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2003 Abstracts Stage 2

An Analysis of the Roots of Modern and Postmodern Architecture in Newcastle

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.

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2003 Abstracts Stage 2

The Nature of Power and the Symbolic Female

An exploration into the nature of power in Prague in the Baroque and Art Deco Periods using the Symbolic Female to reflect the Paradigm Shift. Emperor Rudolf II made his home in Prague drawing astronomers, artists, astrologers and alchemists to his court. As the map on the left indicates Bohemia was considered to be the heart of Europe during the Baroque era as it flourished culturally and scientifically. The start of my exploration will begin in this period, examining the nature of Rudolf’s power as given by God through the ‘Divine Right of Kings.’ I intend to show how this power was demonstrated through art using the symbol of the female form, particularly looking at the work of the Czech Artist Karel _kreta. The Nature of Power and the Symbolic Female Using the Art of Alphonse Mucha I will examine the state of these early nations, exploring what circumstances led to them. Mucha was born and spent much of his time in Bohemia and the culmination of his work was the Slav Epic in which he wished to give to the Slavic people as sense of their nation’s history. In my examination of the Art Deco period I will also be using the work of Gustav Klimt. Klimt’s work explores the crises of separation, the nihilism that had come about due to the failing truth of the subject-object divide. Klimt’s women no longer look entirely female, people often blend into backgrounds, the perfection of the female of the Baroque period is gone. Perfection is no longer given by God just as power is no longer given by God. The very nature of truth, beauty and power has changed. My project will try to determine why these changes have taken place, what process it was that led to this transformation from Power given by God to the emerging Nations.

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2003 Abstracts Stage 2

To establish whether or not a sense of place can create a moral/ideological culture of resistance to a dominant liberal individual culture

1) In the book of change I want to briefly discuss the philosophic possibilities between the concept of a particular place and the ideology or philosophic approach of the people who inhabit that particular space. 2) My approach (and this is the one I intend to follow for the extended essay) is to divide the subject into the following 4 sections: A. A sense of place and the problems associated with this concept. B. The dialectical relationship between the place and the people who live and work there. C. The philosophic or ideological issues, which arise upon the basis of this relationship. D. Some critical reflections. I have considered basing my study on the East End of London. This is a place, which has almost entered popular folklore for a variety of reasons ranging from notorious crime/criminals (Jack the Ripper/The Krays) to its allegedly heroic defiance of Hitler’s bombers during the Second World War. Yet when we use a phrase like the East End precisely what do we mean? In fact even in the most limited sense the area is vast ranging from Spitalfield/Liverpool Street at its far western fringe; to Poplar/Limehouse in the South; to Hackney/Walthamstow in the North; to Stratford/Leytonstone in the East. The area covered is an astonishing 100 square miles and the population is 2 _ million. This is about twenty times greater is size than Newcastle/Sunderland combined with a population 6 times greater. One obvious problem with an approach like mine is: can we state definitively that such an area has common features? Surely there is such diversity within this vast area that there can be no single ideological or philosophic project identifiable in the area. There may be a multiplicity of philosophies possibly competing approaches – but one approach. This is something I intend to explore. It was Marx who once famously remarked that without people there is no history. Certainly as diverse / colourful the East End is, it does not get its character. History / ideology from buildings / the river / parks / streets etc. Its philosophy comes from the people. Again can there be a common approach from 2 _ million people consisting of ordinary working class people / middle class liberal intellectuals / a smaltering of revolutionary socialists / similarly small numbers of Ultra Right activists / small time crooks, gangsters, hard men as well as people from just about every country in the world. Again we shall see. If a common philosophy can arise what exactly can it be? Arguably it takes a myriad of forms but probably includes: A. A sense of difference from the rest of London based not only on geography but factors like working class solidarity / common sacrifice and deprivation etc. B. Thus a kind of ‘them and us’ approach brings out a sense of moral rage against ‘outsiders’. C. Arguably it also takes different forms for example a refusal to accept bourgeois ‘legality’ and a refusal to accept that certain kinds of crime especially property are real crimes. D. This may even inform the radical political tradition in the area. One sees deprivation at first hand and decides only a radical approach can challenge it.

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2003 Abstracts Stage 2

Body Image and the Media: a Distortion of Reality

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.

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2002 Abstracts Stage 2

Redeeming Suzi: Place and Being

Aims and Objectives: To investigate the philosophies behind the creation of and interaction with places from the baroque period to the present day as well as presenting a personal view of interaction with place. Outline: Part one traces the development of ideas and attitudes towards place from the baroque to the contemporary. The second part contains my diary of experience in Prague. The third part analyses the diaries in relation to philosophical theories on space as well as taking references from contemporary literature to express specific theories. The final section is the conclusion in which the achievements and ideas of the project will be summarised and assessed. Description and Background: The idea for the project began as a basic investigation into places and the way in which they affect our being. When an opportunity arose to spend some time in Prague as part of the project, my approach to the topic changed. I wanted to make it more personal and as I was going to be experiencing a new place myself, I thought it would be interesting to use this experience within the project. As well as charting the shift in attitudes towards place from the baroque period, the project includes a diary of my experiences in Prague. The diaries were written purely from personal ideas and experience and have provided a good text for analysis. In this analysis, the fundamental theories and philosophies on space can be discussed. The project also contains references to modern novels and the authors, such as Michael Ondaatje’s ‘In the Skin of a Lion’ and ‘The English Patient’ approach to place.

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2002 Abstracts Stage 2

Consumerism, the Advert and Postmodernity

Objectives – Show how we became mass consumers for our mass production – Trace the role of the advert and media in safeguarding our ‘culture of consumption’ – Expose the inner workings and sinister nature of ‘the advert’ – Show our true relation to our ‘stuff’ ‘Texts’ used: David Harvey – The Condition of Postmodernity 2000 Pierre Martineau – Motivations in Advertising 1957 Jean Baudrillard – Selected Writings 2001 Roland Barthes – Mythologies 1973 Christopher Lasch – The Culture of Narcissism 1979 Umberto Eco – Travels in Hyper-reality 1986 David Collis – The Abuse of Consumerism 1999 Guy Debord – Society of the Spectacle 1983 Milan Yaros – PHY288 Lecture Notes Naomi Klein – NoLogo 2001 Frederick Jameson–Postmodernism/The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism 1991 Judith Williamson – Decoding Advertisements Douglas Holt – Postmodern Markets BBC Documentary (the name of which I have been unable to find out after only managing to record the middle of it!) Harvard Business review – July 1992 Sources used: Photograph of billboard taken 04/02 Adflip.com online poster advert archive Fiat enthusiasts club, advert archive ITV and Channel 4 television adverts Across the fields of psychology sociology, linguistics, semiotics and economics, this project shows how the advertising and mass media techniques have changed alongside the cultural paradigm shift that was postmodernity It shows our relation to the things we surround ourselves with and what they have come to mean to us Hopefully it will invoke a sense of concern about the abusive nature of our relation with our consumer society

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2002 Abstracts Stage 2

You’d be mad not to

To show how a world based and run on reason, deals with the un-reasonable, and keeps reason in the minds of the many. (Starting off looking at paradigm of how the views on life and madness evolved throughout the Age of Reason and in the Early Modernism period through to now and then moving in to a sociological thesis of part design history with philosophical interpretations concerning itself with our suspect, over corporate, multinational mindset times.) Part 1: Theory; Early Modernity’s Concept of Life Reduced to Reason and the Model of Madness. (Additional texts: Foucault’s ‘Madness and Civilisation’ and works of art relative to particular time to emphasise conclusions) Part 2: Society’s presentation of life as reason with no other alternative. Study looking at Klein’s text in ‘No Logo’ of application of marketing and end product of capitalist selling exposure upon the human psyche of life, reason and sanity giving the mob the need for money and the drive needed to earn it. Part 3: My generation. Examination of peers and show of self-perceptions and wants and intentions. Visual examples (photos of individuals and what is characterised as attractive within context of places, objects and life styles) Social attitudes (interviews concerned with thoughts on madness, society and destiny) Essentially, what I’m trying to do here, is show how the conception of madness that we have now came about and how it was used for the benefit of the government and for capitalism in its early days, against those individuals who didn’t want to ‘get with the program’. I’m then going to move to contemporary times and look at how through the judicious use of effectively marketing, today’s corporate giants are in effect doing the same thing, controlling the public through the images that they promote and label and either condone or don’t.

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2002 Abstracts Stage 2

A Study of the Rise of Twentieth Century Popular Music and its Subsequent Relationship with the Public Consciousness

Project Title: ‘A Study of the Rise of Twentieth Century Popular Music, And its Subsequent Relationship with the Public Consciousness’. Concepts and Key Words: Music as Entertainment vs Music as Education. Music Defining Morality. Music as a Political Power. Generation Gaps. Music as a Conspiracy of Hope. The Decline in Instruments and the Rise of Machines. Music Reinventing itself. Objectives: 1. To view the effect that music has had on determining the public consciousness from before the Second World War throughout the following decades to today, and vice versa. 2. To understand why popular music has changed so much in such a relatively short period of time, and to establish the influence of world events (such as the Vietnam War) and cultural variations in light of these changes. How music reflects the changing nature of humanity and different times in a postmodern age. 3. To study how music has become more universal since the 1950s. For example, to view not only how has music become less specialised for each listener, but how different genres of music have merged to create new styles altogether, becoming universally popular in the process. Of course, in the midst of all this, we have the effect and the parallels of the public consciousness running alongside these changes. 4. To estimate how the relationship between music and the public consciousness will develop in the twenty first century, based on the signs of today. Will there be another select group of individuals who will be capable of changing popular music as we know it, reflecting again immense change in the world, or will the predictable rise in technology simply overtake man’s capacity to create music in an original way to mirror these developments? Sources: Assorted books and magazines from personal collection, as well as extensive material from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne library. In addition to this, research has and will be taken from the internet (individual group and general websites), as well as video and newspapers. Project Territory/ Field of Exploration: With such a broad and worldwide study area, it is difficult to locate a precise territory, but the focus shall primarily be on the contrasting and comparable changes and effects of/on music between Great Britain and the United States. The Gap Between Humans and Things: A distinction will be made throughout the project between humans and the outside events that influence and determine their lives. It is music here that is often able to bridge that gap; it is able to play such a large part in the life of the individual that it creates a route to a better one. While humans have remained the same in the years covered by the project, the changes seen in the life of popular music are quite dramatic.

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2002 Abstracts Stage 2

An Investigation into ‘The Photo’

Objectives: ~ To Outline the origins of the photo ~ Explain how it has developed and evolved and how its roles have changed alongside society ~ Investigate its classification as an ‘artform’ ~ Look at its change from traditional to modern Project Territory/field of exploration: ~ The Photographer Mario Testino-National Portrait gallery ~ Magazines ~ Own Photo’s and Photo’s of Brooke Shannon The ‘photo’ has infiltrated gradually nearly every aspect of society today. It is in constant use as a form of proof, enjoyment and as a means of controlling our ever mobile population and world. How has this apparently simple object managed to permeate so significantly into our world, bridging the gap between the ‘real world’ and that of images, bridging the gap between humans and things? This contribution to the ‘book of change’, is essentially a subjective interpretation of the contribution of ‘ The Photo’ to this world, highlighting its impact and evolution, is the photo the world outside Plato’s cave or the shadows that we watch inside the cave?…….

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2002 Abstracts Stage 2

The Music of the Spheres

OBJECTIVES 1. To study the meanings and interpretations of myth, what it means to man 2. To look at the changing attitudes towards inherited truths and traditions from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment period where superstition and faith were seen as unreason due to the advancement in science. 3. To examine the effect that the Enlightenment had in initiating the existentialist movement and to discover why myth was rejected there also. 4. To study two men, famous for reinventing myth in the postmodern era, both realising that myth is needed to restore coherence in society in order to enhance the experience of mankind. These two men are Car Jung, the psychoanalyst and Richard Wagner the composer. SOURCES Books borrowed from the library of the university of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, various internet sites, newspaper articles, magazines and CD’s. FIELD OF EXPLORATION I am going to loo at the history of theatre and entertainment trough the ages, drawing on three examples. The first will be a look at Greek tragedy in the time of Euripides where going to watch one of these performances was essentially a ritualistic act. The second example will be Racine and his attempt to please the court of Louis XIV and finally, examples taken from Ionesco, a renowned figure of the theatre of the absurd, which forces the question of whether there is any meaning to existence. CHANGE Throughout the project there will be a strong element of change. I am hoping to illustrate the shift in the beliefs from the colourful myth embracing era of the Middle Ages, through the revolution in thought and discovery of the Enlightenment to the existentialists who believe that man must choose his own way without the aid of universal, objective standards. THE GAP BETWEEN HUMANS AND THINGS My aim here is to show how, through exploring my project territory, man was separated from myth initially and then actively dismissed it as fantasy, later being reunited with it through the fields of psychoanalysis, opera, literature and theatre.

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2002 Abstracts Stage 2

An investigation and examination into the changes and developments of Sunderland Football Club. Which reflect the movement from modernism to postmodernism over the past hundred years.

OBJECTIVES:- To look at the major changes – thankfully not all disappointments on the pitch that the club has gone through which mirror the changes from modernity to postmodernism. INSPIRATION:- Stadium of Light – & 22 years of solid devotion to the club!!!

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2002 Abstracts Stage 2

Which Freedom?

Whether its freedom based on John Locke’s natural justice, reflected in Goya’s work, or Sartre’s existentialist and progressive notions, evident in Picasso’s work, the Modern period has done much to influence the contemporary concept of what it is to be free. Both artists were Spanish and these works portray the violent political turbulence of their times. Locke theorised that the state played a major role in determining an individual’s freedom and hence put forward a theory for the reformation of the legal system, as a means of according the ordinary man with freedom. This concept culminated in the theory of natural justice, which formed the basis for the civil rights movement and ultimately the contemporary English legal system. Underlying Locke’s theory was a Modernist faith in reason and the drive for progress. The modern individual was actively involved in this progress and was more reasoned in their judgement of the world. Early Modernity brought a greater emphasis on reason in all aspects of life and freedom was achieved through rationality, as the rational man was free to determine his will. Goya clearly demonstrates such values in his work. He was progressive, both in his technique and in his subject matter. Ordinary people became the subject, reflecting Locke’s conviction in their importance and, as is evident, the way politics affects their basic liberties. Which Freedom? Towards the end of the nineteenth century there was a shift in thinking which rejected some of Modernity’s earlier values, this mood was lead by Sartre and captured by Picasso. Sartre probably captured the general mood of High modernity with his existential theory. He did not believe that there was a fixed universal nature of man like Locke therefore man must decide his own nature and existence-how he lives. Man may feel some angst at the responsibility of freedom but we must make a conscious choice to create meaning for our lives and as there is no universally morality then our decisions take on a greater significance. The only foundation for human values is human freedom and absolute freedom constitutes absolute responsibility. Picasso reflected such tendencies, towards the individual’s mind and the deconstruction of previous theories, through his highly progressive work. He focused on representing the feeling that his subject gave him, as opposed to the reality, like Goya, whilst deconstructing the form. The liberty Picasso utilised in his work is, perhaps, the ultimate proof of Modernity’s contribution to individual freedom.

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2002 Abstracts Stage 2

The Forces of Communication

How has communication become the driving force? Concepts/Key words: · Communication-from the spoken and written word to the electronic text · Self- from the Cartesian self surrounded by objects to being surrounded by computers who are subjects Objectives: · Examine the paradigm shift in communication-from Modern to Post-modern, from printed to electronic · Analyse the changes in the self-stable Cartesian self (modern individual) to fleeting and transient (post-modern individual) · Describe the lack of authenticity in electronic communication-no trace left by an author · Outline how communication is the driving force in society world revolves around computers, e-mail, Internet… Project Territory · The internet- examining how the language game of electronic communication is used to screen individuals