Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paris Tourism Advertising

By Nicolle D'Onofrio

The Paris Tourism industry is the largest tourism industry in the world. Millions of visitors come from all over the world to experience the city that has been presented to them based on a series of advertisements, current event coverage, and popular media. The Parisian Tourism advertising industry, owned by the French government but also coexisting with out private tourism industries, uses these popular media as a foundation for which they build their campaigns. A majority of these campaigns are visual and follow three primary themes: History presenting Culture, Romance presenting Ambiance, and Innovation presenting Urbanity.

An example of the Paris brand of Innovation to present an urbanity to their audience.
(Les Arts Decoratifs, Mediatheque)

An Example of the Paris Brand as romance to present ambiance.
(Les Arts Decoratifs, Mediatheque)

An example of Paris presenting History as Culture.
(Les Arts Decoratifs, Mediatheque)

By presenting these three aspects of the "brand essence" of Paris, audiences are targeted with specific myths these advertisements visually create. As media has progressed, it has been more important than ever to adjust these advertisements in order to match the media consumption preferences of specific European nations. Current campaigns in various European nations in the North Atlantic, North Central, and Mediterranean regions of Europe not only build upon media trends in these regions, but also these nations' diplomatic relationships with France, and therefore Paris. While the digital sector is still relatively new to Parisian tourism advertising, great strides are being made to take these campaigns online.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Globalization of French Electro

by Sofya Gladysheva

The globalization of electronic music is closely linked to the globalization and commercialization of raves. The rave scene started in the 1980’s in the UK and Germany by catching the momentum of the disco culture’s affinity for dance and hedonism.The parties were very underground and held in warehouses. Slowly they gained a popular following and more massive events like Love Parade emerged.

Raves in 1980:

Raves Today (Electric Daisy Carnival 2010):

Historical context played a large role in facilitating the spread of electronic music. The genre provided escapism in dance, and thus a way of coping when living under the fear of nuclear war at any moment. It was a liberating outlet separate of authority and even reality. The technological sound and the lack of lyrics made it relatable to everyone because it was "technology, not humanity, that was expressing itself."(Bunz, 401).

As they became more popular raves became commercialized, eventually reaching the status they have today. Nowadays, they are large scale productions with impressive light displays and stages. They are a hotspot for marketers trying to reach a specific niche of their target audience. Wolfgang Sterneck, an attendee and critical analyst of the Love Parade, foresaw its commercialization from the very start, compelling him to write a book called Cybertribe-Visionen. In an interview he covers some of the main points. “Along with the growing importance of the Love Parade grew the interest of corporations such as music, drink, clothing, and cigarette industries, who sponsored the Love Parade—that is, co-opted and used for profit the spirit of the Love Parade through their products and advertising”(St. John). Another example is the fashion industry trying to bring in profit by establishing a dress code associated with the rave scene. Thus, electronic music becomes just another business venture.

Rave Clothes:

In France, Daft Punk is a ground breaking duo of DJ's whose music has been used in all areas of business. In 2007, Louis Vuitton featured the two robots in their show for Paris Fashion Week. In America, Director Joseph Kosinski scored his entire movie Tron with a custom Daft Punk set. Most recently, Adidas used Daft Punk in their star wars themed ads that aired last year.

Durbin, Jonathan. "Human After All." PAPERMAG. 2011

Link for Adidas ad:

Daft Punk and their manager Pedro Willaims put French DJ's on the map, inspiring future artists like Justice and David Guetta to also infiltrate the global scene. Consequentially, the French government sees electronic music as a money making export, to no surprise since France has been exporting culture for decades. In 2001, the French government sponsored a poolside party in Miami Beach that highlighted French DJ’s (Hemlock). They have also backed a school exclusively for teaching disk jockeys called Ecole des DJ's. It is the first of its kind among Europe and America (Miller).

In conclusion, the globalization of French electronic music has shifted the tides. The export of American music is nothing new, and it was easy with large machines like Hollywood to facilitate that spread. However, now French music is entering the American scene, showing that despite popular belief, it is in fact a two way street. Globalization has legitimized electronic music in a way it never intended to develop. It has become a commodity and a resource. The genre has truly lost the anti-authoritative, anti-establishment sentiment that birthed it. It has grown from a counter-culture to simply a culture that hip industries can now tap into.

Written Citations:
Bunz, Mercedes. “Subject: 12” As Medium Techno:From Youth Culture to cultural Constitution.” Read Me! Filtered by Nettime ASCII Culture and the Revenge of the Knowledge. Autonomedia: Netherlands, 06 Oct. 1998: 400-402

Hemlock, Doreen. "France Takes The Lead In E-music Globalization." France Takes The Lead In E-music Globalization-Sun Sentinel. Sun Sentinel, 09 Apr. 2001. Web. 04 Apr. 2011.

Miller, John W. “French Jam: A School in Lyon Puts Formal Spin on DJ's Role --- State Backs the Art of Scratching; An 'F' If You Can't Define Funk”

St John, Graham. “Party, Love and Profit: The Rhythms of the Love Parade (Interview with Wolfgang Sterneck).” Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture, Vol 2, No 1 (2011).

Global & New Media

Above, it is true that there are unique technological capabilities to our historic era. Media communication has increased in accessibility and reach but it is also part of a larger transformation of globalization. Globalization is a process: the integration of economic, political, cultural and technological systems across the globe. Almost every historic era has an example of global expansion and aims but in our historical moment there is an emphasis on technological and economic unification by peaceful means.

Defining global media involves reaching the widest possible audience. The media formats above fulfill the following: multi-lingual, multi-platform, and global access (mainly foreign presence). Below the Coca Cola commercial uses almost no words in order to reach the widest audience but its use of faith based symbols is replaced with the corporate logo, suggesting people are now unified through products or more so capitalism.

Above Hallin & Mancini conclude their analysis of European media by suggesting a convergence of values and decrease of differences. The problem suggest the authors is that differentiation is important to media, not just in country of origin but in different value sets. The issue is complex because previously people used to get information from different sources and the source could suggest something about the reliability of the information, now with new media there is an abundance of information and less differentiation.

Below Jean Baudrillard felt the contemporary moment was a battle of the Global and the Universal. The global was a market driven, democratic capitalist agenda to unify the world through materialism that could be symbolized by something like Levis jeans, which are everywhere. The universal was the original value of existence, even beyond earth that unifies us all and is a mysterious and undefinable source of respect for one another. This second aspect is decreasing as the focus becomes more about life on earth and its improvements.

Baudrillard also suggested that with globalization, manufactured destiny was the opposite of culture as destiny, that we are born in a context that is forever who we are. Yet in our contemporary moment, globalization overrides differences between cultures and thus obscures individual purpose. Above left Germany at Epcot and right Germany. Kafka had a similar concern as he expressed that his grandfather told him, "I do not see how in one lifetime there is enough time to leave your village." Below 24 hours of contemporary global plane travel today. See it in motion here.

Above ancient telephones with recent history, the iPhone 3. New media is a growing category of media forms with: interactivity, interconnectivity between devices and global reach. Importantly this has changed information from going one direction to the receiver to being a shared dialogue among users.

Above the types of new media and their values. Below some of the European new media such as Skype from Estonia, Tuenti from Spain and Skyrock from France. Pikanews is a European based new media content aggregator that indicates how much new media activity happens in any topic.

New and especially social media appears to be having widespread consequences on daily behavior. Psychologists are now treating behavioral disorders related to new media, such as email checking anxiety. See the full story here and a academic lecture on the topic here. What psychologists believe is that there has always been a degree of privacy and discretion which no one could access. That private psyche is now becoming more transparent.

Above, Wim Wenders 1987 film Wings of Desire gave access to people's private thoughts, see full video. Now with Twitter we advertise them.

Above the strategic use of Twitter to advance corporate relations or network. Below the question of globalization and new media together is the increasing collective consciousness that is developing. However with only 20% online it is not a full picture.

Above many think of the aim of global new media as simply increasing our screens of entertainment while there is much greater potential for information and education. Estonia used new media forms politically for the previous election though some argues this favored votes by those with internet access, even though the country created public internet voting stations.

In looking back at the past century in France and Europe, the old ways of life, conflicts and machines developed more slowly than the US. The question is how France and Europe will continue to embrace developments and take part in the global digital community.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

News Corporation Imperialism

by JJR

The European Union, officially founded in 1993, unites 27 European countries under a common currency and acts as a unifying body for the greater Europe. Among their political duties, the EU strives to foster a European identity that complements the national identities that many citizens hold. Of course television is part of this formation of identity, and European television calls into question Habermas' Public Sphere. This concept speaks to the greater public opinion that is formed when individuals come together to reach a consensus on something. European television is a sensitive medium because Europeans, especially in France and Italy, have a very keen cultural awareness and do not like foreign media agendas proliferating their countries. Fortunately, Rupert Murdoch's giant media conglomerate, News Corporation, is aware of this and uses this idea to market to niche audiences in Europe, and uses a business model that is somewhat contrary to the framework of cultural imperialism that has been the norm for these conglomerates in the past.

France and Italy's populations combined is 122 million, about a quarter of the EU's total population, and certainly more than a fourth of the television viewing audience. That said, these are lucrative outlets for a company like News Corporation to take advantage of, but instead of pushing a huge American brand like Fox, they are very culturally specific. In France, the Voyage network features programs which center around French cultural activities, with two examples being Prenez l'Air and La Mer en Face (*see links below). In Italy, the Cult network provides independent films and series only in Italian. Cult is for a sophisticated viewer, and is reflective of Italy's history of elite media.

In conclusion, in is News Corporation's cultural sensitivity that has allowed them to be so profitable and expansive in the European market. Of course American content is available almost everywhere in Europe, but the availability of alternative media is what sets News Corporation apart from its competitors. In today's media climate, it may not be as appropriate as it once was to talk about media as completely imperialist, and maybe the conversation will start to adapt to new models of transnational media in which the cultures to which the content is being sold is really the key to success.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

French Music & Fashion Media

France has long treated radio as a tool of communication, to inform citizens and provide news. Above the French sponsored RFI covers global issues and is available in other languages in other countries. Below the private owned Europe 1 is based in France and hosts numerous radio talk shows along with entertainment.

Above popular French radio FIP, NRJ, Nova and Skyrock and Radio Free Europe, an American initiative in Europe. Below the European Broadcasting Union is a private alliance of global participants. Eurosonic is their radio support network and contest.

Below the EBU's famous annual song contest Eurovision.

American musician Joel Cohen and France Music started the Fete de la Music on June 21 each year.

France's hip hop production leads the world, second only to the US. Below globally recognized French rap artist MC Solaar.

Above the French electronic musicians Daft Punk, Air and Dave Guetta. Air is from Versailles and were said to have encouraged the development of the French indie scene with Phoenix. Below also Curry & Coco and Pony Pony Run Run.

Below France now supports an official state school for training DJ's, more here.

Above French fashion media from magazines, to television to websites. Below the origin of the fashion magazine was aristocratic journals like Mecure Galant leading to the luxury Gazette du Bon Ton in the early 20th century.

Above the Lanvin Show in 1961. Modern media began to advance fashion. Slowly the world knew about the well known fashion circuit of shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris. Media helped build up fashion culminating in our postmodern moment when media is now an authority over fashion and style.

Above, the extreme surrealist and unusual fashion ads of Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Below the integration of fashion throughout French society as it is included in regular news, talk shows public ads and graffiti more commonly than in the US.

Above Fashion TV is the only network devoted to fashion 24/7. It was founded in Paris by investor Michel Adams and includes events and products. The channel shows instant broadcast of fashion shows but has been criticized for its other content being more about models than fashion. Below fashion journalists take the clothing more seriously. The world's most significant fashion journalist is based in Paris, Suzy Menkes. The rise of fashion blogging challenges established media. Center the Satorialist and right his French girlfriend fashion blogger Garance Dore.


12" As a Medium Techno: From Youth Culture to Cultural Constitution
Lily Galef

This article, published in Nettime Magazine in 1998, attempts to trace Techno music from its origins as a 'fad' in youth culture to what the author, Mercedes Bunz, terms 'Cultural Constitution'. Bunz asserts that because Techno was regarded as a fad, it was not given attention and therefore was able to grow into a part of society. The most unique aspect of techno, which Bunz uses as evidence that it has become a cultural constitution, is the fact that the artists are insignificant. Techno music is not a medium through which individuals can express themselves, it is pure art, with "no perpetrator behind the art".

Key Terms:
"Hiding in the Light": termed by Dick Hebdige, referring to the phenomenon of Techno being regarded as a fad, which actually fostered its growth into a cultural constitution.
Cultural Constitution: Techno being a 'cultural constitution' implies that it has become a part of society. It bridges the gap between highbrow culture and subculture and "offers us a new view of culture".

Mallarmè and La Dernier Mode

Lily Galef

This scholarly book, written by P.N Furbank and Alex Cain, is a translation of the Fashion Magazine La Dernier Mode, which was written, edited by, and created by Stephane Mallarme. The introduction, which we read for today, gives a brief summary of Mallarme's literary career and then mainly focuses on La Dernier Mode. He is mainly known for being an ironic and enigmatic poet in search of "l'oeuvre pure, yet the focus of this book is on his much lesser known work with La Dernier Mode. The book poses the question of why, "such a work of genius has received very little attention". The only other scholarly work on this subject noted by these authors is Jean-Pierre Leclercle's Mallarme et la mode, published in 1989.

Mallarme was the main contributor for the fashion magazine, yet he wrote all of his articles under different pseudonyms. The authors here discuss his love of decorative art, yet his strong criticism of its inability to innovate in his time. One of the most interesting aspects of this introduction is the comparison the authors make between Mallarme's interpretations of fashion and those of his contemporaries. The three main contemporaries are Gautier, Bauldelaire, and Barthes. The most interesting contrast made by these authors is how the these three poets were simply critics of fashion, whereas Mallarme explored it from the inside.

The concluding paragraphs of this chapter discuss Mallarme's motivations for starting the fashion magazine. The authors analyze Lecercle's interpretation and conclude that it is half right in its assumption that he created the magazine to "create a desperate hunger for poetry". The authors also analyze Dragonetti's interpretation that Mallarme's creation of La Dernier Mode had nothing to do with fashion at all, but had deeper literary meaning. The authors conclude that this interpretation is wrong, and biased by Dragonetti's disbelief that Mallarme could possible be interested in fashion. What struck me most about this chapter was the implication that fashion is something modern and intellectual that is worth analysis by some of the greatest minds of the nineteenth century.

Key Terms:
"Paradox of the New": The concept that fashion changes each year, yet stays the same within that year.