Concept Development – Research- Fast Fashion

My topic for this assignment is looking into the issues and concerns of the fast fashion industry.  I have refined my search into looking into the human rights issues with the industry. I will be researching issues of work safety environments, low wages, over time and treatment of sweat shop worker.

Morgan, Andrew. “The True Cost”. YouTube, Uploaded by Untold, 23 April 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaGp5_Sfbss&t=48s

In researching I found a great documentary directed by Andrew Morgan “The True Cost”(2015).The film is illustrates on social, environmental and cultural issues that have developed through fast fashion. It shows the untold story on how garments are made and the implications of a consumerism.

“Has Globalization been a Success? John  Hillary, The True Cost” . Youtube. Uploaded by Untold, 18 April 2016,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiUYnC–Qds

Upon watching this documentary I found some really interesting clips of reasons why the fashion industry has become so unsustainable. I discovered that the system of globalization is a contributing  factor of why the industry is the way it is. Above is a clip above is a segment from “The True Cost” talking about globalization Hilary states (0.5 s) “The promise of globalization, that it was going to be a win win, consumers from the rich world would get cheaper goods … and the people in the poorer parts of the world would get jobs and those jobs would give them an opportunity to work there way out of poverty”. Globalization was a great concept, however it has not planned out they way people think. Organisations, brands and corporations are manipulating the system to make huge amount of profit. Hilary makes a good statement (1.30 s) “they have been myriad in exploration, they are forced to work in unsafe conditions… for poverty wages.” We as the consumer are diving this exploitation of basic human rights just for the sake of a cheap clothing. There are is a huge chain reaction for consumer actions. We can see the promises of globalization not being meet in the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse

 

Image result for rana plaza

Clean Clothes. Rana Palza. 2013. Coloured Photograph, https://cleanclothes.org/safety/ranaplaza

 

” Rana Plaza Survivors Call on Brands to Pay Up”. YouTube. Uploaded by Rainbow Collective – Documentary Production, April 17 2014,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhdjrau-UYk

The disaster of Rana Plaza in 2013 killed 1,129 people and injured over 2,500 people. The sad thing is that the Rana Plaza accident was fully preventable. The collapse was caused from over crowed environment and unsafe building structure. This happened 4 years ago and people are still fighting for basic human rights. We can see from this video we can see that they are forcing workers back to keep up with consumer demand. This is no way to live. However the bright side is that this tragedy that is created social movement and discussions about corporations responsibility about ethics in the supply chain.(Anguelov 45). “The tragedy raised visibility around the issues of inequality, exploitation, and profitability in apparel manufacturing, because the outcome of discussion entered on the cheap labor problem’’. People become more aware to the underlying issue in the fast fashion industry that is mostly hidden.

There are organisations like Fashion Revolution that have responded to the Rana Plaza. On the anniversary of the Rana Plaza 24.04 is Fashion Revolution day. This organisation is helping create awareness on the reality of the fast fashion industry . they want people to ask the question, Who made my clothes? using the hash tags #whomademyclothes and #fashionrevolution. There ambition is to create greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. They are a active organisation that creates uses visual activism to encourage change.  Below are some images and quotes from the campaign.

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“Fashion Revolution”. Fashion Revolution, N.d, http://fashionrevolution.org/

Organisations like this are really important to get the message to the people that unknowingly contribute to a society that is destroying lives. Creating a unified community to force social change. Through visual content people are able to see what is always been hidden away.

“Do Consumers Matter, Barbara Briggs, The True Cost” . Youtube. Uploaded by Untold, 20 July 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA5LGb9Wup0

Finally I researched into into how consumers contribute or can create change. And a interview from Barbara Briggs institute for labor rights, from The True cost makes some great points (1.02 m) ” We as young people who are creating our consumer perfectness are people that are companies will listen to…A little bit of engagement can go a long way” it starts with us, with you. What are you going to do?

 

 

 

Words cited 

Anguelov, Nikolay. The Dirty Side of the Garment Industry, Fast Fashion and Its Negative Impact on Environment and Society. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2015. Ebook Library. Web. 29 May. 2016.
Clean Clothes. Rana Palza. 2013. Coloured Photograph, https://cleanclothes.org/safety/ranaplaza
“Do Consumers Matter, Barbara Briggs, The True Cost” . Youtube. Uploaded by Untold, 20 July 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA5LGb9Wup0
“Fashion Revolution”. Fashion Revolution, N.d, http://fashionrevolution.org/
“Has Globalization been a Success? John  Hillary, The True Cost” . Youtube. Uploaded by Untold, 18 April 2016,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiUYnC–Qds
Morgan, Andrew. “The True Cost”. YouTube, Uploaded by Untold, 23 April 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaGp5_Sfbss&t=48s
” Rana Plaza Survivors Call on Brands to Pay Up”. YouTube. Uploaded by Rainbow Collective – Documentary Production, April 17 2014,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhdjrau-UYk

 

 

 

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Visual Activism Fast Fashion – Behind the Label

Through the fast fashion system workers are treated unfairly. Millions of workers in the fashion industry are in unsafe environments, working long hours for as little as 3 dollars a day. A documentary called “The True cost” website states (human rights, 1 )” There are roughly 40 million garment workers in the world today; many of whom do not share the same rights or protections that many people in the West do. They are some of the lowest paid workers in the world”. It shows that we need to do something to change the system.

Many people use the form of visual activism to get there massages across and create pressure for society to change. Seeing is believing, out of side out of mind, are just a few quotes that illustrate the importance of being able to see the issue of fast fashion. Activist use all sort of visual communication from documentaries, artworks, protest and campaigns, to create a social movement to invoke change. Here are some activist works.

Firth,Livia. “Who Makes our Clothing”. Youtube, Uploaded by Untold, 8th July 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2rJZIvNezY 

Here is a video a snip it from “The True Cost” documentary talking about the workers environments in factories. From the horrific scenes she describes there is a huge issue of how workers and treated and there safely environments. Getting this story told is part of visual activism and creating change through awareness. That is exactly the intention of an Fashion Revolutions social experiment. It was to create awareness on who made the cheap clothing we buy.

Fashion Revolution. The 2 Euro T-Shirt. 23 Apr 2015. Social Experiment, YouTube. Uploaded by Fashion Revolution,

This is a experiment as part of a #who made my clothes campaign, for people to become more aware and question were their clothes are made. As part of the experiment people were able to by a 2 euro t-shirt, before they could finish with there purchase consumers were confronted with a video about the terrible working conditions the shirt was made in.  Though visual images the organisation were able to made the audience more aware and change there minds about a garment that they think is a good deal.  An amazing quote from this video is ( 2 euro T -shirt, 1.28) states “people care when they know”. Creating awareness is a key part of creating social change. This part of the fashion industry is so well covered up that no one knows there is a problem in the first place. The director of ” The True Cost” in a interview  (Morgan, 2.27) states ” When you buy something, it is a moral act, and there a chain reaction of consequences”, that go along with your everyday decisions that you don’t even take into consideration.

 

Warren, Tom. “Fast Fashion” N.d, Interactive sculpture, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Installation-Fast-Fashion/397217/2774354/view

This here is  an installation by an artist called Tom Warren, he created this installation with fast fashion in mind.  Warrens ideas behind the work came from the rise of globalization and the culture it has created in the fashion industry. The industry is responsible for creating disposable clothing, exploitation of low – wage workers in unsustainable working environments. He created this sculpture to represent the out of control consumer culture and obsession with materialization. The interactive sculpture is made from a collection of garments from the industry. The sculpture allows people to manoeuvre and lift the object. Its very heavy making the viewer work hard to achieve any movement, this is suppose to allude to the hard work and labor intensive culture of fast fashion, that everyone in the Western society contributes to. This is a really strong piece that is more subtle in it approach about getting people of western culture to think about ethical fashion. However it very thought provoking and cleaver about relating a physical movement with the struggles of the industry.

 

 

“Karren Walker”. Ethical Fashion Interactive, Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 12:34 AM EST, http://ethicalfashioninitiative.org/partners/karen-walker/

 

 

In today’s Fashion Industry there are huge influential brands and company that are collaborating with and organisation  to create social awareness on ethical fashion. Organisations like called the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI).  Their mission is to create a responsible fashion industry that is aware of the impact it creates. They are ensuring workers earn a living wage, have great working condition with minimal impact to the environment. EFI have corroborated with New Zealand designer Karen Walker, to create the “Visible”  eye wear collection. The 2014 collection a sustainable and ethical collection made in Kenya. The collection was launch with an campaign showing some of the workers on the collection. Karen Walker is a influential designer in New Zealand, and a huge influence on young adult street wear. Her visual activism in producing a ethically eye wear line is a political statement upon the fashion industry. It shed some light that sustainable fashion is achievable and can look great. Plus giving working a chance to shine.

 

 

 

Works cited
Fashion Revolution. The 2 Euro T-Shirt. 23 Apr 2015. Social Experiment, YouTube. Uploaded by Fashion Revolution,
“Fast Fashion Instalation by Tom Warren”. Saatchi Gallery N.d. https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Installation-Fast-Fashion/397217/2774354/view
Firth, Livia. “Who Makes our Clothing”. Youtube, Uploaded by Untold, 8th July 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2rJZIvNezY 
“Humans rights”. The True Cost, 2015, https://truecostmovie.com/learn-more/human-rights/
“Karren Walker”. Ethical Fashion Interactive, Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 12:34 AM EST, http://ethicalfashioninitiative.org/partners/karen-walker/
Morgan, Andrew. ” Why This Film?- “The True Cost”, Youtube, Uploaded by Untold, March 9th 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrvxwjSqRrM

 

Concept Exploration – Fast Fashion

Fast Fashion is defined as (Investopedia)  “phenomenon in the fashion industry whereby production processes are expedited in order to get new trends to the market as quickly and cheaply as possible.” Fashion is becoming faster and faster with some brands creating new trends and looks up to twice a week. How can that be sustainable. Lets discuss some of the general concerns or issues the fast fashion industry creates and how people respond.

General concerns/ issues

  • Environmental waste
  • Slavery/ sweatshop / fair trade
  • Child Labor
  • Consumerism – Idea of over consumption of products
  • Capitalism / Globalization- impacts of globalization of 3 world country.

The bigger issues

  • Human rights and sweatshops. – Its clear to see that fast fashion manipulates the idea of globalization. Outsourcing production to lower manufacturing cost counties to keep prices of production low and sell for a huge profit. Meanwhile workers are working in unsafe environments, aren’t being paid a fair wage and are forced to work long hours to keep up with demand. As a society don’t we have a responsibly to look after others and treat them fairly.

This issue is a global issue it effect anyone living in capitalist consumer culture and third world county that manufacture clothing.

Fast fashion is a glorified industry to keep consumers buying there products for profit. However consumers are unaware of the reality of were or who there clothing is being made. They are unknowingly buying/ supporting a culture that takes advantage of lower income community to sell their product for less to keep up with competition. Human rights and environmental right and almost forgotten about. I don’t think people would be so supportive of the fast fashion industry if they knew the reality on how there garments are made.

There are lots of sides on the debate about fast fashion. There is a side that believe that if we don’t buy into fast fashion, those people wont have a job or get paid. I’m supporting the economy through globalization and getting those counties richer to come out of poverty.   In a video explaining the idea behind globalization state ( One Minute Economics, 0.12) ” counties would receive a significant influx of capital leading to a gradual irradiation of poverty”. That’s why people want to support the fast fashion industry.

Works Cited 
Investopedia. “Fast Fashion”. Investopedia,N.d, http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fast-fashion.asp
One Minute Economics. ” Globalization explained in One Minute”. Youtube, uploaded by One Minute Economics, July 30 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc0bR9tiDyU
* featured image – “THE DIRTY SECRET BEHIND JEANS AND BRAS”. GREENPEACE, 1 DECEMBER,2010, HTTP://WWW.GREENPEACE.ORG/EASTASIA/NEWS/STORIES/TOXICS/2010/TEXTILE-POLLUTION-XINTANG-GURAO/

Changing the World: Visual Activism

Featured image  Krumlauf, Alissa. Strom Water (Fashion Meets Storm Water), 2012, Canvas Print. Http://Tdsblog.Com/What-A-Thirsty-Industry-Fashion-Is7474-2/

In today’s Modern Western culture there are numerous issues to face and challenge as a community. In today’s 21st century society, we challenge society in a new way called visual activism. Through visual forms we can comment/raise awareness and change on social and political issues. This visual activism has become more prominent in today’s western culture, due the vast variety of visual content that is being created every single day and the world collective medium of the internet, people are creating awareness and pushing for social change through visual activism. Creating content that people can see creates and awareness and a personised voice. It’s a visual representation on how people living in the society feel about the world they live in, and creating pressure for this to change. In Mirzoeff book How to See the World he states (289) “visual culture is a way to create forms of change”. We can see this visual activism in movements like “Occupy Wall street” and “pro-choice movements” that had visual culture supporting these movements (posters, social media hashtags, photographs, artworks, creating awareness and pressure to encourage change.  Something I want to look further into is the movement of Ethical Fashion. There is a real awaking in the fashion industry about how sustainable it truly is. As consumers in the western culture we don’t stop and think about the actual cost of the clothes we are buying. There is a huge issue with the fashion industry and I think people turn a blind eye about the harsh reality’s this type of consumerism is creating. Human rights, environmental, globalisation and consumerism are just some of the issue the industry is facing. I want to see how visual activism can create awareness and even social pressure to create change. In the trailer for the documentary (The True Cost, 1.27) a women states “the actual business model is completely unsustainable, unless you redefine the model, you can’t change a thing”. One person simply can’t create change, however though visual activism, together we can create change.

 

 

 

Works cited

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Changing the World & Afterword”. How to See the World, Pelican, 2015, pp.298.

Morgan, Andrew. “The True Cost official trailer, 2015”. YouTube, Uploaded by Movie clips Film Festivals & Indie Films, Jun 9 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDx711ibD1M

Identity Images

Though researching my topic about the natural world, I discovered that the discussion wasn’t in depth enough, and I wasn’t super passionate about it. Therefore I changed my focus question to #1…

Who is this ‘me’ anyway?
If you choose this question you will explore identity – how we represent ourselves.  You can focus on either how our representations of ourselves have changed over time or how marginalised groups have represented themselves to confront mainstream culture.

I want to focus on ” woman’s” body identity that is reflected in advertisements, and how this has developed and changed over time. I feel this is a very relevant discussion to be having. There is a lot of discussion around western culture societal constructs on how feminine beauty is portrayed and created. We see these constructed all the time in the fashion and beauty industry, and how they market products.

So an image I have been looking into on more depth and that I want to use in my essay. Is the an Victoria’s Secret campaign in 2015 called ” The Perfect “Body” “.

o-VICTORIAS-SECRET-570

The Perfect “Body”. 2015, Campaign, Photograph, Victoria’s Secret, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/06/victorias-secret-perfect-body-campaign_n_6115728.html 

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922, Oil transfer Drawing, Museum of Modern Art, New York, http://www.moma.org/collection/works/37347?locale=en.

Here we can see social constructions about women body identity and the expectations women have to achieve this identity. I think its a very strong thought provoking image, to use to illustrate to the reader the society idealized body identity and the pressure put on women to obtain this. I wish to discus and analyse in depth in my writing.

Toxic Water

Here I will be researching visual images that capture how humans shape the natural, in terms of water in the fashion industry.

blue-river-in-china

Bo, Qui.  Greenpeace exposition. 2010, Digital Photograph, Greenpeace, http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/news/stories/toxics/2010/textile-pollution-xintang-gurao/

Here is an image from Greenpeace showing a campaigner taking water sample of a blackened river in  Xitang, by a village called Danun in 2009. Greenpeace states in the artificial (Greenpeace, 1) that they found five heavy medals , like mercury, led and copper in 17 out of 21 rivers tested. The rivers and water ways are incredibly polluted and this was statistics eight years ago. I would hate to think what they would be like today.  Coastal Care stated in a post about pollution ( Coastal Care 1),  that everyone working in washing or dying of denim, suffer from reproduction and fertility. the toxins have a huge effect to the human body.

I believe this a powerful image to use in my assessment, because it shows that unnatural colouring of the water. I can take about the distraction of water and the effects of human life also the implications to the environment. You can see the waste lying around the edge of the water. Its disgusting and deserted. I can also talk about the implications the denim industry with the industrial building in the background. I think this a very thought provoking, image.

 pollution

Krumlauf, Alissa. Strom water (Fashion meets Storm water), 2012, Canvas Print. http://tdsblog.com/what-a-thirsty-industry-fashion-is7474-2/

This image was created as part of series called “Fashion meets Storm” by a graduate student at Grand Valley State University. I think these series of images would be great evidence to support my statements about toxic waste in water through the fast fashion industry. At first glance this image seams high fashion and editorial. It not until we take a closer look that we see the toxic waste land she is surrounded in. This image convoys the idea of the damaging effects the fashion industry has on our environment, in particular water.

The-rivers-around-Tirupur-are-often-red-or-purple-with-runoff-from-nearby-factories-such-as-those-in-the-Netaji-Apparel-Park-that-are-the-citys-economic-engine.
Rajasekar, Hk. Tirupur. Getty N.d, digital image, Newsweek, by  ADAM MATTHEWS ON 8/13/15 AT 11:25 Am, http://www.newsweek.com/2015/08/21/environmental-crisis-your-closet-362409.html

This image again highlight the unnatural implications of dumping chemical waste into waters and rivers. We are intentionally polluting our own environment that helps give us life. This is a image showing the waste from dying factories. They are distorting water supply and something needs to be done about this. This shows the extreme about of water waste the industry creates making clothing items. This untreated toxic water, them being feed to farmlands creating toxic produce make people sick. The situation is a true disaster.

River Blue 2River Blue 1

WILLIAMS,ROGER & MCLLVRIDE, DAVID. “BLUE RIVER, DOCUMENTY, 2016”. VIMEO, UPLOADED BY BLUE RIVER,FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2015 AT 2:00 PM EST.

This documentary will be valid for research as it a film made last year, therefore being up to date with information and visuals that will appear. Its a movie based of the impact of the denim industry on water. It would allow great factual information about this topic I will address in my assignment.

These images are captured from the documentary and highlight waste created and toxins floating in water. It also shows the manipulation people in third world country’s, lower production coast to keep in demand with consumer demand in a western capitalist culture.

For further research I could look into consumer/ capitalist impact image and images of people help resolve this issue.

Works Cited
Coastal Care. “DIRTY SECRETS BEHIND JEANS: CHINA BLIGHTED BY INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION”. Coastal Care, N.d. http://coastalcare.org/2011/02/the-price-of-success-china-blighted-by-industrial-pollution/
Greenpeace. “The Dirty Secret behind Jeans ans Bras”. Greenpeace. 1st December, 2010. http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/news/stories/toxics/2010/textile-pollution-xintang-gurao/
Arnold, Allison. “Grand Valley student focuses on fashion and environment for senior thesis”. The Rapidian, 19 Nov 2012, https://www.therapidian.org/grand-valley-senior-focuses-fashion-and-environment-thesis-project

Resources – Environment

I will be researching resources that I can uses in my assessment. This will allow me to make informed statements and back them up in my essay.

This is a trailer for a documentary about the fashion industry’s impact on water. This could be an interesting take on my assignment about the human impact on the natural world.

 

Williams,Roger & Mcllvride, David. “Blue River, Documenty, 2016”. Vimeo, Uploaded by Blue River,Friday, May 8, 2015 at 2:00 PM EST.

This documentary will be valid for research as it a film made last year, therefore being up to date with information and visuals that will appear. Its a movie based of the impact of the denim industry on water. It would allow great factual information about this topic I will address in my assignment.

However this source could potentially be biased, about the very negative effects of the fast fashion denim industry and not show what we are also going to help the situation.

greenpeace-003

“The Dirty Secret behind Jeans and Bras”. GreenPeace, 1 December,2010, http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/news/stories/toxics/2010/textile-pollution-xintang-gurao/

This Greenpeace site is an investigation into the biggest countries that produce blue jeans and bras. This site can be trusted because its an education site that is dedicated to informing the pubic of the true facts of the textile industry. They even reference factual information to back up there statements.  The organisation is determined to help the planet me more sustainable and eco- friendly.

It could also be bias towards to companies that make the blue jeans and over dramatize that situation at hand. to force people to feel a sense of guilt.

http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/news/stories/toxics/2010/textile-pollution-xintang-gurao/

LEVIS STRAUSS & Co.

This site has a lot of factual information and study about their denim production. It has a lot of resourceful information about the pollution of denim production. It provides MLA references to correctly mention references to other sources. This is a very reliable source out of all of them.

However this source could be bias towards the denim manufacturing and could potentially sugar coat the situation at home.

http://www.levistrauss.com/sustainability/planet/

Criteria

  • Check if the source is from reliable publisher/ author. Is the information well researched?
  • Check where the source published. Is the source credible?
  • Check the relevance, does it connect to what I want to say.
  • Check when it was published, if its relevant information.
  • Check if the source is bias. If the soured id factual, opinion or propaganda.
Works Cited 
Williams,Roger & Mcllvride, David. “Blue River, Documenty, 2016”. Vimeo, Uploaded by Blue River,Friday, May 8, 2015 at 2:00 PM EST.
“The Dirty Secret behind Jeans and Bras”. GreenPeace, 1 December,2010, http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/news/stories/toxics/2010/textile-pollution-xintang-gurao/
Levi Strauss & co. ” Sustainability Planet”. Levi Strauss & co, N.d, http://www.levistrauss.com/sustainability/planet/

 

How do we Shape the Natural World.

 

Featured image   Burtynsky, Edward. N.d Photograph “Where I Stand: A Behind the Scenes Look at Edward Burtynsky’s Photographic Essay, Water”. Youtube, Uploaded by MongrelTrailers, Published on Sep 4, 2013,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmwgqxc-7eY, 

 

How do we shape the natural world Human occupation, impacts and effects?

My first impression of this question makes me think about how everyday actions cause impact to the environment. As a society we have manipulated, shaped and transformed the natural world to suit humanity’s lifestyle. Without even thinking about the consequences and harm we are causing. In most causes humans depleted natural resources that cant be replaced. For example water, forestry, animals and oil.Its come to the extreme where scientist are looking for other earth like planets that human can move to, due to exploiting natural resources on this planet, that it will no longer be suitable for life. This lifestyle is depicted in films and TV shows like, The 100, Wall-E, The Lorax, and many more. Showing the extremes  of resource manipulation and the effects. However there is now becoming huge awareness for environmental issues and people are coming up with innovative solutions to save the planet.

After reading the the 6th chapter in Nicholas Mirzoeff book, How to See the World, he illustrated some interesting ideas about the natural world. ( Mirzoeff, 233) Shows an a painting by George Wesley Bellows called Forty- two Kids ( 1902). This image shows a group of kids swimming in the river. The river is black because during that time, New Yorkers 6 million people pumped all there bodily waste into the water. During this time people aspired to live in a big city, therefor would turn a blind eye to the problem at hand. Mirzoeff also states that till this day, if there is a lot of rain, raw sewage is flushed into the rivers and people know to stay out of the water the next day. In my point of view its disgusting to hear people are living comfortably damaging a natural resource. Water is a resource we need to live. Humans cant go 3 days without water before they die. Its a need.

On the topic of water, Edward Burtynsky’s takes photos of altered landscapes. He is looking at how humans manipulate the world for the resource of water. His images are powerful and thought provoking about the interaction with humans and water. In this project he talks about the importance of water. “That once there is no water in a area, humans have to leave, in order to live.” that water is the ultimate thing for life and we need to treasure that. To use the environment of what we need without exploiting it.

Burtynsky, Edward. N.d Photographs  “Where I Stand: A Behind the Scenes Look at Edward Burtynsky’s Photographic Essay, Water”. Youtube, Uploaded by MongrelTrailers, Published on Sep 4, 2013,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmwgqxc-7eY, 

Bringing this closer to home. In 2009 New Zealand artist  Rachael Rākena and Dr Brett Graham created an art sculpture to reflect the idea of manipulating water for our benefit. Their project was about the purposeful flooding, to make way for hydro- electric power. They highlight the manipulation and redirection on water ways to build communities. In Maori culture natural resources are very important to the culture. We should look after the environment that provides for us, what are we doing to give back?

Water is just one element of how humans impact on the environment. For my assessment I want to look at the idea of sustainability and potentially fast fashion and waste.

Works cited 
Burtynsky, Edward. “Where I Stand: A Behind the Scenes Look at Edward Burtynsky’s Photographic Essay, Water”. Youtube, Uploaded by MongrelTrailers, Published on Sep 4, 2013,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmwgqxc-7eY
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Chapter 6, Changing the World”. How to See the World, Pelican, 2015, pp. 220-252.
Rākena, Rachel & Graham, Brett. “Āniwaniwa – a fine arts research project”. Youtube. Uploaded by kengapai Feb 16, 2009.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xljkl3Q5V3U

 

How the Visual World Communicates with Us.

Visual culture is all around us. Visual art is one aspect of visual culture that I found interesting. I have challenged my perceptions of the world and questioned how women are defined by society. I will be looking at the work of Cindy Sherman.

To have an in-depth analysis of Sherman’s images, we need to consider the time we spend viewing. (Kiplan 1) states to appreciate a work of art we need to take time to look at the finer details. Viewing art for 30 seconds, we only apricate the work at surface level. As an audience, we don’t take the time to create questions and think about why the artist has created these images. I believe it’s important to take the time to analyse the art, to be able to question why they created the artwork and the artist’s ideas. During this time, we allow ourselves to develop our perceptions of the world. The exact time to ensure you understand varies for different people, we all come from diverse backgrounds and experiences in life. It’s subjective for each person.

For example, the image of Sherman’s (Untitled Film Still #2) communicates the idea of feminism and subverting society’s ideals around women. She challenges perceptions on how women are valued in society. Sherman portrays these fictitious characters of old Hollywood actresses. She has done this to create a collective medium, to ensure people can relate to these images and get an understanding. In Nicholas Mirzoeff book, How to See the World, he states something similar. (Mirzoeff 21), believes that the internet is the world’s first collective medium. With this concept of collective communication, Sherman has used characterisation to create her collective medium. This concept redefines the idea that art is only for a selected few. She has neutralised the perspective and makes the work relatable to all types of people. I personally relate to these iconic figures that are depicted in her work. We grow up aspiring to be these women that we look up to. Sherman is illustrating in her image how destructive this can be. The mirror in this photograph symbolises reflection/vanity. Sherman is communicating that women are only valued by their appearance/ reflection. In society’s eyes that’s all you are worth. That we are objects to the gaze. We need to take a step back and reflect about society’s expectations. We don’t need to conform to these ideas to feel a sense of worth. This challenging of my perception on how others value me and the expectations on what women must do to feel accepted. It made me question this need to please society to be accepted, and how destructive that is.

untitled

Sherman, Cindy.  Untitled Film Stills #2. 1997-1980. Black and white Photograph.

Sherman labels each image ” untitled”. This is to make the viewer think about her images for themselves, without any preconceived ideas about the piece. Sherman simply alludes to these ideas about feminism in her work, however she does not tell you. It challenges you to create independent thought. That goes against everything, Clark talks about in “Language and Meaning.” (Clark 20, that effective communication is essential to articulate in words a response to visual culture.) People will never react to art in the same way. We all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. However, I believe that the beauty in the works will resonate with different people and challenge people’s perceptions in different ways. Visual culture is subjective to the viewer. It communicates in a vast variety of ways.

Works Cited
Clarke, Michael. “Language and Meaning.” Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design into Words. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Publishing, 2007. 20-27. Print.
Kaplan, Isaac. “How Long Do You Need to Look at a Work of Art to Get it”. Artsy. JAN 26TH, 2017 12:05 AM. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-long-work-art-it
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Introduction”. How to See the World, Pelican, 2015, pp. 5,6,21.
Sherman, Cindy.  Untitled Film Stills #2. 1997-1980. Black and white Photograph.

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