At first, I thought this image was an example of pastiche of the Beatles walking across Abbey Road. This is a very famous photograph that many famous people and movies have replicated. There are many different examples of parodies and appropriations. I thought this to be pastiche at first because though it is of lego figures, the lego figures are still that of the original Beatles. However, after a little consideration, this is the reason why this is more of a parody. I thought of the scene in the movie The Parent Trap starring Lindsay Lohan. In the scene, one of Lindsay Lohan’s characters and her mother walked across the street, and they froze for a moment. That was an example of pastiche because it was like it was paying tribute to the Beatles. There was no satirical reference. That scene and this image are very different. Though it is of the Beatles, they are all Lego figures. In the original Abbey Road image, all of the Beatles have very straight arms and legs extended, and the Lego figures are also very straight, but that is because they are Legos and cannot move in swift fluid movements. That is part of the satirical aspect in this Lego image. Instead of being real people, the Beatles are displayed as toy versions of themselves. This image is more of an example of parody than it is a pastiche.
This is an image of one of the beginning stages of in vitro fertilization. I chose this image because I believe it is an example of a cyborg. The book defines a cyborg as a cybernetic organism, part technology and part organism. In vitro fertilization is a process where a doctor physically combines a sperm and egg to be entered into women to potentially create a fetus. I think this is a perfect example of a modern cyborg that has very controversial ideologies in today’s culture. It demonstrates our advancement of medical technology. Essentially, a baby is being made in a petri dish. For those who cannot become pregnant, this is an amazing opportunity that could not have been possible before. On the other hand, it displays the drive for perfection our culture has. For those who have to use sperm or egg donors, they can pick the donors based on superficial genetic aspects. In vitro fertilization is also looked down upon because it is taking a natural event of life that is now performed in a laboratory. I think most cyborgs are controversial because technology is changing so quickly in our culture, and though there are benefits, there are still concerns about the future.
I chose this photo because it represents cultural appropriation. A few years ago, I watched a documentary about a graffiti artist Mr. Brainwash. This was one of his pieces. His pieces were all famous images and people modified. This one is of Elvis, one of the most famous musicians ever. Normally, in this photo he holds a guitar. In Mr. Brainwash’s image, he took away the guitar and placed a gun. The gun is the only think in the image with color, which helps it stand out. This makes the viewer attracted to it and notice right away that the guitar is replaced. In today’s time, the world is a much more violent place than it was when Elvis was alive. In a way, this photo represents how America has changed since Elvis’s time. Another unique take on this is that Elvis was in the army, so it represents a side of Elvis that is not well known. The fact that this is created by an artist who became famous due to his graffiti shows how this is a huge part of out visual culture. Graffiti has become apart of what we see frequently. You can’t go into a city without seeing tons of paintings on buildings. Mr. Brainwash has many examples of cultural appropriation with one of his most famous being the Campbell’s soup can being turned into a spray can.
This is an ad for Tiffany & Co. I first saw this ad in a catalog that was sent to my house, and I think it makes a good example for visual culture. This is an ad from the holiday season, so the purpose for this ad is to get women to ask for gifts from Tiffany’s for the holidays. I think it did its purpose because once people see what is inside, they will want to see the jewelry in person. The main reason I chose this image is because I thought it was interesting that there were no linguistics, which is an idea from Barthes. This image is literally just a man and a woman, in love, walking with New York City in the background, which is the denoted image. They look very elegant, but what stands out is the blue box. There are no words that are needed to tell the audience that this is an ad for Tiffany’s because that blue box is known in our culture. The connoted image is that if you give a loved one this blue box, you will be as radiant and in love as this couple. I think this ad really gets the point of visual culture because if it were in a different part of the world, the people might never even think the blue box meant something. That one little detail is what helps the audience make sense of what the ad is.