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October 31, 2007

Project II How to Write a Paper

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This video gives 25 steps on the best way to write a paper (It may take you more then that following this guide).

Contemporary Art and Animation

Contemporary Artists Working with the Animated Image

Animated Histories: Qiu Anxiong, Robert Breer, Kota Ezawa, Cristina Lucas, Jenny Perlin, Shahzia Sikander, Kara Walker
VERSION, Kota Ezawa and Michele O’Marah
Kota Ezawa
Thomas Demand
Joshua Mosley
Kara Walker
Paul Chan
William Kentridge

Stop-Motion Videos

The Art of Motion
Modest Mouse Missed the Boat video contest
Coldplay - The Scientist
The Original Human SPACE INVADERS Performance
The Original Human POLE POSITION Performance
Blu Animation 2007
BLU walking (2 times)
Brick Films

Stop-Motion Primers

Stop-Motion Basics
Claymation Basics
Animating digital images in Final Cut Pro

October 29, 2007

Veg Man Makes Spomac

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I chose to do stop action with toys to liven up my original idea of "How to Make Spomac". It was made to look rough and corny and to make fun of fast food and the preconceived notions of "healthy food".


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Stop-motion animation combined with a short video, conceptually heavy I suppose....

How to be a Hippie

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Several easy steps on how to be a hippie. Watch and learn...

Project 2: How to get your roommate to hate you.

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This video is a six step instructional video on how to get your roommate to hate you. It's a pretty simple and practical way to get this done. Just like most everyone else's videos, it is not to be taken seriously. The process of editing the video was very easy and intuitive just like using audacity.

Eating With Your Very Own Furniture: Project 2 Final

For this project, I wanted to do something that was kind of strange, but also commented on the theme of being in a do-it-yourself culture. I find myself continually always wanting to comment on the "connivence" in our society, especially with food. For my audio project my initial idea was to record a dinner being made, however that idea didn't work out the way that I had planned. I still wanted to focus on the eating habits in our rushed society for the second project. "Eating With Your Very Own Furniture" brings up a point of etiquette and challenges the conventional concepts of "proper dinner manners" I also wanted to focus on the time factor with this project. In order to obtain a few bites of food with the process of using furniture, the task was slow and took several minutes. Although this is humorous, I wanted to push the limits and patients that people have while watching this. Eating in our society has become more of a chore in order to keep ourselves alive verses a social activity. along with the fast pace of the world and minute microwaveable dinners, I am nostalgic for the past that people use tho take in preparing a meal and sitting down as a family.

Your Equipment - Project II

People often muse at the extravagant budget allocated to the U.S. military and consider it a gross expenditure of tax dollars, often wondering where most the money goes. With all the taxes and funds put forth to fund American Armed Forces, people often wonder where most of their tax dollars go specifically. Oddly enough, grunts on the frontlines in combat find themselves asking the same thing. With approximately 75% of US Marine Corps vehicles lacking the basic armor required for combat and several Marines, Sailors and Sailors still using Vietnam-era medical packs, many service-members find themselves struggling to fight a modern war with antique equipment.

My video demonstrates some of the ironies of military service equipment. It utilizes a satirical, slapstick style to show the inconsistencies of fighting a modern war with outdated equipment. The items demonstrated are tools actually issued at various military schools and most the problems are common headaches for Marines, Soldiers and Sailors. The video is reminiscent of the majority of tacky military educational films, featuring unenthusiastic actors, terrible acting, and poor scripting.

Filming the movie was fairly easy. After I found a location with adequate light and decent acoustics, I was able to capture some good footage for editing. With over 35 minutes of raw footage, I knew the editing process would be a bit time consuming. After I pared the piece down to a manageable size, I was left with 15 minutes of footage and enough erroneous scenes to make a special director’s cut for DVD. I spent a lot of time moving each portion around and adding effects but I spent the most time fine-tuning the scenes to create the most seamless transitions possible. This process was a bit tedious and I was a little concerned I was making the same mistake as my audio project by editing a piece I was too close to. I found that cutting a couple frames can make big changes to a piece. In the end, I’m pretty happy with my product but I wish I had more time to re-film some of the bumps that I couldn’t edit out.

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How-To Not Buy Fake Jordans


This video is intended for Jordan Sneaker lovers. Although it may be directed towards that particular group, most people can learn a lot from this video. Jordan Sneakers are not the only consumer products that are being sold in poor quality and cheaper prices. There are tons of fake clothing and shoes from your favorite brand that you may not be aware of. This is especially for people who like to shop online. If you aren't purchasing your items from the brand's official website you are taking a risk of buying fake clothing. Sometimes they are sold cheaper than the retail price, but other times they are sold the same. If you didn't know about fake clothing and shoes being sold you can easily goto eBay.com and type in "Jordan," "Abercrombie" or any other popular name brands. There will be a lot of results, some are actually authentic clothing and shoes others are knock-offs.

The process I took for making my video was by using my shoes to show an authentic pair of Jordan Sneakers, and the other was searching through eBay for fake Jordans being sold in auctions. After I had everything I needed, I just needed to construct my video clips so that people would understand what I was trying to do. I edited my video in Windows Movie Maker.

How to Create a Superhero

How to create a superhero

My Thoughts on my Annoying How To Video Project

When I initially started to think about ideas for my How To video I was trying to think of a topic that I could add humor into or that was just a funny topic in itself. With my video entitled "How To Annoy People" it provides tips and ideas for how to be that one person no one wants to be around. One goal I hope to meet with the video is for the viewer to be able to connect to one or two of the situations shown; whether they have been around someone acting that way or they just think to themselves, "That would be soooo annoying". My other goal is what I was hoping to achieve when I came up with the idea and that is to be funny.
In my process for filming I went through some difficulties. I not only filmed multiple times when I had the camera but I had to check it out two additional time frames to get quality clips to work with. The struggle with my topic is it requires various atmospheres to be located in order to portray how a person would be annoying there but a lot of these atmospheres were either not possible, had bad lighting or had two many strangers around that I wouldn't be able to get the right reaction. That was the other challenge I had in my video process-acting. When you put a camera in a person's face you get so many reactions much of which are not normal or too planned. I had some good annoying ideas for in an elevator but either would have too much laughing, the doors would continuously close on us or the lighting would be really difficult to view on the screen. I had a lot more success when I could play out a situation that only required myself to be filmed. After gathering enough clips to work with I somewhat categorized them and then began my editing. The first thing I did was go through and add text in front of almost every situation so that the viewers could read what the annoying tip was and then observe how it was played out. I varied the type of text I used just to go with how each idea varied. THen I downloaded sound clips that somewhat went along with what I was doing. I am pleased with the music that I found because there are some really good pieces that fit the annoying theme and add more humor to the entire video. I thinkif I had more time I would like to play around with more video transitions. I did some fading with the audio and a little with fading in and out for the video but I think it would be more interesting to do like a speckling fade or just change up how the clips fade in and out to make it more interesting to watch.

How to Avoid a Hitcher

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My project is how to avoid a hitcher. Hitcher to me sounds like a better word for hitchhiker, so that’s why I decided to use it in my title. This video is supposed to seem kind of serious and suspenseful, but still have a humor affect to it. My friends helped me with the acting and I filmed it on my own camera in my neighborhood. We uploaded the video originally onto a PC and edited some things. Then we exported it onto the Mac (which took forever) and finished the editing.

In the video you get to drive around in a car and learn the steps to avoid being tricked into giving a stranger a ride. Then in the second half of the video it shows you the mistakes people make when they see a hitcher, which causes them to give a ride or even worse…there is a twist at the end, but it was meant to be funny so hopefully it makes sense. I wanted to show the audience that there is a wrong way to do things and not all how to guides can be correct.

October 28, 2007

Project 2

Download how to make a superhero

My original project idea was "how to find god in pop culture" but that didnt really seem to work out with the media i was finding. So i revamped my project to how to make a super hero. i used joseph campbell's indepth book "a hero with a thousand faces" to come up with the guidelines to which you can apply to any subjects to see if they meet the mold for an archetypal hero. I chose to use jesus but you can use many subjects for example spiderman, superman and of course older heroes like Achilles. It came out having the content i wanted but as far as the complete editing it didnt come out quite as well as i had hoped since i ran into problems with other people hogging the computers in lab on friday and saturday. but considering, it was still really long after being taken down. Hopefully people think its funny >_< since that was my whole point

How to Make Tea

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With the movie "How to Make Tea," I tried to take a mundane task and make it much more exciting and interesting by adding a new twist to it. However, in the end one realizes that making tea in a new and exciting way may not be worth it, or just plain dumb. By riding bikes while throwing the tea bags into the hot water, I hoped to show the impracticality of the situation for the sake of doing something "extreme." Yet, it's still more entertaining than the original way to make tea, mostly because of the humor one may find in the unnecessary tea making steps.

My method for the video was quite simple. I filmed the video in one day, using already well-lit areas (such as the Comstock Ballroom and outside of Coffman Union). Luckily I was able to find a few friends to assist me with their acting talents, and to help with the camera when I was in the scene. The scenes where I "pop" into the frame were simply a matter of the other actors holding their poses while the camera was switched off, and then back on again with me in the scene. That aspect was put in their purely for entertainment value; there isn't any conscious meaning behind it. After all the scenes were shot, I just cut them and edited them using iMovie HD. I found iMovie easier to use than Final Cut Pro for adding the iLife sound effects that came with my iMovie program.

Project 2

This how-to video shows how to play airsoft as well as how to edit it with some cool effects. The beginning is an animation, the 3-D effect is stretched from a 2-D picture. I used Sony Vegas to edit the most part of the video, including radio blur, infrad, smoothing, slow motion and such. I also used Adobe Fireworks to edit some pictures. The computer screen part was recorded off the screen using a special program. And the sound by me was recorded separately. I think the music was a good choice, it naturally matched the video.

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October 27, 2007

Project 2: How To Start A War

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I have found that news on the television is not much more informative than comedy shows that talk about news. On the contrary, I would say that nowadays comedy shows reveal more about what is going on in our political world than in our news. There has to be a reason why people watch more and more shows such as “The Daily Show? and “The Colbert Report? to get their information.
Taking that into consideration, and because it seems that news outlets are once again starting to manipulate people into a war with Iran, I found it appropriated to combine a political statement with comedy in my second Project “ Instruct?.
Even though the intention of my short film is to be nothing more than a joke, the seven steps to start a war that I list in the film clip still contain elements of truth. My movie is supposed to be a short reminder of how countries have manipulated people into starting wars in the past and to make the audience think of how some patterns of getting involved in wars are being repeated in current times.
In my video I tried to emulate propaganda movies by using black and white and using only music as the soundtrack without having speech. I chose music that has a funny but at the same time a creepy feeling to enforce the message that I am trying to get across.

How To Make Something Usable

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High-quality version (link to media mill)

My overall purpose in making this video was to show people what makes things usable, or, more accurately, to try to get people to notice all the things that aren't very usable in their daily lives.

When I was originally thinking about this project, I thought about using a much more formal structure than I ended up doing. For example, I had envisioned going over a list of bullet points of things that made things usable, and then showing examples of these things. As I was working on the initial script, I realized that the topic was too complex to cover completely in five minutes, so I abandoned this approach and instead just looked at three examples of things that could be made more usable quite easily.

My video ended up being somewhat humorous in ways I didn't expect. When I was choosing music for it, I chose a song with a much different feel to it than I had originally envisioned. I think the music helps accentuate the humor by making the video seem just slightly over the top. I hope this element allows everyone to enjoy it: even if they don't really care about usability, they can at least appreciate the absurdity of the topics or me watching the toaster for several minutes as it burns my toast.

One thing from class that I found interesting while I was working on this was the relationship of my project to the "DIY Coffin" article, a theme of which was that design is best left to the professionals. In my video, I show three professionally-designed items which have significant usability problems. In two of these cases, I, a complete amateur, apply simple fixes that didn't occur to the professionals in order to improve them. I'm not suggesting that I or everybody could always improve on professional designs (either in practicality or aesthetics) but it does at least make it clear that it is possible. I haven't taken the arrow off my toaster and don't plan to because it really is useful.

I hope everybody enjoys watching the video and will notice the next time they come to a door which they can't figure out whether they should pull or push.

October 26, 2007

How To Be a Bro

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How To Be a Bro presents a 'case study' of what it means to be a Bro in modern-day America. Looking into different scenarios, I searched to find what it would mean to define someone from this social group. I decided to film two scenarios: one with a bro doing laundry; the other with a bro and his approach to a relationship. I then proceeded to do a mock-interview with a bro, having him talk about his social group and how he would describe his people.

Presented in a formal, news-magazine style, I wanted to approach this topic in a light manner. I didn't want to outright denounce this broad group of people (because, afterall, we all have our bro moments, right?), but I did want to give my two-cents on this idea of a lesser-thought-of stereotype. By no means is it meant to be taken seriously, so please approach it with that in mind...

With that said, I present to you MY idea of how to be a bro.



October 25, 2007

Project II Critique Prep

ok everyone,

I expect, having a good extra 5 days to edit your projects, that they be Super Fantastic! Please take care to hone your editing and be thoughtful about your subject.

Please write a well-written paragraph focusing on your intentions and process for this project. Post it to our class blog when you post your video.

Exporting, Uploading and Posting:

Export as a QuickTime movie, high resolution.
Upload this QuickTime to Media Mill
On Media Mill create:
One LARGE Derivative (for Crit)
One SMALL derivative for posting to the blog.
Use this derivative:
Quicktime 7, Small
Bitrate: 200 kbps
Dimensions: 320 x 240


All to be done by NOON on Monday.

October 24, 2007

Nikki S. Lee Visiting Artist Response

Starting the presentation with a bit of a sense of humor, Nikki S. Lee quickly allowed her audience to get to know her fun and quirky personality. Nikki was a born and mainly grew up in a “Korea-Korea? environment as she put it. She only was a witness to Korean culture growing up, very unlike the mixed cultures young people today experience as they mature in American societies. Intrigued by American culture Nikki decided to move to New York City to pursue a career as a photographer. She decided to enter the commercial field and did not find it artistically satisfying. As she began to do her own work, she experimented with concepts of reality. What was real to her and what was fake? She went to galleries and read books focusing on photography and philosophy. Eventually she was led to the idea of exploring identity issues. She stated that “I exist because others exist? concentrating on the idea that the people you surround yourself with affect how you act. “Why am I so sweet to boyfriend ‘A’ and a bitch to boyfriend ‘B,’? she asked herself. Nikki came up with the conclusion that everyone’s personality has various “layers? (which she entitled one of her recent works). Each layer is either peeled away or built up according to the types of relationships you are in and the experiences you have. “How many faces do people have,? she wondered? In this work she used multiple transparent paper drawings of herself and layered them on top of each other for a picture. We were not able to see the work, but it would have been interesting to see how the different artists perceived her. How did other people and cultures see her face?

She also demonstrates this identity concept in her work by showing herself in pictures with her various partners. In the “snapshots? her partners’ faces are cut out, leaving only parts of his body visible. It is evident how her personality shifts from picture to picture and person to person. She leaves the features of her partner out of the picture to allow the viewer to make his/her own story about the work. I thought this method was powerful. I was able to relate to the work and it made me question how the people in my life cause my personality to change. It made me realize that life is too short to be around people who bring the worst out in you. The purpose of those images for her was to review her identity through others thoughts. However, I think the viewers were able to review and question their identities through her work.

How To Make A How To Video

I think it's great that people today are so open about sharing their thoughts and ideas through media and so I wanted to contribute to that. Hopefully, I will be able to teach someone out there how to make their own DIY video. My purpose is to expose how people today use all the tools accessible to them to do whatever comes to mind to both aid and entertain people. In my video, I follow around my friend Grant while he makes his own how to video; therefore showing different steps in the movie-making process. Nowadays, because of the access to varied technology, it's easy for anyone to pick up a camera and shoot and then upload to the internet for mass distribution.
My video is made without flashy effects. I went for the amateur approach, the kind that is expressed through my directions.

The Influx with Nikki S. Lee

When we were shown a piece by Nikki S. Lee in class that was the first time I was putting her name with her artwork. The piece intrigued me and got me anxious to come hear her talk. Nikki's artwork consists of a wide selection of photographs. To an outsider they look like snapshot pictures taken from a wide variety of social groups and diverse individuals that make up communities around the United States. Where the uniqueness of this artwork comes into play is that the artist herself has become a part of each of these social groups.
This artwork is definitely something that people need to have background information on or they wil not fully understand the creativity behind it. Once the viewer is aware that Nikki is a part of each picture many more questions arise. I think she is creative in her approach and her style shows how committed she is to her work. She doesn't just jump next to a random person and snap a photo; Nikki submerges herself into a culture, she learns their dress, their communication, their attitudes and their actions and then transforms.
Thinking about the process Nikki goes through to create her artwork I think I personally would love to do the same. I love interacting with new people and learning about their background so this sort of photography project would be perfect for my character and personality.
I think one thing that would be interesting to see is a sort of scrapbook done by Nikki. If she were to infiltrate a family of some social class or culture group and become a part of them and then create a scrapbook of her "family life". She may have a piece similar to this but I think it would be fun to see a story created out of her photos.
Overall I enjoyed hearing from Nikki and certainly found it to be a beneficial talk because now I can understand and really appreciate her photographic artwork.

October 21, 2007

Edgar Heap of Birds: Artist Lecture

The relationship between form and content in Edgar Heap of Bird’s work was unusual, but at the same time very effective. The reason I say that is because his political pieces were hung like advertisements on the sides of California buses. The pieces that were done in as street signs were all displayed in a very modern way as well. The political pieces were presented almost as if it were signs for advertisement using modern tools such as roads and transit busses to exhibit them. Although the words were recognizable in correlating with Native Americans, the design had no cultural references. I thought that this was peculiar since Native American artwork is known for it’s brilliant colors and detailed patterns. I think that the collections of words were effective, but I didn’t care for the aesthetic look to the signs.
Edgar’s wooden ceremonial poles were successfully designed in a very contemporary fashion as well, which I was glad to see referenced an aspect of the culture. This was my favorite work because it was about Native American tribes continuing their traditional ceremonies in a society, which had destroyed their way of life and has no intentions of giving it back. However I don’t think that the words scribbled on the piece were very necessary because the artwork spoke without them.
I would say that Edgar’s work is a call for action. I don’t know what action specifically, perhaps a call for people in this country to be informed about the horrors of how the Europeans treated Native Americans and raped them of everything that they had.
Unfortunately a more dramatic action such as a law being passed to give them a lot of their land back probably won’t happen anytime in the future.
His work is very effective considering the Catholic Church was upset at the signs posted on the sides of the buses. He definitely arose tension, which was his goal. It’s unfortunate that the people that noticed it and were public about it were offended and wanted them taken down immediately. I can only hope that the majority felt compassion for this huge population that were here before us and was stripped of everything.
Over all I enjoyed his work, but I was a little disappointed in all the negativity of his pieces. I was hoping for more pieces that represented the tribes and culture and how modern technology and society has shaped Native Americans present culture. I do not think that the damage of European imperialism should be overlooked, but I wanted to learn more about their modern day culture, because it’s probably not dominated by consumerism like the rest of American popular culture thrives on.

October 20, 2007

Visiting Artist Response: Nikki S. Lee

I found Nikki S. Lee's work extremely compelling. The pictures were interesting, of course. But, frankly, the pictures weren't the most interesting part of the work: a single photograph from her series, or even just all the photos from one of the projects, wouldn't have been all that interesting.

To me, what made the pictures interesting was thinking about the process by which the photos were produced. These weren't staged photographs. Nikki didn't didn't just dress some people up, pose for a few snapshots, then wipe the makeup off her face at the end of the day and go home to her usual life. These were real. The people in them were real, and she really was, at least for about a month, really a part of their culture. The fact that she successfully gained acceptance into so many wildly different cultures, and the experiences she must have had while doing this, is what made the work interesting. That the pictures were just snapshots taken with a cheap camera only added to the reality of the work.

The fact that Nikki came from a Korean culture and is living in an American one probably led her to start to wonder about the ideas of culture and identity. People are able to choose to change their culture, to an extent, and her work showed how quickly this could be done. It breaks down the conventional wisdom that people can't really change their culture too much. At the same time, her work does leave a question unanswered: if changing cultures is so easy, why don't more people do it? What is it that makes us stick to our "own" culture? Nikki insisted that she was Korean-Korean, not Korean-American. She showed how easy it is to join another culture, so this must simply be a choice. Is it just that we're comfortable with what we know best? Or do we fear that if we really let ourselves fully assimilate into another culture, we'll lose who we are?

In the other project she showed, her "part" project, she tried to show how relationships could affect her personality. It's an interesting idea, and after she said it, I was sure that it is true that the people around us have a powerful effect on our mood and personality. But, I didn't like this nearly as much; perhaps because I knew it was all faked. I'm not sure if its because she told everybody that she staged those photographs, or perhaps because they were visibly modified in a way photographs usually aren't, but to me, they lacked the feel of reality that made her other work so powerful.

October 19, 2007

Nikki S. Lee

Nikki S. Lee, may perhaps be best known for her picture projects involving her dressing up as different people. Truthfully I do not see any art in these pictures. Along with many artists Nikki seems to seep into the realm of comedians, which is not necessarily bad but too much humor can say that she is either an artist or a comedian. As I observed her photos and the audience’s reactions to them it seemed more like a comedic show rather than an artist presentation. I can understand that Nikki took a lot of work in setting up these photos but to me it is similar to Dave Chappelle dressing up like famous people all for comedy. For example Nikki has a “Senior Series? in which she dresses up like an old woman, and when the audience saw them they started to laugh. The “Part Series? was art to me because it was Nikki portraying herself and the mood of the audience was in observance, and them trying to understand what it meant. The other series that were presented seemed like sketches some funny, and some not.

October 18, 2007

Nikki S. Lee

A "Korean-Korean" Artist, she did not want to pursue a career as an artist, that she has to struggle for her life like the rest of young artists in Korea in late 1980s. She came to America to take photography for two years. After a while, she started to hate her own work." She focused on identity issues between Western and Eastern, and thought artists are always by themselves. However, later she found others to be useful. She never really thought her work stood out among others in the early years, and thus not ready for any show. But others encouraged and appreciated her work. She started to think about relationships and how they have changed her life. This led her to cut out herself from pictures with her previous boyfriends, and designed a unique kind of images. A little after, she decided to make films, to experience a different medium.
Her recent work about layers, jus tlike people's faces, related to their changes that correspond to what they experience, and think about how others think of her own face. I think this is a great way to satisfy our curiousity of how exactly others think about us. Different people might have quite opposite impressions on us depend on the perspective they view. She had many projects focused on identities, of her experiencing different culture and such. It just seems like we will not understand one another until we step into one's shoes...

October 15, 2007


From reading the article, the author seemed particularly worried about the destruction of graphic design and design in general as a result of people participating in “prosumerism.? This is absolutely ridiculous to be worried about a “do it yourself? culture. People are gaining more independence and able to express themselves freely and are able to reach people around the world because of technological advances. By providing alternatives to rely on yourself to get something done or to create something yourself and not heavily depending on another person or business to do it is revolutionary. I guess some people are worried that it will stunt creativity or hurt the integrity of art, but this is not true. Art and design has never been so huge in American culture especially. It is a waste of time to be scared or critical of “prosumerism.? “Do it yourself? strategies are not going to disappear.


After reading this article I found myself wondering if prosumerism was a good thing in American society or a bad thing. The article did not make an argument for either side really, but made me realize that it isn't one or the other. Prosumerism is just a example of the ways people today are adapting to and embracing new technology. We are using what's available to us and that's the internet and sources like Flickr and Wikipedia. Society is so fast pace and independent now. So, we take advantage of cutting out the middle man and approach ideas and activities that we can do ourselves. Prosumerism is just the direcition society was forced to head into.

October 14, 2007

Designing Our Own

This article brings up a good point on the direction we are heading towards in the future. Everyone wants to make a contribution to things. They don’t want to just sit back and watch the “professionals? do all the work. This mentality has caused sites like YouTube and Wikipedia to flourish. I personally don’t see anything wrong with how the times are changing. Everyone can express their own opinion on things and design things the way they want. For example, if you go on the PUMA shoe website you can literally design a shoe from scratch. People want to do everything themselves because they believe their ideas and opinions are better than others. It helps them design things that fit their lifestyle the best.

October 13, 2007

Independent Self These Days

Like other students the term prosumerism was new to me and I found this reading to reflect upon a frequently brought up issue: the overall advancement of our society. We previously discussed how prevalent technology has come and this article showed how people now are designing beyond technology. If a product doesn't match up to one's needs then it just gets worked upon to complete whatever task or objective necessary. I thought the artists main idea of design being something that anyone and everyone should do was a good point. Years ago design did not have the appeal it has today. In the past people were rigid with their methods, actions and I think we have become more adaptive as is discussed in the article and the term prosumerism. Along with prosumerism comes the "templated mind". I believe this to be very true about people today. We all seek out a basis for what we need and then customize or adjust it to be fitting specific to what we want. The article goes into details about technology and music sharing and blogging. It is interesting to think how the internet has become our source for EVERYTHING. CD's are rarely purchased because everyone gets music online and communication is unbelievably widespread due to thew ability to travel, journal and talk all over the internet. The article stresses how so many people these days are looking to "do it yourself" but then questions where the receiving end is. While people are working and rebuilding for their own good there still is an end source benefitting from individuals doing their own thing. I hadn't previously thought about it but all the times I am working to improve things for myself I am also working for someone else. I was a little confused as to how this applies with the piece of art. I understand it is a model of building a functional coffin but the reading then questions if you are preparing the coffin for your career. What I made out of that was people are opting to design things for themselves and as a result their focus is turned to living the best way for themselves and their career is not what is keeping them going but rather this other hobby of seeking out the necessary and customizing it for personal use.

October 12, 2007


Before reading this article I didn't know that there was a name for all of the new "products" like myspace. I also had never heard anyone say anything bad about it either; I think the movement is a good one. The consumer now controls what they want but the designer is not out of a job because of it. If I wanted a new theme on my myspace page I would get a template from a designer. They already have started to adapt. And just because we have the option to do-it-ourselves does not mean we always will do-it-ourselves. There is still an appreciation for someone else doing it for us.

October 10, 2007


I thought the topic was really interesting because of how any number of youths can relate to it. The fact that so many people around the world have myspace and youtube accounts and the media that they sort through on a daily basis and apply to their pages just shows how subliminal advertising has become. It is like as if technology is using us to create a demand both in ourselves as well as others.
"The prosumer model extracts the value of your work in real time, so that you are actually consuming your own labor." This line really drives the point home and I probably wouldn't have realized how free access to online blogs could make us promoters.
I had no clue about how all those mentioned bands (especially the arctic monkeys) sold themselves on myspace before releasing their albums. It's somewhat unfortunate for them that consumers might just go by what they read on blogs, etc.

Project II topic

I'm interested in covering 'how to make a how to video.' I think it's great that people today are so open about sharing their thoughts and ideas through media and so I wanted to contribute to that. I will probably take a humorous turn on my topic because of how obvious and sarcastic the subject will be. I might be able to teach someone out there how to make their own DIY video, but that's doubtful. My purpose is to expose how people today use all the tools accessible to them to do whatever comes to mind to both aid and entertain people.

Designing Our Own Graves

This article is quite true about how people are beginning to DIY. A lot of people are starting to use things around them or go out and buy supplies to make their own things. It requires time, but it also saves money and lets you customize your item to your liking. The part about Music and Reviews is what I find really true. I usually do search for reviews online for a CD or a Movie before I go out to watch/rent a movie or buy a CD. This does change how people are going to sell their CDs/Movies/Books based on trailers or cover designs, but with time comes changes.


Dmitri Siegel's article on the DIY coffin brought up some very interesting topics about about our society and economy. His most interesting point discussed the idea of a customizable consumerism in which production and consumption are combined into one.

We have turned ito a very interactive society. Every successful product requires some form of customization for success. Our phones have specialized cases, interfaces, and ringtones, our movies are open for comments and discussion, and our music can be edited and transferred freely between consumers.

This style of DIY consumerism has made for a very individualized twist on products common to society as a whole. By putting the DIY twist on many popular products we have created an economy made to order. thhe famed "Have it Your Way" motto is now a reality for the majority of popular consumer products.

Designing Our Own Graves

I thought this article was very interesting especially the part about peer reviews taking the place of book covers and album art. I often find myself looking at peer reviews when deciding on a book or CD to buy/download. I couldn't even imagine going to Barnes and Noble or Best Buy and simply buying something without checking out reviews first. This could be a major problem down the road for stores like this.

Eating with furniture: 2nd Project proposal for Final Cut

After my initial idea of using a ball of toilet paper as my instructor on how to live in the suburbs, I decided to go with my other random thought which is a bit more bizarre, but I think it makes for a more entertaining piece for myself to perform and for the audience to view. The video will consist of myself, and my roommate eating with furniture. I don’t want to give too many details or else nothing will be left for curiosity, however I have already started filming it and I’ve had a blast. The concept centers around etiquette as well as comments on historical context about socially acceptable ways of acting. Even though I have a theme for this video I want people to take what they want from this and form their own interpretations.

Audio reflection

I have never worked with Audacity before, so I was happy that I was able to have an opportunity to work with this program. I am also glad that I did two projects because I was able to use the program with my first project and also be more conceptual with my idea for the second sound piece. It was really interesting to see everyone’s take on the sound pieces. I felt like each person’s audio was radically different from everyone else. I also felt like there were only a few people commenting (including myself) and I really would have liked to hear other people’s comments.

How-To Videos


Final Cut Pro Tutorials





Reflecting on project 1

For my first project I am actually happy with the result just for the simple fact that I had never done any sound editing quite like that before. Although I realized that there wasn't the best sense of walking around and hearing the different sounds of Ferguson hall, there was still a slight sense of movement. I now know that i really should have attempted to focus in on the music coming from the practice rooms, but I did run into a couple problems with the lack of sound proofing in those rooms. All in all it was a good learning experience and I was not disappointed with the results.

Design it yourself

The article on the "DIY Coffin," and the emerging ideas of "prosumerism" drew an interesting parallel between the do-it-yourself culture and the wealth of sites on the internet featuring user-created content. I find the kind of collaborative networks that have developed online in the past few years extremely interesting - Wikipedia is one amazing example of what community-created content can do.

I believe there is a distinct difference between the kind of things that you can "do yourself" and these community-content sites, though. Wikipedia is not great because of any one user, but because of the large community of users who add content and maintain its pages. Social networking sites (like MySpace or Facebook) are nothing with a single user. A single blogger is a curiosity at best; but when there are millions of them it can redefine how we get information and opinions. Amazon's peer reviews are pointless without countless people volunteering to put in reviews. All these sites which have emerged from the spirit of "do it yourself" support things that you CAN'T do yourself - only a cooperating community can do them.

The internet, and the sites with user-created content, are changing this world. It may appear that we'll lose some things because of it (the author's lament that music videos may mostly be watched on iPod screens, or that album artwork must be scrunched into a tiny jpg file) but the electronic distribution of these forms of art may open up new possibilities, too: someday we may end up with animated or interactive album artwork. This kind of a thing would have been completely unfathomable just a short time ago. Things will change - they always do - but there will always be new opportunities, too.

October 9, 2007

DIY Coffin

I thought Dmitri Siegel's article was pretty interesting. I've been aware of this ever growing "do it yourself" age that's upon us, but I never really looked at it in the extent that he did. One point that I liked dealt with the issue of book companies being worried about selling books by their book cover. But, like he stated, I know when I have a book in mind, I generally want to know what other people thought of it. This system of rating kind of puts these corporations in place by letting them know that we, the consumers (and nowadays, prosumers), often hold the final say in things.

The article left me with some looming questions, however: where do things go from here? Are we soon to become entirely DIY, thereby eliminating many elements that structure consumerism? Or are these corporations somehow going to incorporate this idea of the consumer being in charge, and market that? I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

October 8, 2007

Project 1 feedback

The feedback I received from the class made me realize that I was missing a big part of my dorm studio project; the human interaction. I spent so much time on the music that I left out the crude elements such as talking/laughing over the recording. I should have had my neighbors in the room to give listeners a true feeling of that primary audience. Overall though, I thought my project was successful.

Do It Yourself.

I think it's a great idea of producing things and ideas ourselves. It satisfy the needs of consumers the best, and the cost is little and close to none. Such as in the cases of wikipedia, we can get free information, all that is needed is to have everyone contribute a little effort, and the public as a whole would benefit. The physical products are useful without fancy covers and economically affordable. The simply way of how things turn out is also another perspective of art.

Project 1 Reflection

If I could change anything about Project 1, I would change the location of my piece. The area that I focused on made it very difficult to capture good sound. All of the buses and the overall noise level of the street made thing much more difficult then they should have been. It was next to impossible to focus on the sound I wanted to and filter out the other noises.

Reflection on Project 1

If I could redo my project, I would definitely begin with recording a room tone of my basement, where a water softener hums in the background. Not recording the room tone made it difficult to mke my project flow, and required a lot more fade ins and fade outs than I would have needed. I also would have left a space for some silence in the audio, which would have made the project seem less chaotic and would have given the audience time to adjust to what was happening in the audio.

Thoughts on Project 1

After hearing all the projects including my own, I thought a lot of issues came to the surface regarding the difficulties and finer points of digital audio. There were many troubles that a lot of us were faced with or introduced to. However, this does not cast the project as a whole in a negative light. It just underlines the importance of experimenting and working through the transation of an idea into an audio form... although there were also some issues that fell outside of that realm such as difficulty with equipment rental and ambiguity of presentation specifics. BUT, all in all, I enjoyed hearing all the other pieces and felt as if my work was a success as well. Onward to video....

How to Change American Foreign Policy

One of the most annoying things in the world is people who complain but refuse to provide solutions for improvement. People often waste a great deal of energy blathering on about the state of affairs but fall short in doing something to better the status quo. While this obnoxious phenomenon is present in all facets of life, it is most prevalent in politics on college campuses. Here, people find the “peanut gallery? approach to political commentary the most enjoyable. By loading cars with bumper stickers, wearing politically fueled shirts, and making public displays of discontent, these sideline commentators make a lot of noise to let others know what their opinions are. While this process may prove to be fulfilling on an individual level, it does little to sway the community or provide substantial results for the betterment of the whole. This phenomenon became a great annoyance to me when I discovered many of my friends who had attended several political movements failed to even support their basic American freedom of VOTING. It absolutely frightens me when people are unwilling to make the simple effort of marking an electronic piece of paper to uphold the virtues many of the founding fathers of this country gave their lives for.
Through my video, I intend to expose the ironies of this social problem and potentially inspire others to take substantial action to seek solutions to political unrest. I will do this through a satirical video titled “How to Change American Foreign Policy from Home.? My piece will rely mostly on satire, irony, and humor in conveying the message. Since this situation is most visible on college campuses where opinions are hot and action is not, it will be easy to observe and capture examples of this sort of behavior in my peers. With four-year elections approaching in 2008, this is a critical time for observation and action. Video is an effective medium for social reflection and self-observation. By holding a multi-media mirror up to my peers and colleagues, perhaps I will be able to transform some selfish displays of opinion into effective mediums like community outreach, editorial writing, and commentary art.
I am playing with the idea of emulating the 1950’s style of informational video in present locations, familiar to University of Minnesota students. I feel this theme will carry the satirical tone the best, reliving some of the racist, sexist, and misinformed videos made in the past. It should contain constant narration from an off-screen speaker and feature a main character displaying what to and not to do in changing American foreign policy.

Project 2 Proposal

How-To live like a dog.

I had a hard time finding any idea for a "How-to" video for Project II. I finally found an idea after a few hours later when I was watching my sister's dog play around the house. I saw how the dog left her toys all over the house. I then thought of how messy my room was and then I thought of this idea of "How-To live like a dog." My project will be observing how a dog literally lives during the day, but that isn't it. It'll also show how people can also live like a dog.

The audience targetted for my project is going to be everyday people ages ranging from teenagers to adults. In today's time and culture people are usually too busy or too lazy to clean up after themselves, whether it's doing the dishes, cleaning your room, or just putting things you've used away. So they leave it to the side for a while. The mess just continues to stack up until one day we finally realize how much mess we've made and decide it's time to clean it up. After we do clean it up though, it seems we restart the cycle, and the mess just continues to add up again. My video will show how people live like dogs and aren't even aware of it.

I haven't figured out how I really want to do this yet. As of right now, I'm thinking of videotaping the dog first during the day, then later I'll probably act out how I think we live like dogs. After I get all the videotaping done, I'll have to edit the video. The finished video in my mind right now shows a comparison of a dog's action to a human's action.

How to video

The subject that I was thinking about for my instruction video is about animation. My video is going to be about how to make an animation. Since I was a kid I was always interested in drawing cartoon characters, and working with animations but I didn’t have the time. Since I started taking this class one of my goals was to do some sort of animation with a character just to try something new and old at the same time.
I was thinking of either documenting how to draw and animate drawings, or how to use certain video software for an animation. Going into more detail with the first I was planning on drawing a cartoon character with a pen, or pencil. While I’m drawing I would either have a camera set up to take time lapse photos or just have the video camera film the whole thing, and fast forward it later. With my second idea I would do the same thing but I would do it all (the drawing) in PowerPoint, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Premiere. With PowerPoint I would have to break down my cartoon character into basic shapes because that is all I would have to work with in PowerPoint. When I complete my cartoon in PowerPoint I plan to export the parts of the character (arms, legs, hands, etc…) to Adobe Photoshop and smooth it out so it doesn’t look like the cartoon is made out of shapes. My next step will be to save the image and use Adobe Premiere to put the cartoon’s parts (Its arms, legs, body, etc…) together and move them around. I may just combine these two ideas to include a variety of filming styles.
I probably would have text on the animation explaining the steps, or have one of my sisters talking just because I don’t really like talking in my videos. I would probably have the camera aimed at my computer, and/or paper while I’m making the animation/drawing, but when I finish I’ll just convert it to a video file which I will add to my instruction part. My targeted audience would be those who like cartoons, animations, and drawings. I don’t believe that I would have any humor during my instruction part but if it comes up I will try to add it. I do hope to put some sort of social and/or political message in my cartoon but I haven’t decided yet. The cartoon character I am mainly thinking about is Spiderman, but that may change.

Project II proposal

Have you ever had a roommate that was friendly? How annoying is that? This "Do it yourself" will show its audience how to irritate the people you live with until they despise you. It will go over the benefits of living with people that don't like you. Then it will show how to accomplish that in a cost effective manner.
When filming this I will try to use real life roommates and do things that actually annoy them.

Video on How NOT to do it

With our limitations practically inexistent coming up with an idea for my second project has taken a lot of thought and consideration. I want to be creative with this video and was trying to think of something that was not only unique but that I could play around with and add humor to. From when we were practicing and getting comfortable with our video cameras my group went and interacted with everyday people just out and about. I thought about how people can be awkward and do unexpected things especially with a camera around. Thinking deeper I thought of doing my how to video project on how NOT to approach a stranger. Right away I thought of a scene of being on an airplane and how there is always some interesting character sitting in the seat next to you. Instead of thinking how to make friends with this person I thought it would be funny to have my video more from their perspective and be how NOT to make friends with the person in the seat next to you. Basically any and every pet peeve that other people have that is rude, annoying, obnoxious or weird. That is what I am going to attempt to capture with this next video project. I don't know yet if I want the exact same setting with multiple people or me every time but in various situations and environments. I will brainstorm more but I think that this idea will be fun for me to do because I am the type of person that is always randomly starting up conversations with people I don't know so I will enjoy doing that same thing in front of a video camera.
A few initial thoughts I had for what to film include sitting next to a random on the airplane, waiting behind someone in line to go to the bathroom, standing in a lobby or waiting room and being in a grocery store and looking at similar products. What makes these sort of situations more awkward is like the TYPE of waiting room you are in or being at Target looking at digestion malfunction medications or two guys in Victoria Secret and they both know they are embarrassed to be there. I want to try and catch these moments. I don't know then if I will be in all of the situations that are the "non approaches" to take or if I just want to sneak around and capture random people interacting and find moments where one person does the wrong, unappealing action.

Project 1 analysis

I thought project 1 was a good intro into using the computer to create an art form. I enjoyed doing the project because it gave me a chance to do something new. Manipulating sound was new to me and the instruments I played were all new. After hearing it in class, I think I would have shortened up the intro which was me walking into my appt. The entire process took about 4 minutes, I shortened it to about 45 seconds, but that was still too long.

Project II: Procrastinating

For my “do it yourself? project, I will investigate how to successfully avoid working at work by procrastinating. My motivation and inspiration for this video came from such television programs as “The Office? and “Arrested Development? and films like “Office Space.? I will further build on the idea by showing some of the best website for wasting time.

The internet has made procrastinating easier then ever. Now the same computers that employers rely on to help their employees work are also the best devices for would be procrastinators. Websites, streaming videos, and video games have made the workplace a haven for procrastinators. My video will explain how to get the most out of these websites, videos, and games, and also explain how to procrastinate the way employees and students did before these technologies or for those who do not have access to a computer while they work.

This video’s target audience will be anyone who has a job and works in an office, or goes to school and studies. Hopefully the irony and absurdity of a video on how to procrastinate will be evident enough through watching the video.

As far as video techniques go I will try to develop several techniques to make the video more interesting then simply and straight point and shoot film. I will show clips from several movies and television shows and directly show what is happening on a computer screen for the video. Also, besides the office, I will try to show some of the best locations for avoiding work such as coffee shops, break rooms, and the outdoors. Hopefully this video will be humorous and a ironic commentary on the modern work place and how computers have made it even easier to be inefficient and procrastinate.

Proposal - Fast food

Fast food has become part of the American culture over the past few decades. It’s almost impossible to go through a week without eating some sort of fast food. Working parents and college students are not getting the nutrition they need for their bodies because of their lack of healthy eating habits. America has become a very fast paced country, which for some has caused them to grab breakfast every morning from McDonalds. Also, it takes away from family dinners which are very important in building a relationship amongst your family.

For this reason I have chosen to make a video about how to order fast food. I will be driving through many different fast food restaurants during breakfast, lunch, and dinner and try to capture the feeling of the environment. I will take shots from many different angles at different times of the day, so it should be interesting. I will try to make it seem really dramatic with the fading in and out feature on the camera. I also want to incorporate music into the video to give the feeling that fast food corporations are not your friends.

The main restaurants that I will be going to are McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendys. They are all in the same market of fast food and are very competitive. All three have very similar styles of treating their customers, so it will be interesting to see why people prefer one over the other. I want to try to capture the different demographics that eat fast food.

I will try to add humor to the video by interviewing random people about their thoughts on fast food. I think most people have a negative perception on eating fast food, but they still can’t stop eating it. My intended audience for this video is anyone over the age of 16 who can drive. It seems to me that they are the ones who are mostly making the random trips through the drive thru throughout the day.

Project 2 proposal

For the second project I have thought it over and decided that I will make a video on how to make a cool looking piece of art. I do not plan to make it a basic instructional video at all. I plan to incorporate the sounds that I generally hear when I'm working on a piece and I will make an attempt to recreate the atmosphere. I have not decided how exactly I will go about this, but I think it will be possible with changes in lighting and perhaps some interesting imagery. For the medium I have not decided whether to use pen, pencil, chalk, color pastels, or paint, but I am leaning towards the color pastels because of how fun they are to work with. I don't want this to turn out like one of the Bob Ross videos where he very rapidly creates an elaborate painting. Instead I plan to make a somewhat time intensive piece of art and just give an overview of the process so that the whole process will not need to be recorded but the viewer should still be able to recognize the steps that it takes to get to a final product. I am still coming up with ideas for how to make this an interesting video that will actually draw the viewer in with something they may like to hear and look at, but that will most definitely be a challenge since everyone has very different ideas of what is interesting and entertaining. I am going to also make an attempt at giving a sense to the viewer of how much I actually enjoy the process of making a piece of art. This may be one of my biggest challenges of this whole video making process, but I plan on trying very hard to get that point across. As far as the work that I am going to produce is concerned, I have not yet decided what it should be. I always enjoy doing a work that has some personal meaning to me, whether it be an experience that I had or a song that I listened to and really enjoyed. So this means that now I will have to start looking for some inspiration for this piece. Generally speaking I will usually listen to a few songs that I like and see if I get any ideas. If that doesn't work then I will probably just pick something that is important to me, so it will be interesting to see what it ends up being.

October 7, 2007

My Video Project Proposal

For my Video Primer project, a “How To…?, I’ve been tossing an idea in my head that I think will work and be effective. Essentially, it would be a guide on “How to be a Bro?, a satire on what it means to just be a ‘dude’ and ‘chill’. Now, for some, this won’t make sense, which is why I will take some time in the video to define it. Actually, the core of the video is defining this concept - nowadays a very stereotypical personality especially seen in University life. I want to make this project, first, to show a funny commentary on a character you’ve probably seen many times around campus, and two, to subtly bring about questions such as how a person like this is pursuing higher education. My intended audience will definitely be college students familiar with cultural references and the stereotypes surrounding this character.

I’m still debating how I want to present it, but I’m leaning more towards a step-by-step, collage of aspects and situations usually associated with a Bro. One segment I had in mind is the “guitar-swooning Bro? who almost always has a song to play for the equally stereotypical “Chick? who likes the “Bro?. The shot would either be in some kind of stereotypical nature shot (i.e. leaning on a tree) or a more ‘college’ setting, like a dorm room.

Other such segments that I was thinking about were: tailgating, speech patterns, and the use of abbreviations in everyday conversations (such as “Bro; def; chicks; brewskies?; and many, many more); and perhaps a study session with one such Bro. Each would have its own style, but with the same subject (probably played by me). I’m hoping to shoot most segments in my dorm, seeing as it’s a natural habitat for some of the guys that fit into my typecast.

There are many technical aspects - both in filming and editing - that I hope to use. Ideally, I don’t want this to look like a hyperactive teenager filmed it with his Razr cell phone. I will probably shoot the video in wide angle, mainly because I like the aesthetic framing it enacts. I hope to have some cinematic elements to the segments (including: shot/reverse shot segments, non-eye level camera angles, different point-of-view shots, and more). As far as editing goes, I will do my best to smooth out the rough edges by using different fades and wipes between scenes. I might try and do an inset-type segment, where it shows (in a picture-in-picture manner) what the Bro is actually thinking about when someone “boring? is talking to him.

Ideally I want to get really in depth with this video project, using different types of lighting, props, costumes, but with the amount of time I have to finish this, I don’t think that will be possible. I will put in a lot of effort for this to be the best and most accurate representation that I can make.

Here are the kind of guys I'll be talking about:


Project 2 Proposal

For our "how to video project" my conceptual idea was to take an in depth look at the human need to believe in a higher power, or “god?. Since our creation on earth human beings have been searching for "god". There are many historical backgrounds that beg that question to be answered, but in truth without said divine being appearing to answer all our questions, how can we? I wanted to do a how to video on “how to find god?, since there are so many different religions I wanted to take a look at the way people have tried to find god, both in a historical sense and how people in the present are still searching. My target audience is for an older audience that will hopefully be able to grasp my attempt at humor on this most serious of subjects, something that wars have been fought over for centuries. My challenge is to make a narrative that focuses to follows one human’s journey to find god. In order to capture the journey you cannot ignore pop cultures reflection of how the current populations, regardless of nationality, feel about the thought of a greater being directing out lives. For example: you cannot watch TV on any channel, even cartoons, without coming across something on the subject of powers that be. I realize that this is indeed a touchy subject but I would like to take a relaxed comical approach to this concept for that exact reason.

I would like to travel to different locations around Minnesota and attempt to capture different places of religion, as well as public places like malls, and school. The reason I want to go to these locations is so I can get different perspective of people from all walks of life. I also am hoping to capture the differences between the older generations and the current. Because it is becoming more and more evident that certain religions are “dying out? where as others are becoming more prominent. I want to attempt to bridge some of these time gaps.

The techniques I’m interested in implementing into my piece were a bit of a continuation of my sound piece in that, I would like to make a bit of a collage of my own footage with pop culture (TV and movie medium) footage to bring this quest for a greater power to life! My basic technique will be shooting footage around at said locations and then create a narration of the clips either via audio or video. I’m not quite sure how I will go about creating the journey via the clips but my main focus will a humorous approach.

Project II Proposal: How to Make Something Usable

Have you ever used something that's hard to use? I bet you have! In fact, I bet you put up with hard-to-use things every day. From doors which simply open the wrong direction to machines with cryptically-labeled controls, once you begin to look, examples of poorly-designed items show up everywhere in everyday life. When there's something that's just too hard to use, it's not your fault — it's a failure of design. Sadly, there's frequently not much thought at all given to how difficult an item will be to use when it is designed. It shows.

The design of the things we interact with everyday is very similar to the design of computer user interface, which is a topic that is very interesting to me. However, unlike computer interfaces, we interact with designs of doors and microwaves in a much more physical way, which makes it easier to understand the concepts associated with design. (It also makes it easier to video tape.) Most of the ideas I described above were discussed in a class in user interfaces I took. I think everybody should take such a class: a lot of people end up building things that have to be used by other people. If people would think about usability issues before building something, the world would be a much more pleasant place to live in. My intent is to educate the audience. This is relevant whether or not you ever design something that will be used by other people. If you do, hopefully I can make you think twice about how usable it will be before you actually build it. If you don't, you'll at least be able to notice when things are poorly designed. This may save you the trouble of buying a frustratingly unusable appliance some day.

I plan to gather video from any source where I notice usability disasters over the next few weeks; many of these will probably be in my own apartment. My hope is to be able to show examples of well designed and poorly designed items. Depending on how much time there is in the video, I may also include some techniques for improving the quality of designs. This could possibly include examples of mistakes that could easily have been discovered early on if some thought had been given to looking for them.

Reflecting On My Project Critique

Upon listening to it again (after the other countless times while working on it), I'm very pleased with the way my sound project turned out. I had the ideas in my mind of how I wanted it to sound, and for the most part, they are pretty similar. Given what I had to work with, the time constraint for the actual recording, and the pretty limited amount of sound editing that I have, I am pretty pleased with the overall result.

One of my main focal points was to get across this feeling of movement. I was pleased to hear that others felt this way while listening to it, and actually feeling a sense of moving around the club, going near speakers, entering bathrooms, etc.

Another thing that I thought was interesting was the interpretation that most people took of it. I had the idea that most people would see the bathroom segment as a sort of escape from the noisy club, or something like that. But, I'm glad that others found humor in the simplicity of what was going on.

If I had to do this project again, I don't know how much of it I would change. I don't know how it would impact it, but after hearing what other people thought about it, I was thinking what the effect of adding some spoken words over some of the noise would have. This would give it some more context, probably (hopefully?) give it some more humor, and provide a new look on the sounds around. But, it is what it is, I guess...

Project II proposal: Instruction!

For the second project I am thinking of introducing my audience to the basic steps of how to start a war. I do not plan on telling people how to actually start a war in this short film, but will be making simplifications about basic steps that countries seem to go through to pick fights with other countries. I intend the short film to be nothing more than a joke, but I would like the joke to contain an element of truth. I have chosen a political subject because it seems to me that even though people are in general more educated than they ever have been, they always ignore the lessons of history. My intention is for the viewers to start to see parallels between past and current events in world politics. They do not have to completely agree with everything that I imply or say. I would be satisfied if the audience were inspired to rethink their positions on the political mess that we are living in today.
The audience for this movie will be college students and adults. Since this is a serious subject I will try to approach it with humor. Humor will be expressed in the form of exaggeration and generalization and also in the exploration of methods used in propaganda films.
The way that I plan on putting the short film together will involve dividing the movie into different sections. Each section will represent a step that gives the viewer a an idea of how to start a war – of course, all steps will be nothing more than tongue in cheek. I am thinking to introduce each section with one or two sentences. The first instruction might be something like “ First Step: Pick a country?. I will try to blend in a text that will be followed by a short play. After the play is done a new sentence will appear, “ Second Step: Make sure it has a desirable natural resources or money.? and so on.
I am also thinking about shooting a black and white movie clip. Maybe this would not be a bad idea since our world has been dealing with issues of war since human beings have lived on this earth. Making the film in black and white would imply that the issue is old and hints at propaganda films.

Critiquing my sound project:

After struggling with all of the technology that I had to come to terms with to produce my first-ever sound project I was very pleased with the result. I was also satisfied by the feedback that I received from the class about the good sound quality of the piece and for creating the illusion of the Irish pub’s sonic atmosphere. This made me happy because, as I wrote in my sound piece introduction, my goal was to smoothly introduce the listener to the process of visiting an Irish Pub and make them enjoy and realize the beauty of the rich and diverse sounds.
If I had to do the project again I would have liked to have a bigger variety of sounds. Having more of a variety of sounds would have helped the feeling of moving in and out of focus on particular sounds more evident. I also would have tried to record the some sounds individually so that I would have had the possibility to include more clear sounds in the piece. Some of the sounds in the piece were mixed in with other sounds, and I would have liked to make them more evident, but was unable because they were attached to other sounds that I did not want to bring out.

Project 2 Proposal

The idea of my project is to toy guns to represent the war in Iraq. This topic especially interests me because back in my childhood, or even as a teenager now, airsoft weapons interested me a lot. We could often gather many friends together and play as teams. The realistic characters of weapons and the impressions of the game mimic the real time army and wars. Another reason of why I chose this topic is to mock the ongoing war. Our soldiers are starting to lose faith in the causes of war, many refuse to participate. On the other hand, the Iraqis’ gained moral in fighting the war for their independent control of their own nation and drive the western outsiders out.
The making of this video should be as difficult in editing as in shooting the video itself. First of all, I need to gather a certain amount of people, have them wear two separate kinds of clothing to distinguish between the American soldiers and the Iraqis. The location will be set at the backyard of a house, with trees as blockages. The camera will be set to widescreen, with in camera fade for the endings of each clip. Focus will be mainly set to manual focus; however, in the parts of fast movements, automatic focus would work better for clear quality without having one hand shaking while the other tries to focus. Contrast and amount of light allowed needs to be adjusted throughout shooting due to the outside location, especially behind the house where shadows might affect the lighting. Video will not only be shot as a spectator’s view, but also includes the effects from first person’s impression. It the process of video editing, the contrast and lighting needs to be added. The smoothness in transiting from one clip to the other is especially significant. If possible, slow motion will be added in some action shots. Pictures might be great at some point to help transition of clips. The video will be around three minutes, and the last minutes will be spent to shot the editing scene. This will reflect part of the mocking part on the ideas of the video. In parts of the video, the absence of the sound might work better than to have a low quality sound recording from the camera in the outside environment with many sources of sound.
Finally, the intended audiences are the ones with similar interests in airsoft games. Also, the people who are oppose to the war in Iraq.

About that FINAL sound of mine...

To begin with, listening to my final sound project through the overhead speaker system definitely had its differences. As for the result, I think I should have planned to come in beforehand so that I could hear what the final project sounded like and then tweak a few of the balances so that hearing my project overhead would sound the way I intended it to sound. The unique part of my project that I really wanted to have stand out was all of the background sounds that come out just from listening from the floor of a dance studio. Ultimately I was going for a sound experience that was predominately feet tapping, pounding, jumping sliding, etc. and then instructors, music and dancers interacting as the fill in background noise. The overhead speakers were not as effective as I would have hoped.
The other main critique or change I would like to make with my final sound project would be to have each piece go on longer. Initially when I was doing my editing I had long sections and listening to it I felt like things needed to cut more and raelly transition from one to the next. I ended up cutting them too much and the result was a real choppy experience. I liked putting the footsteps in teh background so the audience could feel the movement from one studio room to the next but they would have to be running pretty quickly for how close each of the dance varities were. It was certainly an enjoyable project for me to do so the work I put into it I am satisfied with and now I know for the future how sounds establish an experience and it takes more than a second or two to really get that full experience established. From this understanding I would pull out the length of any pieces I put together later on.

The Journey

My sound project is about my daily journey from my house to school. I take the city bus and light rail through downtown. I'm fine with the quality of sound of the vehicles but the wind seems to be very distracting and does overpower some of the sounds.

The Journey mp3

Project Proposal

My topic of interest is “making a good cup of tea?, a quite simple task but one that has years of history that I may reference in the how-to video. I enjoy tea myself, and have obtained some Chinese oolong tea that I would like to put to good use.

The video I would like to make would be both an instructional and a historical account of tea, however in the interest of humor, the story of tea’s long history will not be the most accurate. Since four minutes of simply watching a tea bag sit in hot water will not be the most interesting for the viewers, I was hoping to visually show a perspective of tea’s “history? along with the narration using pictures, perhaps simple animation, and live-action. The video will not look completely professional, since an inaccurate historical account of tea would probably not garner much financial support from a prominent institution. Basically this means that the live action historical sequences will be cheap looking in terms of costume and setting, but as professional as I can make it in terms of editing, lighting, and sound.

In terms of technical style, I plan the main feature of the tea making process to be in a well-lit, kitchen-like space where there is access to all materials necessary, such as hot water and cups. It may be a bit Martha Stewart-esque, except with dumber hosts, including sweet natured tea makers who butcher American/World history in just a few minutes. While the main attraction is bright, the reenactment of tea’s history will be grainy, such as on iMovie with the “Aged Film? video effect, to give it a historical feel and show transition between past and present.

I also plan to insert pictures with a bit of animation (perhaps using the Powerpoint animation feature) into the video to help make both the main focus and the historical part more interesting for the viewer, and to add to the humor of the story. By adding some historical concepts such as maps, documents, etc., the movie can also find itself a target audience, namely those who know basic world history and are able to understand historical references (and how inaccurate they are).

I’ve drawn my inspiration for the movie mostly from my favorite show The Simpsons, which for years has used pop culture and historical references to get laughs. The show relies on the viewer to be in the know to get many of its jokes, but also throws in some slapstick to entertain those who haven’t been as educated.

Critiquing my Sound Project

Our first project in this class had to do with creating a sound primer. This was my first time doing anything with recording and editing audio files. I ended up doing a piece on sounds found in a dorm room. Based on the constructive feedback I received in class, I felt overall I had done well being my first time. However, me being the tough critic I am, I felt there were some changes I would have made if I were to do the project again.

First, I would have listened to the audio file on the speakers that were to be used for presentation. I wasn’t able to test out the speakers we used during critique so the sounds I expected everyone to here were not demonstrated during the presentation. I wanted certain sounds to be heard over others, and had anticipated using surround sound. So, certain sounds were set up for that.

Also, another change I would have made was I would have extended the time on my file. The sound moved too quickly for the narrative I was trying to create. The build up of sound was evident, however, in my opinion it happened to quickly. It didn’t allow enough time for the listener to distinguish what was happening. For instance in the beginning of the piece there wasn’t enough time for the listener to know that the person had come into the room and settled down. I also could have used different sounds to let the listener know that there was two people in the room right away. If I did not explain the situation of the story to the listeners ahead of time, it may have been confusing as to how many people were in the room. As I explained in critique though, I didn’t know there was going to be two people until later into my project, so my focus changed. I should have worked the project more to fit my new idea.

Overall, I would have spent a little more time?proof reading it.? I should have listened to it and given it more time to sit. If I would have done that, maybe I would have noticed all of the changes I wanted to make to it earlier.

Project II: attracting the opposite sex

For my “how to? film assignment it took me awhile to think of a topic for my project that was not only interesting for me to do, but also something that would be entertaining for my audience. I looked for suggestions from friends and family, but most of them did not have an original idea (i.e. how to bake this, how to play this, etc). I wanted something a little more interesting to work with than that. So, some how I came up with the idea to show my viewers a “how not to? video on impressing the opposite sex in the dorms. I chose a “how not to? approach because I thought it would be funnier to poke fun of the types of ways freshman try to impress the boys/girls in their halls.

I am hoping to record my video in the dorms, particularly in the areas where the guys and the girls interact (i.e. hallways, laundry rooms, lounge area, etc). During these small boy/girl interactions I want to capture the awkwardness that is demonstrated. Not too long ago I had one such experience that I wouldn’t mind reenacting to put into my project. I was walking down the hall with my roommate and a boy tapped my shoulder as I walked passed him. I looked at him and he said to me, “Hey, you just missed me. I was in a towel from getting out of the shower.? He gave me a wink and all I said was, “Ok.? I can’t imagine the look I had on my face, because first, I was caught off guard, and second, who says that. That is just one example of what not to do to impress a girl.

Hopefully, this film will be humorous as I intend for my audience to be guys and girls who have been through the experience I am portraying. I will try to show multiple scenes in the dorms of these awkward occasions. I am not sure if I will stage the scenes or simply capture the moment. Maybe I will do a combination of both. Perhaps, I might put a few interviews into the piece as well.

What inspired me to do this was the situation I mentioned before that I encountered in my dorm hallway. It donned on me that this video could not only an informational video, but also a reflection of how pathetic our attempts are sometimes to impress the opposite sex.

October 5, 2007

Project Research and Proposal

One of the ideas I have been toying with for my video project is a how-to for making a secret recipe of mine. It is called Spomac; from the first time I made this meal it has been a hit. Imagine the best macaroni and cheese you have ever had combined with the best spaghetti you’ve ever had and both of them having a party inside your mouth.
I’ve never seen a how-to cooking show where they tell you how to make fast and easy vegetarian meals that college aged people (vegetarian or not) would like. I probably got the idea for it out of the want for a show on how to do exactly that. It interests me because I am a vegetarian and have been for 10 years and it was hard at first to learn how to cook meatless meals. I think that even 18-25 year olds have issues with learning how to cook anything, let alone vegetarian.
I plan on having the camera directed on my hands, the ingredients, and on the process. I also thought it would be neat if I could have text float in with the instructions that I give, so that the audience can both hear and see the instructions. I was also thinking I could make it kind of corny with really obnoxious transitions or effects, like a children’s show.
The location would be in my parent’s kitchen because it has a few more amenities and space and quiet than my apartment. Although, it would be kind of humorous to have people bothering me while I was trying to make this delectable dish. I would like it to be less serious than most do it yourself cooking shows. I was thinking that I could maybe put in a little humor by way of repetition.
My intended audience would be college age and maybe even the cooking inept because Spomac is so easy to make. Spomac is meatless or vegetarian (which can sometimes scare non-vegetarians away from trying it) and so I would introduce it as easy and delicious but also vegetarian-friendly and healthy.

October 3, 2007

everything will build

Download file

This is a piece based upon the frantic noise and chaos that somehow accumulates within your consciousness and floods over every thought if you happen to pay too much attention to things....it's also interesting to consider how many conversations are taking place at any point in time within a public space, such as the coffee shop where this audio event took place. And, to build upon that concept, how many occur within a given day?

Marcus Coates

Marcus Coates Interview
in conversation with Adriana Marques and Erica Burton, picnic bench, battersea park


MARCUS COATES, Dawn Chorus, 2007

Yoko Ono

Performance of Cut Piece, 1965 Carnegie Hall, in New York

Project II :: Instruct!

1601-3 Time and Interactivity
Assignment II :: a video primer
Your second project will be an introduction to working with video – recording, editing, exporting and presenting.

Project II :: Instruct!
What happens when previously inaccessible technologies become available to the masses? What happens when virtually any individual can instantly share their thoughts, opinions or instructions with a global audience? With so many potential voices, who makes the rules? Who decides on the "correct" way to do things or the "best" things to own? What is the role of the expert or the professional? What is the role of the amateur?

Your second project will allow you to think broadly about these issues and express your ideas using digital video and sound.

The video composition will be inspired by DIY (do-it-yourself) culture, instructional videos, guidebooks, tutorials, etc. The 4-5 minute video should creatively "instruct" the viewer on a topic of interest to you. Topics might range from "how to make an organic tuna sandwich" to "fomenting a communist uprising". As you develop your video, you must consider your audience – whom are you making this video for? You must think about the social, political and/or cultural associations of your topic and the meanings that your video might generate. You should gather your project ideas from the objects and thoughts that surround you on a daily basis – from the things you find absurd, useful, ridiculous, or so simple that we might otherwise miss it.

The ultimate goal of this project is not to simply reproduce an instructional video or guided experience. Instead it is intended to help you think about audience, empowerment, cultural associations, authorship, sequence, and DIY strategies. Within this exploration you should also think about the value of humor in commenting on our contemporary situation.

Technical Goals
* Learn to use DV cameras
* Become familiar with basic lighting techniques
* Learn to edit video using Final Cut Pro
* Learn to distribute video via the Internet

Way-points and Due-dates
* 8 October
Project Research and Proposal: Write a 400-500 word project proposal including: your topic, why it interests you, a set of initial ideas for making your video (technique, location, style etc), describe your intended audience. Make drawings, find images, and reference other art, projects or sources that inspire you. Post it all on the blog. Be ready to discuss your initial ideas in class.

* 17 October
Rough videos drafts due. Upload a rough cut to Mediamill and share it with me.

* 24 October
Final videos due for group critique. Post your video (640x480 Flash) and a brief 200-300 word reflection on the blog before class.

October 2, 2007

Shana Moulton

Whispering Pines

Joe Scanlan

DIY Coffin: You Can Kill Yourself Anywhere in the World for Under $399, 2001

Guy Ben-Ner

Moby Dick, 2003

Treehouse Kit, 2005


October 1, 2007

Ferguson Hall audio experience

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This is an audio recording of the sounds of Ferguson Hall here at the U (the music hall). Along with the sounds of Ferguson Hall there are also sound bites from my own studio that help to complete the feel of the musical environment of the building.


This peice is an adventure in insomnia. In my profession, early wake ups are a continuing struggle. For night people, like me, this experience can be stressful and confusing at the same time. My peice attempts to emullate the struggle between distraction and peace of mind leading to a full state of relaxation. It deomstrates the conflict of daily sound, erroneous thought, and mental stress has with the mind's ability to shut down. The audio explores the connection between the physical and psychic space present in a struggle to fall alseep.

Download file

Listening to this project was extremely frustrating for me. After spending hours upon hours attempting to condense the piece and make it entertaining for the listener, I found that my meticulous editing had cropped out the most important part of the piece: the silence. By cutting the silent portions form the piece, I condensed the length and made it more intense in one respect. What I failed to realize is that the silent portions of my soundscape made the audible parts stronger, making the piece more intense in the way I intended it. Coupling this with the crippling effect a single speaker has on a multi-dimensional audio project took away the suspense and 3D aspect of my piece. From this process, I learned a very valuable lesson about any work. I learned that spending too much time getting close to any sort of work can hinder an arist, musician, or writer's perspective on the work. In the future, I will be certain to take more time away from my work so when I revisit it, the piece will be more fresh and more intense.

Adventure through my room..

Download file

Sounds of what happens when I'm cleaning my room.

Critique on my project 1.

My project didn't turn out how I wanted to at all. It was too low when it was presented to class, I think this was because when I was editing it I had my headphones on. The sound was a lot louder on my headphone than it was on the speakers, so when it was presented it sounded very low. I could've done a lot better on this project also, aside from the low-volume of my project. I felt that my project would get too long so I tried not to stay within a 4 to 5 minute time frame. If I could do this project again, I probably would do it differently. I felt the idea I had wasn't expressed through my project. They sounded different from eachother. I would've done a better job at creating better sounds.

Nicollet Mall Audio Project

Download file

This work is a collection of sounds from Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis during a Thursday Farmers market.,

Crash Course Instrumental

Download file

"Crash Course Instrumental" is a visit to a home of musicians that are not musicians. They play their instruments but have no sense of direction or real talent. They think they are playing something beautiful but that is only their opinion.