Category: OUDF205 Critical and theoretical Studies

2nd of feb Censorship and truth

-Notions of censorship and truth

– the indexical qualities of photography in rendering the truth
google indexical
Because of the software it can always be improved, it’s a given that it could have been. Manipulation isn’t new. What is the magic, the printing? The scene? The composition?

Anstel Adams works from the same negative to manipulate the same image, like making it look like a different time of day or different weather.

Stalin with and without trofsci, political statement, showing the truth as they want you to see it.

The Internet means ppl are able to publish doctored images like 911 sick advertisaing. Evian and gap.

Photography actually captures what’s going on, no longer the phrase the camera never lies,.

Manipulating images to sell magazines and newspapers.  Kate whinsplet and her long legs.
Should you believe things in the newspaper if they are going to doctor them? Are they authentic?? Papers are supposed to show you the truth.  Is it that important that they are doctored ???

Children believe what they are taught ( slide about child and Germans japanese and americans )

Peter turnley, the unseen gulf war December 2002
Takes the pictures for ppl to come to their own judgment.
Photos that are quite disturbing but need to be shown , but weren’t bing shown the the public but were bing doctored.
Does black and white make them any less real? What about colour? Does color add more life to a picture?

An-my le, making more art of war with photography? On persons reality, is this the reality of the solder on the air craft carrier ( picture n slide)
– photographic manipulation and the the do umentatoln of truth

Morals –  principles

– censorship in advertising

If one person looks at an advert and makes them think sex where do we stand with it? Isn’t that indicative of that persons thought? Or is everyone thinking about that?

Oliviero toscani, united colours of Benetton advert 1992
Challenging societies thought on race
Charities often use shocking or hard hitting images to get their lint across ( today’s charity adds )
Opi,um poster why is landscape not acceptable but portrate is? So why is Venus Cupid folly and time painting acceptable?
Is the fact that there paints make them acceptable to look at?

– censorship ion art and photography


Identity lecturer

Intro historical concepts of identity
Intro foucault’s discourse methodology

Essentialism the traditional approach
Biological makeup makes us who we are
Post modernism theorists disagree . Why..?

Larger parts of the brain have a part in what type of person you are.
How how you look can give away if you have criminal tenancies?
Line of intelligence. The more vertical the line from your forehead to the chin suggest your are more intelligent.
Physiognomy legitimising ‘……….missed
Ref picture by hieronymous Bosch Christ carrying the cross

Historical faces of identity
– pre modern identiy – personal ident is a stable -difind by long standing role

Institutions determined ident, marriage, the church, government.
Who reports to who I.e farmer reports to landed gentry.

-modern identity – 19th and early 20th centuries.modern societies begin to offer a wider range of social roles. Possibility to start choosing your ident rather than born into it.
Charles baudelaire-the painter of modern life (1863)
Can tell by the way u dress if ur are a worker or in the leisure class. (expand)
-trickle down theory
The upper class is seen wearing the new fashions lower class try to emulate what the upper class are wearing. Distinction between lower and upper class.
Upper class can be lonely even with an upperclassman identity.
He suggest that cause of the speed and mutability ….

Class – came into being with the industrial rev. To be aware of your own class need to be aware of other classes around you. The work town project what is it?..1937 observing ppl..observing the lower class Northern ppl observing southern. Suggestion of uncultured ppl when not many ppl in the theatre, children playing with rabbit feet suggest can’t afford other toys.

Martin parr, the last resort- documents the world as he sees it. Lookin at pols lives from an upper class view.
Quote “society … Reminds one of a particularly shrewd, cunning and poker faced player in the game of life, cheating if given a chance , flouting rules………missed
Think of pictures, country identity, German eating sausage.
Alexander mc queen, highland rape collection 1995-6 – ment to be about the rape of Scotland. Making a statement of national identity and the British rape of Scotland.
Vivienne Westwood, anglomania collection, tartan a taunt at the Scottish. Adopting the tartan as English can be offensive to the Scottish.
Las vagus and Americans –

Race and ethnicity- chris ofili, no woman no cry,  questinin why there are no black superheroes and how it would be viewed by a white audience . captain shit
Mc queen getting called racist ?. For puttin African animal looking clothing on a black model.
Does the taunts on red heads date back to the outcast that was the red head Mary magdalen?.

Gender and sexuality
Annotate first slide……
“The fashion industry is the work not of women but of men”
The flapper – the female boy, gender stereotype of what women look like.
Candy Sherman – put her self in her photos, try’s to emulate the scenarios that women get placed in within film. Women in film are there to look beautiful and be objectified by men, have no effect on the plot.
Women as artists brakin into a male dominated. Have to separate themselves as an artist from the men, e,i tracy emin. putting ur self in the image pulls away from the gaze as you aren’t placing a woman for them to gaze upon.

The postmodern condition:liquid ………

Zygmunt baumamn.

What is the Gaze?

“Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at” (Berger 1972)

Gaze – a term used to describe the psychoanalytical, anxious state that comes with the awareness that one can be viewed. Suggested that the subject loses a sense of autonomy upon the realiastion that he/she is a visible object. The concept comes from the theory of the mirror stage, when a child see’s his or her reflection and comes to the realisation that they have an external appearance. The gaze effect is not only realised through the mirror but can be produced by conceivable objects like a chair or TV. Although these objects don’t act like a mirror (casting a reflection) but can raise awareness of yourself as an object.

As for women the quote doesn’t mean that women are vein but women watch themselves being looked at because of the many different representations that surround us in media. It is but women surveying their own femininity.

The media can take advantage of this mainly through advertising.

” The camera in contemporary media has been put to use as an extension of the male gaze at women on the streets” ( Coward, R . 19884 )

Putting gaze to use in an advertisement, men want to be with her and women want to be her, if the women buy the products she is selling are they subconsciously doing so to avert mens gaze upon them selves? subliminal subconscious manipulation?

Stealing gaze for personal gain.

This photograph of Princess Diana taken by the paparazzi was a stolen shot purely for financial gain. It’s shots like these that creates a market for magazines and news papers. Clearly Diana did not want her photograph taken, but the public demand to gaze upon her keeps these markets alive for our own voyeuristic pleasure, which sadly lead to Princess Diana s death.

Our desire to see a celebrity ‘un masked’ is a reflection of our insecurities about our gaze upon our selves. The ordinary life of a celebrity reinforces the fact that they are human just like everyone else, giving readers selfish comfort about themselves.

“looking is not indifferent. There can never be any question of ‘just looking’.” Victor Burgin (1982)

Although I couldn’t make this lecture I have taken a look at the Powerpoint, annotated and investigated the subject. All my annotations are in red text.

Technology will liberate us

Technology drives history – 

“The automobile, for example, is often spoke of as “causing” a whole array of social changes, from the creation of suburbia, to the development of the fast food industry, to the paving of farm land, to the imported oil vulnerabilities of the 1970s.”

Technology and the division of labour-

“The rapid spread of computer technology has led to substantial changes in the division of labour and a shift in the demand for labour in favour of skilled workers.”

“The worker is cut off from his productive power as result of mechanical reproduction”

Social Alienation of people form aspects of their human nature as a result of capitalism- 

-Alienated form other human beings. Alienated form distinctive creativity and community  we share.

“A widely-reported 2006 study argued that since 1985 Americans have become more socially isolated, the size of their discussion networks has declined and the diversity of those people with whom they discuss important matters has decreased. In particular, the study found that Americans have fewer close ties to those from their neighborhoods and from voluntary associations. Sociologists Miller McPherson, Lynn Smith-Lovin and Matthew Brashears suggest that new technologies, such as the internet and mobile phones, may play a role in advancing this trend.”


Unfortunately I was absent for this lecture due to illness. But I borrowed notes from Jeff and hope that bettween the note and powerpoint I will make sence of the lesson.


 What is it that makes media specific?  – based on the distinct materiality of artistic media…


Comics / graphic novels undergo several forms of media. From comic to Films, Games and in some instances advertising I.e Tomb raider, although she wasn’t originally a comic but a game, her tails and adventures have been made into comics and films through transmedia.


Post-structuralism is a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of French intellectuals who came to international prominence in the 1960s and ’70s. The label primarily encompasses the intellectual developments of prominent mid-20th-century French and continental philosophers and theorists.

Jean Baudrillard was a French philosopher, critic social and cultural theorist photographer.  He was a pioneering theorist in the domains of semiotics, political economy, postmodernism, popular culture and media theory. One of the generation of french thinkers associated with ‘post- structuralism’

Simulacra and Simulation (1981)

In this work, Baudrillard famously elaborated his theory of simulacra, which he had been developing since the 1970s. According to Baudrillard, simulacra are copies either of the thing they are intended to represent or stand in for or – in recent history – are merely copies of other copies. For a long-time a controversial concept, the simulacrum as described by Baudrillard has become a key term in postmodern theory and culture. In this work, Baudrillard famously elaborated his theory of simulacra, which he had been developing since the 1970s.

Simulacra and Simulation

” The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth, it is the truth which conceals that there is none The simulacrum is true ”

Simulacra and Simulation is most known for its discussion of symbols, signs, and how they relate to contemporaneity. Baudrillard claims that our current society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that human experience is of a simulation of reality. Something the Wachowski brothers displayed in the plot of the film The Matrix.

The film depicts a future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality created by sentient machines to pacify and subdue the human population, while their bodies’ heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Upon learning this, computer programmer “Neo” is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, involving other people who have been freed from the “dream world” and into reality.

-a condition in which “reality” has been replaced by simulacra
-Baudrillard argues that today we only experience prepared realities– edited war footage, meaningless acts of terrorism, the Jerry Springer Show
The very definition of the real has become: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction. . . The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced: that is the hyperreal. . . which is entirely in simulation.

Illusion is no longer possible, because the real is no longer possible.

Division between “real” and simulation has collapsed

Hyperreality notes from lesson

– Father christmas is a construction in a world where things we relate to don’t exist.

society of the spectacle = The Society of the Spectacle (La Société du spectacle) is a work of philosophy and critical theory by Guy Debord. It was first published in 1967 in France.

pressay –

– We are in a world where things we relate to dont exist.

– Reality TV shows are supposed to portray a sense of reality but it is far from it, it is edited which takes away the reality.

– Reality is a construction of consumerism

-Signs (semiotics) are not a accurate representation of reality it’s self.

-No longer have we the link to the real world

-The meaning of reality is lost in modern media

-The hyperreality is becoming reality

Alternatively we can relate to on-screen characters through our own bodies so that emotions and feelings of the character become our own. (A connection through past experience)

For example the film Avatar is a realisation of the loss of our rain forests and care of our planet. This move even had some psychological effects on some of it’s audiance to an extent that they required therapy. Their emotions transferred across from the movie to the realisation of our own planet. Although the influence and thoughts of movies differer from person to person.

Lasswell’s manim ;

“who says what to whom in what channel with what effect”

Edward Tufte ;

Different theory of communication;
The Information or Cybernetic theory, how a designer makes their work effectivly communicate with its audiance.
Systems theory; switching between mathematical, biological, psychological and sociological frames of referance.
Semiotics – Three basic concepts
– Semantics , what a sign means/ stands for. i.e a Dictionary is a semantic reference book.
– Syntactics , the relationship among signs. Rarely stand alone, part of a larger sign system referred to as codes.
– Pragmatics, the study of the practical use and effects of signs.
The Phenomenological Tradition, knowing through direct experiance. Makes lived experiences the basic data of reality.  Unlike the semiotic tradition, where interpretation is separate from reality, in the phenomenological tradition we are interested in what is real for the person.
The Corporeal Turn, Basic physical nature of communication rests in the fact we inhabit a body and that our sense are dominated by touch. Communication seen as an extension of the nervous system. It starts with an awareness of the body. Language is seen as part of that system existing as as neuronal pathways that are linked within the brain. The key is a physiological classification of coding and encoding. (facial recognition) The process of interpretation is central, it emerges from a hermeneutic circle, switching back and forth between experience and assigning meaning.
Rhetoric , Useful for thinking through how you are going to achieve certain effects on the ‘reader’ or audience.  In particular if a ‘theatrical’ or ‘performative’ approach to communication is required.  The key concept is the use of metaphor. Often used for propaganda.
-Metaphor,  originally a rhetorical trope it allows us to grasp new concepts and remember things by generating associations.
Paradox, seemingly apposed to common sense, but may yet have truth.
Paraprosdokian, surprise, a sentence or phrase that has an unexpected meaning.
The Sociopsychological tradition, studying of individuals as a social being within the behavioural, cognitive and biological.
The sociocultural tradition, defining yourself in terms of identity, father, Catholic, student, lesbian, asian, yorkshire etc. Defining you identity as part of a group, framing your cultural identity.
Different audiences’ that require individual comunicational thought. BARB;
•Audience categories
•The main audience categories are: individuals, adults, men, women, children, and housewives. These are further subdivided by age and social class.
•Audience sub-categories/sub-demographic groups
•The division of the main audience categories is by age and social class.  Social class is determined at the household, rather than the individual, level. The classes are:
•AB – higher (A) and middle (B) management, administrative or professional
•C1 – supervisory, clerical, and junior management
•C2 – skilled manual workers
•DE – semi-skilled and unskilled workers and non-wage earners.
•AB and C1 audiences are sometimes described as ‘upmarket’, C2, D and E are correspondingly described as ‘downmarket’.
•Age divisions generally used are:
•4-9 years; 10-15; 16-24; 25-34; 35-44; 45-54; 55-64 and 65+ (although 55-64 and 65+ tend to be replaced by 55+).
•Broadcasters may be neutral about which sub-category watches their programmes but advertisers are not and tend to prefer younger and more upmarket audiences. Both groups watch less television than the population generally, so getting to them appeals to advertisers. Beyond that, upmarket audiences have more to spend, and the 16-24 age group has no clearly established patterns of consumer spending, another appealing factor for advertisers.
These are notes for my own understanding and referance.

Definition of ideology- the social movement of institution, class or large group; Reference to some political and social plan like fascism and the devices for putting it into operation. The origin of ideas, a system that develops ideas from sensation.

Ideology is a set of ideas that embodies a goal/ vision, expectations and actions proposed by a dominant class of society to all members of its society. The purpose of ideology is to offer, change in society, adherence to a set of ideas among already existing conformity,through normative through process.

Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political or economic tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought. It is how society sees things.

Principles of Marxist philosophy – 
Marxism is an economic and social system based upon the political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. While it would take veritably volumes to explain the full implications and ramifications of the Marxist social and economic ideology, Marxism is summed up in the Encarta Reference Library as “a theory in which class struggle is a central element in the analysis of social change in Western societies.” Marxism is the antithesis of capitalism which is defined by Encarta as “an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free competitive market and motivation by profit.” Marxism is the system of socialism of which the dominant feature is public ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange.
Culture jamming-  A tactic used by anti-consumerist social movements to disrupt mainstream cultural institutions and corporate advertising.
Often seen as a form of subvertising, many culture jams are intended to expose questionable political assumptions within commercial culture. Culture jamming tactics would include re-designing logos, fashion statements and product images intended to challenge the idea of what is ‘cool’ and assumptions about personal freedom of consumption.


Critical positions on the media and popular.

Expand on points on pp (aims)

Hand out quotes

What is culture ?

Complex to define

A process of intellectual,spiritual, abs asrhetic development of a particular society at a particular time.

Global cultures.

Working culture

Sub cultures

Base/Superstructure slide snap shot refers to last weeks lecture.

Popular culture 4 definitions

– well liked by lots if ppl

Paintings. Banksy art in museums

-inferior kinds of work

Works that inspire to be popular culture but fails, quality press vs popular press

Popular cinema vs art cinema

Pop entertainment vs art culture (who is each side aimed at?)

– work deliberately setting out to win favour with the ppl

anything that aims to be popular. Aims to be understood. Work that is hard to understand seems to be more important.

– culture actually made by the p themselves

Bands , brass bands, communities.

Made by the ppl for the ppl

The appearance of first class and working class created different culture, working class pubs etc first class opera.

Frankfurt school

Defined ” the cultural industry ”

2 main products- homogeneity and predictability

When u watch a film it is quite clear how it will end and who will be rewarded, punished or forgotten.

The world is made to pass through the filter of culture industry.

Authentic culture vs mass culture qualities

– real

– European

– multi dimensional



Again, these notes are for myself and i will expand on them in crit and creative studies.

Topology post -what is it?

-dead island
-3D scanning how it came about, stereo photograph by architects.
-(1) laser scanning.pinging information on time it takes for laser to get bk, still used a lot in film, Harry potter, clash of the titans. Very expensive only big companies.
-(2) structured light scanner- high res mesh. Not best for scanning ppl better for static objects
3d camera 15 frames a sec
-(3) optical/photogrammetry. Active scanning arch-tech body scan
Check out zbrush

4D capture
-photogrammetry scan, 4 cameras, 60 frames a second. Captures motion and tracks. Software scanner killer.

Nick Adams – design manager for puss in boots The game(Xbox kinect) ( watch the movie)
-start with the player, use the character to drive the game.
Deliver a hero experience, make the player feel like a hero. Connecting the player to puss using kinnect. Not complete matched movements on puss from player but gestural, made the player feel better.
( Egocentric bias ) what is it? How’s it effect how ppl see games?
Usability testing
– kids, let them play and get into is and observed. Didn’t want a big tutorial, wanted it to feel instinctive movements. If the kinnect fails to read a movement it can kill the game and magic for the player. Usability testing very very important.
-keep it simple, don’t over complicate (something I always tend to do)
-what they learned
Start with the player, make sure it’s fun
Deliver a hero performance
Be cleaver with the tech
Test test test
Keep it simple

Team bondi -Brendan McNamara

The getaway
Don’t ten to use real actors because it draws attention to the performance. Just used voice actors.
Magnet motion capture for the getaway.
LA noire- Depth analysis
Tried to capture facial performance separate to body DIDNT work. Looks unnatural.
When you talk your neck changes shape.
Look at noire trailers and analyse animation.
Sub surface scattering ?

Goldeneye :reloaded-motion capture

– Darby easter placement in mocap. Giltbrook studios
EMAIL ***********

Use proffetional stunt actors
Innovation north motion capture
The virtual camera and actors have virtual glasses of the seen the actor is supposed to me integrating with and react to any other actors that might not be on set but in the game.
Setting up Sence for actors to perform against.
Hight res texture photography for textures.

Contacts for sports