The Artifacts that Reflect the Ego Ideal

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Table of Contents

  • Hypomnemata
  • The Consuming Subject
  • The Extended Subject
  • The Taxonomic Subject
  • The Interpellated Subject
  • The Reflected Subject


In the contemporary world, an artefact offers a high –fidelity experience. In essence, artefacts refer to objects made specifically for subsequent or later use. Communication-related artefacts can be defined as infrastructures that are made up of various components that work together as one. My chosen artefact is Damask scarf, I specifically choose this artefact as it raises a genuine curiosity owing to the fact that it is a traditional scarf that originated from my home town, and hence it has a rich meaning of our native culture in general. In addition, the artefact adoption in western countries symbolizes how consumers satisfy their diverse needs. This essay will utilise various theories to develop a Hypomnemata aimed at gathering different memories.

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The Consuming Subject

The theory of unimaginable consumer seeks to highlight how human beings’ consumption patterns are unpredictable owing to their uncontrollable nature, as their consumption is closely linked to the social-economic deals (Gabriel, Y. and Lang, T.2006). Damask represents a traditional scarf that is mainly made up of silk, linen or cotton that is woven to produce fabrics that have lustrous surfaces. The fabric is woven using one color yarn where different weaving techniques are utilized thus creating the beautiful lustrous surfaces and thus the reason why they are mostly preferred in Syria and across the world. Moreover, weaving techniques used in making the scarf ensures that the exact pattern appears the same even after flipping the fabric over as shown below. Therefore, this indicates why damask is mostly preferred to be used as a scarf owing to the fact that it can be used on both sides of the fabric. However, the chosen artefact is yet to address forensic identity.

According to Ethell (2010), narrative identity holds that people derive an identity by incorporating their life experiences into an existing story. Similarly, In Syria Damask was mostly used on special occasions as it brought out the peace and diversity of the Syrian people. In this regard, I highly feel that the artefact contributes to my narrative of self as I prefer to use Damask on special occasions. In addition, Damask presents different ways in which it can be worn thus providing a different meaning. Research by Barker (2004), argued that the concept of Bricolage refers to the rearrangement of the unconnected objects to produce new meaning. In this regard, Owing to the fact that Damask is woven using different techniques that incorporate silk and satin. In addition, due to the fact that the name of this artifact was derived from the existing city of Damascus, this forms part of bricolage of subjectivity.

Damask is a universal product that can be used by different groups of people irrespective of the culture. Therefore, users do not have to come from a specific group of people. Owing to the fact that the scarf helps in boosting the Syrians culture an artefact is thus not a form of the adult transitional object. This is because Damask continues to be used by different people, irrespective of their age bracket. Damask gives me a self-identity in regards to my origin, In essence, the scarf gives me a sense of personality, therefore, I can conclude that the artefact contributes to my ego-ideal. In addition, I am highly addicted to Damask as I feel that it cannot be replaced by anything else especially due to the rich culture that it provides me with. The artefact allows me to feel more active as I engage in telling people about Damask and how it represents my native country’s rich culture. In addition, the scarf has a unique design, an aspect that explains its distinctive nature.

The Extended Subject

The Damask is a special scarf made using unique weaving techniques and traces its origin from the Middle East. Weaving skills used in weaving damask were considered vital in the ancient Middle Eastern societies. The actual origin of this artefact is Damascus/Syria hence the name Damask. The Damask fabric has been gaining traction in the world. As a person who has grown in the original home of the Damask, I have a special attachment to the artefact. In addition, seeing my scarf extends a nostalgic memories about my country of origin, even when I am in a far place.

Damask gives me some sense of belonging. It is an artefact that I can relate to any time I see people wearing it or any time I am wearing it myself. The sense of touch on the special weaving patterns also is quite different to me than when I touch other fabrics. I believe, as Malafouris (2010) explains, there is a complex brain-artefact interface where an artefact evokes different deep memories. This is the case with my scarf. Seeing it won by a person who does not originate from the Middle East makes me realise that people accept us and our products. Moreover, when I found that Damask fabric collected by a person of my home country in a foreign land makes me feel that we are proud of our cultural and cultural heritage. All in all, Damask makes me really proud of my country, despite the challenges of civil war that has affected us.

The popularity of the Damask has seen it being exported to other countries. In the contemporary world, it is not a unique occurrence to see a person spotting the scarf regardless of culture or origin. Thus, one argue that the Damask has contributed to the world implosion of ancient cultures, and have helped shape the contemporary cultures of inclusivity. On whether the Damask involves me in the life of others, the answer is in the affirmative. Just like the interwoven threads of a damask, spotting one makes me want to know much about the individual wearing it, especially if that individual is from a foreign country.

The level of pride I associate with Damask cannot lead to auto-amputation. It brings a sense of belonging to my country. However, upon critical analysis, it makes me realise I am in a foreign country. The only difference is that I am proud of being in this country and proud of my country too. So the artefact does not lead to auto amputation. A Damask scarf makes me feel whole, it grows my sense of self and gives me an identity as a person from the Middle East. It is more of an identity object that can be used to pinpoint a person we share an origin with. However, to some extent, the rest of the western countries associate this scarf with the dominant Middle East religion, Islam. Thus, the cloth is confused to be Islamic attire which is not the case. Although it is not so rare to see someone downing Damask even in western countries, the level of attachment of westerners to this artefact cannot be compared with that of the middle easterners.

Although as I am connected to the artefact, I cannot claim that it is my source of powerful outcomes. Adorning Damask does not necessarily make me have special energy, though it makes me happy and have pride as well as gives me some sense of belonging. Damask also makes me active especially when I see someone else wearing it. This feeling is replicated by the wearers as it is an item of cultural identity. Therefore, the artefact makes people act as it acts as a source of interaction.

The Taxonomic Subject

Damask is a traditional scarf can be classified as an artefact that is highlighting a double standard setting. This can be based on the Taxonomic subject theory that dwells on the classification of various elements. In this case, Damask is an ancient traditional fabric that was dyed in a piece but was mainly characterised by patterns that were jacquard. The production of Damask has since spread to other countries like China, Britain among others with the name denoting the present-day linen texture that is figured with flowers weaving. In this case, the artefact can be said to present both the ancient traditional period and the modern time period thus the double standard.

According to Dawkins (1993), the taxonomic attempt to separate the human subjects from all forms of ape species forms the mark of a discontinuous mind. In this matter, Dawkins (1993), argues that the discontinuous gap that is created between humans and apes is regrettable as there is a very minimal difference that might have been caused by the survival and extinction contingencies. The same case applies to the artefact Damask in this case whereby there is very little difference between this fabric and other traditional fabrics such as the Brocade as both of them are floral pattern fabrics that are woven. However, other fabrics that have so far emerged in the modern world can be said to reflect the Damask patterns that have come to form the modern-day fabric, thus little difference exists between Damask and other modern-day fabrics.

Even though the production of Damask can be classified to many centuries ago, it can be categorised under the broad category of woven fabrics. The artefact cannot be said to form part of the problems that are experienced by the long-established category of taxonomic classification starting from the broad category of domain and kingdom categories. Damask is a traditional fabric that has been existence for centuries now and can only be classified as a woven fabric.

The discontinuous morality is described as the kind of morality that occurs in a series of stages according to the taxonomical theory. Thus, moral development is not continuous, but a series of different development stages. In the artefact Damask, rich history of its development and characteristics is noted with its appearance in Europe for the first time back in the fourteenth century, whereby, the European Damasks were woven on Italian looms that had two harnesses that allowed for the creation of patterns that a standard looms could not allow. The development of Damask has since changed over time with the modern-day Damask using modern fabric waving techniques thus bringing into a question about our discontinuous morality.

As asserted by Morrison (2009), good taxonomical classifications help in the protection of organisms while old and bad taxonomical classifications are not good for the conservation of organisms. In this matter, the artefact Damask has been called different names in different countries where it has been used as it is not a limitation of Syria and Damascus countries alone. Basically, Damask can be classified as a woven pattern that is made using a single color yarn thus it can be said to describe the consequences of taxonomy. Damask makes people active as it is the people who use it, as opposed to passive subject which might have been true if the artefact uses people instead.

The Interpellated Subject

Culture is expressed through various artefacts such as clothing, style of wearing the clothes and even the preferred colors (Stevens, 2007). My use of the Damask has given me a special identity by making me unique from the others. This uniqueness is an expression of my culture through an artefact. One notable cultural association of Damask is with the Islam religion. Thus, the artefact interpellates me as a Muslim, though the cloth has no relationship with any religion. It is more of a cultural dress of the Middle East than it is religious attire.

Damask has always been a case of recognition. According to McCrae (2004), various cultural artefacts can be used to express the personality and status quo of such a person in society. In the western countries, being addicted to an artefact gives one a special identity in that, one can easily be associated with the Middle East. The stereotype associated with the cloth. Wearing Damask scarf is a near-daily routine. Due to the sense of pride, the scarf gives me the level of uniqueness it gives, I find it easy to wear the Damask scarf most of the time. However, sometimes, when I need to work, I adhere to what is considered normal dressing in a westernised workplace to avoid unnecessary attention. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that although I do adorn Damask quite often, there are no ritual practices associated with the wearing, but only a sense of fashion that traces its roots from my home country.

Whether the Damask designates its ideological functions is a controversial topic. Due to the quality of its material and the uniqueness of its patterns, the use of the Damask has gained popularity even beyond the scurf roles it used to serve. Today, it is not strange to find a table cloth made of Damask, a designer clothes made of Damask among other uses. Thus its ideological functions are controversial as various quarters can argue differently on what was the ancient ideological use of the cloth. Nevertheless, Damask makes people passive subjects in the sense that they adopt its use blindly especially for those who hail from the Middle East. It is hard to explain how the use of Damask is so prevalent yet it is not a religious artefact.

The Reflected Subject

The mirror stage is a developmental step that posits that children in their infancy do recognise themselves when they observe their images in the mirror. The age at which this recognition occurs has been debated, but a scholar seems to agree that the recognition takes place between 15 and 18 months. Of importance is the observation that once an infant observes itself in the mirror, it forms a special ideal image that shall stick in its image. The entire life is lived trying to acquire this ideal person; hence the ideal person differs. This desired person is expressed in the ideal ego. However, as the child growths, various forces act to deter the achievement of the ego-ideal and replace it with ideal-ego (Moncayo, 2006).

Damask depends on the mirror stage in the sense that, it is one of the must-have items of the males in Middle East countries. Thus, as a young boy recognises himself in the mirror and creates the notion of the ideal person he wants to become, that future person must have Damask since nearly all males from Middle East countries use this fabric. Since the Damask is not a basic requirement, one can argue that it is used subconsciously by the males of the Middle East as a source of identity and belonging. Thus it can be said to be an object of the ego ideal.

When examined from the popular western culture, the scarf may be seen as a source of alienation from what is considered the popular culture. However, if examined from the lenses of the regions of origin, the Damask does not show any form of alienation. On the contrary, the Damask is a sign of cultural simulation where different people with different walks of life get united by the artefact. The artefact also simulates cultures in that it helps people identify themselves especially when they are in regions where they are from minority cultures. Thus, Damask is a uniting artefact.

The imaginary faculties of thinking, also known as ego-ideal are provoked by this artefact. The Damask scarf is seen as representing the perfect person. Depending on the material used, it can be used to show opulence and sophistication. Therefore, it is representing what would be the ideal type of person. It is this ideal types that Behrendt (2016), describes when he writes about the mental images formed in the mind of the child after seeing themselves in the mirror. The use of the scarf helps actualise the actual person a child had envisioned.

The Damask also has several symbolic meanings. The scarf shows a sense of fashion and fashion consciousness. This fashion consciousness can be equated to the ideal-ego, where the actual ideal person, subjected to forces of life, somehow abandons the uncontrolled desires of the ego-ideal, to have a regulated form of the ideal person (Behrendt 2016).  The Damask helps to make the wearer sharper and more recognisable especially in a crowd. Thus, there are some aspects of the ideal-ego in the artefact.

The artefact makes people be active subjects. It is more of an enhancement item that makes people stand out. It is also used to show the desire of these people to caress their ego towards achieving the ideal conceptualisation of their childhood mirror images. By representing the ideal person, the Damask scarf makes people active by boosting their morale. It is used as a symbol to show the efforts put toward getting achieving the ideal person.

Culture is a controlling factor in human life. Understanding how an artefact is used to explain various aspects of cultures helps unravel the role of culture in our day to day life. The choice selected of Damask has been subjected to various theories. The theories have helped show how this item can be understood from a cultural point of view. Through the theories, the attached meaning of the Damask has been explored. It has become clear that this is not just a clothing item, but a cultural item that evokes various connotations to the natives of where the scarf originates from. The continued adoption of the Damask further shows that the cloth is quickly becoming a universal cloth. The knowledge gained has been recorded in a Hypomnemata.

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