Friday, November 12, 2010


In reading both Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's excerpt From a Thousand Plateaus and Lev Manovich's article New Media from Borges to HTML I was left with the idea of expansive information.
While Deleuze's and Guarttari's language was difficult to follow the main idea I grasped was the connectivity between all objects and subjects, and the breaking down of barriers. Every piece of information or every object leads you to something else.
Similarly to Picasso's "Guitar Player"(pictured to the left), visually illustrated the idea of how glorified shapes of well known images become these arrows pointing to eachoether, leading our mind along this invisiable plane in a multiplicity of directions.
Manovich talks about "a massive branching structure as a better way to organize data and to represent human experience," rather than a typical outline or equation where one thought and another one thought will give you a certain specific answer. At this point in time I can google search the word "thought" and in .12 seconds have 51 million links to choose from. Each link saying something slightly or starkly different then the last.
These two readings were very interesting because it seemed as though they were considering this type of thought (expansive information) as a new thing. When really this connective information idea has been going on way before new media ever existed. From a Freshman Studies class we know Borges' Library of Babel originally published in 1941, way before the wave of new media, and yes while Borges is extremely creative and brilliant...he did not think of this concept on his own.
There has always been the idea of Akashic records, which are in a sense the complete archives of human experience, and can only be accessed through an intense psychic experience. The idea is all the same, an everlasting imprint of information that is interconnected in every way despite same and time.

Saturday, November 6, 2010



"The Media is the Message" by Marshall McLuhan is one loaded article. My initial response is severe discomfort at the statements he makes. McLuhan, according to wikipedia, is an educator, philosopher, English professor, and communication theorist. McLuhan died in 1980, and this article can still make me uneasy.
The title of the article alone is a brash statement: "The Media is the Message." This tells me that no matter what my idea or my opinion may be portraying the real message is the medium, and my own creativity takes the back seat. And I obviously would like to think that this is not true. While I agree in the point that the medium is a very important and specific choice, and I cannot disagree more that the medium is the message, it is a part of the message, but it does not take over.
In McLuhan's discourse on the electric light he says that all things that operate under the light become the content of the light. What I am writing right at this moment are my ideas, in my own words, and are passed through my nerves and make my finger muscles move and type and then the letters on my keyboard are pressed which then is processed through my laptop and appear on my computer screen. My thoughts are limited by the computer by the secondary nature of where the ideas are now captured, but they do not originate from the nerves, muscles, keyboard, computer or, and therefore do not belong to them. And yes, my message is shaped by my medium, but in the same sense that water is shaped by the container that it resides in. The water will not lessen, or become the object, but will adapt.
McLuhan makes some interesting claims about Shakespeare, and the economy, but the one statement that really stood out to me was this, "...our human senses, of which all media are extensions, are also fixed charges on our personal energies, and that they also configure the awareness and experience of each one of us..." What bothers me, is that media is now considered a human sense, a new way of perceiving. I do not perceive with my computer, but my mind and my sight and my independent thoughts.
I don't want to post any videos in this blog post, or make any links, because I want to make the point that I can explain myself and my ideas without the full extent of the medium. My ideas are not just a blog.


When I read, look or listen to something these days I can see what may have influenced this idea. There is always something somewhere that inspired someone, and that had an influence on their own idea. Does an influence make something unoriginal? No, I don't think it does at all.

When reading Lawrence Lessig's "Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Community" Lessig begins talking about the remix culture from the standpoint of inspiration. People are constantly inspired by what is around them, and use other peoples ideas and opinions as a starting place for their own to form. This type of thought evolution can be sticky, because as Lessig points out, copyright laws become a pretty big issue. However, Lessig made me start thinking about why other people take it negatively when someone enjoys their idea enough to cite it, or expand on it, or refer to it.
It's kind of an insane concept (people getting perturbed when others want to borrow or expand their ideas) because it has been happening for hundreds of years. Stravinsky, Beethoven, and many other well known composers would take a theme or a melody from someone else's work and expand on it to make a whole symphony, or quote a theme to honor another composer that they admire, or to use it for contextual support.
While many could look at copyright as a limitation, I think it would be best to look at it like a challenge. How can one jump through the loopholes, trick the system, and still use other people's material. Many people such a Girl Talk , I say people because I feel uncomfortable calling him a musician, become master remixers, cutting and pasting music and sounds, finding similarities within different pieces and creating a whole new experience. The music changes meaning, and Lessig talks about this. This remixing is everywhere in every form.
Currently many clothing and apparel stores are taking a green initiative and getting creative. Upcycling is the new term being used by many clothing manufactures when they take old clothes, cut them up and paste them back together to create a new garment without creating new fabric. Many designers on use this process of clothing making as it a green, less expensive way of making high quality items with high quality fabrics.
So remix. Use, borrow, steal, hijack, pocket, expand, twist. Just be creative about it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Three Minutes.

I created three short videos, and they all stemmed from one original clip:

This is the first video that I shot, and I ended up liking it a lot more than I initially anticipated. It shows this subtle relationship between the water cup and the butter and the space surrounding the objects. From here I knew that to create my other two videos the subject matter would have to thematically relate through subject relationships and their interaction with their environment.

So, the second video: "Buttercup" is an explanation of the same relationship established through "Table Top Dances" however this video takes a different approach to the relationship. It does this by the addition of footage from the site of National Geographic. The footage focus's on a snake fight which ends in one snake eating another snake. So comparing the butter's and water cup's relationship with that of the two snakes allows the video to send a different message. The sound in this video is a clip from the aria "La Vergine Degl'Angeli" from Verdi's opera "La forza del destino" I only used about 15 seconds of sound for the entire clip and looped different sections as well as altered them.

My third and final video, which was created completely from clips that I had harvested from, shows yet a different relationship. I harvested a video clip from National Geographic of an octopus eating a shark, and a clip of a girl eating a hamburger. This is to show a dual relationship between the eater and the eaten and then the two subjects that are similar (the eaters, and the eaten). The sound for this video comes from the clip of the girl eating, which is on a loop of her biting into food, so the constant sound of chewing is apparent.

These three videos are all connected through visual and thematic content, plus I think they reflect a style of my own.

Friday, October 22, 2010


We just keep wanting and wanting. We, being humans, and our wants being more connectivity through advanced technology. However the connections we are desiring, we being the general collective, are from afar.
One of the first technologies were letters, which allowed us to share our lives, thoughts, and desires with people far away from us. Letters became high-tech when they morphed into the form of telegraph, and then became non-tangible when they morphed into e-mails. These different correspondence tactics sound like the life of a pokemon: evolving and with that adding new strengths and weaknesses to its infirmary.
We then move to television, which brought more of a visual aspect to the idea of far away communication. Raymond Williams' article The Technology and The Society simplifies the television's affect on society, which is an interesting way to examine television, but falls short. Williams comes up with nine succinct explanations regarding the impact of television, and then comments on them for the entirety of his article. While he makes the point that at first television was merely a tekky-science project, and those involved were not aware of its potential, he cops out and blabs on about society. I say its a cop out because it's easy to mention the word society in the context of television: "society created television," "society is affected by television," "society dictates television". Well, duh. It's also a cop out because we could have substituted any present day social communication device for "television," or for that matter any past social communication device.
The video posted above is obviously a Monty Python satire, but I post if for a specific reason. Williams explains that one of the main reasons that the television became so technologically advanced was for broadcasting the news, however in this video which was first aired in 1975 on BBC2 one of the main spoofing points they are making is the gibberish that appears on the news. Furthermore, it is easy to say nothing while seemingly saying something.
Fortunately this video brings me to the idea of short films. The TV now becomes internet TV, and these short films become museum quality art (or land you a job on Sesame Street like William Wegman). Short films like Amphbians by Anthony Goicolea, are ways of making art, and moreover making video art without breaking the bank or being a cinematographer for a major motion picture. However, I'm not sure if the art quality can really happen in a short film without that cinematic cast. I am a big Lord of the Rings movies fan, and I am more captivated during this 3 minute trailer, even with the sound muted, than during Amphibians

A comparable short film maker, William Wegman, the man behind the dogs on Sesame Street, makes his short films a little more interesting. While Amphibians tries to say something, it can't because of the limitations of its technology. Wegman uses his technology to his advantage, and uses the medium is a successful way in his short, eccentric films like plunger.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Both William Burrough's article The Cut up Method of Brion Gysin and Bill Morrison's film Decasia pose a serious question about the validity of art. Burrough's pushes the idea that anyone can write poetry and can/should recut and rearrange famed poetry, while Morrison basically stitched together decaying film and digitized it. Both of the initial creative starters were created by other people (the poem/old film), but are recreated into something new. Is this art? Is it only art when the concept changes and a new idea is conveyed.
The following two video's are "trailers" for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining made in 1980. The first video is what many would consider an accurate representation of what you can expect to see if you watch the film. The second video is a "recut," which entails a mash up of different scenes from the movie, set to different music, and the product is completely different than the first "trailer."
Are they both art?
-Yes, defanitely.
Are they both Stanley Kubrick's art?

From here I wonder if this type of art will only work with certain mediums, and will fail in other mediums. The current and ever-so-popular TV series Glee is known for its mash-ups of songs, in which multiple pop songs are smashed together....which can be considered either a good or bad thing. Decide for youself.