Détournement á la Mode Situationist Praxis: History and Present of Cultural Political Resistance to the Psychology of Advertising Spectacle

Odih, Pamela. 2013. Détournement á la Mode Situationist Praxis: History and Present of Cultural Political Resistance to the Psychology of Advertising Spectacle. Journal for Cultural Research, 17(4), pp. 1-35. ISSN 1479-7585 [Article]

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According to neuromarketing advertising techniques, our brains are neurologically segmented into differentially operating zones; consequently advertisements have to be aesthetically designed to communicate and activate precise neural circuits. Neuroimaging technologies have reassured the allegorical attestation of marketing legitimacy: efficacy of practice translates into the vividly surreal-coloured imagery of functional magnetic resonance imaging. In this brand, new cerebral hemisphere of marketing technology, the brain’s neural processes provide the medium for advertising messages. Thus, visual media and aesthetics capable of generating convincing simulacra, depicting the most spectacular variations in levels of neuron activity, are increasingly achieving currency. Interventions, by advertising creatives, into the realm of the artistic avant-garde, raise many fundamental questions about tendering the interiority of human consciousness. This paper traces the history and presence of cultural political encounters with the psychology of advertising spectacle. Primarily informed by the artist avant-garde of Situationist International (SI) (1957-1972), my definition of the advertising psychology spectacle refers to the mediation of social relationships by the currency of advertising psychology. In neuromarketing and advertising, the spectacle translates materiality, affect and embodiment into the sign-currencies of western capitalist commodity culture. Resistance, to the recuperation of the artistic avant-garde into the spiralling vortex of the spectacle, can be traced back to SI and its challenges to the meretricious spectacle of advertising psychology. Indeed, Situationists’ praxis has relevance to an appreciation of Adbusters and their interrogation of the psychology of the advertising spectacle.

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2 January 2013Published

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05 Jul 2013 10:15

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07 Jul 2017 12:01

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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