Humanity has become highly influenced by technology and its capabilities of further progressing the human race as a whole. Various films have delved into the concept of the creation of another being, usually some sort of complex mechanical robot, and each time they outline the positives and negatives of these beings on the human race. This encourages the idea of whether or not humans will ultimately have power over themselves; will they loose themselves to technology? This comes to question whether or not humanity is in charge of its own future. The vast amount of issues the world is currently facing, including catastrophes such as global warming and the manner in which it is being managed shows that if humanity does not chose to be in charge of its own future, it simply will not. It is up to human beings to be the action they wish to see, otherwise it will not take place. Who else will do it? This is where the future of technology lies, will human beings resort to the creation of other technological beings to carry out the work they should, leaving the future of humanity in the hands of those who are not actually human? On the other hand, as we are the creators of these robots, does that mean that we are in fact in control of our futures as we control how they are used? This is seen in every single robot film in which the creation of the robot figure begins as an all assisting and helpful construction, but then progresses into a where they deem that they must have ultimate control over all, which in turn is stopped by the human protagonist and the robot protagonist who is the only robot who feels emotions. Humanity I believe, will be in charge of its own future if it chooses to.
There is no such thing as an original idea – in film, music, any sort of medium out there, this is what we were told in our lecture this week. Generally you take from things that you like, you borrow ideas, use the parts of something that draw you in. This is what a remix is. You construct a new creation due to the things that sound the best and fit in well with each other.
I for one absolutely love a good remix. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there is nothing better than hearing the rawness of an original (?) song, however when someone chooses to take the song and completely switching it up, changing the beat and creating something that somehow resembles the first version, it can truly sound brilliant. I was not always into remixes, I think you have to have a specific taste in music for it. It was not until a friend played me a few tracks that I started to gravitate towards it, but there are still a lot of remixes that I am really not into. You might not be into club music, but you might appreciate remixes of your favourite songs – you might not. It all really does come down to how people can change ideas to in some way attempt in making it their own and whether or not you enjoy it.
I suppose I have never really thought about the legalities of the practice, I would always just look at it as someone expressing their creativity and individuality by spinning a song in their own way. Obviously I was wrong. Everything comes back down to copyright, always. I was speaking to my Dad, explaining that our lecture was based on remixes and how interested I was because I am generally extremely intrigued by music as a whole, and he – a man who works in the steel industry for gods sake – brought up the fact that copyright is such a big deal in the modern society that we live in. I cannot believe how blind I have been. I understand that it is necessary, as people need to respect the fact that others have created something and it needs to be protected, but remixes literally oppose this entire ideal. There is something great about using other peoples’ ideas and creations and putting your own footprint on them, I honestly think that it is one of the biggest compliments. However, obviously not everyone would agree, and I do not know if I would if I was the one creating the music myself. Maybe I will just stay away and just say “lets just enjoy the music”?
Ranging from things such as marriage to Newscorp, institutions are everywhere. In this week 10’s lectorial, we sat and discussed Facebook as an institution. In retrospect, it seriously is such an everpresent aspect of our lives. It has seemed to become a force to be reckoned with, everywhere that you turn once you are online.
I have a friend who only recently signed up to Facebook earlier this year. Last year, due to her lack of online presence, she missed out on much year 12 discussion and many party invites – out of sight, out of mind. Due to her lack of an account, she also couldn’t ask for lives on CandyCrush, and use apps that required a Facebook profile. These days, you cannot even comment on news articles etc. if you don’t have a profile to log in with in the first place. This year she jumped on the bandwagon. It followed with a hoard of “OMG finally!”, “Where have you been?” comments on her timeline and her being tagged in every photo that has been taken of her since year 10. Facebook is a powerful institution, you may not be online, but somehow you are, you are always online, it is as if Facebook hasn’t given you a choice.
The annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’ s Costume Institute – The Met Ball, also known as the Met Gala – was recently (USA’s 4th of May) held in New York City. This years theme was China: Through the Looking Glass, celebrating that as the theme for the Costume Institute Fashion Exhibit for this year. As the society that we are, majority of people that happened to be somewhat interested in the event, were concerned about what moves each invited guest would take in regards to what would be seen as respectful of Chinese culture.
As an audience, watching the celebrities walking the red carpet, sprung a range of comments, critiques and praises about the approaches fashionistas took in being culturally sensitive towards the Chinese theme. Those consuming from all sorts of media platforms create the conversation of what is “hot” and what is seen to be completely inappropriate. To misinterpret the theme could create an extremely bad, somewhat racist label that any celebrity would not want tied to their name. After on today’s lectorial about audiences and how important they are in the grand scheme of things, it lead me to reflect on the fact that they (an audience) may not sway celebrities to make their fashion decisions, however, they are the ones that can create generate a whirlwind of backlash if their choices go down the wrong way.
What was taught in this weeks lecture was that :the audience holds the power. Really, what would anything or anyone be if they did not have an audience? Perhaps that’s why there was not flood of fashion risks amongst our celebs, many who I believe were not game enough to fully embrace Chinese culture and fashion. Whats worse than creating a bad image for yourself trying to emulate the Chinese in the world is constantly battling with cultural appropriation?
On a lighter note, here’s Rhianna who has literally won the whole event, actually wearing a Chinese designer, in a dress that took two years to make and needed people to help her walk, as the train restricted her from doing so herself (you may have seen the dress on the internet as a meme today).
When asked what his inspiration was for the idea of his short film We Have Decided Not To Die, Daniel Askill’s response was: “I think it was actually a single image of this guy floating outside this 50th story window and the idea of him not dying. Just that single image.” This strangely unusual eleven minute short film is a “modern day allegorical triptych”, that visually (and ambiguously) represents the three rituals of birth, between and rebirth.
In this weeks reading; “The Substance of Story”, the key elements of a narrative are discussed. Points mentioned are that protagonist is crucial, there needs to be a bond between the audience and the film and there are various levels of conflict.The film as a whole does not have one line of dialogue, any sort of character development or a sense of resolution – all elements that seem important in a narrative piece. Although these things are lacking and there are levels of conflict, perhaps a bond between audience and screen, it still appears to somewhat present a narrative to audiences, it has these characters who are obvious representations of stages of life, they represent a struggle and presence even though the audience is unaware of any explicit details. The original idea of an individual avoiding death has evolved into this larger film that is by all means open to eternal interpretation, presenting the power of ritual as an action.
Although the film may be difficult to interpret or simply uninteresting, the actual product is one that has been beautifully and skilfully crafted. With what could be taken as a beginning, middle and end, it links together, each character left hovering in this state of the unknown, as perhaps nobody truly knows the answers when speaking of spirituality, life and death.
“I’ll know it when I see it.” Often this is what we say when we really aren’t sure about what we’re looking for, something that we believe we understand but is hard to explain. Something like textual analysis. A text in this case being a visual representation of how someone else makes sense of the world, a “vehicle for the production of cultural meaning”. We use textual analysis to describe, compare, contrast, evaluate, assess and to understand. Humans analyse everything in daily life, like meaning behind a text message or why Miranda Kerr is the model currently advertising Swarovski. But to look deeper into the complexity of the text is the key to analysis.
This is where semiotics come into motion. The world of the sign, signifier and signified, connotations and denotations, codes and ideology, as discussed in this weeks reading; “Approaching Media Texts”. Discussing an advertisement as a media text, each component has been thoroughly developed to create an overall image with implicit and explicit messages. The class activity – the analysis of a Brooks Brothers advertisement in a magazine explored this in action. The overall message was that Brooks Brothers clothing is liveable and enjoyable to own, clothing you can feel is well produced, as audiences see a grown man joyously watching a young boy jump into a swimming pool. This represents the factors of comfortability along with luxury, as the duo are surrounded by a somewhat lavish holiday location, making it the perfect place for relaxation. Thus, looking at an advertisement at face value is simply not enough if you are wanting to analyse it. The construction of said advertisement is crucial in communicating a specific intended message. Analysis as a whole allows an individual to truly explore and delve into the intended messages communicated via a text itself.
I have not had the most amazing experiences with collaboration throughout school. I think that some people just may not be cut out for it. I am all for working with others to create even better ideas, but as I said, some individuals really shouldn’t be doing it full stop. Those people are the worst kind of people. The people who do no work at all, expect you to do everything for them, then receive the same grade as you when everyone this side of the equator knows fine well that they shouldn’t have even passed in the first place. I can’t deal with this type of people, yet usually i’m forced to mutually share a group with someone who encourages this flurry of anger within you as you watch them slack off, confront them about it and then continue to watch them to slack off further. The only difference then being that they have a smug look across their face because they are now acutely aware that you can’t bear to share the credit for your hard work, or even look at them at all.
Don’t get me wrong, there are instances where teamwork and collaboration can be great. That is if you have a great group of people who are interested and will work hard. It’s rewarding to bounce ideas off one another and see other approaches to different matters, it just seems to me that is an extreme rarity. Unfortunately I have had more negative than positive experiences with collaboration and this is where i’m supposed to write that I intend to upon up my mindset and approach things in a different way, and I do. I do intend on embracing collaboration, I just think that if it weren’t for some people that have plagued the concept for me initially, I wouldn’t have to adjust my attitude. All you have to do is put in some effort and do a bit of work, just try. Please, just do anything, it’s better than nothing.
The lectorial that we had in the first half of week 5, prior to the Easter break, gave us project brief 3. A portrait of someone else. This automatically had me searching the corners of my mind for someone to show off to the world, someone who had a story interesting enough that would peak an audience’s interest. Who could I contact? Who would do it for me? Then I realised that I could simply do it about someone in my family. Simplicity can sometimes be more powerful than a complexity. This brought me to the subject of my own mum. I thought about it; she hasn’t worked for the whole 18 years of my life, as much as I love her, would her life draw interest? Then it occurred to me that she’s done some incredible things in her time, leaving her North English home at 16, heading to the South to work in Jersey in a hotel, having the time of her life, backpacking around Australia in her early twenties, starting a family and then moving them to the other side of the world. Surely, I thought, there’s something in there, surely there’s plenty in there.
In the lectorial, Brian showed some extraordinarily touching documentaries. The one that resonated with me was ‘Gan-Gan’; “A granddaughter celebrates the life of ‘Gan-Gan’ by telling the story of her colourful life”. The the manner in which the stop motion was used, effectively I must add, really evoked a sense of nostalgia, in a reflective state of remembrance.
This encouraged me to think about using photos and images to portray the memories I wanted to show within my own media portrait. Perhaps not in using stop motion due to the short timeframe of the construction of the project, but to use the photos as a starting point and to branch out from there.
“It’s not enough to think, you have to do.” – Adrian Miles
It was quite an eye opener to hear this. Obviously, it’s one of those things that you already know, but needs to be reinforced every once in a while to get your ideas flowing. It’s a sign that what you’re already doing is not enough. You need to go out and take that footage, record the sound, experience the writing. In order to create, you must do something – anything, creating doesn’t just occur in your mind.
Week three’s lectorial wasn’t the standard, lecture plus tutorial, rather it was simply being spoken to for two hours. I however, wasn’t complaining, I wasn’t in the mood for discussion of anything, and sat back and listened. I can honestly say that the first session about copyright was quite overwhelming, so much information being thrown out at us, at points I was finding it hard to keep up. The basic message that I got was to pretty much not use anything that could get you in trouble i.e. use all of your own stuff for everything you make, because it can and will save you a load of trouble. Coming into the session, I thought I knew quite a bit on copyright talk, looks like I didn’t. I didn’t realise how detailed and complex these laws were, at least now I can say I think I know.
The next two sessions including Kyla Brettle and Paul Richard, to me, were reminders of the end result of doing what i’m here to do. To create things and appreciate what I, along with what others make. There’s really not much to say on this. It was an interesting two hours, and reminded me that if you really want to make it in the world of media, there is no other option that to enter worlds other than my own.