Where do Subcultures go to Die?

Wikipedia’s definition of subculture-

In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture (whether distinct or hidden) which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong, for example, if a particular subculture is characterized by a systematic opposition to the dominant culture, it may be described as a counterculture.

Commercial sub-cultures are put to pasture in the place where they’ve spent their whole existence trying to avoid — the mainstream. It’s simple inevitability. The mainstream devalues subcultures for it’s own gain by using their appeal to certain markets as a tool to further their own agendas. This is particularly apparent within the advertising and entertainment fields.

Applying Philosophy to Art: Friedrich Nietzsche

Digressions, objections, delight in mockery, carefree mistrust are signs of health; everything unconditional belongs in pathology.

I love this quote by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (who also sports the meanest moustache) from his book BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL. I agree with the idea that questioning everything, mistrusting authority, and delight in mockery are healthy. Without people with these attributes, who will remind the rest of society about the abuses being placed on them by others? In my opinion, this idea should be applied to art and design as well.

Humans need a reality check every once in a while and art is the best way to convey it to the masses. If you feel a message needs to be heard don’t be afraid to express it through your creations. The prize doesn’t need to be profits or website hits, it could be the betterment of society through the passing of truly meaningful knowledge.

How I Learned the Power of Communication Design and Art

My first encounter with communication design was when I was in grade five. I regularily wrote, illustrated and published my own comic book and circulated it throughout my friends. The comic contained short — yet very funny — stories about two fools who always died at the end of each strip. I also enjoyed creating advertisements to space out the stories.

One day my teacher discovered this little rag in the hands of a careless friend. Mrs B was particularily concerned with one advertisement showcasing the “Do-Everthing” robot. This robot would do anything — including perform sanitation duties on humans in public bathrooms — which my drawing and typography clearly illustrated. Ultimately my folks were brought in and I was scolded for the propaganda.

All lack of professionalism and potty humor aside, it was this moment in my life when I discovered the power of communication design and information. I honestly believe If we change our ways and start using this power with the right ideas — we can change things for the better.