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Jean-Luc Godard's Critical Appropriation of Graphic Design

"The films of Jean–Luc Godard have been written about perhaps more than any other cinematic works, often through the lens of cultural theory, but not nearly enough attention has been paid to the role of designed objects in his films. Collages of art, literature, language, objects, and words, Godard's films have an instant, impactful, graphic quality, but are far from simple pop artifacts. The thesis this presentation derives from, 'Objects to be Read, Words to be Seen: Design and Visual Language in the Films of Jean–Luc Godard 1959–1967,' explores and interprets the role of visual language within the films–title sequences, intertitles, handwritten utterances, and printed matter in the form of newspapers, magazines, and posters.

By examining le graphisme within the cultural context of Paris during the 1960s, this thesis seeks to amplify the significance of graphic design in Godard's first fifteen films, beginning with 1960's À Bout de Souffle (Breathless) and ending with 1967's Weekend. While Godard was not a practicing graphic designer in the traditional sense, he was an amateur de design, an autodidact whose obsession with designed objects, graphic language and print media resulted in the most iconic body of work in 1960s France."

(Laura Forde, 30 April 2010)





1960s • A Bout de Souffle (1959) • amateur de design • appropriation • autodidact • Breathless (1959) • cinematic visual language • cinematic works • critical appropriationcultural context • cultural theory • design and visual language • design sense • designed objects • designed thingsend titlesFrancegraphic design • graphic language • graphic quality • hand lettering • handwritten utterances • iconic body of work • intertitlesJean-Luc Godard • Laura Forde • le graphisme • magazinesnewspapersParisPierrot le Fou (1965)postersprint media • printed matter • title sequencetitle stillsTwo Or Three Things I Know About Hertypographyvideo lecturevisual languagevisual sensibilityWeekend


Simon Perkins
22 JUNE 2011

Examination of Theses in the Creative Arts: The Exegesis

"4.2 The main purpose of the exegesis is to support and complement the creative work by providing the context and background of the creative work. The Degree Rules state that the exegesis must 'provide a rationale for the techniques and strategies adopted in the creative work and must situate them in relation to a theoretical and/or historical cultural context. Where appropriate, it may include a sustained account of the creative process.

4.5 In communication, the exegesis will provide an analytical documentation of the creative work. The exegesis will provide, for example, an analytical documentation of the creative production, a parallel critical support to the body of work produced, or a contextual, polemic extension to the broadcast work.

4.6 In design/illustration, the exegesis may take a number of forms, for example, an analytical documentation of design/illustration process and/or field research, a parallel critical support to the project or body of work produced or a contextual critical review of the project.

5.0 Word Length

5.1 Although there is no prescribed word length for the accompanying exegesis it is recommended that this should normally comprise 12,000 – 25,000 words for a Masters and 20,000 – 35,000 words for a Doctoral submission and should not normally exceed 40,000 words excluding appendices, tables and illustrative matter."

(The University of Newcastle, Australia, 28 August 2009)


analytical documentation • Australia • body of work • context and background of the creative work • contextual • contextual critical review • creative artscreative process • creative production • creative work • critical support to the project • cultural contextdoctoral submission • Examination of Theses • exegesisfield research • historical context • MA • Masters submission • oeuvre • parallel critical support • PhDrationale • research document • sustained account • techniques and strategies • theoretical context • University of Newcastle


Simon Perkins
31 MAY 2010

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century

"Most public policy discussion of new media have centred on technologies–tools and their affordances. The computer is discussed as a magic black box with the potential to create a learning revolution (in the positive version) or a black hole that consumes resources that might better be devoted to traditional classroom activities (in the more critical version).Yet, as the quote above suggests, media operate in specific cultural and institutional contexts that determine how and why they are used. We may never know whether a tree makes a sound when it falls in a forest with no one around. But clearly, a computer does nothing in the absence of a user. The computer does not operate in a vacuum. Injecting digital technologies into the classroom necessarily affects our relationship with every other communications technology, changing how we feel about what can or should be done with pencils and paper, chalk and blackboard, books, films, and recordings.

Rather than dealing with each technology in isolation, we would do better to take an ecological approach, thinking about the interrelationship among all of these different communication technologies, the cultural communities that grow up around them, and the activities they support. Media systems consist of communication technologies and the social, cultural, legal, political, and economic institutions, practices, and protocols that shape and surround them (Gitelman, 1999).The same task can be performed with a range of different technologies, and the same technology can be deployed toward a variety of different ends. Some tasks may be easier with some technologies than with others, and thus the introduction of a new technology may inspire certain uses. Yet, these activities become widespread only if the culture also supports them, if they fill recurring needs at a particular historical juncture. It matters what tools are available to a culture, but it matters more what that culture chooses to do with those tools."

(Henry Jenkins, Katie Clinton, Ravi Purushotma, Alice J. Robison, Margaret Weigel, MacArthur Foundation)

[2] Jenkins, H., K. Clinton, et al. 'Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century', MacArthur Foundation.



affordancesblack box systemblackboardchalkclassroomcommunityconvergence • cultural communities • cultural contextcultural formsdigital media and learningdigital technologieseducationengagementFacebookFriendster • game clans • Henry Jenkins • institutional context • learning revolution • MacArthur Foundation • message boards • metagaming • MITMySpace • new media literacies • participationparticipatory cultureparticipatory learningpedagogypencilpracticessharingsocial constructionismtechnologytransformationuser


Simon Perkins

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