Microencapsulation is the innovative technology behind the 70's and 80's scratch and sniff phenomenon. This technology was developed along carbonless copy paper, where prior to word processing and the copy machine, thin sheets of paper and plastic were coated with with micro-capsules of scent or ink. So when scratched either scent or ink was displaced.
Although as complacent as carbonless copy paper, the trend of scratch and sniff has been retroactively used to generate multi-sensory experiences. Most often this technology is associated with scratch and sniff stickers who supposedly to hold their scents for years. This is documented by both Amy's Vintage Scratch'n'Sniff Sticker Library and Bubbledog's Scratch & Sniff Stickers. These smells will go undetected unless you have some form of digital scent technology, such as the iSmell Synthesizer, a computer USB device daydreamed to emit smells based on your browsing, unfortunately this product never developed past the prototype stages.
Like Willy Wonka, artist Kayleigh Webster developed Scratch and Sniff Wallpaper covered in fruit, while designer Michael Angelo along with Flavor Paper created Cherry Forever a cherry scented wallpaper which is marketed about $300 a role. If you think it couldn't get any weirder, the denim maison de couture Naked and Famous released Scratch-n-Sniff Raspberry Denim, where men's jeans have finally taken on the masculine effervescence of raspberries.
Two television programs have utilized olfaction; the US's TLC's channel enticed viewership with a scratch and sniff card for it's program Honey Boo Boo while the UK's BBC network utilized a scratch and sniff promotional flyer for it's show Filthy Cities. The English also engaged in a multi-sensory exhibition during their 2013 New Year's Eve celebration where fireworks on London's Thames were choreographed and curated to match a fruity scratch and sniff pamphlet. This sensory overload brings about the kid and crudeness in all of us, author Bryan B. received over $20K in support of his scratch and sniff children's book titled Animal Gas: A Scratch and Sniff Picture Book.
Aside from making folks smile with smelly stickers, whiff-able wall paper, stinky stories, and perfumed pants; microencapsulation had provided the public with aromatic apparatus to safely distinguish and identify the scent of natural gas, ammonia, paint thinner, expired milk, and most importantly poppers.
By understanding that material culture doesn't necessarily exist in one inert/defined form but it is an evolving circle where popular culture and cultural beliefs influence objects (such as Jesus on candle or Hello Kitty on a credit card credit card), while vise-a-verse where objects also influence popular culture and consumption (such as Keith Richards and Angelina Jolie's Louis Vuitton campaigns and or Betty White endorsing LifeLine)
The idea of commodity-ization can easily be defined by both the check book and credit card, as they equate to capital.
There are several banks (and third party organizations) that allow customers to personalize both their credit card and check books too. Simply upload a Jpeg photo of your family or God knows what, and voila buying power and a better chance at having your identity stolen. This credit card and check book market are saturated with customization and personal-ization where you can choose from your a variety of pop culture icons; cartoons, animals, landscapes, foods, slogans, motorized vehicles, and let's not forget cultural and political beliefs such as Pro-Life Checks and or a more philanthropic way of giving where a percentage of each transaction goes to the SPCA and Breast Cancer Awareness.
If customizing isn't enough, consider the gold encrusted and diamond embedded Visa which is unfortunately issued by invitation only. Nothing says luxury like this otherwise seen as impersonating the black Amex with it's mere $10,000 in initiation and annual fees. Another way to completely participate in pop culture is to enroll in celebrity sponsored credit cards, such as the 2010 Kardashian Kard which was later pulled from the market due to backlash over it's outrageous fees. So rather than printing counterfeit money with your photo on it, you now have an opportunity to customize you buying power thanks to the intersection of popular culture and material culture.
Bacon was literally single the food item that ended my life as a vegetarian and vegan (although brief). I clearly remember the moment; this woman ran a stop sign and totaled my car, so waiting for the police she informed me she owns a diner and invited me to stop by. Well I did, and the smell alone was nostalgic- taking me back to my mother's cooking of bacon on the weekends and awaking to it's fine aroma. Of course I indulged thus ending my meat-free manners.
Since the Super Bowl is upon us, this presents a wonderful opportunity to over indulge in extremely unhealthy food, while watching television. Nachos, wings, and of course bacon. "Bacon Mania" is an actual term movement to describe the rise in popularity in bacon and material culture involving bacon. This movement is a result in the rise in high-protein diets such as The Atkin's Diet. Basically if you can think it, someone has or will create it; bacon infused vodka, bacon wrapped hotdogs, bacon mints, bacon coffee, bacon lube, bacon bandaids, bacon candles, bacon toothpaste, etc.
True innovation stems in how you cook the bacon. You have the 1980's Nordic Ware microwavable plastic bacon grill, Presto Bacon Maker (the book ends of bacon), Emson Bacon Wave (drying rack for bacon), WowBacon (the sangria pitcher of bacon), a hand-thrown stoneware/ceramic Bacon Cooker, and now The Perfect Bacon Bowl! "Never have a boring meal again! Perfect Bacon Bowl makes a whole new way to munch." As if somehow your previous "bacon bowl" was imperfect.
The Perfect Bacon Bowl is quite literally a bowl made of bacon. And for what? Everything! The bacon bowl serves as a great container for breakfast related food, scrambled eggs as well as cereal and milk. Also lunch such as clam chowder soup and delicious deserts such as ice cream Sundays. Forget heating bacon in a skillet, take a half-hour of your day to strategically layer bacon over the cups, then microwave till the plastic cups are perfectly melted and gooey for added flavoring. There is nothing better than an Jello bacon bowl. Either way there is no other sure-fire way to raise your cholesterol while lowering you need for dishes. Celebrate this year's Super Bowl with The Perfect Bacon Bowl.
NPR recently publish the article Where in the World is the Best Place for Healthy Eating?. In this article, Max Lawsom of the nonprofit Oxfam states "There is enough food in the world to feed everyone. But 900 million people still don't have enough to eat, and 1 billion people are obese. It's a crazy situation." Add to this post-modern mixture of socio-economic status, media influence, body image distortion, eating disorders, as well as a plethora of addictions afflicting the physical and psychological well-being of human beings.
So while waistlines expand, so does the diet and weight loss market. January 1 marks the start of the diet and exercise season. So while some folks are blessed by genetics and others cursed, there are many claims to fame and so-called quick fixes such as the Thigh Master, Ab-Roller, South Beach, or Atkins Diet. But nothing has been more proven than sweat. Whether jogging on treadmill or jogging on a treadmill covered in plastic; boxers, wrestlers, fighters, body builders, and all sorts of professional athletes and models sweat off pounds at time. Now you can't necessarily sweat off (or out) a 100 pounds, obviously, because you'll die. But who couldn't stand to loose a pound or two...
Although extremely dangerous, working-out in a plastic bag can be fun. It makes you light headed with the added incentive (or in other's eyes, added risk) of passing out. Formerly known as the Sauna Suit, Rubber Suit, and now more conventionally named the Sweat Suit, you can sweat to the oldies too. Forget spandex and cotton, this outfit is made of PVC the same material as your plumbing. In addition the suit, get your full sweat on with some Albolene or Sweet Sweat which are know as sweat enhancers. Also if you're in the market for economizing, forget buying the suit, maybe try some Saran Wrap or a 30 Gallon GLAD lawn and leaf bag? Nothing will make you stand out more than wearing your trash bag or Sweat Suit to the gym. Everyone will obviously recognize you are midst some hard-core training, they may even mistake you as a professional athlete. Anyway there really is no better way than starting off the New Year than taking a risk, standing out in a crowd, and passing out on an elliptical. Cheers to a Happy, Healthy, and Brilliant New Year.
100 Objects of Popular and Material Culture is an blog exploring the manifestations of human consumption and commodity-ization. The purpose of this experiment is to explore material and popular culture in contemporary society by using objects and concepts to prompt wider questions and reflections. So by emulating The British Museum's and Neil MacGregor's format of A History of the World in 100 Objects I plan to satirically analyze and reinterpreted 100 material culture objects over the course of 2014. Material Culture is the study of our culture's consumption of stuff; namely the manifestation of culture through material productions where people's perceptions of objects is socially and culturally dependent. With this, objects reflect conscious and unconscious beliefs on the the individuals who fabricated, purchased, or used them, and by extension the society where they live. So examining materiality, cultural truths and societal assumptions may be discovered. As anthropologist Arjun Appaduai states "in any society the individual is often caught between the cultural structure of commodity-ization and his own personal attempts to bring a value and order to the universe of things." Objects and commodities make up a much larger symbolic system consisting of want and need, socio-economic status, fashion, etc. Often times form follows function whether the commodity, market, and or consumer forever evolve around one-another. Philosopher Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital flow full circle; where regardless if you are a minimalist or a hoarder the world is made up of things and everyone will leave their footprint on the earth. So by humorously analyzing marketed objects and concepts, hopefully this blog will provide further incite into ideas of over-consumption, a disposable society, consumerism vs. anti-consumers, planned obsolescence vs. sustainability, as well as the greater good of mankind and future generations.