Creativity and Transgression: Brief

In your previous essay you explored the rhetorical position of a media, detailing the ways in which it attempted to persuade its consumers and users to behave in certain ways and subscribe to specific values. In many senses these rhetorical positions outlined the idealised consumers for the media – the target market / audience etc.

This assignment tasks you not to explore the target market, or those that meet the expectations of the creators, but rather those who, for whatever reason engage with the media in unpredictable, non-normative or transgressive ways. If media are political, full of processes of identifying and distributing power and status, what does it mean to work against the message within the text? What does it mean to transgress the rhetoric of a medium?

In taught session you’ll explore notions of Biopower, Detournement and other frameworks that will contextualise the transgressive act.

In this assignment you are tasked with exploring the ways in which individuals can be seen to work against the rhetorical position of a text – e.g. by producing mash-ups, by pirating material, by finding alternate ways of doing things, by hacking games, or cheating systems. You should explore the transgressive aspect of a medium of your choice:

How are people transgressing the rhetorical position of a text?
What ways do they justify these actions?
What relationship does this have with the development or long-term security of a text?

The fundamental question this essay is answering is;

What are the methods, justifications and impacts of transgression on the rhetorics of a media of your choice?

You are invited to document and analyse the specific case study in detail, including photographs, screen-grabs, etc. in your essay. It is essential that this is referenced appropriately using the Harvard conventions.

A word of warning; Wikipedia is not considered an appropriate source (it is often widely inaccurate due to the peer-contribution system), you will be expected to use book-based, as well as internet sources for your research.

Remember, you are not being marked on the final product alone:

The Critical Journal details the creative and intellectual process that you have undertaken in order to complete the assignment, think of it as a digital sketchbook. In reality it will take the form of reflection, developmental sketches, annotated links to inspiration, prototypes, and dialogue with your peers etc. – a documentation of the various steps you have taken to develop and create the Artefact that you have submitted. It is expected that this will represent a substantive body of work in its own right and be both visible and accessible for your tutors. Please make the Critical Journal into what suits your practice – document the work that you produce and the steps that you take, and please overcome the need to document the process digitally with the same flair and creativity you apply to the Artefact itself!


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