Postmodernity and Design Part 2:
Anarchy and Empowerment – visual communication in the postmodern world
Key questions for today:
• How is appropriation; pastiche, parody and satire utilised in design and to what effect?
• What’s ‘postmodern’ about psychedelic design?
• Visual communications today – are we in ‘post-post modern’ world?
Richard Buchanan, Declaration by Design ( 1985)
The goal of communication is ‘to induce in the audience some belief about the past, present or future’.
Appropriation – MOMA definition
The intentional borrowing, copying, and alteration of pre-existing images and objects. It is a strategy that has been used by artists for millennia, but took on new significance in mid- 20th-century America and Britain with the rise of consumeriam and the proliferation of popular images through mass media outlets from magazines to television.
‘Readymade’ – the term applied from 1915 to a commonplace prefabricated object isolated from its functional context and elevated to the status of art by the mere act of an artist’s selection.’ ‘Assisted Readymade’ – where slight interventions have been made to such an object.
(http://www.moma.org/collection/theme.php?the me_id=10468) .
Is appropriation plagiarism?
Pastiche, parody and satire
• Satire – a critique or attack, driven by a desire to make a social commentary or to challenge the status quo (people/institutions in power) but which employs humour as its weapon to do this.
• Parody, or visual punning, is a form of visual satire; the practice of copying the conventions, style or appearance of a work or its author’s voice to make a point about that work. Parody adopts the guise of the work, sometimes to present it as ridiculous, sometimes just to trigger recognition among the audience.
• A pastiche is a form of ‘homage’. Like a parody, it copies or mimics elements of another work’s style, sometimes in a humorous way, but usually just as an affectionate nod to another artist’s work. It references the original without necessarily making a comment (positive or negative) about it.
Situationist International and Guy Debord (The Society of the Spectacle)
- Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: ‘All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.’
- ‘The spectacle is the moment when the commodity has attained the total occupation of social life. The relation to the commodity is not only visible, but one no longer sees anything but it: the world one sees is its world. Modern economic production extends its dictatorship extensively and intensively.’