All Consuming Images has 99 ratings and 13 reviews. Adrienne said: You don’t have to read much of this book to get Ewen’s point: capitalism Stuart Ewen. For prosperous townfolk of 15th century Europe, the ability to purchase an illuminated Book of Hours was a sign that one had “arrived.” Today, buying a Picasso. All Consuming Images by Stuart Ewen A provocative, compelling, and entertaining look at how the power of images dominates every aspect of our lives.

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All Consuming Images: The Politics Of Style In Contemporary Culture by Stuart Ewen

Open Preview See a Problem? Een for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A provocative, compelling, and entertaining look at how the power of images dominates every aspect of our lives.

Paperbackpages. Published March 20th by Basic Books, Inc. To see what your friends thought of this book, ocnsuming sign up. To ask other readers questions about All Consuming Imagesplease sign up.

Lists with This Book. Jan 29, Adrienne rated dwen liked it. You don’t have to read much of this book to get Ewen’s point: The book made me, yes, aware, but more feeling that marketers need to be sent to their own island somewhere.

It reinforces why there’s a commandment not to make any graven images. Jun 24, Dylan rated it really liked it. Written in media studies lilt before there was media studies lilt. Jun 05, Nyssa added it. For Holmes, photography signaled the beginning of a time when the “image would become more important than the object itself, and would in fact make the object disposable. The new consumer democracy, which was propelled by the mass production and marketing of wll goods, was founded on the idea that symbols and prerogatives of elites could now be made available on a mass scale.

The impact of industrialism on the character and scale of the style market was prodigious. Industries previously characterized by artisanal handcrafts, and by a relative scarcity of output, were now able to turn out enormous quantities of goods. Elegantly worked surfaces, once the product of slow and deliberate skill, were now the product of high-speed, less-skilled, factory processes.

Much of what gets thrown away is packaging, the provocatively designed wrappings that we have come to expect on nearly everything we purchase. In the United States inmore than 37 percent of the debris tossed into municipal waste systems was made up of paper and paperboard products.

Glass, metal, and plastics–largely from disposable containers–comprised another But it is not just packaging. Increasingly, products which in the past would have been considered “durables” quickly find their way into the trashbin.


These include wristwatches, telephones and other electronic devices, razors, pens, medical and hospital supplies,cigarette lighters,and, recently, cameras. Joseph Smith, a consumer psychologist, contends that the popular appeal of disposable products “reflects our changing social values; there’s less emphasis on permanence today.

The purpose is to make the customer discontented with his old type of fountain pen, kitchen utensil, bathroom or motor car, because it is old fashioned, out-of-date. The technical term for this idea is obsoletism.

We no longer wait for things to wear out. We displace them with others that are not more effective but more attractive.

Even as the machinery of the “ever-evolving new” is perpetually in search of the “memorable,” the particular sources–or aesthetics–from which commercially “memorable” images are drawn are unimportant.

In a society where the skinning of the visible world has become commonplace, any skin, any visual connotation, maybe drawn into service. The only requirements for appropriation into the style market are these. The image must be able to be disembodied, separated form its source.

The image must be capable of being “economically” mass produced. Given these three essentials, the market in style is extraordinarily plastic–capable of being molded, of receiving form. May 28, Peter Savigny rated dtuart liked it. Talk about a fork in the road!!!. I read this book in consumong the author spoke at, of all places, the Broadcast Designer’s Association awards.

I was there to receive 4 prestigious awards for my computer animation cojsuming in advertising. I wonder if the event organizers knew of his beliefs and had even read his book?

True, tv is slightly less of a style-driven medium aiming to influence your consumption habits, but television advertising is truly at the forefront, along with print. How could I have overlooked the premise of the industry I worked in and believed that I was contributing value to a field that coerced?

Why did my ethics come into play so strongly? Was Emmanuel Kant’s moral philosophy that “the means do not justify the ends” sic making me have second thoughts about imagee career choice? I was aiming towards a field of show opens and image assembly that would’ve vaulted my place in the annals of design. LA was on my horizon. Motion pictures were next. Means DID justify the ends. But now it no longer felt right.

I subsequently backed off my blind pursuit of stardom and ventured into less commercial arenas – sports and news graphic design – both sensationalized in their own way, but less stuaet. Now I’m writing a tv episodic that focuses on sturat blind subservience the masses provide to the industries of coercion, and how commercial art is subject to the market’s demands.

It’s a comedy of sorts!!!

All Consuming Images

This book completely changed my direction in life. Not sure for the better, yet, but change it did! Aug 25, Thomas Pfaff rated it liked it Recommends it for: This book, as I recall, discussed in length the problems with slick advertising. It goes into commonly discussed topics consuning as how advertisements tend to try and make you feel like you’ll consuminf a more attractive or better person by buying some product.


Being in high-tech it was probably a good book to read! It might have reminded me of what I was doing as soon after reading it I drastically cut back on high-tech purchases. I remember it as a pretty good consuminv typically academic in nature. Jun 09, Petter Nordal rated it it was amazing. Ewen places the notion of style within its economic and social context, arguing that larger businesses developed our current conception of style in the early twentieth century in order to sell goods beyond mere necessity.

If you’d rather die than wear uncool clothes, if you feel like a loser because you don’t have the latest gadgets, or if you think you are different from others because of the shoes you wear, then this book will explain how you’ve been had.

Oct staurt, Maya rated it really liked it. Mar 29, Zedder rated it liked it. I used to read books like this all the time. I guess I thought they were dealing with one of the more significant ethical issues of our age: Why isn’t that a topic that philosophers write about?

Apr 22, Cambra rated it liked it. Aug 17, Carla Remy rated it liked it Shelves: Some excellent things about the selling stuatt style, politics, advertising.

On whole, also long and boring. Dec 18, Deb marked it as to-read. Been ween my list for a while. Recommended by Betsy, a very socially consicous friend. Apr 20, Walter rated it it was amazing Shelves: Essential reading for culture watchers. Kathy rated it really liked it May 19, Jessica rated it really liked it May 17, Namwoo Noh rated it liked it Oct 23, Navin R rated it liked it Nov 02, Aislinn rated it really liked it Mar 10, Heather rated it really liked it Aug 31, Bryan rated it it was ok Feb 09, John rated it really liked it Jun 07, Melanie rated it liked it Jun consyming, Lisa rated it really liked it Aug 20, Eric rated it liked it Feb 03, Steve rated it it was amazing Mar 06, Mike Templeton rated it really liked it Jan 18, Craig Imagees rated it it was amazing Jul 21, Eween Vance rated it really liked it Jan 26,