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Chapter 2-2

CMNS 221 Chapter 2-2: The Dream World of Mass Consumption


Department
Communication
Course Code
CMNS 221
Professor
Martin Laba
Chapter
2-2

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TheDreamWorldofMassConsumption
● “Lessonofthings”
● Theexpositionsemphasisgraduallychangedfrominstructingthevisitorinthe
wondersofmodernscienceandtechnologytoentertaininghim
● Atthe1900expositionthesensualpleasuresofconsumptionclearlytriumphedover
theabstractintellectualenjoymentofcontemplatingtheprogressofknowledge
● TheTrocaderoliesastrictlylogicalandconsistentorderingprinciple:thesubmission
oftruth,ofcoherence,oftaste,ofallotherconsiderationstotheendsofbusiness
Thesignificanceoftheexposition
● Theculturalchangesworkinggraduallyanddiffuselythroughoutsocietywerethere
madevisibleinaconcreteandconcentratedway
● Afarmorethoroughgoingsubstitutionofsubjectiveimagesforexternalreality
● Consumergoods,ratherthanotherfacetsofculture,becamefocalpointsfordesire
● The“lessonofthings”taughtbythemakebelievecityofthe1900expositionwasthat
adreamworldoftheconsumerwasemerginginrealcitiesoutsideitsgates
Exoticismindepartmentstores
● Theobjectiveadvantagesofsomewhatlowerpricesandlargerselectionwhichthese
storiesofferedovertraditionalretailoutletswerenottheonlyreasonsfortheir
success
● Moresignificantfactorsweretheirpracticesofmakingeachitemwithafixedprice
andofencouragingcustomerstoinspectmerchandiseeveniftheydidnotmakea
purchase
● Thedepartmentstoreintroducedanentirelynewsetofsocialinteractionsto
shopping
● Inexchangeforthefreedomtobrowse,meaningthelibertytoindulgeindreams
withoutbeingobligatedtobuyinfact,thebuyergaveupthefreedomtoparticipate
activelyinestablishingpricesandinsteadhadtoacceptthepricesetbytheseller
● Activeverbalinterchangebetweencustomerandretailerwasreplacedbythe
passive,muteresponseofconsumertothings
● Theassaultofdissociatedstimuliisonecauseofthenumbedfascinationofthe
customers
● Thedecorrepresentsanattempttoexpressvisionsofdistantplacesinconcrete
terms
● Repetitionisoftenemployedtonumbthespectatorevenfurther
The"Aesthetic”ofexoticism
● Thedifferenceisinthenatureoftheaudienceandthemotivationbehindthedisplay
● Hodgepodgeofthevisualthemes
● Exoticdecoristhereforeimpervioustoobjectionsoftaste
● Exoticdecorexistsasanintermediateformoflifebetweenartandcommerce
● Decormightbeabletoinventanauthenticstyleifitrenouncedtheattempttoimitate
artandinsteadrealizeditsownnature
DistantVisions
● 5categoriesofdistantvisionsexhibits
○ Ensemblesinrelief
○ Panoramasinwhichthespectatormoves
○ Thoseinwhichthepanoramaitselfmoves
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