lauren meek, lauren jones, damian philippone, damian gould

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Collaborative assignment


  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    Assignment 3 Collaborative Group Publication

    Public Relations field

    Group members:

    Lauren Jones (s3280712), Lauren Meek (s3233495), Damien Gould (s3284606),

    Damian Filippone (s3290645)

    Artefact #1:



    The public announcement of the demise of Melbournes old-world sensibility is

    presented through a vivid red installation which sits atop the former City

    Museums imposing steps. Occupying much of the Old Treasury buildings

    forecourt, and encroaching onto the bustling Spring Street footpath, the

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    triangular-prism shaped artwork acts as a notice board to inform passersby of the

    unfortunate closing of the citys own specialist museum. Signifying Melbournes

    dramatic evolution, the largely incongruous and visually jarring structure

    communicates the death of classical museums in an increasingly modern city.

    Suggesting that the virtual city has finally come to supersede the physical city,

    the artefact reminds its viewers of the contemporary roles and responsibilities of

    museums in the new society. The closing of the City Museum is widely attributed

    to the success and popularity of the Melbourne Museum, which has been praised

    for its relevance and modernity (Eberle 2001). Whilst the importance of historical

    appreciation remains unquestioned, the form in which the city seeks to exhibit its

    history remains under dispute. Concerns about the loss of historical reverence

    are not unfounded, as the desire to embrace new technology seems to demand

    the hasty abandonment of hundreds of years of knowledge in traditional curation.

    Those opposed to the reformatting of museums assert the belief that forgetting

    the importance of heritage would come at a great cost, as museums remain a

    fundamental institution in Melbourne culture (Logan 2004). However, it must be

    noted that the preservation of culturally out-dated or socially inaccessible exhibits

    could equally compromise the citys ability to inform its citizens of the past. It

    makes sense that if a community cannot interpret and examine its own identity, it

    can never be enlightened (Logan 2004).

    Modern museums are like mirrors, reflecting the community whilst encouraging

    imagination, creativity and interaction. Whilst museums were once considered as

    merely repositories for knowledge, fact and classification, the Melbourne

    Museum incorporates aspects of interaction and immersion; which acts to satisfy

    the modern city's yearning for 'abstraction'. There is a notable emphasis on the

    incorporation of new technology, such as screens and electronic displays, within

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    the exhibits themselves. In this way, history is not always, ostensibly, the main

    attraction. Therefore, a major factor in the closure of the City Museum was,

    potentially, its inability to remain current, as Melbourne itself gradually migrates

    to an online geography (Holding 2009). Such a shift in connectivity and

    networking is purported to undermine the complexity of the city (Logan 2004),

    however, one could argue that the elimination of complexity is, in fact, the

    ultimate goal.

    Importantly, Melbourne will never remain static. Museums exist to document the

    unyielding force of change which shapes the urban landscape like a stream

    erodes a canyon. The evolution (or closure) of museums is an explicit attempt to

    reflect the evolution of the city, and its dwellers, respectively. In a society where

    media has spawned a generation of stimulus-addicted youths, it is necessary to

    enforce education as theme park (Eberle 2001), rather than education as rote-

    learning. By addressing the fact that Melbourne has developed a yearning for

    spectacle (Eberle 2001), modern museums fulfill ones desires and remain

    conceivably purposeful. Presenting their exhibits in the language of modern

    communication, museums are attempting to remain relevant by constantly

    'challenging' traditional perceptions and expectations.

    Postmodern Melbourne has created postmodern museums; containing exhibits

    which are driven by commercial success and updated incessantly in response to

    what is trending. This New Melbourne seeks to repackage antiquity so it is

    accessible in a contemporary culture, and in doing so, does not allow itself to be

    anchored by the past. Opening itself up to the capabilities of multimedia,

    Melbourne has looked to the future to communicate its history.

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    Artefact # 2:


    Drawing pedestrians off the main streets and engaging them to explore the

    hidden wonders of the cities back allies is fundamental to the Laneway

    Commission. Every year artists install temporary work around the city: in 2009

    Cathy Busby installed her art on Little Bourke Street. She challenges the use of

    everyday space by employing her art as a form of cultural contestation.

    Plastering sections of two landmark speeches by Canadian Prime Minister

    Stephen Harper and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd she is publicly

    displaying the continued communication of aboriginal reconciliation. Suggesting

    that Melbourne's history and treatment of aboriginals is still a prominent issue.

    The artifact is less to do with intercity Public Relations and more to do with how

    the city relates with itself, as the Laneways Commission is a government funded

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    initiative I can only conclude that it was thought relevant to keep aboriginal

    reconciliation very much in the public spectrum. However it is important to note

    that any public outcry or challenge is a form of PR, be it a rally, protest or in this

    case an artwork.

    Cathy Busby's art communicates both its immediate subject (aboriginal

    reconciliation) and a broader image of Melbourne and her identify as a culturally

    expressionist city. The idea that Melbourne employs art as a tool for resistance

    has become popular culture. Walking down Swanston Street it is common to see

    quirky, half hidden, artistic expressions challenging the prescribed order of things

    (Melbourne Council, 2009). The lanes themselves that house creations like

    Cathy Busby's art are a bi-product of the grid system, the formal structure giving

    Melbourne her shape, it is therefore very relevant that resistance begins by

    reclaiming these "artificial constructs" (Melbourne Council, 2009).

    Melbourne is constantly trying to form links with other global cities: Litworth said

    that parallels are drawn between Melbourne and London as an "international

    attractive city with culture, diversity and exciting places to explore" (p.12). Public

    art is one of the ways Melbourne has defined herself on the global scale, it is one

    of the ways she is communicated nationally. Litworth explains that Melbourne's

    identity is shaped by art and the imagined communities formed on the notion of

    being set apart from other Australian cities.

    Brown-May draws attention to the idea that Melbourne's grid system was a tool

    for control. Indeed it challenged the way Aboriginals interacted with the land,

    imposing a "spatial order" on a landscape that had previously been subject to an

    intimate relationship between Aboriginal people (1998, p.2). Aboriginals had no

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    place in the new Melbourne and were either forced out of the city or into the then

    unlivable laneways.

    Entrenched in this artefact is the history and treatment of aboriginal people in

    Melbourne, and its positioning on the walls of the grid system that sought to

    control almost negates sincerity. Australia struggled with the idea of aboriginal

    reconciliation: politicians were at odds as to who should say sorry and what

    exactly there were sorry for. Cathy Busby's artwork is interesting because it can

    be viewed in two ways, in its more sedate form it simply expresses the truth, or

    exactly what happened, but in a more challenging way it can be seen as an

    instrumental attack on the heart of the reconciliation movement. Some

    aboriginals felt that the process of reconciliation had no soul or depth so the

    question as to whether Cathy Busby might be using her art to challenge the

    sincerity of the apology is a significant one.

    Artefact # 3:


  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    These public relations advertisements by Metro Trains Melbourne are featured

    prominently on the blank white walls that contain Melbourne Central stations

    escalators. After Connex failed to renew its contract with the Victorian

    Government in 2009, Metro Trains Melbourne replaced Connex on the 30th

    November of that same year. (Metro Service Commitments 2009, p.1) Since then

    Metro Trains have been adamant in communicating to the Melbourne public that

    there will be a noticeable improvement of the current state of Melbourne public

    transport. Therefore these public relations advertisements can be found all

    around Melbournes public transport areas. This particular advertisement reads

    'Spend your time reading a book, not a road map'; through such advertisements

    as this it is evident that MTM are trying to distance and disassociate themselves

    from the 'Connex' name as much as possible.

    As commuters stare into space whilst waiting for their escalator ride to reach the

    top (or bottom), the once blank walls that went relatively unnoticed on their

    journeys now confront them as today's "urban landscape[s] are [now] market

    forces for commodifying desire" (Mendes, 1995, pp.362). Christina Mendes'

    chapter on appropriating space in 'Signal Driver discusses how areas that were

    once public spaces are now being modernised through redefining the roles of

    urban objects and areas into the private domain and a result of this; a merging of

    the private and the public has occurred. The reason why these Metro Trains

    Melbourne messages seem to be the only form of advertisements that occupy

    the walls, buses and trains of Melbournes public transport landscape is due to

    the majority of advertisers opting to advertise in the MX.

    In Gillian Dyers Advertising as communication she states how typical public

    relations campaigns usually try to promote a positive image of what they are

    advertising without appearing to actually do so. Metro Trains Melbourne recent

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    public relations advertisements have taken the exact opposite approach mainly

    due to the negative associations with public transport that was created by

    Connex. MTMs concerted effort to convey a positive image becomes evident

    when one rides an escalator in one of Melbournes many train stations as

    consecutive adverts are displayed on the escalator walls spruiking MTMs great

    customer service and several other improvements.

    Anne Cronins Advertising and the metabolism of the city: urban space,

    commodity rhythms examines and deconstructs how the frequent periods of

    immobility whilst waiting for trains, buses etc (called dwell time by advertisers) in

    areas "such as underground train stations are seen to have a captive audience

    where travelers on the platform or in the carriage often have nothing to do but

    read the ads and have significant time in which to do it"(pp.5). Metro Trains

    Melbourne public relations campaign is an example that embodies this idea as

    their public relations adverts can be seen not only on the escalator walls of train

    stations but on bus stops and the trains themselves.

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    Artefact # 4:


    In the late 1830s during the design process of the grid, Melbournes laneways

    were designed as access points for deliveries to the houses and business in the

    area. By the 1840s and 1850s they were areas mostly associated with

    immigrants and an environment that included overcrowding, poor sanitation and

    criminal behavior (Fung, 2006).

    That has all changed in recent times and the laneways and back alleys of

    Melbourne are home to hidden bars and clothing boutiques. With a distinctly

    European feel, people are no longer afraid to wander through the laneways.

    People from all walks of life come together and appreciate the romance of the

    dark, hole in the wall cafes and cafe culture and the graffiti once seen as a

    criminal act but now viewed as art, dressing up the grey walls making them

    visually appealing.

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    The thing about Melbournes is: while other cities have the luck of being set in a

    beautiful location; Melbourne has had to develop itself into somewhere tourists

    want to visit. It has developed itself into a sophisticated modern city rather than

    relying on tangible icons.

    While Melbourne may have adopted the coffee culture from the Italians, there

    have been other cultures shaping the way Melbournians consume coffee and

    over the years it has been adapted to local conditions. Australians have

    followed the Italians in making espresso and the French in sitting around in

    cafes (Jolliffe, 2009).

    In 1998 coffee took over from tea as Melbournians favourite hot beverage. The

    increased coffee consumption is often linked with the post war surge in migration

    from continental Europe, particularly Italy (Jolliffe, 1999). The Italians migrated

    mostly because of Melbournes strong manufacturing base and still today are the

    largest non-British ethnic group in the city.

    When PR people talk about the city, they use words like enchantment,

    cosmopolitan and sophisticated. As well as promoting the fact that Melbourne is

    developing a name for itself in the fashion and restaurant industries. Detour from

    the main trails and discover Melbourne's intimate and enchanting web of lanes,

    alleys, little streets and arcades gives the reader an idea of the mystery and

    romance of Melbourne (Hewett 2009).

    . Marketed as internationally appealing and a truly iconic Melbourne experience,

    laneways have been transformed and consumed as part of civic desires for

    Melbourne to be counted as a world city (Fung 2006). The lanes offer

    international flavour and an opportunity to feel like you can have it all with Italian

    coffee, Japanese cuisine and European fashion, all within reach. The urban

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    character of Melbourne is defined by a pastiche of picturesque stereotypes and

    images of multiple versions of Europe (Fung 2006). Fung argues that this is

    why Melbourne is incapable of producing its own urban centers and also the

    seduction of Melbournes lanes represents an increasingly blurred boundary

    between what might be the real experience of the lanes and is implemented and

    marketed to entice international investment.


    Artefact 1 -Logan, W 2004, Museums, Community Identity and Urban Heritage,

    Cities and Museums: Local and Global Challenges Forum keynote paper

    presented 3 September 2004 at the Queensland College of Art Auditorium,

    Deakin University, South Brisbane, pp. 1-8

    Artefact 1 - Eberle, J 2001, Reading the Melbourne Museum, Screen Education,

    vol. 1, no. 26, pp. 222-225

    Artefact 1 - Holding, T (Minister for Finance) 2009, More Victorians to be Married

    in Historic Building, media release, The Premier of Victoria, Melbourne, 11


    Artefact 2 - Brown-May, A 1998, 'The Desire for a City', 'The Citizens are

    beginning to Complain', 'The Life and Death of the Streets', in Melbourne Street

    Life: the Itinerary of our days, 1st ed, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Kew Vic,

    pp. 2-3, 18-19, 68-69 and 206-207.

    Artefact 2 - Litworth, M, Forgotten Spaces Revitalising Perth's Laneways, no. 1,

    Laneways Project Team: Strategy & Urban Development Units, City of Perth,

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone


    Artefact 2 - 2009, Project Brief Public Art Program Temporary Works Laneways

    Commission 2009: A Season of Contemporary Artworks in the Public Domain,

    Melbourne (Vic) Council, City of Melbourne, Melbourne.

    Artefact 3 - Mendes, CS 1995, 'Signal Driver: From bus stops to bus shelters the

    new art of appropriating space', in Current issues in criminal justice, 6th edn,

    Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney, pp. 362-370.

    Artefact 3 - Dyer, G 1982, Advertising as communication, 8th edn, Methuen & Co

    Ltd, United Kingdom

    Artefact 3 - Anne Cronin, Advertising and the metabolism of the city: urban

    space, commodity rhythms, published by the Department of Sociology,

    Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YL, UK at HYPERLINK

    " metabolism-city.pdf" metabolism-city.pdf

    Artefact 4 - Fung, P (2006) The Seduction of Melbournes Laneways: making

    Melbourne a World city, Crossings website, accessed 13/04/2010 HYPERLINK



    Artefact 4 - Hewett, A (2009) Lose yourself in Melbourne Laneways, Only

    Melbourne website, accessed 12/04/2010 HYPERLINK


  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    Artefact 4 - Jolliffe, L 2010, Tourism and cultural change: Coffee culture,

    Destinations and Tourism, Lee II (eds.) Channel view publications, accessed

    22.05.2010 HYPERLINK






  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    COMM2411 Communication and Social Relations

    Assessment Task#3, Semester 1, 2010

    Map of Revisions GROUP NAMES & STUDENT NUMBERS: 1. Damien Gould s3284606 2. Lauren Jones

    3. Damian Filippone s3290645 4. Lauren Meek s3233495 Referee Comments



    Artefact#1Advised that the research should explore the contrasting ideas about the modern role and purpose of museums, with specific reference to the varied museums in Melbourne. Artefact#2Suggested a discussion on the discord amongst Australia about the whole reconciliation movement process. Also that the artwork may have been designed as an arrow to the heart of the issue.

    Artefact#3Wrong disciple chosen for artefactAwkward use of words & grammar Artefact#4One of my scholarly references was actually not scholarly (Miletic, B 2009)

    1. Consulted numerous publications which discuss museums in a Melbournian context. Found article which directly compared the Melbourne Museum to the Melbourne City Museum.

    2. I read more into Cathys art and other chapters in the sources I had to get a better understanding and made some changes.

    3. Got in touch with tutor to rectify the issue, changed from a design group to a public relations group. Fixed grammatical errors by rewriting sentences.

    4. Changed from Miletic, B (2009) to Jolliffe, L (2010)


    Artefact#1Advised to re-examine the nature of Museums with a better understanding of the modern 'recontextualisation' of information, which sees exhibits explored in a more 'abstract' presentation. Also suggested an analysis of the more 'challenging formats' of curation which contemporary museums have adopted.

    Artefact#2When discussing my artifact I said that it was PR in the way it relates to the city and its residents. I should have also noted that PR is boarder then I acknowledged and is any public movement challenging something.

    Artefact#3Language used in presentation to complexWhy are Metro Trains Melbourne advertisements so lame? MX magazines advertising.

    Artefact#4While describing one of my references, I said a bit about graffiti and Grant said to take it out as it doesnt go with the European influences

    1. I consulted my sources again, with the intention of paying closer attention to how modern museums are recontextualising their exhibits. Janine Eberle's article proved extremely helpful, as it discusses the notion of revolutionary 'story-telling' in museums in great detail. As such, I adjusted my analysis to better communicate/critique her understanding.

    2. I was surprised by the broad definition of PR as I felt it was different form the idea taught in class. I researched the idea to understand the matter better.

    3. Re-wrote & removed some sentences, added the MX information into the 500 word summary.

    4. I only used graffiti once in my final piece and I think it fits into the story about the history of the lanes so I decided it wouldnt affect it too much to leave it in.


    Artefact#1It was suggested that my analysis I agreed that my analysis was too heavily

  • Lauren Jones Lauren Meek Damien Gould Damien Philippone

    contained too much reliance on outside sources, and therefore my examination of the actual artefact was lacking. Also, one of my sources was complimented for its unreliable nature, and it was suggested that my criticism of this source was appropriate.

    dependent on my chosen sources, and therefore, I attempted to include a better balance between my own analysis and those which I had researched. Also, my critique of the source which received peer approval was retained.

    Artefact#2My group suggested I spend more time discussing the aboriginal reconciliation rather then placing the emphasis on its positioning in a laneway.

    I saw that I had become distracted in my response and had indeed focused too much on the positioning and not enough on the artifact itself. I thought it was import to keep the information on its positioning as it helped to the understanding but I added more on the art itself.

    Artefact#3Some sentences were unnecessary.Language used was too analytical.

    Removed irrelevant sentences that did not contribute anything to the analysing of the artefact. Re-wrote and re-worded several sentences to be more accessible as the previous sentences could be confusing for those with no prior knowledge of the information being cited

    Artefact#4My group suggested that I add a reference tying in the coffee culture in our first meeting.

    I think it was a great idea, and I added it in, this was my new scholarly reference, Jolliffe.