Read All Consuming Images: The Politics Of Style In Contemporary Culture by Stuart Ewen Free Online
Book Title: All Consuming Images: The Politics Of Style In Contemporary Culture|
The author of the book: Stuart Ewen
Edition: Basic Books, Inc.
Date of issue: March 20th 1990
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 622 KB
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Loaded: 2596 times
Reader ratings: 3.1
ISBN 13: 9780465001019
Read full description of the books:
Read for DHA 1101W Intro to Design Thinking, Fall 2007 (I believe--can't remember exactly which course it was.)
Sentences I noted:
25: For Holmes, photography signaled the beginning of a time when the "image would become more important than the object itself, and would in fact make the object disposable." Holmes foresaw a time when surfaces would be routinely appropriated from any conceivable source, and would then take on an autonomous, yet objective, life of their own.
32: The new consumer democracy, which was propelled by the mass production and marketing of stylish goods, was founded on the idea that symbols and prerogatives of elites could now be made available on a mass scale. the values of elite culture were simultaneously upheld and undermined by this peculiar variant of democracy.
The impact of industrialism on the character and scale of the style market was prodigious. Industries previously characterized by artisanal handcrafts, and by a relative scarcity of output, were now able to turn out enormous quantities of goods. Elegantly worked surfaces, once the product of slow and deliberate skill, were now the product of high-speed, less-skilled, factory processes.
234: Much of what gets thrown away is packaging, the provocatively designed wrappings that we have come to expect on nearly everything we purchase. In the United States in 1984, more than 37 percent of the debris tossed into municipal waste systems was made up of paper and paperboard products. Glass, metal, and plastics--largely from disposable containers--comprised another 26.5 percent.
But it is not just packaging. Increasingly, products which in the past would have been considered "durables" quickly find their way into the trashbin. These include wristwatches, telephones and other electronic devices, razors, pens, medical and hospital supplies,cigarette lighters,and, recently, cameras. General Electric and GTE sell lamps "that sell for under $25 and are designed to be discarded when the bulbs burn out." Predictions abound that automobile engines will soon be made of plastic and will be "less expensive to replace than to repair." The "machine for living" will follow suit. "In the 21st century," one futurist forecasts, "we'll begin to see prefabricated homes that will be manufactured from inexpensive materials, will take only days to put up,and will be thrown out and replaced rather than repaired." ... Joseph Smith, a consumer psychologist, contends that the popular appeal of disposable products "reflects our changing social values; there's less emphasis on permanence today." Trend watcher Faith Popcorn, president of the Brain Reserve, concurs: "People just don't get attached to things the way they used to."
243: The purpose is to make the customer discontented with his old type of fountain pen, kitchen utensil, bathroom or motor car, because it is old fashioned, out-of-date. The technical term for this idea is obsoletism. We no longer wait for things to wear out. We displace them with others that are not more effective but more attractive.
247: Even as the machinery of the "ever-evolving new" is perpetually in search of the "memorable," the particular sources--or aesthetics--from which commercially "memorable" images are drawn are unimportant. In a society where the skinning of the visible world has become commonplace, any skin, any visual connotation, maybe drawn into service. The only requirements for appropriation into the style market are these.
1: The image must be able to be disembodied, separated form its source.
2: The image must be capable of being "economically" mass produced.
3: the image must be able to become merchandise, to be promoted and sold.
Given these three essentials, the market in style is extraordinarily plastic--capable of being molded, of receiving form.
the essential quality of a consumer society--marked as it is by the continuous cultivation of markets, obsessive/compulsive shopping, and premeditated waste--has made ever-changing style a cardinal feature of economic life, and of popular perception.
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