Marc Dery – Culture Jamming

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					    Marc Dery – Culture Jamming
• Hacking, slashing,
  sniping in the Empire of
• In other words, what shape does an engaged
  politics assume in an empire of signs?
• The answer lies, perhaps, in the "semiological
  guerrilla warfare" imagined by Umberto Eco
    semiotics—the study of signs
• disassembles the arbitrary relationship
  between word and meaning
• If there is no natural relationship between a
  word and its meaning, words, objects, people,
  places, can be made to represent or mean
  whatever the person/institution in charge
  wants them to.
Saussure’s Sign
• Language does not construct the material
  reality in which we live, but it conditions and
  even determines the significance of that world
  for us.
• Image and representation have become our
  prominent way of interacting and engaging
  with the world
In an empire of signs, signs and symbols serve to confuse and distract,
lulling us into a submissive trance - we do not question the
relationships created between people/things/objects and the meanings
attached to them by the media.
• Subversive advertising
• production and dissemination of anti-ads
The original definition of “semiotic disobedience” focused on acts of
sabotage, where commercial messages were “jammed” or scrambled,
imposing oppositional meanings by manipulating text and images.
Signs and symbols create unconscious reflexes and point us in a
particular direction, we are forced to interpret images everyday.
Building on early
sabotage techniques,
today increasingly
affordable and powerful
digital technologies
create a DIY production
ethic. Self-taught “pro-
sumers” are now
empowered to
manipulate icons and
optics to make their
Culture Jamming aims subvert the original signs associated with corporate culture
Kieron Dwyer
            Culture Jamming:
• Hacktivism
• Billboard liberation
• Electronic Civil Disobedience
• Slashing – textual poaching – uncovering and
  developing sub-textual messages (fanvids)
• jamming in which tales told for mass
  consumption are reworked
• Media hoaxing (yesmen) -
  uJ8hM&feature=related (subvertisements on
  the street)
• Blog collection of jammed ads:
             Feminist Fatale
       GoDaddy’s commercials
• Watch this video and come up with some
  ideas for how to subvert godaddy’s signs and
  representations. In other words, how would
  you go about created a culture jammed ad in
  response to Go Daddy?
            Bubble subvertising
• Come up with possible
  captions to be inserted
  as a bubble comment
  into the following

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