Thursday, April 29, 2010

Culture Jamming (Divergent or Mainstream?)

After spending a lot of time researching the topic culture jamming, I have discovered that culture jamming is a divergent voice but it can enter the mainstream. Can a culture jammer (someone who is revolting against the mainstream) enter the mainstream without becoming mainstream? I strongly believe that a culture jammer with a divergent message can enter the mainstream without becoming mainstream because most alternative voices are not ones that are often expressed by a lot of people. The mainstream does not want anything polluting their centralized messages. Yes, a divergent voice that is culture jamming can be covered through a mainstream news source but if anything it increases awareness and I would be very shocked if it became a mainstream view.

For example: The Nike Email Exchange (the NEE) The NEE was meant for Nike and Peretti, and it did make its way to the mainstream because of viewership. However, it provoke anti-sweatshop activism. It did not stay in the mainstream for long and it is not like the whole world revolted against Nike. Nike is one of the most popular corporate entities in the world.

I feel that culture jamming can reach the mainstream but it will not become a mainstream/centralized idea. A culture jamming movement can be a part of the mainstream once the alternative message reaches enough people. It becomes popular in the divergent world, popular enough to where corporations are receiving the message. Therefore it is a big enough issue to be covered by the mainstream. All and all culture jamming is still challenging the mainstream whether it is covered by a centralized source or reached a mass amount of people.
If culture jamming was able to be mainstream idea, it would serve no purpose.
We need to provoke thoughts and the best way to do it is to reach the masses. It does not change what the goal was in the first place.
Remember: "consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through visual languages and resource of design." - (572) Soar, Matthew. "The First Things First Manifesto and the Politics of Culture Jamming: Towards a Cultural Economy of Graphic Design And Advertising." Cultural Studies 16.4 (2002): 570-92. EBSCO. Web. 20 Apr. 2010.

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