Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Elementi di semiologia

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Barthes’ many monthly contributions, collected in his Mythologies (1957), frequently interrogated specific cultural materials in order to expose how bourgeois society asserted its values through them. For example, the portrayal of wine in French society as a robust and healthy habit is a bourgeois ideal that is contradicted by certain realities (i.e., that wine can be unhealthy and inebriating). He found semiotics, the study of signs, useful in these interrogations. Barthes explained that these bourgeois cultural myths were “second-order signs,” or “connotations.” A picture of a full, dark bottle is a signifier that relates to a specific signified: a fermented, alcoholic beverage. However, the bourgeoisie relate it to a new signified: the idea of healthy, robust, relaxing experience. Motivations for such manipulations vary, from a desire to sell products to a simple desire to maintain the status quo. These insights brought Barthes in line with similar Marxist theory. Barthes used the term “myth” while analyzing the popular, consumer culture of post-war France in order to reveal that “objects were organized into meaningful relationships via narratives that expressed collective cultural values.”[8]

In The Fashion System Barthes showed how this adulteration of signs could easily be translated into words. In this work he explained how in the fashion world any word could be loaded with idealistic bourgeois emphasis. Thus, if popular fashion says that a ‘blouse’ is ideal for a certain situation or ensemble, this idea is immediately naturalized and accepted as truth, even though the actual sign could just as easily be interchangeable with ‘skirt’, ‘vest’ or any number of combinations. In the end Barthes’ Mythologies became absorbed into bourgeois culture, as he found many third parties asking him to comment on a certain cultural phenomenon, being interested in his control over his readership. This turn of events caused him to question the overall utility of demystifying culture for the masses, thinking it might be a fruitless attempt, and drove him deeper in his search for individualistic meaning in art.

Propaganda Loudspeakers - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Propaganda Loudspeakers
Magnus Hirschfeld - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Magnus Hirschfeld
Snowball Earth - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Snowball Earth
Rag Chair - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Rag Chair
Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport
Moving Sofa Problem - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Moving Sofa Problem
Maki Asakawa - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Maki Asakawa
Ball Lightning - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Ball Lightning
Eigenface - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Eigenface
Beach Portraits - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Beach Portraits
Perpetual Motion - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Perpetual Motion
Acoustic Mirrors - © Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program
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Acoustic Mirrors

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