Culture Jamming

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Culture jamming, according to urbandictionary.com, is:  “the act of using existing media such as billboards, bus-ads, posters, and other ads to comment on those very media themselves or on society in general, using the original medium’s communication method. It is based on the idea that advertising is little more than propaganda for established interests, and that there is little escape from this propaganda in industrialized nations. Culture jamming differs from artistic appropriation (which is done for art’s sake), and from vandalism where destruction or defacement is the primary goal.”

Culture jamming can also be read as the attempt to speak back to the dominant consumer culture and often uses pranks, humor, or irony as its primary weapons.  It is also a way of reclaiming public space through creative and artistic criticisms of the media and hegemonic pop culture.  Examples of culture jamming include billboard alteration, “spoof” ads, performance art, graffiti art, and the pirating of the dominant culture’s communication methods (like Jonah Peretti’s widely distributed Nike email). 

STUDENTS:  For this week’s assignment, see this list of recognized culture jammers and culture jamming organizations:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_culture_jamming_organizations_and_people.  After researching one person/organization from this list, publish a post in which you introduce the person/organization, and summarize (in your own words) who they are, what they do, and how they represent an example of culture jamming.  Remember to avoid plagiarism by acknowledging your sources and putting “quotation marks” around any copied material.

 

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