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Subvertising: on the life and death of advertising power

Subvertising: on the life and death of advertising power
Subvertising: on the life and death of advertising power
This thesis sketches an image of intricate advertising-subvertising relations. ‘Subvertising’ is a portmanteau for ‘subverting advertising’, referring to a wide-range of illicit artistic and activist interventions into the materialities of urban advertising spaces (including destruction, reversal, replacement, removal, supplementation, and cutting). Through a 28-month-long ethnographic engagement with prominent subvertising practitioners (in London, Newcastle, Brussels, Paris, and New York) and in-depth interviews with advertising practitioners, this thesis details a contested geography of advertising which complicates conceptions of advertising power. Contemporary approaches to advertising power, in geography and the social sciences more broadly, tend to describe a double production: advertising power as the production of space-time, and as the (representational-affective) production of consumer subjects. Tracing ethnographic stories of subvertising-advertising relations,in this thesis we witness a more expanded account of advertising power, one that takes contestation to advertising (and more broadly to capitalist spaces, times,affects, subjectivities, imaginations) as a central field of intervention. This, the thesis argues, deepens advertising’s capacities to embed itself into and intervene into everyday social realities, where it exerts powers to exhaust the conditions necessary for alternative imaginaries to reshape the world.

Examining these powers to exhaust, the thesis details how advertisers enrol social, legal, performative and material methods into a ‘regime of order’ which depletes the affective charge of a disorderly city. Further, the thesis illustrates the significance of advertisers’ affirmative work in what will be referred to as‘recuperation’: the generation of monetary value out of lifeworlds at odds with capital through the engineering of amicable atmospheres. Following this line of thought, the final part of the thesis poses the question: what mode of contestation, if any, outlives the exhaustive, recuperative logic of late capitalism? To this end, the thesis considers the figure of the contemporary Vandal, and its promise of an ethics after advertising.
University of Southampton
Dekeyser, Thomas
0333acb4-04ff-423c-9127-4971096fd6a9
Dekeyser, Thomas
0333acb4-04ff-423c-9127-4971096fd6a9
Garrett, Bradley
e51aa011-881c-4284-8889-124b1b52efc7
Roe, Emma
f7579e4e-3721-4046-a2d4-d6395f61c675

Dekeyser, Thomas (2018) Subvertising: on the life and death of advertising power. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 289pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis sketches an image of intricate advertising-subvertising relations. ‘Subvertising’ is a portmanteau for ‘subverting advertising’, referring to a wide-range of illicit artistic and activist interventions into the materialities of urban advertising spaces (including destruction, reversal, replacement, removal, supplementation, and cutting). Through a 28-month-long ethnographic engagement with prominent subvertising practitioners (in London, Newcastle, Brussels, Paris, and New York) and in-depth interviews with advertising practitioners, this thesis details a contested geography of advertising which complicates conceptions of advertising power. Contemporary approaches to advertising power, in geography and the social sciences more broadly, tend to describe a double production: advertising power as the production of space-time, and as the (representational-affective) production of consumer subjects. Tracing ethnographic stories of subvertising-advertising relations,in this thesis we witness a more expanded account of advertising power, one that takes contestation to advertising (and more broadly to capitalist spaces, times,affects, subjectivities, imaginations) as a central field of intervention. This, the thesis argues, deepens advertising’s capacities to embed itself into and intervene into everyday social realities, where it exerts powers to exhaust the conditions necessary for alternative imaginaries to reshape the world.

Examining these powers to exhaust, the thesis details how advertisers enrol social, legal, performative and material methods into a ‘regime of order’ which depletes the affective charge of a disorderly city. Further, the thesis illustrates the significance of advertisers’ affirmative work in what will be referred to as‘recuperation’: the generation of monetary value out of lifeworlds at odds with capital through the engineering of amicable atmospheres. Following this line of thought, the final part of the thesis poses the question: what mode of contestation, if any, outlives the exhaustive, recuperative logic of late capitalism? To this end, the thesis considers the figure of the contemporary Vandal, and its promise of an ethics after advertising.

Text
Subvertising: on the Life and Death of Advertising Power - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 30 April 2022.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.

More information

Published date: December 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 433200
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/433200
PURE UUID: ae908eab-18ed-44a2-85fb-46b992ae09bb
ORCID for Bradley Garrett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0414-3175
ORCID for Emma Roe: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4674-2133

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Aug 2019 16:31
Last modified: 10 Aug 2019 00:34

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Contributors

Author: Thomas Dekeyser
Thesis advisor: Bradley Garrett ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Emma Roe ORCID iD

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