We have received a project brief that is based around “Questioning the Everyday”. This brief includes producing a short video lasting around between 1-2 minutes which should explore and outline a critical approach to the everyday. I have looked at various different media texts that are based around key concepts, theories and ideas of the everyday life, these include…

  • Manovich, Lev. (2002) Principles of New Media. In: The Language of New Media. Cambridge MA: MIT Press pp49-65
  • Highmore, Ben. (2002) Questioning Everyday Life. In: The Everyday Life Reader. London: Routledge, pp 1-8
  • Papacharissi, Zizi A. (2010). Five New Civic Habits. In: A Private Sphere: Democracy in a Digital Age. Cambridge: Polly. pp138-152
  • Deuce, M. (2012). Life in Media. In: Media Life. Cambridge: Polity. pp 235-264
  • Manovich, Lev. (2002). Compositing. In: The Language of New Media. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. pp138-160.

These texts played a key part in influencing and informing my throughout the past weeks, In particular the Highmore text ( Highmore, Ben. (2002) Questioning the Everyday life,  pp 1-8) which outlines and discusses various concepts and ideas surrounding the everyday life. These texts have enabled be to build up a different view point and develop a critical perspective of daily life and have been a driving force in my work. The Highmore text discusses the ambiguity of everyday life and describes it as a “transparent realm” of spectulation. Highmore (2002) states that everyday life is so problematic and vague that direct themes cannot be distinguished although he states that everyday life can be broken down into different fields and tendencies…

  • Particular   –    General
  • Agency   –   Structure
  • Experiences/Feelings  –    Institutions/Discourses
  • Restistance  –   Power
  • Micro-analysis   –  Macro-analysis

Highmore (2002) uses the example of the lottery as a shared daily activity for many individuals, “On the other hand the lottery can be seen as a part of a vast number of people’s everyday life in its ordinary generality (the majority of ‘players’ play each week, they share an understanding that they are more likely to be struck by lightning than win, yet still play). Here then might be a question facing the study of everyday life: is everyday life characterised by singular, individual acts (an accumulation of particularity, so to speak) or is it understandable as an overarching structure common to a large group of people?” (Highmore, B. 2002. p5) This example demonstrates clearly how these “tendencies” can be applied to everyday life and how events fit across these two perspectives. Everyday life is a problematic and varying subject to study, Highmore (2002) in particular, outlines the complexity of this… I found certain extracts from his material very interesting. I was greatly interested in the the idea that everyday life of a greatly complex medium to analyse and that its not only is made up from various implicit differing components but its also comprised from more subtle and hidden elements, for example Highmore argues that… “Everyday life is not simply the name that is given to a reality readily available for scrutiny; it is also the name for aspects of life that lie hidden.” (Highmore, B. 2002 pp 1-2).

Freud and Karl Marx were also mentioned throughout the Highmore text, “What unites the very different works of Marx and Freud  might be located at the level of the everyday. For Freud, as for Marx, the everyday is both real and unreal, both actuality and the disguise of actuality” (Highmore, B. 2002. p6). Works of both Freud and Marx are on some level interconnected, Freud discusses how both the conscious and subconscious alter and influence our daily living, describing the repression of seemingly “unhealthy” thought and feelings over lap and permeate into our daily life and that we all share this ‘condition’. For me this is a reasonable comparison/analogy for everyday life, they both share the concept that everyday life is comprised and affected by both ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ aspects. For my project, I intended to stay with this idea of studying on the more subtle and hidden aspects of daily life as outlined by Highmore and Freud, I also wanted to try and find a subject that would be interesting because I wanted to create a new and critical view of my chosen subject. After considering all of the above material I wanted to pick a subject that would link all of my 3 modules for my degree, therefore I decided to focus more concisely on the topic of gender and its presence in everyday life.

Project Proposal – Questioning the Everyday

Introduction: A short video production lasting between 1-2 minuets long based on the topic of “Questioning the Everyday”. I plan to base my production around the the study of daily life; In particular, similarities and differences that are represented through genders. I plan to document 2 different segments of daily life (Morning and Evening) from alternative perspectives  through the representation of Male and Female gender. Initially I will document a small section of the beginning and end of the day from both a male and female figure, I plan to present these simultaneously together as a video comparison to outline the shared similarities and differences in days. I have decided to construct my production in such a way to make visible any ‘Hidden’ aspects of life represented through each gender and hopefully contradict any gender pre-conceptions. I plan to portray this through the use of both action and perspective shots (1st person perspective). My production aims to create a critical analysis of everyday life and study it in a more comprehensive manor.

I have also conducted some brief research into representations of different genders in the media… here is a few examples:

Male Portrayal…

Typically represented as dominant, strong, powerful, serious etc.

Female Portrayal…

Typically represented as soft, maternal, vulnerable, weak , sexualised etc.

We have now been put into groups and we have at this stage agreed on the proposal, this week we plan to finalise details such as; location, camera angles and further research. I have suggested to my partners that we should all individually make note of what we do on a daily basis in order to obtain a objective and accurate idea of daily life between genders, Once we have achieved this we can than begin to storyboard and discuss appropriate camera angles.

References:

Manovich, Lev. (2002) Principles of New Media. In: The Language of New Media. Cambridge MA: MIT Press pp49-65

Highmore, Ben. (2002) Questioning Everyday Life. In: The Everyday Life Reader. London: Routledge, pp 1-8

Papacharissi, Zizi A. (2010). Five New Civic Habits. In: A Private Sphere: Democracy in a Digital Age. Cambridge: Polly. pp138-152

Deuce, M. (2012). Life in Media. In: Media Life. Cambridge: Polity. pp 235-264

Manovich, Lev. (2002). Compositing. In: The Language of New Media. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. pp138-160.

BuzzFeedVideo, 2015. Men’s Standards Of Beauty Around The World [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tneKwarw1Yk

The Representation Project, 2013. How the Media Failed Women in 2013 [Online} Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NswJ4kO9uHc

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