Apologies. Now, I’ve had a pretty hard time getting down in front of my computer and actually getting to write stuff. There were the 7th and the 14th of November to write about and I totally procrastinated until I could no longer stand myself for it. So here goes.
November the 7th. A good day it was as far as I remember. I had to go to the Illustration Symposium in Oxford but guess who slept over 5 alarms and woke up at half nine. (FIVE FREAKING ALARMS!!! I mean, who does that?! I wasn’t even hungover!) So I swear my brains out and I decide that there’s no point in me being mad at myself and I should just go to the Constellation Key Note lecture… which I did.
And look at my surprised face when I see Cath Davies (from the study skills with the James Bond posters) getting her stuff ready to give the lecture. The guy sitting next to me literally shivered when he saw her and said something about her being freaking scary and intimidating, to which I laughed because I though he was just joking. In retrospect, I see he might’ve actually been serious… well, whatever, I really like her as a lecturer so…
Imagine my surprise when she starts her lecture with a picture of a pair of Dr. Martens and says that’s what she is going to talk about. I looked down at my feet—Dr. Martens. Check! I smile and don’t take my eyes off the projections the whole lecture.
Okay, so the lecture wasn’t exactly about the Dr. Martens boots. It was about Meaning. Once something is made for the use of people it’s meaning and regard depends on who it’s used by and how these people are using it. She put everything she was saying in a Dr. Martens context and it all made sense.
In the beginning these were worker shoes – comfortable enough and sturdy and lasting. People wore them because they were good for work. I’m not going to explain everything Cath Davies talked about in her lecture but I will tell you that after the skinheads and mods in the 60s, everything changed. The Dr. Martens shoes became a signature piece of clothing for what those people represented – chaos, not following the rules and what-not. The tradition carried on in the 70s with the punks and neo-skins, in the 80s with the goths and psychobillies and in the 90s with the grunge and Britpop waves. So yes, the meaning of the Dr. Martens boots has changed over the times. I clearly remember several things that were noted about Docs nowadays—they’re in Vogue, they’re stylish, fashionable, they come in patterns, customized, personified, modified, they even come in Miley Cyrus’s new video where she’s dangling on a freaking wrecking ball wearing only a pair of Dr. Martens. Really? I mean, really? Is that where it all leads? From the gutter and the mud to the spotlight and the catwalk. Quite interesting if I may say so.
So yes. Everything we see around us has its own “baggage”—years and years of culture, meaning, views, rises and falls… all constantly in the process of change. I really liked this lecture even though I don’t see what its connection was with the other lectures.
*** here’s what my sketchbook looks like in this lecture :))
NOW. Study Skill Session with Dr. Jon Clarkson was connected to our essay and most of the two ours went by with us dissecting a text into Claims, Metaphors and Facts. It was a weird lecture and I felt like most of the people in my group are the type pf people that mainly listen and take in and when Jon asks a question they know the answer in their head but they’re not quite enthusiastic about saying it out loud in front of everyone. I was one of those people and although I didn’t understand most of what we did, I still tried to keep the discussion going.
If I have to be honest, this session really reminded me of Theo Humphries’s. Not because it was in the same room, but they did focus on work with text and converting things in our own words. It was weird but I did pinpoint several useful things for the essay that I have to write.
- Teenage Kicks – Cultural Approaches to Dr Martens Boots (carysedmunds.wordpress.com)
- Constellation 7th Nov. Dr Martens (ciaranmiles.wordpress.com)
- ‘Teenage Kicks’ (daniwillison.wordpress.com)
- Week 7 – Constellation (emwoods95.wordpress.com)
- Constellation – 7.11.13 (fergusonmegan.wordpress.com)