Workshop #1: Find The Original (50 remixes)

The first assignment of "Image & Spectacle", for the 2nd year BA Graphic Design students (50 people) of Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University, as part of the project "The Role of Graphic Design in The Society of the Spectacle in the 21st Century".


“[…] all images are man-made. An image is a sight which has been recreated or reproduced. It is an appearance, or a set of appearances, which has been detached from the place and time in which it first made its appearance and preserved -for a few moment or a few centuries. Every image embodies a way of seeing.” (Way of Seeing, John Berger, 1972, p. 9)

In ‘Image & Spectacle’ we use ‘remix’ as a way to analyse and understand images as part of a visual culture. The image itself is not singular or does not stand alone. It is ‘networked’, situated in time and space and related to other images, people, ideas and ideologies. Let’s see this image as past of a larger system of values, a system of beliefs and conventions, a lexicon of styles and languages. […] In the first part we will -via workshops, exercises and assignments- understand how the remix can be used as a method for analysis as well as to create new work. In the second period you will use these analyses to create work related to the event.

#1 — Workshop: The Original

1. Everyone gets a ‘remix’: an example of an image that is part of the ‘society of the spectacle’ as well as a ‘remix’
2. Find the original. Collect information: Title, author, subject, medium, date, place
3. Document / collect everything you find along the way that you think is relevant. Write down where you found it (source); a dummy, notebook, log, bookmarks.
4. Organise this in a personal folder as part of the collective database.

Add 2. Tips to find the original (in random order).

— Look closely at the image. Again and again.
— Write down keywords of what you see
— Write down what you associate it with, use you imagination
— Write down what you know.
— Write down what you don’t know; formulate questions
— Ask others what they know about this image.
— Run it through: http://images.google.com
— Use several and combinations of keywords in
— a search engine: google.com, images.google.com and scholar.google.com
— media-library: https://hogeschoolrotterdam.on.worldcat.org/discovery
— Databases: https://static.mywdka.nl/researchstation/databases/
— Look for visual rhymes: offline (on the streets, in newspapers and magazines, in art(history)books) and online (videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, social media, instagram, facebook, twitter, Pinterest,…)Can you find the ‘original’?