An ABC of Aesthetic Journalism

An archive of material relating to art & journalism

Archive for the ‘S’ Category


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A contribution by the Platform for (un)Solicited Research and Advice:

News satire has been a strategy to critique society for long as news exists. In the late 19th century, when the newspapers were more widely spread, fake news became a frequently used tool. One of the most famous spoofers was Mark Twain. His hoaxes were so successful and believable, that one newspaper after another fired him. His realization that lies travel faster then the truth, comes back in his later work. As the internet provides more accessible ways to spread news, it gave a whole new dimension to the phenomenon of satire. The most recent successful example are of course the Yes men. A successful Dutch site is, but the Onion might be the most widely spread one, as well as

Society of the Spectacle

‘The spectacle – as a social relationship between people mediated by images – is pacifying and divisive, uniting us only through our separation from one another.

The specialization of the mass spectacle constitutes (…) the epicentre of separation and noncommunication. (Guy Debord)

The spectacle is by definition immune from human activity, inaccessible to any projected review or correction. It is the opposite of dialogue. (…) It is the sun that never sets on the empire of modern passivity. (Guy Debord)’

Claire Bishop on Situationism and the Spectacle in ‘Viewers as Producers’, Participation, Whitechapel and MIT Press, 2006.


Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, Piero Simondo, Elena Verrone, Michèle Bernstein, Guy Debord, Asger Jorn, Walter Olmo

Does the mass media, a symptom of our late capitalist society, spectacularize reality and dehumanize a viewer. Does the proliferation of media platforms and outputs, such as the internet go further in Spectacularizing contemporary life?


Shell is one of the largest oil companies in the world. In Aesthetic Journalism, Shell is mentioned in relation to its support of socially and politically responsible arts projects, such as ‘What is Real? Photography and the Politics of Truth’, a symposium at the Times Center in New York 2008. This is discussed within the context of corporations and businesses supporting the arts, and in return gaining a kind of cultural capital through association. This approach echoes the idea that the cultural sector today is the engine for the worldwide economy (Galbraith 1998)’, Aesthetic Journalism.

Shell has a history of associating itself with art and artists. Between the 1920’s and 70’s shell commissioned artists to create imaginary for advertisements. Here are some posters.

Business and media make a perfect partnership in terms of advertising and promotion. Yet, why are business and art drawn together? Becks, Bloomberg, Unilever, etc… Is it only because the arts lack financial capital and business lacks cultural capital? Is this relationship more complicated?


A contribution by Thinking Practices

Through this post I will be expressing my point of view about the role of credibility that journalism has established. Also I will be questioning the hegemony of the status quo, which has gained the news on television. I will be referring just to this format rather than the published Medias, because on television the audience does not have yet the interaction that provides the internet. On the television screen, the images appear in an indiscriminate projection of aesthetics, they have been constructed in different pre- production and postproduction rooms. The contents transmitted belong moreover to the fiction; we have learnt to appreciate these programs as a form to exorcize our consumerism fantasies. But when the screen starts showing news we recognize this format as a rea,l giving it a value of truth.  The public in general see those events of life as a presumption of reality. Although news are another of the formats for television, produced whit the same technologies of the fictional ones. We separate these from the others products displayed on television due to the systems of representation used by those formats, they claim the fact of being documenting the reality, and they do that, but at the same time are using these fragments of documentation to recreate their own reality. For instance when the journalist appears on the foreground of his documental, is reinforcing the idea of reliability, employing the presence as a matter of fact. So we cannot doubt about its authenticity, if someone was there is evidence that the scene was real. What counts is the report made by a voice who is observing the situation in real time, which is other of the recourses that provides to the information its notion of non-fictional. Jean Baudrillard has argued that the reality has been replaced by the fiction, pointing out that the best strategy to hide the discrepancies caused by this confusing exchange of scenarios; Could be exhibiting the reality to its maximum potential. By means using the documentary’s aesthetic as a validation, projecting to the spectator’s gaze an environment that they can identify as a natural situation.

“Accordingly, Baudrillard argued that the excess of signs and of meaning in late 20th century “global” society had caused (quite paradoxically) an effacement of reality. In this world neither liberal nor Marxist utopias are any longer believed in. We live, he argued, not in a “global village,” to use Marshall McLuhan‘s phrase, but rather in a world that is ever more easily petrified by even the smallest event. Because the “global” world operates at the level of the exchange of signs and commodities, it becomes ever more blind to symbolic acts”

Wag the Gog directed by Barry levinson 1997 was a movie that exposed the relationship between reality and fictional productions, highlighting how the digital procedure of the image can manipulate and influence the viewer’s thoughts.

“Before elections, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to “fabricate” a war in order to cover-up a presidential sex scandal.”

I found the text of Alfredo Cramerotti as a form of expressing the differences between art and journalism, there is where I have linked the relationship between simulation and reality, Crameroti argues that artist raises questions while journalists provide answers.  I feel that art and mass media are in the same game of perverting and revealing the layers hidden behind the space that we have agreed call reality.

By John Angel

Written by Fay Nicolson

01/11/2009 at 3:56 pm

Posted in S


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