Workshop 4 - Subvertisement - Do we really care what lies beneath the shiny surface?
Location: On-site (Hanken School of Economics)
Advertising is a way of communication that has a huge impact on our society. It is the language in which the companies and politicians talk to us. Advertisements tell us how to live our lives, what to look like, what to buy and who to vote for. Still, advertisements play by their own rules. The law says that it is forbidden to lie in an advertisement, but as we all know, advertisement doesn’t necessarily tell the truth.
Subverticements are tools with which we can have a critical look at advertisements. A Subvertisement is a parody of an advertisement that plays with the form of advertising and speaks its language. Even if subvertisements look like advertisements there is a fundamental difference between the two: subvertisement says what the advertisement can never say.
Underneath the shining surface and beautiful promises of advertisements lies a part of the truth that advertisers rather not talk about. Often the production of goods and services include problematic issues that are seldom present in advertisements. We know of these problems, but do we feel them?
Subvertisements help us connect the knowledge to our emotions. A critique of advertisements and the products advertised needs to be based on verified facts but facts seldom have an impact on our emotions. As the language of advertising is designed to have an impact on our emotions the subvertisement is just the right tool to open a dialogue in that language. And after the emotion it is important to follow with facts.
Jari. T says, "I have been a part of Voima magazine’s subverting team for over 20 years. For years I have combined the subvertisements with science communication and I have teached students and teachers around the country in primary schools, colleges, universities and wherever suitable audiences can be reached. Thanks to our work the subvertisements have also been included in the school curriculum in Finland."
In this workshop Jari will tell more about the subvertisements and how they might be art, or a form of creative photojournalism, or a tool for activists or science communicators. Also you'll have a short exercise on how to combine the language of advertisements and the language of poetry, and will have a discussion on how those two are related and at the same time separated.
Jari Tamminen, journalist at the Voima magazine. His main focus as a journalist has been on the Culture Jamming, political culture and activism. Also as a part of his work at the Voima he has led the Voima's subvertisement team. Tamminen sees subvertisements as a form of visual storytelling and experimental photojournalism, art, and activism.
Tamminen also is the CEO of the Häiriköt-päämaja (Jammers/Troublemakers HQ). Häiriköt-päämaja is a science communication project that brings together provocative art and academic research. The subvertisements that Tamminen and his team has produced have secured their place as part of the curriculum in the Finnish schools. The works have also been widely shown in art exhibitions in museums and galleries.