Students in Kevin Thomas’ seminar on advertising and society presented a class project at the Flipside Community Warehouse for the East Austin Studio Tour during two weekends in November.
The project grew out of Thomas’ Senior Fellows fall seminar, “Making Sense of the World Through Ads.” The objective of the course is to interrogate the ways advertisements influence the daily lives of people across cultures and the world. The purpose of the exhibit was to promote cultural reflection and civic engagement, and examine the values embedded in ads.
Students adopted a strategy of “culture jamming” used by subversive artists and social movements through manipulating the symbols of popular brands and ads. Their version of culture jamming included large posters, sculpture art, stickers, and various other visual media that carried a message critical of commercial and political advertisements.
“It’s a chance to fight back and respond to the advertisements instead of just being constantly bombarded by them,” said Courtney Wiese, a first-year Senior Fellow majoring in radio-television-film.
The project will culminate in a group-drafted manifesto and online culture-jamming portal created for the purpose of informing vulnerable communities about the harmful effects of advertising. The project can be found at www.ArtIsInFormation.org.
Kevin Thomas is an assistant professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations. For more information about the class, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The class can be reached at email@example.com.