Have you ever listened to Girl Talk? If you haven’t, you should. It opens up different genres of music to your ears even after just one listen. It is like the original message of a song is altered while still using the original song within the match up. Within culture this is seen as culture jamming—taking a medium and altering the message while still using the original mode of communication. It is a form of resistance and activism of culture hegemony (Marshall).
Does everyone have to be exactly the same as everyone else?
Just because the majority of young people love to shop at Hollister and Abercrombie, does that mean you have to, too?
Since everyone has a Facebook, do you need to have one?
Everything is always so black and white, so plain, and so similar.
There is no more creativity.
People just believe what they hear and see without assuring what they take in is true.
Why believe just to believe it? Because it’s easy.
The first image I have posted in this blog is an example of culture jamming in advertising. The image was altered from its original state--two men simply looking at magazines at a book store and a grocery store--to two men looking at magazines with the effects of smoking popping out at them. We all know that smoking was seen as a necessary quality back in the day and companies worked hand in hand with public relationers to receive as much cash as possible despite the fatal effects of nicotine. This image is filled with irony because magazines and newspapers would never tell you straight up that cigarette smoke has arsenic or that ammonia is added to cigarettes. This image is suggesting that people stop smoking the cancer stick because it doesn't only effect those who smoke it. Unlike advertisements, this example of culture jamming shows that the truth about smoking cigarettes is right under your nose, literally.
“The Invisible Planet” an image by VCrooks is another perfect example of culture jamming. It is a pencil sketch of a small but surviving evergreen tree surrounded by endless industrialization. However, the drawing is black and white suggesting that everything is the same. The evergreen tree is not really evergreen, either. It is not in its natural environment and cannot adopt to its new culture. Like the people who are a fan of culture jamming, this tree is searching for a place where it can be natural once again, where it can be evergreen. To the right of the small tree, a smaller person is standing looking up at the odd nature. This image asks whether or not human and nature can live in a society together where one is not preferred to the other? “The Invisible Planet” is making a stance. Nature may not be present all the time—thanks to people—but it is larger than a person and was around first. Do unto nature as you would like to be done unto you.
Just because someone else sees that an evergreen tree is equal to a boring, dull, gray, apartment building doesn’t mean you have to.
I dare you to be different.
Harold, Christine. "Pranking rhetoric: "culture jamming" as media activism." Informaworld. Sep 2004. 11 Nov 2008
Marshall, Logan. "Culture Jam." Urban Dictionary. 29 11 2004. 3 Nov 2008
VCrooks, "The Invisible Planet." Deviant Art. 2006-2008. 3 Nov 2008