OUGD501: Context of Practice 2 (Lecture) - Censorship and ‘Truth’

Notions of censorship and truth
The indexical qualities of photography in rendering truth
Photographic manipulation and the documentation of truth
Censorship in advertising
Censorship in art and photography  

Health warning!
  • Ansel Adams, Moonrise HernandesNew Mexico, c. 1941 - 2
  • Ansel Adams, Moon over Half Dome, 1960
  • Ansel Adams, Aspens
  • ‘Five years before coming to power in the 1917 October revolution, the Soviets established the newspaper Pravda.  For more than seven Decades,until the fall of Communism, Pravda, which Ironically means “truth”, served the Soviet Communist party by censoring and filtering the news presented to Russian and Eastern Europeans’. - Aronson, E. and Pratkanis, A., 1992, Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion, New York, Henry Holt & Co., pages 269 - 270
  • Stalin with, and without, Nikolai Yezhov
  • Stalin with, and without, Trotsky
  • Kate Winslet on cover of GQ Magazine, with legs elongated in photoshop
  • Robert Capa, Death of a Loyalist Soldier, 1936
  • ‘At that time [World War II], I fervently believed just about everything I was exposed to in school and in the media.  For example, I knew that all Germans were evil and that all Japanese were sneaky and treacherous, while all white Americans were clean-cut, honest, fair-minded, and trusting’  - Elliot Aronson in Pratkanis and Aronson, (1992), Age of Propaganda, p. xii
  • ‘With lively step, breasting the wind, clenching their rifles, they ran down the slope covered with thick stubble. Suddenly their soaring was interrupted, a bullet whistled - a fratricidal bullet - and their blood was drunk by their native soil’ – caption accompanying the photograph in Vue magazine
  • ‘With lively step, breasting the wind, clenching their rifles, they ran down the slope covered with thick stubble. Suddenly their soaring was interrupted, a bullet whistled - a fratricidal bullet - and their blood was drunk by their native soil’ – caption accompanying the photograph in Vue magazine -   Tom L. Beauchamp, Manipulative Advertising, 1984
  • ‘Whereas representation tries to absorb simulation by interpreting it as false representation, simulation envelops the whole edifice of representation as itself a simulacrum.  These would be the succesive phases of the image: 
  • It is the reflection of a basic reality.
  • It masks and perverts a basic reality.
  • It masks the absence of a basic reality.
  • It bears no relation to any reality whatever : it is its own pure simulacrum.’
  •  Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulations, 1981, in Poster, M. (ed.) (1988), Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Cambridge, Polity Press, page 173
  • ‘In the first case, the image is a good appearance: the representation is of the order of the sacrament. In the second, it is an evil appearance: of the order of malefic.  In the third, it plays at being an appearance: it is of the order of sorcery.  In the fourth, it is no longer in the order of appearance at all, but of simulation’. 
  • Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulations, 1981, in Poster, M. (ed.) (1988), Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Cambridge, Polity Press, page 173 
  • ‘As we approach the likelihood of a new Gulf War, I have an idea and it occurs to me that the Digital Journalist may be the place for it. As we all know, the military pool system created then was meant to be, and was, a major impediment for photojournalists in their quest to communicate the realities of war (This fact does not diminish the great efforts, courage, and many important images created by many of my colleagues who participated in these pools.). Aside from that, while you would have a very difficult time finding an editor of an American publication today that wouldn't condemn this pool system and its restrictions during the Gulf War, most publications and television entities more or less bought the program before the war began (this reality has been far less discussed than the critiques of the pools themselves)’ Peter Turnley, The Unseen Gulf War, December 2002, at
  • ‘I refused to participate in the pool system. I was in the Gulf for many weeks as the build-up of troops took place, and then sat out the "air war", and flew from Paris to Riyadh as soon as the ground war began. I arrived at the "mile of death" the morning the day the war stopped. It was very early in the morning and few other journalists were present. When I arrived at the scene of this incredible carnage, strewn all over on this mile stretch were cars and trucks with wheels still turning, radios still playing, and there were bodies scattered along the road. Many people have asked the question "how many people died" during the war with Iraq and the question has never been well answered. That first morning, I saw and photographed a U.S. Military 'graves detail' bury in large graves many bodies’. Peter Turnley, The Unseen Gulf War, December 2002, a
  • ‘I don't recall seeing many television images of the human consequences of this scene, or for that matter many photographs published. A day later, I came across another scene on an obscure road further north and to the east where, in the middle of the desert, I found a convoy of lorries transporting Iraqi soldiers back to Baghdad, where clearly massive fire power had been dropped and everyone in sight had been carbonized. Most of the photographs I made of this scene have never been published anywhere and this has always troubled me’. Peter Turnley, The Unseen Gulf War, December 2002, at
  • ‘As we approach the distinct possibility of another war, a thought comes to mind. The photographs that I made do not, in themselves, represent any personal political judgment or point of view with respect to the politics and the right or wrong of the first Gulf War. What they do represent is a part of a more accurate picture of what really does happen in war. I feel it is important and that citizens have the right to see these images. This is not to communicate my point of view, but so viewers as citizens can be offered a better opportunity to consider the whole picture and consequences of that war and any war. I feel that it is part of my role as a photojournalist to offer the viewer the opportunity to draw from as much information as possible, and develop his or her own judgment’. Peter Turnley, The Unseen Gulf War, December 2002, at
  • The "Mile of Death". During the night of the 25th of February and the day of the 26th of February, 1991, Allied aircraft strafed and bombed a stretch of the JahraHighway. A large convoy of Iraqis were trying to make a haste retreat back to Baghdad, as the Allied Forces retook Kuwait City. Many Iraqis were killed on this highway. Estimates vary on the precise number of Iraqis killed during the Gulf War. Very few images of Iraqi dead have been previously published 
  • “It is a masquerade ofInformation: branded faces delivered over to the prostitution of the image” - Jean Baudrillard, The Gulf War Did not Take Place, 1995, p.40
  • ‘The claim that the Gulf War of 1990 would not take place (1991), followed by the assertion that it did not take place, seems to defy all logic.  Such statements are anticipated by the earlier claim (1983) that the only future war would be a hyperreal and dissuasive war in which no events would take place because there was no more space for actual warfare.  The underlying argument is that the Gulf War was a simulated war or a reproduction of a war.  Whatever its human consequences, this was, for Baudrillard, a war which consisted largely of its self-representation in the real time of media coverage’ Macey, D. (2000), The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory, London, Penguin, page 34 
  • ‘It is the de-intensified state of war, that of the right to war under the green light of the UN and with an abundance of precautions and concessions.  It is the bellicose equivalent of safe sex: make war like love with a condom!  On the Richter scale, the Gulf War would not even reach two or three.  The build up is unreal, as though the fiction of an earthquake were created by manipulating the measuring instruments’. - Jean Baudrillard, The Gulf War Did Not Take Place, 1995, in Poster, M. (ed.) (1988), Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Cambridge, Polity Press, page 233
  • ‘A carbonized Iraqi soldier, killed by Allied aircraft, as a convoy of Iraqi soldiers tried to retreat to Baghdad from Kuwait City at the end of the Gulf War. The scene of this photograph was on a highway that was to the northeast of Kuwait City’. Peter Turnley, 1991
  • ‘A US Military graves detail buries the bodies of dead Iraqi soldiers killed along the Mile of Death, on the road between Kuwait City and Basra, north of Kuwait City’. Peter Turnley, 1991
  • ‘A few days after the end of the Gulf ground war, an American soldier looks at a dead Iraqi soldier lying in the desert near where his convoy of vehicles was bombed and strafed by Allied aircraft as the convoy attempted to retreat from Kuwait back to Iraq. This was a different and much less exposed convoy that was bombed, from the Mile of Death. This convoy was on an obscure road to the north and east of Kuwait City. This attack left most of the Iraqi soldiers in the convoy carbonized and their bodies were buried by Allied Forces at the end of the war’. Peter Turnley, 1991
  • Peter Turnley, 1991
  • ‘Most of the reporting that reached American audience and the west in general emanated from the Pentagon, hence severely lacking balance, as proven by the total blackout on the magnitude of the devastation and death on the Iraqi side. A quick statement of the number of dead (centeredaround 100,000 thousands soldiers and 15,000 civilians) sufficed for main-stream media audience. It is no wonder that this made-for-TV war started at 6:30pm EST on January 16, 1991, coinciding with National News. Alas, much of American audience today cannot distinguish between computer war games and real war, between news and entertainment’.     
  • ‘Two intense images, two or perhaps three which all concern disfigured forms or costumes which correspond to the masquerade of this war: the CNN journalists with their gas masks in the Jerusalem studios; the drugged and beaten prisoners repenting on the screen of Iraqi TV; and perhaps that seabird covered in oil and pointing its blind eyes to the Gulf sky.  It is a masquerade of information: branded faces delivered over to the prostitution of the image, the image of an unintelligible distress. No images of the field of battle, but images of masks, of blind or defeated faces, images of falsification. It is not war taking place over there but the Disfiguration of the world’ Jean Baudrillard, The Gulf War Did Not Take Place, 1995, in Poster, M. (ed.) (1988), Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Cambridge, Polity Press, page 241 
  • An-My Le, Small Wars
  • An-My Le, 29 Palms: MechanisedAttack
  • Censorship
  • The practice or policy of censoring films, letters, or publications - Treffry, D. (ed.) (2001), Paperback English Dictionary, Glasgow: Harper Collins

  • 1.A person authorised to examine films, letters, or publications, in order to ban or cut anything considered obscene or objectionable
  • 1.To ban or cut portions of (a film, letter or publication)
  • Treffry, D. (ed.) (2001), Paperback English Dictionary, Glasgow: Harper Collins  
  • Morals
  • Principles of behaviour in accordance with standards of right and wrong
  •  Treffry, D. (ed.) (2001), Paperback English Dictionary, Glasgow: Harper Collins
  • Ethics
  • 1.A code of behaviour, especially of a particular group, profession or individual.
  • 1.The moral fitness of a decision, course of action etc.
  • 1.The study of the moral value of human conduct.
  •  Treffry, D. (ed.) (2001), Paperback English Dictionary, Glasgow: Harper Collins
  • ‘Everybody everywhere wants to modify, transform, embellish, enrich, and reconstruct the world around him – to introduce into an otherwise harsh or bland existence some sort of purposeful and distorting alleviation’ 
  • Theodore Levitt, The Morality  (?) of Advertising, 1970 ‘Suppose that a picture of a young woman inserting chocolate bar into her mouth makes one person think of fellatio, but someone else says that this meaning says more about the observer than it does the picture.  This kind of dispute, with its assumption that meaning resides in a text quite independently of individual and group preconceptions, is depressingly common in discussions on advertising
  • Cadbury’s Flake, 1969
  • … as the picture does not in fact depict fellatio, but something else, what the dispute comes down to is whether everyone, a substantial number of people, a few obsessed individuals, or one particular person, understand it this way.  Without an opinion poll, the dispute is unresolvable, but it is really quite improbable that such an interpretation will be individual’ 
  • ‘While the publicity generated by such campaigns [Benetton] is immense – and their globalized distribution protects them from the effects of a ban in any one country – it is also surely shocking that the shock effect wears off so quickly.  Perhaps the overall driving motive of such campaigns is in fact nothing new – but simply an astute loyalty to one of the oldest adages in the business: there is no such thing as bad - Publicity’ Cook, G. (1992), The Discourse of Advertising, London, Routledge, page 229  
  • Benetton (UK) Ltd: The ASA deemed this 1991 poster to be a poor reflection on the advertising industry and ordered the advertisers not to repeat the approach.
  • “Decorative models do seem to increase recognition and recall of the advertisement itself.  The same probably is true for nudity. Thus , as one article on that technique suggested, ‘While an illustration of a nude female may gain the interest and attention of a viewer, an advertisement depicting a nonsexual scene appears to be more effective in obtaining brand recall”’.  
  • Opium advertisement, photographer Stephen Meisel, 2000
  • Christopher Graham, ASA director general, said: "This was the most complained about advertisement in the last five years. As a poster it clearly caused serious and widespread offence." He said it was sexually suggestive and likely to cause "serious or widespread offence" thereby breaking the British codes of advertising and sales promotion.
  • Opium advertisement, photographer Stephen Meisel, 2000
  • Agnolo Bronzino, Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time, c. 1545, Oil on wood
  • Balthus, The Golden Years, c. 1945
  • Therese Dreaming, 1938
  • Edouard Manet(1832 - 83), Dejeuner surl’Herbe, 1863
  • Andy Earl, Bow Wow Wowrecord cover, 1980
  • Amy Adler – The Folly of Defining ‘Serious’ Art
  • •Professor of Law at New York University
  • •‘an irreconcilable conflict between legal rules and artistic practice’
  • •The requirement that protected artworks have ‘serious artistic value’ is the very thing contemporary art and postmodernism itself attempt to defy
  • The Miller Test, 1973
  • •Asks three questions to determine whether a given work should be labelled ‘obscene’, and hence denied constitutional protection:
  • •Whether ‘the average person, applying contemporary community standards’ would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest
  • •Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct
  • •Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value       
  • Obscenity Law
  • •‘To protect art whilst prohibiting trash’
  • •‘The dividing line between speech and non-speech’
  • •‘The dividing line between prison and freedom’
  • Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette, 1989
  • Sally Mann, Immediate Family, 1984 - 92
  • Sally Mann, Immediate Family, 1984 - 92
  • Tierney Gearon, Untitled 2001
  • ‘Upper crust “art lovers” are paying £5 a head to ogle degrading snaps of children plastered across the walls of one of Britain’s most exclusive galleries’     
  • ‘A revolting exhibition of perversion under the guise of art’
  •  News of the World
  • Tierney Gearon, Untitled 2001
  • •Deems the making, possession, distribution and display of indecent pictures of children an offence
  • •Up to ten years in jail
  • Tierney Gearon, Untitled 2001
  • ‘I think that the pictures are incredibly innocent and totally unsexual.  I don’t crop them, I don’t retouch them and the shots are never staged. I might introduce an element like a mask, to a given situation, but I would never insist that the child put it on’
  • Tierney Gearon, Guardian, 2001
  • Nan Goldin Klaraand EddaBelly-dancing,1998
  • Richard Prince, Spiritual America, 1983 (after Garry Gross)‘A body with two different sexes, maybe more, and a head that looks like it’s got a different birthday’  
  • Richard Prince
  • ‘A bath-damp and decidedly underage Brooke Shields … when Prince invites us to ogle Brooke Shields in her prepubescent nakedness, his impulse has less to do with his desire to savour the lubricious titillations that it was shot to spark in its original context … than with a profound fascination for the child star’s story’    
  • Jack Bankowsky, co-curator, Tate Modern
  • Spiritual America, as censored in Tate’s Pop Life exhibition catalogue
  • Richard Prince, Spiritual America IV, 2005

Final Thoughts
  • Just how much should we believe the ‘truth’ represented in the media?
  • •And should we be protected from it?
  • •Is the manipulation of the truth fair game in a Capitalist, consumer society?
  • •Should art sit outside of censorship laws exercised in other disciplines?
  • •Who should be protected, artist, viewer, or subject?

Further Reading
Aronson, E. and Pratkanis, A., 1992, Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion, New York, Henry Holt & Co. 
Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulations, 1981, in Poster, M. (ed.) (1988), Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Cambridge, Polity Press Jean Baudrillard, The Gulf War Did Not Take Place, 1995, in Poster, M. (ed.) (1988), Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings, Cambridge, Polity Press Hawthorne C. and Szanto, A. (eds.) (2003) The New Gatekeepers: Emerging Challenges to free expression in the Arts, New York, Columbia University Arts Journalism Program Naas M. (2010) The Truth in Photography, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press 

OUGD504: STUDIO BRIEF 1 - Design for Print // Chronologies Print

“I love a ballad in print alive, for then we are sure they are true.” Shakespeare. 
  • If it is print then is seen to be true. 
  • It is correct, it is factual. 
  • Other sources can be altered, for example Chinese whispers, whereas print cannot be altered, it is fact.
  • Documentation. Communication. Reproduction.
  • It is correct, it is factual. 
Early Print Making
  • 200 AD - Woodcut Printing in China.
  • 650 AD, buddhist script, religious text. 
Mass Communication
  • The first moveable type was in Asia, around 1000 AD.
  • Guttenberg Press - innovative technology
  • Communities were growing, communication was growing 
  • Changing society 
  • Religious beliefs and politics forming society, - as they new how to read and write
  • Cultural awareness about themselves - trickle down effect
European Output of Printed Books ca. 1450-1800
  • Communication changed, the number of printed books went from nothing to 200,000,000 in a century.
  • Becoming rules in countries with a formalised religion. 
  • In 1500, all of Europe and the Uk could print. 
  • Changed the world from a verbal culture to a visual culture
  • You had master craftsmen working with hot type, lead presses. Which is where glyphs started, purely through laziness. To simplify the print process, punctuation also formed. 
The Medium is the Message, Marshall McLuhan, 1911-1980
  • He predicted the world wide web 30 years before it was conceived
  • New technologies like the printing press, he understood how it would change social interaction.
  • Individualism, Democracy, Capitalism, Nationalism - pivotal to society, and print really pushed these.
Lino Type
  • Revolutionised the print world. 
  • Late 1800s, Used within print publication as it could be changed. 
  • Keyboards begun to be used, powered by electricity - 
  • The New York Press used these presses on an industrial scale.
  • When this died, many people were out of jobs. As it was a particular skill people learnt.
  • Ultimately fuelled by religious themes
  • Mass Communication
  • Print encapsulated everything, 
  • Lithography
  • Moulin Rouge print, using the traditional methods
  • Often reproduced
William Morris
  • Time of excess, interacted decorative designs used. Almost Asian influenced, using some bright colours, with over the top design. 
  • It was about making it look super fantastic, 
Propoganda, 1870
  • Colours coming through quite differently, almost like it had been painted,
  • Advertising which was cheap and put everywhere, 
  • Modernism
  • Clear image, clean crisp colours, solid imagery
  • If it’s print then it’s true
  • It’s correct, it’s factual 
  • Depicting war as a ‘hip’ event, whereas in reality, it wasn’t. 
  • Nazi Nationalism, using print to mass communication the message
The Daily Star
  • Why print is dangerous
  • They planned to stand up and fight for ‘british war heroes’ 
Andre The Giant
  • Turned into the OBEY image, using an image of Andre to base off, which turned into a brand
  • Connected to the youth, and then created the HOPE Obama image
  • Amber has the hots for Hulk Hogan. 

OUGD501: Context of Practice 2 (Lecture) Ethics - What is Good?

First Things First Manifesto, Ken Garland 1964
  • We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, art directors and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable use of our talents. Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it.
  • It was less than a manifesto in a political sense, but in the way it’s been signed by Art Directors, designers, etc.
  • Produced in the boom of consumerism, post war activism.
  • Designers felt frustrated that creative talents were wasting their talents by marketing trivial commodities.
  • It’s a call for designers to do something more with their talents, rather than trying to sell cat food. 
  • Proposing a reversal of priorities, it’s unethical to waste talent in pointless endeavours. 
  • Replaced by the First things First Manifesto 2000, by Adbusters. - A redraft, with a changed tone, more critical, more venomous, giving Advertising more stick.
  • Who talk about sabotaging Maddy D’s, spoof advertising - a journal of the metal environment. 
  • The techniques and apparatus of advertising, picking out advertising as a capitalist system. 
Nike - Just Make it Adbusters Ad.
  • Encouraged in this direction, designers then apply their skill and imagination to sell dog biscuits, designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes, credit cards, sneakers, butt toners, light beer and heavy-duty recreational vehicles. Commercial work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in large measure, what graphic designers do. This, in turn, is how the world perceives design. The profession’s time and energy is used up manufacturing demand for things that are inessential at best.
  • They talk about Graphic Design and Advertising as the same thing - we’re all together manufacturing demand for rubbish. 
  • Encouraging people to be locked into a consumer system.
  • Many of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this view of design. Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact
  • You’re effecting the way people think about each other, interact with each other, and themselves - negatively.
  • There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programmes, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help.
  • This might be the case, but how do we judge that worthy, the tone becomes extremely dictatorial. Almost preachy.
  • We propose a reversal of priorities in favour of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication – a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.
  • If you work, to market advertise or brand companies, or make any sort of consumer items - you’re being unethical, perpetuating consumerism, which is ruining the world. You should be using your talents to smash capitalism and start a revolution. - Hijacking billboard, culture jamming.
  • In 1964, 22 visual communicators signed the original call for our skills to be put to worthwhile use. With the explosive growth of global commercial culture, their message has only grown more urgent. Today, we renew their manifesto in expectation that no more decades will pass before it is taken to heart. 
  • Some people who signed the manifesto had plenty of money - it’s easy to be ethical when you have the luxury of choice. Up and coming designers who need money will not have this choice.
Adbusters & Culture Jamming
  • Detournement       
  • Culture Jamming / Meme Warfare Adbusters& Kalle Lasn 
  • “A meme (rhymes with dream) is a unit of information (a catchphrase, a concept, a tune, a belief) that leaps from brain to brain to brain. Memes compete with one another for replication, and are passed down through a population much the same way genes pass through a species. Potent memes can change minds, alter behavior, catalyze collective mindshifts, and transform cultures. Which is why meme warfare has become the geopolitical battle of our information age. Whoever has the memes has the power.”
  • Victor Papanek
  • Most things are designed not for the needs of the people but for the needs of manufacturers to sell to people’ (Papanek, 1983:46)
  • Most design was wasteful, exploitative, and actually harmed the world, making it worse.
  • People are ignoring design solutions for the interest of profit. 
  • How do we determine what is Good?
Ethical Theories
  • Subjective Relativism
  • There are no universal moral norms of right and wrong
  • All persons decide right and wrong for themselves  
  • Cultural Relativism
  • The ethical theory that what’s right or wrong depends on place and/or time
  • Divine Command Theory
  • Good actions are aligned with the will of God
  • Bad actions are contrary to the will of God
  • The holy book helps make the decisions 
  • Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804) a German philosopher
  • People’s wills should be based on moral rules   
  • Therefore it’s important that our actions are based on appropriate moral rules. 
  • To determine when a moral rule is appropriate Kant proposed two Categorical Imperatives
Two Formulations of the Categorical Imperative
  • Act only from moral rules that you can at the same time universalise 
  • –If you act on a moral rule that would cause problems if everyone followed it then your actions are not moral
  • Act so that you always treat both yourself and other people as ends in themselves, and never only as a means to an end. 
  • –If you use people for your own benefit that is not moral
Utilitarianism  (John Stuart Mill)
  • Principle of Utility (Also known as Greatest Happiness Principle)
  • An action is right to the extent that it increasesthe total happiness of the affected parties
  • An action is wrong to the extent that it decreases the total happiness of the affected parties.
  • Happiness may have many definitions such as: advantage, benefit, good, or pleasure 
  • Rules are based on the Principle of Utility 
  • A rule is right to the extent that it increasesthe total happiness of the affected parties 
  • The Greatest Happiness Principleis applied to moral rules 
  • Similar to Kantianism – both pertain to rules 
  • But Kantianism uses the Categorical Imperative to decide which rules to follow 
Social Contract Theory
  • Thomas Hobbes (1603-1679) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)  
  • An agreement between individuals held together by common interest 
  • Avoids society degenerating into the ‘state of nature’ or the ‘war of all against all’ (Hobbes) 
  • “Morality consists in the set of rules, governing how people are to treat one another, that rational people will agree to accept, for their mutual benefit, on the condition that others follow those rules as well.” 
  • We trade some of our liberty for a stable society. 
Morality vs. Legal
  • Are all legal acts also moral?  
  • Difficult to determine because many immoral acts are not addressed by the law 
  • Are all illegal acts immoral? 
  • Social Contract Theory: Yes, we are obligated to follow the law 
  • Kantianism: Yes, by the two Categorical Imperatives 
  • Rule Utilitarianism: Yes, because rules are broken
  • Act Utilitarianism: Depends on the situation. Sometimes more good comes from breaking a law.
Toolbox of Moral / Ethical Theories
  • Whether presented with problems that are easy or difficult to solve, the four workable ethical theories,
  • Kantianism   
  • Act Utilitarianism
  • Rule Utilitarianism
  • Social Contract Theory 
  • could provide us with possible solutions to many of the problems that are raised by the ‘First Things First’ manifesto.
Criteria for a Workable Ethical Theory?
  • Moral decisions and rules:  
  • Based on logical reasoning 
  • Come from facts and commonly held or shared values 
  • Culturally neutral 
  • Treat everyone equally 
  • Socially and Ecologically Responsible Design
Victor Papanek
  • ‘Most things are designed not for the needs of the people but for the needs of manufacturers to sell to people’ (Papanek, 1983:46)
What does Possession mean to you?
  • The assets of the worlds top three billionaires are greater than those of the poorest 600 million on the planet
  • More than a third of the worlds population (2.8 billion)live on less than two dollars a day 
  • 1.2 billion live on less than one dollar a day
  • In 2002 34.6 million Americans lived below the official poverty line (8.5 million of those had jobs!) Black American Poverty double that of whites
  • Per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa =$490
  • Per capita subsidy for European cows = $913 
  • BURGIN - link also between posession(capital) posession(partner)- commodification of human relationships.(Williamson)
  • The perversity of Capitalism can be summed up simply by statistics. Sourced from D’Amato ‘Meaning Of Marxism p.9
  • Poverty is horrible, but is obscene when one realises that enough income is generated to wipe out global poverty completely  


OUGD501: Context of Practice 2 (Lecture) - Cities and Film

This lecture looks at: 
  • The city in Modernism
  • The beginnings of an urban sociology
  • The city as public and private space
  • The city in Postmodernism
  • The relation of the individual to the crowd in the city
Georg Simmel (1858- 1918)
  • German sociologist
  • Writes Metropolisand Mental Life in 1903
  • Influences critical theory of the Frankfurt School thinkers eg: Walter Benjamin, Kracauer, Adorno and Horkheimer 
Dresden Exhibi-on 1903
  • Simmel is asked to lecture on the role of intellectual life in the city but instead reverses the idea and writes about the effect of the city on the individual
  • (HerbertBayerLonely Metropolitan 1932)
  • Celebrates the city at the start of the C20th.
Urban sociology
  • the resistance of the individual to being levelled, swallowed up in the social- technological mechanism.
  • Georg Simmel The Metropolis and Mental Life 1903
  • Lewis Hine (1923)
Architect Louis Sullivan (1856-1924)
  • creator of the modern skyscraper,
  • an influential architect and critic of the Chicago School
  • mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright,
  • Guaranty Building was built in 1894 by Adler & Sullivan in Buffalo NY
Carson Pririe Sco- store in Chicago (1904) 
  • Sky scrapers represent the upwardly mobile city of business opportunity
  • Fire cleared buildings in Chicago in 1871 and made way for Louis Sullivan new aspiratonal buildings
  • The american dream
  • Manhatta (1921) Paul Strand and Charles Scheeler
  • The scale of man power that’s uses to run this industrial city.

Charles Scheeler
  • Ford Motor Company's plant at River Rouge, Detroit (1927). 
  • Fordism: mechanised labour relations 
  • Coined by Antonio Gramsci in his essay "Americanism and Fordism” of 1934
  • “the eponymous manufacturing system designed to spew out standardised, low-cost goods and afford its workers decent enough wages to buy them” (De Grazia: 2005:4)
  • Relating from the body, the human beings and the cities. 
  • Becoming the machine of the human being, which must take part of it to function.
Modern Times (1936) Charlie Chaplin
  • 'In handicrafts and manufacture, the workman makes use of a tool, in the factory, the machine makes use of him' (Marx cited in Adamson 2010 p75) 
Stock market crash of 1929
  • Factories close and unemployment goes up drama;dally
  • Leads to “the Great Depression”
  • Margaret Bourke-White
Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
  • The term flâneur comes from the French masculine noun flâneur —which has the basic meanings of "stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", "loafer"—which itself comes from the French verb flâner, which means "to stroll”  
Charles Baudelaire
  • The nineteenth century French poet Charles Baudelaire proposes a version of the flâneur— that of "a person who walks the city in order to experience it”.
  • Art should capture this
  • Simultaneously apart from and a part of the crowd
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Adopts the concept of the urban observer as an analy:cal tool and as a lifestyle as seen in his writings
  • (ArcadesProject,1927– 40), Benjamin’s final, incomplete book about Parisian city life in the 19th century
  • BerlinChronicle/Berlin Childhood (memoirs)
Photographer as flaneur
  • Susan Sontag On Photography - The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitring, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world 'picturesque.' (pg. 55)  
  • Daido Moriyama (1970’s) Shinjuku district of Tokyo

  • The Invisible Flâneuse. Women and the Literature of Modernity
  • Janet Wolff
  • Theory, Culture & Society November 1985 vol. 2 no. 3 37- 46
  • The literature of modernity, describing the flee<ng, anonymous, ephemeral encounters of life in the metropolis.
  • Susan Buck-Morss,
  • The Dialec,cs of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (Cambridge, Mass.)
  • Susan Buck-Morss, in this text suggests that the only figure a woman on the street can be is either a prostitute or a bag lady.
  • Arbus/Hopper
  • Automat (1927)
  • Uncomfortable sense, a still from a story. 
  • The action of staring into space, gives the impression that there is something reflect on. 
  • Sophie Calle Suite Venitienne (1980)
  • Calle constructs dire-istic stories,
  • Black and white, long lens photographs.

  • City as labyrinth of streets and alleyways in which you can get lost but at the same 8me will always end up back where you begin
  • Don’t look Now(1973) Nicholas Roeg
  • The city is a place which you can get lost, but not get lost you always get back to where to started, some sort of maze.
  • Trapped in a state what is real and what is imaginary. 
The Detective (1980)
  • Wants to provide photographic evidence of her existence
  • His photos and notes on her are displayed next to her photos and notes about him
  • Set in Paris
  • She pays a decretive to follow her, whist she follows an individual
  • The detective's diary is displays beside her story in a gallery.
Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Stills (1977-80)
  • The figure of the female in the city is communicated in Sherman’s film stills,
  • A sort of film noire-style of stills.
  • The woman dwarfed by the city.
  • Here is New York book/exhibition
  • Uncanny similarities between the 9/11 2001 image, and Sherman’s image from the 1970’s.
  • 2001/1977  
Weegee (Arthur Felig) (1945)
  • Signiture photography style, reporting on emergencies in the cities
  • His name came about, as people thought he had a wee gee board, being able to predict these accidents, before the media. 
  • However, he had a Police radio, and a film developing kit in his car.
  • The Naked City (1948) - a book in 1945, then developed in the 1948 film. Classic film noire story.
LA Noire (2011)
  • the first video game to be shown at the Tribecca Film Festival
  • Incorporates “Mo-onScan”, where actors are recorded by 32 surrounding cameras to capture facial expressions from every angle.The technology is central to the game's interrogation mechanic, as players must use the suspects' reactions to questioning to judge whether they’re lying or not.
  • You play as the crime investigator, the detective, the story changes based on your decisions
Cities of the future/past- Fritz Lang Metropolis (1929)
  • Pictured in 1929 is a city of the future, the skyscrapers
  • Ridley Scott Bladerunner (1982/2019) LA  
  • Set in 2019, predicting the future, with a noire aesthetic. 
Lorca di Corcia Heads (2001) NY 
  • He photographs individuals, the films look so constructed, like film stills, as the subjects do not know they’re being photographed.
  • Singled out, loneliness in the city.
  • In 2006, a New York trial court issued a ruling in a case involving one of his photographs. One of diCorcia's New York random subjects was Ermo Nussenzweig, an Orthodox Jew who objected on religious grounds to diCorcia's publishing in an artistic exhibition a photograph taken of him without his permission. The photo's subject argued that his privacy and religious rights had been violated by both the taking and publishing of the photograph of him. The judge dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the photograph taken of Nussenzweig on a street is art - not commerce - and therefore is protected by the First  Ammendement.
  • Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Judith J. Gische ruled that the photo of Nussenzweig—a head shot showing him sporting a scraggly white beard, a black hat and a black coat was art, even though the photographer sold 10 prints of it at $20,000 to $30,000 each. The judge ruled that New York courts have "recognized that art can be sold, at least in limited editions, and still retain its artistic character.
  • [F]irst [A]mendmentprotection of art is not limited to only starving artists. A profit motive in itself does not necessarily compel a conclusion that art has been used for trade purposes."
  • Walker Evans Many are called (1938)
  • The images are apparently people directly staring into the lens, they’re intact unaware they’re being photographed - a concealed lens.
  • In a sort of limbo - everyone seems alone, separate.
Postmodern city
  • Fredrick jameson Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late CapitalismVerso, 1991 
Postmodern City in photography: Joel Meyerowitz Broadway and West 46th Street NY 1976  
  • Lack of direction in the framing, we’re not told where to look. 
  • The image is busy with colour, action, text, advertising
  • He doesn’t tell us what to think - we’re overwhelmed. 
  • Taken at street level this offers an eye level view of incipient confusion. The eye is overwhelmed by signs, and colour adds to the effect of chaos.  Although the image is full of detail there is no sense of tradition or of unity. Indeed it is difficult to find a solid building at all 
 9/11 Ci'zen journalism: the end of the flaneur?
  • Adam Bezer 2001
  • Liz Wells says that phrase is first seen in an ar'cle by Stuart Allen Online News: Journalism and the Internet in 2006. She discusses the 7/7 bombings in London and the immediacy of the mobile phone images which recorded the event as commuters travel to work. These images were online within an hour of the event.
Surveillance City
  • “Since the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in 2001 and the ensuing ‘war on terrorism’ there has been an enormous ramping up of investment in machine reading technologies. If the nineteenth century saw the automaFon of picture making , in the 21st century we now seek machines to look at pictures on our behalf.” (Wells: 09: 339)
  • Stills from the video, Untitled, 2003, by Runa Islam shown in the Intervention exhibition 2003, John Hansaard Gallery. Islam uses BBC news footage of the collapse of the World Trade Centre, 11 September 2001. Slowed down and in reverse, the back to front collapse of the towers acquires •a ‘terrible beauty’. The viwer is forced to contemplate events in a manner which is very different from any earlier responses they might have had to the ubiquitously show news footage. The ‘sublime’ quality of the panorama is dealt with in such a way as to make the viewer ask if Katherine Stockhausen  wasn’t perhaps touching on some unmentionable aspect of any viewers experience I describing the collapse of the WTC as “the greatest work of art ever”?
jpeg ny02, 2004 
  • 2004 - Thomas Ruff (German, born 1958)
  • Titled jpeg to indicate the digital pictures—anonymously created images downloaded off the Internet—from which they are derived, Ruff's newest works greatly expand the matrix of individual pixels in low-resolution files. The perceptual effect of this transformation—from the size of a computer screen to the grand scale of history paintings—is that the pictures seem to fragment and explode before our eyes, trailing off into a seemingly infinite progression of tonal shifts from pixel to pixel and in every direction. The disquieting result is that the iconic image of the attack on the World Trade Center seared in collective memory becomes ungraspable, fugitive, slippery, almost aqueous. (met museum) 
Further Research 
  • Cityscapes of modernity: cri2cal explora2ons By David Frisby
  • Art of America: Modern Dreams (2/3) Andrew Grahame Dixon BBC 4 21/11/11
  • De Grazia, Victoria (2005), Irresis2ble Empire: America's Advance Through 20th-Century Europe, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
  • Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialec2cs of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (1989) 

OUGD501: Context of Practice 2 - STUDY TASK 4 // The Gaze and the Media

Choosing one example of media, analyse femininity/masculinity using 5 quotes from the text 'The Look.' 

The advertisement depicted above is from the 'Lynx' (Axe) Range, with the added caption 'can she make you lose control?' With the model in the advert, wearing very little whilst removing a turkey from a very 1970's oven. At a glance, you would assume that the body spray would become the bridge between your normal lonely self, to a life with this model, who doesn't wear any clothes, and cooks you dinner. This type of advert appeals to men, giving them almost some sort of beneficial security in their lives. This is supported by Coward, R. in 'The Look', 'marriage, for instance often operates to secure women's labour and reproductive capacity to the advantage of men.' (Coward, 2000, P35) The man is gaining a large amount from this fantasy, which the advert creates. Not to avoid the more obvious point, the advert is designed to be sexy; you will be having sex with this woman. Coward supports this with 'sex-at-a-distance is the only complete secure relation which men can have with women. Perhaps other forms of contact are too unsettling.' (Coward, 2000, P34) Coward refers to the fantasy of sex, but not only that, the availability, the lack of rejection one would be apposed with when encountering a woman. An unrealistic structured ideal where the male audience do not lose out. 

If you think about this image, the camera being an extension of the male's eye, looking at the model, a point of view shot, you'll notice the model is looking directly back at you, meeting the gaze, rather than avoiding it. Now, you could argue that she is challenging the gaze, in a strong powerful manner, making the viewer feel uncomfortable, as it would be in some ads, but this is not the case, she's looking at the male audience in an almost flirtatious manner, however you do feel she is in control, a more confident manner. As the advert would suggest, 'can she make you lose control?', Coward supports this in this writing, 'Women in the flesh, often feel embarrassed irritated or downright angered by men's persistent gaze. But not wanting to risk male attention turning to male aggression, women avert their eyes and hurry away. Those women on the billboards, though; they look back. Those fantasy women stare off the walls with a look of urgent availability.' (Coward, 2000, P34) Coward mentions if you were to look at a women with such an obtrusive gaze to which you stare upon the model in the picture, they would be offended, or even scared, however the model's confident returning gaze conveys neither of these returning emotions, and greets us with a welcoming, flirtatious gaze, almost to say 'I'm yours'. This allows the audience to look in an almost voyeuristic, sexual, lustful manner. 'Voyeurism is a way of taking sexual pleasure by looking at rather than being close to a particular object of desire, like a Peeping Tom.' (Coward, 2000, P34) The sexualisation, the desire the lust created by an ad for body spray. 

OUGD504: STUDIO BRIEF 2 - Design for Web // Limited Colour Palette Research

I want to use a limited colour palette within my website. It holds form of sophistication, class and style. Which is what I think I need for my website, to communicate the conventions of James Bond.

Using black and an off white colour and the basis for this website, with a touch of blue to really add some class and style to the site. I think it's really effective. 

This website used black and white as their base colours. They've sampled a yellow from cakes in the image, to use a highlight colour throughout the website, making it pop, almost. 

This website uses a simple black and white background, throughout. Quite well designed, fantastic use of grids. It uses red and yellow to make it pop. Add some vibrant colour selection to the website, the two colours and used throughout as almost highlights, to the content.  

OUGD504: STUDIO BRIEF 1 - Design for Print // Screen Printing in Books

I'd like to screen printing in some part of my book, wether it be on the cover, or the inners. I've found some examples of screen printing applied to books. One of wonderful things about screen printing, is that it adds a certain texture to the books. Some depth, as opposed to digital printing. 

The example above, it a screen printed book cover, for 87 Octane. The white ink can be applied to white when screen printing, and with multiple passes, you can almost make the white look solid. As opposed to the print on the right. Something which cannot be recreated with digital print. 

Above is the fully screen printed book, for Craig Oldham's democratic lecture, which I myself own a copy of. The whole publication has a wonderful texture, you can feel the type, throughout. It's printed on mount board, that with the textured text, really has a solid feel. 

These two books, which I assume are part of a range, due to the likeness, are two colour on stock prints. Using a base colour, the solid yellow or blue, with the back printed over the top. Their 'artistic' style allows the prints to not exactly be aligned and still achieve the desired effect. 

OUGD504: STUDIO BRIEF 1 - Design for Print // Limited Colour Usage in Editorial Design

This publication uses black and white throughout, with an almost signature orange, as a highlight, throughout. The contrast works extremely well, it adds some definition and some style to the publication, ridding it of a plainer, more boring method of reading information.

This example uses red as a logo, in the top of the page, and on the larger F at the start of the first paragraph, whilst using plain black body copy on white stock. The red pops in contrast to the plain looking page. 

This publication uses red. It's used as a background for one of the leaves, and as an overprint colour for a letterform when titling a page. See the K, for example, on the second image. It overprints and image. 

This example uses colour sampling, or even photo-manipulation, to create a constant red which is used throughout the publication. So there is a tie-in between the copy and the image, a form of constancy, throughout the magazine. 


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