Archive for November, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2010 by thebluepalate

The articles “The Expressive Object” and “The Act of Expression” brought to light for me how important the differences are the between authentic art and reproduction in art.
There are many types of art – acting, sculpting, painting, musical etc.. Art brings joy both to the creator as well as the on looker. Not all artists are created equal some are more talented from a motor perspective and some more conceptual. But what it is that makes a “superstar” artist like a Van Gogh, Cezanne etc.. After reading the article I would like to say (as the author notes)it is the passion behind the artist and his ability to take his experience and emotions and turn them into his work. Being able to do that seems like a gift bestowed on only a few. But what about the other artists that do not have that gift, and preform their art from a pure motor perspective treating art like we would learn to be plumbers, teachers etc.. I do not think we should shun them at at all. For they may bring enjoyment to others and lets not forget enjoyment to themselves making them better human beings perhaps.
I do believe authenticity is still relevant to art. I believe some art has taken more to marketing tactics and technological advancements (music) but the art of canvas painting and sculpting has remained a bit more pure.
I like to categorize a real art experience as one that is created from passion, expression and love. That begins in a pure state and created from a strong feeling or emotion that the artists wants to express. For me the most important aspect of creating real art is the pureness of the idea. Not an idea birthed from market research or a marketing person. To me that is the real sense of authorship.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2010 by nicksporter1

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/science/28robot.html?_r=1&hp

Did DeMint really start the recession?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 by erikluers

Thinking over this week’s topic, a man by the name of Alvin Greene came to mind. Mr. Greene, an African-American man in his mid-thirties, recently ran as the Democratic nominee for Senator of South Carolina. His imperfect speeches and head-scratching news interviews lead viewers (and potential voters) to believe that this man was an uneducated, unprepared, unqualified political candidate. It wasn’t that he was saying foolish things (although there was some of that as well), but rather that his way of presenting his views and opinions were unarguably unpolished and lightweight. His reliance on talking points – hell, ONE talking point – made him out to be a clueless would-be senator. For an example, view the video below.

So how did he become the Democratic nominee to begin with? Did Republicans convince Democrats to vote for him at the Democratic primaries so that the Republicans could eventually cruise to an easy victory in November? Greene was a blessing for the Republican party. But how was he elected? And why? Was he the common man, the everyman who worked hard, rose up ,and took on a corrupt political system with undying determination? Or was he a political pawn, another black face used to give off the impression that African-American men were unqualified for highly influential roles in office? I’m not really sure.

There is no question that Greene wasn’t ready to be a Senator. It’s obvious that he’s extremely nervous and unsure of himself. So how did he make it this far? Did White America take advantage of a black man willing to get involved in something he knew little about? And what negative connotations does that take on? I ask all these questions because I can’t even begin to come up with concrete answers. Just speculation upon speculation, I present to you Alvin Greene, a negative case of race being used in the news and political media for…….something.

The Death of Culture

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2010 by esserius

After watching the persuaders, I’m not really convinced on anything. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe the entire idea, and the only useful idea, is to question everything. Though I’m particularly troubled by the loss of our culture, I don’t see how advertising cannot kill discovery. Indeed, I am beginning to question the ideology of whether or not we actually have inherent “culture.” Culture has come to be used as a buzzword for our requisite existence in a certain society, and while I cannot deny that spaces are different, those spaces are different because of customs, because of traditions. America, in that sense, has no history with which to relate itself to. If anything, the advertising culture is seemingly the only culture we’ve ever known.

What that means, quite simply, is that advertising, for better or worse, is our culture. I don’t mean a fundamental culture, because advertising can be changed. Culture is something almost blood-bound, land-bound, pastoral in nature and not connected to what we want. But the simple reality is that everything in America screams something about what “we” want. This is not so much an admittance as it may have simply been a reality. Indeed, coming to America demarcated a time in history or space where we decided that “we” (ancestors) wanted something better. But something better is, and always will be, something created.

The created reality, the created culture, is what we live today. Essentially, what is essential to us is only our amorphous, anti-existence. Americans have become containers that want to be filled to the brim with happiness, and they are, unfortunately, not sure what they want to put inside that jar. So instead, they look outside themselves, because they have no inherent past to search. Or rather, they have no past to search for in America. If I trace my ancestral line, I find myself connected not with America, but with Ireland, a space of stormy and staunch resistance not just to change, but to the concept that one can ask me to change, given that I see no cause or need to.

But, ask what the American history of any family is. The storied histories of even the short time with which the United States has existed relates largely in a vast expanse of destruction and raping that which relates one to anything. From those ashes, the history we now exist in is one that is created purely for convenience, and every day such a sad reality continues to reaffirm itself. Advertising is a continuation of that quest for convenience of self. The entire reason people in America create tribes in advertising is because there are no tribes anywhere else (we killed them all–oftentimes literally).

That market, while ideal for advertisers, forces the individual to seek refuge in products. The refuge of even such a thing as a family is tied up in products, brands that are continually refamiliarizing themselves as familial. The danger of the modern day lies in our acceptance of these ad-based tribes. When we let culture become relegated to the highest bidder, there is no connection to who we are as people, or as Americans. The death of culture happens when people see these brands break down. What’s worse, is that the building up of community around brands never lasts. Any company’s existence is finite.

A solution? You won’t find it in Facebook. They’re a brand too, in fact Mark Zuckerberg (or one of the people he stole it from) built it with the express intention of “simulating” the college experience online. That’s a product, a virtual one, but one that is little more than an elaborate game played by millions. The solution is in your family. Your friends, and their friends. You have to find tribes in people, and this means, most importantly, that the tribes you are in are not always those you share common interests with. Not everyone in your tribe is going to like you, which is already true of even commercial brands, but it’s simply masked there (usually).

But simply being with these people isn’t enough. These are people you also must engage with on a personal level. If they are faceless computer entities, they may as well not exist at all. There needs to be a corporeality to them in order for you to be able to join them. More important still, don’t talk about what you buy or why you buy it. Chances are, it’s not important. That will probably offend a lot of people, but as marketers already know, all products achieve the same basic goals. Detergent gets your clothes clean, cars get you from place to place. Talk about what you read. Talk about your future, what you want to achieve, and don’t relegate that discussion too much. Try to get your tribe to work together to achieve real things in the real world.

Step
off
soapbox.

race and identity on the internet

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 by daburkho

Colorblindness on the internet is something that I have not thought about before. Yes, the internet is in RGB but we don’t see race in the ink of letters and words. We see words in black and white. This also applies to religion and gender. Ethnicity religion and gender are things you don’t see on the internet and sometimes need to be explained because people feel that they are not either one of the other. For example, when registering on a website there are only two options when choosing a gender, male or female. Sometimes this is even a requirement and the host will refuse a page access if that bubble is not checked.

Something that  a friend of mine has experienced personally is bias against his name. An Israeli friend named Chen (pronounced khen) was looking for jobs on craigslist last year. Saying his name verbally is actually very hard to do for most Americans so most times he introduces himself as chen (like a hard CH sound Chinese sounding) or Ken to avoid confusion. With reasonable credentials to work in coffee shops and various other locations, applied to jobs online- from 50 to 100 jobs. He got either no replies or rejections based on his online application.

He decided to try an experiment after a few months of no good news from job applications and change his name online to Shane, something American looking and sounding. He applied to 10 jobs using the name Shane and got responses from ALL OF THEM! And within a week he had a job.

“Yet just as this medium may result in interactions that reenact and recapitulate racist discourse and behavior, so too can the web function to reinforce a ‘ranking and judging’ of ‘multiplicity.’ The multiple interlacing discourses of racial identity can…as easily serve to reinforce biological and essential notions of race as they can deconstruct and challenge them.”

This really speaks to Chen’s situation. The applicants were judging him based on his name alone and how it was written came along with a racial stereotype which wasn’t favorable. But when he changed his name to Shane it really made a difference to how people “viewed” him online.

Remediation/Digital Sampling

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 by Chemical Ali

I think others have done a great job in explaining examples of immediacy and hypermediacy. I was more interested in the concept of remediation: using new media to modify or improve upon an existing older media is interesting and ever so present in our society today. Technology allows us to modify human experience  and to customize it to our liking allowing older ideas or creative output to be re-contextualized. A blatant example is the art of sampling in electronically produced music such as hip-hop/electronica/etc. The act of digging for old obscure analog records for sounds to sample, chop, rearrange into a completely new digital being or newer version is the clearest exercise of remediation. Ironically, this act brings greater fame and attention to the sampled artist than when they were actually producing music. So re-arranged sound and ideas really makes us think about creativity in a new way. I think the concept of remediation as channeled through popular music was a result of the advent of drum machines, samplers, synthesizers. These new tools really were the impetus for shifting the concept of original musical output and what can be deemed as original.

What’s real got to do with it?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 by erikluers

One may be tempted to say that Virtual Reality is a medium without a message, but apparently, we’re not even supposed to recognize that it’s a real medium. As noted in the Bolter essay, “virtual reality is immersive, which means that it is a medium whose purpose is to disappear.” This also means, I believe, that we can never appreciate what it is that we cannot truly identify. When speaking about a virtual reality, the term “reality” would propose a different definition for the word than what we normally associate it with. If we are to “plug in” and connect into an artificial world-like setting, we might be aware that we are in a fantasy world and removed from our true self.

Taking an obvious example, The Matrix, for a minute, the characters in the film were aware (usually) which world was real and which was fake. For suspense, the filmmakers slowly began making it much more difficult for the characters to decipher between the two, and with good reason. From the Bolter essay: “in order to create a sense of presence, virtual reality should come as close as possible to our daily visual experience.” The technology, unlike the kind presented in the world of film, are not quite as flawless yet. The reality is a representation of a life, but it is not indistinguishable from one’s own.