THE SCIENCE OF LOVE

In 1993, Haddaway sings « What is love, baby don’t hurt me no more » embodying the philosophical question that has been torturing artists and writers since Eve munched that apple.

Tristan & Iseult, Romeo & Juliette, Tony & Maria, Peter Parker & Mary Jane, Kate Middleton & Prince William are as many famous couples that have forged our representation of Love. However do we really know what effects has love on our body and mind? Albert Einstein  would complain « How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important the biological phenomenon as first love ». The truth is… Who hasn’t wished to understand love so that they won’t call their ex at 2 am in the morning again?

What if an exhibition shoulder the responsibility of explaining love? Hence asking the question « How do you curate a feeling ? ». Worse, a feeling that has as many definitions that there are people on this planet! Therefore, in this essay, I will  propose an exhibition that tries to explain the phenomenon of Love.

First, I’ll be looking at the place of the exhibition, its content and the feeling I want to communicate to the audience. Then, I’ll be exploring what I believe is the most suitable curation method to attend this feeling. Finally, we will look into the educational function of museums.

To begin, I had to ask myself where such an exhibition could take place? An art Museum wouldn’t have the resources to give an answer to the public. It would simply show different representations of love, focusing more on History of Art than on the chosen theme. Thus, I looked into museums for whom learning was a priority. On the science museum website sciencemuseum.com, Ian Blatchford (director of the Science Museum group) declares « our mission is to feed the public’s appetite for making sense of the latest ideas in science, technology, engineering and medicine and how these impact on society ». That’s why I chose to display my exhibition in the Science Museum, more precisely in the Wellcome Wing Gallery (added to the museum in 2000). In the Science Museum Souvenir Guide (2014, p.16), Jack Challoner writes « The Wellcome Gallery pose important questions about contemporary issues through innovative displays ». Perfect! Now I have to search for the materials and appropriate display that would allow me to answer to the question « What is Love ? ». In Museum Exhibition, David Dean divides the development of an exhibition into three roles: the curator, educator, and designer:«the curator does research and select the appropriate collection of objects to guide interpretative planning», « the educator advises about educational needs and develop information ». Finally « the designer translates the subjects, objects and ideas into visual form ». These are the three roles I will put on through the development of the exhibition.

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I see this exhibition as an opportunity to learn: « exhibitions arouse and satisfy curiosity, leading to continued and growing interests » (Museum Exhibition, 2002 p.22). Therefore, how to make an exhibition attractive to visitors? David Dean believes « the exhibit environment is the primary medium of communication ». I truly want my exhibition to provide a meaningful experience. He recommends « a complementary employment of both sides of the brain to enhance learning « (p.30) wich means coupling logic, analytic reasoning (left brain) with pictures, sounds, smells and touch (right brain). (p.30)

From the beginning, I want to capture the public attention and create a feeling of excitement (similar to going to a movie), that’s why I though I would enlight the entrance with pink spots (to remind the colour of love). When choosing my content, I needed to think what objects would « provide the information necessary for learning to occur » (p.2). The content can be divided into three categories. The first category focuses on the artistic representation of Love in Art. The idea is to gather into the Science Museum the most famous paintings, sculpture, photography and movie scenes of Love (Klimt, Lichtenstein, Fragonard, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Doisneau, Rodin, Brancusi, Fellini etc) (cf. catalog).

Then, I choose to expose a collection of objects that explains the science behind the concept of love. For example, in the Museum of Arts et Métiers (Paris 3eme arrondissement), you can see the machine at the origin of the french expression « Coup de Foudre » wich means « love at first sight  » and that you would translate in English «struck by lightning »). In 1770, scientists run experiences with a machine that generates static electricity. The machine has two ends, where two people lean towards each other, an electrical arc passes between their lips and creates an electric shock!

Capture d’écran 2016-03-08 à 11.39.07.pngThis category also includes informative boards, videos, and models that explain the impact of love on our body. It is the category where the role of the designer is the most important. The designer will have to find a simple and playful way to expose numbers and complex scientifical processes and experiences. Like the functioning of neurotransmitters in the stage of attraction (adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin), or what is called the « cuddle hormone » Oxytocin.

I thought the exhibition « Happy Show » that occurs in Paris La Gaité Lyrique  in 2014 was a good example of an efficient design. The graphic Stefan Sagmeister invites the public to embark on the exploration of sensorial and intellectual happiness through graphic illustrations and experiences.

You can see a describing video of the exhibition on https://gaite-lyrique.net/en/exposition/the-happy-show

Finally, I wanted to import an installation by the french artist Charles Pétillon called Heartbeat. Famous for invading empty space with white balloons, he was commissioned in 2015 by London Covent Garden market building. On designboom.com, you can read that « The balloons weave their way through the south hall, stretching to a total length of 54 meters… the installation also incorporates gently pulses of white light, designed to reflect the heartbeat of the market. » In my opinion, installations are an extraordinary blend of art and technology. Also, it allows even more interaction with the audience.

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Heartbeat, Chatillon’s installation in Covent Garden (2015)

Charles-Pétillon-Covent-GardenThrough the entire visit (except in Chatillon and movie scenes rooms), the public will be listening to music about love from Edith Piaf to Puff Diddy, West Side Story or Marvin Gaye (cf.Playlist): I believe the music will participate in bringing the subject matter to live.

  • Queen, Somebody to Love (1976) 
  • Bee Gees, How Deep Is Your Love (1977)
  • Bee Gees, More than a woman (1977)
  • The Police, Every breath you take (1983)
  • Chris Brown, Forever (2007)
  • Celine Dion, My Heart will go on (1997)
  • Otis Redding, This Arms of Mine (1964)
  • Bonnie Tyler, Total Eclipse of The Heart (1983)
  • The Police, I want to know what love is (1979)
  • Michael Jackson, Remember The Time (1991)
  • Elton John, Your song (1979)
  • Whitney Houston, I will always love you (1979) 
  • Al Green, Let’s stay together (1972)
  • Bill Withers, Ain’t no Sunshine (1971)
  • The Temptations, My Girl (1965)
  • Marvin Gaye, Sexual Healing (1982)
  • Barry White, Can’t get enough of your love baby (1974) 
  • Barry White, You’re the first, you’re the last, My everything (1974) 
  • Ben. E King, Stand by Me (1962)
  • Dusty Springfield, Son of a Preacher Man (1969)
  • Neil Sedaka, Calendar Girl (1961)
  • The Chi-lites, Have you seen her (1971)
  • Mariah Carey, We belong together (2005)
  • Percy Sledge, When a Man loves a woman (1987)
  • Gloria Gaynor, I will survive (1978)
  • Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Ain’t no mountain high enough (1967)
  • The Exciters, Tell Him (1982)
  • Barbra Streisand, My Man (1965)
  • Beyoncé, Halo (2008)
  • The Fugees, Killing Me Softly With His Song (1996)
  • P. Diddy, Last Night (2006)
  • Leona Lewis, Bleeding Love (2007)
  • Bob Dylan, Make you feel my love (1997)
  • Adele, Someone like you (2011)
  • Janet Jackson,Together Again (1997)
  • Edith Piaf, La Vie en Rose (1940)
  • Louis Armstrong, La Vie en Rose (1952)
  • Britney Spears, Oops!.. I Did It Again (1997)
  • Frank Sinatra, L.O.V.E (1953)
  • Nat. King Cole, Fly me to the moon (1944)
  • Nancy Sinatra, Bang Bang (1966)
  • Dalida & Alain Delon, Paroles (1972)
  • Jimmy Fontana, Il Mundo (1965)
  • Amy Winehouse, Back to Black (2006)
  • Usher, You got it bad (2001)
  • Big Sean, Beware (2013)
  • Justin Bieber, Boyfriend (2012)
  • The Cardigans, Lovefool (1996)
  • Lionel Richie, Hello (1983)
  • Haddaway, What is Love (1993)
  • Rick Astley, Never Gonna Give You Up (1987)
  • Evelyn Champagne King, Love Come Down (1982) 
  • Beatles, Something (1969) 
  • The Smith, There is a light (1992)
  • Stevie Wonder, I just called to say I Love You (1984)
  • Ray Charles, I got a woman (1958)
  • Kylie Minogue, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head (2001) 
  • No Doubt, Don’t Speak (2003)
  • Justin Timberlake, Cry me a river (2002)
  • West Side Story, Tonight (1958)

You can see the display of those three categories on the plan underneath.

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You can draw from the choice of my content a will to use a familiar language with popular music, famous images, and movie scenes. Indeed, Dean David advises in  Audience and Learning (2002, p.28) to « preface an exhibition with something familiar and easily assimilated ». He believes that if the audience encounters unfamiliar or unreadable content, « they will feel diffident and uncomfortable ». While our goal is for learning to occur without duress or discomfort.

Furthermore, I want the exhibition to engage with the audience: « active participation over passive observation » (p.26). Far from Robert Storr belief of « Showing is telling » (What makes a great exhibition, 2006 p.23) I want the exhibition to engage with the audience.

What I’ve seen when visiting the Science Museum really assured me in my choice. I recognize the museum puts real efforts to communicate information. It is written in the Science Museum souvenir guide « the museum has been devoted to encouraging learning » (p.18): animated explanations, playful design and interactive ways of understanding are proposed in every gallery. Indeed, « the touching reinforces, confirms and adds to the information gained through the eyes ». (David, p.26)

The willingness to touch a wide audience goes back to 1920 when Sir Henry George Lyons (director at the time) had already seen the importance of popularizing science. He encouraged curators to tell stories and use real models. The Science Museum opened in 1931 the first Children’s Gallery in the world where children could understand scientific principles through working models!

The Science Museum manage to communicate with a wide audience (children and adults) without ever vulgarizing knowledge.

It is in the same state of mind, that I’ve tried to develop my exhibition proposal.

Love is a theme with large resources in different fields of knowledge (science, art, literature, psychology). I could have explored sexuality, neurology or reproduction. Also, the reason I chose a scientifical point of Vue over love rather than artistical: is because it seems that science museum has more liberty in their curation method than a classical art museum. When looking at science museums over the world, I’ve found extraordinary installations that could never see the day in Art museums.

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The Giant Heart, The Franklin Institute Science Museum
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Expo Zizi Sexuel, Cité des Sciences et de L’Industrie (2007)
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Digestion exhibition, Cité des Sciences et de L’Industrie (feb 2010-jan 2011)

However, if this exhibition were happening outside of this essay, I would have considered a less heterosexual and occidental representation of love: and tried to present other civilisations interpretation of love.

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Khajuraho Temple, India (1050)

The choice of this theme was an opportunity to create a learning experience where complex phenomenon could be translated into accessible content. An engaging, thoughtful and entertaining exhibition where learning would occur easily and efficiently. I truly believe that museums succeed where school and family fail. Unlike books, museums have the talent to create interest from the most reluctant people. In The role of Museum in society (Curator, 2005 p357-363) George E. Hein proves that museums have a real influence on society. He gives the example of zoos, aquariums, and natural history museums around the world which « raise awareness, knowledge and active support for conservation of the flora and fauna of the earth ».  In Art museums and the ritual of citizenship (1994, p.279-286), Carol Duncan shows that since the Enlightenment, museums have replaced the religious temples to offer « a secular truth ». Education has become museum’s responsibility « museums have the mission to provide places for education and reflection » (Museum Exhibition).

That’s why as a curator I could never simply display art in a room and leave the audience on her own. Of course, my personal opinion only brings up the eternal debate between the educational and the aesthetic functions of museums. However, the one thing that I’m sure off is that museums belong to the community and have the duty to serve the community’s needs.

THE QUESTION OF PUBLIC ART- ARCELORMITTAL ORBIT

On the 23rd of February, we visited the ArcelorMittal Orbit placed in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, in Stratford area.

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Commissioned in 2008 by Mayor Boris Johnson for the modest sum of £22.7 million, the tower was designed by the well-known Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond. Hari Marini writes in his review that the tower was supposed to « commemorate London 2012 and become a symbol of the area’s regeneration ».Indeed, the ArcelorMittal Orbit pushes us to question the concept of public art. What values does this tower inspire? Moreover, what is the role of public Art?

Public Art is defined as « art in any media that has been planned and executed with the intention of being staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all ». First, the tower doesn’t even respect the most basic definition of public Art as « accessible to all ».  To access the interior of the tower you’ll have to spend a costly ticket of 10£ (with a 48h advanced ticket booking). Whereas the beauty of the sculpture stands in its interior that proposes two very expensive deforming mirrors (the price was reminded to us as soon as the visit started..) as well as a pretty nice view over London.

Second, what does this tower inspire? Did the tower awaken in me a « spirit of national unity », «  a promotion of British design », or even an ecologist feeling? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Sponsored in large part by Arcelor Mittal (world’s biggest steel company, therefore not considered as a model of sustainability), the ArcelorMittal Orbit embodies what is wrong with public Art. An excuse to « enhance the company’s public image » in the name of the regeneration process. I don’t find a lot of people I could mention who’ve actually earned something from the construction of the tower. Rosane Martorella observes « companies that wish to present themselves as innovators… use contemporary Art to express this message ». Bernard Arnault (french wealthiest man in France and CEO of LVMH) is just another example of a massive industry using Art as a redefining process of their enterprise (creation of Vuitton Foundation in Bois de Boulogne in 2016)

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Fondation Vuitton, Paris designed by Frank Ghery famous architect

On a really interesting article on reporterre.net the art critic, Nicole Esterolle compares public Art with industrial agriculture saying it is « artificial, unnatural and moreover aboveground ». Here, the tower really gives us the feeling of an absolute non-consideration of the geographic space or community. The tower stands in a phantomatic landscape with zero interactivity and consideration of its surrounding. Isn’t it the exact contrary of what public Art is supposed to do?

However, the failure of Anish Kapoor tower (a slide is going to be added to attract more visitors) isn’t representative of all form of public Art.

Public Art has the ability to bring people together, create a dialogue (around challenging Art) but also « make people feel good ». In the Guardian, Tim Smedley talks about the installation of Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North success. « 72% of local resident declare it make them feel good and 64% were proud of their city ». The Stravinsky fountain in Paris is another example of successful public Art.

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Angel of the North, Antony Gormley (1998) in Gateshead

 

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Stravinsky Fountain, Paris Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle (1983)

In Conclusion, public Art might be the most generous form of Art. However, as based on funding it is directly exposed to corporate who are enjoying state funding declines to shape their brand recognition and reputation.

To finish, I believe public Art’s beauty stands in its intrinsic value « art for Art’s sake » (to remind Theophile Gautier’s XIX century slogan). Just Art to look at and wonder about.

DEMOCRACY HAS BAD TASTE

Grayson Perry is an English artist born in 1960 famous for his ceramics and cross-dressing. Invited to the Tate Modern, he gives a lecture on the very « closed circle » of Art the role of the audience (if it even has one) in contemporary art.

There’s this popular thinking that contemporary art is gibberish, reserved to the upper class and « my 2 years old child could have done it ». Perry’s shows in his lecture that the main reason for this feeling is that contemporary artists don’t engage with the audience: « there are many artists who don’t need the public at all ». The relationship stands between the dealer/ collector and the artist and not anymore with the spectator. What is the relationship of Art with money? Why do we find some pieces of art valuable? Is it because it is entertaining (like performances), aesthetic, popular or because of its financial value?  » Art will always be tied to money by an umbilical cord ». Who validates what is good art (valuable)? Bigger paintings will be more expensive than small paintings. The materials used can also define the value of the piece of Art (look at Damian’s Hirst skull make of Swarovski’s diamonds sold 50 million). Moreover, artists who design for massive luxury brands like Murakami, Damian Hirst, Wim Delvoye or even Jeff Koons see their works’s value explose! Also, why is Paul Cezanne Cards player the second most expensive painting ever sold (300 million dollars)?

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Damian Hirst, For the Love of God (2007)
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Murakami in Louis Vuitton shop (2003)
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Jeff Koons collaboration with H&M, New York (2014)
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Wim Delvoye, Tatoo Pig (2004)
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Damian Hirst collaboration with Louis Vuitton (2009)
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Paul Cézanne, Cards Player (1895)

Therefore, what’s the role of the audience? Does the audience really have a say in what is considered as art?

Reading Perry’s text truly feels like the upper class is giving her own definition of Art as universal (in consideration of its own taste). The only thing we can do is acquiescing without really understanding. You can’t even challenge this definition. If I’m in a museum looking at a Basquiat for example, and I hear someone say « This is not Art ! » my immediate reaction would be to downgrade his thoughts and tell him he doesn’t understand anything about Art! Truth is, why did Basquiat’s landlord refuse his painting for a 200$ rent thinking it would never worth anything? If he only took one, he would be a really rich man by now…

In conclusion, Art has always been linked with money. It is undeniable. I just wonder what would be considered as Art if worker, cashier, taxi driver were buying Art and, therefore, shape the definition of Art. Apparently nothing great as « democracy has bad taste ».

BOOK OF PEOPLE

In our first CTS session, we were asked to bring an object that represented us. The aim was to create a sort of exhibition with everyone’s object. Student shown cactus, shoe horn, bag, color pencils, candle… Memories or shapes that defined their design values.

I personally brought what I like to call « my book of people ». For 4 or 5 years, I took the habit to draw people on train, planes, parcs and museums. I now have a collection of more of 20 books. What does this object communicates about myself ? I am really curious about people. I am often wondering what is the life of the person seating in front of me. What are they angry/ happy/ anxious about ? It is that curiosity that drove me to study communication. In order to communicate a feeling to someone, I believe you have to understand the machinery behind the expression of feelings. I love listening to people’s conversations, hearing about my grand-parents life, watching movies and reading biopics. You turn a lot from other people’s life. Therefore, this object embodies for me curiosity and a sense of humor (caricature).

It also gives an idea of my design values: playful, simple and joyful. I look up to people like J.J Abrams or Steven Spielberg (people that manage to gather millions of people).

Where do I see myself in 20 years ? No one can predict the future, but working in the educational and cultural domain would make me think that I have achieved some good things.IMG_0719

SUBCULTURE AGAINST MAINSTREAM

In Myths and Signs (1972) Roland Barthes said «… Everything in everyday life is dependant on the representation wich the bourgeoisie has and make us have of the relations between men and the world. » Our representation of the world is set by culture. Either we like it or not, since we were little we were given ideas of what is happiness, love or success. Through music, litterature or cinema, the mainstream culture has shaped our representation of the world.

However, this representation can be criticized. Too manichean, too heterosexual, too white or even to « clean ». It is in this claim of representation that were born subculture.

In this essay we will try to define what a subculture is, what is its aim and how it evolves. Also, we will try to think of subculture in its tight link with the mainstream culture. How does mainstream culture exerces such an influence on our way of seeing? Can the mainstream culture be changed? How does the mainstream manage to absorb subculture ? Here, we will try to analyse this mouvement of cultural appropriation. Should we blame the mainstream culture ? Or a contrary enjoy the power of popular culture ?

To begin , it is essential to understand what a subculture is. In The Subculture Reader (1997), Ken Gelder defines subculture as a « group of people that are represented- or who represent themselves as distinct from normative social values or mainstream culture through their particular interests and practices, through what they are, what they do and where they do it. »

Subculture appears in what Ken Gelder calls « surrounding culture ». The surrounding culture describes the « ways in wich other people think and other people act and these other people are likewise constrained by models in their milieux ». It is those constraints that pushes group of people that don’t find their way of living in this surrounding environment to create their own subculture. The last few decades has seen the emergency of lots of subcultures: punks, skinheads, skateboarders,trekkies (Star Trek fan), LGBT, Nudism, Otaku (people obsessed with manga and anime), hipsters …

There’s almost as many subculture that there are different set of interests. But where does subculture comes from ? Claude Levi- Strauss (1969) used to defined culture by the « absence of rules »: it is prohibition that differentiate a culture from an another.

By expressing forbidden contents (against the mainstream conscience) in forbidden forms (law breaking, trangression..), subcultures emerge and create their own culture. This claiming for difference is mostly expressed through style. Style allows to recognize members, a sort of flag of their opinion. A good example of differenciation through style is the famous skinhead look : Fred Perry polo, snub jean, sling and Doc Marteens.

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But now, if you are wearing DocMarteens and Lionsdale sweatshirt with sling that doesn’t make you a skinhead!

Indeed, we can ask ourselves, how what was earlier seen as a revolution upon the young working class in the 60s became a simple fashion accessory ?

Because if you were wearing those close during the 60s in the UK, you weren’t « stylish ». You were representing a minority that didn’t felt recognize enough.

Therefore, how dreadlocks that used to be a mark of the Young Black Faith during the 50s in Jamaica became a fashion haircut in the 90s in the United States. What about hip pop fashion style that originally came from the black ghettos of New York in the 70s that is now worn in Japan by thousands of young japanese doing tanning and braids ? This movement that transforms a mark of cultural affiliation into a fashion way of living is called cultural appropriation. So, what happens to subculture once they become mainstream?

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There’s this famous example of the punk style being reused in high fashion shows. Punk fashion style is known for the wearing of black leather jacket, pink messy hair, piercings, pines and needles… Whereas this fashion style used to be in the 70s a statement against the mainstream culture, embodying the birth of Rock n’ Roll, the will of woman to wear masculine clothes and assume their independance. Nowadays, you can see Miley Cyrus or Madonna wearing « punk fashion style ». But what is the meaning for Miley Cyrus (wich is a typical already made Disney cultural product) to wear this fashion style.

What it sadly means is that once the subculture gets diffused and incorporate into the mainstream culture. Inevitabily the subculture looses its purpose. If the style that used to make a differenciation becomes « cool » or « stylish », than the subculture « dies ». « Otherness become sameness ».

Now, should we blame the mainstream culture for « stealing » those style and transforming them into corporate objects ? What if the mainstream culture was actually the origins of subculture ? What if the mainstream culture was actually giving us the tools to revolt and evolve !

Because if for example we look again into punk subculture. We recognize that punk wants to embody chaos. Punk wants to go against orderliness given by the mainstream culture.

It is by the violation of those existing codes that subculture affirms its own identity. Without those existing authorized codes, there won’t be codes to go against ?

Also, when the mainstream culture absorbs subculture, something interesting happens. A group that used to condamned mainstream culture because they didn’t find any people that correspond to them. After this appropriation, those people embodie part of history, stylish revolution, there no longer seen as social issues by the medias but are now considerate as part of the culture, the human culture. What it means is that the mainstream culture isn’t fixed, it evolves. For example, if we look into the representation of black people in movies: Since Hattie McDaniel played Mammy, the house servant, in « Gone with the Wind. » in 1939 to Denzel Washington or Hall Berry winning an Oscar: representation of black minority has completely changed. Of course, it isn’t perfect yet. We often criticize the « whiteness » of Hollywood that doesn’t show enough black people or give a grouping representation that doesn’t take in account different social classes, ethnic background or religious affiliation.

But, what is relevant here is that subculture exist so that they can be recognize. Ideas or representation of a group of individual can be separated by bareers (social or geographical). For example, I have absolutely no idea about the venezualian youth in the 40s for example or the tibetan habits. Therefore when subculture meets mainstream culture, the probability for me (european middle class student) to lurn about the venezualian youth in the 40s gets multiplied by hundreds. Because the same way parents teach kids about history, politics, arts… the fact to learn or discover something can be led by another form of power. In my opinion, this form of power is the mainstream culture.

In Mythologies (1957), Roland Barthes shows that culture creates a system of representation that gets perceived and accepted by society « the hidden set of rules, codes and conventions through wich meanings particular to specific social group are rendered universal and given for the whole of society. Wich means our way of thinking is shaped by the mainstream culture.

Moreover, the mainstream culture probably enjoys the highest visibillity in the world. Pop culture (music, books, movies) are consummed by billions of people in the world. I don’t see any politicians that have gathered as many people as George Lucas did with Star Wars.

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In my opinion, we shouldn’t blame mainstream culture (it can be criticize of course) but it gathers so many people and has such an influence that it would be a shame to deny the power of the mainstream culture. A lot of very famous movies that belongs to the mainstream culture talks about issues that weren’t at the time considered in those « authorized codes ». We can talk about Philadelphia (1994) that spoke about the first AIDS case in the gay communities, what about movies like Kramer vs Kramer, that showed for the first time a woman getting a divorce and leaving her husband alone. The LGBT subculture has know a great expension of the representation of lesbian and gay people in movies (Blue is the warmest color, Harvey Milk, Howl, Tomboy, J.Edgar..)

I truly believe the mainstream culture has its greatness and completely participates in the changing of minds and evolution of rights for minorities: I don’t think laws like gay marriage would have been able to pass in the 60s in France for example. Because all this movement of subculture becoming mainstream and mainstream participating in the diffusion of minorities didn’t happen at that time.

Somehow 50 years later, homosexuality isn’t longer recognize as a disease or other absurd things in the majority of occidental countries and people have a greater opinion of the LGBT campaign.

In conclusion, if subculture has its limits and mainstream culture can be criticize for it taste for profit and entertainment. I truly believe they are working together in the emergence of cultural innovations and mind changing. One can’t work without the other, it is some kind of interminable circle: subculture is iniated by the mainstream that doesn’t give them what they want, and then subculture becomes mainstream and it goes on and on to creates new codes that will in the end codify our behavior.

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COPYRIGHT LAWS AND CREATIVITY

Copyright is defined as « a right given to the creator of an original work ».

The proliferation of books caused by Guthenberg’s invention of printing led to the world’s first copyright law. The Statute of Anne was enacted in England in 1710. Congress passed an act almost identical to the Statute of Anne as the first American copyright law in 1790 that protects the rights of authors and inventors.

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After the Conference of Berne in 1883, copyright has become an international issue. Countries that were members needed to provide the same protection to author and ingeneers from other countries. Copyright laws have evolved and led to the one we know now: behind any invention or creative object, there’s an organisation that owns copyright.

In today’s technological background, wa can ask ourselves what is the purpose of copyright ?

You can download or stream almost everything (music, movies, books…). Why should you pay for something you can get for free? From this question rises different opinions. Some believe that copyright laws our outdated in regards of the Internet evolution (Lessig, 2008). Other sees it as a restriction of civil rights that hampers the free flow of informations the Internet can offer (Question Copyright, 2009). Finally, creative enterprises still argue that they only want to protect authors and assure a rewarding. In the end, illegal download is still consider as a crime.. (example of Kim Dotcom trial, fondator of MegaUpload).

In Making Art and Commerce Thrive  in the Hybrid Economy(2008)  Lessig says that « Criminalizing an entire generation is too high a price for almost any end ». I might be the only one in my generation that refuses to « consume » illegally, but I truly believe that every work deserve a salary. A bit higher, I’ve developped a smal essay around free labour in the creative area. Why would you refuse to work for free but deny the compensation for creative work ?

Free flow has a big influence on the developpement of creativity upon young people. In Laws that choke creativity, (TEDtalk) Laurence Lessig defends « Free culture ». He shows that creative flow would only encourage the creation of other creative objects. He takes the example of youtube videos, forms of rewrite where the authors parody famous songs or uses images of policitics to create new flow. It is this constant reuse of culture that it amazing.

However, corporations industry has found solution in respond to this criminalization: Spotify, Soundcloud, Netflix, MUBI… are as many brands that proposes a compensation for artists.

The question of copyright is particularly complexe. At the same time, gratuitousness allows high access to culture and encourage creativity. But on the other hand, there’s people that doesn’t get a reward for their work. Now you’re probably thinking « Beyonce doesn’t need my money », but what about independant creators, small music band or even yourself !?

To my creative generations that don’t bother anymore to pay for culture, I say to them « One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself » (The Golden Rule, Ethic of Reciprocity).

 

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To illustrate this essay, I chose those examples of appropriation of culture.

Ironically, As I found those illustrations online I wasn’t able to get the name of the author.

Those picture are great, they are the mixing of two separate culture (The Simpsons and Dali/ Munch/Vermeer-Boticelli) that are each subjected to copyright. However the final outcome doesn’t know any copyright. What if that was the status of 21th century’s creation ?

THE MAGNIFICIENT, THE MINUSCULE AND THE MEANING

If other workshop were pushing us to recognize letters as shape, this workshop was about considering the world for his meaning. Through different sorts of materials, we kind of had to illustrate the meaning of the word.

After choosing a « descriptive word » and be sure of its definition we had to go find materials that would be able to express the meaning of our word. The choice of the typeface obviously has an influence of the meaning of the world. However, if for example you think of the word « spongy » you will easily figurate it round and mellow. At contrary, the word « massive » will appear heavy, big in capitals. Our role was to actually create this feeling.

With our group we focused on the word « WASTE » (in his ecological meaning).

First, we made a trial with some « flyers » witch are literally a waste of paper.

WASTE5 WASTE3

However, we didn’t get the sense of « waste » enough. Therefore we started looking at LCC dustbins.  We tried to sculpt letters in some of the garbage we had found. And put them in a garbage bag to give the word some transparency.

WASTE2WASTEOther classmates results were really great !

protected TIME STUCK SOFT

For some of the projects, we could really get the meaning of the word only by looking a it !

From this workshop I have lurned that typography could express even more  when we were looking at materials, color and texture. Afterward, I looked at other example of 3D typography were typography meets illustration to express the meaning of a word.

Luke-Lucas-Typography-0 Pringles-3D-Typography-by-Chris-LaBrooy-23356 Capture d’écran 2015-11-12 à 18.17.32 Capture d’écran 2015-11-12 à 18.17.58