Iconography

Chief Wahoo- 1946

Chief Wahoo- present day

For my icon, I chose to take the logo of one of the most recognizable professional sports teams in American culture, the Cleveland Indians. Originated in 1900, the Common nicknames for the Indians include the “Tribe” and the “Wahoos,” the latter being a reference to their logo, Chief Wahoo. The Indian logo, which was introduced in the late 1940’s, has been one of the most recognizable logos in sports, and a topic of high debate.

Since the 1960’s, there has been a push among American citizens, mainly Native American activist groups, to eliminate the use of Native American symbols as mascots for sports teams both at the amateur and professional levels. Some individuals who support the use of Native American mascots state that they are meant to be respectful, and to pay homage to Native American people. Many have made the argument that Native American mascots focus on bravery, courage and fighting skills rather than anything derogatory. Regardless, the controversy still rages today.

Outside of the United States, the logo is used to promote the team in international markets. In the past ten years the act of acquiring foreign players from Japan has become common practice. This is done for two main reasons. Not only does the addition of Japanese players maker the team in the United States better, it creates a larger market in order to sell merchandise. A player of high caliber from Japan attracts a lot of media attention in his home country, and you can bet that the team’s logo is plastered on everything.

There has not been harsh criticism coming from the country of Japan due to the fact that they are unfamiliar with Native American customs, traditions and history. However, most of the backlash has come from the same activist groups in America that insist that the team is portraying Native Americans in a negative light, and only continue to encourage discrimination.

Most recently, after a number of lawsuits concerning name change were won by Native American groups, The University of North Dakota for example, Cleveland felt the pressure to create a new logo that could be associated with the team. Cleveland has since redesigned their baseball caps to portray the letter “C.” However, the use of Chief Wahoo is still prominent within the organization today.

The Brain/Pharma Ads

After reviewing the 3-Dimensional brain tour on PBS.com, I do not think that I would change too many of my behaviors in order to improve brain function. Consider me a stubborn person, but in terms of physical abuse I am well aware that things I do in the real world may wind up affecting my brain function, and those are things I take into consideration before partaking in any activity. From a mental point of view, I think that it is our jobs to be able to recognize problems as we develop throughout our lives and be able to fix them accordingly.

Viewing the anatomy of the brain definitely helped me understand a little more about it as a whole. I am somewhat clueless as to the specific of the brain in terms of the names of the different areas etc. My experience with studying the brain is very limited to its relation to the art world in terms of there being a creative side and a more analytical side. I am also aware of basic functions and the idea that the brain is made up of tiny functioning pieces that control specific areas of the body.

I think that this website is an excellent example of the “truth becoming visible.” For me personally, I am a much more visual learner and descriptions given in this way have a resonating affect on me. I wish there were presentations such as this given when I was coming up in school. I am also happy that this tour was made available on a website such as PBS where students can browse without having to deal with scholarly in-depth scientific descriptions and theories.

For my pharmecutical ad, I chose to analyze a magazine ad published by Claritin, a popular anti-allergy medication. At the top of the advertisement, Claritin does not directly analyze the symptoms the medicine is meant to cure, but references them by describing the end result. The ad reads, “Breath Freely with Claritin,” which would allow most viewers to believe that the medicine is intended to relieve a stuffy nose. However, the ad does not immediately state that this congestion is the result of allergies.

It isn’t until you get down the the description which states that Claritin provides, “24-hour relief indoors and out……….proven to keep you as alert and foces as some without allergies.” Along with that small description, the box pictures on the left side of the ad displays the word “Allergy” in bold red letters.

The only side effect mentioned in the ad is drowsiness. However, Claritin itself is intended to prevent it, and even indirectly promises consumers that fact. At the bottom of the ad there is another line which states, “Nothing works stronger than Claritin.”

Pastiche

PART I

In order to find an example of pastiche, I chose to look at the topic of art in relation to pop culture. The work that I decided to examine was done by Banksy, possibly the most popular street artist in the world, on the side of a building in a popular section of London directly next to the Old Street Tube station.

The work is based off of a movie poster for the violent film, “Pulp Fiction” directed by Quentin Tarrantino starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. In the original image, Jackson and Travolta are seen wielding guns pointed in the direction of a man they intend to shoot in a matter of seconds.

Banksy’s graffiti work is a form of pastiche because it incorporates every part of the original image into it with the exception of one minor detail: the two men are wielding bananas rather than guns as originally depicted. The goal of this work was to show a parody of the movie that allowed people to think about the glorification of violence in modern society. The original image is meant to convey a sense of danger, violence and domination. Banksy questions that status by placing a harmless object in the place of violent weapons.

PART II

The website we viewed as a part of this assignment is an example of pastiche in that it analyzes “facts” from popular social and pop culture and turns them into somewhat educational graphs.

The graphs themselves add a sense of parody to the facts. Because of this, the graphs themselves become comical, and provide a source of entertainment to viewers who visit the website. Although the graphs question the status of the original facts, they are not entirely credible to begin with. The images used to portray them are what makes it entertaining.

The graph that I chose to examine, a breakdown of McDonald’s McRib, is not a credible source of nutritional information. Given a different supplier, perhaps McDonald’s, the graph might come out looking a little different. However, those of use who have eaten a McRib know that at least a few of the categories listed in the graph do appear in an actual sandwich (chewy bits, fat,etc.). The addition of “part of a couch” is what makes this a parody.

 

Culture Jamming

For my culture jamming assignment, I chose to attack Blackberry, the once widely popular phone company. This ad, which appeared during the height of Blackberry’s success in 2006, was originally designed to show how the business world favored the Blackberry over other popular phone companies such as Apple and Samsung for its superior technological capabilities including email, etc. Since that time, Blackberry’s phone sales have dropped in dramatic fashion. The evidence is not only clear in the business world along with everyday consumers.

While Blackberry decided to stay stagnant in the development of new technologies, other companies not only duplicated but also surpassed Blackberry making the brand irrelevant. Loyalists looking for a different option or businesses who received contracts remain to purchase Blackberry products, but the damage has been done. Research shows that Blackberry, although still present in the market, only take up 9.3% of smartphone sales in 2012. These numbers are considered extremely low, and it is almost impossible to see the company operating at this level for too much longer.

I chose this ad to illustrate how once loyal customers are now abandoning their Blackberrys for other models of smartphones. In this particular ad a man of important business stature, Shawn Baldwin, is pictured holding his phone and smiling down looking at it. Below, there is a quote that reads, “Ask Shawn Baldwin why he loves his Blackberry.” Below that there is another quote, presumably from Shawn himself that explains exactly why he is in love with his phone.

The changes that I made to the ad are pretty simple in terms of design. I chose to cross out the word “love” in the first line of the ad, and replace it with the phrase, “used to love.” Then, I chose to make the font of the correction look like handwriting in order to make a viewer think that Shawn himself now disagrees with the ad, and decided to make it his duty make the changes.

Another change I made was below the Blackberry logo in the bottom right corner. In this area, Blackberry would normally place their slogan. I decided to replace that slogan with the phrase, “going out of business.” This is meant to convey the fact that under current circumstances, the end of Blackberry is imminent and it will only be a matter of time before they disband or are sold to another company.

Media Tracking

The form of media that I see appear most on my timeline is a combination of a few different things. For me, design work and working on the computer usually takes up the majority of my days and nights. When I am doing this work, I am usually submersed in a number of media activities including surfing the Internet for research/inspiration, listening to music and taking various breaks throughout the night to read the news and check my email. Overall on any given day I am doing this for 8-10 hours.

Television is the form of media which I use the least. On these particular days and usually any other given day, television is something I watch either when I need a quick break, in which most cases I fall asleep anyways, or have an hour or two to kill in between events in my day. On these two days, which were relatively light in terms of work compared to most, I only watched three hours of TV. This is also the only media usage during my day that was monologic meaning I was only consuming one kind of media at a given time.

The other activity that takes up the majority of my day would be the use of my telephone. However, this use operates differently because it is something I can multi-task with other usage during my day. I do not consider this an activity by itself, which is why I outlined all of the boxes on my chart in red other than the hours in which I am asleep. Those hours in total accounted for 32 hours out of the 48 I monitored.

Nothing surprised me about any of the hours I spent using media. Media usage is not only the most important parts of my days, but something that my entire life is centered around. I am very aware of the amount of time I spend consuming media, and in fact, the 48 hours that I monitored were relatively light compared to others. On most days I only get 5-6 hours of sleep during the early morning hours, and those extra hours that appear on my chart are dedicated to more media usage.  Based on this assignment I probably wont do anything differently. Although various studies and debates argue that media usage is a negative activity among today’s population, it is something that I have to do and will continue to.

Creative Commons

“The creative commons project develops, supports and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing and innovation.”

 

To summarize, the CC project is a way for people to share their creative ideas on the Internet, but at the same time have a way to protect their work under copyright and licensing laws. Their tools give everyone from small creators to large businesses a way to keep their copyright while allowing uses of their work, which not only helps promote their work, but also keeps it protected under their particular name or company emblem. This project has changed our ideas about copyrighting and licensing because the users build the commons.

 

What I find interesting and somewhat confusing about this whole process is why it is free. It seems as if the copyrights and licenses provided by creative commons are merely a mutual understanding between the creator and the audience. I myself have my entire portfolio “protected” by the creative commons, however there is no way that I know of for me to enforce any of the penalties that may come with somebody stealing my work. It says in multiple online descriptions that the creative commons is NOT a substitute for registered copyrights and licenses. I find fault in the system mostly in the review area of the copyright process, which forces you to mail into the government images or text, which you wish to copyright in order to place in a database.

 

If I were to take something off of the Internet without consent and re-register it in the creative commons, there is essentially nobody who is going to stop me from doing that. I’m not entirely sure how the system works or how it would be applicable to any of the other questions that were asked in this blog post, and I am somewhat skeptical of my work being protected solely under the creative commons licenses. The website is vague in a lot of ways and although they have the support of large corporations such as Google, such companies are known for taking posted information and making it their own under their own terms of service. Who is to say that this wasn’t a big sham started by a large corporation and now they technically own everything us creators actually create.

Louis Vuitton

 

Louis Vuitton (4 August 1821 – 27 February 1892), was the founder of the world-famous Louis Vuitton brand of leather goods. He was appointed as trunk-maker to Empress Eugenie de Montijo, wife  of Napoleon III. Through his experience with French royalty, he developed advanced knowledge of what made a good travelling case. 

The founding of the company came at a time where the importance of social status in France and everywhere in Europe was on the rise.

The company’s was the first of its time to be a consumer based brand that was made to be exclusive for high-class individuals only, and was one of the first global brands of the late 1800’s.

Stores opened in New York, Bombay, Washington, Alexndria and Buenos Aires and London before World War I began.

According to a Millward Brown 2010 study, Louis Vuitton is the world’s 29th most valuable brand, right after Gillette and before Wells Fargo. The brand itself is estimated to be worth over USD $19 billion. For the sixth consecutive year, Louis Vuitton still at number one of ten most powerful brand published by the Millward Brown Optimor’s 2011 BrandZ study with value of $24.3 billion. It was more than double value from the second rank.

Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited brands in the fashion world due to its image as a status symbol.

Recently celebrated their 110 year anniversary.