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Which clippings match 'Cultural Materialism' keyword pg.1 of 1
05 APRIL 2014

What is skeuomorphism?

Dan "O'Hara argues that, strictly speaking, the term skeuomorphism refers only to those vestigial elements in nature or artefact that survive from an original form, even though they are no longer required. At its broadest, this definition extends to the levers and dials in a modern aircraft cockpit, for example, which no longer connect to systems directly, but instead are merely inputs and outputs of a computer that actually controls things. Such controls are skeumorphs because they are holdovers from the days before computerised aircraft, and have been left in their original form for the benefit of pilots, who are used to them working in a particular way.

So can a digital depiction of something properly be called a skeuomorph? It is more accurate to refer to it as a visual metaphor that calls to mind a physical skeuomorph without really being one. The iPhone's notification panel, with its imitation linen effect, was not descended from an object that was once made of linen. The switch that, say, allows you to switch an iPhone into Airplane Mode is not an on–screen replacement for what used to be a physical switch. In the early days of graphical user interfaces, designers employed familiar devices, such as folders, trash cans and other objects commonplace in the office. The result was that operating systems ended up being littered with depictions of things that had never existed inside a digital device; the on–screen 'trash' icon is not the vestigial remnant of an actual trash can that was once part of the computer, which is why it is really a metaphor, not a skeumorph. (That said, as computer graphics became more detailed, the original blocky icons gave way to more detailed depictions of trash cans, folders and so forth, which are arguably skeuomorphs of visual metaphors.)"

(Glenn Fleishman, 25 June 2013, The Economist)

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1889 • actual object • Apple • Apple iOS 7 • archaeologyauthenticitycomputer graphicscultural materialism • Dan OHara • digital depiction • familiar devices • faux leather • faux wood panelling • folder • Glenn Fleishman • graphical user interface • holdover • imitation • iOS 7 • metaphor • Microsoft Windows 8 • Microsoft Windows Phone 7 • nostalgiaobsolescence • on-screen replacement • on-screen textures • operating systemornamental designornamental form • physical skeuomorph • romanticism • Scott Forstall • skeumorph • skeuomorphskeuomorphic designskeuomorphismThe Economisttrash can • vestigial remnant • visual depictionvisual metaphor • visual representations • visual simulation • Windows 8 interface • Windows Phone 7 • wood panelling

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 MARCH 2014

Haul girls: identity performance through brand consumption and endorsement

"Helina is explaining what a haul girl is to me. 'Basically, you go out shopping for clothes or beauty products,' she says, 'then you make a haul video and show viewers on YouTube what you got. You go through the items of clothing one by one. I guess what people get out of them is not showing off, like, how much money you've got or anything, but lifestyle: you get to see how one person lives, what their taste is.'

If you're minded to sneer at a youth cult that involves making videos about your shopping, then Helina has a pretty intriguing counter–argument. 'It's not just about showing what you've got,' she says. 'It's a whole creative process behind the videos as well, which is what I enjoy about it. Choosing the right music, going from the filming to the editing. Sometimes I even storyboard things, because I want certain shots, how I can present different items and things like that.' Besides, she says, it's a genuine community. She thinks a lot of haul girls 'turn the camera on because it's a way to talk to people without having to go outside and face their fears. I know that was the case with me: I turned on my camera because I was at home, signed off work, sick, and really bored. And it helped with my confidence in a way. There's this community where you can talk to like–minded people.'"

(Alexis Petridis, 20 March 2014, The Guardian)

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2014affective consumptionaffective goal achievementamateur cultural productionASOSbeauty products • Boohoo • Boots (shop) • brand awareness • clothes shopping • commodificationcommodity fetishismconstructed identitiesconsumer aestheticsconsumer brandsconsumer cultureconsumer endorsementconsumption spectaclecultural materialismcultural monoculturedigital narcissism • haul girl • haul video • I shop therefore I amidentity performancelifestyle • Missguided (shop) • new media content productiononline communityonline followersperformativitypersonal tastepost-feminist agenda • Primark • product endorsementrecommender culture • retail therapy • shopping for clothes • show and tellspectacular societysubculturetaste formationsThe Guardianunboxingvideo blogger • whats in my bag (video) • whats in my purse (video) • YouTube • Zara (shop)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 NOVEMBER 2012

A modern-day Luddite longing for the slow elegance of print culture

"Sven Birkerts, a modern–day Luddite, is feeling uneasy about all this rapid cultural change. He longs for the slow elegance of print culture. So much so, in fact, that the cover of his new book, [The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age], features a fuzzy caramel–colored snapshot of a naturally–lit library which houses the endangered species of digital modernity: a leather armchair draped with an afghan, droopy lace curtains, and shelves of softened leather hard–backs coveting thick yellowed pages and the tidy, immutable thoughts of yesterday's literary prophets.

Birkerts is terrified that his warm dusty paradise is being ransacked, and the remaining rubble is merely forgotten or misunderstood in a world distracted by garish, pulsing iconography."

(Amanda Griscom, 1996)

Amanda Scott Griscom (1996). "Trends of Anarchy and Hierarchy: Comparing the Cultural Repercussions of Print and Digital Media", Brown University.

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1996 • Amanda Griscom • authentic cultural iconauthenticitybookcultural changecultural codescultural materialismdesign essentialism • digital modernity • electronic ageend of print • garish • hardback • hardbound • hardcover • humanisation of technologyludditenatural • Ned Ludd • nostalgianostalgic yearningobsolescence • print culture • readingromanticism • Sven Birkerts • The Gutenberg Elegies • tradition

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 JUNE 2012

Design + Culture: A Return to Fundamentalism?

"whilst the application of design is multiplying exponentially, it is also loosing its validity as an authentic cultural icon. It has become synonymous with cloning the face of global culture itself, more often representing the uniformity of mass globalisation, rather than reflecting the facets of cultural difference and diversity.

The cultural attributes of difference and diversity have been fundamentally weakened, and like face that has undergone cosmetic surgery, the result is a facsimile vaguely familiar but disturbingly without a true sense of identity. It is everyone's and no one's, and belongs in no single place more than another. ...

Design has become omnipresent within Culture, as it has been adopted as a convenient badge to add value and market commodity, and to signify identity. Following Designer era of 1980's, the added value of design was replaced by design as cultural value, embodied in leading Brands of the 1990's. ...

in the 21st Century the task of capturing Culture has become more and more difficult in terms of expressing culture through the medium of design. Design increasingly struggles for a clear sense of definition, and one is left asking, what can Culture really mean today, if it is no longer tied to consumer lifestyle? We remain in a post–contemporary state where we require a redefinition of meaning, value and identity. ...

The uncertainty of a designed fusion Culture has replaced the certainty of traditional cultural monoculture. Which in turn has been diluted by an obsession with 'cultural materialism'. What remains of the original cultural sources are being plundered in order to restock our lack of creative DNA. The net result is an erosion of the remaining authentic sources, but also the creation of a 'cultural time lag' which has been generated by a convergence of trans–cultural fusions, hybridisation, and of recurrent cultural cross referencing."

(David Carlson on 21 Mar 21 2011, David Report)

Fig.1 paper sculptures made by Jennifer Collier [http://jennifercollier.co.uk/].

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1980199021st centuryadded valueadded value through designaestheticisationapplication of designart and design doctrinearts and craftsauthentic cultural iconauthentic materials • authentic sources • authenticityconsumer brandsconsumer lifestyles • cosmetic surgery • craftcraft nostalgiacreative fundamentalismcreativitycultural cross referencingcultural identitycultural materialismcultural monoculturedecorationderivativedesign • design as cultural value • design craftdesign essentialismdesign fundamentalismdesign innovationdesign revisionism • difference and diversity • expressing culture • global culture • globalisationhomogenizationhybridisationlegitimacymarket commodity • mass globalisation • monoculturenostalgia • original cultural sources • post-contemporary • post-traditional • redefinition of meaning • sewn typography • traditional cultural monoculture • trans-cultural fusions • trendsuniformityvalidityvisual design

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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