Colour, Space and Environment: An Investigation of Repetition through the Aestheticisation of Consumer Culture
This research project investigates the aesthetics of consumer culture through an exploration of the use of visual images based on the principle of repetition and mass-production. Incorporated in this are the notions of similarity and difference. Our consumer spaces are filled with an extensive range of products that have been mass-produced in a variety of colours that play a significant role in stimulating our senses. These colours also play a prominent role in the consumer’s decision to purchase goods and services. Repetition and similarity, difference and variation are the characteristics of this mass culture; they provoke a response and act as a catalyst for communication. These aspects of advertising stimulate our visual experience, affecting our moods and emotions and creating the illusion of values and choices. The works in this project act as a metaphor for the consumers’ experiences of confusion when they are confronted with the repetition of similar images in mass-production and advertising. The works are focused on viewer experience and offer a multi-dimensional visual aesthetic. They have been created in order to mirror the consumer’s relationship to the repetitive imagery of mass-production, where colour is purposely used to affect their sensations, desires and obsessions. The installations incorporate existing published material from mass media and advertising where the images are deliberately selected to evoke a sense of familiarity. The work prompts the viewer to recall memories and experiences of choosing and buying items from thousands of varieties of products. The project establishes correlations between repetition, similarity and difference as they contribute to the variety of visual messages in advertising. The repetition of the same images, in each installation, refers to the established methodology of mass production. Other aspects that provide a fundamental context for the project are the study of colour psychology in relation to the consumer and environment, and the theories of colour contrast and harmony as formulated by Johannes Itten. This project’s contribution to the field of installation art has been to create experiential environments that can evoke complex multi-sensory responses to the colours and images of advertising. Both the repetitive colours and images create visual fragmentation and produce the sense of similarity and difference. Every installation represents the aesthetic of repetitive image/form and shows how colours can stimulate and act upon our senses. The overall aims and outcomes of the work seek to reproduce the visual, aesthetic and psychological experiences of consumers as they interact with, and enjoy, the temptations and pleasures of the retail environment.
Keywords: Colour Psychology, Repetition and Mass Production, Colour, Space and Environment, Consumer Culture
Dr. Mohd Fauzi Sedon
Lecturer, Department of Art