Monday, December 12, 2005

Recontextualising again


Home again through Hunters Bar on foot - it’s the dwarf Christmas trees and fairy lights above the shops that I really like. And then I came across a window display of Penguin Classic mugs (potential presents for our literary friends. Now, whilst I prefer my very own Tigger mug, there’s something quite interesting about how the old paperback design has become iconic. I think a couple of years back they even made some new Penguin imprints with that retro design.

Printed on a mug or t-shirt these book-covers are recontextualised and they become something very different. They say something about the identity of the mug’s owner, her allegiances – how she wishes to be perceived. In this way a mug rack could be like a links list or blogroll. There’s also a sense in which this is a sort of remix – not exactly a creative remix as described here; nor remix as active consumption as described here, just a repurposing of the original (authentic?) image….. after all you read a mug rather differently, don't you?


Joolz said...

I like this post; I like retro but think it is very weird.

Mary Plain said...

There is a shop in Steep Hill that sells these and I always look and half think I would like one but then hold back.. agree with Joolz about weirdness! I do remember reading loads of the green detective ones when I was on holdiday in Cornwall aged about 10, Perry Mason and so on.. they had that damp book smell of books that are not really owned by anyone..

Guy Merchant said...

It's funny how so often our reading memories conjure up the senses!