PDP (Level 4)

The first term of Constellation (Smells Like Teen Spirit) I felt was far more exciting than the second one being down to my own personal preference. I felt like it was more relatable to my practice and it opened doors to new ways of thinking and introduced me to designers and artists and also subcultures past, present and internationally. By attending these lessons, it helped to create direct links with my interests and enhance the work I was creating in Subject. For example, after the lesson based on goths and their subculture, research was conducted and found that from this subculture different versions of the goth were born in Japan many years after the goth was originally made. Even though the second study group didn’t grab my interest it did help build upon the essay tool-box. It showed how an argument can be created use different steps. This helped my understanding on why an essay should be constructed in a certain way to keep the reader involved and absorbed through it.

I have chosen to write my essay on the differences and similarities between a goth and the Japanese variations based in Harajuku because I felt this was a topic I wanted to research further into and that it has a relevance to my practice. Being able to make connections to my work can be useful for me which it has this time round and hasn’t in the past. Being able to create these connections brings Constellation together with my subject area and field and this enhances all three areas. Even though I have really enjoyed researching this topic I have found it difficult at times, whether this be researching into meanings further or not rambling on when writing the essay. Doing the further research has helped stop the rambling because I knew what had to be said.  Writing the essay, not in chronological order also helped, writing the introduction and conclusion last and creating it to connect with the main body was a huge benefit.

 From the study group introductions at the beginning of the year, I was drawn into Smells Like Teen Spirit because being able to understand the way people live is an interest and reading books like ‘Subculture the meaning of style’ by Hebdige has really helped. All of these resources excited myself because they gave you an insight on these ‘gangs’ and how they all identify to be the same. As my practice was looking at celebrity culture I was able to identify the key characteristics of this culture and bring it to my work. I was also able to challenge these conventions by changing the connotations of objects, colour and form to create a meaning that was more tailored towards my concept.

In conclusion, the first term was the more successful one out of the two and definitely something I will be continuing to investigate throughout my remaining years at CSAD. The second term just wasn’t something that had interested me as much as the first but I was still able to take skills and knowledge from it. The first year of Constellation was a success.



Talking About Objects.


  • Malleable shape
  • Something about it that makes it look solid or flowing.
  • Looks like the body, like layers of fat. Possibly a female body.
  • Maybe a reference to Greek sculpture.
  • Figurative aspects however it is slowly reaching into the abstract boundary.
  • Once you look into things it can create questions.
  • It has a feminine form.
  • The way it is cut gives it that greek reference.
  • Looks like a pillar of flesh rather than a torso due to missing arms.
  • Looks feminine because the shape is soft.
  • The suggestion of a torso.
  • Fat lady
  • Venus statue
  • Compression of skin
  • Hard elephant skin
  • Texture resembles scales
  • Are there breasts or suggestion to breasts?
  • Organic vs. geometric.


Banks and I believe; Yates’s small sculpture conveys a plump female figure with expressive marks that could possibly resemble leather suggesting this female is a tough chick.

  • Is gender a thing?Picture2
  • Two gender in the image but the alien face connotes that the gender is not needed.
  • Colour background is also playing the masculine and feminine roles, however, the black is again challenging that.


  • The colour backgrounds are challenging gender binaries.


  • Challenging gender, body and screen colours.
  • Simple, innocent, playful?
  • Third arm? Body postures.
  • Quite sinister, this juxtaposes the playful aspect that comes through with the background colours.
  • Conflicting body language.
  • The covered genitals make the figure anonymous.
  • Hormogenic


Rozel’s animation still breaks the barrier between gender binaries, challenging traditional views on gender. The lurid colours protest against gender typical colours and the black has the significance of mutuality between male and female. The covering of the genitals accomplishes an androgynous connotation, further breaking the barrier.




As defined in the oxford dictionary a cyborg is a fictional or hypothetical person whose abilities are far beyond our human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body. Haraway states “a cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction.” An example of this could be the use of mechanical elements to helps us survive like a pacemaker or it could also mean human beings using technology in everyday life both of these create the hybrid Haraway has spoken about. The definition of technology has no limitations and until a better understanding of it is made with more research means we will not have a true definition of cyborg. Once more research has happened and gives us a better understanding, a much clearer conclusion will be in place.


Key Concepts

Key concept:

  • Re-signification
  • To inflict given meanings by combining things borrowed from one system of meanings into a different code.
  • To modify
  • To intensify or exaggerate or isolate
  • To combine forms
  • Clarke, Hall, Jefferson

This concept can, the majority of the time, be implied to anything. It is useful when trying to understand subcultures that I have been looking at in constellation.

Column Analysis:


Image of column analysis of GOD SAVE THE QUEEN – SEX PISTOL SINGLE COVER by Jamie Reed (1977)

The column analysis process helps unpick a chosen image and analysis the image in a much easier simpler way. It allows you to easily see the connections in a piece of work.


This technique will help build up my essay for both formative and summative assessment.

With the columns I have done so far I have been having difficulty with the second and third columns (analysis and theory) something I have always struggled with, however, the more I do the better I am getting with it. A difficulty, for example, is finding the correct connotations for each denotation that I have found. This is something that I can overcome by researching my chosen area more to gain more knowledge of the connections and links that subcultures have.

I will use the columns analysis to find the connotations and theory of the image ________ by _____ for my formative assessment.


Remake Remodel Subculture Style and Identity – (27/10/2016)

The Hip- Hop subculture is one that used resignification in their work and stood for something. The were a known as a black African-American  lower-class subculture who made the statement that America is their home but so is the land of their ancestors. This was shown through their clothing and style in general.

Afrocentrism is a theme that emerged in hip hop style which references to their homeland and black culture and way there are so many black societies in American due to black culture and history.

————————————————————————–In addition to the checklist on the goths:

  • Analysis
  • Bringing back a style with a new intake
  • Combining different meanings i.e. Victoriana
  • Drawing on historical sources to create a meaning in work
  • Inspiration comes from all disciplines.
  • Cultural context – where meanings are generated from. Androgynous – broken gender rules, beauty, challenged rules on make-up and clothing.
  • Symbolism – to convey meanings.
  • Literary context – influences can come from anywhere, literature, movies etc.
    • Re-signification: changing the connotations of objects, imagery, and cultures. JUXTAPOSE, changing the function and meanings.
    • Borrowing from the past and recycling. The association with the trilby and the links with white culture like the Mercedes.
    • Rule breaking.
    • Expressing themselves like the goths, however, in a different way.
    • Political meanings in a creative way.
    • Artisan
    • Using cultural influences in work. i.e. the hip-hop guys would use African influences alongside American influences to create a fusion. VISUALLY AND MATERIALLY.
    • One object to create links to each other.
    • Exaggeration – definitely something to be used in collages. Play with size!!!!
    • Style influenced by society.
    • Think about how you are seeing things differently.

Grimly Fiendish (20/10/2016)

The second week of constellation we looked at the goths in the 1980’s. I found it quite interesting where their designs had originated from and how the Goth’s were able to modify the Victorian look (corset, mourning gown).

From this session, I was able to use some of the techniques I learned that this subculture had used, to influence my own practice. For example:

  • Analysis
  • Bringing back a style with a new intake
  • Combining different meanings i.e. Victoriana
  • Drawing on historical sources to create a meaning in work
  • Inspiration comes from all disciplines.
  • Cultural context – where meanings are generated from. Androgynous – broken gender rules, beauty, challenged rules on make-up and clothing.
  • Symbolism – to convey meanings.
  • Literary context – influences can come from anywhere, literature, movies etc.

The use of column analysis was helpful to unpick the different parts of this subculture. It is also a learning technique that will definitely be used to help build up my preparation for my formative assessment.