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  1. 1. Roland Barthes Plastic
  2. 2. Key Words - Infinite transformation - Spectacle - imitation
  3. 3. Semiology is the study of cultural sign processes, analogy, metaphor, signification and communication, signs and symbols. Semiotics is closely related to the field of linguistics, which in its part, studies the structure and meaning of language more specifically. Myth By myths, Barthes intends all the interpretations (these may take several forms: narratives, pictures etc.) which humans in general and the Bourgeoisie in particular impose upon events that are in and of themselves neutral in an effort to strengthen their own social dominance. By mythology, Barthes means both the process by which these neutral events are made to connote something beyond their overt meaning and the process of studying all such interpretations in such a way as to underscore their ideological functions. Spectacle is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images.
  4. 4. Editors Introduction <ul><li>By giving plastic the kind of attention that is usually reserved for the principles of literary works, Barthes recognizes in the work-a-day world of plastics a cosmology of magic and myth . </li></ul><ul><li>Barthes purposes to draw attention to the way how everyday materials circulate in modern life , that is why he gives the example of plastic . </li></ul><ul><li>In capitalist culture the commodity becomes “magical” , containing properties normally presented on sacred objects. Thus for Barthes the everyday world contains the mythologies of a secular culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Barthes’ works invoked everyday as the realm in which pleasure and unease are experienced. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Plastic is the very idea of its infinite transformation , it is </li></ul><ul><li>ever-present . </li></ul><ul><li>*** Plastic is a transit; first a raw material , then-after being processed- it becomes a finished human object . </li></ul><ul><li>Miraculous substance : a miracle is always a sudden transformation of nature. Plastic remains impregnated throughout with this wonder; it is a less thing than the trace of a movement. </li></ul><ul><li>Plastic is a spectacle to be deciphered: the spectacle of its end products. </li></ul><ul><li>*** Plastic can transform into a vast variety of products; due to that the consumers do not contemplate in its original matter, the end product is what they are interested. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>- In the hierarchy of the major poetic substances, plastic figures as a disgraced material , lost between the effusiveness of rubber and the flat hardness of metal; it embodies none of the genuine produce of the mineral world. </li></ul><ul><li>* It is a “shaped” substance: whatever its final state, plastic keeps a flocculent appearance, something powerless ever to achieve the triumphant smoothness of Nature . </li></ul><ul><li>Artificial . </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Plastic highlights an evolution in the myth of “imitation ” materials. </li></ul><ul><li>- Until now, imitation material intended pretension , world of appearances , reproducing cheaply the rarest substances. </li></ul><ul><li>- Now it became a household material. </li></ul><ul><li>An artificial matter, is about to replace Nature, to determine the very </li></ul><ul><li>invention of forms. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The whole world can be plasticized, and even life itself since, we are told, they are beginning to make plastic aortas.” </li></ul>