The image above is an example of bricolage found from Pinterest. This technique is one where you take something that already exists and use it for a different purpose. The original object already has a purpose, however, with bricolage, the purpose is changed. In this image, it is apparent that the objects that are holding the flowers (I’m not sure what those cranberry things are actually called) were originally wine bottles. The primary use of the bottle was to serve as an object that holds a liquid beverage: wine. However, whoever made the objects in the image changed the meaning of the bottles.
After painting the bottles white, adding gold string to the top, and writing the word “joy,” the creator changed the use of the bottles. Instead of holding a beverage, it now is used as a Christmas decoration. One can assume it is used for Christmas time because the word joy is associated with Christmas, he snowflake represents winter, and red, white, and gold are all Christmas colors. While the bottles are still used to hold something, their primary purpose now is to stand as a decoration.
This image is of a NASA space shuttle being launched. I truly believe it represent the ideologies of our culture for two main reasons. The first reason is that it shows the emphasis our culture places on technology. The large rocket launching pad, next to the metal structure built stories high, with a rocket that looks like it came out of a movie, allows people to understand how important studying the unknown is to our culture. While we could save the money that it takes to build a space ship, launch it, and give it a crew, we decide to spend it to study what others all around the world are trying to understand before we do. We could spend that money feeding starving children or building schools, however, as a nation we are so invested in developing the highest and most recent forms of technology so we can make ground breaking discoveries.
The other reason this represents our culture is it shows our disregard for planet Earth. This is proven based on the smoke that is coming from the rocket launch. Viewers can tell this smoke is dirty because of its dark color which is more than present in the bottom right hand corner of the image. Although the smoke is obviously harmful to not only ourselves but the environment as well, we are willing to make the sacrifice in order to understand the world around us more. In a way, I believe this indifference stems from the level of competition between the United States and other nations such as Russia. Like in the past, we compete with other nations to gain the most knowledge. We never seemed to have many boundaries before.
Before posting, I thought about the picture of this sign and was debating if it was cultural appropriation or not. Then I thought about the meaning of cultural appropriation- taking something and changing it, but leaving clues that reference the original piece. Truthfully, I’m not sure this image technically counts as cultural appropriation, but here goes my attempt to justify my post.
By first looking at the piece of metal itself, viewers instantly recognize the shape of it. The rectangular frame with the rounded edges are an immediate signal to viewers that this piece is something official. It triggers thoughts of “No Trespassing” signs. Next, viewers notice the color of the sing. Once again, they recognize the colors of the white background and red letters. These colors are used not only in no trespassing signs but other official signs such as stop signs. Lastly, the viewer reads the words. Walking into many stores, people see the “No shoes, no shirt, no service” signs. People are used to being told what they are not allowed to do when going into certain places; making everything but the last line of this sign normal. The last line however is where I believe cultural appropriation comes into play. While the viewer can recognize the intention of the sign (from the reasons I listed above), the last line makes a joke out of the rule that is being enforced. Telling the person to chug their drink could possibly give the viewer some insight to the culture. Perhaps this is an area where a lot of college students hang out or an area that sporting events occur in. Either way, even with a joke at the end of this sign, viewers still recognize the original qualities but appreciate the new addition.
Believe it or not, this ad is one that is intended to sell perfume. According to Barthes, there are three ways to examine an image. The first is linguistics. Surprisingly, in this advertisement, there is nothing written in text to indicate to the viewer that the desired outcome is for you to purchase a bottle of perfume. The only words that are on the page are the name of the perfume, Taylor Swift, and “the beginning of something magical.” The viewer sees (the denoted image) a purple bottle that is obviously out of proportion to the ad, a woman (Taylor Swift) in a ball gown, and a forest that somehow has chandlers hanging from trees. Both the denoted and linguistic images deeply contribute to our understanding of the connoted image. In this ad, perfume is not the only thing being sold. Instead, the advertiser is attempting to sell the viewer a lifestyle. The life that is promised in this ad is one of magic and enchantment. As absurd as it sounds, viewers are supposed to believe that if they purchase this perfume, they will be like pop sensation icon Taylor Swift and live a fairytale life. The quote enhances this idea simply telling the viewer what they will get if they purchase this bottle. Delving deeper into this, the life of a princess is one that is filled with men constantly attempting to get your attention, beautiful clothes, and a beautiful appearance which could all be “acquired” if you simply buy the perfume.
After all, we know that buying a bottle of perfume won’t make you a princess, won’t make you fall in love, or won’t make women fall out of the sky (Axe). Yet, for some reason this has become the main method of selling viewers on perfume. Personally, if I see an unbelievably good looking couple on a stunning beach, I know exactly what the ad is selling, because naturally, those things all lead to perfume.