When looking at the concept of the individual and autonomy, I think that the power of will and overcoming the dominant discourse that is expected of us is an interesting basis for my Power artefact. It is a subject that can speak to everyone as we are all placed under some form of dominant discourse at some point in our lives, whether it be through parental control, teachers, the workplace or the government. The artefact would also deal with having the courage and drive to follow our dreams despite the naysayers and the power placed upon us to follow the norm and typical formula of ‘live-work-die.’ This self-policing or disciplinary power as theorised by Foucault is constantly forced onto us as we are expected to fit into society, like gears in a grand machine. According to Foucault, this was the most profound and effective use and initiation of power as all of the control comes from within, rather than an exterior force or governing entity.
Following this, I decided to watch a number of videos by famous motivational speakers, such as Les Brown and Eric Thomas, to attain some inspiration for the topics and issues they raise and how I could make something that deals with the same issues but focuses around individuals being the counter-discourse to society’s expectations; dominant discourse.
One of the most common elements is the idea of being an individual and striving hard to reach a goal you most want in life. As inspiring as this, it could be argued that we as individuals are not truly an ‘individual’ because we are part of many institutions and are thus part of the overall ‘system’ of society. We are made to believe we are an individual by the system itself but we are not. Whether this be through how we dress, our ambitions or our interests, everything has been careful crafted and generated in order to keep us in check under the facade that we have free-will. Although my artefact will not be a motivational speech such as the videos above, it will however channel the same line of arguments and importance of trying to break passed the system, despite the aforementioned paradox surrounding the issue. People always deep down have a dream that they are fighting for or wish they had continued to pursue, but many settle for something below their ability and submit to the power of institutions. We are indoctrinated into this line of thinking and reminded of it and influenced by it from the womb to the tomb. As such, it is a topic that is the epitome of the word ‘power.’
Unknown. 2013. Dream – Motivational Video. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-jwWYX7Jlo [Accessed: 13 Oct 2013].
Unknown. 2013. Motivational – We are created to be individual by Eric Thomas LYRICS HD Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3QpubKy8_s %5BAccessed: 13 Oct 2013].
Unknown. 2013. It’s Not Over Video Of Les Brown – Motivational Guru just by being himself Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-jwWYX7Jlo [Accessed: 13 Oct 2013].