After listening to this podcast, I agree that appropriation is subjective. Especially the way different people describe it, some using words such as “theft” and some “borrow” when talking about appropriation. It’s hard to avoid appropriation, evident by these music videos, but I also think that appropriation doesn’t necessarily have to be negative. It can become a good opportunity for different cultures to share and exchange arts and more. It’s also inevitable that many new concepts of art or music is created by combining ideas. On the other hand, it is easy to see how appropriation can go wrong. If someone misrepresents another culture then people can easily misinterpret the culture, especially people who have no previous knowledge about the country.
In “The Medium is the Message,” Mcluhan describes medium as an extension of the human ability. He gave the example of the railway in which he says “the railway did not introduce movement or transportation or wheel or road into human society, but it accelerated and enlarged the scale of previous human functions” (152). Furthermore he goes on to describe how the message of a medium is not necessarily the content of the medium, but rather it is the medium itself that contains the ‘message.’ The different medium used strongly impacts the way a message is conveyed. Similar to “The Machine Stops” Kuno wanted to talk to Vashti in person rather than through the Machine even though Vashti thought there was no difference. Although on the surface the ‘message’ was the same whether Kuno told Vashti face-to-face or through the Machine, but in actuality the medium had a heavy impact. Therefore Kuno was insistent that Vashti go visit him.
Long live the Web
I think it’s interesting to think of the contrast between Tim Berners-Lee’s view of how the web should be used versus how the web is used in China. He says The Web is also vital to democracy, a communications channel that makes possible a continuous world-wide conversation. The Web is now more critical to free speech than any other medium.”
However, in China, the web is highly monitored by the government. The Chinese government uses the web to essentially control information flow and filter out what they want or don’t want the Chinese people to know about.
He also points out another problem with the web. ”A related danger is that one social-networking site—or one search engine or one browser—gets so big that it becomes a monopoly, which tends to limit innovation.” I do agree that a lot of social-networking sites have become some sort of monopoly which limits innovation, but of course people who use these social networking sites contribute to this monopoly. I think in most cases people are just so used to the social network that they already use. So, even if there is a new site, there won’t be a enough people who would switch unless it’s drastically different and better. For example, a few years ago there was a new app called “peach.” From what I remember it was a combination of Instagram and Twitter. At first quite a lot of people started using it but in the end it pretty much died down. Of course, this is also the result of the monopoly of social media sites that already exist such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and etc.
As We May Think
I think it’s really interesting that how even though the article was written in 1954 Bush was able to predict the future of technology. He mentioned how maybe in the future people will just cease to write with a pen or typewriter and instead directly speak to the record, which in fact it is possible today. It’s also interesting to think that the process of “selection” that the author describes is the same process that happens when we search something in a search engine. It narrows down and filters out the searches to include only the key words we typed in.
The Machine Stops
The sense of the world in this text reminds me a lot of the utopian world in “1984” by George Orwell. The Machine is this sort of system that regulates the humans and their lives, making them think that there is no other “correct” way. It controls their perspective and way of life even as far as to make their bodies incapable of adapting to the atmosphere on Earth. There is a strong contrast in Vashti and Kuno’s perspectives of their sense of the world.
The Garden of Forking Paths
The drafts and the book that Ts’ui Pen wrote contained multiple, parallel and alter universes. In a sense he suggests that a person can have some control of what will or can happen because of the countless possibilities that can arise from a situation.
Contrary to “The Ecstasy of Influence,” this essay raises some points on the problems that plagiarism can cause. The example of the Molotov Man started out from a photography taken by Susan Meiselas of the a man who was throwing his bomb at a Somoza guard. Joy Garnett painted the photograph for his project, The Riot Series, which had to do with human figure in extremis. Garnett had misinterpreted the photograph as an image of rioting which had nothing to do with the origin context. The painting of the Molotov man is not the only misinterpreted recreation of the photograph. It was used for other purposes on things such as matchboxes and campaigns. After reading the essay, it makes me think about how a painting of a photograph is plagiarism but a photograph of a person isn’t. Susan Meiselas didn’t know who the man she took a photograph of was until 11 years after she took it. I understand that photography is in a sense an artwork because it’s taken from a certain perspective from the photographer, but then it becomes a strange situation sometimes in which the photographer might start to feel like they ‘own’ what’s in the photograph because it’s unique to them.
Jonathan Lethem raises a really interesting point in plagiarism and copyright laws. He claims that most of art and music today are created with some influence of other or previous works. To put a copyright on someone’s work and prevent any sort of second-use is to take creativity away from someone else. Most of the music and films we see today would not exist if no one was permitted to ‘re-use’ preexisting ideas or works. For example, many Walt Disney movies are heavily influenced by the Grimm Brothers. Lethem says that “copyright is a ‘right’ in no absolute sense; it is a government-granted monopoly on the use of creative results.” I think plagiarism is a conflicting topic. In school, plagiarism is always been taught and warned that it should be avoided at all cost. However after reading this essay it makes me think about all the artworks and films that have been influenced by other works. I think it’s difficult to avoid completely ‘stealing’ other ideas because once you’ve seen something, it’s inevitable that you can be unconsciously influenced. However, I also believe that artists do deserve credit for their work.
Although both The Serial series and Homecoming are just audio tracks, they’re both clearly descriptive in ways that the audio helps distinguish things like a change of scenes. This makes it easy for the listener to imagine without a visual. The Alibi of the Serial series includes a organized narration which describes each interview and her own opinion on the investigation. It provides more visual and information for the listener. The difference of audio quality made it easy to distinguish which were the interviews and which were the narrations. It’s easy to follow the story line and know exactly what is going on.
However when I listened to the Homecoming, initially I was confused about the story line. It was a little more difficult to grasp what was going on, but the distinctions of different scenes were clear. During the phone conversation they used a sound effect to make it sound like an actual phone call. I like how it would jump between the phone calls, the therapy secession, and the restaurant scene. It’s a less direct way in connecting the dots between the scenes because there was no narration.
For our story, we decided to make a interactive comic about one of our readings in class, “The Machine Stops” so we didn’t come up with a story. However, we had to plan out which scenes we wanted to do in the story such as which dialogues to include that would give enough context to the user. We sketched a plan of how we wanted the scenes to look and what kind of interaction we wanted for each scene. Originally we planned do up to until the scene where Vashti was in the air-ship, however, after we started working on the code for the beginning of the story we realized we wouldn’t have enough time.
During the first week, we finished most of our assets before the Golden Week Break. After the break we started putting everything together onto the browser. The comic is mostly vertical scrolling with some clicking. While scrolling, the panels fade in as you scroll. For the scene where the gif of the stars appeared, we did originally plan to have that scene scroll horizontally but we wanted more clicking interaction so we changed it so that the dialogue panels show up when the user clicks in the gif.
Additionally for the gif where you have to click for the dialogues to show up, we planned to make it so that the scroll would be disabled. This would force the user to be unable to skip the scene until all of the dialogue has shown up, but we couldn’t get it to work.
At first we tried to make the panels fade in by setting the scroll position but we realized that when we make the windows smaller the scroll position would change so that changed all the fade in positions. Instead, we set the fade in according to the div position so the position would stay the same even if the window was smaller. For the actual fade in effect, the opacity of all the divs is set 0.1 until it’s called.
Near the end, there’s a part where we ask the user to make a choice on whether or not they want to go visit Kuno. If the user selects “No” the site will scroll back to the scene where Vashti is contemplating while she looks at the book. If the user selects “Yes” the tunnel to the airship will appear.
Of course there is still a lot we could improve on and make better, such as disabling scroll at certain parts and making the “click!” stop blinking after all the dialogue has appeared. We also planned to make the plate in the scene where Vashti is talking to Kuno turn blue according to the story. Kuno’s expression was also supposed to to change with the dialogue throughout their conversation, but we didn’t have enough time. Overall, I feel like we were able to complete most of the ideas we had planned to.
Getting the images into divs and aligning them was not hard.
\But we got a scroll bar on both width and height, which we did not want. With the help of Konrad, we fixed the css. We set the #row, which is a div that includes all the images, to max-width: 1000px. We also changed the flex of the images to one third of the page, and set each image’s width to 100%.