Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Assignment for Monday's class
So -- next class we'll be completing the logo presentations. We'll also discuss the article I handed out -- the chapter from "Ways of Seeing." And you need to bring a magazine ad to class, to discuss in conjunction with the article (see #6 below).
Before Monday, email me a response paper to the handout. I want you to answer the following questions:
1. On p.131, Berger writes: “Within publicity, choices are offered between this cream and that cream, that car and this car, but publicity as a system makes a single proposal. It proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives, by buying something more.” Do you think that’s accurate, or do you think publicity, as a system, offers other proposals as well? List two or three more proposals the system of publicity makes.
2. Berger talks of how images from Fine Art have been used to generate an air of “prestige” in advertising. Is this still the case, or is that approach now outmoded in advertising? What, if anything, has replaced Fine Art as a generator of “prestige” in publicity?
3. On p.140, Berger writes "Publicity makes all history mythical." What does he mean by that, and how does it apply the the Pepsi commercial, spanning the various youth movements, we watched a few classes ago?
4. Following Berger's definition of "glamour," what makes "glamour" different from qualities such as wealth, beauty, and talent?
5. On p.149, Berger writes: "Publicity turns consumption into a substitute for democracy." What does he mean by this, and do you agree or disagree? Why?
6. Berger writes that the "absent, unfocused look of so many glamour images" is due to the fact that the models "look out over the looks of envy which sustain them." Find a magazine ad in which you can identify that look, and bring it to class. Be prepared to answer the question: what, exactly, is the viewer supposed to be envying in this ad? Is it an envy you share? And how would it be possible for you to possess, in practical terms, that thing which you envy?
Posted by Chris Lanier at 6:45 PM