Lecture Notes on Modernism and other ‘isms’

Published: 2021-09-27 12:00:03
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Category: Design, Modernism

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Is a shorthand for the seemingly complex array of ideas and theories that surround art and design as a socially and culturally located practice. With many of these ideas it is difficult to find a starting point, and a lot of these terms have superseded one another or are in conflict in some way. There is no real chronology of these ideas, In fact, a linear approach to these Ideas Is probably misleading. 2. These different ways of formatting knowledge are prevalent in visual culture and art and sign.
They are what followers of the French philosopher Gilles Delude might describe as 'reading machines' or a tool kit for examining the world of Ideas, concepts that shape our lives. 3. They are ways of modeling the world as well as being lenses through which we view our surroundings, the ideas, habits, concepts and histories that make up a culture or society. Ways of thinking Like this provide critical positions from which we organism these seemingly chaotic or impractically complex surroundings. 4.
The following list is by no means exhaustive but I hope that in some says what will become apparent are the different ways that people try to make sense of their subject (Graphic design or illustration), their discipline (art, art and design, applied art, visual communication, visual culture) and the wider world (society, political systems, culture, difference, power etc). 5. These Ideas can often provide insight, comfort and / or revelation to the adherents, but they can also impose dogma, inflexibility and / or a predictable response.

Think of the different approaches almost as a set of tools that can be used to strip down the engine of history. 6. My respective on this, and one I think I share with everyone here, is the perspective of the practitioner. 7. Whether the concepts here are familiar or entirely new, what I ask all of you to do Is re-talk these Ideas Interns of how they might relate to each another and to your practice, your practical research and your written work for this module. 8. We will begin to consider race, gender, class, sexuality, in themselves, and as ways of as ways of reading or seeing cultural material. . As we go through the material that you are presented with, you should also try to think of an original idea o research for the essay that you will be writing for the end of the semester. These Ideas may also respond to some more fundamental questions that you may already have about things in general. 10. Modernism. Historical, grand narrative, about progress and humanism. We know modern art, but the first use of the word modern was used In the time of the Emperor Charlemagne In about DADA. 11.
The enlightenment in the ICC is the beginning of what we would call 'modern' with science, the beginnings of industry, rationalism and a belief in progress taking over from a superstition and subsistence. Western values, from the equals-holocaust trope of the 300 (battle of Thermopile) seen as defense of West against East. 12. Michael Gave represents English kings model of linear history, Paolo Ferrier educational theorist against this banking model of education. 13. Narrative of the thread of history often still dominant in public discourse. 4. Challenge the idea that to know anything you need to know its entire history. Be wary of this, as it takes up a lot of issues, practices etc. Than to attempt a rambling second hand history that is largely in the public domain anyway, linear history, progress. 15. The ideas and principles of modernism are fundamental to the development of capitalism and the free market. 16. Modernist literature, high modernism, Joyce, Becket, Ezra Pound, Sentiment, De Still, Bauhaus, modern art. 17. Intellectuality - texts' refer to one another.
Some would argue that this period of modernism was the high water mark of Western culture, and that we are already going down hill fast. 18. Cultural reproduction. Social and cultural basis for all of the definitions of what we consider to be of value or what can be classified as art. What we do here at college is a form of cultural reproduction, mom things are taught, some aren't. Some things you learn (by choice) some you don't. We all do this to some extent. 19. It is important to understand these habits and to challenge or break them.
Habits in making, thinking and acting can be unnecessarily restrictive 20. Orientation - a kind of patronizing beatifications of the East, or the non - West by the West. Edward Said, post - colonialism. Slavery and Liverpool. The image of slavery, architecture, visual evidence in buildings, street names etc. Liverpool wealth comes in a large part from the slave trade. Liverpool and Bristol. Can this still be seen? 1 . The West genuinely feels that it is the most advanced, civilized, free and valid form of social organization, Like the Romans, Mayans, Egypt, Mesopotamia etc.
All civilizations collapse for similar reasons (see Collapse of Complex Civilizations, Law of Entropy) 22. Colonialism, Socialism and Fascism all products of modernism, as is radical Salamis Noon Gray, Straw Dogs, Heresies) in spite of the tendency to compare non-western ideologies to the past, medieval attitudes towards crime and punishment in Saudi Arabia for example, tribal conflicts in Africa or peasant communities of China. 3. Representation of Africa as behind Western Europe in terms of development (Edward Said). 24.
Socialism - Meta-narrative of class [power. A socialist view on art and design might be that it supports the power elite (the owners of the 'means of production', the already wealthy), the forces that subjugate the working classes, by presenting them (the wealthy) in the best possible light. (think about this next time you visit a major art gallery). 25. The means of production, publishing and media companies, art institutions etc. Are all owned or were established by the wealthy, and it is their interests that these institutions serve (see Media Lens). 26.
Consumerism is one of the mechanisms that dazzle the ordinary folk into coexisting with the mechanism of their oppression (read Ragged Trousers Philanthropists by Robert Treeless, Germinal by Andre Guide, any George Orwell). 27. Capitalism - Corporate ownership of media and publishing. 28. Normative. Progress, idea of the self-made man, level playing field, Work hard and you will be successful'. National lottery or 'idiot tax' is something that cashes in on the success of this image. 29. Racism - examples in earning, canons in education, National Galleries. Anglo-centric curriculum acts as propaganda for status quo. 0. Children's books golliwogs and teddy bears. Also animal characters and difference, what do they represent? Are there any patterns there? 31 . Anthropomorphism - Children's books, animal characters. Assumption of gender in animal characters. (Anomalousness) Animal Farm (Orwell). Function and reality, the farm, Sue CEO, the bastion. Fur trade and fashion, image and advertising (Theodore Adorn, Peter Singer) 33. Anarchism - Media Lens, Chomsky and propaganda model (Manufacturing consent, E. Herman and N. Chomsky) outlines how western mass media works as propaganda.
John Pilfer - obvious propaganda of totalitarianism (USSR, N. Korea) compare to softer more inclusive (more deceptive? ) propaganda of corporate media. 34. Feminism Images of gender, (Butler, Original, Drink), Magazines. Lads mass, women's magazines. Andrea Drink, ironically vilified for her appearance but wrote extensively on the image of sexuality and patriarchal power and the relationship between Sexuality, queer theory and hetero normative. I challenge you all to get your head round these ideas and to seriously hint about visual culture and its affects in this arena. 35.
Feminism is an inspiring way of looking at images, artifacts and design. These critical positions are critical of what they describe as the heterosexuality that dominates popular media and political discourse. Egg. Top Gear, football, marketing (big pen for her http:// www. Amazon. Co. UK/Bloc-For-Her-Medium-Ballpoint/EDP/BUFFETING). 36. The differentiation of gender roles in print media being an obvious example, but there are examples abundant in the visual language of science, heritage, leisure, commerce, and everything really. 37. Politics - Overtly political - Kendal, Chitchats, Kale Lass, Sue CEO, Joe Image.
Covertly political - Marketing, publishing, advertising, product design, packaging (tacit support of Western consumerism, status quo) Apple, Span, suicides. 38. The discreet politics of art and design, consumerism, globalization and the visual cultural economy. Art turning left (Tate). 39. Semiotics - A theory of reading, not sure whether it is a theory of making. Look at Visible signs by David crow, Reading images, for examples. 40. The visual turn - the move to visuals from text based communication (or the triumph of reading? . If images are seen as texts then 'reading' still dominant. 1 . Multiplicity (objects can be encountered in a number of ways at the same time). 42. Intellectuality (texts refer to other texts, images exist within a world of images, styles of representation, critical interpretive communities (that maker can also be a member of etc) ever more so in digital communication. As a kind of coda to this presentation I would like to also talk about the upcoming talk on What's New? And briefly mention a couple of things. Structuralism / post structuralism and Post-Modernism - context - We will look at territoriality.
Alto-modernism, after the structures and narratives of modernism. Hybrid, cultural, social and material mixing and matching. Common points of reference. Hipster cool, political disenfranchisement or disengagement with class ridden power structures or class identity. Postposition, DC culture, tropes and mimes. François Laurelled - Non philosophy - Idea of looking critically or creatively at a discipline from the outside. Non - anything, (this references well known critique of Faculty by Deride, where D argues that Ifs history of Madness is always going to be room the point of view of the not mad.
Really, what F was doing was imaging madness from an oblique and UN referenced perspective). Could this inform our practice? What would non-design, non-illustration look like. Illustration that doesn't illustrate? Design that hasn't been designed? What would it be to make work that doesn't do what it is told. Or that doesn't do what it is supposed to? This speculative thinking will be picked up in lecture 4. I have tried to talk you through some of these different that can be asked within these frameworks.
The aim, though you are of course alcove to pick up on any of the questions that arise from this talk, is for you to be able to think differently about both your practical work, and your wider cultural landscape. The main thing to remember here is that these are ideas that should inspire you to develop your work along a path that you were previously unaware of, to go off in a new direction or trajectory, one that isn't for everyone but is Just for you. At the moment, your work might not fit in with your ideas on society, politics, culture or whatever. But we are all products of this cultural m©Lange and so is everything you sake.
At the moment, it may be the best idea to strike out in a different critical direction (for the essay) and think about practical research on a module by module basis, keeping some of these ideas in the back of your mind, allowing the cross fertilization of thinking when appropriate. It is not necessary to rush headlong (in terror) into post-modernism. Next week we will be looking at the work of the photographers Adam Broodmare and Oliver Chain. I will send you a link to one of their books and an accompanying text. Your homework is to study this material.

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