Paralleling his career in cultural analysis with a bottomless dedication to making music, +Aziz has been analyzing culture for 5+ years, with an anthropological approach that has touched numerous brands and organizations in the US. He has just completed his debut album SoHo Spirit (2014).
POP MANIFESTATIONS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR
One dominant trend stood out like a sore thumb in the analysis of popular culture. It could be referred to as The Visual Economy or Selfieconomy, as it essentially points to the idea that we are increasingly engaged in crafting our image through digital media and assembling a constellation of brands, experiences, and products to incorporate into our lives. Much of this activity is driven by the desire to brand ourselves, convey our lifestyles, and secure or elevate our social status.This desire is part of a much larger shift in the value visualization.
JWT Intelligence refers to this as Do You Speak Visual? and they assert, “We are shifting to a visual vocabulary that relies on photos, emojis, video snippets, and other imagery, largely displacing the need for text.Visual is the new lingo that needs to be mastered.” As an advertising agency, JWT points out this cultural trend as something that brands need to leverage; this is a trend underscored and even anticipated by the early Pop Art movement in America and is rooted in the everyday behavior of the average Khaleeji person.
This is a great example of how the pop mindset has trickled down to the average Instagram user or journalist. The self- congratulatory nature of social space means that it is important to hold back our judgment on the way many of us think of ourselves as celebrities and have the willingness to buy our way into a self-constructed celebrity status. What matters is the fact that, on a cultural-philosophical level, we are given the opportunity to reconstruct our identity on a daily basis, by handpicking moments and shopping for experiences.
THE FUTURE OF POP IN CULTURE
Pop has trickled into aspects of our behavior and we observe that the market aspires to follow shifts in human behavior. Extrapolating this idea into the future means that services and platforms will evolve to nurture and assist the economy of our identity creation. We might get to choose how often we engage with this economy of identity-value but the expectation is that as new generations are born, crafting status feeds will become second nature and the Internet will be invisible in many ways.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) is already a maturing offshoot of the search engine marketing/optimization industry that manages personal reputation and improves web search results for their clients. We are also seeing very nuanced ar ticulations that address our need for customization and personalization, particularly in the ‘connected home’ industry whereWiFi is gradually becoming the backbone of our media, security, and energy ecosystems. Companies large and small are working to harness forms of data to develop algorithmic systems for us to interact with to live our lives more seamlessly.
The fruits of pop will continue to be felt and analyzed as they spread further across areas of cultural production. Pop’s initial goals have made their impact and will continue to be felt. Yet the movement’s impact is not limited to the creative class and art galleries. Andy Warhol was a philosopher of sorts and his ideas on how people live in addition to his commercial work with magazines and advertising mean that pop was a dispersed movement to begin with. In this regard, the way it impacted American and Western culture is mirrored in the way it is experienced in the Middle East.