Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Fish in a Bowl

I’ve been meaning to talk about advertising for a while. It is the number one socializing influence in the world. More than our parents, more than the television shows or movies we watch, advertising is unavoidable. We watched a movie in my anthropology class that used the image of a fish in a bowl; we are little fish swimming through advertisements. They are the environment we are immersed in, and while we may not actively consider each and every advertisement that we encounter, there is no way to avoid its influence. So, from birth we are socialized by something entirely unavoidable and uncontrollable. Being so prevalent and uncontrollable, it is important for us to alter the landscape. If we cannot get rid of mainstream media it is necessary for there to be alternative images in the mix. There needs to be something tangible and intelligent for people to view, something that is not trying to sell you anything. It isn’t simply about culture jamming, which provokes questions about the landscape, but something different to consider and understand. Everyone “speaks” advertising; they understand the symbols and the messages. A new language needs to be introduced, one that is not focused on consumerism and provides a different message. I guess this is my reasoning for this project. I’m just trying to add some new colour to the landscape. My part of the project will be working on intersecting concepts of sexuality in relation to consumerism, identity and size politics. Hopefully adding this to the everyday environment of the city will give people something else to look at and consider.

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