Posts Tagged ‘Fashion’

Aesthetic journalism is the when artistic arenas are brought into the world of politics. I have always thought, and I think that I am not alone on this one, that “the media” constitutes newspapers, television, social media, radio and you know, places from which you get the news. Lately though, the media landscape has gone through big changes, especially after the introduction of the Internet. Social media and new technology has allowed the public to enter the production of media, and this interference has forced the traditional media to rethink their old business models. We often call this citizen journalism. So “the media” today present itself in many different forms and aesthetic journalism is when the arts meets politics.

Aesthetic journalism has been around for a long time, but during the time of enlightenment creativity became acknowledged as a source of reliable knowledge (Cramerotti 2011). Johann Moritz Rugendas, for example, painted some 5000 paintings depicting nature, settlers, slaves and more that were used as factual reporting (Cramerotti 2011).

Theatre, film, festivals, art projects and fashion are all contributors to the political arena; their ideas are just generated in slightly different ways from the traditional media. Art projects might typically “curate pieces of art together to create a story” (O’Donnell 2014) aiming to promote certain feelings or associations in the public. Fashion shows are often staging their shows as a narrative, producing a statement in regards to hot topics in politics. Theatre groups take real-life stories and communicate their interpretation of it, using journalistic tools like diversity of opinion and interviews to get their stories straight. Actually, journalism is very much like the theatre in that sense.

That the media is everywhere and that news travels via many different channels is in my opinion a very good thing. People are different. We communicate in different ways, and to have many “spaces” in which to do so is a positive. Many small public spheres are different spaces where different interests can unfold and be debated. When we these different places, like theatres, art galleries and fashion shows embrace politics as part of what they do, political debate can reach a lot of people.

Creative Cities is another example of how different opinions, values, taste and communication is being enhanced. This international organization says that “culture is the oxygen of cities” in which they mean that by embracing variety and understanding what people think about their community we can build and maintain our cities in more effective ways. Here we can see politics being brought into the hands of the public to circulate ideas that will guide leaders in a democratic direction.

I do find traditional journalism to still be very necessary and perhaps ‘clearer’ in its language, but to see politics in other media as well is a refreshing and important development.

References:

Cramerotti, A 2011, “What is Aesthetic Journalism” in Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform Without Informing, Intellect, London.

O’Donnell, M 2014, ‘Media Spaces’, lecture, BCM310, University of Wollongong, delivered 07 April.

The ongoing battle between Google and Apple is more important to us than I think most of us realize. “Apple is suing Samsung for copyright infringement”; so what? Is it really our problem? I think that if we gave it some thought, we would see that this battle is not just about copyrights and market-share, this is a fight that will determine the future of the mobile-web.

The very architecture of the Internet enables a free flow of information without any central hub, every node is equal, and no one is there to decide what we can and cannot do. It is decentralized, and very democratic in its philosophy. With this in mind, I want to go back to Apple and Android (Google) and look at their different ideologies.

The beautiful design of the IPhone, as well as it being very easy to manage has made it a worldwide sensation. Having an IPhone has almost become some sort of trend; a fashion that everyone has become very fond of. One of the many arguments that are used to complement the IPhone is exactly that of it being easy to handle, but this pleasure comes with a price: Centralized computing. Unlike Androids, Apple let’s no one explore and play with their hardware or software, the applications on an IPhone has been approved by Apple, some call this a “walled garden”, others call it a sterile disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers.

Apples’ vision is to be able to control the user, the content, and the platform being used. Although the company offers to the public a brilliant piece of technology, this product grants the Apple company extreme powers. I think the ideology of Apple is one incongruent with the Internet. Instead of being decentralized it is centralized, instead of allowing, it denies, and instead of keeping every node equal, it constructs a hierarchy.

I am personally very happy with my Android, but sometimes I find that things do not work on my phone because it has only been adapted to the IPhone or the IPad. To me, this is a sign of one company’s control and powerful deals made with other companies sharing its’ ideology. I also find Apple’s patent-raid to be a terrifying example of how one company can kill innovation by limiting creativity.

Google’s Android may invite a few viruses from time to time, and in some cases people find it harder to manage, but I value their philosophy enough to learn. Android vision is participation, collective intelligence, and distributed control to all users. As an open source technology it can be liberally extended to incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge. [It will] evolve as the developer community works together to build innovative mobile applications. The way I see it, Android is maintaining the very architecture of the Internet, encouraging creativity and innovation.

So the future of the mobile-web is important to us. We all enjoy the Internet, we all react when we hear of bills like SOPA, PIPA or CISPA which threatens our online freedom, so maybe we should start reacting a little stronger towards Apple and their IPhones as well.

Are geeks becoming chic? Or are they just experiencing their 15 minutes of fame? It seems to me that during the last years being nerdy is a style that has been adopted by not only the regular man in the street, but also by musicians, politicians, actors, TV represents and more. What I wonder is; has “nerdom” really come to stay or is it just the latest fashion?

I must admit that when I think of a nerd I picture the stereotyped geek from movies or TV shows, like this guy:

Napoleon is my ultimate geek “look-wise”, but he is not really smart enough to qualify is he (he doesn’t have any computer-hacking-skills!) But if he is not good enough, Steve Urkel is!

So are these guys chic? Are they what we all want to be? Suddenly everyone is confessing to be nerds! I agree that “nerdom” is taking a huge part of the entertainment-market these days, but I am not sure it means that it is “cool to be geeky”. Fashion is a funny phenomenon and has yet again transformed something epic into something trendy. It is not the first time this happens, not long ago we all wanted to be hippies. We all had “old” clothes, braided long hair with hair bands!

Fashion is also a lot of things, it is not only clothing! Fashion goes hand in hand with what is trending, and today technology is definitely trending! I think that this is the answer to the rise of the nerds. The rapid developments within technology have signed us all up to “nerdshipness”.

What used to be the geeks’ playground of games, comics, hardware and software has now become the world’s biggest playground of smart-phones, pads, tabs and apps! It is no longer just geeks who like to fiddle with their brand new technology, now we all spend a lot of time figuring out our last new toy; what ringtone do I want? Any cool new apps? Have I got all my facebook, twitter and social media accounts synched into my phone? Oh! I need live wallpaper!

As some things become popular, other industries tries the same coolness, it is like the snowball-effect. Seeing that everyone today are becoming technical geniuses the fashion industry follows it up and makes us look like nerds as well. Like they did with Justin Timerlake.

It is not only clothing, but also the movie industry, gaming industry, musicians, they all follow up and guides us into an era of “nerdification”.

But I would say that there is a divide between Steve Urkel and Justin Timberlake. There is a clear difference to what is geeky and what is fashionable-geeky. The fashion industry’s way of adapting to “nerdom” is by using accessories like glasses, bow-ties, and t-shirts saying “nerd”, but they cannot change the personalities of people. Even if I suddenly wear glasses, I do not change into a total geek with a PhD in technology.

I think the judgmental attitude towards geeks has eased. We do not see much of the “Can’t buy me love”-scenarios anymore where it is the popular versus the geek, but I believe that there is a gap between actual nerds and wannabe-nerds. Today the culture of “nerdom” is cool, but the ideology or assumption of a typical nerd is not.