Jieling Hu

"Lifestyle Business"

Section MS10, Matthew Darmour-Paul

Keywords: consumption, identity, technology, collage

'Individual media' has expanded rapidly with the development of networked technology. Individual media refers to the privatised, popularised, automatic dissemination of information. It takes the form of a modern, digital method to convey formal and informal information between bloggers, YouTubers, influencers and audiences on different platforms. These individuals all rely on producing content that attracts people with the goal of eventual traffic monetisation. Beauty products, luxury accessories, and healthy food are highly regarded, especially for young audiences. For example, every lipstick colour advertised by a popular star on social media will soon after be sold out at stores. After seeing photos of numerous food bloggers appearing on boxes of oat milk, young people begin to believe that drinking plant milk is the healthiest lifestyle available to them.

For the philosopher Guy Debord, societies contemporaneous with Post-war Europe (and by extension, new generations of digital natives) are living in the ā€˜spectacleā€™ - a social relation between people that is mediated by images. People acquiesce in their lifetime pursuit of signs and ignore their alienation from materials, and seem to be unaware of living in an illusion.

This work assembles two parts of information: ā€˜better lifeā€™ and ā€˜identity tagā€™, which constitute the new spectacle for most young people online today. Consumers are instigated that you are what you buy.

The pleasing pictures keep emphasizing both better lives and identities to us. The green screen in the work represents an alternative media product in capitalist production. What the products are is not that important as they will soon be replaced by new products. But what really matters is the belief in consumption. The green screen displayed on the phone screen in the work is superimposed on the green screen outside the screen, which can be understood as transparent. Advertisements separated from the content of the last century have sneaked into the 21st century in a softer form. Hints of this reality are seen on the screen - but where is the outside of the screen?