Monday, February 7, 2011

Audience matters

As I continue to explore what technology is and means to us today. I recently came across an interesting section from the book "Publics and Counter publics" by Michael Warner. In it Warner suggests there always is an audience. Regardless if the audience is actively engaged or passively amused. He also brings up several notions that I think go hand-in-hand with our overly sharing offenders (myself included) with social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube and good ol' Myspace. Who are you addressing and what's your intended audience?  With that being said, I'm puzzled by the means of this new age rhetoric of instant publishing. Are we so intertwined with the (general) public that we don't have the means to choose a public anymore? 

Warner suggests knowing where and when it is assembled in common visibility and common actions allows people to find their belonging, their subscription and their own discourse. Also, in that sense Warner goes on to pose the question, "Can the public exist apart from the rhetoric?"

Relating this to my project of decoding dress codes and the socio-cultural meanings we come across through our garments, Warner's claims make me think of a crowd witnessing something, the attire of a street performer or an audience member at the opera. Who was their chosen public when deciding their dress? Do they reach only them? Where do they start to form their own discourse on what to wear or as in Warner's critique are they addressing their audience through their clothing?

Who is your public?






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