Modern day obsessions – WOT U :-) ABOUT?

An exhibition review

Through Feb 9th

When I first looked at the Rachel Maclean’s exhibition poster, it was hard for me to really gather a sense of what it actually is.

A bright, colourful exhibition that has a free entry and it looks like a Jim Carrey movie in collaboration with a Katy Perry music video. ‘Should be interesting’ I thought to myself.

Mind you, I’ve never heard or have seen any of Rachel Maclean’s work. But in the brief research that I’ve made the colourful and wacky, modern fairy tale style is common. It also seems that she’s sending a social or a political message through her work, almost as if it isn’t taking itself too seriously.

I’ve been to Tate Modern but not Tate Britain so this was a good opportunity for me to finally take a trip to this establishment. There weren’t any advertisements for this gallery at the entry which I expected because of it’s uncommon and odd nature, this lets me wander around the entry and ask for directions until I found it. I also forgot to mention that I’ve arrived there late, only able to enjoy it for half an hour or so.

The exhibition was quite small with only a few posters displayed. For some reason, I expected to see statues and other exhibits. The room was painted in the same colour scheme, very colourful and vibrant, really matched the work exhibited on the walls.

At the center of the room, there was a bench that matched the interior for people to sit down and enjoy a short movie projected on the wall. Lighting was also centered and the room was well lit, although I wish it would have been dimmed a little bit during the projection of the short clip. There wasn’t much to do after watching the short movie other than understanding the concept and the not-so-cheery aspect of the exhibition.

One way that I would personally explain the meaning of the exhibition is that it’s a parody of what we could label as ‘Internet Fame’. It focuses on other things such as internet addiction, idol obsession, materialistic possessions which many individuals find hard to live without.

Things became more clear to me once the idea was pointed out. Everything illustrated was a humorous interpretation of an internet slang.

The whole idea didn’t affect me that much nor was somewhat unique in telling you that, yes, the Internet is bad and addicting and some people binge on it. Many others have already pointed out the same problem, but the overboard fantasy style of this exhibition was not your ordinary red pill campaign. In fact, its intentions are questionable because of the way it doesn’t take itself that seriously.Is the short clip really pointing out a

Is the short clip really pointing out a problem, to begin with? All it could be doing is making modern pop art concept using today’s mainstream needs and desires, exaggerating and turning them into a hilarious and somewhat worrying alternate reality.



This CTS presentation was interesting. We’ve discussed surveillance throughout time and history, and along with this topic came the questions if it is for the better or worse to be watched all the time.

People have gotten used to being monitored in certain places, and they do not feel the need to disagree with this way of security.


And whether actually being watched all the time by the higher beings of society is true or not people have had those ideas for years. Some went as far as planning and proposing an idea for monitoring certain individuals.


The panopticon is the answer for a more “civilized” prison facility. The way that the guard stationed in the centre has made it possible for him to observe every person within the cages. Sounds quite ingenious if this would be applied for facilities such as office cubicles, or something unrelated to a workplace such as an apartment.

We’ve had a discussion in which we had to ask ourselves, what exactly exercise this level of monitoring in our daily lives. What part of society is going overboard with monitoring our activity, and what’s the gap between doing it for our safety or just plainly collecting our personal information for third-party companies.

I think a lot of students mentioned that university does monitor students. Like the way we need to write our name in when we go inside during weekends. We also need to write the time and our ID.

the technology we use can also be alarming when it comes to tracking someone. The webcam and the microphone of the laptop is a key factor to black mailing someone. If you’re not careful you might end up being a victim.

Of course, most monitoring and tracking actions are always said to be for our safety. But if this information goes into the wrong hands the consequences could be treacherous.


Beyond Google – Using the deep web

There are constant talks about the risk of getting false information if you’re using google or Wikipedia due to the fact that it is so much accessible and everyone can edit and provide false information. It’s one thing to be able to distinguish the false information but for most students, it is almost inevitable facing a risk of invalid sources.

As some might find that looking for hours in the library is very hard to find the right academic journals for your essay, it’s better to actually browse some of the databases that are available online. It’s available to any student and best of all it’s all valid and easy to back up your points with.

Personally, when I’ve done my research for the essay in term 1, I did, in fact, use Google. It’s a habit despite being told the unreliable aspects of Wikipedia. I just didn’t know what else to use in order to find good sources available online.

I looked at library, magazines, and newspapers. But that was more time consuming than I thought, in most cases, you would need to read the book in order to find the right reference, then comes the citation part which makes it even more tedious. Using something fast as google easily makes it in favor over those primary ancient research habits.

But after this CTS session, I’ve found that there are much more search engines available to use than just Google. Much more reliable to say the least. There’s a great selection of academic image libraries that are already referenced.

We’ve made use of them during a brief workshop. We were all given a topic to research with the help of those resources available to us. The archive system in which the information is structured provided quick results of what we were looking for.

CTS – Cut to Copy

For this CTS Session, we had to answer a series of questions specifically regarding Dadaism. A unique movement, which many have thought of as a radical approach.

The questions mentioned had initiated a deep discussion about collage, it’s origin, in fact, seemed to have been earlier than some of us thought it out to be.

What is radical about this?

The first question which I don’t think was hard to answer, really. The nature of the collage being cut out from another source itself sounds very radical and not to mention absurd for its time. It’s roughly cut out a way of other sources, whether that is commercial objects or another individual’s work to create another message also feels very rebellious in a way.

The Dadaist poem was also mentioned and asked for an opinion about it. I can’t help but think of it as a vintage random poem generator of the sort.

Why are designers and artists getting out the scissors again?

As the time goes, the “newest thing” becomes redundant and dull. The newest designers crave the old ways, some want to go back to their roots and try something new.

This also makes one consider the work more, it sort of becomes more personal and time-consuming, thus one considers it more valuable.

What would designing be like without the undo function?

It’s hard to imagine a software without an undo function. Even if there was a such thing I think people would be able to solve the problem and get around the issue.

But hypothetically if this actually happened I suppose people would save their work a lot more than normal, and consider every new step they apply to the design.

Or people would actually crave creating traditionally more if this was the case, there is a certain freedom in using traditional medias that some software cannot emulate.

Video of the week

Just thought I’d save this on my blog to look back into it as it’s quite helpful and inspiring.

They’ve touched on a very interesting subject, a student asked if she can find time to do the work she likes to do rather than do studio work, in other words if it’s worth creating personal projects rather than professional studio work.

Chris responded that a designer’s profession should in fact be your hobby so that you can get paid to do the things you love.

Although I understand what the student is trying to say, I agree with Chris that if you’re going to take on a profession you need to have a passion for it. Of course sometimes you would be needed to jump out of your comfort zone and explore different media or style, but you’re not going into another industry, mastering the essential fundamentals of your profession not only can improve your client’s work, but greatly improve personal work and portfolio too.

The difference between an artist and a designer is quite big, artist have more freedom with exploring their style as there’s no client preference to set a limit to your work. It’s your perspective on the world. An artist doesn’t also produce work that is always what people want.

A designer is someone that has to learn to get feedback, solve someone’s problem and being able to communicate within the language of design.

But personal work can also mean experimentation, different media or something different from mainstream design.



Journalism, Truthiness and Participatory Culture – Exercise


Think before you speak? the media doesn’t agree.

People have been relying on the press for centuries, it’s their duty to keep the people informed with accurate information, but just how accurate is it in today’s society?

There have been numerous times when “Breaking News” was nothing more than a false alarm, and the exaggeration and fear being brought to the people from mainstream media isn’t new.

The 2010 Brooklyn Bridge shutdown was reported to be caused due to a terrorist when in reality it was just a flashlight (Source), it’s just one of the many attempts at the media to bring more viewers into watching their channel, they try to make the story as “juicy” as possible to try and stand out from competitors which also seem to be doing the same thing, and it’s a big problem.

There is also the infamous “blame the violence on video games” headlights where news just eat these subjects up. They bring fear in parents and it’s for only one thing, profit.

An article regarding this subject on the BBC news site says that.

The researchers found that many of the releases did not give full statistical information with which to put the findings of the study into full context.

Just 23% of the releases noted study limitations.

And industry funding was acknowledged in only 22% of the studies that had received it.


It’s a simple tactic and it sells, people spend time on headlines that grab attention rather than the news and sources, unfortunately, it’s something that it’s inevitable. People can be fooled by anything they read, and it’s no surprise to find so many people doubting the media.