Response to “Web Work: A History of Net Art” (Leon and Nimrah)

By Salomon Ruiz

Response to “Web Work: A History of Net Art” by Rachel Greene 

Rachel Greene explains in this article how the art on the Internet or “net.art” became very important. Artists found on the web a great medium to create art that could be easily accessible and where they could collaborate easily. Many artists started to use the Internet to present art that was not only entertaining but that most of the time was meaningful. For instance, some artists published artwork supporting cyberfeminism. Then it started to become more and more popular among artists and among people as well, that even museums such as The Whitney Museum or the San Francisco MOMA recognized this kind or art living on the web. Nowadays, art existing on the Internet is even economically profitable, that many artists prefer this medium to create their work. A big advantage of this kind of art, I would say, is that you do not even need to go to a museum in order to be exposed to art, just one click and you can discover really interesting artworks with a great purpose behind.

However, Rachel Greene also mentions about how there is a lot of meaningless content on the web. Because the web is free anyone can publish any kind of content, therefore we need to draw a line between what can be considered as art and what can not. Otherwise art could be devalorized.

 

Week 11: Response to “Hackers and Painters” and “Computers, Pencils and Brushes” (Leon and Nimrah)

By Salomon Ruiz

Response to “Hackers and Painters” by Paul Graham

In this article Paul Graham talks about how hacking shares similarities with painting. He argues that hacking is not a science such as math, but rather an art. Hackers are creators of software. However, most of the time companies do not give them the freedom to create what they really want, therefore they even forget about the essence of hacking. And this is dangerous because nowadays hacking is in its glory. As Graham states every time “a new medium appears […] people are so excited about it that they explore most of its possibilities in the first couple generations. Hacking seems to be in this phase now”, therefore it is crucial that hackers get the freedom to exploit this medium by designing whatever software they want without limitations. This is why open-source hacking has become really important as hackers can make contributions there without someone telling them what to do. Another thing hackers can do in order to make plenty use of their creativity is launching their own start-ups, though this might not be so easy. However, when a start-up has a good idea and consider to a great extent the user, it can be successful. For instance, in recent years a lot of startups have risen as a response of people’s needs such as Uber, Eleme. etc. Therefore the user is a really important element when it comes to hacking as well as painting. The revolution of hacking needs to push forward.

Response to “Computers, Pencils and Brushes”by Paul Rand

In this article, Paul Rand talks about the conception of the computer in design. It is often said that the computer is just a tool, just like a pencil or a brush, that helps designers create their work. Nonetheless, it often seems that designers depend on this tool in order to create their work, rather that just using the computer in order to create what a pencil or a brush do not allow them to. The question arises then that if moving the mouse and clicking in order to create something on the screen of the computer can be called designing. Especially now that even in design schools the computer seems to be replacing the drawings, the paintings made by hand. In this article, Rand shows a drawing of a bunch of lines that at first I thought had been made with a computer. However, after reading the note at the bottom of this drawing, I learned it was a handmade design made with the help of a pen, a compass and a straight edge tool, which was surprising as it seemed to be really virtual. I believe digital design is also as creative as handmade design because even though it seems that in digital design we just click the truth is that creativity is also required in order to make an outstanding design. Even if a lot of people can easily learn how to manipulate a computer, the most important factor in digital design is learning how to make use of the different features of the design software in order to create something unique.

Video Project (Leon and Nimrah)

by Salomon Ruiz Hernandez

Instructors: Leon and Nimrah

Partners: Kaitlin Poon and Jaime Jo

Date: April 12, 2018

Project  name: Paint Your Own Future

Link: http://imanas.shanghai.nyu.edu/~kp2184/VIDEO/index.html

Paint Your Own Future

Description.

For our video project we first had the idea of talking about the stereotypes of different cultures but then we decided to change the topic and talk about pursuing your dreams. Our video presents the story of Taylah, a young girl who wants to apply to an art school as she is really good at painting. However, her parents, her friends and even the school counselor do not support this idea. They all think art school is a waste of time and that she won’t make it. Besides the confrontations she has with all these characters, she succeeds to get into her dream school, showing that dreams can become true even if everyone is against those dreams, if we keep fighting for them.

The process.

First, we started by creating the storyboard. We divided the work so each of us did a dialogue between the main character and the other characters. I wrote the story between Taylah and her school counselor. Here is the beginning of the storyboard I made:

 

 

Then we divided the work so I ended up working on the code for the website. For the interaction part we decided we wanted to pause our main video when showing a specific object that would be clickable in order to open a new video in a new window. For this we cropped the main video in different parts and at the end of each part, where the specific object is displayed, an image that we previously Photoshoped with a glowing border around the object appears in order to let the user know the object is clickable. The videos that open in the new windows correspond to the scenes of the different confrontations Taylah has with her parents, her best friend and the school counselor, in regard to her desire to apply to Juilliard. After those videos end, the main video is resumed to where it stopped. On the videos Kaitlin applied an ending to indicate it is something like a vision of the main character.

Continue reading

HTML code 
<!DOCTYPE html>
<head>
  <title>INTERACTIVE VIDEO PROJECT</title>
<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Gaegu" rel="stylesheet">
  <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/style.css">
</head>

<body>
  <div class="header">
    <h1> PAINT YOUR OWN FUTURE </h1>
   
    <video id="vid" onclick ="playVideo()" width="900" height="500"  style="border-style: solid; border-color: black; border-width: 10px; background-color: black;">
		   <source src="video/TaylahPart1.mp4" type="video/mp4">
    </video>
    <img id="brush" src="image/PaintBrush.png">
    <div id="tape"></div>  
<div id="tape2"></div>  
<div id="tape3"></div>  

<div id="tape4"></div>  
    <div class="footer">
      <h3>Copyright 2018 NYU Shanghai. Site by Jaime Jo, Kaitlin Poon and Salomon Ruiz</h3>
    </div>

    <script type="text/javascript">
      var vid = document.getElementById("vid");
      var body =  document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0];
      vid.addEventListener('ended', ()=> {
        console.log("ended!");
        vid.poster = "image/PaintBrush.png";
        vid.autoplay = false;
        vid.src="";

        var border = document.createElement('div');
        let width = vid.width - 10;
        border.setAttribute('class', 'border-div');
        border.style['z-index'] = 100;
        //border.style['border-color'] = 'purple';
        border.style.width = width + 'px';
        border.style.height = vid.height - 10 + 'px';
        border.style.top = vid.offsetTop + 'px';
        border.style.left = vid.offsetLeft + 'px';
        border.style.cursor = 'pointer';

        body.append(border);
        border.addEventListener('click', ()=> {
          document.location = 'parents.html';
        });
      });;

      function playVideo(){

        if (vid.paused==false) {

          vid.pause();
        }
      else{
        vid.play();
      }

      }

CSS code 
html{
	height: 100%
}

body {
	height: 100%;
  background: url(https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/multicoloured-paint-splatters-on-weathered-wooden-floorboards-picture-id493748504?b=1&k=6&m=493748504&s=612x612&w=0&h=7AQX0UA0EekzqOr3QFKk-uKBgb7Y0YRcjCUBqjxD0Cc=) black;
}

h1 {


}

img {
	width: 880px;
	height: auto;

}

#brush{

display: inline-block;
display: none;
}

#tape {
    width: 200px;
    height: 50px;
    position: absolute;
    background: white;
    transform: rotateZ(140deg);
    opacity: 0.6;
    top: 146px;
    left: calc(50% - 39%);
}


#tape2{
	    width: 200px;
    height: 50px;
    position: absolute;
    background: white;
    transform: rotateZ(218deg);
    opacity: 0.6;

        top: 146px;
    right: calc(50% - 39%);
}
#tape3{
	    width: 200px;
    height: 50px;
    position: absolute;
    background: white;
    transform: rotateZ(224deg);
    opacity: 0.6;

        bottom:  22px;
    left: calc(50% - 39%);
}
#tape4{
	    width: 200px;
    height: 50px;
    position: absolute;
    background: white;
    transform: rotateZ(140deg);
    opacity: 0.6;

        bottom:  22px;
    right: calc(50% - 39%);
}

@font-face{
font-family: paint;
src: url('chocolate.ttf');

}
.header {

/*@font-face{

	font-family: paint;
src: url( font/chocolate.ttf);
*/
 font-family: futura;
	font-size: 25px;
	text-align: center;
	width: 1350px;
	height: auto;
	margin: 0 auto;
	color: black;
}

.content {

	font-size: 15px;
	font-family: futura;
	text-align: center;
	align-content: center;
	height: auto;
	width: 880px;
	margin: 0 auto;
	padding-top: 70px;
	background-color: #cfe3ff;


}

.footer {
	font-family: futura;
	font-style: bold;
	font-size: 18px;
	text-align: center;
	height: 50px;
	width: 880px;
	margin: 0 auto;

}



#overlay {

    position: absolute;
    display: none;
    width: 655px;
    height: 500px;
    top: 284px;
    left: 240px;
    background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.5);
    z-index: 2;
}

img {
	cursor: pointer;
}

.border-div {
    position: absolute;
    border: 5px solid transparent;
    -webkit-transition: border 0.1s linear, box-shadow 0.1s linear;
       -moz-transition: border 0.1s linear, box-shadow 0.1s linear;
            transition: border 0.1s linear, box-shadow 0.1s linear;
}

    </script>


</body>

Week 9: Response to “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (Leon and Nimrah)

By Salomon Ruiz

Response to “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin talks about the reproduction of art, especially about the film. It is commonly believed that a reproduction of an artwork can not convey what Benjamin calls the aura of it. So it is believed that a film, contrary to a play in a theater, can not convey the aura of the play, of the actors. A film forces the spectator to focus on the image the film is showing, the spectator has no choice. Moreover, a film does not give the spectator the time to reflect about what is being displayed on the screen as the images move constantly and quickly, as opposed when you appreciate a painting where you have all the time to analyze it. However, a film can offer things that a theater play can’t. For instance, a film can play with the reality thanks to techniques like the slow-motion where the time can be extended. Moreover, nowadays the film is changing its conventional form in order to let the spectator be part of it. For instance, the film is allowing the spectator to choose part of the story and to choose the perspective they wanna see, resulting in a whole new experience. Therefore, I believe a film has its own aura.

 

 

 

JavaScript Exercise 2 (Leon & Nimram)

By Salomon Ruiz

Link: http://imanas.shanghai.nyu.edu/~srh450/js-exercise-2/index.html

JavaScript in-class Exercise 2

The purpose of this exercise was to highlight only the box clicked using JavaScript. The hint was the CSS properties on the class “innerrect”. So what I thought first was making the background-color change when clicking the desired box. I tried adding on the function “checkLocation” “document.getElementById().style.background  = blue” using the Id of every box but it didn’t work. Then I realized I needed to change the display according to the coordinates of the boxes as the background color was already established on the CSS. So for this I introduced two variables “Xpos” and “Ypos” corresponding to the position of the mouse. Then I introduced if statements so that according to the position of the mouse the display property would show the color of the box clicked and then hide the color for the rest. I used then  “document.getElementById().style.display  = none or block”. I used 250 in my conditionals as that was the size of the boxes according to the CSS. Here is my final code. 

 

<!DOCTYPE html>
<head>
	<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style.css">
</head>

<body>

	<div class="outerrect" onclick="checkLocation()">

		<div class="innerrect" id="topleft"></div>
		<div class="innerrect" id="topright"></div>
		<div class="innerrect" id="bottomleft"></div>
		<div class="innerrect" id="bottomright"></div>

		<div class="vertdivide"></div>
		<div class="horizdivide"></div>

	</div>

	<script>
       var Xpos;
       var Ypos; 
 		function checkLocation() {
        
        var Xpos =event.clientX;
        var Ypos = event.clientY;


        if(Xpos < 250 && Ypos < 250  ){
     
         document.getElementById("topleft").style.display = "block";
         document.getElementById("topright").style.display = "none";
         document.getElementById("bottomright").style.display = "none";

         document.getElementById("bottomleft").style.display = "none";

        }
       else if (Xpos > 250 && Ypos < 250 ) {
       	document.getElementById("topright").style.display = "block";
       	document.getElementById("topleft").style.display = "none";
       	document.getElementById("bottomright").style.display = "none";
       	document.getElementById("bottomleft").style.display = "none";

}
        if(Xpos <  250 && Ypos > 250  ){
     
         document.getElementById("topleft").style.display = "none";
         document.getElementById("topright").style.display = "none";
         document.getElementById("bottomright").style.display = "none";

         document.getElementById("bottomleft").style.display = "block";
}
    else if (Xpos > 250 && Ypos > 250 ) {
       	document.getElementById("topright").style.display = "none";
       	document.getElementById("topleft").style.display = "none";
       	document.getElementById("bottomright").style.display = "block";
       	document.getElementById("bottomleft").style.display = "none";
}

	}
		
	</script>
</body>

Week 8: Response to Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk: “The Danger of a Single Story” (Leon and Nimrah)

by Salomon Ruiz

 Response to Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk: “The Danger of a Single Story”

In this talk, Chimamanda Adichie highlights the importance of not sticking to one single story. Every person, every place has multiple stories so we shouldn’t base our perspective of those just on one story as this just give us an incomplete perspective. Adichie says “a single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete”, so we shouldn’t believe in stereotypes as most of the time they just reflect an aspect of a certain culture. For example, a lot of people think about Mexico City, my hometown, as a dangerours city, and even though yes there is crime just like in many other cities, its not like if you just walk and get shot. Stereotypes can make us forget about the other stories. For instance, my hometown is also one of the cities with the most museums in the world and I found a comment on a thread on reddit.com (https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/14fas0/til_that_mexico_city_has_more_museums_than_any/) that said “I bet the average person doesn’t think of Mexico City as the type of place with a lot of museums which shows how limited our perspectives can be. And of course we can not know everything about every single culture but we should keep an open perspective on things.

Stereotypes can really stick to people, and they can result in hate or racism against a whole culture. For instance, many middle eastern people are seen as terrorists, which is a very dangerous assumption. And it is not only about cultures but we shouldn’t judge anything or anyone just by a single story. We often criticize people even at school when they do something we see as of bad reputation but we do not know if there might be a story behind that explains why they do such a thing. And the comments we make can really impact that person’s live. Bullying can be a result of that for example.

Audio Project (Leon and Nimrah)

by Salomon Ruiz Hernandez

Instructors: Leon and Nimrah

Partner: Ahmad Raja

Date: March 17, 2018

Project  name: Cultural fusion!

Link: http://imanas.shanghai.nyu.edu/~srh450/week2/audio%20project/intro.html

 

Cultural musical fusion 

Description:

For this project my partner and I had different ideas. We both wanted to create something related to cultural diversity. We first thought about mixing different English accents but then we thought this could be offensive for some people. Then we thought about mixing different languages but then the users wouldn’t understand all the audios so then we came up with the idea of music. This project creates a cultural fusion through music. A website introduces the project and then you can go to a second website where the user is free to play different sounds corresponding to different musical instruments from different cultures such as the Chinese guzheng, the Mexican marimba or the Indian dhol. An opera can also be played and then add the sound of the different instruments in order to create a unique musical experience.

The process

First we decided which instruments we were going to choose. Then we collected the sound of these instruments from freesound.org. Then we croped these audios and modified the intensity of the sound thanks to Audacity. We lowered the volume of some sounds so if someone plays those sounds while the opera sound is playing it doesn’t result in a annoying noise. Then we created an intro and modify it with Audacity to give it a robotic effect and then we added a gif simulating the screen is talking in order to match the sound We created two websites, one with the introduction sound and the other with the instruments sounds. On the intro website we decided to play the audio as soon as the page loads and we added a button saying “start” in order to go to the next page.

On the second website we added gifs corresponding to the musical instruments that also function as buttons to play and stop the music. We decided to change the cursor to pointer when hovering on the gifs to make evident the user has to click on the images to make something happen. Alto on the header of the page, if the mouse is moved to the right the volume increases and if it goes to left the volume decreases.

This is how the final website looks like:

 

 

Challenges and learnings 

The coding part was challenging as we didn’t know how to make the sound play and stop when clicking on the gifs. We tried using the code we saw in class but we didn’t really understand it so at the end we created different divs and associated a function to each div, so the code got really long, which was not helpful when we found errors.  Also we realized that after playing the opera sound sometimes you have to click on the gifs twice or otherwise it won’t work

I learned how to use the basics of Audacity when modifying the audios we got from the web. I also learned how to play an audio using JavaScript.  During Jiwon’s workshop I also learned how to change the cursor when hovering on an element.

What would I change 

First of all I would use shorter audios, just some beats, to avoid  the opera to sound like a mess. Then I would record the sounds of the instruments, although that would be difficult as some instruments we picked are not very common. Then I would change the way to play the opera as it is not too evident the user has to click on the title. Same for the control of the volume. Also I would choose other gifs to make the whole website more aesthetic. Also I was thinking maybe it would’ve been interesting using sounds created with normal objects such as chopsticks.

 

<!DOCTYPE html>

<head>
	<title>Audio Project</title>
	<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/styles.css">
</head>

<body>

<div id = "title"><h1    onclick="playAudio0()"  onmouseover="changeVol()" > Cultural Fusion </h1></div>	


<audio id="opera">
		<source src="audio/Opera.wav" type="audio/wav"   loop preload="auto">
	</audio>

<audio id="myAudio">
		<source src="audio/maracas1.wav" type="audio/wav"   loop="loop">
	</audio>
<audio id="myAudio2">
		<source src="audio/GuZheng1.wav" type="audio/wav" loop preload="auto">
	</audio>
<audio id="myAudio3">
		<source src="audio/dhol.wav" type="audio/wav"   loop preload="auto">
	</audio>
<audio id="myAudio4">
		<source src="audio/Conga.wav" type="audio/wav"  loop preload="auto">
	</audio>
<audio id="myAudio5">
		<source src="audio/Guitar.wav" type="audio/wav"  loop preload="auto">
	</audio>
<audio id="myAudio6">
		<source src="audio/marimba.wav" type="audio/wav" loop="loop">
	</audio>

<audio id="myAudio7">
		<source src="audio/trumpet.wav" type="audio/wav" loop preload="auto">
	</audio>

	<audio id="myAudio8">
		<source src="audio/oud.wav" type="audio/wav" loop preload="auto">
	</audio>
<audio id="myAudio9">
		<source src="audio/flute.wav" type="audio/wav" loop preload="auto">
	</audio>
<audio id="myAudio10">
		<source src="audio/banjo.wav" type="audio/wav" loop preload="auto">
	</audio>


<div id = "audio1" >   <img onclick="playAudio1()"   src="images/maracas.gif" height="150" width="100%/3"  >   </img> onclick="playAudio()" </div> 
<div  id = "audio1">   <img onclick="playAudio2()"   src="images/guzheng.gif" height="150" width="100%/3">   </img> </div> 
<div  id = "audio1">   <img onclick="playAudio3()" src="images/dhol.gif" height="150" width="100%/3">   </img> </div> 
<div  id = "audio1">   <img onclick="playAudio4()" src="images/conga.gif" height="150" width="100%/3">   </img> </div> 
<div  id = "audio1">   <img onclick="playAudio5()" src="images/guitar.gif" height="150" width="100%/3">   </img> </div> 
<div  id = "audio1">   <img onclick="playAudio6()" src="images/marimba.gif" height="150" width="100%/3">   </img> </div> 

<div  id = "audio1">   <img onclick="playAudio7()" src="images/trumpey.gif" height="150" width="100%/3">   </img> </div> 
<div  id = "audio1">   <img onclick="playAudio8()" src="images/oud.gif" height="150" width="100%/3">   </img> </div> 
<div  id = "audio1">   <img onclick="playAudio9()" src="images/flute.gif" height="150" width="100%/3">   </img> </div> 
<div  id = "audio1">   <img onclick="playAudio10()" src="images/banjo.gif" height="150" width="100%/3">   </img> </div> 


	


</div>
	
	<script type="text/javascript">
		var aud0= document.getElementById('opera')
		var aud = document.getElementById('myAudio');
        var aud2 = document.getElementById('myAudio2');
		var aud3 = document.getElementById('myAudio3');
		var aud4 = document.getElementById('myAudio4');
		var aud5 = document.getElementById('myAudio5');
		var aud6 = document.getElementById('myAudio6');
        var aud7 = document.getElementById('myAudio7');
		var aud8 = document.getElementById('myAudio8');
		var aud9 = document.getElementById('myAudio9');
		var aud10 = document.getElementById('myAudio10');



        var state = true   
        
         function playAudio0() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud0.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud0.pause();
        state=true; 
}
}

        function playAudio1() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud.play();
     
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}

function playAudio2() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud2.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud2.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}

		function playAudio3() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud3.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud3.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}

		function playAudio4() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud4.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud4.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}	
	
function playAudio5() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud5.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud5.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}

	function playAudio6() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud6.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud6.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}
function playAudio7() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud7.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud7.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}



		function playAudio8() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud8.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud8.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}

		function playAudio9() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud9.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud9.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}
		function playAudio10() {
		if (state == true)  {
        aud10.play();
        state= false;
    }

        else {

       aud10.pause();
        state=true; 
}
		}

		function changeVol(){
    var vol = event.clientX / window.innerWidth;
    aud0.volume = vol;
}
		

		</script>

</body>

Week 7: Response to “Theft & Artistry: Coldplay + Beyonce” (Leon and Nimrah)

By Salomon Ruiz

Response to “Theft & Artistry: Coldplay + Beyonce”

I have no great knowledge about the Indian culture so I can not tell for sure what could be acceptable and what be offensive for Indian people on Coldplay and Beyonce’s video. I just see they’re trying to depict India but some images might be stereotypes or they might no. And the fact Beyonce is wearing, what I suppose is a traditional Indian dress, just for the video might be disrespectful, as she does not come from India. But who knows? Maybe people from India do not really care.

The thing is that many artists use cultural appropiation for the sake of their artwork, which creates a big debate. Is it ok for these artists to use the culture of others? Especially if most of them just make it for the money.

Nitasha Tamar Sharma claims that the problem is not wether cultural appropiation is bad or not but rather how we use this appropiation. If it’s just a superficial appropiation then what we convey might be wrong about this culture and therefore offensive. This can result in stereotypes of the culture which is rather negative. Also, people from the same culture might have different opinions when someone is using their culture in songs, books, movies, etc.

In this article, for example, they talk about the song “Sorry” by Justin Bieber and a Chilean accuses Bieber of appropiation of reggaeton. I personally, as a Latino, don’t consider this song as reggaeton or don’t see a strong link between reggaeton and this song , therefore it’s not really offensive for me. This song even has a “latino remix” with a reggaeton singer called J Balvin, though the only thing that changes in this “remix” is a part in the song where the Latino singer sings in Spanish. Besides that, the music is the same, they do not include a reggaeton beat, so I’m not completely convinced that calling this remix a “latino remix” was the best choice. Does including a Spanish part makes the song a latino remix? Should we then call “Despacito” ft Justin Bieber an “American remix” just because it includes an English part? Here we see the importance of the terms as it could result in something offensive.

However, cultural appropiation can also be positive. The fact of how the Singer Paul Simon “brought South African music to the global stage” is an example. I can also think about “Coco” the Oscar winner movie that depicts the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Death and even if it was not made by Mexicans it really respects the tradition and the directors spent months in Mexico to learn about the culture, they just didn’t make the movie based on superficialities. So yeah I think we have to be careful when taking something from other cultures to put it on your work because it can be offensive or it can even be dangerous. For instance we can talk about how some movies just reinforce stereotypes of some cultures.

Week 2: Response to “The Medium is the Message” by Marshall McLuhan (Leon and Nimrah)

By Salomon Ruiz

Response to “The Medium Is the Message” by Marshall McLuhan

McLuhan tell us the medium, the way we receive and send information, is more important than the content itself. He refers to the medium as “any extension of ourselves”. Through a pen, we can write down our thoughts. Through a movie we can convey any information. I believe yes the medium can be really powerful. For example, now instead of using coins or bills, we can pay using our phone, which has more advantages than using the other medium, as we do not need to worry about change or about splitting a bill.

He also mentions that the medium “shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action” He offers examples such as the plane and the train. Thanks to those mediums now we can travel longer distances in less time. So our actions can be limited by the medium as well. In the past we couldn’t travel as easily as we can nowadays. Another example are the movies. Now we can talk with anyone about a movie we have both watched, so it’s easy to establish a communication with them.

McLuhan also highlights the importance in which the medium is used. There is no bad or good medium but the way in which we use it can be positive or negative. For instance if we use a weapon just to kill anyone for fun, then we would see this weapon as a bad medium, but if we use it in order to protect ourselves from something bad then it can be seen as a positive medium. Another example is the social networks which are really controversial as they can have many advantages but also many disadvantages. They can be addictive, superficial and even drive someone to commit suicide but they can also start a revolution or give us freedom of speech.

The most interesting about this text is the fact it was written around 50 years ago, because we can see that nowadays it is still the medium that have the greatest impact in our society.

Week 6: Response to “The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism” & “On the Rights of Molotov Man” (Leon and Nimrah)

By Salomon Ruiz

Response to “The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism” by Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem brings up in this article the idea of plagiarism. He offers a lot of examples of works that are said to be a plagiarism such as Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita or Bob Dylan songs. Just as Kirby Ferguson, Lethem believes that in “the art form of the twentieth century” using or copying from other sources is natural and essential to create new art. Everything has to be inspired on something else. This author criticizes the idea that culture can be a property. He says this idea is “used to justify everything from attempts to force the Girl Scouts to pay royalties for singing songs around campfires “(63). He exaggerates a little but he does it in purpose to show how ridiculous this idea can be. And this idea of culture as a property is supported by the copyright laws that “protect” the work we create by limiting others to use it freely. He shows how this law of copyright has become so ubiquitous that we do not even notice it. “With no registration requirement, every creative act in a tangible medium is now subject to copyright protection: your email to your child or your child’s finger painting, both are automatically protected.” (63) And this is becoming really non-sense. It seems that now anything can be copyrighted until we reach a point where even our class notes would need to be copyrighted. Lethem offers another example to talk about the current law of copyright: “the current term is the life of the author plus seventy years. It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that each time Mickey Mouse is about to fall into the public domain, the mouse’s copyright term is extended”, so now even though Walt Disney is already dead, we cannot make free use of his cartoon. This is why Lethem describes copyright as a monopoly instead of a right. Most of the time copyright is indeed used for economic profit.

However, I believe the power of the web can override these copyrights easily as the web is a huge world that is constantly increasing. We can think about how movies are displayed online for free and sometimes in our search engines we see a message like “this site was closed because of copyrights infringements according to the law….” But new sites displaying these movies can be created, ending up in an endless chase. Lethem also mentions that copying is often compared with stealing a bag but he replies that “For a car or a handbag, once stolen, no longer is available to its owner, while the appropriation of an article of “intellectual property” leaves the original untouched”. We do not copy just for the sake of copying but rather to make create out of it.

Response to “On the Rights of Molotov Man” by Joy Garnett and Susan Meiselas

This text brings up the question of originality and plagiarism by exposing both the side of the plagiarist and the side of the plagiarized. Joy Garnett is accused of plagiarism because he painted a picture based on a photo from Susan Meiselas. So here they both offer their points of view on plagiarism.

First Garnett didn’t even think at all about the author of the photograph he saw online when creating his own artwork. This photograph moved him so he decided to paint this man holding a Molotov cocktail. By painting this by hand he created a new artwork. However when his work got success, he was sued for using Sussan’s work without permission. To his surprise, other artists also copied his work creating a “mirroring effect”, when everyone was copying everyone, one of those artists even depicted this mirroring effect. The web showed support to the artwork of Garnett, which made Garnett doubt whether or not the copyright is truly valuable and should exist. He ends asking this question: “Who owns the rights to this man’s struggle?”. And yes it seems as if this man’s struggle was the property of the photographer. Even if there is permission from the person photographed and not only in this picture but also in other works, it seems that people are being materialized for the sake of art, which is not necessarily bad but then I believe no one can really be an owner of the content expressed.

On the other hand, Meiselas replies that she had indeed the permission from the Molotov man, but what she criticizes about Garnett is not stealing her work but rather the fact he materializes it, decontextualizes it. She argues that her photo has a story behind and she presents this story.  However she feels like the other author just painted her work without even caring about the story of the Molotov man.

I believe art shouldn’t be seen as a property. Art make us feel something both when we know the context but also when we don’t know it as art can be interpreted. So I think both Meiselas and Garnett’s works are different and unique. They both have valid reasons for creating this work, as well as those who can use their work to create new artwork. These days, we cannot and we should not really expect that what we create would be 100% intangible. We have to share and be conscious that we cannot monitor every single human on earth to see if they are using our work or not.