In this project I will analyse some of the conflicts of contemporary society encapsulated within its imagery; simulacra of efficiency embedded in a reality of waste, of quiescent order embedded in chaos. Globalisation and the fracturing of the concept of working subject brought about by issues of gender, race and sexuality have created a social environment torn between a politics of body and globe. This project, in its two constituent parts, will therefore focus on the inter-relation between the two and how transformations in each area have come to affect the discourse of resistance. Objectives 1) To examine how transformations in the organisation of the Western worlds socio-economic constitution have elicited a change in the relationship between the working subject and the world 2) To analyse the transitions in production which, at their highest level, move increasingly from the production of goods (factory labour) to the production of social life itself 3) To describe the ever changing composition of the subject itself under capital 4) To examine the impact of ‘high-technologies’ in communications industries on both the individual and the collective organisation of our society Sources Hardt + Negri- Empire, Harvey- Spaces of Hope, Marx + Engles- Collected Writings, Dyer-Whiteford- Cyber-Marx
Contribution to the book of change: Aim To show there is a link between philosophical theory and popular American culture in an attempt to bridge the gap between humans and things around them Concepts/ Key words Existentialism and ideas from philosophers such as Sartre and Camus. Popular American culture namely The Simpson’s Objectives To illustrate that the following picture although stereotypically American with busy highways and mega capitalism does not represent popular American culture. To see if there is a link between the heroes of Sartre, Camus and Nieztsche and some of the Simpson’s characters To determine whether Homer is the authentic individual that Sartre and Camus dreamed of? Or is Bart the übermensch that Nietzsche depicted who could rise above Christian morality and create a new moral code? Project Territory The Simpson’s TV show Sources Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Friedrich Nieztsche, Mark Conrad……….
Keywords/ concepts Body image, women, the media, society, reality, sphere of influence, perception, subject object division, networked society Objectives 1. To examine the way women, in particular, can distort the view of their bodies, focusing on the influence the media may have in this. 2. To look into why the media has become an important influence in our lives. 3. To demonstrate how media images can sometimes be distortions and/or distort. 4. To study the way the media can change our notion of reality and to what extent we are networked into the media. Territory I will look into recent studies on body image related disorders and the effect the media may have on the statistics of these disorders. In addition I will study advertisements primarily directed at women and how these can be distorted. I also hope to study writings on networked societies and media deceptions, considering how our sphere of influences has changed. Sources The works of Paul Virilio and Jean Baudrillard, articles from Internet sources, advertisements and articles from popular magazines e.g. Vogue. Change and human aspect I hope to show a change in the levels of body image related disorders as the influence of the media has grown and examine how the media can alter perceptions in society and even deceive it without its knowledge.
CONCEPTS/KEY WORDS: Thinking Machines: Philosophical implications of artificial intelligence, machines emulating human behaviour, Turing Test, notions of behaviourism, dualism and materialism, free will and determinism, strong and weak AI and intelligence. Mechanical Thinkers Affect of rise of technology on human behaviour. Dehumanising effect of treating people as machines in the work place. Modern emphasis on productivity, efficiency, and systematisation. Leisure time. Importance of play, playing at work, modern day work practices. OBJECTIVES 1. To investigate the philosophical implications of Artificial Intelligence, looking at factors that are taken into consideration outside the mathematical workings of a thinking machine such as notions of intelligence, behaviourism and free will. 2. To understand the philosopher Martin Heidegger’s opinion of the effect of technology on the world and on humans as a whole in his essay The Question Concerning Technology. 3. To look at a more modern interpretation of the effects of technology by way of Donald Norman, an expert on the human-side of technology, and his book The Invisible Computer. 4. To look at ways to combat the feeling of dehumanisation in using technology, particularly in the workplace, by investigating modern day work practices that incorporate work and play. SOURCES: Gottfried Leibniz, Alan Turing, Rene Descartes, Aaron Sloman, Donald Norman, Martin Heidegger, Herbert Marcuse, Institute for Play. PROJECT TERRITORY/FIELD OF EXPLORATION: I will use two companies that have adopted unconventional work practices in order to preserve the well being of their employees, producing a healthier environment which promotes quality of work rather than quantity. I will use an advertising agency called St. Lukes in London and a number of companies in the US who have adopted ingenious ways of improving their working environments. CHANGE The changes I will show are through the developments in the idea of a thinking machine, the change in the rise of technology and the way in which it affects our lives today. The difference in thought between Martin Heidegger and Donald Norman. THE GAP BETWEEN HUMANS AND THINGS Obvious separation of mind and matter is involved, the implications of modelling a machine on the brain, the difficulty for humans to work with machines that do not function as humans do, the separation between the individual and society when progress, and society with it, no longer facilitate individuality. My project tries to bridge the gap between humans and computers by trying to establish a healthier attitude towards them, especially in the workplace.
Sources: Newspaper Articles ‘The Economist’ Philosopher’s Books Literature Books and Productions Art Books Visit to the Ecuadorian Prison Visit to the Newcastle Law Courts Project Territory: Michel Foucault’s Theory on Technologies of Power Key Concepts: Technologies of Power Power over the Individual Human Beings made into Docile Bodies Human Rights Vs Homeland Security (Protection) Punishments and Prisons The Big Brother Resistance against Power Materialism Vs Spiritualism Freedom and Search for the Individual Self Objectives: Foucault had predicted the dominance of technology over our lives and the failure of prisons correctly. The connection between knowledge and power is found everywhere and at anytime. The search for individuality and meaning by the modern man The different ways in which power is presented Progression does not necessarily mean success, for example, the prison system The Change: People’s lives depend on the type of power and knowledge present. Materialism through science and technology, overtook the spiritual and meaningful side of a man’s life The centrality of life is no longer on man, but capitalism and progression. The Book of Change: Our lives are dominated by what surrounds us, such as the knowledge and power present. There is no one time more important than the other.
Subject: Post-Humanism and Post-Industrial Society in Occidental North East England from the mid twentieth century to the early twenty-first. Source: Part One – The Post-Human Condition by R. Pepperell Part Two – Liberating Technology by J. Graves Secondary support material Out of Control by R. Kelly The Inhuman by J. F. Lyotard Man and technology by B. Adkins Objectives: Part One – To show the theoretical and through example, empirical, paradigm shift from a ‘human-centred’ universe to a ‘Post-Human’ one. Part Two – To show the theoretical and through example, empirical, paradigm shift from an industrial society to a ‘Post-Industrial’ one. Method: Assumptions; 1. The Post-Human condition is the impact of high-technology on art, creativity, philosophy and what it is to be human. The argument is made that the changes going on in science, culture and technology are so profound as to wipe away hundreds of years of beliefs and to show that we are moving away from a ‘human-centred’ universe to a ‘Post-Human’ one, hence the universe’s shifting focus away from man (i.e. the fleeting focus.) 2. The rise of technology indicates the potential to expand and automate production. In a society where work is the central activity it is important to look at the implications of the shifting away from the paradigm that the Industrial Revolution and Age was and is. Our maintenance of power of manufacturing and of even intellectual superiority is becoming increasingly illusionary in our scientific society, as technology is responsible for the ‘inhuman’ wielding and controlling more and more, hence the apparition is that of human dominance (i.e. the phantom of power).
CONCEPTS Modernity, Postmodernity, Globalisation and McDonaldization. OBJECTIVES 1. To define as clearly as possible the concepts above. 2. To investigate and explain as clearly as possible the change from modernity to postmodernity. 3. To demonstrate how postmodernity manifest itself in the familiar concepts of globalisation and McDonaldization, as something which may be considered distinct from, and yet also an extension of, modernity. 4. To show how we can identify this in our locality, by looking at the fast food industry on Northumberland Street. SOURCES Spaces of Hope – David Harvey The post-modern & the post-industrial – Margaret Rose After Liberalism – Immanuel Wallerstein Postmodern Culture – Hal Foster (Ed.) Consumer Culture and Modernity – Jim McGuigan Jean Baudrillard Selected Writings – Mark Poster (Ed.) The Consumer Society – Jean Baudrillard Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlosser The McDonaldization of Society – George Ritzer Globalization – Malcolm Walters PROJECT TERRITORY/FIELD OF EXPLORATION I am attempting to trace the change in society from the modernity established during the enlightenment period to the postmodernity of today. To show that we are truly in a period of postmodernity I shall investigate the familiar concepts of globalisation and McDonaldization. Here I hope to demonstrate how postmodernity exists as an extension or acceleration of modernity, before investigating the presence of postmodernity in the fast food industry of Northumberland Street.
Part One: Exploring the Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Tibetan Buddhist way of Life and Death. The first part of this project will focus mainly on the Buddhist conception of Death, as promulgated in, what is known in the West, as the Tibetan Book of the Dead. For the Tibetans, one must become accustomed to the reality and possible immediacy of death, for this they say, can give greater vitality to life, as well as liberate us from the petty confusion we find ourselves in in our daily lives. What is more, the Tibetans have great sensitivity towards the dying to ensure that they come to terms with death, and are guided through the whole process with as little suffering as possible. The main points I will cover in this first section are:- A summary of the TIbetan Book of the Dead – Rebirth and the stages of death – Illusion of the self – Impermanence – Liberation from suffering – Caring for the dying. Part Two: Exploring Western attitudes towards death: The struggle for self preservation and the denial of death. The second part of this project will address the problem of death, as that is what it is for Westerners. I will look at how our whole culture revolves around avoiding death and decay, and the mechanisms we have in place that give us the illusion that we can escape this natural process. In the west, we find it difficult to come to terms with death, in fact, we do not have to, for there is much to distract our attention. The material world, for instance, creates the illusion that the world is fixed, and many of us identify ourselves with that fixity until the end of our life, when, in fact, the world is in a constant state of flux, death and rebirth. The main points I will cover in this first section are: – Fear of death and what this leads us to do in our lives – Death as an evil, a catastrophe, as morbid, or even unnatural – Can we learn anything about our attitude towards death from Buddhism? – Instinct for self preservation and immortality – Fascination with death: murder in the media – How we care for the dying – Would it be beneficial for us to have a greater awareness of death?
CONCEPTS o Original Florentine thought. o Literature, philosophies, culture, art through the ages in Florence. o The above point in comparison to non Florentine, modern day Philosophers. o Evidence of the influence of philosophy in the city/ and its architecture. o Relevance of the modern day writings/ coverage on Florence OBJECTIVES o To portray the many aspects and influences that such a diverse city such as Florence has. Noting that it is thought to been host to the movement of the Renaissance, in turn creating the artistic reawakening of the Fifteenth century, right up to the modern Twenty First Century. o Study the literature, philosophy, art and culture in general that is to have stemmed from Florence. Study of the significant the Florentines themselves and Florence how it was in comparison to the modern day coverage and focus upon Florence of the media today. o By using contemporary use of the media and the works of modern philosophers to compare the issues and fundamental thought of the Florentines years ago in light of the world today to see if there is any comparison and if it is evident in Florence today. The evidence of this will be looked at in the culture, buildings architecture and art and so on. o To look at how the original philosophy of Florence and the fact of it being written in Florence has created modern day contemporary interest and influence. SOURCES o The Florentine thought will be looked at using the writings of -Dante -Machiavelli o On the same issues the contrasting modern philosophers used will be -Martin Heidegger -Friedrich Nietzsche -Emmanuel Levinas o Contemporary newspaper articles, films, tourism information and the visual aspect of photographs will also be used, including articles about aesthetics by likes and contemporaries -Foucault -Bartes -Barns. PROJECT TERRITORY o Bridging a gap between the history and stance of thought and thinkers over time within Florence and how as a reaction it has an impact worldwide stirring people on to writing about a visiting this Tuscan area. o Show how as a city Florence can provide a visual type of inspiration, freedom, morality and written about by Florentine thinkers. Show the change of thought on these issues has altered over time, whether it be artistic, culturally or involved in the tourism trade. o The change in philosophical thought in Florence is respect to the modern day, contemporary way that we now know Florence through articles, photographs and the like today.
The title of my Stage 3 project asks the question ‘Is It Ethically Acceptable That The Journals of Kurt Cobain Have Been Made Accessible To The Public?’ Objectives: 1. To determine whether one can justify the posthumous publication of the Nirvana singers’ extremely personal journals when it will become abundantly clear that the publication would have been against his will. 2. To compare and contrast Cobain to Franz Kafka in terms of both having had their diaries published posthumously against their will. To compare the similarities in their personalities and writings. 3. To argue against Max Brod, friend of Kafka and publisher of his diaries, who, owing much to the Kantian tradition, would say that one does not own one’s own thoughts, therefore endorsing such publications. Change: In terms of viewing specific changes, I will investigate into how the views of reading somebody’s personal thoughts may have changed in the seventy years between their deaths (Kafka- 1924, Cobain- 1994), or indeed the publications of their diaries by those close to them (Max Brod- 1958, Courtney Love, Cobain’s widow- 2002). I will ask if the changing nature of the diary and the celebrity could justify the publications. Sources: Primary sources will of course be the published diaries of Cobain and Kafka themselves, with additional material in the form of commentaries on the diaries, and biographies on the subject (one written by Brod himself). Expectations: I expect to discover that by the end of the project I will have found no explanation or excuse that will justify the publication of Cobain’s diaries, or even Kafka’s by arguing for the authenticity of the individual as we may find within the work of Heidegger and Nietzsche.
Aims · To resolve the problem of Consciousness and reconcile the mind/brain dichotomy via a new conception of language. Objectives · To provide an account of how the brain works. · To disabuse the notion of mental processes. · To show how a different way of looking at language can explain the problem of the mind. · To show that higher consciousness is a product of language. Sources · The field of Neuroscience – Gerald Edelman, Susan Greenfield. · Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilbert Ryle, Derek Bickerton. Michael Polanyi, Alfred Korzybski · The Field of Psycholinguistics – Susan Curtiss Background After developing a new conception of knowledge and language I wanted to find out if it could be applied to the highly debated topic of consciousness to yield some result
This project illustrates the relationship of humanity to its world, or base foundation and how the concept of time reduces both humanity and its world to finitude. Looking closely at society and our efforts to achieve human immortality through technology, it is obvious that the human being has attempted to pervert the world into its own vehicle but is thwarted by the changing hand of time. This is ultimately the final change.
Concepts:- To examine the way in which female athletes are systematically discriminated against in the following areas:- 1) Media 2) Sexuality 3) Race 4) Disability 5) Gender – Masculinity/Femininity 6) Coaching and Administrative positions Sources:- Newspapers, The History of Sexuality – M. Foucault Sporting Females – J. Hargreaves Women, Sport and Culture – S. Birrell & C.L.Cole Sport & Postmodern Times – Ed by G.Rail Tattoo, Torture, Mutilation & Adornment – A.Bolin Project Territory:- The world of sport – and in particular female sports. The Change:- Unfortunately my research has shown that there has not been a major change as of yet. There have been numerous improvements in the treatment of female athletes, but there is still an enormous way to go before they are treated on a par with their male counterparts.
The Dream. . . .‘Do I have to change my name? Will it get me far? Should I lose some weight? Am I gonna be a star? I’m just living out the American dream and I realized that nothing is what it seems. . .’ These lyrics are taken from Madonna’s recent song ‘American Life’ highlight our society’ pre-occupation with achieving the ‘American dream.’ The car, the house, the family, the job and the respect of friends all constitute our life’s aspirations, what we value and most of all what we fear that we not achieve. In my project I have explored the following objectives and idea of the American dream, highlighting it through Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman, and Louis Begley’s novel About Schmidt and using the lyrics from Madonna’s song American Life. OBJECTIVES: ~ What constitutes the American Dream and how, or if, it has altered over time. ~The relation of its concept to the philosophies of Sartre, such as fear, freedom, emotions and existence ~How these concepts are related to the main character’s in Death of a Salesman and About Schmidt ~Whether we have a choice in our quest to achieve it or whether we have become ‘trapped’ by its rules. ~To what extent do we have any freedom and how this aspiration affects our existence ~Is the American Dream really the most satisfactory state to be in? The humiliation that Willy experiences as a result of not quite achieving this dream drives him to take his own life. With arguments over the importance of attaining the American dream aside, this single incident demonstrates the power and influence of it over today’s society. The question is, are we trapped, is there really ‘nowhere to run’ or is it up to us to change our values?
The transition from the beginning of the twentieth century to the latter stages marked a change in thinking that can be reflected through the change in function of the art gallery. Taking the period that is known as High Modernity (roughly from 1900 to 1968) and exploring its defining artist, Picasso, and the philosopher that was instrumental in shaping the thought, Hegel, it can be seen that the Musée Picasso in Paris shows all of these characteristics. A full exploration of the themes of identity and capitalism will be used as the ‘signs’ that mean a historical account can be formed. Around 1968 many changes in thinking and society occurred which provoked a paradigm shift. The Pompidou Centre in Paris showed evidence of these changes in its retrospective of Roland Barthes. The philosopher Foucault gave a differing historical account than Hegel’s which looks to the networks of thought and how they interact, this also reflects the exhibition in that it is no longer a straightforward chronology but is instead an understanding of the overall, the particular and how they interact.
Beauty: There has been a pre-occupation with our society as far back as we can remember, yet we still cannot define it, due to its changing character. The fairy tale promises that we are raised on promise security, a prince Charming and that we will live ‘happily ever after’ if we attain beauty. In this project I will be investigating and forming my own concepts on the following: ~ The role of beauty in our Western selected traditional fairy tales and how they reflect our societies attitude towards it and their role in creating these conceptions. ~What constitutes a ‘beautiful’ woman in our society and how this has altered over time, is it just a fashion? ~The phenomenon of the beauty pageant and what it means to be ‘beautiful in our society. ~The desperation associated with achieving this ‘beauty’ and what happens when it goes ‘wrong.’ I will highlight these objectives using the concepts of Plotinus and the Enneads, where he looks at beauty, the soul and what constitutes beauty. I will also use some of the concepts of Kant aesthetics on ‘natural’ beauty, the purpose of beauty and the judgements of taste.
Abstraction: Imagine a supermarket with aisle upon aisle of purchasable goods appealing to each and every appetite, whim, or fancy. Purchasable for a limited time only, that is, until their ‘sell by date’ runs out, then the shelves are restocked and it is on to the freshest goods and the newest fads. In my project I will investigate whether this is an accurate and justifiable account of contemporary art, and if so, why? Section 1. Modernism, The Search for Ambrosia Enter the intellectual avant-garde, the revolutionaries, pioneers, map readers and guardians of high taste, searching for that which is guaranteed to satisfy. Transgressing old, outdated traditions and paving the way for a new and better future, waiting for the rest of society to follow suit. The Bitter Taste, The Crisis of Modernity: The failure of the artist as the modern hero but his/her brilliant success at becoming an icon. Political incompatibility, the dawning limits of the experimentation and exploration, and the absorption and assimilation of elitist avant-garde artwork by the mindless masses. There were no successful conversions; the artwork was absorbed while the ideologies behind them were not. Section 2. What is a Hot Dog?: Postmodernism, (…is elephant dung the secret ingredient?): Prepare yourself for a scandal. Virtual realities, simulation, canned culture, a schizophrenic way of life abundant in choice. The power in art is no longer found within its creations but the prices they command. Certain lengths are carried out by the artist in order to stand out in this overcrowded artistic stage and thus extend his/her shelf life. No battles, no obligations, no crusade, no spiritual journey, no brotherhood, no notion of linear progression. The task now is keeping fresh and well within your ‘sell by date’. ‘Back of the Net’ Objectives: 1. ‘Subsidence’: The Politics of Post, I shall investigate the ‘gradual shift’ that happened in the attitudes towards art in western civilisation during ‘modernism’ and ‘postmodernism’ in the twentieth century. 2. ‘Mirror Image?’: Reflections of Society, does in any way reflect society and if so, does it follow that because contemporary art is superficial that so too is society? Explore the connotations this might have. 3. GM Free: Commodification Verses Purity, was art always destined to become a commodity? Or was there any real possibility that it could be anything else? 4. When is ‘Shit’ really ‘Shit’?, investigate how defecation has become the marketable medium? The power of shock and the spectacle in a postmodern society. The necessity of extending the artists’ shelf life. Sources: The sources for this project are very extensive and include information obtained from the National Records Office in Kew, newspapers, galleries (specifically, Tate Modern, London, and the Baltic, Gateshead), a numerous amount of books (both from my personal collection and borrowed from libraries) and the World Wide Web. The Philosophical Anchor: In this essay I wish to break through the elusiveness of art and relate it with the human experience. The story of art can go some way in revealing or demonstrating the present human condition. I wish to jump over the partitioning rope, disregard the ‘Do Not Touch’, take the picture from the wall, turn the canvas around and read the ingredients on the back…
KEY CONCEPTS/ WORDS Enlightenment, Modernity, Rationalizing, Technology, Efficiency, Town Planning, Functionalist. Post modernity, Inspiration, Progression, Shift in systems, Design, Fragmentation, Pastiche, Eclecticism, Existentialism. OBJECTIVES 1. To study the different styles and progressions of architecture in Newcastle. 2. To look at the political and economic forces that have affected the changing of the cities landscape. 3. To analyse social forces that have initiated the architectural changes. 4. To examine prominent architects and philosophers that have altered the direction of modern and postmodern thinking. SOURCES Books borrowed from Newcastle Upon Tyne University Library. Photos taken in the center of Newcastle, visual media gathered from books, internet sites, magazines, leaflets and newspaper articles. FIELD OF EXPLORATION I am going to look at how the fabric of Newcastle’s architecture has evolved over the past one hundred years. By using photographic data gathered in Newcastle I will be able to draw upon examples which can be analyzed with reference to famous architects of the era. The modern and postmodern architecture of Newcastle lends itself to philosophical and sociological interpretation. CHANGE My project will be looking at the progressions that have forced the architectural changes upon Newcastle. I am hoping to illustrate the shift from modern architecture to postmodern architecture and the philosophical themes that have brought them about. THE GAP BETWEEN HUMANS AND THINGS My aim here is to highlight how man has become disenchanted with the Enlightenment project and scientific progress. Disunity of knowledge in the postmodern era has led to a more confusing, pastiche and fragmented way of interpreting society. This incredulity has in some ways widened the gap between humans and things.
Objectives: – · To explore the impact of sound recording on the way we interact with music. In the past, people experienced music solely through live interaction: performances, concerts etc. Now music is widely available in recorded form, also through the mass media outlets of radio, television, the Internet. Does this devalue music, simply making it more disposable, or does it transform the potential role of music in a society where traditionally defined boundaries are shifting and collapsing in upon themselves? · To look at the effect of new methods of creating music, such as synthesis and sampling, both on the audience and on the creators of music. Through sampling, music is being made both by recycling and re-contextualising music that has come before, and by reclaiming sources previously dismissed as ‘noise’ to be placed in a musical context. Through sound synthesis, on the one hand acoustic instruments are being mimicked electronically with increasing authenticity. On the other, electronically generated sounds which radically diverge from our traditional sound palette seem increasingly commonplace in a world that is similarly transfigured. · To investigate the way these new techniques reflect the changes in our human/social condition- our relationship with technology, the mechanisation of society. To what extent do changes in musical creation and consumption come about as a result of these social changes, and to what extent do they actually inform the changes. Concepts: – · Mechanisation of society. Simulation and the hyperreal. The shifting role of art in a mass media culture. Territory: – · Western music and culture from the early 20th Century to the present. Sources: – · Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation. Roland Barthes, Image-Music-Text. Peter Manning, Electronic and Computer Music. Numerous recorded musical sources ranging from early forays into musical experimentation with sound recording, through to contemporary examples.
Aims & Objectives: · To examine the relationship between Public Space and Public Life. · To identify the major changes that have occurred from the 18th century to today in the design and use of public space in the West; and the subsequent effect that this has had on public life. Structure: The first section will be examining the changing philosophies, ideas, and perspectives on public space/place, and public life. In the second section I will be looking at the changing development of space and place in western culture. Section three will be investigating the recent trend in ‘reclaiming’ urban space for public use. Section four will be assessing the reasons why public space and its design are so important to public life. Territory: The physical territory for my project will be Newcastle-upon-Tyne, focusing on particular areas: such as Eldon Square, Quayside, and Bigg Market. To back up and contrast what I find in Newcastle, I will also use specific examples from elsewhere. Sources: Some of my main sources will be Richard Sennett, Jan Gehl & Lars Gemzoe, David Harvey, Bernard Rudofsky. Information collated from Newcastle University library and Newcastle Central library will also be used along with research from various Internet sites.