Weekly Summary (13 & 14)

These past two weeks have been my worst, as far as completing assignments. This will be my first weekly assignment where I come up short on a few assignments. I’m really agitated about this matter, because I have been very consistent each week (grade wise) and completed every task. But I’m not going make excuses, I will display what I have accomplished and keep it moving.

Alan’s Vacation

Remix Generator

9 Stars

Consumer Mashup

Talky Tina Headswap

Actor Transformation 

 What Is Remix?

Anyone is capable of making a remix, whether it is a form of audio, video, or image. Remixing is re-creating original content and incorporating your own original content as well. In audio for instance, people take samples from popular songs all the time. Although it may be a small section of a song, it is best to try and make it as unrecognizable as possible, adding your own twist on it. If you fail to do so, you could find yourself in some serious heat. Even if you are producing these remixes strictly for hobby, it is still a good idea to reference and give credit where it is due.

As Kirby Ferguson stated, “Everything is a Remix”. Those videos he made are considered remixes (great videos by the way). He used other people’s images, video, and audio to support his claim on remixing. Aside from media, engineers are capable of remixing. They can take original ideas of existing components and combine them to form their own vision (The Basic Elements Of Creativity). Copy, Transform, and Combine are the elements responsible for why we are able to type this blog post on a computer right now. Iphones, TV’s, and automobiles are all prominent examples.

Some of the remix examples I viewed like Star Wars Call Me Maybe were pretty creative, but time consuming as well. The possibilities are really endless. From what I have learned and completed this week, I’ve come up with so many remix ideas that I want to try out. The future will be a better place because of remixing, improving all aspects of life and creating new opportunities, jobs, etc. If we didn’t remix, we would be stuck with the same old things day to day, life would be boring. I urge everyone to expand their minds, share and combine ideas, and progress together.

Infographics and Visual Literacy

I think our infographics class activity on Tuesday was actually a pretty good representation of the assumptions people make about their audience’s visual literacy and cultural knowledge when they create infographics. For example, Table 3’s infographic expects viewers to understand that they are looking at a timeline, even though it isn’t formatted as a traditional timeline. The infographic also assumes that the audience recognizes Pusheen. Similarly, Table 4’s infographic takes for granted that the user knows to hover over each state to see the number of Olympic medal recipients. It also expects viewers to figure out that it only represents the contiguous states. While these all sound like simple examples, they reveal that the makers of infographics expect at least a basic level of visual literacy. A third grade viewer may have recognized Pusheen, but also not realize that two states are missing from the map of the U.S.  I think these infographics highlight the need for designers to consider their audiences, as well as the need for visual literacy education.

Actor Transformation

Original Assignment (4 stars)

Actors/Actresses change roles and characters all the time. It’s always cool to see them progress and grow throughout the years (if they make it that far). Some make it, and some don’t, that’s just the way Hollywood is.

I was originally going to use Mark-Paul Gosselaar as an example for this assignment. He is most known for his role as Zack Morris in Saved By The Bell, and is still acting to this day. I had to switch actors because I could not find any decent clips of the show on youtube (they have all been remixed). My next choice was Tommy Chong, most known for the classic stoner duo, Cheech and Chong.

I picked him because I recently saw him competing on a show my mother was watching, called Dancing With The Stars. It’s crazy to see someone his age still busting moves on the dance floor. I kept thinking to myself, “I wonder if he gets high before every live televised dance”? After viewing some more of his dances from the show on youtube, I must say, he held his own for someone who has no dancing experience.

Editing in iMovie

Editing in iMovie

After searching through clips from both shows, I picked what I needed, and downloaded them as MP4 files, thanks to KeepVid. After importing into iMovie, I cut out certain clips and meshed them together to display the past and the future. The video starts off with a clip of Chhech and Chong smoking in the van, and then dissolves into a dance routine with Chong and his partner on the dancefloor (Cheech was actually a part of the routine at the beginning). This assignment reminded me of that show, “Where Are They Now”? Enjoy the final clip below.

Talky Tina Headswap

Original Assignment (2 stars)

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This is the first I have heard of Talky Tina. Either way, This little girl is creepy looking. The goal for this assignment was to find an image of her, chop her head off, and place it somewhere (monument, object, etc). Pretty simple task, nothing fancy.

So I stumbled upon a bunch of creepy images on Tina on Google and just snagged one. When I was working on this assignment, I was pretty out of it, but had the image of her head on a dinner platter in my head. So boom, I searched for a waiter or a servant carrying a platter or tray. It took me a while to find one that wasn’t tagged up by companies trying to sell the images. By the fourth or fifth page on google images, I finally found one that seemed to work.

As usual, I opened them up in Photoshop and began editing. The waiter with the tray image didn’t need much work. I just had to erase some text at the bottom of the image. Chopping Tina’s head from the rest of her body was a breeze. The image I found of her was huge, so I resized the head to my liking and placed it on the tray. I think i placed it just right, making it look as real as I possibly could. Easiest two stars all semester, but I had fun making this creepy image.

Consumer Mashup

Original Assignment (3 stars)

Macys-Logo

 

For this assignment, the objective was to pick a store that we frequent visit, and edit their original logo (using text, images. etc). Although I dislike the Macy’s here in Fredericksburg (kind of limited than other locations), I still visit from time to time to purchase garments. I usually browse through their Ralph Lauren Polo collection and see what they have to offer. I never pay full price, because frankly, their prices are ridiculously high. In the fall/winter seasons, I like to scoop up some Champion hoodies/sweatshirts that they carry. So those are mainly the two reasons why I shop there.

For the logo, I grabbed the original one off google images in high quality. I did not want to add any additional text, just a couple images. Next, I grabbed the Polo and Champion logos and it was a wrap as far as what I needed for my logo makeover. All 3 images were opened in Photoshop. For the Macy’s logo, I grabbed the eraser tool and got rid of the letter c. I used the Champion “C”. resized it, and put it in it’s place. Lastly, I cut out the Ralph Lauren pony logo and placed it in the red star after resizing (it just felt and looked right). It was a pretty simple task and straightforward, probably the easiest assignment this week. To sum it up, I guess this logo states that I shop at Macy’s because I am a Ralph Lauren and Champion addict.

Sound Effects Story [Remixed]: Pollack Style

Remix Assignment

For this assignment, I will be telling a short story, using only sound effects. In addition, the remix assignment suggests to use elements from a Jackson Pollack painting. We must also use some elements from another students assignment and incorporate them into our story somehow. 

The art piece I chose contains mostly black splatter effects on a white canvas. There were some red splatter effects here and there, and it reminded me of blood splatter. I also viewed a post from Jeremy, where he used sound effects to depict a break-in/murder scene. That’s when I got the idea to compile sound effects that would involve a hitman, heading to his targets residence and ending his life. I wanted it to sound as real as possible, so I gathered up at least ten clips from FreeSound to tell my story.

All of my sound effects were loaded into Logic, and were put in the correct order, followed by a final mix. I already ran through the order of each sound effect in my head, so it was a breeze to arrange each one. The total run time was  a minute and ten seconds, just under the 90 seconds preference. Next step was to export this audio file in mp3 format.

Tracks in Logic

Tracks in Logic

Now it was time to launch iMovie, so I could combine the audio and the image of the painting. I added two title clips to introduce a story feel, followed by the still image  (continuing) of the art piece. Finally, I exported the file into mp4 format and uploaded it to my youtube account.

iMovie project window

iMovie project window

I found this remix assignment rather interesting and fun to create. Taking elements from other sources, and then using your imagination to create something original can be challenging. But in my case, the ideas arose quite quickly, and I had everything mapped out in my head before I even started gathering/editing the media. Check out the final version of “The Life Of A Hitman” below.

Marco Brambillia

Marco Brambilla, born on Milan and now based in New York City, primarily creates video collages and installations. He is best well known for his complex recontextualizations of popular imagery. Brambillia has had exhibits  in The Guggenheim, San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art, and New Museum of Contemporary Art. His videos have been featured in the Sundance Film Festival, and he made a collaged video for one of Kanye West’s songs. One of his famous collections, Transit, are photographs he took at airports. Shown below, is a shot from one of his videos called Evolution. This piece is a history of humankind depicted through conflict, and displays countless moving figures.

I find Brambillia’s work very impressive. His videos from the series that Evolution is from is complex, intriguing, and captivating. So much is happening at once, which works for the piece because it is trying to capture and display a huge phenomenon. Of all the artists we have studied this semester, Brambillia has caught my attention the most.

evolution1

Sources:

http://marcobrambilla.com

Privacy in the Digital Age

The article “The Web Means the End of Forgetting” by Jeffrey Rosen disturbs me. I’m not that bothered by the lack of privacy on social media accounts -don’t share things if you mind the public knowing about it. What really concerns me is the potential for people’s private reputations to be ranked and made available on the internet. Maybe I’m old-school, but I think that you should primarily judge a person’s private reputation by getting to know them. I’m afraid of how subjective these ranking systems would be. So often we misjudge each other first based on a friend’s comments instead of  our own interactions. I think taking what is a normal social defense mechanism and applying it broadly to people through the internet could be detrimental to our formation of relationships. I honestly don’t want my social desirability ranked. I’m an intense, introverted person, so I would probably receive poor ratings because it takes a while for people to get to know me -something that my social media profiles do not reflect.

Art in the Digital Age

Last week Carla posed several interesting discussion questions about what will happen to art in the Digital Age. She wondered if the quality of art would decrease because people have broader access to programs to create and spread their work. Ultimately, I don’t think the quality of high art will decrease. Throughout the Information Age, people have spent the time and money to develop the skill necessary to become an artist. Frequently this involves studying with masters in the field. I highly doubt this will change during the Digital Age since it is almost impossible to learn how to do art well without the help of a master who must be paid for their time and expertise, even if they teach long distance lessons over Skype.

However, I do believe that the Digital Age has made the creation of art more accessible to the general population. The people who don’t have the time or money to extensively study an art form now have ways to creatively express themselves, inundating the internet with art. Despite the increasing amounts of art, I don’t think our society will be overrun with poor art. Our society has aesthetic standards that help us judge the masterwork from the work of a talented amateur from a hack.