Mander Pants

Thoughts & Observations Through A Different Set Of Eyes

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Ok here’s the finished “project”.

Not as great as I would have liked it, but unfortunately I don’t have access to a color printer on campus. I also did not have a glue stick in sight. Lastly I was limited to two magazines for cutouts.

But it gets my point across and my professor doesn’t know that I had an Advanced Art Honors class in high school so he doesn’t expect much. Lol.

Here’s my one page analysis of my own art.

Walking into Hot Topic you are an individual wearing clothing from various source that fit your style. Walking out of Hot Topic you are wearing the same clothes as the subculture.

Different like everybody else.

My art piece focuses on Viewers Make Meaning and Reception and the Audience. I want to show how some subcultures are ironic in their ideals, this one being consumers of Hot Topic merchandise and clothing. The consumers of Hot Topic are the defiant youth of mainstream culture. They do not conform to ‘good taste’. Hot Topic is a retailer that specializes in punk, goth, and pop culture to market to individuals who prefer alternative “hardcore” clothing styles.

The irony is that consumers of Hot Topic’s marketed products are those who are trying to avoid the mainstream. In attempts to be different they are becoming the same: different like everyone else. The youth that make up the goth and punk subculture look very similar to each other. They have colored hair, wear mostly black with red or neon colors, favor pins and patches, heavy eyeliner and of course Tripp pants (those baggy pants with hanging chains and straps). As a result of the marketing toward deviant subcultures, the line between mainstream and subculture fashion is blurring. Marketing makes something mainstream, exactly what these consumers do not like, yet they buy these unique items from Hot Topic.

Punks and goth utilize bricolage and signifying practices because they are disdaining from the norms of consumer culture. They alter meanings of items to suit their purposes. For example, cartoons geared toward children like Sesame Street and My Little Pony. However, marketing agencies found a way to profit from this by selling unique grunge items that appeal to the subculture. They gauge audience’s reactions and market appropriately. So while trying to be unique and ironic by liking My Little Pony or an old 90s Nickelodeon show, the store keeps tabs on what their demographic is into, even though it is quirky, nerdy or rebellious. The customers buy up these unique products only to look just like their friends or other people in their demographic.


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