Nathan R – Quiz #4 (blog quiz)

Posted: November 12, 2013 in Uncategorized
Hi all,
As mentioned in class and over email, your 4th quiz is another blog quiz.
Find and post an example of Culture Jamming and relate it to the Lasn reading before the start of our next class. This counts as your weekly blog post for next week.
You can attach your quiz as a response to this post, or make a post of your own. I will select some of the examples to show in our next class.
  1. Marina Spalla says:

    Marina Spalla:

    In the opening paragraphs of Culture Jamming, Kalle Lasn writes, “What we all have in common – besides a belligerent attitude toward authority – is a willingness to take big risks, and a commitment to the pursuit of small, spontaneous movements of truth.” He is suggesting that as humans, a major similarity between us is to be bold and outrageous, particularly towards authority. Although he does not give us a clear definition of culture jamming, Lasn gives us a history of “The Situationists”, a group of men from Cosio d’Arroscia, Italy, who got together to speak about freed,m and the creativity of everyday people. The Situationists favoured a variety of tropes in their talks, in particular the trope of “détournement” – turning around. Defined as “rerouting spectacular images, environments, ambiances and events to reverse or subvert their meaning, thus reclaiming them.” This is essentially what culture jamming is, taking a mainstream image or event, and recreating it to create a new meaning. An example of this is a coca-cola ad, that was vandalized and had the word “profit” written underneath it. This photo suggests a re-working of the original coke advertisement, and creates a new meaning – the capitalism behind the brand coca-cola. ” This is an important example because it truly identifies with the idea of détournement, in that we are reclaiming the advertisement, and creating more meaning behind it.

  2. Saul Lewis says:

    Culture jamming is a tactic people use to bring show anti-consumerist values and bring up underlying messages of ads whether they be intended or not. The Goal of culture jamming is to expose information about a company or there decisions and to show the consumer culture the other side of the advertisements. Lasn believed that consumerism was not right and that we need to move away from such a society. Culture jamming is extremely active in out society and as consumerism becomes more prevalent so does culture jamming. More and more public ads are being vandalized with comical additions and the site adbusters was created to make light of many misleading ads and perform culture jams. Below is a photo of a changed Walmart logo to read “China Direct” which is implying that all the products that Walmart sell are direct from china and nothing is created locally which some people find wrong as they want the domestic economy do to better.

  3. Colin P says:

    In Kalle Lasn’s article “Culture Jamming”, she examines the title: a movement whereby the dominant view of media & advertisements is challenged. In her article she examines many of the various companies which have been culture jammed, including Calvin Klein and fast food chains like McDonalds. Lasn argues “When you don’t buy, corporations lose their hold on you” (426), making me think of a Coca-Cola Culture Jam that I had seen previously (see link below).

    This picture is an example of Culture Jamming as it changes the central company name to “Capitalism”. “Enjoy Capitalism”, here, challenges the dominant view of the advertisement, tying into Lasn’s argument about corporate control. By purchasing Coke, this particular culture jam argues that you are subject to capitalism (where trade, industry and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits [Source: Wikipedia]). Here, Coke controls us through our purchases, thus the advertisement telling us to “Enjoy Capitalism”. If we look at this from Lasn point of view, if didn’t buy coke, we would not be exposed to this, and thus stay away from the capitalist ideals of their company.

    See Link Below.

  4. Culture Jamming is used by many anti consumerist social movements and they are images that take corporate advertising and create a spoof ad to expose how these companies generally exploit and capitalize in today’s world of multinational corporations. Sometimes culture jamming involves changing mass media to produce ironic or satirical commentary about itself. One website that is full of an endless dictionary of these culture jams is adbusters. For this specific task I chose The Esso logo which has been appropriately modified to change the two ‘S’ to dollar signs ($). when you first look at the logo it appears to be almost an exact copy, except for the change to dollar signs. Oil is a commodity that people will go to war over, and in most cases these major oil companies can exploit its customers by charging whatever price they chose. With profit in the Billions of dollars every quarter, it makes sense that the company truly stands for profit and nothing else. These oil and gas corporations charge whatever they want, and in the event of a natural disaster it gives them perfect reason to charge outrageous prices even if there is not a fuel shortage and in many cases they are only operating 10% of their oil wells every year anyway.

  5. Caterina Wiens says:

    Caterina Wiens: Quiz #4

    Culture jamming refers to groups, activists or companies that do not agree with consumerism or mainstream ideologies. Advertisements for large companies are often mimicked but altered, in a way where the new ad is funny or a disturbance to the large corporation. Culture jammers hope get people to think about their consumption habits and the things they buy/ where they buy them from. We often have no idea where our clothes are made or where are food has come from. In many cases, we are buying something made in China by children for little to no money at all. This weeks reading was both interesting and true. Culture jamming is important because it can get people to understand and think about how they see a company. It sheds some light in this dark world of consumerism.


    This photo clearly makes fun of the fact that Facebook is addictive and essentially a waste of time. The photo promotes people to do something better with their time instead of obsess with what our friends are doing.

  6. cs341blog says:

    Jessie Nichols: Quiz number 4

    One of the main ideas that came up in regards to what culture jamming entails is “a challenge to the prevailing ethic,” and what comes along with this is defiance to the established order. Lasn heavily discusses a group called The Situationists in her article and explains some of the methods of culture jamming that they used. She says that The Situationists used detournement to invade enemy territory and tried to “devalue the currency of the spectacle.” Detournement is defined as rerouting spectacular images, environments, ambiances, and events to reverse or subvert their meaning, and thus reclaim them (417). This relates to culture jamming because detournement allows people to alter images in order to give political commentary on issues that have often become normalized in our society, such as the sexual exploitation of young women in advertising. One of the sections in the Lasn article was titles “un-cooling Calvin,” and in this section she stated “As no other company in the last 15 years, Calvin Klein has modified sex, and in the process brutalized our notions of sexuality and self-worth” (428). There are modern day examples of groups who are using culture jamming (and more specifically detournement) to combat this sexual exploitation in advertising, and one of these groups is The Billboard Liberation Front. The Billboard Liberation Front’s altered a Stella Artois billboard in order to create commentary on it and to subvert the meaning. The original ads displayed a man gazing at a woman who was taking a sip of beer and the quote said “she is a thing of beauty.” The Billboard Liberation Front altered this quote to simply say “she is a thing.” This is their way of adding political commentary to the way that women are used sexual as objects in advertisements which is detrimental to their notions of sexuality and self-worth.

  7. There are many examples of culture jamming ads available. These range from those of fast food ads, to NIke ads, to Facebook ads. Below is an ad that particularly caught my attention.

    The working definition of culture jamming according to Marcus in the article “Culture Jamming” by Kalle Lasn is “not as an object but as a subject of the story.” More simply, culture jamming is the altering of commonly seen slogans and advertisements in order to make controversy in the general public. It is sometimes used to alter people’s views on a particular company. It can also be used to raise awareness about how certain goods are produced, which we are often unaware of. As outlined in the article, culture jamming also relates to demarketing. In the most simple terms, demarketing is about not buying. This ties in nicely with culture jamming because the negative images of the brands being portrayed are influencing consumers not to buy the product or service.
    This ad in particular proves to be an example of culture jamming because its purpose is to change the consumers perception on the NIke brand. This ad implies that Nike’s products are mass produced by young people in foreign countries, therefore showing the use of child labour. This ad shows that by buying Nike products you are supporting child labour in other countries, a practise that is generally frowned up in North America.

  8. cs341blog says:

    Shelley Zimner- Quiz 4, CUlture Jamming
    In his article, Kalle Lasn focuses on the term ‘culture jamming’. In simplest terms, culture jamming is about pushing the envelope, doing the unexpected and deviating from the norm. Lasn writes: “Culture Jamming is, at root, just a metaphor for stopping the flow of spectacle long enough to adjust your set.” Stopping the flow is another way of saying breaking the pattern. Culture today, and specifically popular culture, is repetitive and expected. Very rarely is popular culture surprising or fresh. Culture jamming brings the element of surprise back into culture. Culture Jamming comes in many forms but one example that I find particularly interesting are Fanzines or Fan-magazines. Fanzines are magazines written, designed and published by what one would call ‘amateurs’. They are often published and handed out free of charge to retain their free-speech status. They are works of art and literature made by the people, for the people. Fanzines are an example of culture jamming for the reason that they are honest and quite often controversial. They target specific genres including music, sports, video-games and social issues amongst others. THey are not the typical magazine with paid advertisements or photoshopped photographs. Fanzines are personal, surprising and ultimately a source that jams the flow of mainstream culture.
    Below is a link to the blog of Staycool Fanzine. Although Fanzines are typically print, this blog exemplifies the artwork, type of speech and content typically found in a Fanzine.

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