Filed under: Context
So a long time ago – before most of you were born – Mick Jagger and David Bowie got together to do a remake of the classic ‘Dancing In The Streets’.
It was massively successful.
Anyway, for some reason, some cheeky sods have taken the video and removed the music.
In an instant, they’ve made Bowie & Jagger go from global rockstars to weird old men who probably need to be arrested.
[And here’s the original if you’re interested]
The reason I think this is interesting [and I appreciate I might be the only one, probably because everyone has known this for decades and I’m just incredibly slow] is because it highlights the importance of context.
Of course you could – quite rightly – argue the example I’ve used actually highlights the importance of music … but the point I’m trying to make is that too often, we don’t take into account contextual influence, we just march forward with the blind belief our work will be so brilliant, people will flock to it and embrace it regardless of where and how it appears.
This is especially dangerous in Asia – as anyone who has read Richard Nisbet’s excellent Geography of Thought will know – because the cultural norm is to determine actions and response by associative cues and contextual frames of reference.
But there is a positive in all of this and that’s simply the fact that while great can be turned into a shit sandwich by failing to appreciate or understand contextual attributes and elements … it also means mental can be turned into something awesome, just by identifying the right context attributes and elements.
In other words, don’t write off the ‘exciting, but mad’ when you see it.
Explore and experiment with it … because you might just find a place where it turns into commercial genius.
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