Archive | April, 2012

Journal 10: Iconography of the U.S.

18 Apr

A. What is the icon?

B. How did it become iconic in the U.S.?
It is the largest chain fast food restaurants in the world and has over 33,000 outlets worldwide. It became so popular because it is cheap and advertises its ‘happiness.’ Cheap food will make anyone happy. They also market very well to children with their Happy Meals. I remember being little and wanting a McDonald’s Happy Meal just so I could get the prize inside. Kids love toys, and parents listen to their kids’ desires more often than they should.

C. How is it employed outside of the U.S.?
To list only a few of the McDonald’s locations worldwide: Japan, France, Puerto Rico, Australia, Netherlands, Spain, Greece, and Iraq.

D. Was the cultural response to this usage positive or negative? Was the U.S. response to this usage positive or negative? Why or why not?
The cultural response to this usage was very positive. America always seemed glamorous to other countries, so to eat their food is almost like you are becoming an American. The U.S. response to this usage was, of course, positive. The more fans we get of our restaurants, the more important we feel.

E. What might have been a more culturally relative icon to use in place of the U.S. icon? Why?
A Japanese fast food place, for example, would have been more relative. But then again, we have Japanese food all over the place in America, and it is usually served pretty quickly. Perhaps the Japanese wanted a taste of another culture, just as anyone else does. The grass is always greener on the other side.


Journal 9: Pastiche

4 Apr

Exercise 1

A. How is this pastiche a reworking of the past?
This art piece by Bansky mimics the silkscreen style of Andy Warhol’s work from the 60s. Bansky uses a photo of Kate Moss to immitate Warhol’s Marylin pieces.

B. Is this pastiche only or pastiche with parody? How?
I don’t think this is pastiche with parody because it does not try to make fun of Warhol’s work, it is merely copying it.

C. How is this work a questioning of the status of the original?
This almost looks as if Andy Warhol could have created it, but upon closer look, it looks done digitally rather than through silkscreening. Warhol’s technique has become so trademarked that his style can be easily achieved in Photoshop.

D. If possible, attach the example to your work or include a citation so that it can be accessed by the instructor.


Exercise 2

A. How is this pastiche (the individual graphs and the whole site) a reworking of the past?
This graph is a pastiche of graphs that are often seen in science or statistics books. Many of the graphs on the web site  use common ways to display information to make a humorous statement.

B. Is this pastiche only or pastiche with parody? How?
This is pastiche with parody, because it is not simply using a pie chart to organize and display information visually, but it is doing so in a humorous way. Upon first glance, this pie chart may look informational, but after reading it one finds the humor.

C. How is this work a questioning of the status of the original?
I’m certain no one will think the makers of these graphs are copying each other in using graphs for humor. Charts are so common in textbooks and statistical studies, that I don’t think anyone would accuse someone of copying at all. Can you really copy a graph or pie chart? I honestly don’t know who was the first to display information in this way, but it has become pretty standard.