be a fly on the wall

Alan suggested I dig deeper into Shepard Fairey's motives now that he classified my poster under the Fairey campaign option provided in our assignment.
Read A LOT. Here's what I got from it.

For the Image:
-Orwellian Quality contrasting with Goofy Andre the Giant.
-Initially it started as simple mischief, sticker that solely said Andre the Giant has a posse.
-Goofy, Creepy, Humorous, Monolithic
-The counter-culture Big Brother- a sign that people are watching big brother as well
-Artists he mentions- Revs (Graffiti?)
-Building on Warhol.
-Pleasurable image though it's nonsensical.
-Could be an underground cult reference for Paranoids or Conservatives
-For the Consumptive viewer, owning a sticker provides belonging qualities, a souvenir, keepsake, momento. Comforting because it has cultural resonance.
-People who want to be rebellious. Underground quality- anti-establishment, societal convention.
-Pow(ER) posters pay homage to Roy Lichtenstein. emPOWERment.

For the Message:
-Ambiguity gets under people's skin because they don't know what to make out of it (Same 'temptation of meaning' Zizek talks about.)
-Fucking with the program in a society dominated by corporate imagery.
-The medium is the message- illegally placing something in the public's right of way. the act itself makes it political.
-Expression without bureaucracy is why he chose the street. Tax-payers are the bosses of government acc. to Fairey.
-People do the opposite of what they're told.
-Blowing "their" cover.
-People exaggerate everything.
-Phenomenology- process of letting things manifest themselves- things that are taken for granted are revealed.
-Reawakens the sense of wonder about one's environment
-Question the sticker and your surroundings- people aren't used to propaganda for which the motive isn't obvious.
-OBEY-no actual meaning, but causes people to react, contemplate, search for its meaning

Random words:
-The silent people
-Complete inevitability of supply and demand economics in a capitalist society

He worries about the quality of information in an age where "faster" seems to trump "better"-EARWAX!!
Don't need anymore distractions.
Deterioration of thoughtful communication- Neal Gabler from SUNDAY LA Times, mentions Marshall McLuhan-"the medium is the message"
So here's where I am with words.
Cut it out. Expect Delay. Bleached by meaningless gestures. Surrealist hat. To Question. I'm with Stupid Arrow. Wall-e Robot. The Flock- Becoming one of the flock- birds. Don't settle. Go for it. Push. Distraction. Distracted. David Dumb. David Boring. #$@&!

Patrick Leger illustrations
Queen of Hearts.
Queen of Hurts.
Fooling some of the people all of the time.
Spagetti? Earwax.
Tire-tired. Rubber-rubbish. An inanimate tire.
Tape your mouth. Random oblique strategy.
Put in earplugs. Earplugs?... Sticker earplugs to paste on anything that is bs.
Ignorance breeds ignorance.
LSTN listen
Accept and Proceed.
Peter Seville
Thanks for nothing.
Blah blah blah.
In __________ we trust.
oscillator-word that can be read in two ways.
My head is full of stuff I don't understand. Stop being predictable.
The clown----Is this a joke
This is a lie
Make people think
Careful, this is poison

Looking but not seeing- posting where's waldo everywhere. Chuckle, fart.

Barbara Kruger, how did you do it!?!
Pretty interesting:
An article from It's Nice That Blog, Talks about why most comment discussions just flat out suck! Talk about Earwax. http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/2042-most-comments-suck-discuss
Seeing inspiration. I'm lost at the "bitching" river, as Kelsey would say.


This one reminds me of my concept.

Jenny Holzer's List of Truisms: Here are the ones that stood out for me. I don't necessarily believe in all of them, but they're pretty striking >>>

>>>being judgmental is a sign of life

>>>deviants are sacrificed to increase group solidarity

>>>drama often obscures the real issues

>>>enjoy yourself because you can't change anything anyway

>>>emotional responses ar as valuable as intellectual responses

>>>fear is the greatest incapacitator

>>>going with the flow is soothing but risky

>>>if you aren't political your personal life should be exemplary

>>>it's better to be lonely than to be with inferior people

>>>knowledge should be advanced at all costs

>>>men are not monogamous by nature

>>>moderation kills the spirit

>>>myth can make reality more intelligible

>>>noise can be hostile

>>>people won't behave if they have nothing to lose

>>>re channeling destructive impulses is a sign of maturity

>>>romantic love was invented to manipulate women

>>>sometimes science advances faster than it should

>>>taking a strong stand publicizes the opposite position

>>>the idea of transcendence is used to obscure oppression

>>>there are too few immutable truths today

>>>timidity is laughable

>>>we must make sacrifices to maintain our quality of life

New Imagery

Immediately after class I started writing things that popped up in my head:
A plunger, A vacuum. Things whose goal as a tool is to and things that suck other things in. We are constantly sucked in by earwax. It tempts us. It's hard for us to focus on things that are important because we are bombarded by a number of things that may not be so important.
Dumbo, Mocked for his big ears
Rudolph, Mocked for his big red nose
Josef Muller Brockmann Noise Pollution image
Cornel West philosophy
Helen Keller
Someone who feeds us shit
Something that feeds us shit

Most importantly I was looking for type books to start working on the logo design for my Thesis and came across this Cassandre poster that I had completely forgotten about: L'Intransigeant, 1925. Simplified and stylized imagery of the cubists and compositional quality of collage allowed Cassandre to translate representational form into visual symbols. The figure's head is next to a telegraph pole. Only portions of the words are revealed of the typography. Such positive and negative elements provide the representational quality of a collage.

Composition surrounded around the three implied circles: the eye, the ear, and the mouth: Perfect!
Could I attempt to alter and somewhat reuse this image as my symbol? Maybe its not immediately recognizable to the general public, but it is sooo awesome. Thoughts?

Class Concept Critique

Few things from today's class:
My idea of illustrating the human ear to use as imagery for EARWAX was a little off target, but nevertheless, I think a step in the right direction. The reason for the image being wrong as I was picturing it is because it would seem like an awareness for some sort of audiological concern, or auditory problems... which isn't exactly what I'm going for. I need the message to be direct, and I can't approach it in the same way as a band poster because though there may be layers of meaning in my message, I need the initial reaction to be immediate and only after this initial reaction do I want for the viewer to question and contemplate what it is that I am trying to say. So...I was asked to rediscover what it is that earwax causes, and eventually determine the message that I am attempting to push to the public. Here are the notes I have down in my book:

Earwax causes the clogging of the brain, diminishment of intelligence. Fuels ignorance. Spreads ignorance.
Things that aren't helpful are earwax. Earwax comes from people, media, etc.

New sentences:
---------I want people to know that it's important to filter the information that we receive- we need to know what's good and what's bad in the influx of info sent in our direction.
---------Wax can protect your ears- Like people who say ignorance is bliss. But an excess can make you unable to hear, you become clogged/naive. And the spread of this information is unconscious.
---------Eventually if we don't filter information, we are no longer active participants in society or life.
---------We need to criticize constantly to live actively. Constantly question, constantly be curious so that we can avoid certain pollutions that do more harm that good.

####### Your ears need to have filters. Filtered ears build stronger societies and better overall communications among a society's members. This way we can avoid manipulation.

####### Our growths are stunted by earwax.

####### More metaphorically, we need to be able to pick out this earwax. Q-tips for everyone!

####### Earwax has to exist because we're not perfect. Earwax is a necessary evil.

Input from Alan:
1. Need to make this iconographic. Need a symbol like Andre the Giant. Needs to be linked to reality like Andre is a pop culture reference, very appropriate for Fairey's design imagery.
2. Important words are: Hearing, Knowing, and Questioning. Find and take note of symbolic representations or icons that represent these three words.
3. Co-opt: Take, Reuse.
4. Program like an architect, then take an icon and make it happen.
5. Approach doesn't need to end with a poster, could even involve stickers/buttons or something else.
6. Chose anything as the name/image for this concept because it doesn't need to make sense right away: Using bananas to advertise for Mustangs.

Because my poster is manifesting change, or bringing some kind of awareness to a concern, my poster is classified as the First Option poster. So I need to really focus on deconstructing Shepard Fairey. How did he do what he did, and to not forget how essential the design of his campaign is in the end result.

What's next...... Go back to Jenny Holzer's Truisms. Why are they so effective? Holzer at first placed these truisms everywhere, and people started wondering about them. Their interest was sparked. You need to get it just right.


I'm stuck. of course.
Visual Directions:



Poster: bleeding ear drawing and q tip: with earwax text surrounding and dripping from q tip
diagram of dangers of excess earwax: symptoms and side effects
earwax logo right bottom with small copy definition of what it is
persons face blending into the surface of the poster with color disjuncture to portray earwax, nonsensical jibberish or true stories?
buttons, ear with shooting stuff


Anything we hear on shows like Jersey Shore = EARWAX.
Why is it that idiots can become social revolutionaries?

What I thought of after receiving Kelsey's input. This is a diagram/chart created by Dan Graham that I saw at the Palais des Tokyo exhibit in Paris in January...hmmmmm




side note side note ***SideNote

Yesterday in class when Dana presented her idea for the poster project, I was able to begin a dialogue on her topic leading her to what I consider an interesting solution potentially. This dialogue was rooted from my recently developed interest in Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, he has served as inspiration in my search for a concept of my poster, though he isn't really involved at all in its concept. Nevertheless its information I find extremely interesting and assertive.

Here are some things that are interesting to deliberate:
Some of them are directly connected to Looking is not seeing, which I actually things is a significant concept that deals or is connected with each and everyone of the poster topics in some way.
1.Utopian: liberal pragmatic idea that we can solve problems gradually 1 by 1- Says that we attempt to only focus on one problem at a time, which isn't efficient because ignoring one debate asserts that there is no interconnection between the two groups when there usually is.
2. "When you really want to undermine the power of an illusion- it isn't enough to denounce this from the outside as an illusion, isn't good enough to say that its just an illusion" pertaining to a theological debate

My favorite:
The temptation of meaning- When something horrible happens our spontaneous tendency is to search for a meaning- it must mean something. Ex. of aids- it was a trauma then the Conservatives came and said it was a punishment for our sinful ways of life and so on. Even if we interpret a catastrophe as a punishment its just a way to make it easier for us to believe it happened. It's better for us to believe that God punished you than that it just HAPPENED.

Implicit premise of ecology- the existing world is the best possible world
problematic to Zizek because- Nature is a balanced organic reproducing living organism that is perturbed, disturbed by human ecological exploitation. This is a secular explanation of ecology.

There is no nature. It's a big series of unimaginable catastrophes that happen. Ex. of oil, developed because of a natural catastrophe. "Ecology will slowly turn into the new opium of the masses"- Marx's definition of religion
-We ask for some unquestionable highest authority that you don't debate
-scientific breakthroughs are like voices that warn us to not do certain things- voice of ecology is telling us to not mess with dna, to not mess with nature

Another myth is...
that as humans living, Western people, in our artificial technological environmental air alienated from immediate natural environment. BUT we are a part of nature, shouldn't forget this. IN ZIZEK'S RESPONSE:
We all know what kind of danger we are in with global warming etc. but why don't we do anything about it. In psychoanalysis :
"I know very well BUT act as if I don't know." For instance, I may know that global warming exists, that everything will explode and be destroyed, but I go outside and I see birds singing, and so on and even if I know rationally, that all of this is in danger, I simply do not believe that this can all be destroyed- that's the horror of visiting catstrophe sites like Chernobyl.

What we should do to concront properly the threat of ecological catstrophe is not new age stuff to break out of technologically manipulative movement, and find our roots in nature but to cut off even more our roots in nature. We need more alienation from our life, from our spontaneous nature. We should become more artifical- should develop a more terrifying, abstract materialization, a mathematical universe where there's nothing but technical forms etc.
Then there's a difficultly to find poetry in this dimension, hard to find spirituality. (HAS THIS ALREADY BEGUN???)
- To recreate beauty in trash itself, we must have true love in the world, not solely the current idealization. In the same way that a true lover knows that you don't love a man or a woman by idealizing them, but by accepting a person with all of their failures, stupidities and nonetheless the person.

EARWAX, it is.

I've decided on EARWAX as my final poster concept. It's only in its initial stages, so forgive me if its not my best explanation yet. It may take on the shape of some sort of public service announcement like loose lips sink ships. Warnings of the dangers of earwax.
- Reefer Madness inspired?
- R Crumb
- Play on housewife look of 50's, sort of eavesdropping idea
- Earwax: a necessary evil, by John curie- "don't stick anything in your ears that's smaller than your elbow"

Here are some facts on EARWAX:
-Inspired by old scientific illustrations found on 50 watts. I've been collecting these and they're amazing.. those in Biology textbooks from the 70s to Psychology texts.
- Earwax, cerumen in medical terms
- yellowish, waxy substance secreted in the ear canal of humans and other mammals.
- positive- protects the skin of human ear canal, assists in cleaning and lubrication and provides protection from bacteria, fungi, insects, and water
- negative- an excess of or impacted cerumen can press against the eardrum and/or impair hearing
- can cause conductive hearing loss
- wax can protect your ear, but needs to be washed out so it doesn't build to an excess.
- some people have more than others
- cera=wax

- in medieval times earwax and other substances such as urine were used by scribes to illustrate illuminated manuscripts.
- earwax cafe in chicago, hipster style
- not all people's earwax is the same. can be grey, yellow, pumpkin-colored, brown, moist or dry
- Dream dictionary: To dream that you have excessive earwax suggests that there's something you're refusing to hear

- gooey earwax
- earwax blockage
- gunk in ears
- old dirty wax
- earwax buildup
- unclogging
- earwax is all around us
- Haven't found existing metaphors of earwax, but to me there is an extremely clear message that the concept of earwax represents
- If we don't clean up our ears, ear wax will build up in our ear and eventually we will not be able to hear clearly or not hear at all
- clogging, need to clean our the wax in our ears
- imagery: curette and cotton swabs, ear picks as cleaning it out. Biology and today: richard oden, terry lamb
- Andre Massen, Wilfredo Lam from View Magazine, Unica Zurn Solfege early 1960s
- Searched online for the stupid things people say: Found a blog topic- if you accidentaly overhear a loud, racist conversation....? Answers were ridiculous: "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White
-not enough minutes in a day for that
-you can't change them so let them
Should people just allow other people to be ignorant? Is it that the lazier generations become that people accept ignorance? Because everything is so easily accessible?

Notes from class today:
-Filtering the overload of information we have makes us smarter
- being able to criticize that which is valuable information and weave out that that's earwax

Now more brainstorming about what words and what visual approaches.


Ear Wax

The Stuff that forms from the things we hear.
People have trouble listening, but sometimes we overhear things that reveal a lot about a person.

Kelsey's story about Budapest and her roommate running the water. Being a self-proclaimed "Water-Nazi" Kelsey asks her roommate to not run the water for so long... Her roommates response was
Why? It's their water not ours.

A ditzy high-school comment (Mind you, it wasn't during Bush's first term)
Is Bush a Democrat or a Republican?

During Kelsey's dad Auschwitz visit, he overheard a 41-year-old man ask was Hitler in WWI or WW2?


Looking, but not seeing.

I'm starting to see some kind of a correlation between Looking isn't Seeing and the Fairey concept. Can't put it into words yet.

Talk about optical illusions. These are excerpts from Scientific American's "Illusions: Colors Out of Space"
Deals with the neuroscience behind visual illusions.

Eye shadow. This Japanese manga girl by Kitaoka looks like she has one blue eye and one gray eye. In fact, both eyes are exactly the same shade of gray. The girl's right eye only looks the same as the turquoise hair clip because of the reddish context. Part of the process of seeing color is that three different kinds of photoreceptors in the eye are tuned to three overlapping families of color: red, green and blue (which are activated by visible light of long, medium and short wavelengths). These signals are then instantaneously compared with signals from nearby regions in the same scene. As the signals are passed along to higher and higher processing centers in the brain, they continue to be compared with larger and larger swaths of the surrounding scene. This "opponent process," as scientists call it, means that color and brightness are always relative.

Red rings.This image by Kitaoka contains a number of blue-green circular structures. The red rings are purely a creation of your brain.

Fickle hearts. All the hearts in this checkerboard are made out of the same cyan-colored dots, but they look green against the green background and blue against the blue background. The image, by Kitaoka, is based on the dungeon illusion discovered by vision scientist Paola Bressan of the University of Padua in Italy.

Illusion of the year. The logo for the Best Illusion of the Year Contest is a combination of White's effect (the vase appears to be different colors behind the two curtains) and the famous face-vase illusion (in which the "vase" is a trophy for the winner).

Picasso's blue period. Margaret S. Livingstone of Harvard Medical School has shown that although Picasso used blue, he was careful to maintain the luminance relations—contrasts in lighting within the scene. Those luminance relations, which we use to make sense of the image, are apparent in a grayscale version of the painting (right). This is why color-blind people see just fine in almost every way—sometimes they do not even know they have a deficit.