Visual Culture Studio + Seminar 2 Final Reflection
In Seminar, I was instructed to start out the course by journalling based on my observations in New York. This was a helpful exercise to continue the training of attention to details within our culture.
After being immersed in different texts, such as Marshall McLuan’s “The Medium is the Message,” I was instructed to create a Visual Essay collage to further my understanding on my chosen topic of fashion materiality / advertising.
I used magazine clippings along with three dimensional objects to explore what materiality and clothing looks like within magazines, and aspect of visual culture. At the time I was exploring the relationship between the blind and fashion (my original inspiration for my studio/seminar final project).
Following the Visual Collage experiment, I then had a meeting with a librarian at the New School Library to begin my research process for my final research paper. Our conversation set the outline for my investigation, while also giving me helpful techniques on how to find what I need in the library.
After my library exploration, our class visited the Whitney to engage with the Incomplete History of Protest exhibition. Since then I was interested in the blind and fashion, and more specifically accessibility in fashion, I chose to study Fred Lonidier’s series entitled The Health and Safety Game. This piece focused on the repercussions of working and what it does for our health and to our bodies. A few weeks later, our class visited an art installation of a flag that said: “Fear Eats the Soul.” I then reflected on what I fear in the world’s current political climate.
All of these activities created the backbone for my final research paper on how new wave marketing (ad-tech) has made advertising more personalized.
Abstract for my final research paper:
My research paper explores how advertising has become more personalized. Since common print campaigns—‘spray and pray’ advertising—is becoming ineffective, ways to promote services and products have become stronger and smarter through the development of Ad-Tech. Ad-Tech is the digital advertising space and the invention of programmatic advertising, or a more advanced service that automatically generates an audience to generate impressions based on an individual’s interest. My research investigation will further explain the significance these topics have on the way we advertise and how today’s marketing is unique.
In Studio, that ran alongside seminar, I began the semester exploring imagery that represents my topic of interest within visual culture. I chose to explore identity, and for this project brand identity within advertising.
Following this experiment, I photographed an ad campaign that was loosely inspired by a Balenciaga campaign. It’d designed to be blind accessible.
After that exploration, I created a series of nine diptychs that all related to my chosen topic of fashion, materiality, and the blind.
I read an interesting article on Refinery29 (here) that helped me better understand how the blind think visually, which inspired my diptychs. Once I realized my interest and issues the blind may have when interacting with fashion, I created a taxonomy that shows my study on materiality, accessibility in fashion (toggles, buttons, and the overall interaction) while incorporating tools that the aid the visually impaired uses.
Here are some images I found on Google that guided my interest:
After exploring this topic further, and spending time in the Whitney, my topic merged into my attraction to discovering what the experience of luxury fashion is truly like. I wanted to find out what the difference is between luxury brands if one strips away the label and visual aspects. I was intrigued by the idea of discovering the emotional and physical power that fashion may have.
My Final Project:
My goal for this project was to discover what the experience of fashion is. By taking my research, and inspiration, from the blind and fashion, me and a blind-folded participant spent the afternoon exploring Barneys. I chose three luxury brans to investigate: The Row, Calvin Klein 206w36nyc, and Balenciaga. I then photographed my participant in the clothing and created audio of her experience at Barneys.
The Final Project and Installation:
“The Experience of Fashion”
Audio corresponds to photographs.
Reflection for Studio (Post Final Critique):
I was overall satisfied with my final project. Being able to pull together my work and install them in simple and beautiful frames was an important aspect for me. I learned through out the final project process that the idea (and experience) of the way people interact with fashion is an intriguing concept to me. By meeting with Jemme Aldridge (creative liaison, and Creative Director of Marc Jacobs Fragrances), I gained real-life perspective on the importance of design in terms of research. My final project showcased my hands-on research of materiality in the luxury fashion space. I faced a few challenges when creating this project, one being that my original idea of exploring the blind in terms of fashion was a huge undertaking; however that idea guided my project to where it stands today.
My Artist Statement:
This semester I have been able to enhance my understanding of what it means to be a designer. I have always known the role of thinkers and creatives to be an important aspect of culture; however, Studio and Seminar 2 have allowed me to better appreciate what it means. Design and research are one entity. I fully recognize the importance research holds within the creative process and when create a work. Being able to immerse myself in a course that seriously focused on culture and its visual components, has allowed me to better understand the aspects of design I am interested in. I am able to better communicate the ideas of what excites me about fashion: its experience. As well as created a more knowledgeable understanding of marketing in society today. never before did I think about the blind in terms of their interaction with fashion and advertising… such an interesting issue and approach to allowing my mind to become more open to even more possibilities design has on culture. Being able to explore these visual aspects of culture, I am excited to see where these realizations will take me during the rest of my studies at Parsons.