1.: Scary pictures of drug addicts 8

https://abuse-drug.com/drug-addiction/terrible-pictures-of-drug-addicts-part-1/attachment/scary-pictures-of-drug-addicts-8#main

 

A photographer spent five years staying at Nevada brothels for weeks at a time — here’s what he saw

http://uk.businessinsider.com/marc-mcandrews-photos-of-nevadas-legal-brothels-2014-2/#when-mcandrews-began-shooting-nevadas-brothels-he-expected-to-find-a-seedy-place-filled-with-drugs-what-he-found-at-places-like-the-wild-horse-ranch-shown-here-from-afar-was-something-completely-different-1

 

Tennessee Mongols Motorcycle Gang members accused of murder, kidnapping & more

https://fox17.com/news/local/tennessee-mongols-motorcycle-gang-members-indicted-for-murder-kidnapping-more

 

America’s 11 Most Powerful Prison Gangs

https://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-prison-gangs-in-the-us-2013-4?IR=T

 

I Spent Seven Months Inside Brazil’s Most Notorious Red Light District

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/4w54jw/vila-mimosa-brazil-fbio-teixeira-photos-876

 

Alleged former ‘El Chapo’ lieutenant: Mexican drug lord tried to have me killed

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/11/28/joaquin-el-chapo-guzman-miguel-angel-martinez-sinaloa-cartel-trial/2132016002/

 

Pablo Escobar: 8 Interesting Facts About the King of Cocaine

https://www.britannica.com/list/pablo-escobar-8-interesting-facts-about-the-king-of-cocaine

 

The 10 Most Dangerous Motorcycle Gangs in America

http://mfword.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-10-most-dangerous-motorcycle-gangs.html

 

Chicago: Home of The Latin Kings and Young Lords – HD Documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JANMSe83yVs

 

Murders fall in El Salvador, but citizens still fearfulhttps://wtop.com/latin-america/2018/01/murders-fall-in-el-salvador-but-citizens-still-fearful/

 

Haunting Photos of London Murder Scenes

https://www.vice.com/sv/article/avydxg/antonio-olmos-landscape-of-murder-999

 

The Largest Drug Seizures In U.S. History by Dollar Amounthttps://moneyinc.com/top-10-drug-seizures-u-s-history-dollar-amount/

 

The Violent Gang Trump Vowed To Target

https://revealyourtruth.com/what-is-ms-13-the-violent-gang-trump-vowed-to-target/694940094001_5513452798001_5513454701001-vs-jpg/

 

Cocaine Is Booming in Colombia and the President Is Tanking

https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/11/cocaine-is-booming-in-colombia-and-president-santosis-tanking-pence-drugs-farc/

 

Some Unspeakably Depressing Photos of a Baltimore Crack House

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/05/here-are-some-unspeakably-depressing-photos-baltimore-crack-house/350625/

 

FORMER ‘COMMISSIONER’ JOHN GRESCHNER DISCUSSES LIFE AND DEATH IN THE ARYAN BROTHERHOOD

https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2012/former-‘commissioner’-john-greschner-discusses-life-and-death-aryan-brotherhood

 

Gang activity ‘has increased alarmingly’ in South Mississippi. Here’s where it’s happening.

https://eu.clarionledger.com/story/news/2018/03/05/south-mississippi-gang-activity-increased/396604002/

 

In El Salvador, the Murder Capital of the World, Gang Violence Becomes a Way of Life

https://abcnews.go.com/International/el-salvador-murder-capital-world-gang-violence-life/story?id=39177963

 

death and homicide investigations

http://www.homicidetraining.com/courses.htm

 

What Are Miranda Rights And Who Was Ernesto Miranda?

https://www.thehardylawfirm.com/what-are-miranda-rights-and-who-was-ernesto-miranda/

 

El Salvador’s Gangs Are Targeting Young Girls

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/el-salvador-women-gangs-ms-13-trump-violence/554804/

 

Mexico drug wars: graphic pictures illustrating Mexican gang violence

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/7506688/Mexico-drug-wars-graphic-pictures-illustrating-Mexican-gang-violence.html

 

Raymondo Ruiz

https://grapco.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/253/

 

Heroin addicts

https://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/150821685/

9 alleged Latin Kings indicted on violence charges

https://projects.newsday.com/gdpr/

VIDEOS:

Rare, unique video of The Notorious B.I.G. funeral (1997)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5O3BbjFw-w

 

The Notorious B.I.G. – “Juicy” (Official Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JZom_gVfuw

 

Woman Destroys Two 72 Oz Steaks | World Record?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFEBR0ORq7s&t=7s

 

The Prince of Wales records passage for the YouTube Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tjDdz-yRw4&t=64s

 

Blac Youngsta This Is What 2 Million in Cash Looks Like

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6d4JZStL78&t=9s

 

Mia Wallace | Pulp Fiction

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDMJSg0a5u0

 

US Largest Drug Bust Nets 34 Tons Of Cocaine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib7gDsqyapo&t=38s

 

The Double Wig Rip Off! (The Jerry Springer Show)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqLNwm84twU

 

Stone Mountain machine gun shoot out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXo5ityuTlY&t=12s

 

Why Credit Cards Are A Scam – Honest Ads

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6zgmhsCLnc

 

Bad Boys (1/8) Movie CLIP – This Is a Limited Edition (1995) HD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoPFAlf393g

 

Rapper Ralo “Show us $10million he Made in Trap House”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a4ooeid0CA&t=62s

 

Aggressive crackhead

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32kuZcAUKS4

 

Here’s How The Crack Epidemic Brought A City To Its Knees

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcOSWFEBcmg

 

The Guns of Chicago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ft96tKF8Fs&t=296s

 

Drug deals 6.mp4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9Iy1ciJD70&t=349s

 

Gangs on the dark web: credit card scammers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT-jmq8KBw0

 

City attorney’s office releases helmet cam video evidence of 2012 SWAT raid

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl3PG4LdYoU&t=2s

 

Top 50 savage animals

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4baFQh0u7M&t=260s

 

5 coolest handshakes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSQO9Etc6V0

 

American Heist (2014) – The Bank Robbery Scene (5/10) | Movieclips

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEddtexPCso

 

Offset From Migos Pulls Out $100,000 Cash While Speaking On Cardi B Engagement & Meek Mill 11.7.17

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Agypco8QuRE&t=62s

 

Zombies of Nairobi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B_vZCLDs-M&t=32s

 

The lost streets of Chicago – BBC News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbKp8OV6F64&t=118s

 

How a Gang Hunted and Killed a 15 Year Old in the Bronx | NYT – Visual Investigations

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2lQAYj6ucg&t=357s

 

Walter Scott Death: Video Shows Fatal North Charleston Police Shooting | The New York Times

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKQqgVlk0NQ&t=152s

 

Inside a Gang initiation with the silent Murder Crips

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0iSh9A7rLI&t=6s

 

The Gangs That Inherited Pablo Escobar’s Drug Empire: Cooking with Cocaine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1EHm2_CNkM&t=17s

 

Meet Gang Members From Chicago’s West Side (HBO)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxGkXSB8KRI&t=4s

 

MS-13’s Active Members Are Laughing At Trump’s Crackdown (HBO)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_bmFJRcseg&t=323s

 

RESEARCH

Inside South Africa’s Most Notorious Gang

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/4wbyqg/stars-stripes-and-blood-south-africas-most-notorious-gang-is-called-the-americans

Latin Kings (gang)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Kings_(gang)

 

Meet the 28s General who left the Number and lived to tell the tale through film

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-03-13-meet-the-28s-general-who-left-the-number-and-lived-to-tell-the-tale-through-film/

 

Prison Leader Sharky – 18th Street Gang – Inside the Gangsters’ Code

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tI9zo9j40Q

 

Living in fear: Gangs of El Salvador

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jBThtGw-TE

 

NOISEY Bompton: Growing up with Kendrick Lamar

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA1EmLFi4OA

 

Dangereous, growing, yet unnoticed: the rise ofAmerica’s white gangs

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/05/white-gangs-rise-simon-city-royals-mississippi-chicago

 

Meet One of Australia’s Most Notorious Underworld Enforcers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3XdA7EGZ5Y

 

WHAT IS MS-13

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGgEF08r7ug

 

Inside Taiwan’s Most Notorious Mafia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0GMS2U66Mc

 

Illinois Gangs Documentary – The Vice Lords: MOST VIOLENT Gangs of West Chicago !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP3kmcsDokE&t=1383s

 

Meet Gang Members From Chicago’s West Side (HBO)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxGkXSB8KRI&t=4s

 

Detroiters Are Waging Paintball Wars As A Way To Stop Gang Violence (HBO)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmoKt348tY8

 

MS-13’s Active Members Are Laughing At Trump’s Crackdown (HBO)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_bmFJRcseg&t=323s

 

 

THE LAST DAY

02/12/2018 – 07/12/2018

STUDIO: WEEK 10

 

Untitled_07122018_142231

 

Feedback. We all need it. It is an important part of growth and we all need it at one time or another, but the problem with advice is that everybody has some. To put this statement into context, we had a group tutorial to help each other out. We stuck post-its to everyone’s art with our comments, these needed to include a positive remark and two constructive remarks. I did not feel the benefits form this session, though I did get some interesting recommendations, I don’t think people told me how they really felt about my work in general. It felt too flowery, nobody wanted to offend anybody else’s work, I understand it is hard to take criticism, but in the real world, where time equals money, nobody has time to turn you down nicely. If you do poor work or don’t provide anything at all, you might be yelled at or told off if your boss is nice, no one’s going to take you seriously and if they give you a second chance and you still don’t prove you can work, you will be fired. It is simple, if you’re not taking your work seriously, there are hundreds of people who will. In the working world, only a select few are hard to replace, so if you’re not one of them, no one is going to put up with your attitude. University prepares us for the real world, so when we’re speaking our minds in these critiques we should act as if this is the real world. What I’m not saying is to be mean, but tough, be constructive and firm about how you feel. If you don’t like it, it’s as simple as, however you need to say it with the right words as not everyone can handle criticism very well. At the end of the day, this isn’t supposed to break you, but make you realize where you need to improve.

Going back to the recommendations, someone recommended ‘polish posters’, at first it seemed odd, because every country makes posters. I discovered something really incredible, because this is a heralded art practice in Poland since the late 1800s. This practice begun when Poland was divided between several countries. What sets their poster apart from the French counterparts for example: high quality art. They draw their inspiration from cubism, Japanism, symbolism and national folklore. The poster truly became their weapon of choice, especially in advertising, when Poland became its own country after WWI. This practice expanded to multiple disciplines such as politics, movies, music and products that touches all walks of life across all sectors until this day and it is a very powerful internal market. In the movie world, some posters of the golden ear of cinema from the 50s to early 70s are very valuable. Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Birds is estimated between 2500-4300$ and Marcel Carne’s Les Enfants du Paradis is valued between 2800-3500£.

 

The other recommendation was Chris Ware’s highly acclaimed graphic novel  Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth. I have heard about the author’s name before, but now researching the author and the book I’m really curious to read it as it will help with my research for my side hustle. After seeing several extracts from the book, it does seem I can draw inspiration and use this author as secondary research. The story is about self-development and uses flashbacks to tell the story of a depressed 36-year-old, which kind of relates to the style of my plot.

twrdhpfpvjdhhjoctrjg

 

All in all, I still got some great feedback, but I think there is so much more I can pull out of it. Not only for me, but for everyone else as well.

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Murray, N., Sava, O. (2012) Jimmy Corrigan, the smartest kid on earth.Available at: https://www.avclub.com/jimmy-corrigan-the-smartest-kid-on-earth-1798232400 (Accessed: 7 January 2019)

 

IMAGES

Les enfants du paradis. https://www.polishposter.com/poster1296-les-enfants-du-paradise.html (Accessed: 7 January 2019)

Birds. Available at: https://www.polishposter.com/poster3924-birds-polish-movie-poster.html (Accessed: 7 January 2019)

Jimmy Corrigan, the smartest kid on earth. Available at: https://www.avclub.com/jimmy-corrigan-the-smartest-kid-on-earth-1798232400 (Accessed: 7 January 2019)

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