The problem with advertising is that it’s easy to produce. A great idea completely separated from the reality of delivering on its promise becomes misleading tokenism. For things to really change takes years and sustained investment. If media awareness created change, Greta Thunberg’s coverage would have single-handedly ended global warming. Plugging into a zeitgeist for an award makes brands feel like they are doing “good things” and gives them a false sense of achievement instead of realising that they have real work to do. Awards let brands off the hook of doing something.https://www-businesslive-co-za.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.businesslive.co.za/amp/redzone/news-insights/2022-08-29-will-advertising-destroy-everything/
To truly understand how the internet changed over time, it’s crucial to pay attention to the culture that runs through it. Memes are symbols that provide a window into what is culturally significant during a given timeframe, acting as key indicators for how social media ecosystems work.
By looking at the number of memes recorded for each platform by Know Your Meme annually, we can follow the rise and fall of different social media platforms and gauge their relative influence over digital culture at different moments in their history. Through memes, we can help to tell the story of the social internet and how it became what we see today.
The global success of Psy’s rap could be traced back to the dramatic rises and falls in fortune that have characterised Korean history (the peninsula has been invaded and colonised many times, without ever encroaching on its neighbours). After the Korean war, South Korea was ranked among the poorest nations in the world. With a mixture of authoritarian repression and collective will, the “hermit kingdom” had by the late 1990s turned that around to look like a tech and manufacturing success story. That rise came to an abrupt end with an economic crash in 1997, when the Korean government was forced to ask the IMF for an emergency loan of $57bn. The day of that request is still known as the Day of National Humility. In order to pay off the debt there were many collective sacrifices (including a drive for gold that saw tens of thousands of ordinary Koreans donate wedding rings to the national cause).https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/04/korea-culture-k-pop-music-film-tv-hallyu-v-and-a
We say this because we’ve become accustomed to thinking about the street in “traffic logic”. For centuries, streets used to be a place with a multiplicity of purposes: talk, trade, play, work and moving around. It’s only in the past century that it has become a space for traffic to drive through as quickly and efficiently as possible. This idea is so pervasive that it has colonised our thinking.
Why are roads you can’t live next to, cycle on, or walk along called main roads? Why do we speak of “segregated” or “separate” cycle paths, when it’s actually motorists who’ve been given a separate space of their own? The language of traffic instils a “windscreen view” of the world, as the Belgian mobility expert Kris Peeters wrote a good 20 years ago.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2022/aug/31/how-car-culture-colonised-our-thinking-and-our-language
Using AI to explore early footage of Japan, Tokinokawa is an ambitious installation merging the antique with the futuristic. From startling discoveries in the rushes to working with ambient pioneer Midori Takada, the creators tell us how it happened.https://www.bfi.org.uk/interviews/light-surgeons-tokinokawa
The fantastical imagery that many of us consider “medieval” today has been invented, at least in part, in the centuries since. While some legends are rooted in the period, like the stories of King Arthur and Camelot, many others were embroidered onto an imagined, “medieval-ish” past through fantasy stories, films, and other forms of popular culture, especially from the 19th century on. Modern medieval tales have become populated with knights, dragons, witches, and fairies — though, as the show explains, only the first two were frequently depicted in the period, and anything magical or mysterious was understood through the lens of religion. The exhibition pairs medieval and later imagery to explore these shifting depictions and the powerful legacy they have left.https://hyperallergic.com/753042/fantasy-of-the-middle-ages-getty-center/?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email
…in its ‘80s and ‘90s heyday, by and large streetwear culture was driven by the kids from low-income neighborhoods in major American cities. The very term “streetwear” bears that notion—it’s a style born in the streets, in schoolyards, on handball and basketball courts, and on brownstone stoops. More often than not, streetwear heroes—athletes and rappers—came from the working class, more often than not they were Black. There was a time, now unfathomable, when those very people were snubbed by the likes of the streetwear giants, let alone European luxury brands, that now line up to collaborate with them. This attitude was not limited to sneakers. I clearly remember how in the mid-‘90s Hennessy tried to distance itself from hip-hop, as rappers enthusiastically poured its cognac on various parts of female anatomy in their videos. By 2012, however, Nas was featured in Hennesy ads.https://www.highsnobiety.com/p/streetwear-culture-class-issue/?utm_source=Highsnobiety+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f1fa3ca0df-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_04_02_02_08&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_54b284222a-f1fa3ca0df-87663818&mc_cid=f1fa3ca0df&mc_eid=b04659cd42
An upcoming exhibition at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, located on the New York City campus of the Fashion Institute of Technology, makes my point. Called Shoes: Anatomy, Identity, Magic, the exhibit reveals that our relationship with footwear goes well beyond the physical, performing social and psychological functions as well.https://www.fastcompany.com/90775177/the-long-history-of-heels-from-a-symbol-of-mens-power-to-womens-burden