Philippine visual urban culture


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Philippine visual urban culture

  1. 1. Philippine Visual Urban Culture<br />JaymeeSiao<br />
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  3. 3. Reading the Urban<br />A person’s environment shapes the way he or she thinks and acts.<br />As the person creates the place he or she inhabits, the place can also as much create the person.<br />
  4. 4. EDSA as a site of resistance<br />
  5. 5. Epifaniodelos Santos Avenue (EDSA)<br />A 54-kiometer avenue stretching from the south (City of Parañaque) to the north (City of Caloocan) of Metro Manila.<br />Main passageway in routing Manila’s key commecial and industrial districts.<br />
  6. 6. PanopticismMichel Foucault (1995, 197-198)<br />A technology of observation where prisoners are observed without the benefit of knowing that they are being observed based on a styled architecture of the prison.<br />
  7. 7. Through advertisement, potential consumers are surveyed and categorized.<br />
  8. 8. The consumers, specifically their desires, are definitely framed in the billboards<br />But no matter how advertisers frame consumer desires, some things are bound to become excesses.<br />
  9. 9. The Body as a Locus of Power<br />Billboard advertisements often imposes a single meaning.<br />Billboards actually sell “emotions,” and what one gets is an impression of a play of words and images.<br />
  10. 10. The Body as Medium and Metaphor of CultureSusan Bordo (1995)<br />The body has much to say about the conventions which are imposed on it, becoming an articulation of these impositions: The representations of the ideal body turned into a desirable object through the framing of a glamorized billboard.<br />
  11. 11. These displays are in fact unnatural as they are constructed and regulated, presented and imposed as normalized bodies.<br />Differences are effaced, as “plasticity” or reconstructivity becomes the new standard of beauty.<br />These do not merely transform the consumer, but normalize them completely – their thoughts leading to their actions.<br />
  12. 12. EDSA as a Site of Desire<br />EDSA, as a “body,” is being made through the readings of its billboards’ meanings.<br />It is a reflection of a product of bodies, and yet, in itself, is also a body on display.<br />Like a tattooed body, EDSA has become the convenient place to prop up these gigantic images to catch the consumer’s eyes and trap them in a world of colorful images and attractive phrases.<br />
  13. 13. Billboards as Panoptic Devices; or, EDSA as a Site of Surveillance<br />One’s view of EDSA is a panoptic one, where ads are invasive; depriving the people of mental and physical space, while bombarding them with glossy and glamorized information.<br />
  14. 14. Fallacy of Intention<br />It is not enough to rely upon the intentional meanings of billboards.<br />One should grasp the consumer’s role in the production of meanings; how thy understand the product or the message conveyed, and how they use the product in their everyday life.<br />
  15. 15. Through misreadings, the intended purposes of advertisers are short-circuited. <br />The emancipatory value of the text shows through the consumer’s viewing, and their reinjection of meaning into it.<br />The passion of meaning itself becomes the life-giver in a billboard ad, sustaining it and assuring the communicative exchange between its makers (advertisers) and its viewers (consumers).<br />
  16. 16. Textual Warfare as Consumer Resistance<br />No matter how strategic a billboard is in terms of location and construction, there are gaps with enough spaces for the consumer to slip through and apply his or her own private meanings and interpretations.<br />This paves way for multiple meanings from a single billboard ad.<br />
  17. 17. The Modern-day Flâneur<br />One that is able to perceive the world in an entirely new way.<br />A “walking exile” whose gaze disrupts social order through interrupted meanings.<br />
  18. 18. The Concept of the Bridge<br />Infrastructure undoubtedly plays an important role in the urbanization process.<br />Originally, a bridge is meant to facilitate movement over a body of water or elevated places.<br />Sanjuanico Bridge<br />
  19. 19. Today, bridges are made either to facilitate pedestrians in crossing hazardous streets and pedestrian traffic or making way for the overflow of transportations.<br />
  20. 20. Bridges have become sites of communication and exchange in contemporary urban living.<br />As a symbol of movement, it is not considered as a place but a means of transport.<br />But as it now “houses” a number of different people using it as a shelter or a site of exchange, transportation is distrupted, converting the bridge into a site.<br />
  21. 21. Pedestrians and Walkers<br />They are often perceived as a collective whole. <br />Their encounters with the different types of people “housed” on the bridge change their own movement as well as attitude and behavior.<br />
  22. 22. Vendors<br />Creates a temporary “pit stop” for “people on the go,” ranging from makeshift food stalls to small items, both perishable and non-perishable in affordable prices.<br />Either for a break or for “pasalubong,” people might opt to purchase these products as an immediate alternative to malls.<br />
  23. 23. The Homeless and the Blind Singers<br />The homeless have a tendency to permanently stay, either under (for privacy) or on (for territory).<br />They expect people to pass by, generating at least a constant source in begging for alms.<br />The blind singers court the pedestrians into giving alms, creating street performativity.<br />
  24. 24. As Token Collectors<br />People who wish to pass by the bridge are requested to give a small amount or a token of payment.<br />
  25. 25. Pedestrians are arrested by the sight of the beggars’ outstretched hand that blocks their path.<br />
  26. 26. Ruby Boys and Thieves<br />Rugby boys scare off pedestrians, appropriating the space for their own use either unknowingly or without even realizing it.<br />Thieves target the bridges with its poor lighting and lack of security, literally forcing wary pedestrians to avoid passing the bridge at all, thus dislocating traumatized pedestrians.<br />
  27. 27. Postmodern urban landscape<br />
  28. 28. Functionality is one of the traits of modernism. Aiming for an orderly space, modernism has sought to create an organized, practical place, with a utopian view of society as a whole.<br />
  29. 29. However, functionality excludes diversity as it seeks to discipline the people into a homogenous group using the infrastructure for a specific purpose.<br />
  30. 30. Ideally, bridges serve as a solution to the lack of space and ease of transport.<br />But the activities on the streets has simply duplicated street life in these infrastructures, a sort of a simulation of it.<br />
  31. 31. Whereas infrastructures strive to create order, they are also part of the cause of urban disorder.<br />As it tends to dislocate people from urbanity, it has in turn created its own simulation of urban life, connecting different sorts of people along the way.<br />
  32. 32. The postmodern city is a product of capitalism; and to perceive the city as a social space is to sense the urgency of it being a site of social contradiction.<br />
  33. 33. Reading through Jameson’s “Hyperspace”<br />Spaces have changed in order to adjust to human excess, which people have only appropriated for their own uses (or of what they have been previously accustomed to doing only in a different location altogether).<br />
  34. 34. Experiencing the postmodern city as that of a sequence of several overlapping images gives the effect of a disorderly city.<br />
  35. 35. Monuments as the national imaginarie<br />
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  37. 37. Anitos dwell in the natives’ houses because they stand as representatives of those family members who have passed way,and that may serve as intermediarie between the God (Batala), and them (the natives).<br />
  38. 38. George Mosse<br />Symbols are needed by nations, being the objectification of popular myths, giving a people their identity.<br />
  39. 39. The national monument as a means of self-expression served to anchor the national myths and symbols in the consciousness of the people.<br />
  40. 40. Monuments are not always ideal for a nation, as evidenced by the Philippine colonial experience where colonizers used it to augment their desires, as well as agendas for the colony.<br />Legazpi-Urdaneta Monument (1891)<br />City of Manila<br />Carlos IV Monument (1808)<br />Manila Cathedral<br />
  41. 41. Surpassing the lives of their own royalties, these stone monuments mark the Spaniards’ presence not only in the Philippines but in Mexico and Panama among others, as well as promote the ideals of the Mother country (colonizer).<br />
  42. 42. The Spaniards’ symbols – the monuments – have in fact portrayed people in victorious stances, to further promote the “conquistador” nature of the colonizers<br />
  43. 43. Both symbolize the cross or religion as both have the stance of a conquistador, an explorer holding a sword; meant to colonize and change (“civilize”) the people; the cross and the sword being the two pillars of Spanish misióncivilizatrice.<br />Sto. Nino<br />Legazpi-Urdaneta Monument<br />
  44. 44. American Monuments<br />American monuments on the other hand, usually carry a book, are seen reading/studying, or even reading to someone else.<br />
  45. 45. These civic virtues, evidently portrayed in their monuments, show the significant shift from the Spanish style of wanting the natives to look up to them, to the Americans’ desire to mold the Filipinos to become the way they, the Americans, are.<br />
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  47. 47. Apart from the theme of (children) reading together, there is the mother and child theme, prevalent in American period monuments<br />
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  49. 49. Reading the Postcolonial Monuments<br />Though supposed to show celebrations of freedom, they show sufferings, instead of portraying them as proud, noble people.<br />
  50. 50. Memorare 1945<br />GomBurZa monument<br />
  51. 51. Instead of celebrating freedom, these show celebration of defeat.<br />
  52. 52. The Sentinel of Freedom(Teodoro F. Valencia circle)<br />
  53. 53. Significance of Monuments<br />We create objects of memory, or memories themselves, because there is none available at hand.<br />Monuments tend to flesh out whatever it is we think that a nation should be, or even ourselves. We project ourselves onto monuments, too, thereby seeing our reflections in them.<br />
  54. 54. With the abuse of monuments – both by the viewer and the creator – a rampant phenomenon, we are threatened to have monuments which no longer hold any significance.<br />
  55. 55. The Urban and the Social<br />The many borrowedstyles in our culture are very much evident, literally, in the streets, and as such, allows for an interdisciplinary reading of the urban. The Filipinos’ resourcefulness and ingenuity, despite the pervading problems and issues that he faces, show only the resilience of the Filipino spirit<br />