Monday, 28 March 2011

Task 6 - Theory into Practice

This is a design for a T-shirt that I have submitted for this years Y.C.N brief. The brief was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedge hog and as part of the brief I decided to make a T-shirt so that people could remember the day and wear the T-shirt with a sense of pride.
It is the actual design of Sonic the Hedgehog that I will be focusing on. As soon as I thought of celebrating the 20 years of Sonic, I thought back to my child hood and my many happy year playing Sonic on the Sega Mega Drive. The image of Sonic back then looked particularly different to the modern day Sonic. The main difference being that back in 1991 Sonic was represented in a 2D format and a very low screen resolution, hence all the pixels.

Nowadays Sonic is represented in full HD 3D glory. But to me and im sure many of other Sonic fans my age, sonic will always remain in 2D. The 3D image does not sit right and I think has lost a lot of the classic charm and charisma he once had.

These day we here a lot of how the retro and the oldskool is a lot more sort after these days. and that is exactly what I have tried to achieve with this design of sonic. A rough, pixelated and sometimes illegible picture of a 2D Sonic. Exactly the way he is supposed to be.

There are many examples I could give about the old and the retro coming full swing becoming popular again. One of the biggest retro things to have come full swing in recent years is dynamo tape. This make shift, D.I.Y look was first used in the 1970's to label tools in workshops and became a massive part of the punk identity during the early 1980's.

Task 5 - Sustainability & Capitalism

Sustainability in the text is summarized as communal equality that has a number of different factors coming together to create an environmental conscious in communities to help save the world in the future and to keep it green.
These factors consist of social, environmental issues economic issues and moral and political areas.

The main principle behind capitalism is that it constantly needs money to keep its economy afloat. In order to create revenue and to keep profits turning over, new markets are always introduced to keep buyers buying and manufactures selling. This is the heart of capitalism and without this it would crumble.

When markets start to dry up and capitalism reaches its limit in that particular area, new markets must be created. This is called 'Crisis of Capitalism'. When this happens it is fundamental the economy that new areas are tapped into so the cycle can be rejuvenated.
Recently a term has been coined called 'Greenwashing'. This is where the leaders of various capitalist markets have used the environment as an excuse so that they can continue to buy and sell.

A good example of this is the hybrid motor-vehicle. Companies who create these machine know full well that there are a large percentage of people who cannot afford these cars but the way they are marketed towards people makes it seem that they are saving the world if they do in fact buy a car. Environmentally friendly fuels are more expensive to buy than normal petroleum but again the way they are marketed towards people too poor to buy them means that they will be more inclined to because there heart strings have been pulled at.
These fuels are branded as sustainable because they rely on crops that can be grown in endless cycles to make the fuel, rather than rely on fossil fuels such as coal and oil that will inevitably run out in the not so distant future.

The text claims that the only way to in fact save the planet and keep it green is to abolish capitalism completely as sustainability and capitalism clearly do not work together hand in hand. This was evident when a factory in Ontario moved on to a green site near a residential area causing a lot of disruption for all the near by residents.

Task 4 - Communication Theory

For This task I will looking at an advert for McDonalds in ( what I can only assume is the U.S due to the ridiculous spelling of the word Mum.)
I found this advert whilst scouring the internet for 'clever adverts'. Looking at it now, the advert doesn't really seem clever but it does however highlight the atrocious eating habits of our trans-atlantic cousins. I mean, Encouraging mums to let their kids eat McDonalds for lunch at school? Really?

In an advertisement the Information source is usually the idea and concept behind the advert. This advert is trying to encourage parents to let there kids eat Mcdonalds for school lunch instead of regular packed lunch's (which this parent has so craftily tried to disguise as Mcdonalds.)
The transmitter are the people who are responsible for getting the advert out into the open for eyes to see. These people are the advertisers, designers and creative directors who created the advert for the company. These people are responsible for design decisions like, layout, font choice, colour choice etc.

In this case the advert is being channeled through a print based media and into our eyes. We are the receivers of the information that is being projected at us.
I would expect to see an advert like this on a billboard at the edge of some gigantic freeway. If this was the case I think that it would relate to most of the drivers passing it, As there are many families in the states. Looking at the billboard you would either relate to either having Mcdonalds for lunch at school everyday or wishing you could have Mcdonalds for at school everyday.

The concept behind the design works well because it is simple and made appropriate for a vast target audience (roughly 99% of America).
In terms of noise I think there could be a lot of things that effect the way the destination is perceived by the receivers. For example the could be an advert for Burger King next to the billboard and this would effect the intended message by Mcdonalds.
Also the advert could also be located next to an advert asking people to donate generously for the red cross to help starving African children from third world famine. This, for obvious reasons would massively effect the message and overall destination of the message received.

Task 3 - Essay Ideas

After having had received the Lecture on Hyper Reality I found that it was quite engaging and that I was, for a while constantly thinking of things and situations that could be considered as 'Hyper Real'.

From this I have decided that I will construct an essay based around the subject of Hyperreality.

My essay Title will be...

What Is Hyper Reality? – And How Does It Affect Modern Societies Through Technology?

These will be some of the sources that I will use in my essay.

1. Baudrillard, J (1983). simulations. U.S.A: Semiotext[e].

2. Horroacks, C Jevtic, Z (1996). Introducing Baudrillard. 3rd ed. Australia: McPherson's Printing Group.

3. Baudrillard, J (1981). Simulacra and Simulations. U.S.A: The University of Michigan Press.

4. Hegarty, P (2004). Jean Baudrillard Live Theory. Cornwall, U.K: MPG Books.

5. Baudrillard, J (1988). Jean Baudrillard Selected Writings. 2nd ed. Oxford, U.K: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

6. Baudrillard, J (2005). The Conspiracy of Art. U.S.A: Semiotext[e].

7. Baudrillard, J (2005). Utopia Deferred . U.S.A: Semiotext[e].

8. Baudrillard, J (1986). America. U.K: The Bath Press.

9. Horroacks, C (1999). Baudrillard and the Millenium. U.K: Cox & Wayman Ltd.

10. Baudrillard, J (1998). The Consumer Society Myths and Structures. U.K Trowbridge: Redwood Books Ltd.

Task 3 - Essay Ideas

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Lecture Notes


What Is Hyper Reality? – And How Does It Affect Modern Societies Through Technology?

This essay will aim to look at and analyse the theory of hyper reality and how it affects modern cultural conditions. It will focus on productivity and consumerism looking at the developing technologies in the modern world to analyse and create a critical body of work

Hyper reality is a term that was heavily investigated by post modernist philosophers such as Jean Baudrillard and Guy Debord.

It is often used to explain something that has become indistinguishable in the conscious mind from reality and a fantasy of a particular thing, whether it is an object, emotion or situation.

Hyper reality is very much a product of the modern day society in which we now live, where we consume and produce things at a very fast pace. Very often these objects are not essential items that we need to live such as food, but items that we think we need to have to reflect our egos and personalities upon the rest of the world, such as cloths, mobile phones and sports cars.

Baudrillard wrote, “Today, we are everywhere surrounded by the remarkable conspicuousness of consumption and affluence established by the multiplication of objects, services and material goods.” (Baudrillard, J, Selected writings, 1988)

It is also derived from Modern Humans constant need to create illusions for themselves to either escape their reality or to enhance it in certain ways.

“When the real is no longer what it used to be, nostalgia assumes its full meaning. There is a proliferation of myths of origin and signs of reality;, of second-hand truth, objectivity and authenticity.” (Baudrillard, J, Simulations, 1983)

For instance buying a top of the range sports car gives you more than just a fast car. There are many things that come with obtaining the object such as status and a distorted perception of how much it is actually worth. The driver will become immersed in illusions that they are somehow a famous racing driver and because of these carefully created fantasies and illusions the car will be now worth more than parts it is made out of. People are not succumbing to the car as an object, but are surrendering to the dreams and simulations it can create for them.

This is evident in Baudrillard’s writings, “While objects are neither flora nor fauna, they give the impression of being a proliferating vegetation; a jungle where the new savage of modern times has trouble finding the reflexes of civilization.” (Baudrillard, J, Selected Writings, 1988)

According to Jean Baudrillard any object has its own ‘object value’. This value was categorised in four parts. The first, being the objects functional value. This was what ever the object was designed to do. E.g. a mobile phone is designed to make and receive phone calls. The second was its exchange value, how much the object was worth to the person exchanging it for something else. The third being its symbolic value to the owner and the forth being its sign value. Did the object give the owner status? Or style? Was it an iPhone appose to an old Nokia?

Baudrillard writes “Of the same order as the impossibility of rediscovering an absolute level of the real, is the impossibility of staging an illusion. Illusion is no longer possible, because the real is no longer possible. It is the whole political problem of the parody, of hypersimulation or offensive simulation, which is posed here.” (Baudrillard, J, Simulacra and Simulations, 1981.)

In today’s society we are constantly bombarded with the hyper real. However hyper reality is not something that exists, or something that does not exist, it can only be used as a word to describe the matter of consciousness.

Hyperreality can be described as a simulation of reality. A close resemblance to the real, yet something that masks the truth. For example television shop windows often display dozens of the same T.V, displaying the same thing, creating the illusion that there is endless supply of the same identical product.

“It is a hyper real, produced from a radiating synthesis of combinatory models in a hyperspace without atmosphere.” (Baudrillard, J, Simulacra and Simulations, 1981.)

Our day-to-day routines are constantly changed by the hyper real, whether it be through the hundreds of adverts we see on the way to work that tell us we need a new pair of Levis, or the music we listen to on our iPods that places us centre stage in front of thousands of people at Glastonbury festival.

The theory is very much post modernist. A product of mass consumerism and production that is commonplace in developed countries such as the U.K and the U.S.A. and less commonplace in developing parts of the world like Africa.

In the westernised world hyper reality is something that most people pursue, Jean Baudrillard argued that even though people may not realise it, they are constantly looking to replace reality with signs and symbols to create their own version of real.

“It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real.” (Baudrillard, J, Simulacra and Simulations, 1981.)

As well as pursuing these simulations of the real, we have them thrust upon us in everyday life. The information that we receive through the radio, T.V and Internet is subject to the hyper real. It is a copy of a reality that has either become condensed, stretched or changed. There are infinite ways in which we can mutate this information but they will all still be copies, simulations of the reality from which the information came.

Baudrillard writes, “When looked at from a structural perspective, what we consume is signs (messages, images) rather than commodities.” (baudrillard, J, The Cosumer society: myths and stuctures, 1998.)

Popular culture such as music, films, fashion, and technology are all riddled with different aspects of hyper reality that prevent us from carrying out our lives in the real. When listening to music we constantly compare artists to previous artists that we have heard before, so bearing this in mind, can we ever experience something that is totally real? Or will everything we do in a society like ours, somehow get masked by the simulacra and simulations, as we are smothered by hyper reality?

As the population grows and becomes more advanced it is only logical to assume that the extent of hyper reality will undoubtedly have more and more of an influence in our society.

Jean Baudrillard argued that as technology develops, the way in which we become stimulated would get easier, as the technologies would be new and more readily available. However, the depths of which we fall into hyper reality will greatly increase and the happiness that was attained will quickly turn into panic, as gap between finding something new and getting bored of it is diminished more and more each time.

Baudrillard writes “ We have reached a point where “consumption” has grasoed the whole of life, where all activities are sequenced in the same combinatorial mode” (Baudrillard, J, Selected Writings, 1988)

As society advances, so with it does the technology that we use to attain that happiness. The virtual escapism that everyone has become such a massive part of will only serve to keep us entertained until the next new gimmick is released. Thus masking and distorting that which actually makes us happy.

Recently 3.D televisions have been introduced to the market of mass consumerism. These fantastic machines enable us to see an image that has been shot in the real, cut up, edited and then regurgitated back to us in a somewhat vague representation of what had been shot in the first place, but this time with a different view of the subject. We have now come to expect that 3.D cinema is a marvellous technological creation that enables us to see the world through a different perspective, that Ironically, pulls us further and further away from the real.

Baudrillard states, “The truth about consumption is that it is a function of production and not a function of pleasure, and therefore, like material production, is not an individual function but one that is directly and totally collective.” (Baudrillard, J, Selected Writings, 1988)

This can also be said about games consoles. These machines have rapidly developed over the past 20 years, with the goal of engaging the player as much as possible so that they are totally engulfed by the game. The game that is pretending to be an alternate reality. A simulation of a group of peoples Ideas of an their alternate reality through the eyes of their customers. Today people can immerse themselves totally in second life games on these entertainment consoles and draw the thin line between having fun for a few hours and escapism.

Jean Baudrillard also argued that the objects attained by the successful or rich have also changed. He argues that in the past men who were of money were surrounded by people, making them powerful. It was a personal affair and all conversation was carried out face to face.

In the world that we live in today, the people have been replaced by technology. Conference calls are carried out over the phone between many parties who will potentially be all over different parts of the world. They do not interact with people, but rather with machines delivering messages for people. A pretence of the machine that has been created by man to do mans bidding. A technology that alienates man from himself and invites the hyper real to further mask his perception.

“Their daily exchange is no longer with their fellows, but rather, statistically as a function of some ascending curve, with the acquisition and manipulation of goods and images.” (Baudrillard, J, Selected Writings, 1988)

From my research I have discovered that hyper reality is a product of mans own inhibition to make life easier for him. This goes hand in hand with technology as that is technology’s purpose. It will also be something that will engulf man further as time and his technology progress.

Everything in the modern world is becoming linked with one another making human interaction less necessary. Rather, people will be fed information that isn’t directly from the source making the hyper real more prominent.


1. Baudrillard, J (1998). The Consumer Society Myths and Structures. U.K Trowbridge: Redwood Books Ltd.

2. Baudrillard, J (1988). Jean Baudrillard Selected Writings. 2nd ed. Oxford, U.K:

3. Baudrillard, J (1981). Simulacra and Simulations. U.S.A: The University of Michigan Press.

4. Baudrillard, J (1983). simulations. U.S.A: Semiotext[e].