COMD3504 - Section OL69 - Spring 2022

Category: Student Posts (Page 1 of 3)

Sadman Hafiz-Assignment Week 12

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this is what I have so far and I’m still looking for more recent covers.

Here is my research:            =PP13#v=onepage&q&f=false­

Sadman Hafiz-Week 12 Discussion

I was researching underground vs mainstream art, music, and other different elements and came across China’s Electronic Dance Music history. All of us know this as the term EDM which is extremely popular in the USA and has raised in popularity across the globe in recent years. Along with EDM music, many rave parties also known as dance parties emerged in china during the 90s but all of these remained mostly underground. China’s biggest rave party happened in the 1990s, these parties were labeled illegal at the time. It was extremely hard in Communist China to make these forms of music popular with all the censorship and arrests that took place. During that time many nightclubs started to emerge with music and dance. Ben Huang was one of the most famous DJs who also started his career at the time and many other artists started to emerge after that focusing on this form of music. Even though so much was happening and the music was getting popular,, Chinese dance music still remind underground and many of the audience in China were not exposed to it and didn’t understand it properly. A lot of money-grabbing clubs started to emerge and real music fans were thinking it was not getting enough attention. However in 2016 first ever variety show featured electronic dance music to mainstream audiences but it was mixed with Chinese traditional influences, two years after that the show Rave Now further promoted the popularity of EDM. In 2021 the movie, Upcoming Summer further popularized EDM music by pushing it into China’s mainstream pop cultures. The EDM industries now are still growing by altering some of the original underground elements from the music to fit the mainstream taste. I don’t really have any interest in this trend or in EDM music but it was kinda fun to know about the history of this music in China and how it developed over time.

To read more about this please check out the link below:

Sadman Hafiz-Week 11 Response

Steven Heller in his The Underground Mainstream explains the relationship between underground and mainstream concepts. According to Steven most Mainstream commercials or adverts uses ideas from underground trends, it simply steals an idea which trending and alters it slightly to make it a complete mainstream concept. After reading this I remembered reading somewhere about the collision between mainstream music and underground music mostly rap. It is often said that underground artists are more original, independent, and skillful compared to mainstream artists who are more dependent and restricted. While some may agree with this ideology and some may not but it is clear that the underground can use very deep meanings and unique elements which cannot go mainstream. Heller mentions “It was born in a small community that shared proclivities for sex, drugs, and anarchic behavior— all threatening to the mainstream.” In these lines, “proclivities” means the tendency of doing something that may not be considered proper in the general public eyes. These trends can only be seen used by underground artists both in art and music. Some of these underground trends are very extraordinary and unique and they hold the high potential of attaining mass popularity. Mainstream media sees that the content underground is not proper for the general audience, so they steal the entire idea from the underground concepts and alter them to make it proper for the audience. 

I’m not exactly sure how surrealism can be connected to the mainstream vs underground but this was inspired by the Dada movement which is a little similar to the underground vs mainstream movement. Britannica school high states “Surrealism grew principally out of the earlier Dada movement, which before World War I produced works of anti-art that deliberately defied reason; but Surrealism’s emphasis was not on negation but on positive expression.” Dada originally was a movement that highlighted mostly the negativity of wars that will trigger people’s anger by shocking them with the harsh situations that were created by violence. This movement was extremely similar to surrealism, it also use very strong visuals that symbolized hatred, disgust, and other negativity. Surrealism evolved from Dada but it was more focused on positivity expressions. This is very similar to mainstream vs underground in my opinion because just like how mainstream alters underground concepts, Surrealism also tried to do something different from Dada even though it emerged from the Dada movement. Surrealism starts to fall undermine stream because it contains more of a positive meaning than a negation. 

Britannica also mentions “Drawing heavily on theories adapted from Sigmund Freud, Breton saw the unconscious as the wellspring of the imagination. He defined genius in terms of accessibility to this normally untapped realm, which, he believed, could be attained by poets and painters alike.” Surrealism was also inspired by the psychologist Sigmund Freud’s theories on mental health. In another article about Andre Breton, Britannica states, “As a medical student, Breton was interested in mental illness; his reading of the works of Sigmund Freud (whom he met in 1921) introduced him to the concept of the unconscious. Influenced by psychiatry and Symbolist poetry, he joined the Dadaists” Relating to the theories of Freud, surrealism uses a lot of visual representation of mental health, the conscious and unconscious mind of an individual. In short Andre through this inspiration, tried to present a relation between reality and dream through surrealism and I believe this is a very vast and interesting topic for research.

–Sorry I used 2 sources from the same database because I wasn’t able to access most of the readings from the city tech database. I used the two that I could access with my ID, for the other ones that I got it tells me that I need to be in college to access them.

Sadman Hafiz-Discussion 11b

  1. I’m interested in exploring surrealism. I have encountered several surrealistic designs and paintings recently in my previous classes. I was instantly hooked on it because of the uniqueness and the deepness of the surreal works. 
  2. The reason for my interest in surrealism is because the works highlight very strong meanings in a visual manner which forces the audience to realize things that they would not realize normally. Surrealist paintings have no bounds and artists can use any kind of elements they want to create meanings within meanings. I have also worked on a project last semester, it was a drawing that used surrealism, I think I have shared it in the very first discussion that we had for this class.
  3. It’s a little difficult to find recent trends since surrealism was invented in 1924 by Andre Breton but there have been many surrealist graphic designs and paintings done by different artists and designers which I can look into. I can also use previous trends that followed surrealism.
  4. I think these designs or artwork can be perceived through Walter Gropius’s theories that we read at beginning of the semester. He mentioned that all forms of artwork and design should solve problems and highlight problems that society needs to know about. I believe Surrealistic works do a lot of these, works that I have seen symbolize life, society, and mental health and it does it in such a strong visual manner that the audiences can’t ignore. 
  5. I believe that Barthes’s rhetoric of the image can be a very interesting reading to use on surrealism. I can try to use his points to try a breakdown of the elements used in surrealist works. Some of the graphic designs that use surrealism even have text on them so it will be nice to see how it works out. 
  6. I can hopefully formulate a theory of my own but will definitely need to do more research.

I am not sure if surrealism is a topic I can use for the finals. Most of the works done on surrealism are before the 80s and even the artists and designers that I found so far are also from before the 80s. I would like to know what you think professor.

Sadman Hafiz-Week9 Discussion

I picked Angela’s Rare Beauty ad featuring Selena Gomez. The choices made in this advertisement are definitely intentional and they worked out perfectly. I believe this ad is very strong because of the amazing use of different races. Angela mentions that the ad puts out messages that state, makeup is a secondary thing that is not necessary for one to become beautiful, and that every woman is beautiful and unique. For a make-up company, this was very insightful, the amazing handling of race and inspiring lines worked very well. The designers and producers paid closer attention to their goals and the broader audiences. This ad not only helps against racism but also helps individuals realize how unique and special they are because of what they look like. The message here is so strong that it doesn’t even feel like an advertisement for a make-up brand.

Sadman Hafiz-Response Week9

Roland Barthes in this reading breaks down the aesthetics of advertising images and even images in general. This reading was very interesting and helped me realize many features of an image or a photograph that I have paid very less attention to previously. My favorite part of this reading was how Barthes described images as “polysemous” because this is something that we often forget as audiences.  According to Barthes, “all images are polysemous; they imply, underlying their signifiers, a “floating chain” of signifieds, the reader able to choose some and ignore others” by this, the author states that all images can potentially have many small and larger images within which is very important for the viewer to understand the big picture. When we look at an image, we often focus on the main subject only to quickly understand the meaning but this meaning can be something completely different once you start to look at the various elements surrounding the subject. Barthes says that it’s completely up to the individuals to ignore or choose these different underlying elements of the image. Depending on the individual many may choose to accept some of this information and others may choose to reject but these choices can clearly make a difference in what the individual is understanding compared to the actual message. Most importantly to better understand the advertising images, Barthes states three main aspects of it which are, linguistic messages, denoted messages, and connoted messages. From what I understand Linguistic messages are the language or the text, any form of writing can be considered a linguistic message. Barthes describes denoted messages as those which are not coded and are easily identified because the viewers through signifiers will know what it is signifying in real life. Barthes states “e; in order to “read” this last (or first) level of the image, all that is needed is the knowledge bound up with our perception. That knowledge is not nil, for we need to know what an image is (children only learn this at about the age of four) and what a tomato, a string bag, a packet of pasta are, but it is a matter of almost anthropological knowledge.” This is non-coded because when we see a picture of a tomato, we know that it’s a picture of a tomato. Lastly, the connoted messages are the messages that can be understood through all the elements of an image. Connoted messages have multiple signifiers that signify the different aspects of an advertisement. For example, when we see a tomato, we know that it will be an ad for tomato but when we look at the colors and other objects and the writings, we start to gain more information. Colors can determine what condition of the tomato such as being fresh, cooked etc. it may also be an advertisement of a product made out of tomatoes. We learn all these through the connoted messages where we must think and identify the different signifiers in order to understand the bigger message. Overall, the reading had given me a lot of information which is kinda hard to grasp by reading it once or twice, but I will read it again to see and better understand what.

Sadman Hafiz-Week 8 Response

These are my 3 advertisements which I think use some of the elements from the readings.

The reading states when working with topics such as race, ethnicity, etc, it’s very difficult for brands to achieve a clear message that the audience would understand easily. Often a wrong approach to these topics may result in completely different meanings. Trying not to be racist or sexist may make it even more racist or sexist for the audience depending on how and what elements were used.

These are my 3 advertisements which I think use some of the elements from the readings.

               Nike “Dream Crazy” Colin Kaepernick

This ad was very controversial because of the reference to Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racism and the lawsuit against the NFL. Many people hated the campaign because of racist and political beliefs. This ad also directly attacked Donald Trump and the law enforcements at the time which many of his supporters hated. Nike knew all about it but still decided to take this approach, they believed that there’s no problem if people hated it they just wanted more people loving it than hating it. Nike did have some backlashes and decrease in support at the start but in the end more people liked the campaign and they profit a lot from this Ad. This black and white ad was done intentionally by Nike and was successful doing so. 

                  Ebony HBCU STEM Queens

This ad was intended to only black, young women as they said “ The future is indeed young, Black and female!” in their web. The creators in this case, clearly designed this through the consideration of one specific race and gender. This ad made it very clear as to what they are trying to do.

My last poster is something that i’m seeing everyday now on the subway


                  MTA, The only sure way to make it to Broadway.

Up until now I didn’t really think deeply about this ad but after this assignment I realized that this ad also considers gender, race and culture. I know that these are the actors for the show but in general as a print ad it uses the elements very well to catch the eye of every audience regardless of their gender and race.

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