Week Twelve Assignment

Reflections on “Pigeonblog”

Pigeonblog set out to address creative outreach, political engagement, and participatory science.

This coming together of science and art reminded me of readings from Dylan’s class: Four Selections by Experiments in Art and Technology (NMR 211-226)

E.A.T – The purpose of Experiments in Art and Technology, Inc . is to catalyze the inevitable active involvement of industry, technology, and the arts . E .A .T . has assumed the responsibility of developing an effective collaborative relationship between artists and engineers. 

In the spring of 1994  E .A .T . developed a research effort to locate and collect sounds from the oceans all over the world to be used by the composer David Tudor in an electronic composition that was to be part of John Cage’s last work for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Ocean .

It also reminded me of A Fold Apart: Origamist Robert Lang’s Incredible Paper Creations.

It shows how connected art and engineering is for the average person and how important it is to every life – for example, the airbag coming out of the car when it crashes.


Week Eleven Assignment

Reflections on “Add-Art: Sharing, Freedom, and Beer”

It’s a good point to be made. The way sharing has evolved throughout civilization. Though, it says that now information is commodified through intellectual property, this existed through history too. Information was commodified geographically. One would know that they had to travel to this location to obtain information. Which still remains true for certain fields. For example, areas of understanding spirituality or finding archeological things require one to venture to a foreign area or a secret library. (Reminded me of this library with four locks – “Each of those keys was kept with four different people. In order to open the manuscript room, all four of those people had to physically be there to open the door.”).

Here’s a video on it’s reopening:

It’s interesting to see that even with the four freedoms outlined for free software, the point is made that one can customize and sell – ie, Apple really being a superficial look to ubuntu.

He mentions that by lowering our ambitions from “ideal” to “working” made the task more manageable. I think in some ways, that’s how I’m doing the final project for this class as well. It’s the only way to create something substantial even if it’s not the original vision.

“Releasing Early and Often” – a wonderful point here. I realized that when I hide a project until it’s closer to what I want, and then share it with big eyes to my friends. It receives excitement that lasts about a few seconds. But when I slave over an assignment and share it with a few friends and ask for feedback, I come out with something even more great and they see where something started and where it ended. It also enabled me to feed off of their ideas and go in other directions I would not have originally thought of. Sometimes there directions are even better than the original thought. Yet, it still feels like my work.

Week Ten Assignment

Reflections on Part I: Cultures, REMIX, by Lawrence Lessig

“Music can be heard in the homes without the labor of study and close application, and without the slow process of acquiring a technique,”

I never really thought of lax copyright as this. But to some degree it’s true. Amateur artists don’t truly need the skill of playing a physical instrument. They can play instruments digitally on garageband with the help of a few youtube videos.

“His fear was that people would be less connected to, and hence practiced in, creating that culture.”

This was a rational fear but what really happened was the total opposite. This democratization of music and making music make it so more and more create that culture. This is why remix and covers of songs are filled in youtube world.

The piece mentions how iTunes basically found “a balance between access and control that would satisfy both the consumers and the creators.”

He is right that the value of the voice has declined. Ariana Grande’s vocal range – seen in this video – is something that requires pure talent and a lot of practice. Yet, her NET worth isn’t even close to that of Beyonce and Shakira. Because it’s more about the number of pieces produced and the audience that receives it.

Week Nine Assignment

Reflections on The Good Life

An aggregation of pieces that document how Latin Americans perceived US foreign policy in Latin America.

Battling corporate-influences media. And explaining how politics is something that everyone talks about and thinks about and not just something secluded to one group of people reminded me of a tweet from J.K. Rowling.

The overarching concept reminds me also of a few groups battling Islamophobia here with that same type of public engagement.

TrueStoryASA – a group that’s now broken, has received a lot of controversy due to their pranking and using their Muslim-ness as a platform, that may be more provoking negative things. Some of their videos are problematic and this is somewhat what they do. Many of there videos have been taken down since the group broke up.

Karim, a different youtuber, does social experiments but he also approaches New Yorkers and engages with them.

Here’s an experiment he did with the Bible disguised as Quran.

In this video he uses his “whiteness” to disguise as someone not obviously Muslim to ask about different opinions on Muslims.

However, The Good Life, is much more cinematically done as a film.

What makes this so intriguing is that it is not overshadowed by experts, by historians, but people living outside and studying the countries. The narrator is not the one pushing the film through. And I think that’s what makes this work so unique. And all the more powerful.

Week Eight Assignment

Reflections on the Oligarchy

Gaming is an interesting platform to use as it is hollistic and integrative in terms of thought. Everything seems to connect and there are usual a few goals all leading to a specific purpose. Introducing oil companies and the interplay of the oil industry in war and politics into a world of gaming that already integrates different areas, is a great analogous concept.

A lot of the gaming industry enforces, just as other forms of mainstream media do, ideas of mysogyny and racism.

For example, in a class that I want to propose on Islamophobia & Media, it would be nice to address how this is infiltrated through the video game industry. Digital Arabs: Representation in Video Games. I see it still in the video games my brothers play like Call of Duty. The locations of these games are in Arab countries, ambiguous areas of sand and mud houses. With sporadic arabic sounds in the background, phrases yelled by the bots.

This game puts a twist to the current rhetoric in gaming. It shows that this industry can have push back to the capitalist world, or rather, it shows alternative ideas, while keeping all aspects and the complexities in place of the current world we live in.

Week Seven Assignment

Reflections on Superfund365

This is such a great initiative that really incorporated so many elements into one project. It’s interactive in both design and engagement. A user can move through the icons and read and learn more about different harmful substances that exist within the site and how much of it exists and the parties responsible.

The project has so much breadth – the scientific and social consequences outlined within the project without even directly stating so.

It has images and graphics and all of them have a significance to the project as a whole. And then it also allows for commenting and thus user interaction on an engagement and inquiring level.

It has qualitative and quantitative data that’s all encompassing.

I think this is what I’d like to come out with eventually. In terms of battling against the world of “Fast Fashion”. An all encompassing interactive website – with graphics on garment factories and their sites. Each site having stories and then actual data on where it exports and the engineering and mechanical complications and issues that live within that factory.

I haven’t seen a website similar to this – although it is flash-based. Many aren’t as dynamic, even if their graphics are more crisp. They also don’t carry this much depth and breadth.

Water Conservation

Week Six Assignment

Reflections on Mechanical Olympics

Notable Quotes:

  • “an opposition to the goliath of mainstream culture.”
  • “alternatives are healthy for a democratic society”
  • “consumer culture uses online communication to perpetuate common lifestyle myths.”
  • “Collective Intelligence, Value Added, Remixable Data”
  • “Renders the notion of ‘solutions’ and recommendations’ inconclusive”

This project, although obtuse in many ways, paved the creation of a lot of new media by individuals who may have no tapped into their creative spirit to come up with a quirky or different olympic game.

Looking into Mechanical Olympics – I definitely enjoyed the Synchronized Swimming.

The use of combining these three websites is very sagacious – a lot of the recent new media and new pieces of art tend to try to conglomerate everything into one platform or one site – so they would’ve rather had one website hosting the videos and the commentary and everything that the project entails would be on that one website. This places a barrier in terms of submissions and so many other complications. So this use of networks, this spreading around of the piece itself is a thought-out concept that’s also unconventional to the craft.

It’s funny, the videos reminded me of when I used to teach middle school and the wonderful games they would have. They would do epic pen-tapping battlers like THIS. Or paper football, among other games that would then turn into a tournament. Even hand games like chicken or slap bet.