Response to Comic reading assignment (Vasudevan)

After reading this I believe comic is the composition of ideas in the form of picture, with imagination filled in the gap between two or more comic pictures. The idea that comic is composed of various ideas looks a little bit like Fourier Series, where we can represent any function with period 2Pi with composition of infinite number of simple trigonometric functions. Another good analogy could be that any music is composed of many musical notes. Our brain helps the development of comics a lot. In fact, comic is based on our brain. It turns out the brain has an interesting property that it tends to link one object to another, based on personal previous experience. (In this sense the brain is just like a machine that can learn itself from what it has experienced through.) Comic provides people with familiar concepts and representations, while the brain automatically links them to ourselves. Which means, we will find ourselves through comics and that may be one reason why children prefer comic/cartoon better than TV drama at the beginning. Also, when we see some picture, which is possibly one part of something else, the brain will show us the remaining part to form a whole picture in front of the eyes, which makes the famous “horse moving” sequence pictures possible. Anything could be comics, and it’s really a way that everyone can apply to describe the world in his/her eyes.

Week 9: Response to “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin (Vasudevan)

By referring “aura”, the word which is used to describe a subtle feeling from a person or an object, Walter Benjamin argues that although mechanical reproduction makes art much easier accessible, art also becomes cheap and lost its uniqueness.

As appears at the top of the article, I want to talk a little on politics and art. Politics is about control, the control of work, of labor. What are capitalism/communism? They are ways to control production. What is Fascism? It’s all about but not restricted to eliminating external inferior races and control domestic industries under the leadership of the politic power. Capitalism, Communism, Fascism are all politics, they are ways to control production, and production is what ordinary people are doing everyday. Thus, politics is a control over people’s create power. Creation is close but not really equal to reproduction. We admit photograph as a form of art, but what an image really is, what a camera really does is to capture and create a reflection of real world objects. It’s reproduction at the same time creation. In this sense we could relate politics to control of people’s creativity, to control of people’s personal art, to control of the way people express themselves. People shouldn’t be told how to feel, to capture the aura of a person or an object, rather people need to do that in their own way, and that’s where art take place. Art represents something “happens”, but to “be happened”.


The idea of our project is to find out by changing background music and tone how the same dialogue can make listener feel different. To do this, we must create some dialogue that is vague enough to suit multiple situations. Accordingly we used “here”, “it”, “this place”. We chose the dialogue between old couple, young couple, master and dog, father and daughter, two good friends, murderer and victim. Originally we tried to record the dialogue for one time and use software to change the voice tone. Fortunately, since I am in the Acting class, my classmates and Professor Mirrione gives us great help on actually acting the dialogue out, more than 10 versions in total. With this, we could kind of be free from worrying about the voice and put more emphasize on music and sound effect. Besides initial setup, the acted dialogue itself also provides solid atmosphere which guides us to the suitable music choices.

Basically our music sources is from youtube, which provides satisfactory sounds we need with comprehensive pictures/videos which helps us to catch the sense/meaning of the music more easily. We used the website to easily convert youtube video into mp3 files only through one click. In addition, some musics from my personal collection are also used, ranging from symphony, film soundtrack, animation and so on.

The software we used was Adobe Audition. We chose this because it has some similar user interaction as Adobe Photoshop , which makes it easier to get used to the software. The technics that were used are just things we learn from previous classes: cut, add effect like echo, change time line, adjust the volume and combine several pieces of music into one.

The goal for the website is to be as simple as possible while at the same time be enough elegant and friendly user interaction. That’s why we put the instruction on how to play the audio file directly as the title of the page. Beneath that we put six pictures as buttons, each of them represents one scene. By click each button, not only will the sound be triggered, the picture itself will change to an activated state (another similar picture), for instance, “woof” appears near the dog’s mouth. Beneath that we listed people who casted as the credit and thanks. The idea of the website was borrowed from the example of music box from the last class.

The project do meet our goal, since when we ask friends to listen on it, they feel like being in totally different stories even could hardly recognize that they are the same dialogue! They also feel some of them are really relaxing while some is super scary, which means the music really creates certain atmosphere, which is exactly what we want the audience to feel.

Week 7: TED talk (Comlab) (Vasudevan)

The danger of a single story


Stereotype upon one thing resulted from “single story” will possibly make the person push the thing away from him. For instance, when many people know that Africa is filled with ADIS, they are highly likely to stay away from Africa, even if there is a appealing chance to pay a visit, they may still take long to consider. Though sometime it’s easy to run away from the difficulty, on the other hand, however, paradise is always hidden behind the difficulties, just like what the speaker says in the end of her talk “When we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.” Using various stories to get familiar with something is just like mathematicians and physicists using different aspects to analyze a problem. Now the thing is, it has always been scientists’ goal to find a theory that explains everything physical/nonphysical phenomenon. Here it comes such a paradox that on one hand there is an overall trend to explain everything with single highly combined theory while on the other hand by looing around people will always find something different, that is “out of” the theory “cage” that people have creates, “In fact, I did not know what African authenticity was.” Despite such paradox, it is always important to open eyes and heart widely and let “fresh air” in, because only through reading more stories can one be familiar enough with something and thus he may find some “highly combined theory”. After watching the talk, I kind of feel like I should visit Africa when I am young. Because Africa is so mysterious seen from me, I could feel how big the world is.

Week 6: Reading (ComLab) (Vasudevan)

Theft and Artistry

When appropriation (which is related to art and culture), should we take along the original sense behind the art or culture, should we just “remix” it as much as we want, like what Paul Simon says, “…they play their best, I’m going to play my best”. He means that he will make the best use of what he appropriates in his own (understanding) way, regardless of the origin. Or, should we keep the respect towards the origin piece, for instance, in the case of “Hymn For The Weekend” pay more attention to the background Indian culture. It’s still for debate.

Cant stop wont stop

“Can’t stop won’t stop”, like the title is showing, music is just like time itself, lying along Jamaica spirits’ past, now and future. Doesn’t matter whether music and dance have already become part of the gene of those people or not, people are used to use music and dance to express stress, rage and hope, within which political appeal can be read, to a extent that the political parties have to pay attention to the music life (music fair). (because that the country ‘s economy is growing but people at bottom class suffer, in 1972 PNP was voted to in charge of the government, in replace of JLP). KOOL HERC’s early life in NYC refreshes my cognition towards music: music is more close to violence than it looks like. The thing is, while music is a way of expressing emotion, on the other hand, violence is also one way to get the same purpose. If violence represents destruction, music also does. When the situation is hard for the people to make a live, not only they use music to show their expectation, but also to drain the sense of destruction. They want to destroy something, since they are already in the situation where they have nothing to lose. Even when some of them have gone outside, the destruction is still within their (produced in the future) music. I think the process of “Become American” also contains such trace: abandon the person as a Jamaican and reborn as an American; Death and Reborn, Destruct and Rebuild, as an individual. They are able to do this because the Jamaican are free spirits, such free spirits that political power has been forced to concession.

Week 6: Readings (ComLab) (Vasudevan)

The Ecstasy of Influence (A Plagiarism)

The main contradiction lies in the presence of human work, that is, whether this object has certain amount of human work on it, and whether that means the person has declared (or is had declared) there is certain amount of property inside that object. Since remuneration depends on work, if the work is disregarded, people who made the work couldn’t get payed, which is unfair for the working-pay system. On the other hand, in this era we are surrounded by work made by others, we are just got familiar with them that it seemed wired and not necessary to pay for (most) everything that we enjoyed. However, since the rules of world contains “there is no free meal anywhere”, we should pay something for what we have enjoyed. I suggest that should be the respect. As for the remuneration, I suggest there to be a conservation period where no one can use the piece of somebody’s work without permission (freely).

On the Rights of Molotov Man

The war between Joy and Susan can be traced back all the way to the core problem of belongings: can we really say that something belongs to us? I understand Susan’s respect for the history, but It should also be noticed that history has Susan’s stamp on it that it is one of Susan’s works. One famous philosopher authorized the right for people to own things: originally everything belongs to each single person, but if some person pays certain amount of work to one object and then it becomes the person’s belonging. War, plunder, conquer occur throughout the history with one same purpose: to rob the belongings off other people. Even if a person passed away peacefully, someone will still rob him of something, in the name of “inherit”. The world is really about robbing off and being robbed off. Since this is how the world look like, robbing off and preventing from robbing off are both authorized. Back to the article, both side has the right to do what they are doing, while there is no need for them to conceal their personal desire of robbing others off. By the way, one solution for such conflict is to make things become public. Although it is wildly known “something belongs to everyone belongs to no one”, for the case of information it would be another case. With simple arrangement information can be accessed and multiplied easily, enabling every body has a copy of that information. There would be no need to have the conflict. If there is no conflict, we can not prevent things from happening and such property pushes information to be shared and modified. Since history is defined by people after that history, history itself becomes a person belonging. From this perspective in the case of Susan, it’s possible to say that her intention for the war is to protect her belongings.

Week 6: TED talk (ComLab) (Vasudevan)

I feel so closed to his talk because when I did my film project last semester, my film is composed of elements from my favourite films and animations, I chose the music from my favourite songs, even the story was based on what I heard from others. As for the issue of patent, I believe without that the company who created that technology would possibly not survive longer since many other companies get into the business and create competition. On the other hand, surely with share of information the world advance much faster, just look at what Internet brings us. Thus I believe sharing the technology through a way of selling would be great.

Week 6: ComLab Comic Project Final (Tisa&Haven) (Vasudevan)


Our story has name of “Bicycle Chronicle”, in which the user’s newly-get bicycle is eaten by creatures from another world, the ANTI-WORLD, after whom he visits that world and sees lots of weird things related to bicycle. To separate the two world, bicycle in real world is colored while in the ANTI-WORLD everything is black and white. My work covers from the second page till the last second page. In the third page, the first four graph of the radio comic is found on the internet, which is translated to English by me by using PS (use rubber to clear the original words and type in some English). The sixth graph, the murder scene, is intended to an imagination after the user sees the fifth graph. I used PS to clear the surrounding drawing and added some legs, knife and blood. The border is added separately (since all the pictures are transparent in background (adjusted by PS), they wouldn’t overlap). The animation on the 4th page is made by CSS3 Animation, which can show the process of transformation from one frame to frame. The frames depend upon timeline. For example, if I set the picture originally being 100px away from the left border and time 0% while set it being 500px away from left border at time 100% and set the interval as 1s, then at 1s sharp the graph will shift from 100px to 500px to the left, which looks like a continuous . For the 5th page, with CSS3 Animation, by shifting background-position from 0 to half of the background length back and force, I created the “running cartoon”. Such background is called spirt, which combines all the movement needed to mimic the running effect. I made the spirt by putting two graph on the same canvas in the PS. For the click event (change background) I used Jquery to simplify the function notation. Key point in this animation is the use of animation-timing –function: step-start, which makes the graph shift from frame to frame rather than create a smooth transition. The typing effect was also made by animation-timing-function.