- An important principle in relation to tikanga in Maori culture is tapu. This refers to both a spiritual and sacred aspect to an object, person or place. It is believed that this is present upon all tikanga and resembles the identity of the individual and that place (Mead, 30). Every being, place or object has tapu that links it to spiritual elements and an important factor of this principle is to have faith of its occurrence (Mead, 32). In art and design practices, one should be aware of the tapu around them and should know how to correctly use any elements for their works with valid background understanding beforehand.
Where do you think that puppy in the window of your local pet store came from? The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) states that 99 percent of the puppies sold in pet store are from puppy mills in the United States. In the country alone, from HSUS Puppy Mill: Facts and Figures 2014, there is an estimated 10,000 puppy mills.Within these breeding factories, also called puppy factories or puppy mills these animals live in unsanitary conditions where there are multiple dogs in single cages and are fed and water very inadequately. The welfare of the animals is lessened all for the gain of the owners of these business. This is because they spend less on their well-being and sell them for up to thousands of dollars per animal.
The regular person would most likely be unaware that this is constantly occurring. Individuals also do not know that this act of animal cruelty is in fact legal in many countries across the world. Due to this, animals rights activists and organisations as well as those who are artist or designers have set themselves the task to raise awareness for this issue. These acts of visual activism are generally effective to providing individuals with this needed knowledge. Mirzoeff discusses how this enables individuals to represent themselves and be heard in order to bring upon change (293). Within the 21st century, living in time when the world around us is always changing and expanding, making it a more complex way of living than before. It is our responsibility as citizens to be engaged and aware in the issues present in order to ultimately understand the world we live in (p21.org).
The artists that reflect this issue or animal cruelty in general often use techniques that evoke quite strong emotions in the audience. This includes live public performances displaying the cruelty that occurs behind those closed doors. It is an reveal of truth to the world that forces us to open our eye to reality of what is happening. “The artists role is to shock the viewer into s new way of seeing and thinking about the animal” (Angela Singer, Artist/Animal, 165). A particular artist that influenced my creative work, Miru Kim evoked a similar effect through reveal truth and through showing the ultimate connection and similarity that we have with pigs. In my final work, this similarity is shown to create that the visual thought of why we are abusing these animals when there are many traits that we share with them. In addition another artist that has influenced my work is activist, author and illustrator Sue Coe. Her illustrations from her book Sheep of Fools, she depicts the inside of a slaughterhouse where she reveals the gruesome truth of the industry. The common individual would not be allowed to enter into these factories therefore Coe shows what would behind closed doors in a success way. “A transformation of unseeing into seeing”(Mirzoeff, 260).
My creative work shown below is largely inspired by the works of Miru Kim where she illustrates the connection we have with animals. I have chosen to make my model appear similar to them to evoke these emotions. My subject is posing bare back behind wire fencing to imitate the inside of a breeding factory. The different positions in each photograph describes her feelings of sorrow and unhappiness, similar to what the animals in this situation would normally experience. Her nudity and crouching position also makes her appear vulnerable within her surroundings. My work and others that represent the issue of the animal cruelty in the breeding industry has the intention of raising awareness for people to stop and think before they are about to purchase an animal from a pet store or online as to where they may have originally come from. Activist organisations also strongly advise adopting their pet from an animal shelter instead. My work is among many others will not ultimately stop puppy mills from operating but its intention is to make people more aware of this issue.
Baker, Steve. Artist/Animal. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, London. Non-Fiction Book. 2013.
“Dont Buy into Puppy Mills” The Humane Society of the United States. Web. Date of Access: 10 June 2016.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Chapter 7: Changing the World” How to See the World. Pages 253-285. Pelican. Penguin House. London.2015. Print.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Afterword: Visual Activism” How to See the World. Pages 287-298. Pelican. Penguin House. London.2015. Print.
“What is 21st Century Learning and Citizenship all about?” P21: Partnership for 21st Century Learning. National PTA. Web. Date Accessed: 12 June 2016.
3-5 key ideas for essay:
- technology shaping the world, having control of us
- ‘filter bubble’- Eli Pariser, not seeing what we need to see
- global village- ‘ultimate closed world’
- historical example- modern machine age context
- contemporary example- technological network, photographic myth
Chosen visual texts-
The technology that we use day-by-day is constantly shaping the way we live our lives, both how we see ourselves and see others. The global network created by technology has become its own world where the real world has appeared smaller and smaller. In this ultimate closed world we all have our own closed space referred to as a ‘filter bubble’. Inside the information given to us in consciously filtered to what the internet thinks we want to see instead of what we intentionally need to see. In the essay, the comparison between a historical visual text and contemporary one in relation to their context will be included to show the similarities and differences across time.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas How to See the World. ‘The World on Screen’. Chapter 4. Pages 129-161. London: Pelican. 2015. Print.
Beware online “filter bubbles” TED Talk video.Duration 9:04 mins. Speaker Eli Pariser. Filmed March 2011.
Marshall McLuhan – The World is a Global Village (CBC TV). Future of Health Technology. Uploaded March 24, 2009. Youtube video.
A person’s world view is comprised of the individuals beliefs, personal perspectives, thoughts on themselves and others. This can also include their goals and thoughts on their purpose of life (asa3.org). Compared to Ideology, their worldview usually overrides this. Ideology is more related to views set upon from society including political, social and economic factors. A person’s world view usually determines what ideologies they set to be natural (enlightenedworldview.com).
When critically viewing a visual text, an understanding of an individuals world view and ideologies that are present in society enables the viewer to better acknowledge the meanings behind the text. The individual, that may be the artist or designer has their own world view much like the viewer having a different view. When creating a visual text it is useful to know the type of audience that would be view it and to know their particular parts of their world views. Understanding this can ensure a deeper emotional connection is made when they view that artwork. Many visual texts normally do contain a certain ideology or worldview and in many ways normalizes these ideas. For example, women magazines affirm that it may be normal to look like the models on the front cover.
‘The Myth of Photographic Truth’ explains the ideas that photographs no matter when they were taken throughout time can be manipulated to alter their meaning. As stated by Sturken and Cartwright, it was debated during nineteenth century that photographs did not portray the real world but instead showing the mere surface of reality (17). However in this section of Image, Politics and Power, Roland Barthes suggests that the term ‘myth’ is related to the hidden messages that begin to become natural within the image (20). As digital software has been used since the 1990s to enhance photographs, the deeper messages have become more clear to he viewer. Yet in turn as stated by Sturken and Cartwright, people have been more untrusting of the camera.
It is important when analyzing artists work to be aware of how it was constructed and truth behind the image in order to ultimately understand the extent of its meaning. One of the visual texts that I may use in my essay, a still shot from the They Live taken from a film camera was altered in post production in order to cater for the effect of that scene. The photograph shows an urban scene where all the billboards in a city is encased with words of conformity. The monochrome effect and wording was included later. As shown by Mark Osterman in The Photographic truth video, black and white images in the 19th Century were also altered, thus limiting the truth behind them (16). The connotative meaning in this scene has become clear more than simply the literal due to this use of digital media. This idea can easily be included in my essay as it is sufficiently related to my question of how technology influence us as well as is used as filter for information.
‘The Photographic Truth’ video, The Met, Speaker Mark Osterman. Whitmore Conservation Center, George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film. Uploaded Oct 26 2012. Youtube.
The Myth of Photographic Truth “Images, Power and Politics”. Practices Of Looking : An Introduction To Visual Culture.: New York : Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-48. Print.
Marshall McLuhan The World is a Global Village:
The speakers in this video discuss the idea of the Global Village that has been created by electronic media. It is stated that it has not only made the world appear smaller but also become more familiar to us (0:27). One speaker briefly discusses how the book used to be where we sourced most of our information and now electronic media allows us to gain knowledge in various different ways. McLuhan then talks about the idea of how with the change of media man has gone towards the tribal man away from the individual man (3:56). He explains that we have become more influenced by the ideas displayed around us from this media than maintaining our own ideas about the world.
Beware Online ‘Filter Bubble’:
In this video, Eli Pariser talks about how the internet personalises our search results. He states that it displays what the internet thinks we want to see compared to what we actually need to see (3:45). This is where your own ‘personal bubble’ of information is created, where what you see is not decided by you but instead the internet. He states that we also do not what is edited out of our view (4:30). He ends this talk with mentioning that we need the internet to stay in contact with one another and to gain access to new ideas and perspectives but must be aware of the control that it has over us.
These ideas talked about in these videos are important to artists and designers because becoming aware of what influences and controls us, allows them to understand how to better depict what is happening around the world.
Marshall McLuhan – The World is a Global Village (CBC TV) Video. Published by Future of Health Technol0gy. Youtube. Uploaded 24 March 2009.
The artwork above created by Marcel Duchamp, a well known artist during the early Modernism era is a conceptual piece depicting the modernist machine age. Its materials it is made out of consists of “lead foil, lead wire and dust in two glass plates mounted with aluminium, wood and steel frames” (abcgallery.com). The work is in a cracked glass frame that is divided into sections. Each section depicts an industrial process constructing what may appear to be clothing or objects. In relation to my chosen topic, the work can be seen as a mockery of the machine and the title stating it being about a bride and her bachelors. Here they are shown as a machine process.
D. From brainstorming ideas for each of the artworks that may be used in my essay, I was able to understand the importance of context for the work. Either Boccioni’s The City Rises or Monet’s La Gare Saint Lazare have a close relation with their particular time period.When the context is unknown it may be difficult to understand the meaning behind the work. In relation to my chosen topic, I found this process and the associated texts useful because it helped develop a more in-depth way of describing artworks and its context that will be used throughout my essay.
This work painted by Robert Delauney was part of the Orphism movement during the Early Modernism era. This short lived movement consisted of portraying the fast paced energy of the modern world. One of the ideas that John Berger discusses in he video, The Ways of Seeing is that on screen the meaning of the painting could be different. This may be through camera movement such as zooming in on the smaller detailed aspects of the painting as well as background sound.
If one were to zoom in on the the small Eiffel tower depiction with the soft background to the right of the painting on a screen they would not understand the entire meaning of the work. They might get the feel of calm due to the solid, smooth background but when viewing the painting as a whole that section is quite different from the rest of the painting. In relation to sound, if there was a documentary that included this painting this could also allow for a different version of meaning depending on the music being played. This could be a reference to technology being used a a filter where it shows only the section that it thinks we should see, thus blocking out other meanings behind the work.
John Berger/ Ways of Seeing Episode 1, 1972. Youtube video published Oct 8, 2012
From the reading, I found what was noticeable was the authors vivid descriptions of each of the photographs. Sturken described each important aspect in the work and how it related to the overall meaning. These two artworks were also those that had a somewhat harsh emotion or idea that it inflicted (10,11). They accompanied reality in a real sense rather than covering up the truth to any extent. The main moral of this piece of writing was of how visual images may appear ordinary have power to evoke strong emotions in the viewer (Sturken 9). The selected photographs contained a clear essence of this power.
Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics”. Practices of Looking: An Introduction To Visual Culture.: New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-49. Print.