Events
  • Bring family and friends to reconnect with fellow alumni at the studio of Albert Valdez ('10) following Brewery ArtWalk, an open studio weekend with over 100 participating resident artists.

    Parking is located inside the Brewery campus.  

    Visit www.breweryartwalk.com for directions and other information. 

  • Otis Radio: Our Story`

    May 01| Special Event
    More

    Creative Action and the Otis Community Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

     

    This week from 4:00 - 5:00 pm is Our Story. Join DJ Wormlord (Maggie Gilbert), DJ Ace (Grace Kanchana), and DJ Mango (Stacy Li) as we have real talk in real time. Don't miss out!

     

    Listen online at KLMU.

    All shows will be simulcast on 96.1FM in the Otis Commons and archived on otisradio.tumblr.com

  • Creative Action and the Otis Community Radio class present weekly broadcasts each Monday.

     

    This week from 5:00 - 6:00 pm is The Girls Room with DJ Lonesome (Jaclyn Arellano), DJ Filth (Mady Preece), DJ Duchamp’s Urinal (Carly Goldstein). In this political climate, it is finally time to take charge of our own bodies and image. No more housewife norms to determine what a woman should look like. Join us in conversation with the tools of music and noise to express what it means to be a woman. We will challenge the definitions and misconceptions about masculinity and femininity, creating a space where women can feel free to ask questions and get answers from other women.

    Listen: http://edg-ord-kxlu.streamguys1.com/klmu

  • Zeal Harris is known for contemporary, seductive, colorful, caricaturesque, political, urban-vernacular, story paintings. She is a Los Angeles based visual artist and has been in exhibitions in Port Au Prince at Haiti’s Ghetto Biennale; in New York at the Caribbean Culture Center of the African Diaspora; in Arizona at The Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum; and in Los Angeles at the California African-American Museum, The Makeshift Museum, 18th Street Arts Center, Launch LA, and EXSLA at The Brewery.  Zeal has an MFA in Studio Art from Otis College of Art & Design. She occasionally teaches, works on public art projects, and works with community arts organizations.

  • Jocelyn Casas presents a solo exhibition for her Graduate Thesis at The Bolsky Gallery, Otis College of Art & Design, on view May 1st - 7th, 2017. There will be a closing reception on Thursday, May 4, 6-9pm.

  • Each year, the Benefit black-tie gala features Los Angeles' largest fashion runway show with more than 70 professional models in 125-plus fashion designs for women, men, and juniors. Approximately 800 guests— a creative crowd of leaders in fashion and entertainment— get a glimpse of the future of fashion design from those who invent it, Otis College fashion students.

  • Patterns Bigger Than Any of Us
    Jesse Fleming / Pat O
    'Neill

    A two-person exhibition of recent large-scale video installations from Los Angeles-based artists Jesse Fleming and Pat O’Neill. Each artist raises questions in his work about the self in relation to others, collective norms, and the built environment. They direct us to see the links and fissures in our lives and the larger systems that we attempt to grapple with—from science to spirituality, and the spaces they straddle.

O-Tube

How to Clarify Your Topic

NOTE: Although the principles of searching are still true, this guide has not been updated since 2000.

Before you begin a research project, you will need to clarify your search terms or concepts. Each project is completely different and will require critical thinking skills. Clarification is the first phase of a Search Strategy.

Suppose you are asked to write a paper about the semiotics of advertising. You think the Benetton ad campaigns are a possibility.

  • The term Benetton refers to a specific company.
  • The concept advertising can be searched using other terms, such as ads or advertisement. You could also narrow your topic by limiting your search to billboard, TV, or magazine ads.
  • The term semiotics is only used in very academic writing and you may not find it used in magazines or newspapers. You may choose not to use the term at all in your search, but use synonyms instead, like symbol or popular culture.

A first step might be to do some preliminary browsing in a periodical database in order to discover  how much has been published on the topic and what other terms have been used which related to your topic.

Study the following citations found in Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and Lexis-Nexis. They were found by simply entering one term, Benetton, as a keyword. Notice the other terms or related topics which could be good alternative ideas for a paper on semiotics of advertising. Notice especially which terms are used in the subject fields.
 

TITLE: How colorful can ads get?.  (Benetton's United Colors campaign) 
SOURCE: Mother Jones v. 15 (Jan. '90) p. 52 IL 
ABSTRACT: A panel of staffers from Essence, a magazine for black women, recently rejected a Benetton advertisement that depicted a black woman nursing a white infant.  According to Essence president Clarence O. Smith, the image has a negative connotation in the United States because black American women were once forced to nurse white people's children while their own went hungry.  The ad has not appeared in the United States or the United Kingdom, but Benetton has used it in 77 other countries. 
SUBJECT: Benetton Spa 
Clothing industry - Advertising.
Blacks in advertising.

LIB benetton1

Image from the Benetton website.
 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 4, 2000, Friday, FIVE STAR LIFT EDITION
SECTION: NEWS, Pg. A1 LENGTH: 1248 words
HEADLINE: BENETTON USES IMAGES OF MISSOURI DEATH ROW INMATES
BODY [lead paragraphs]: The ad campaign has outraged relatives of the murder victims; the clothing company says it is providing social commentary
   Benetton, the Italian fashion company known for its colorful knitwear and controversial sales pitches, is showcasing death row inmates from Missouri and 
Illinois as part of its latest $ 20 million advertising campaign. [Etc.]

LIB benetton2   LIB benetton2b

Images from the Benetton website

TITLE: Through the lenses of gender and ethnicity.  (Benetton's United Colors ad campaign criticized in Toronto's Globe and mail) 
SOURCE: Maclean's v. 104 (May 27 '91) p. 15 IL 
ABSTRACT: A recent column by Kate Taylor in the Toronto Globe and Mail about an ad campaign by the Benetton chain of clothing stores is utter nonsense.  Taylor criticizes ads that use photographs of children of different races wearing brightly colored Benetton clothes in the belief that the ads "trivialize issues of race" and that the campaign "ignores the complexities of  racial issues."  According to her, being colorblind in Canada is wrong.  She thinks that the ideal that people could love each other and not notice skin color is now too simplistic. If Taylor had her way, people would look at each other through the lenses of gender and ethnicity.  Although Canada is obsessed with color, ethnicity, and religion, the country should be colorblind when children pose in ads to sell sweaters. 
SUBJECT: Benetton Spa 
Globe and mail (Toronto, Ont.) 
Clothing industry - Advertising.
Blacks in advertising.
Canada  - Race relations.

LIB benetton3
Image from the Benetton website
 

TITLE: Fear and clothing in L.A.  (Benetton billboards showing firebombed car taken down during the riots) 
SOURCE: The Humanist v. 52 (Sept./Oct. '92) p. 45-6 
ABSTRACT: Just 2 days before the Los Angeles riots, Benetton billboards were erected in Los Angeles that showed an image of a firebombed car.  In response to the riots, the trendy clothing manufacturer decided to take down the billboards, an event that was documented by camera crews from CNN.  The exploding car ad, which was supposedly meant to signify the social issue of terrorism, was an offensive publicity stunt along the lines of a previous Benetton ad depicting a man dying from AIDS. These ad campaigns trivialize and exploit pressing social issues by reducing them to simplistic images that can be used to sell merchandise. 
SUBJECT: BenettonSpa
Billboards.
Terrorism in advertising.
Clothing industry - Advertising.
Los Angeles (Calif.)  - Riots, 1992 - Economic aspects.

LIB benetton4

Image from the Benetton website
 

TITLE: Shock value.  (Benetton's ad campaigns) 
SOURCE: New York v. 25 (Aug. 24 '92) p. 26+ IL 
ABSTRACT: Since 1983, few of Benetton's ads have escaped protest, but the company's new ads are not as pugnacious or risky as their predecessors.  The new ad campaign, which is the Italian clothing retailer's second campaign of the year, is still arresting.  According to Benetton creative director Oliviero Toscani, the new ads continue to feature strong images, but they are more ambiguous.  The subjects of the new campaign and past Benetton campaigns are discussed. 
SUBJECT: Benetton Spa 
Clothing industry - Advertising.

LIB benetton5

Image from the Benetton website
 

TITLE: Normally gay.  (Ikea's TV spots feature gay couple) 
SOURCE: New York v. 27 (Apr. 4 '94) p. 24+ IL 
ABSTRACT: The Ikea TV advertisement that features a gay couple is intelligent and human.  The spot depicts 2 men shopping for a dining room table as a symbol of their commitment to each other. Unlike print ads from Benetton and Banana Republic featuring gays, which aimed to shock, Ikea's ad is a casual reality bite. 
SUBJECT: IKEA Svenska Forsaljnings AB. 
Furniture stores - Advertising. 
Homosexuality in advertising.

LIB benetton6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC4Fxq9phRI

 

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