Critical Studies Lectures

Critical studies module, Culture and theory, Philosophy, Censorship propaganda and Postmodernism.

Reading is very important expanding the mind and looking deeper into theory’s.

Module assessment, Evidence comment, Discursive, Evaluate, Referencing & bibliography (plagiarism) reference everything.

Presentation of work, Power of research in theory.


Musical Influences

A man who hasn’t always been well known for his music but rather for the sticker he put on his guitars is Woody Guthrie, Woody Guthrie is a singer song writer from the states, his music is seen as very influential to many well known artists such as Bob Dylan, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Paxton. His song are very political as well as having children’s songs he is mostly known for the the sticker.

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The sticker says “this machine kills fascists”. He put the sticker on his guitar in the 1943 and many have seen is as an influence against politics. Guthrie wrote the war song “Talking Hitlers‘s Head Off Blues”. This was printed in the Daily Worker newspaper. Then “In a fit of patriotism and faith in the impact of the song, he painted on his guitar THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS.” Guthrie’s idea was to fight against all the leaders causing hardship in the great depression taking money from the people and calling it slavery. He used it as away to show people with power that they weren’t invisible, saying they was like crooks. I guess this is one way of which you could say music has a huge influence on things and going against the politicians.

Another example of where music was used to send a message was with Margret Thatcher. When she died the song Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, went to number one in the UK charts. She grew many enemies over the years with her time in parliament and her time as the Prime Minister, she privatized many state owned companies also she showed the workers unions that they have no power causing massive conflicts and maybe this is the reason the song was aimed at her.

Here I have someones opinion on musical influences in today’s modern cultures, The sub-cultures in today’s society are all based on what you watch on T.V., the clique you hang around, how you were raised, and the music you listen to. Everything you do has an effect on your personality; Living in a community with gangs, violence, and drugs might influence you to do the same. I don’t agree with the last part, people do get influenced but I think people have a strong enough mind to make their own decisions on whats right and wrong. Kids nowadays do judge people and make stereo types from the music they listen to and so on, maybe this is a bad thing but I think they work that why we have them.

One other thing I want to talk about is there is a song by The Stranglers, Its called No More Heroes. Here is the link . The song refers to the fact that there isn’t anymore musical heroes like Guthrie for example. He changed the times with his music and many others have but that is what they are referring to. At the moment the UK is a pretty safe place to live so we don’t need any heroes. The thing is that might be different for other places around the world like the Ukraine for example maybe they need musical heroes to help change peoples minds. This shows its effectiveness with what they are saying and they always have meaning. Nowadays musical influences aren’t as good for us as songs don’t have direct meaning, they just sing about anything and there isn’t a motive behind what they write. Maybe more musical heroes will come along at some point and push all the rubbish aside because its becoming harder to find the good from the bad. This is one part of many posts I will do about music.

Music Influences Everything

For the next part of contextual studies we have been asked to direct our blogs in a particular way that interest us personally, I decided to go with music as music is something that I have always enjoyed. Music has such a wide array of things to talk about but to start off with I am going to talk about how music has influenced things such as styles and culture groups.

First off music created the punk style, In the early 70s punk was developed by bands playing music in garages and so on, trying to stay away from mainstream. Punks tend go against the normal by been different and not going by what the governments say or do, they are anti establishment. The style really took off during the 1970s with bands such as The Clash, Sex Pistols and Ramones, this emerged the new movement of rebellious youths and created to punk sub-culture. The music style Punk Rock then started to become Alternative Rock in the 1980s with its popularity growing. At first it was aimed to be aggressively modern distancing its self from the traditional stuff, a member of the Ramones said that people were getting sick of the likes of Jimi Hendrix soloing for hours on end until it went no where. The songs usually were very short and didn’t use many cords variations.

Bands like the Sex Pistols made a big impression with the songs Anarchy In The UK and God Save The Queen, They always caused controversy at there concerts that there was always trouble and mayhem. Here is a picture of them preforming at a concert.

The clash caused just as much controversy with there songs such as London calling and Police and Thieves, all songs around this age were aimed to go against the normal and instead of just going with it been different, that is why all of there songs were said to have meaning. The song Police and Thieves was a song about saying they are both the same there isn’t a difference. The Clash fueled the Punk movement massively during their active years. Here is one of their iconic album covers,


A more traditional band called the Kaiser Chiefs are a more modern day punk band they started in the year 2000 and are from Leeds the reason why I decided to talk about these is while been on the subject I wanted to talk about how their song in my opinion caused controversy and made a massive statement to how things were going. They created a song called I predict a riot which became very popular and made the statement that as along as things keep going the way they are they will be a riot. I don’t know if they thought it would take as long as it did but about 3 or 4 years ago there was massive riots in London and this was going against the governments and authority. I guess they was right but this punk movement really made a statement.

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The Punk sub culture that came along with the Punk Rock music is very diverse to the way people act and the way they dress. The culture focuses on anti establishment and for people to have their own freedom. typically they dress in very strange styles and have crazy hair and so on. Here is some examples of punk subcultures.



The culture started in the USA, UK ans Australia. there is many examples of where punks became very rebellious and made huge impressions like going against riot police and burning flags.

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You can be a punk without the fashion or even the music, now it wasn’t made clear to me before because when I heard about punk artists I though’t it was someone using the style and fashion. The thing is you can be a punk anything real for example to be a punk artist what it means is, you are not qualified to do something yet you do it anyway and make a trade out of it. There are also lots of punk musicians they are not signed but they still do it making them a punk musician. I never knew this was the real meaning of punk and that is why it is going against the normal because they do it anyway even if they haven’t been trained, instead of following other usual jobs and the education they do it anyway breaking away from the rules.


Classic Architecture was started by the Greeks it has existed since the Carolingian Renaissance It was started by the Greeks and the romans have used principals of the style in there architecture. You have Doric, which is like a bowl and Ionic, crazy eyes and Corinthian, is swirls with flowers. that’s one of the differences, the difference in Greek and Roman is Domes and Arches.

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Monsal Dale bridge in Derbyshire is a copy of the Romans architecture. I live near Monsal Dale so I have seen this bridge since I was a kid. I had ever even thought that this was Roman in anyway but I guess we live around these things all our life and never understand our surroundings.

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Baroque 17th century, they do things similar but they have bigger swirls when it comes to styling, the outside and inside of the building are similar.

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The Baroque style in my opinion is the most interesting I think the crazy look they took is just different to every thing else at the time, it is so in your face but some how they managed to justify the way there style worked. It fit in well with the Baroque music at the time and most other Baroque things of that time maybe this is why it fit in so well.

Rococo Is a girly version of Baroque using lighter colour it was often seen as more playful and artificial.

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After Rococo there was Neo Classical this is where it gets rationality back and it was a lot more serious again.

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As you can tell Neo CLassical is a lot more serious again I prefer this way of Architecture more than the Baroque and Rococo. It seems that they didn’t take things in a serious way when you see other methods of architecture.

Aljurt Speer is a German architect who design buildings to ruin beautifully. When he came to design the buildings he designed them to look beautiful after they ruin, I think this is an interesting way of thinking about architecture but the thing is why not build something that is built to last and not have a chance to ruin but I like the way he thought , It was different to other methods of the times this is why he is known now. He was Adolf Hitlers main architect during World War 2.

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Art Nouveau was a gothic style using light and tall glass buildings there style was starting to go back into the strange forms but they wanted to make good use of light. In the 1900s they designed buildings after organic draw things.

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Art Deco organic gone machines come in, this is the way they designed many buildings in this period. Then they look architectural, sometimes they look Egyptian inside because of getting to street level was done in stages.

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Modernist In my opinion is the best one I love the styling It is new and fresh it looks modern as I love tech I really like the style.

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Past Modern is very quirky but is fun to look at but in my opinion it is very silly and strange I don’t mind some of it but then you have the very un serious building which don’t fit form for purpose. I do like some of them it’s not like I don’t like them all just the crazy ones. But it does look good and I suppose everywhere needs something to brighten the place up so I like it for the attraction it keeps things looking different from the rest.

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We have to know and understand the original painting and the way they work to first understand new photography and paintings. We have to see photos and paintings in a different way, if we just see it as a good photo or painting that is all we will ever see. We have to start to have the ability to read the imagery, look at whats in the image understand whats happening and take in the situation they photographer would have been in. Cropping a photo can change the whole photo giving it a different meaning and understanding, it can make a photo mean the complete opposite to the intention or the situation where it was taken. News papers and magazines use this all the time when it comes to celebrities, all as they are looking for is attention.

Copping eample

Here is an example of how cropping a photo can change the whole meaning.

Tom Hunter, is a British born artist. His work is mainly photography based he studied at the London College of Printing, he is based in London and has received awards for his work. His work is well-known for making a modern photography version of an original painting. He uses the same idea and aspect for the photos in every way possible from the original painting ill show some examples.

tom_hunter_pwpwp Tom hunter paining orig Tomhunter the WAy home

I like the way he works, he takes what someone else has done but recreates it. It really turns out well he shows the idea behind it in relation to the original painting, he really paid attention to detail right from the scenery to the pose the lady is in. He also adds the emotion in his work he gives it the same feeling, it is no surprise that he is successful I really like his style it is very very effective.

Sally Mann, is an American Photographer her style is very distinctive i haven’t seen much like it before she gives mixed impressions throughout her photos they look old and grungy, its like she trying to show decay to death or a very serious persona. At first her pictures were based upon her children and then later on moved to landscape and decay they all are in black and white I guess it gives it the dark serious feel you get when you look at her work. I guess that’s what all her work is about her are some examples.

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This is what I mean you get a very dark feel almost looks like they are in a war-time. The one on the left you get a feeling that she is trying to show how different children can be. Personally I got the impression she was tying to show how different classes of people were yet they are all her children. I guess a photo can be however you see it as long as you read it right. The one on the right really sends out a message because although it’s a candy stick with the way she’s holding the candy it looks like she is a smoker give us a sense of disgust.  A child that smokes is seen as very bad so I guess it does give a really powerful message it’s almost as though the little girl is trying to act all grown up. I like Sally Mann’s style it’s just not my style although I can read it and it is very interesting to look at.

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Here is some examples of her land scape work, It is very dark someone could relate it too fear and darkness, in a way it is creepy and I guess that’s what makes her work unique It is all its own. I do like it though the more and more you look at it the more you come to admire it. I don’t think it’s anything you could have on your house wall unless you had a very dark themed room because it could give it a very strange effect. I really like the tree photo they all give you a sense of isolation but I ‘m not sure in a way why it is I like the tree one.

Annie Leibovitz, I had a look into her work I’ll show  some examples of her work I like the illustration feel you get from her work I won’t go into too much detail but her work In my opinion is very nice and very different from Sally Mann’s this is the kind of work you would have on your wall. Also there was a mention of Hiroshi Sugimoto his work is very interesting the way he creates his photographs but these three were y favourite.

Here are the examples of Annie’s work I was talking about.

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In this post I will be talking about colors and the meanings colors give. Red is the most powerful color, things people relate to red are danger, anger, blood, stop, hot, love, sex and Revolution. Also there is a military aspect to the color red, nowadays people wouldn’t wear red in the army as for another sniper it would mean you could get shot to easily. Back when it was about standing your line and charging in though it was a stronger color because the color red advances, It’s as though it would come towards your eyes. So imagine that you have a lot of people in red running at you, the chance that you would just stand there and run back is quite slim. That is why back then they used to use red for the military uniforms as it was a stronger color.

Orange is a youthful color also it is related with autumn, orange does advance but not as much as red. Orange is a comfortable color.

Yellow is related with the sun, flowers, spring, easter and is related to very young children like babies. Same again yellow advances but less than orange therefore it’s like as you go down the colors they get less and less advancing. It is border line really because it can retract if it’s a cold yellow getting more into green so yellow is a very border line color.

Green is a color we can relate to grass, peace, nature and neutral balances. Green retracts but it is the colour in the middle, nature is good green trees and grass is the place we find comfortable, that is why our eyes are more sensitive to green than any other color. Green can be both though

Blue is related with the sea, sky, water, ice and heaven. Blue retracts, It can make you calm but mostly cool. You can go from warm to feeling cool or cold the same aspect for red but it works the opposite way. Blue can also be seen as a spiritual color as it’s connected with heaven, it is also known to be worn by religious and royalty leaders. Blue was seen as expensive as it was a rare colour, it was found through mining for stone they came across this blue rock, The intense color of blue was very popular and later on was transported to europe where it would then be ground into powder. It was used by the Renaissance and Baroque artists. Blue is also the color of Conservative authority, it connects us to infinite.

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Here is a polished block of Lapis Lazuli and the ground up version which is then known as ultramarine.

Indigo, indigo is a sensual color, used for love and it is a color often associated with pimps and sexual reference. It is a color of which retracts.

Violet is a color that advances it is like the indigo when it comes to the other aspects.

White Is pure some of all colors. Clean, hygiene, kitchen, chef whites, angel and light. These are all words associated with white.

Black is classy expensive, the occult.

Pink is the same as orange, With colors if you mix in between them, the perception from them then becomes mixed. for example with orange you get a bit of red and yellow that’s how it works.

Visual Communication

You can’t just say a sentence and mean it, to mean what you say you have to give off body language. For example if you say ‘I really care what you think’ but don’t add any body language or say it with no emotion, the saying means nothing. With text messages the same idea goes, because there is no tone the message could mean something different to how it comes across.

We was given 4 shapes and 4 words and we was asked to associate a word with the shape. We was given a Kiki, Arrow, Circle and a Line, the words given was scary, sporty, baby and posh. After associating the words with the shapes, I had the Kiki and scary, Arrow and sporty, Circle and baby and then Line and posh. I was right and the teacher explained why, the Kiki shape has sharp edges and is all over the place which would make this shape scary. The Arrow is a direction showing a line of travel or movement which would give a shape movement which can be associated with sporty. The Circle has no edges its soft and round, this is the way a baby is put across soft and harmless. The line can show authority which give you the sense of higher class, for example if someone talks down to you. Also building can be associated with this, courts, town halls and banks often have big stone pillars on the outside. Also the police have lines on their uniform and owners of banks have lines in their suits. The opposite to an upright line one which is lay down can portray a different message, for example calm, lazy and relaxed.


This can apply to lots of things in life for example bottles if you have an expensive wine bottle usually they are thin and straight, where as if you have a value bottle it won’t be as thin and maybe a plain-looking bottle. You can almost apply this to people as well, for their personalities and the way they act. Also a triangle can be stable with scary edges but its stable, for example a soldier or a police man, then you could have an upside down triangle and it is scary and unstable like a psychotic person.