Dissertation PDPPosted: February 2, 2016
Overall this year so far has taught me a lot more about myself and where I am heading within this world through my illustrations and interests. One of the themes that have always interested me most is humour, and just like most other people I am constantly drawn to the sensation humour has to offer within this world and have always loved to share a laugh with others inorder to enjoy life whilst not taking it too ‘seriously’. For me life should be enjoyed and lived to its full potential, and by constantly learning and playing around with your discoveries we are able to do just that. After all what fun is there without an element of humour?
With special thanks to my constellation tutor Theo for teaching me a lot more about humour and its theories, I had decided to design my disseration around humour while also sheding light on why it may become offensive in order to discover both ends of the arguement and the power humour can have on things such as illustration. I think that it is always important to understand all aspects of a theme before use, and often we become too arrogent towards an idea that we can leave others feeling insulted or upset as a side effect. A lot like humour, we are all born with it and understand what it is but yet we never really think too much into the types of humour and where our jokes would leave other people. Examples such as Charlie Hebdo are all too fimilar of the consiquence miss use of humour and lack of understanding can have on a joke. We often aim our jokes at a subject we care less about, one that we dont have a deep connection with in order to provoke laughter out of a similar mindset.
What my essay has descovered is not how to become funny, but how humour plays an important role within every society and how we love the idea of getting people to laugh to feel united with them. People who don’t laugh are either those who have been targeted or don’t agree with the joke because they are either confused or not on the same wave length as the joker. People such as Henri Bergson have taught me how humour can be a aggressive act and that we tend to not laugh at jokes if we are not part of the social group. For instance on a train overhearing a funny conversation, we won’t laugh much unless we are part of that very group and that humour often targets differences. Books such as Laughter and Humour have expanded further what Theo had already taught about humour theories, and that we tend to only laugh when there is no danger present. Incongruity humour theory, the one that for me makes the most sense teaches us how our brain are adapted to reconise normal chain of events that we are used too, but once something different effects these events we go through two stages, one being to go on the deffensive if it senses danger or the other to laugh when we knotice there is no danger, evidence that gets backed up by a research book I had picked up on a whim by Tony Chapman and Hugh.
Not only that but I had descovered through research how cultures affect our norms in life, what one culture see’s as normal and right, another abnormal and wrong, and often clash in beliefs can affect influence how a joke gets taken by the viewer. A joke is personal opinion and no one can simply come up with ‘the best joke ever’.
Another thing I had learnt from writing this essay is that we tend to hold our mental state over the punchline of a joke, if we feel that a joke is anyway aimed at us and as stated above, our beliefs we go into defensive mode and often lash out. No one likes to be mocked, but if they understand that it is done in a jokey way they seem to instantly get less offended unless the joke really hit a nerve. It is as if we can get away with a lot more by the term ‘joke’ and humour is the understanding into what a joke actually is.
Not only that but my essay had looked into the importance humour has on this world and how creators and illustrators use humour to disguise offence. What the dissertation had also concluded is that there is an ever growing amount of people who have come to see the importance humour can have to impact a viewers opinion and often use humour as a way to twist reality in order to get their own personal veiw across or hightlight to the extreme a flaw one may have. Humour had leaked its way into polital art and people have been using it for not only just entertainment purposes but in acts of protest. Going off what was said earlier by how humour unites us, the artist is able to see and hear the vewiers subconqious opinion which they love. Laughter invites others, it is contagious. And while we are still only at the start of understanding what it is, we are coming to learn of its importance.
How all these findings help me is not to suddenly become a great comedian who knows most things about humour but rather to understand a little more about the people I may have to work with in future. Not all my work will be so clean and straight foward, sometimes we need to add a little humour inside our illustrations just like most people, but in doing so I want to learn from the mistakes of others while also seeing other other illustrators had used humour and why. This dissertation doesn’t complete my request in finding everything about humour as it simply isn’t fully understood yet and not only that but I havent spent years of my life researching the brain and humour. It is only the starting point of understanding humour and also understanding more about me.