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This post is a continuation of ‘Sketches #1 — Photographing the unsen’ at: https://cormac513273.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/sketches-1-photographing-the-unseen/

My notebooks help me to keep track of people, stories and ideas I come across. Often I meet someone or hear something that – not right away but sometimes later – clicks with an idea (Hayeri, 2014:126-131).


In his essay ‘The Sign of the Self in the Metropolis’ Steve Baker asks:

What is the relationship between the graphic communication and the individual in the spaces of the metropolis?’ What are their common interests and what power does either hold in relation to the other? (Baker, 1990: 227-234).

Baker disputes the idea that:

we are overwhelmed by the insidious influence of the advertising messages that crowd in on us from all sides, and that the very profusion, excess and inescapability of advertising contributes to the dissolution of the distinctions between ‘reality’ and its simulacra, between individual desire and media manipulation, and even between the realms of the public and the private (Baker, 1990: 227-234).

Baker agrees that while ‘There is a certain correspondence between the structure of individual experience and the structure of commercial display in the metropolis’:

Rather than taking the form of the individual’s trance-like adherence to the imperatives of the advertising message, the correspondence might better be thought of as an altogether more combative experience, closely related to the kaleidoscopic, chaotic and fragmentary perceptions which definitions of modernity (and indeed post-modernity) frequently describe as characterizing the experience of metropolitan life (Baker, 1990: 227-234).

The images in Gallery 1 suggests such a ‘combative experience’ — the advertising is large, overwhelming to the individual (the message: ‘you need this’), but is nevertheless ignored by, seemingly invisible to, the passers-by. Of the two images, image 11142029 is the better.

 Gallery 1

Gallery 2: Other images/ideas:

This post continues with ‘Sketches #3 — Photographing the unseen’ at: https://cormac513273.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/sketches-3-photographing-the-unseen/


Baker, Steve (1990) ‘The Sign of the Self in the Metropolis’ In: Journal of Design History 3 (4) pp. 227-234 [online] At: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1315763?uid=3738232&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104629260501

Hayeri, Kiana  (2014) ‘Kiana Hayeri’ In: McLaren and Formhals  Photographers’ Sketchbooks. London: Thames & Hudson. pp. 126-131