“All that once was directly lived has become a mere representation”
Working with this quote allowed me to continue the work I had created for the power artefact. I wanted to be able to link these two in particular due to their profound relationship with each other in the specific topic that is the media and it’s undenying control over society.
This artefact in particular has been influenced heavily by Guy Debord and his idea of alienation towards society. I found the idea of being alienated away from society really interesting, specifically when he states that we are in a society of fake promises. I wanted to portray a struggle between what is real and what is not in this artefact, to challenge the real concept of a spectacle by presenting a defying reality against society; doing what isn’t deemed acceptable, doing what isn’t seen as something everyone does normally. Debord explains that as people in a society like this, we are constantly being fed false imagery; we’re not living in the real world. Everything that we are, everything that we think we know is in fact a representation of what the higher powers of society and the media want. We are avatar’s for the modern day, and we don’t even realise it.
The quote stood out to me because it is so broad, it’s something that I am able to take in and examine and create something that can portray what he is saying, what he sees as the real world. Everything has changed, though we do not realise it now; we are not individual. Though we may think so, society (specifically the media) has moulded us into a conforming soul that follows the everyday trials and tribulations without any question otherwise. Do we really know now what is fact and what is fiction? I believe we are in a confused state, society is coming to a point where we do not really know where we are or what to do, because there are so many alternate ways in which to live your life.
I have the ability to use this quote as an injection into people’s minds, to present how we actually could be in a society where no one has a real identity, no one’s lives are actually being lived; that we are all just basically simulations of the imagination. I feel that my artefact for spectacle challenges this and presents it in a intriguing way, it is not just pieces of footage pieced together to signify a spectacle; but something with a message. We are in a society of misdirection.
I wanted to show a resistance to this quote, simply because I personally do actually believe that we can all be ushered into society’s grip without even realising it. We fall into a false consciousness that can be hard to escape. It is up to us to resist and become ourselves through our own identity. I wanted to focus on the elements of change, resistance and defiance. I did this by presenting shots of certain activities inserted to create a tone of danger to change, specifically the blood and drug moments. Resistance is featured heavily as the entire artefact is based around the idea of breaking free and becoming a free spirit. Defiance can be found through the shots of desperation and a sense of momentum, I am talking about the self harming and bath scene in particular. These are occasions that show how much we can take as people, is it all too much? I wanted to make the viewer question why they are in that place of desperation. These three cores are a part of the artefact. I think that resisting the social norm or the greater powers of society is something that we all should do. We are in desperate need of becoming original and explosive, forming our own identity and culture.
A particular music video based on a song about an impossible relationship between two people and their warped outlook on life, gave me inspiration for creating a piece of work that doesn’t follow a specific narrative. The song is about love and hate, specifically finding it in all the wrong places; and learning from not knowing what to do or where to go, especially not knowing what life is about. The video helped me to gain more of an idea on how to present the work for this piece as it uses various shots to bring together one message, a message about love and hate and finding out who you really are. This links to the notion of representation and Debord’s idea of alienation as it shows how society can get in the way of life, how the real expectations of society are important. If we do not have some sort of structure to our lives then what is next? Is one thing enough or is there more to what is given to us. The video helped me to understand that piecing together various shots of narrative can come together to bring a message to the viewer.
I feel that I have presented my ideas for this spectacle artefact well, though it may not appear something ‘normal’ or a regular response; I wanted to experiment and make something that was different and something that presented my take on how I see some in society are going against the normality, rebelling the scripted structure of modern day life. I feel that Debord’s quote is something that we all have to take in, examine ourselves and decide; are we in a false reality? Do we feel the urge to resist? What does it mean to defy something that we have lived through our entire lives? Is the clock ticking? The answer to that is simple, it’s entirely up to the individual. Personally I feel as though we are stuck. I have presented how I feel about this particular issue in the artefactI feel as though our society today is something that is changing, it isn’t what it used to be; but as seen in my artefact; can that be a good thing? for the better future?
- Debord, G. 1983. Society of the spectacle. Detroit: Black & Red.
- YouTube. 2013. Rihanna – We Found Love ft. Calvin Harris. [online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg00YEETFzg [Accessed: 28 Nov 2013]