Lecture 7: High Vs. Low Culture

Questions of taste within society, the fine arts are seen as high culture where as the rest of the arts such as graphic design are seen as low culture, culture for the masses whereas high culture is for the elitist

‘Avant-garde’ is a term that is applied to art and culture with the apposing term being ‘Kitsch’

Dictionary defines Avant-garde as work that is progressive and innovative, society can also be deemed avant-garde, a person can also be avant-garde in their actions by being radical, experimental and challenging, one can also be part of the avant-garde

The term is modernist term that can also be used to describe a group of people that are progressive, the term however has become very over used and used everywhere within society and has lost some if not all of it’s original integrity

The term is often used in a simplistic manner within fashion to describe the style and work of some designers

The term is used everywhere outside of the realms of fine art where it originated, it is also no longer just a term for art and design, it’s meaning has become broadened and perhaps misconstrued

Marcel Duchamp - a typical avant-garde artist, he aims to be shocking and sensational within his work and upset the established order of society

Avant-garde in art means trying to do something different and not just to be stylistic or on an aesthetic level and also to upset the establishment of the everyday man

‘Fauves’ the work of self taught painters, where creating art very different to other art being created at the time, it was very experimental and represented an attack of the established art world

Aggressiveness formed an element of this work in that the art was breaking the existing rule book

Politics was also part of the art being created, not just being experimental, politics influenced the work being created

As avant-gardism grows, being radical and shocking become the qualities by which good art is judged and defined against, this becomes a fetish for artists

However this quality leads to ‘experiment for experiments sake’ and content takes president over style - meaning of the work has a greater priority

These qualities also become prioritized within the work of artists, innovation - new, experimentation - process, originality - to copy others is bad, creative genius - hidden.

Artist begin to speak about how creative inspiration comes from within them and this creativity must be let out

Post-modernist theory questions is anything new? Everything is always as a result of what has come before it

Challenging convention becomes a house style for artists, therefore challenging convention become convention

Within design education, educators can not teach students to be radical as they are taught to a curriculum

Throughout history has never been about being creative, this has come from art and design education, in the 16, 17 and 18th century only higher class people would go to art school, where they were taught to duplicate to work of great artists and it was not until they replicate that work perfectly were they allowed to create work of their own, however the art that artists made wasn’t the art they wanted to create

Only the church and members of the aristocracy where the people who brought art, therefore there was a very limited market for art, art was never about being creative it was about copying the work of a ‘master’, it was never about freedom

As society modernizes, the market for art develop, this is the time when artists become free and they are free to make the art they want to make

Although new styles of art begin to develop the work ultimately still needs to be sold , artists still needed to produce work that could be sold

Many artists believe they are above and beyond there work and therefore it is the fault of the people if they do not understand the work, the public are viewed as ‘stupid’ for not understanding the work

Within 20th century art, artists are viewed as above and higher than the average public and the world is not ready for the work they are producing and will in future make more sense and have greater meaning and understanding to the public

Van-guard a term coined by the french was used to describe the elite and the people that pave the way of the future, much alike the van guard of the army who go in fighting first before the rest of the army follow

Avant-garde artists are paving the way for the future as avant-gardism wanted and believed it could change the world and the politics in it, it developed repeatedly throughout the 20th century

Two attitudes towards art became apparent art that should change and better the world and there is art that is concerned with being experimental and has no engagement with the world this is referred to as ‘art for art’s sake’

Art for art’s sake dominated much of 21th century art thinking and practice

Clive Bell - discussed the relationship and combination of lines and colour which has the power to move somebody emotionally this is known as significant form

‘Rise of the critics’ Critics would write about why certain art was good, these people developed careers in explaining art that was hard to understand, these critics created theories about the work which artists then played to these theories and then other artists then followed

It is said that great intelligence is needed to understand significant form and if you do not understand significant form then you are stupid

Art for Art’s sake dominated the 20th century, avant-garde and kitsch represented the divide between art of importance and everything else

Haywain original painting is not kitsch whereas framed prints and plates of the same painting are deemed kitsch, recontextualizing art is seen as making the art kitsch, Kitsch is essentially everything that is not avant-garde 

Lecture 6: Film Theory 3 - Italian Film

Fellini an italian film director and screen writer is taken seriously as an auteur and became one of the most influential film makers of the 20th century, throughout his career which span 40 years, he won five academy awards, he was famous for his style which blended Barque with fantasy. Fellini famously comments on the superficiality of the middle class existence. He become critically acclaimed as his films were associated with with a distinctive style and sophistication.

La Dolce Vita, Fellini’s master piece released in 1960, another film by Fellini 8 1/2 released three years later in 1963 also received critical acclaim

La Dolce Vita also spurred the fashion trend for the sunglasses featured within the film

The staples to good Italian cinema is the audiences, the historical and social contexts and economics.

Within italy there are two types of cinema, Prima and Seconda visione, these are cinema which attract a middle to higher class audiences and are usually found within heavily populated cities and then terza visione cinemas which are found in less populated and poorer areas of italy and attract a lower class auidence, as tickets were cheaper and people went to cinema for habit rather than the selection of film. The films featured in these cinema were for formulaic and popular films than innovative, works of critical acclaim seen within prima visione and seconda visione cinemas.

Within 1970’s italy the cinema for the working classes was a very different experience, many would go to the cinema every night and the conventions of cinema are different in that it was common that people would talk, drink and eat during the film and people can enter to watch the film at any point start, middle or near the end, the cinema was a social experience rather than a experience in which you view a piece of cinematic genius. These conventions meant that the italian film industry required and needed many mediocre films to be produced

Wagstaff said that audiences at terza visione are more like televisions auidences in that experience in more casual, they don’t attend the cinema to see a specific film, they arrive irrespective of the film start time, and the experience is used as a social event to meet people

Filone is an italian word which has a similar meaning to genre, the term is based on the ideology of geology in which layer of veins create and exist within a large layer, types of filone include Giallo a type of film similar to detective films and is based on detective novels, Mondo/Cannibal films similar to horror films and Poliziottesco which are films based in the police

The Good, the bad and the ugly, 1966, directed by Sergio Leone - A now classic, acclaimed for its use of sound, music, lack of dialogue, use of eye line and cutting, difference in scale, use of camera to tell the story, fragmentation of the body and its catholic references.

Giallo and type of Filone is italian for yellow, it stems from a set of cheap paperback crime and mystery novels which all had a trademark yellow cover

Giallo directors - Mario Bava, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci created films that were stylistic and expressionistic, which challenged our senses and standards of good taste, they were similar to grindhouse/drive in movies of america, they used wonderful titles to sell the concept of the movie to the public

Themes common ins Giallo films - the city of Rome and Milan, the amateur detective as a tourist - the protagonist of the film is usual an american or british tourist visiting Italy, they usually work within the creative industries, they also evoke a cosmopolitan life style. Giallo Killers commonly wear black gloves, black hat, over coat and have a disguised gender.

Dario Argento - Often referred to as the italian Hitchcock, places himself within the film alike hitchcock, his films feature visually stunning set pieces, shot without sound so films could be dubbed, He was also a son and brother of other famous film directors and producers.

Giallo films also feature a subjective point of view, Killer cam, eye line shot, set pieces, art and cultural references, semiotics, the fall, ambivalence towards modernity, religion and superstition

These films also feature dubbing and heightened sound they are shot without sound, then dialogue and sound effects are added later, this allows the film to be used in many languages, these types of films were often sold to America and Britain as B Movies - drive in movies

Many Giallo films also feature Freudian Psychology, most Giallo films require the film to be read from a psychoanalytical point of view

The films feature childhood trauma, often based of false memory, fetishes and the solution of mystery lining within art, the works of art that feature within these films are often subverted with madness of psychopath antagonist of the film and also provide a glimpse into the past and into the mind of the killer.

Lecture 5: Film Theory 2 - French New Wave 1950’s & 1960’s Cinema

When talking about french new wave cinema, this describe a period of many ‘new waves’ within both Britain and france, however the french movement became much more influential, with an in particular focus on Paris

French new wave cinema focuses on a group of french film makers, most commonly comprising of Jean-Luc Goddard, Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol and Jacques Rivette, most interestingly is that all of these film maker were film critic prior to being film makers and many also had a strong background in film theory

These film makers existed within the 1950’s and 1960’s and were influenced by Italian Neorealism and classic hollywood cinema

La Pointe Courte (1954) by Agnes Varda is seen as the start of the french new wave period, La Pointe Courte achieved cult status and went on to be the predecessor that inspired films by Jean-Luc Goddard, Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol five years later

New wave french cinema is seen as part of european art cinema, which despite being without a formal organization they had strong beliefs in the rejection of classical cinematic form, many of these films also engaged in with the social and political woes of the era.

Breathless (1960) was Goddard’s first feature length film which went on to become one of the most influential films of the new wave era, Goddard’s films became known for his cut of cutting and innovative use of jump cuts, similar to Hitchcock’s fame for the techniques he used, These techniques combined with Goddard’s strong visual style brought many eyes to the work and lead to it’s acclaimed status.

The french new wave has many defining characteristics, film makers turn from critics to auteurs, they are against the ‘cinema of quality’, the discovery of american genre films, cinematic values over literary values, the importance of personal expression and spontaneity and digression. Henri Langlois and the Paris Cinemateque

Henri Langlois was a pioneer of film preservation and became a french film archivist and cinephile. Langlois was a co-founder of the Cinematheque Francaise with Georges Franji and Jean Mitry. He later became the co-founder of the International Federation of Film Archives 1938. He also worked to preserve films and film history in the post-war era.

Andre Bazin and the realist tradition, Bazin thought that abstraction and artifice were to be kept to a minimum. The materials in reality should be able to speak to themselves. This links back to earlier lectures with Richard where we looked at truth to materials. Bazin believed that reality was the most important factor in cinema and that the director must reveal reality throughout. He believes that cinema lies between the sprawl of raw life, and the artificially re-created worlds of the traditional arts. Film makers can also preserve actual time and space by panning, tilting, and cracking rather than cutting into specific shots

Existentialism and term coined by Philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, denotes how film stressed the individual, experience of free choice, the absence of any rational understanding of the universe, sense of absurdity in human life, shot on location, used lightweight, hand held cameras, lightweight sound and lighting equipment, faster film stocks with less light, films shot quickly and cheaply, encouraged experimentation and improvisation, casual natural look created, available sound and light used, Mise-en-sence the french landscape and mobile camera improvised and innovative.

New wave came as result of the reaction against the french films of the 1940’s which were shot in studios, set in the past, the films were over dramatized, agianst the use of film trickery and special effects and against La tradition de qualite.

The new wave celebrated american film noir because if represented contemporary urban life, the characters in these films are in contemporary dress and speaking in the vernacular.

French new wave brought with it a particular style of editing which featured free style editing, the lack of conformity to editing rules, discontinuous style, use of jump cuts, insertion of extraneous material, the shooting of these films was on location, used natural light and improvised dialogue

New wave also resulted in a mood shift within films, heroes are seen as aimless, stylish and act silly, they are also cowardly and are amoral. Mood shifts that occur are infatuation, romanticism and boredom. Many films are about death and betrayal.

Other new wave films from 1959, François Truffaut - The 400 Blows, Alain Resnais - Hiroshima Mon Amour
From 1960, Jean-Luc Godard -Breathless, François Truffaut - Shoot the Piano Player

From 1961, Jacques Rivette - Paris nous appartient, Jean-Luc Godard - A Woman Is A Woman, Alain Resnais - Last Year At Marienbad

Blog, Marry, Avoid/ Wall of Designers

Blog, Marry, Avoid/ Second Date

I find the work of Effektive appealing as I have seen pieces of his work before while browsing but never put a name to the work, when Martin introduced me to his work and I learned more about this one man studio my love for his work grew. I've always had a passion for handmade work over digital work, I find it interesting and engaging that Effektive create hand made works but always produce a digital outcome which is then printed. His use of typography and stock is another element of his work I admire. 

Mark Weaver's is again work I have seen before but never knew the designer behind the work, he is one of a growing group of designers experimenting within modernists ideologies, I have always been a big fan of digital collage, but this designer is clean and simplistic with his style of collage as a-posed to the more common rough and ready style. 

I really began to like this the style of illustration the more I saw of her work, the line black thin and hints and tints of one colour across the illustrations, it's clean and simple yet still evokes a personal style from the illustrator. 

Blog, Marry, Avoid/ My Designers & Studios

Kate Prior
Discovered when and where/  2011, LCA BAGD
Who/  Young female british creative
What/  Illustrator 
When/  2006
Where / Leeds, UK / /
How/  From collecting flyers and posters to designing them
Reasons why I like her/ Distinguishable, unique style / bright colour palette / abstract meaning within her work / her work is everything she has learnt up until this point / energetic mood surrounds her work / typography becomes part of the illustration 

Jullien Vallée
Discovered when and where/  2006, Personally
Who/  26, Canadian Male 
What/  Motion & Graphic designer  
When/  2006
Where / Montreal, Canada / / 819 598 2654
How/  Creating tangible images 
Reasons why I like him/ Gives material new meaning / He's a story teller / Dimensional / Uses paper as an escape from the digital world / Simplistic communication / Personal work that's understandable by others / Doesn't take his work to seriously / potential outcomes are always unexpected / vivid colour / can almost touch his work 

Serial Cut 
Discovered when and where/  2009, A Level
Who/  Ever evolving team of multidisciplinary designers 
What/  Art direction across a range of media 
Where/ Madrid, Spain / / 0034677476044
When/  1999
How/  Collaborating to create new dimension 
Reasons why I like them / Collaborate to create something new that hasn't been done before / they don't limit their possibilities / use materials in new ways / craft their work / they think about digital in a real world way / scale of their work from small to large scale installations / combine media / call themselves 'image-makers' / fun yet focused / create an element of wonder with their work 

How To/ Taking Care Of A Guinea Pig

Bathing and GroomingSome guinea pigs like a bath, others hate it, but with boars it is necessary from time to time, as their grease gland near their bottom can become quite messy.

Use only a medicated animal shampoo (never use human or baby shampoo!) and use your bath or a plastic bowl, but nothing to high, as they will struggle and if they fall from the height of a sink, they can break bones or worse. Never leave them unattended.

The water should only be 1 – 1.5 inches deep and barely covering their tummies. Shampoo well but avoiding the eyes and ears and then rinse as thoroughly as you can, making sure all soap suds are gone.

Have two old towels at hand, one for mopping most of the water from their coat and another fresh dry one to sit cuddling him/her until they are completely dry.

Some guinea pigs will accept being dried by a hairdryer, but if they do, make sure it is on the coolest setting and never put a guinea pig back in its cage (indoors or out) before it is thoroughly dry.

Brushing is a must, especially for the longer haired variety, and just like dogs they do moult and they usually love this activity because it means they are receiving cuddles and attention.

Guinea pigs need fresh fruit and vegetables daily and at least twice a day, they are grazers naturally so are constantly eating.

They love routine and will generally let you know when feeding time is by “weeping” at you and in Guinness’ case,

running up and down at the front of the cage like a mad thing and then standing on his hind legs making eye contact with me.

My daily routine is as follows:-
Remove all uneaten food every morning and generally spring clean (remove piggie poo)

MorningFresh water and hay
Top up dried food (you will need a dried food with added calcium – this is a must)
I then prepare a bowl of freshly cut and washed carrot, cucumber and celery.

MiddayA handful of washed curly kale

Early EveningA large piece of apple (each) and a handful of greens

Bedtime (Guinness has learned this word, along with may others)A large selection of greens, my boys favourites are curly kale, spinach and cabbage.

Foods to AVOID AT ALL COSTSChocolate
Cheese, milk etc..
If it’s not plain water (tap or still mineral) do not give it to your guinea pig.
Lettuce (some lettuces, especially Iceberg can make them very ill)
Anything in the “hot” department, i.e. peppers, garlic or onions
Bird seed or sunflower seeds and nuts

If you are in doubt, always ask your vet, this is very important, as some foods can cause serious harm.

CleaningApart from their daily spring clean, I completely clean my babies out twice a week

Wash all items, including toys, igloos, food bowls and water bottles in the hottest water you can bear as this will kill most germs.

If using an animal disinfectant, ALWAYS make sure that these are rinsed well before drying and reintroducing to their environment.

Give the bottom of the case a complete scrub and remove all wee and poo stains, if this is done properly there should be no residue left whatsoever. You would be surprised how many cages I have seen with large brown stains completely burned into the plastic. Yuck!

PlaytimeGuinea pigs like to run and “Popcorn” (jumping on the spot with a slight wiggle) so make as much time as you can for your guinea pigs to come out of their cage and run around. Make sure they are safe and block off areas which they can squeeze behind, especially where you have hidden wires as this can be very dangerous for them. They will chew anything and everything, so beware.

Health and General MaintenanceWhen brushing always feel along the whole of your guinea pig looking for little lumps or scabs, which if found should be inspected immediately by a good vet.

If your guinea pig is scratching more than usual, this could be an indication of mites and should be treated as soon as possible.

Always make sure their eyes are bright and clear and make sure their noses are clear from runny discharge as this would indicate a respiratory condition.

As my guinea pigs are indoor piggies, they need regular and routine visits to the vet to have their nails trimmed as they don’t have the opportunity to wear them down naturally.

Give your guinea pig a comfortable sized cage so they have room to roam around. At a very minimum, one guinea pig should have 7.5 square feet to live in. Two guinea pigs should have more than 10.5 square feet in one cage. Inside the home there should be objects where the guinea pig can hide in so they don't feel threatened. If the cage isn't 18 inches high, have a lid on top of the cage because you might find out that the guinea pig can jump out.

Keep the cage in an area where the temperature stays within 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the area is too hot, your guinea pig may suffer heat stroke.
Clean your guinea pig's cage once a week. This will help prevent diseases. Consider designating certain areas of your guinea pig's cage for certain activities, such as sleeping, eating and playing to help keep the area tidy.

Give your guinea pig commercial guinea pig food you can find at pet stores. Guinea pigs also love fresh fruit, hay and water. Throw away any fresh food that isn't eaten each day to keep your guinea pig from eating anything rotten. Let your guinea pig have a variety of food so it doesn't get bored.

Bathe your guinea pig and trim its nails weekly. Long-haired guinea pigs should also get their hair trimmed. It may take a few times for your guinea pig to get used to this sort of thing, but once it does it will gladly cooperate.
Let your guinea pig outside its cage to play for a few minutes every day. Just be very careful with children or other animals that are also lose. Pick up any electric wires and toxic plants. If you can, keep all dogs and cats in a separate room to avoid any kind of accident.

How To/ Pet Food Packaging + Other As Inspiration


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