harvey: logo recognition vs. ephemerality of images

I found a big paradox between what Harvey calls "the ephemerality of images" and the impact logos in advertsing (which are perhaps the most concrete examples of images that pervade every aspect of our lives). Just take this quiz to get a better notion of what I'm talking about: (I bet you'll be able to identify most, if not all, very easily, which I think proves how images are NOT as ephemeral as Harvey contends). http://www.logoquiz.net/

How do you think advertising fits into Harvey's model of the sped-up, impermanent postmodern world . . . how do you think logos can maintain power in a world so full of change and disposability??

That was my score. I had never seen CBC before and a couple other ones took me over 3 guesses. I knew all the banks for some reason...

Just as speculation, I took Harvey's comments on page 289 (I think maybe this is what you're referring to) about images to sort of mean a hybrid product of abstract image/physical object. Say you bought a jacket that's a certain way because it's part of the symbolic vocabulary of a particular subculture. While the brand of the jacket could be important depending on the situation, it's probably more about the jacket being recognizable as a specific type. But what makes the jacket really significant is that it is part of a symbolic vocabulary, and as everyone knows, vocabularies within cultures and subcultures are always changing. This makes a lot of sense to me. However you raise an interesting point about brands, especially through the visual manifestation of this: logos.

Harvey discusses the "sophistication" necessary to sell images of permanence to groups of people very conscious of the impermanence of things in the world, but sort of leaves things there. Maybe he believes that taking this too far is too specific, beyond the scope of the paper or whatever, but this is an interesting point. As I think any of our marxist critics would be quick to point out, brands and logos are directly tied to the complex business/power networks of global capitalism, which seem, upon reflection, to be, in their way, silently and invisibly static. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that they are in fact moving, but in a self-aware, organized way; a type of motion without the brownian and schizophrenic flavors we have discussed as defining the direction of many peoples' lives. They provide as such a powerful contrast to the splintered, de-spacialized, and chaotic cultural space (manifold?) we so far seem to be in consensus we inhabit. So does the quiet, snarky, truth of "you've known us all along" provide the necessary reference point to begin constructing a cognitive map of cultural space?

I guess this is a little bit conspiracy-theoryish since it basically suggests that postmodernism is a way for companies to preserve themselves and grow without society's critical attention, but I felt that the idea of business space being almost fixed and objective in this way (and in contrast thus to consumer culture) was sort of implied by some of our reading.

I'm not entirely sure if this is what morefuntocompute was getting at, but I think that Harvey's concept of the hyperspeed of images is very much related to the burning of logos into our collective memory. As postmodern theorist Guy Debord argues, our current state of experience is one entirely engaged with images (Debord calls this the 'Society of the Spectacle'). I might be mistaken, but it seems that what Harvey and Debord are both asserting is that we are in a moment of perpetual visual bombardment, where the most significant images flash before our eyes, staying for a relative instant, only to be overrun by the next 'significant' image. We cannot hold onto to anything, and thus the competition for our visual memory. Logos are the corporate capitalists way of overriding the other visual stimulus, of transcending the ephemerality of the common image by branding into our psyche a simple image that carries its story with it everytime we happen upon it. The logo is the ultimate brevity in image-stimulus. In less than a second, a logo can flash before our eyes and we will carry its meaning with us despite the perpetual visual bombardment we encounter on a daily basis.