The very first question they asked us when I arrived at Harrington College Of Design was – What is the culture media seminar?

Firstly, I wondered - What does this actually mean? Is it cultural about vision—or visual about culture? Is it an emergent discipline, a research topic, a field or subfield of cultural studies, media studies, rhetoric and communication, art history, or aesthetics?

Define what exactly is visual culture is not a simple task; since it is not something that one can statically frame in a definition. 

What we can certainly claim without falling into clichés is that it relates to everything that is visual. In fact, it covers many different media, at least as many as we use to spread and share imagines: photos, cinema, art, advertising, magazines, television, fashion…

It is sure that visual culture deals with imagines, more specifically it analyses how representations influence us and our thinking thought the circulation of imagines in medias.


But after a semester, the true question is: what does this bring to me, I mean on my personal life? And how is it going to affect me at work or for my future?

Visual Culture combines all different types of culture. Everyone has a personal point of view and that view is not neutral. I am really inspired by the way this course engages images within society and culture. To me, visual studies courses made me able to reexamine with a critical eye both academic subjects and images we face daily.


Visual culture is not limited to the study of images or media, but extends to everyday practices of seeing and showing, especially those that we take to be immediate or unmediated.


I believe that in the future I will need for my work to be more critical and especially about advertising. This course gives me the opportunity to think about the perverse side of my future job. Now, I finish my master and I am going to work in advertising and marketing sector with a new point of view and new approach of my responsibilities.

I really liked every lesson, it was interactive. I appreciated this process, it was a perfect way to exchange with the others and debate about different subjects and ideas. I discovered a great concept to learn which one we learned with the book, but also with every students and their participation.


Chicago and this semester were a very good personal and professional experience. Daily, everybody is in contact with different kind of advertising (newspapers, packaging, TV…), we are

aware of the power of advertisers and could be great to consider a new style of ads with a new approach and originality.



A sailor kissing passionately a nurse to Times Square, in 1945, “V-J Day”, the day of the American victory on Japan. Since this day, the cliché went round the world, conveying a romantic and excited image of the end of the war.


Crates and Ribbons blog reveals a darker story than this photography let it perceive.

During a long time, protagonists were not identified and the photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt immortalized them. After years we found their respective identity. It was It would be a question, according to the authors of The Kissing Sailor, Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant, and George Mendosa, a sailor. But the couple in the image is it not at all in the reality. Both models would be even perfect foreigners. Graver, the kiss ” so romantic ” would hide a sexual assault


Greta Zimmer said rather to receive a romantic kiss, she had victim of a kiss forced by a drunken unknown. George Mendosa, present to Times Square with his girlfriend, he had seems drunk to celebrate the victory.


It is not the first time when photography deceives our vigilance: the famous cliché of the workers lunching on a metallic beam, feet in the space, was in reality advertising for Rockefeller Center.


#POST 10 : The Global Flow of Visual Culture

Cultural imperialism is an old phenomenon about sending country’s values in different nations

Take the American Malboro Cigarette as an example, the media products of the America that represent some parts of America culture. It has been influencing lots of people who have different culture background around the world.

Marlboro, a brand of cigarette made by Philip Morris USA and produced mainly within the US, capitalizes on American nationalism in its advertisements, which are now infamous for featuring masculine Marlboro Men as rugged cowboys with no concerns or responsibilities

And while these ads may appear to only appeal to American audiences, selling the wild western way of life that seems to be disappearing as technology encroaches upon our existence, the Marlboro Man sells cigarettes to smokers all across Europe and in the East, including Japan, where a large percentage of the male population smokes. Images of rugged cowboys at once reinforce the stereotype of America as a land of freedom, horses, and denim - already shoved into international psyche through the endless film and music texts that engender such a depiction - and offer the American way of life to those outside the nation, implying that even those who are unconnected to the culture can still benefit from the kick-ass-ness of cigarette-smoking cowboys.

This is not the only example; it’s just the only example I could find a picture of it. Basically any brand made in USA finds its way to other countries nowadays. But, It maybe not that USA or other American brand are intentionally trying to impose their views on other cultures, just that in today’s world, they find their way there anyhow.




Due to the emergence of the web and digital technology, we can remake culture and achieve new kinds of consumer practices by integrating new concepts of identity. The world we are living in now is like a remix culture, because everything can be remade into something else. Just think about all the songs that have been made into remixes, or the fashions that have become popular from decades ago.
Beginning in the mid-1990s, studio animated films changed dramatically.


Chapter 8 looks at the concepts of postmodern theory and a range of styles in contemporary art, pop culture, and advertising that can be seen as postmodern. The book also discusses postmodern strategies of reflexivity, pastiche, parody, and the politics of postmodernism.


The world contains huge amounts of remakes, copies, parodies, replicas, etc. Postmodernism asks: Can there ever be new ideas and images, things that have not been thought of or done before?


The key term used to describe this culture of imitation was pastiche. It is the imitation that announces itself as such and that involves combining elements from other sources. It can often involve pilfering from history and combining historical elements in ways that have little historical meaning but are rather a kind of play on history itself.

When pastiche is engaged in reworking elements of the past, it can also fall into the category of parody. Shows began to incorporate parody and adult-level humor into their style, so that both parents and children could view the show together.  In the mid 1990s, Pixar produced computer graphic imagery in their films, using techniques and styles of computer animation that were aimed at adults as well as children. Shrek are some well-known examples of films that both adults and children could watch, find humorous and enjoy. Shrek is layered with references from fairy tales and is filled with jokes about representation. The scene when the princess does martial arts moves to fight off robbers is an example of intertextual meaning, in which the reference to The Matrix is seen as a joke in Shrek.


In the animated feature film, Shrek, post-modernism is clearly visible almost in every scene. The legend Shrek is a pure product of the cinema called postmodern which attempts to reuse the references of the story of the cinema.



Bathed by the appearance, the society built itself on the fact that we do not buy a product for what it is, but for what it gives. Why we prefer to buy Coca Cola while water would be enough? Why we prefer to buy such a car rather than another? Behind it, actually hide communication and marketing with a mission to develop the product, information or content.

We are the society of the show: nowadays, everything is staged; everything is only appearance and equipment. We live in a society that reflect it a superficial image, but that we take for real. Mass media is important in our everyday life. Today, the question of media manipulation often comes up for discussion. The most difficult in this society of the show, it is to make the distinction between what influences us and what we really wish.

Moreover, almost all people have television in their home. It is one of favourite forms of entertainment when they feel alone. Each channel on TV has many kinds of program, which include news programs. General people always discuss the topics in news program. In my opinion, there is a strong correlation between mass media and people’s idea; both are connected via people’s favourite entertainment to their mind-sets.

The factory of the information became a big industry now that it is obvious that the criticism of the mass media is going to grow. The future of the mass media will change in the medium term with the present collaborative media on the Internet (blogs, forums, social networks). Today, every spectator can become an actor of this society if we continue to express ourselves and to share on the sphere.


#POST 7 : Advertising, consumer cultures and desires

This chapter explores the role of visual images, and the different ways in which the audience consumes them. it is stated that advertising is a central component of consumer studies and capitalism, where our society is dependent on society consuming goods beyond our needs.

Advertising images are often use to construct cultural ideas about self-image, lifestyle, self-importance and glamour by presenting whatever is being advertised as things one should desire, people one should envy and how life ‘should be’. These constructions based around consumerism can lead to capitalism ideologies, commodity fetishism, and images becoming Ideological State Apparatuses to be exact.

McDonalds is one of the largest companies in the world, and they spend the advertising bucks to prove it. Recently, the company settled on the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign (Talk about about repetition, I feel like a hear this all day every day).

So how do they make this simple, universal slogan, something that people from everyone of the 118 countries it services invest something in it? The answer: ethnic advertising. Using a simply phrased, relatively low impact slogan allows the creative minds behind international and domestic McDonalds advertising to infuse ads with more ethnic “ties.”

But has McDonalds taken this targeted advertising too far? See 365black.com, a user oriented website for McDonalds which “celebrates” African American culture 365 days a year.

Or how about Myinspirasian.com, a site that is meant to appeal to McDonalds Asian customers.

The reality is that ethnic marketing is commonplace.” There’s no doubt that producers routinely use race or ethnicity to market their products. The race card is a very effective persuasive technique. This is a great example of the discursive shift that is going on in our media systems. While the people who concocted this site obviously think it is a good idea, there is a lot of outrage in the online community. There is even an online petition to boycott both McDonalds and 365black.com

But is this too much? Are ethnic advertising techniques effective beyond just recruiting customers, are they also increasing the racial divide? What is the value message that McDonalds is sending to it’s huge customer base?



Copying is an important aspect of the reproduction of images. Art, or, “a work of art,” is often most represented by its ability to claim originality and uniqueness. The idea of value is very important when considering the status of a reproduction. In this chapter, the book says that the value of the original work still holds in the art market, even has productions have become more widely available.

Photography has made a great impact on copying as it has made once unique and unseen images more available than ever. Photography was not originally widely accepted into the art world. Digital photography also changes the indexical quality of a photograph, thanks to digital programs like Photoshop, with which it is easy to alter a photograph to include people, places, and things that did not actually exist together. Digital techniques have made it possible to build on this ability to artificially construct realism.


November 9, 2009, the memorial day of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Elysée departments put online on the Nicolas Sarkozy‘s Facebook account, a picture showing him attacking the wall with a hammer, and date by mistake the image of 9 November 1989. With the protests of several news papers saying Nicolas Sarkozy wasn’t in Berlin in this date, the government increases the allegations to justify this manipulation.

The publication on Facebook of a message of the President Nicolas Sarkozy claiming to have been (photo support) at the fall of the Berlin Wall on the night of November 9, 1989 makes debate on the web. In 24 hours, the response of the web fuses with post called ”# sarkozypartout.” More hundred of retouched images showing the President in the most famous situation of the world history, from prehistory to the first step on the moon through the Battle of Poitiers, the storming of the Bastille, the coronation of Napoleon or the Kennedy assassination. Like most viral phenomena, this collective creation parody, diffused in sites and social networks, is an ephemeral event!



Digital technology and emerging platforms have opened up new ways of reflecting life around the world. The perspective has changed allover centuries.

Digital imaging presents new modes through which viewers experience varying perspectives about virtual words that appear on computers screen, televisions screens.

Images can be applied to real world objects like with the gamepad «Wii U ».

Expected in the United States on November 18 in Europe November 30th and December 8th in Japan, it will be faithful to the Nintendo spirit while upsetting new code of gameplay video.

Six years after the Wii, the Wii changed gaming forever by introducing the Wii Remote (or “Wiimote”), which let you control games by waving a stick rather than jabbing at a bevy of buttons. The company hopes it’s found that something in the Wii U, a revolution!


This controller, real attraction of this new generation of console, is a sort of compromise between tablet, smartphone and game hand. New step in the constant search for interaction between the machine and the player, the Wii U is the first home console to provide a controller with a touch screen integrated.

A part of this console is used to show the player what he cannot see on the screen? The goal is to create a total immersion in the game.

Moreover, to make viable policy and give more game’s perspective, Nintendo decided to strengthen its player’s community with Miiverse platform.  It is a virtual space where all players can, with their personal avatar, exchange, give their opinions on games, participate in forums, and incorporate feedback in a game…


For now, though, nobody else is taking the concept as far as Nintendo will do with the Wii U. Nintendo President Iwata made his video pitch for the new console while standing below a Japanese sign which he explained stated the company’s decades-old corporate mission: “creating something unique.” Judging from what we now know about the Wii U, it’s off to a solid start at doing that. Now it’s up to Nintendo and other companies to create games, which deliver on its promise.



The individual viewer’s gaze in a social field is interesting. How the old thing can be modern? The spectatorship has a strong power to make something trend. His gaze is very important.

Vintage fashion is the huge success, as shown by the sixties series “Mad Men” or Instagram.

Vintage, from the 60s to 80s, concerns all product categories.

Vintage ‘s Ads are multiplied on our television screens and in magazines! In the automotive sector, the vintage is present with fiat 500 revamped, DS3, New Beatle, and other generation Mini Cooper!

Today, Instagram knows a great success! Instagram is a free photo-sharing program and social network that was launched in October 2010. The service enables users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it with other.

Instagram users they are connected to on the social network as well as on a variety of social networking services.

That is a good example of the power of spectatorship. Vintage can bridge the gap between generations. The spectatorship and his gaze bring modernity.  



Answer post #3 to claire : http://clairedolando.tumblr.com/post/32250551250#notes

 I agree with claire. I have other example of appropriation.  Sagging is a manner of wearing trousers below the waist, revealing much of the underwear.

Sagging was adopted from the United States prison system where belts are prohibited. Belts are prohibited to keep prisoners from using them as weapons or in committing suicide by hanging themselves.The style was later popularized by hip hop artists in the 1990s. It has since become a symbol of freedom and cultural awareness among some youthsor a symbol of their rejection of the values of mainstream society.