Friday, October 30, 2009

Postcard 2

Katie Barnes response postcard.

My response:

My image was transmitted through representational (drawing) and mechanical (internet) methods. By using a rendering style of pen and ink I created an unfinished idea sort of like a coloring book, which decreased the amount of noise that could have misinterpreted my message (color, area, usage, etc.). Although noise can relate too the receivers cultural background, and in this case she responded to the rickety bench by saying "...and in my experiences , it always seems like a bench like this isn't to far from the sketchiest part of town...". In this second postcard I received context and more products that will help me to define a system. The interpretation of my postcard was successful in its intended message, which is the idea of many bench's being connotative of many certain areas. The idea of "structure" in a bench and how that alone can communicate an idea about certain social classes and areas is intriguing.

The analogy of all of the benches existing in a vacuum is an interesting thought. The idea of all of these types of benches existing in the environment (the vacuum) but they are connotative of different parts (parts that make up the vacuum) of town seems to comment on different social classes existing in different parts of town. For example we are associating the rickety old bench with a sketchy part of town, could we then say that we would be able to associate a certain type of individual with this scene as well? I believe that this could work for all the these juxtapositions. The ornate bench, according to the response, is associated with a well-established "town center" or "apartment complex". Would it be appropriate again to say that the person we would assume to see here would be the aristocrat or a wealthy individual?

I also thought that it was interesting that more space is taken up by the ornate bench composition, which is revealing that the the more aristocratic social class hierarchically is above the working class (the rickety bench). The ratio of size also reveals the amount of money associated with each class, typically the aristocratic class is more involved with charity since they have more wealth. The working class is usually receiving the wealth from the aristocrats in order to make a living, in essence the rickety bench manages through life through the success of the ornate bench.

This is a formula for how I am observing this dialectic...

We have a bench
We have a certain place that we associate with this bench.
We have a social class now associated with this place.
We have a social class that can affect two larger systems, which are social and economic.

Therefore benches in there essence of form can reveal connotations for a certain social class, which affects the economic and social systems.

My research:

I found two interesting research directions based on the postcard that I was sent back, The Maslow hierarchy of needs is based on the individual and the social class. The hierarchy of needs has a much different affect on the working class (represented by the rickety bench) compared to the ruling class (represented by the ornate bench). For example an aristocratic individual can afford health insurance and can be focused on the self-actualization level, while someone who can't afford health insurance in the working class has to worry about the physiological level because they can't afford to fix their health condition.
The theory on Capitalism created mostly by Karl Marx and his Communist Manifesto deals with both systems of economy and social hierarchy. He explains modes and means of productions, and divides society up into two classes (the proletariat and the bourgeoisie) which is hinted at in the postcard that I was sent back.

Maslow's Heirarchy of needs

Maslow studied exemplary people such as Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Addams etc. He created a physchological theory that depicts a model of human needs according to importance. The most important and needing to be comprehended by the individual first is the Physiological level. Once an individual has comfortably met the needs of this level they will work his/her way up to self-actualization. Physiological needs are the bare minimum such as; sex, breathing, and water. The self-actualization levels consit of morality, creativity and lack of prejudice. For example someone who can't afford health insurance would be stuck worrying about the physiological level especially if they have a serious health condition. This models affects both the working class and the ruling class differently.

Karl Marx

Historical Materialism, also called "the materialist conception of history" has a lot to do with how the proportion of social classes can affect the economy. The idea of materialsim comes from the production of necessities based on societal needs (which stresses the notion of competition within society). The ruling class would be the bourgeoisie and the working class is considered the proletariat according to Marx's theory on Capitalism. The Bourgeoisie class constantly exploit the proletariat's through manual labor and cheap wages. The Bourgeoisie make the profit and therefore run society due to their amount of wealth and control of the modes and means of production. According to Marx the proletariat will always rebel in a captialst society and will overthrow the ruling class.

"The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns, It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeoisie..." (11, The Communist Manifesto)

"In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed--a class of laborers, who live only so long as they find work,, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These laborers, who must sell themselves piece-meal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market." (14, The Communist Manifesto)

My sources:'s_heirarchy_of_needs
Marx, Karl. Engels, Frederick.
The Communist Manifesto. pg.11 & 14 Filiquarian Publishing, LLC

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