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  • A single image can serve a multitude of purposes, appear in a range of settings, and mean different things to different people.This image, of school children in the early 1940s who see a murder scene in the street, was taken by Weegee.
  • Everyday we are in the practice of looking to make sense of the world around us.To see is a process of observing and recognizing.To look is to actively make meaning of that world.Visual culture works towards a social theory of visuality, focusing on questions of what is made visible, who sees what, how seeing, knowing and power are interrelated. It examines the act of seeing as a product of the tensions between external images or objects, and internal thought processes. Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean, Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture, London: Routledge, 2000, p. 14
  • The gap between the wealth of visual experience in postmodern culture and the ability to analyze that observation marks both the opportunity and the need for visual culture as a field of study.
  • You will have heard of Show and Tell, this is an exercise that the theorist W. T. Mitchell calls Showing Seeing. It reveals the strange things we do while looking
  • Visual culture is the visual construction of the social, not just the social construction of vision.
Mitchell, W.J.T., “Showing seeing: a critique of visual culture”, Journal Of Visual Culture, 2002, Vol 1(2), p. 170Reciprical relationship
  • You are ethnographers who come from, and are reporting back to, a society that has no concept of visual culture. Ethnographersdeal with the scientific description of specific human cultures. Everything which seems transparent and self-evident is in need of explanation. You cannot take for granted that your audience has any familiarity with everyday notions such as colour, line, eye contact, cosmetics, clothing, facial expressions, mirrors, glasses, or voyeurism, much less with photography, painting, sculpture or other so-called visual media.
  • So how would you define culture?  How would you define Visual Culture?  Do you agree that a person needs to have a reference point or realize the work’s place within society to understand or extract meaning from the work? 
  • In studying Visual Culture, the aim is to overcome the veil of familiarity and self-evidence that surrounds the experience of seeing, and to turn it into a problem for analysis. Vision, ways of seeing, is a cultural construction, which is learned and cultivated, not simply given by nature. Vision and visual images, things that are apparently automatic, transparent, and natural, are actually symbolic constructions, like a language to be learned, a system of codes that interposes an ideological veil between us and the real world. In what ways does it transcend specific or local forms of social construction to function like a universal language that is relatively free of textual or interpretive elements?In any case what we are no longer looking at an object only as art, but rather another product of our Visual Culture. 
  • In recent years Art History has come under scrutiny, with many feelingthat Art History is lagging behind in incorporating the visual world of today with the traditional base of the discipline. The traditional ways of educating people needs to change in order to keep up with our visual worldArt History is the historical study of artists, artistic practices, styles, movements, and institutions. Art History has the inclination to celebrate the formal rendering of a work of art. Visual Culture can be considered as an evolution of art history. Visual Culture is an expansion of art history’s resources to encompass the full range of images. 
  • The Canon of ArtThe canon can be seen as a body of work, which has been established as representative of the best examples of a particular genre. The works of art that are included in the canon are considered to be masterpieces. The works included in the canon set a standard from which other works of art, whether new or old, which are not included in the canon can be judged. Art History is a skewed perspective that places particular artists on a pedestal and reinforces the genius in an ivory tower paradigm. The canon is considered to be the prime object of the art historian, while art history helps to legitimise the canon. The canon of art is supposed to be a collection of artworks of supreme and eternal value that is worthy of being studied. This is still the dominant way of teaching art history in high school and even at universities. From the second half of the 20th century onwards, however, the concept of the canon has dealt with a lot of criticism. Modernist as well as postmodernist perspectives claim that the canon doesn’t represent a collection of artworks of eternal value, but is constructed along ideological, social, economical, gender and cultural lines. Art history as such, is seen as a Eurocentric endeavour, serving and legitimising the cultural tastes of a small minority of the Western elite. We only have to look at the Gombrich’s The Story of Art and its erroneous ommission of any female artists.
  •  Art appreciation When we look at a painting or sculpture, we often ask the following questions: who made it?; what is the subject?; when was it completed? These are quite valid questions that are often anticipated and answered in, for example, the captions for illustrations in art books and the labels for works displayed in museums and galleries. For many of us these pieces of information are sufficient. Our curiosity about the who, what, and when of art is satisfied and we can get on with appreciating the artwork, or just enjoying looking at it. The important thing to note about this kind of art appreciation is that it requires no knowledge of art history. In this way, art appreciation requires no knowledge of the context of art; the ‘I know what I like and I like what I see’ approach to gallery- going is sufficient. And this is absolutely fine. We can enjoy looking at something just for what it is and art can become absorbed into what might be called popular culture. Art appreciation can also involve the more demanding process of criticizing the art object on the basis of its aesthetic merits. Usually aspects such as style, composition, and colour are referred to, and more broadly reference is made to the artist’s other work, if known, or to other artists working at the same time or within the same movement or style. Visual Culture is defined as a focus on cultural meaning of a work of art, rather than on its aesthetic value. Art history focuses on the aesthetic valued of a work, whereas Visual Culture focuses on the cultural meaning of a work of art. Art history was quite elitist in what could be studied, while visual culture incorporates film, photography, graphic design and new media etc. Study of visual culture merges popular and "low" cultural forms, media and communications, and the study of "high" cultural forms or fine art, design, and architecture. "The History of Art," like the cultural category of art, is a development from Western European and American institutions and disciplines.
  • Art appreciation and criticism are also linked to connoisseurship. By its very name this implies something far more elitist than just enjoying looking at art.The notion of connoisseurship refers to one who is considered to be an authority on beauty and aesthetics and is more capable than others to pass judgment on the quality of cultural objects. Thus, taste is not inherent in particular people, but rather is learned through exposure to social and cultural institutions that promote certain class-based assumptions about correct taste.The specialist connoisseur may work for an auction house – we have all seen how on television programmes such as the Antiques Roadshow experts are able to identify and value all manner of objects, not just paintings, on the basis of looking at them closely and asking only very few questions of the owner. This kind of art appreciation is linked to the art market and involves being able to recognize the work of individual artists as this has a direct effect on the work’s monetary value.
  • This traditional view is that a work of art speaks to people no matter what time, space or socio-political / economic system is in place when the piece is perceived anew, and regardless of one’s class, gender, and so forth.In contrast, Visual Culture takes into account the situations and circumstances from which art was created. What was going on in the society in which the artist lived at the time, who was in power politically, what kind of economic system was in place? The assumption is that all of these factors influenced the artist in the creation of their work. The meaning can be extracted differently. Visual culture also says that it is important to take into consideration the situation in which it is viewed because these impact on the perceived meaning within the piece.
  • We are all participants in Visual Culture“This is Visual Culture. It is not just a part of your everyday life, it is your everyday life.”To live in any culture whatsoever is to live in a visual culture.
  • Visual Culture is a growing interdisciplinary field of study, which emerged out of the interaction of anthropology, art history, critical theory, philosophy and many other disciplines that focus on visual objects or the way images are created and used within society.
  • Visual Culture is concerned with the production, circulation, and consumption of images and the changing nature of subjectivity.Studying visual culture therefore means studying not just the visual products of society, but also the dominant ways of looking and seeing that define social identities.
  • Nicholas Mirzoeff offers an explanation…(paraphrasing what he says)Modern life takes place onscreen. Life in industrialized countries is increasingly lived under constant video surveillance from cameras in buses and shopping malls, on roads, and next to cash machines. More and more people look back, using devices ranging from traditional cameras to camcorders and Webcams. Our experiences are now more visual and visualized than ever before. In the era of the visual screen, your viewpoint is crucial. For most people, life is mediated through television, film, and the Internet. By this I do not mean to make the claim that our contemporary era is unique or unprecedented in its obsession with vision and visual representation. The invention of photography, of oil painting, of artificial perspective, of sculptural casting, of the internet are all occasions when a new way of making visual images seemed to mark a historical turning point.What I am drawing your attention to is the fact that the obsession with vision and visual representation takes on a very specific form in our time. Furthermore, whilst we observe this wealth of visual experiences in contemporary culture this is not the same thing as understanding it.
  • Clement Greenberg was an influential modernist art critic who argued for maintaining art’s purity by separating it from
  • The power of visual images, their efficacy as instruments or agents of domination, seduction, persuasion, and deceptionis important because it exposes the motivation for the wildly varying political and ethical estimations of images.
  • The distinctions between different kinds of culture have traditionally been understood as the difference between high and low culture.Traditionally, high culture has meant fine art, classical music, opera, and ballet.Low culture was a term used for comic strips, television, and initially for cinema.
  • There is no doubt that many people think the distinction between high art and mass culture is disappearing in our time, or that distinctions between media, or between verbal and visual images, are being undone. The question is: is it true? Does the blockbuster exhibition mean that art museums are now mass media, indistinguishable from sporting events and circuses? Is it really that simple? I think not. The fact that some scholars want to open up the domain of images to consider both artistic and non-artistic images does not automatically abolish the differences between these domains. In the domain of visual images, those of fine art form a tiny minority. Those of us in Western industrialized cultures live in a multimedia environment in which mechanical and electronic images, text, and sound are an almost constant presence, particularly in the mass media.The term mass media has been used to define those media designed to reach large audiences perceived to have shared interests.
  • In considering the idea of culture and travel the questions…may be considered as general topics for exploration.This lecture will introduce the ways in which disciplines like social anthropology and material cultures enhance our understanding of the social, cultural and historically specific meanings and practices associated with culture and place.
  • Visual Culture examines the relationship between things, space, and everyday practices. A culture’s use of imagery is part of the shaping of its world view. This is also known as our Cognitive Outlook. Or in other words the framework of ideas and beliefs, that distinguish that culture. This lecture provides you with some perspectives in order to engage with ideas about the production of knowledge about culture through visual realms and material culture.
  • Cultural PerspectivesSo if you recall form last week: Visual Culture is everything that is seen, that is produced to be seen, and the way in which it is seen and understood. It is that part of culture that communicates through visual means, a tactic for studying the functions of a world addressed through pictures, images, and visualizations, rather than through texts and words.
  • Cultural variations are often the cause of major and minor misunderstandings as groups come into contact with one another
  • Another way we might understand a place is through its heritage, this is particularly pertinent to tourism.
  • For most of us, answering questions about identity begins by listing details that can be found on birth certificates–name, sex, ethnicity, and family origins. And for example when we want to research our family histories we locate the birth certificates of known family members because these documents provide essential information about the identities of ancestors. The importance of birth certificates might suggest that identity is basically fixed and stable from the time of birth.
  • The final step in the construction of Alterity is to institutionalize these prejudices in our laws and customs. When laws, group culture, educational values, and social custom operate as if prejudices were truths, then we have racism, sexism, classism, anti-semitism, and so on. Racism is institutionalized racial prejudice; it has the weight of the entire society to enforce it. Sexism is institutionalized gender prejudice. Classism is institutionalized class prejudice.
  • The creation of binary opposition structures the way we view others. One of the oppositional terms is always privileged, controlling and dominating the other.Most commonly, another person or group of people who are defined as different or even sub-human to consolidate a group's identity. For example, the Nazi's internal cohesion depended in part on how they defined themselves against (strove to maintain distinctions from) their image of the Jews. In this sense, "The other" is the devalued half of a binary opposition when it is applied to groups of people.
  • Ellen Gallagher
  • Although both anthropology and art often have different criteria, methods and techniques, both share the ambition to reflect on the human condition and to give meaning to existence.
  • Some of the main cultural phenomena studied in cultural geography include language, religion, different economic and governmental structures, art, music, and other cultural aspects that explain how and/or why people function as they do in the areas in which they live.
  • Globalisation
  • Material Culture is concerned with the relationship between artefacts and social relation.Material Culture Studies aims to systematically explore the linkage between the construction of social identities and the production and use of culture.
  • Spaces where political ideologies are played out in the context of everyday practices such as consumption, appropriation and societal organisation.The physical placement, or framing of an object can change the objects meaning.Historical connotations, economic value, symbolic meaning and value
  •  Guidelines on Visual AnalysisVisual language can be read in the same manner as any other language although visual language can fool us by seeming natural and therefore self-explanatory.  The codes of the image must be deconstructed to release the social and cultural meaning of the image or visual language. An example that can be given for the relationship between the image and its meaning is an iceberg. Only 10% of an iceberg is visible above the water. The remaining 90% of the iceberg is suggested by the part we can see. Say an image is beautiful or significant but rather to attempt to explain why it is so. To read the image one must attempt to understand, interpret and evaluate the visual message.
  • All images are both encoded and decoded.An image or object is encoded with meaning with meaning in its creation or production and when it is placed in a given setting or context.It is then decoded by viewers when it is consumed by them.These processes work in tandem.Is animage simply a reflection of this particular scene or does it produce meanings about these objects?We learn the rules and conventions of the systems of representation within a given culture.Many artists have attempted to defy those rules and conventions and to push at the definitions of representation.
  • Appropriation
  • What is the significance given to who made the work?oppress womenrestricting their movement, and seeing them as objectsMisogynistic? They obviously reflect the objectification of women in that the woman doubles as a sex slave and a piece of furnitureAcomment on how women only have the duality of the roles of the sex object or the housewife, a figure that blends into the background, becoming ‘part of the furniture’ so to speak, until they are required for their other role.
  • How does this image change the meaning of the dominant ideology of Da Vinci’s work?
  • Subverting imagery of Shonibare which turns history on its head, inserting himself into positions of power , in this case in a stately drawing room.He parodies European culture and cultural works, and encourages us to recognise that cultures and histories shift. Western thought’s monolithic sense of itself is undermined. New ways of thinking about the world, relating to history, race, ethnicity, culture and power are introduced.

Transcript

  • 1. Introduction to Visual Culture Deborah Jackson
  • 2. Introduction to Visual Culture 10am - 12noon Introduction and Showing Seeing 12noon-1pm Break for Lunch 1pm - 3pm Lecture 3:00pm – 3:15pm Coffee Break 3:15pm - 5pm Visual Analysis Workshop
  • 3. Aims: You will develop your understanding of the ways in which images and artefacts can be analysed in relation to their cultural, social and historical context You will develop your analytical skills to analyse visual works and develop your understanding of visual culture and its implications for understanding cultural activity more broadly
  • 4. Ways of Seeing Visual culture works towards a social theory of visuality, focusing on questions of what is made visible, who sees what, how seeing, knowing and power are interrelated. It examines the act of seeing as a product of the tensions between external images or objects, and internal thought processes. Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean, Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture, London: Routledge, 2000, p. 14 Yinka Shonibare Diary of a Victorian Dandy (1998)
  • 5. Dominance of the Image Visual culture is concerned with visual events in which information, meaning, or pleasure is sought by the consumer in an interface with visual technology. By visual technology, I mean any form of apparatus designed either to be looked at or to enhance natural vision, from oil painting to television and the Internet. Douglas Gordon Self Portrait of You + Me (Signoret) (2008)
  • 6. Showing Seeing David Sherry Looking through Tom Cruises eyes (2005)
  • 7. Showing Seeing Visual culture is the visual construction of the social, not just the social construction of vision.
 Mitchell, W.J.T., “Showing seeing: a critique of visual culture”, Journal Of Visual Culture, 2002, Vol 1(2), p. 170
  • 8. Performing Theory You are ethnographers who come from, and are reporting back to, a society that has no concept of visual culture. Everything which seems transparent and self-evident is in need of explanation. You cannot take for granted that your audience has any familiarity with everyday notions such as colour, line, eye contact, cosmetics, clothing, facial expressions, mirrors, glasses, or voyeurism, much less with photography, painting, sculpture or other so-called visual media.
  • 9. Break for Lunch Back here at 1pm David Sherry Just popped out back in 2 hours (2008)
  • 10. Introduction to Visual Culture
  • 11. Vision as a cultural activity David Sherry Eye swap (2009) Vision, ways of seeing, is a cultural construction, which is learned and cultivated, not simply given by nature.
  • 12. What about Art History? In recent years Art History has come under scrutiny. Art History is the historical study of artists, artistic practices, styles, movements, and institutions. Art History has the inclination to celebrate the formal rendering of a work of art. Visual Culture can be considered as an evolution of art history. Visual Culture is an expansion of art history’s resources to encompass
  • 13. What about Art History? The canon is considered to be the prime object of the art historian, while art history helps to legitimise the canon.
  • 14. Art Appreciation The important thing to note about this kind of art appreciation is that it requires no knowledge of art history. In this way, art appreciation requires no knowledge of the context of art. Visual Culture is defined as a focus on cultural meaning of a work of art, rather than on its aesthetic value.
  • 15. Connoisseurship and Taste This implies something far more elitist than just enjoying looking at art. This kind of art appreciation is linked to the art market and involves being able to recognize the work of individual artists as this has a direct effect on the work’s monetary value.
  • 16. How do museums and other cultural institutions influence our interpretations of taste?
  • 17. What is Visual Culture? Very broadly, Visual Culture is everything that is seen, that is produced to be seen, and the way in which it is seen and understood. It is that part of culture that communicates through visual means. Alex Frost Format wars (HD DVD), 2007
  • 18. Visual culture, to borrow Nicholas Mirzoeff's definition, is perhaps best understood as a tactic for studying the functions of a world addressed through pictures, images, and visualizations, rather than through texts and words. What is Visual Culture?
  • 19. We are all participants in Visual Culture “This is Visual Culture. It is not just a part of your everyday life, it is your everyday life.” Nicholas Mirzoeff Kevin Harman Hotel Room (2010)
  • 20. Visual Culture is a growing interdisciplinary field of study, which emerged out of the interaction of anthropology, art history, critical theory, philosophy and many other disciplines that focus on visual objects or the way images are created and used within society. Visual Culture Studies Bob and Roberta Smith Hijack Reality (2008) Visual Culture focuses on aspects of culture that rely on visual images.
  • 21. Visual Culture is concerned with the production, circulation, and consumption of images and the changing nature of subjectivity. Keith Farquhar Boy (2012)
  • 22. Visual Culture involves exploring, analyzing, and critiquing the relationship between culture and visuality, from a range of diverse theoretical perspectives, including: Art history Postmodernism Gender studies Marxism Feminism Sociology Globalisation Poststructuralism Literary theory Philosophy Cultural anthropology Postcolonialism Capitalism Queer Theory Film/TV
  • 23. Why study Visual Culture? Our experiences are now more visual and visualized than ever before. In the era of the visual screen, your viewpoint is crucial. For most people, life is mediated through television, film, and the Internet.
  • 24. The Visual Culture approach acknowledges the reality of living in a world of cross-mediation. Our experience of culturally meaningful visual content appears in multiple forms, and visual content and codes migrate from one form to another. Why study Visual Culture? d Roberta Smith
Make your own damn art...
(1999)
  • 25. Images often move across social arenas from documentary images to advertisement to amateur video to news images to artworks. Each change in context produces a change in meaning. Mark Wallinger State Britain (2007) A recreation of Brian Haw's anti-war protest in Parliament Square.
  • 26. New Ways of Seeing Visual Culture studies recognises that the visual image is not stable but changes its relationship to exterior reality at particular moments. A single image can serve a multitude of purposes, appear in a range of settings, and mean different things to different people. Representation and spectatorship involves relationships of power.
  • 27. Decoding images We decode, or read, complex images almost instantly, giving little thought to our process of decoding. We decode images by interpreting clues to intended, unintended, and even suggested meanings. These clues may be formal elements of the image, such as colour, shade, and contrast, or the socio-historical context in which it is presented. Banner held up by Celtic football fans, deriding their rivals Glasgow Rangers
  • 28. Study of Visual Culture merges popular and low cultural forms, media and communications, and the study of high cultural forms or fine art, design, and architecture. Big Fat Gypsy Weddings Channel 4 (2010-) Visual Cultural Perspectives
  • 29. Visual Cultural Perspectives Visual culture analyses the relevance of classed, gendered, se xual and raced social identities.
  • 30. The study of Visual Culture can include anything from: • Painting • Sculpture • Installation • Video art • Digital art • Photography • Film • Television • The Internet • Mobile screenic devices • Fashion • Medical & scientific imaging • Architecture & Urban design • Social spaces of museums, galleries, exhibitions, and other private and public environments of the everyday
  • 31. Clement Greenberg (1909 – 1994) Avant-Garde and Kitsch (1939) • Art of the masses, or kitsch, is uncultured. Kitsch is tied to mass production, and is not genuine culture Many of Greenberg‟s ideas have been abandoned in contemporary criticism, no longer does art criticism make such a harsh distinctions between high art and low art. High and Low Culture
  • 32. What is natural and what is acquired in our visual experiences? Artifacts and pictures have been made to be seen in a certain way, that is to say, they are social and cultural, not natural. Visual Culture focuses on the visual as a place where meanings are created and contested. Jeremy Deller
Sacrilege (2012)
  • 33. Visual Culture Studies involves an analysis of contemporary culture, media and society It important to understand how societies construct their visual perspectives through knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, laws, and customs, amongst other things. Cathy Wilkes I Give You All My Money (2012)
  • 34. Images and Power All images are produced within dynamics of social power and ideology. Ideology is the shared set of values and belief which individuals live out their complex relations to a range of social structures. Ideologies often appear to be natural or given aspects of everyday life. Stuart Murray Wohoahh… (2012)
  • 35. Images and Ideology Ideologies are produced and affirmed through the social institutions in a given society, such as the family, education, medicine, law, the government, and the entertainment industry, among others. Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan The Story… (2012)
  • 36. The emergence of Visual Culture develops what W.J.T. Mitchell has called Picture Theory. Spectatorship (the look, the gaze, the glance, the practices of observation, surveillance, and visual pleasure) involves many of the same strategies as reading in order to analyse an image (decipherment, decoding, interpre tation, etc). Picture Theory Barbara Kruger. Your gaze hits the side of my face (1981)
  • 37. Representation Representation refers to the use of images (and language) to create meaning about the world around us. These systems have rules and conventions about how to express and interpret meaning. We learn the rules and conventions of the systems of representation within a given culture. Alasdair Grey Faust in his study (1958)
  • 38. Image and Meaning All images have two levels of meaning: The denotative meaning of the image refers to its literal descriptive meaning. The connotative meanings rely on cultural and historic context of the image and its viewers. Jeff Koons
  • 39. The Myth of the Image Roland Barthes uses the term myth to refer to the cultural values and beliefs that are expressed through connotations parading as denotations. Myth is the hidden set of rules and conventions through which meanings, which are specific to a certain group, are made to seen universal. Scott Myles Thank You (2012)
  • 40. Visual Literacy Visual literacy has no limits. It is not just the understanding of canonical fine art, or the business of advertising, but also the entire visual world. Visual Culture studies provide you with the ability to analyse the visual world. Nam June Paik Highway (1995)
  • 41. High/Low Culture Sam Taylor Wood David (2004)
  • 42. Experiencing ‘other’ cultures
  • 43. Culture and Travel Tracey Moffat Adventure Series (2003) “Who are we?”, “Where are we going?” and “Why do we do what we do?”
  • 44. Cognitive Outlook Examine the relationship between things, space, and everyday practices.
  • 45. Visual Culture involves exploring, analyzing, and critiquing the relationship between culture and visuality, from a range of diverse theoretical perspectives. It important to understand how societies construct their visual perspectives through knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, laws, and customs, amongst other things. Cultural Perspectives Bob and Roberta Smith Culture Bashing is Book Burning (2012)
  • 46. A specific set of learned behaviors, beliefs, at titudes, values, and ideals that are characteristic of a particular society or population. Culture Boyle Family Earth Pieces (1960-present)
  • 47. Culture and Heritage Heritage is: • NOT history • A carefully selective engagement with the past • A way of making the past coherent, manageable and meaningful for the present • A comparatively recent form of leisure pursuit and culture • Material: listed buildings, protected landscapes, art, and design etc. • Conceptual: shared memory, myth, beliefs about the past etc. • Also, officially defined, policed and protected national construct (e.g. National Trusts)
  • 48. Culture and Identity David Shrigley Who do you think you are? For most of us, answering questions about identity begins by listing details that can be found on birth certificates– name, sex, ethnicity, and family origins.
  • 49. Enculturation Cultures are learned through the process of enculturation. Culture is learned and passed down from previous generations. It is not something an individual is born with. Learning culture is continuous process Cultures involve the use of language and symbols - things that stand for something else.
  • 50. Bruce Nauman Human Nature/Knows Doesn't Know (1983/6) Things that strike us as „natural‟ or „normal‟ or „common sense‟ or „human nature‟ are often cultural. Nature/Culture
  • 51. On the Road Home Travel Territory Heritage Nations Belonging Globalization Displacement Diaspora Identities Observation Visual anthropology Material culture Ethnography Museum and display Participation Ethnocentrism Difference
  • 52. We can explore other cultures by, studying behavior, customs, material culture (artifacts, tools, technology), language, etc. Ilya Kabakov The Man Who Flew into Space from His Apartment (1984)
  • 53. • Learned. Process of learning one's culture is called enculturation. • Shared by the members of a society. There is no „culture of one‟. • Patterned. People in a society live and think in ways that form definite patterns. • Mutually constructed through a constant process of social interaction. • Symbolic. Culture, language and thought are based on symbols and symbolic meanings. • Arbitrary. Not based on „natural laws‟ external to humans, but created by humans according to the needs and preferences of the group e.g. standards of beauty. • Internalized. Habitual. Taken-for-granted. Perceived as „natural.‟ Culture is…
  • 54. Ethnocentrism The idea that one persons culture is superior to other cultures. It is important ensure that attitudes such as this do not pollute the interpretations of any culture being studied.
  • 55. Racism Heterosexism Discrimination Cultural Sensitivity Prejudice Ethnocentrism Stereotype Sexism Multiculturalism Ethnicity Race
  • 56. Colonialism/Postcolonialism Yinka Shonibare Gallantry and Criminal Conversation (Parasol)
2002
  • 57. Alterity/Otherness First we construct some group as Other. Next we project onto it those qualities we reject, fear, or disown in ourselves. Then we assign qualities to variable human individuals on the basis of their inclusion in this constructed Alterity. Once we take this step in our construction of Alterity, then, at last, we have also created prejudice and stereotyping. Alterity is not the same thing as prejudices (for example, racism, sexism, classism), although it leads to them.
  • 58. Binary oppositions Rational - White - Male - Heterosexual - Order - Mind - Active - Town - Cowboys - Civilised - Rational - Culture - Irrational/emotional Black Female Homosexual Chaos Body Passive Country Indians Primitive Irrational Nature David Shrigley
  • 59. Cultural Imperialism Cultural imperialism refers to the spread of one culture at the expense of others usually because of differential economic or political influence.
  • 60. Culture and Power Ellen Gallagher DeLux (2004-5) Representation is not neutral.
  • 61. Many people never acknowledge how their day- to-day behaviors have been shaped by cultural norms and values and reinforced by families, peers, and social institutions. How one defines „family‟, identifies desirable life goals, views problems, and even says hello are all influenced by the culture in which one functions. The Location of Culture
  • 62. Artist as Ethnographer Ethnographic aesthetics: the intersection between art and anthropology. Artists, like ethnographers, train their eyes to see things other people don‟t see. They try to present what they see so that we, the audience, can glimpse something where we have looked a thousand times and failed to find anything noteworthy. Simon Starling Infestation Piece (Musseled Moore) (2012)
  • 63. Anthropology Anthropology is a tool for understanding what makes people and cultures different and what makes them the same. Roderick Buchanan Mixed Marriage (2007) Studying and going to „other‟ cultures provides us with comparative perspectives of the world.
  • 64. Artists and anthropologists share a set of common practices that raise similar ethical issues. David Shrigley Artist as Anthropologist
  • 65. Culture and Place Places are created by cultural practices. Places are never finished. Yinka Shonibare Gallantry and Criminal Conversation (Parasol) (2002)
  • 66. Cultural Geography Cultural geographers study the cultural aspects that explain how and/or why people function as they do in the areas in which they live e.g. language, religion, different economic and governmental structures, art, and music. Berlin from above Berlin in parts From: Odd Things Happen When You Chop Up Cities And Stack Them Sideways
  • 67. Globalisation Globalisation is also becoming increasingly important to this field as it is allowing these specific aspects of culture to easily travel across the globe. N55 Walking House (2008)
  • 68. Material Culture Bob and Roberta Smith Everything is Made (2012) Material Culture is concerned with the relationship between artefacts and social relation. Material Culture Studies aims to systematically explore the linkage between the construction of social identities and the production and use of culture.
  • 69. The meaning of objects shift and change according to the various physical, temporal, social and cultural contexts in which they are used and displayed. Museology is the science of collecting and arranging objects for museums. Museology
  • 70. Break Back here in 15mins David Shrigley
  • 71. Workshop
  • 72. Guidelines on Visual Analysis • Visual language can be read in the same manner as any other language although visual language can fool us by seeming natural and therefore self-explanatory. • The codes of the image must be deconstructed to release the social and cultural meaning of the image or visual language. • An example that can be given for the relationship between the image and its meaning is an iceberg. Only 10% of an iceberg is visible above the water. The remaining 90% of the iceberg is suggested by the part we can see. • Rather than say an image is beautiful or significant you need to attempt to explain why it is so. To read the image one must attempt to understand, interpret and evaluate the visual message.
  • 73. Interpreting the content of the visual image can be undertaken through a number of means:
  • 74. Analysing the syntax of the image including style and composition. Syntax being the building blocks of the image pictorial structure, graphic composition (shapes, lines, colour) as well as things such as camera placement, editing juxtaposition and point of view.
  • 75. Analysing the techniques used to produce the image. Evaluating the aesthetic merit of the work. Evaluating the merit of the work in terms of purpose and audience.
  • 76. Discussion of the context of the work. Attempting to grasp the interaction, innovation and affective impact and or feeling of the image. Allen Jones Chair (1968) Jemima Stehli Chair (1997)
  • 77. Examining the social impact of the image and discussing the purpose and the relationship between the audience and the authorship of the image. Discussion of the manipulative uses and the ideological implications of the image.
  • 78. Understanding an image can also be achieved by asking questions such as:
  • 79. Who created the image? In what point of history and in what context was the image created? Jenny Holzer The abuse of power comes as no surprise (1980)
  • 80. For what purpose was the image created? In what context is the image being seen? Who is the intended audience?
  • 81. What has been omitted, altered or included in the image? What does the image say about history? Yinka Shonibare Diary of a Victorian Dandy (1998)
  • 82. What does the image communicate about individual or national identity? What does the image communicate about society? What aspects of culture is the image communicating? Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke 2013 MTV Video Music Awards