Week 3: Interactive Website(Krom)

  1. Leap Motion

This is a site about a VR product that helps you control your PC with just your bare hands through hand gestures. I found the site to have a backdrop of moving imagery and video that continues to play as you are scrolling up and down the page. With the mini videos being played along with the text information, the site gives you an abundance of information about how the product works. Its large fonts and navigation bar makes for a great experience which is easy to navigate.

2. Optimo Hats

Optimo Hats is a premium hat store based in Chicago and the site gives us all the impressions of its premium status. at opening the link, you will see a plain backdrop with ‘the best hat made’ appearing before transitioning to the site. Over there the site has a very slick finish to it and minimum text as to keep the attention on its luxurious aspect. The page to view the hats has a very smooth way of bringing up the images which I quite enjoyed.




Week 2- Response to Tim Berners-Lee (Krom)

The Worldwide web was launched on December 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee with the use of being able to transfer data of any form to anyone over the Internet. Our lives revolve around the world wide web and my response that I am currently writing would not have been possible without it! The Web is an application that runs on the Internet- the basic definition of what the World wide web is.

This article told us how important the Web has been for humanity and with it, there has been an emergence of social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It also shed a light on the malpractices that have occurred. A key feature of the Web is its open standards with no royalty, meaning anyone can publish a site without having to pay anyone. However powerful internet service providers(ISP’s) have used methods such as slow traffic to sites which they don’t have deals with in order for the viewer to instead prefer using a site that is affiliated with the ISP due to quicker load time(net neutrality). Powerful sites such as Facebook and Apple have also created their own closed worlds where data is not transferable from one source to another, eliminating the primary use of why the Web was constructed.

To access any site, you must provide your login details which is stored in the company’s servers, but what if they viewed your personal activity and attempted to send personalized ads and offers as to attract you? This is similar to opening someone else’s mail or wiretapping(which is illegal) and due to there being limited restrictions on The World Wide Web, there are security concerns.

The World Wide Web is a beautiful creation that is yet to reach its peak, but for it to grow and exceed our expectations, it must follow its initial principles that it was built upon and make sure it’s not being mistreated. Multinationals to sole traders to just the recreational browser, all are an equal part of the Web and one is not more ‘important’ than the other, and hence, equal responsibility is bestowed upon each to continue to help the Web grow in a safe and sustainable manner.

Week 3: Response to McCloud (Krom)

Comics; Marvel, Archie, Tin Tin- these are what come to my mind when talking about comic books. We’ve grown up reading comic books and I enjoyed them more than fiction novels due to comics having visual images and catchy fonts that gave a outline of the scene. Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics( The invisible Art) is a comic book about comic books!

Comic books are by McCloud’s definition, simply sequential art that is understood by viewing images one by one and joining the dots together. McCloud analyzed 6 different types of transitions in between images for the viewer to understand the comic and a basic rule of thumb for most comics was to be read left to right, however there have been exceptions where the writer will intentionally frame his comic in a different way as to provide an ambiguous view to the reader. McCloud was able to find vast differences between western comics and those of Japanese comics who used different styles to communicate the same message.

Unlike films, McCloud deduced that for comics to be read and enjoyed, there needs to be viewer participation as it employs all our senses. The role of an artist is to only draw up a map, it is up to the reader to guide himself through the journey. A way for us to interpret and make sense of the images is through something called ‘closure’, where we may view only a section of an image however perceive it to be complete. this is why we can relate so well to emojis which are just lines. In comics, simplicity trumps intricate detail as you will be used to seeing more stick figures and simple faces rather than a portrait of someone specific. Another reason for this is for the reliability factor where a portrait represents one person however a simple face can be anyone and is easier for the viewer to relate to.

A comic book teaching you what are the foundations of a comic book make for a good read and in the 4 chapters that we have read, I am looking forward to completing this book.

Week 2: Photoshop assignment (Krom)

For this assignment we had to merge 3 photos into one image. I took 2 background images of paint and vibrant colors and my main picture of Batman’s logo. By creating a layer mask and using the gradient tool, I was able to show the right side of the image. After that, I used the magic brush tool to delete the left area of the picture to reveal the 3rd image. The use of the magic tool resulted in there being a very edgy finish to the final picture which I decided to keep.

I am trying out new styles and combinations to see how to seamlessly merge pictures together.

Week 1: Response to ‘The Work Of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ (Krom)

Man made machine to ease the workload and make operations more efficient, but what if this reduced the authenticity and the effort that is put into the production process? Walter Benjamin’s essay written in 1935 explores the field of art, mainly media, and how machines have reduced the ‘aura'(as he liked the call it) of the work of art.

This essay begins by giving us the history of how arts and writings were first recorded and the methods used back then. The reproduction process to him was seen by him as duplicating the original but having no resemblance to the original as it was just a ‘copy’. His views on mechanical reproduction was that “one can make any number of prints; to ask for the ‘authentic’ print makes no sense”(Chapter IV).

He begins talking about media in the 20th century and the differences between stage actors and film actors, and how machinery has been used in the process of these. In his views, The stage actor is able to express a range of emotions and is able to interact with the audience, however with a film actor, his performance is restricted by camera angles and post production processes, which the actor may not get to see or have a say in. Luigi Pirandello( famous dramatist) had his views taken in this essay and he approached the topic of silent films in a very negative manner which may seem biased as he was in the stage production department.

An interesting comparison about a Picasso painting and a Chaplin movie and how the views of society have been reacting to these 2 forms of media. Benjamin felt that big budget films had taken the limelight away from paintings and how a painting had to be analyzed and appreciated unlike a film which was there solely for entertainment purposes.

Overall this essay had taken a very critical view towards the involvement of machinery in the art production process and how they were stealing the limelight from the more deserving arts that were there in the field. An interesting aspect that can be taken from this essay is how relevant an article that was written in 1935 is in today’s day and age. Through progressions in more advanced machinery that is better able to capture the minds imagination, the original modes of art like painting and stage performances are slowly starting to be appreciated by a smaller crowd and is becoming a niche in the arts industry.

Week 1: Response to ‘The Machine Stops’ (Krom)

A very thought provoking short novel by E.M. Forster written in 1909 that depicts a dystopian future where mankind does not live on ground level anymore due to it being hazardous and is over reliant on technology. It shows us the impacts technology has on personal health, lifestyle and relationships as shown with the 2 protagonists of the story. This novel really reminded me of Pixar’s 2008 Animated movie, WALLE-E which has a very similar storyline to that of this.

The first person interactions between Kuno and his mother Vashti gave 2 very contrasting opinions on the use of technology where one(Vashti) swore by its use whereas the other(Kuno) felt it was holding back humans as they forgot machines weren’t Gods but rather made by ordinary men. The interactions between these 2 and the later rift that was present really expressed a very realistic scenario of disagreement and the actions taken by both parties after that.

The punchline was the ending where the story truly related back to its title and highlighted the repercussions of being too reliant on just ‘one’ thing and disregarding any other possibilities, and hence…”The Machine Stops”.

Week 2: Response to McLuhan’s article (Krom)

Marshall McLuhan’s philosophical approach to the idea that the ‘Medium is the Message’ makes for an interesting read. The use of examples such as the electric light or movies helps us to understand that the way a message is being passed on is sometimes more important than the message itself. Using passages from Shakespeare’s writings, McLuhan tries to explain how important the media plays a role in how we perceive news and events. His own take on today’s media and how it is a staple resource, and one medium that has so much power that it could ignite a war promotes his view that the ‘medium is the message’.