Sunday, 25 March 2012

Task 4 - Hyperreality Research

An article discussing whether or not the TV series is a good representation of 'student life' -

Simulation - aims to copy reality
Simulacra - copies reality
Hyperreal - copies of copies of copies of copies. reality fades and copies become real

Task 4 - Hyperreality

An example that I believe to be a form of hyperreality is the images which are presented to represent 'student life'. A number of TV series, including Skins, Fresh Meat, and Hollyoaks all present themselves to be the simulation of student life; aiming to copy reality. They present what is believed to be the 'typical' student life, with students drinking, partying and generally having a good time with not so much actual studying going on. Fresh Meat is a prime example of this.

The series focus' on 6 students which are all starting their first year at University and have landed living in the same house together. Granted that you don't know who you may end up living with which makes this aspect of the show the simulacra, but the show took it upon themselves to present to the audience 6 completely different individuals that would potentially attend University.

In reality, they wouldn't form the sort of friendship that they do throughout the series, but they do present behaviour that overtime has become the hyperreal aspect of the lifestyle. This includes not engaging with the course in which they have chosen to study and not doing any of the work to a suitable level in order to achieve a pass but are still passing. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on any chosen day in which they please regardless of whether they are required to be in University. Sleeping with any random person they have met in a bar and being careless about the consequences. Flirting with the tutor in order to obtain a higher level of achievement with the course which is being studied. Eating any food which they can get their hands on and producing 'new' meals which they have come up with, which is basically just using up what ever food it is that they have left. Being generally lazy, and many more examples throughout.

By these TV shows presenting these images to a younger audience, they are lead to believe that this is what it would be like to move away from home and attend University, approaching the real world of being a student through an image of the real world of being a student. Only to later be disappointed with the actual reality of it, and ending up with a whole lot of work and studying to actually be doing, and in thousands of pounds worth of debt.

Task 3 - Essay Proposal

Essay title:
'Would advertising strategies work without its reflection to Panopticism's form of discipline?'

Points of the essay:

  • An overview into Panopticism
  • An overview into advertising strategies
  • Compare advertising strategies to Panopticism's theory of working
  • A detailed look into two advertisements within the same brand
  • Compare what the brand has chosen to do and compare this to Panopticism

Literature Search:
  • 2007. Advertising Media Planning and Strategy. [online] Available at <>
  • 2009. Marketing Communication Plan. [online] Available at: <>
  • Foucault, M, 2001. Michael Foucault: Panopticism. [online] Available at: <> 
  • Thelynxeffect, 2010. Lynx Getting Dressed ad. [video online] Available at <>
  • Thelynxeffect, 2010. New tv ad for Lynx Twist - the fragrance that changes [video online] Available at <
  • Wikipedia, 2011. Panopticism. [online] Available at <>

Not Online
  • Caples, J, 1997. The Advertising Methods Fifth Edition. United States: Prentice Hall.
  • Farbey, A D, 1998. How to produce successful advertising. London: Kogan Page Limited.
  • Heller, S, 2000. Sex Appeal. New York: Allworth Press.
  • Scott, W D, 2009. The Theory of Advertising: A Simple Exposition of the principles of Psychology. Milton Keynes: Lighting Source UK Ltd.

Task 2 - Benjamin & Mechanical Reproduction Research

Quotes from the essay to potentially use:

  • Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.
  • The which whitters in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art.
  • We define the aura of the latter as the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be.
  • Mechanical reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses towards art.
  • The spectators process of association in view of these images is indeed interrupted by their constant, sudden change.
  • Quantity has been transmitted into quality.
  • Technical reproduction can put the copy of the original into situation which would be out of reach for the original itself.

Task 2 - Benjamin & Mechanical Reproduction

"Read the Walter Benjamin's essay 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction'. Write a 300 word analysis of one work of Graphic Design, that you think relates to the themes of the text, and employing quotes, concepts and terminology from the text."

The 'keep calm and carry on' poster is a perfect example of work where the 'quantity has been transmitted into quality'. Originally produced as a propaganda poster back in 1938 during WWII, it has now transformed from being available to a purposely selected target audience to now being available for the masses, causing the 'aura of the work of art' to whiter. Since the original poster was recently rediscovered, the reproduction of it has caused the poster to loose 'its presence in time and space', changing 'the reaction of the masses towards it'. It is no longer seen as a poster devised to keep the public calm during any immediate crisis and boost morals during the war, but as a sudden trend amongst the masses. This has caused 'the spectators process of association in view of these images' to be 'interupted by their constant, sudden change'. Not only has this poster been reproduced across a variety of different media stepping away from the original poster format, but has also been recreated numerous times by altering the second section of the quote to fit any given situation. Examples of this include 'keep calm and call batman', 'keep calm and put the kettle on' and 'keep calm and drink beer'.