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Comment on loss of dimension January 29, 2009

Posted by jr4024 in art, comix.
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Bailey’s comment was very insightful. When she mentioned about the copier creating a loss of a dimension, she made me think about my creative project that I did on Kabuki Vol. 1 last semester. For those of you who were not in the class, I took poster board and created a “zoomed in” chess board. In each square, there was a collage. After I made it, I took pictures so that I can keep it on my computer and I noticed that it looked different. It did not give the project its justice, its creativity. Even though it showed exactly what was on the board, there were intricacies such as the papers on top of each other and the material that atre important to consider as well. The color especially has great significance. However, I do feel that we need to appreciate this technology of printing because artist/writers’ works do not have to worry about “rotting away.” I also think that the book of songs gives the Blake’s work another chance to be seen, analyzed, critiqued, discussed, etc. These types of things, although not the real pieces of work, can allow the distribution to gain a new level.  dscn6030

A few further thoughts on a lecture. January 29, 2009

Posted by ah12 in visual culture.
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Hannah Ledecker’s lecture on microcinematography presented an interesting dilema.

It is my opinion that the positives of microcinematography as a tool for learning and demonstrating cellular biology far outweigh its negatives. Microbiologist’s reluctance to accept microcinematography is nothing but bias to the old ways, an inability to advance to a newer medium created by old biases rather an accepted standard. I did this by merely looking at a friends biostatistics book and looking at ways in which microcinematography could help.


  1. The Scientific method: Microcinematography helps give a more in depth look at both the qualitative and quantitative observations of an event, a more accurate statement of the problem based on the ability to see fluid and constant cellular activity. Which allow for a more enlightened and thought out hypothesis and prediction. (Aspects of Scientific method in italics)

  2. Variables: Microcinematography may allow for classification of data as interval data or as a continous variable by showing the changes in variables (cell count, volume, whatever) and thus provide more relevant information.



The following example is to supplement my argument and are less scientific:


  1. Generation: We live in the “ADD (Attention-Deficit Disorder) Generation”. It takes more than a text book to attract peoples attention. Film, movies, and television shows captivate our attention. Special effects films always make the most money as chosen summer blockbusters. While it may not be as ethically sound to recruit based on a generational weakness, for a nation that lacks in scientists, it could soon be a necessity.

  2. Personal: Friends confirm that microcinematography, when used, helps students appreciate and understand the underlying concepts behind cellular activity.They would also (for the most part) choose to watch a video over reading a book with “accurate, engaging diagrams and images”

  1. Diagrams: A look at another biology textbook shows the golgi apparatus’ actions describe via picture, with arrows pointing to movement between the nucleus and the cell, the diagram is choppy, and does not provide a solid description of what is occuring

Thanks for reading!

Seeking Techno Justice January 29, 2009

Posted by boricuagirl1801 in communication, technology.
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Technology has its way of taking over society. We replace people with machines to create faster materials, such as clothing, electronics, and food. Even so, people are trying to make a way for technology to fit into genetics, mainly having control over reproductive rights and taking over women’s roles as caregivers. Eugenics play a role in technological issues because technology is stepping into a world  that is mainly meant for people.

Technology also separates people causing many forms of miscommunication. An example of this would be instant messenger and cell phones. These devices cause people to use these alternate forms of communication, rather than talking to people in person. It is given that these technologies do help, but ultimately it gets out of hand.

It would be impossible to seek techno justice when society is so entranced by technology and how it works. People are always into the newest gadgets and phones—we can’t help but purchase these items because we want the newest things. I think in order to create justice we need to backtrack forms of technology. It would definitely be difficult to do, and it might be impossible to fulfill.

Love Connection on Instant Message January 29, 2009

Posted by yakshi in communication, technology, visual culture.
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The above is an article entitled “Instant Message, Instant Girlfriend” by rising college sophomore Roger Hobbs, written for the New York Times’ Modern Love college essay contest. I thought of this essay instantly after reading “My Laptop” by Anna Newitz in Evocative Objects. As in Newitz’s reflection, Hobbs discusses how our internet aliases provide anonymity that allow us to share more about ourselves and our emotions online. Because we do not have to worry about physical interaction while chatting or flirting on the internet, we can be more candid with our thoughts and take time composing our responses. The internet also opens a virtual forum for dating, providing many more prospective boyfriends and girlfriends than in everyday life. Instead of happening upon your crush at school and talking for five minutes in the hallway, their screenname provides a direct, informal connection to them. Talking online expedites a normal relationship, and provides a certain distance that makes people more prone to sharing their secrets and life stories. As Hobbs eloquently remarks, “The Internet is the real world. Only faster.” 

Is the internet an operator that allows people to fall in love? You could argue that an all-night instant message conversation is comparable to a five-hour phonecall, but what about the lack of human connection. In an IM conversation you cannot hear inflections in a person’s voice or hesitations in their speech. Instead you develop an imaginary sense of their physical qualities as Newitz did, her crush’s body was “the feel of slightly concave keys nestled in a brushed stainless steel tray. His breath was the sound of  a fan cooling the CPU.” Now whenever Newitz turns on her laptop, she sees “a shadow of him flicker past.” Our we developing relationships with machines or with people? And if we are building relationships with internet aliases, will their online counterparts match up to their genuine personalities? As young people, are our relationships deficient of human interaction? With more and more substitutes for communicating in person (IM, gchat, text messages, email, BBM, facebook and facebook chat, twitter…), I think the best solution is relying on operators that allow you to talk in real time. Conversation should not be so composed or deliberate, and as Hobbs learns their are severe disadvantages to establishing artificial relationships.

The apple commercial made me think… January 29, 2009

Posted by dunemethane in visual culture.
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I saw the comment about the apple ad and it made me think about the newest apple chromatic nanos. Songs reminded me of how apple used color to get more people interested in their products. This is exactly what is happening in Songs. Blake uses the color and images to better sell his product. Both cases are function and individuality in one. The nano serves the same purpose as the other ipods but offers the consumer their own choice of color which intrigues people to buy them. Songs is very similar, the reader does not get to choose the colors, but this book offers something that every other normal book does not. People get tired of the boring white and black and need color to break from the mold.

Technology is life January 29, 2009

Posted by saraholsen in communication, technology, writing.
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The first few days of class have been extremely eye opening. As it stands now, we are constantly surrounded by various things of technology. I think it is, in fact, safe to say that in everyday life we are never without it. We rely on it to communicate, travel, learn, and even solve our small dilemmas such as telling the time. However, I had never truly deeply considered how each technology I came into contact with differentiated from each other. Or how it truly affected me. I am often surprised when I realize just how much I rely on technology to get home for breaks and stay in touch with people all around the world, including my oldest sister who has been traveling Asia for the last several months and stayed in touch through face book. It truly makes me reconsider who I am as a person. I am being represented via computer. When people look at me on a blog or web page, they are seeing it as me. It leads me to a deep consideration of how much the term cyborg can be applied to everyday people, like myself. I also am often reminded of the reaction women have while technology is encountered during their pregnancy. Many women say it makes them sad and disconnected from their child, because it is not something they are capable of doing or knowing by themselves. Therefore, I am also curious about the disconnection that technology can build by breaking down simple intimacies.

Fuzzyness or Clarity? January 29, 2009

Posted by ml7142 in communication, poetry.
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After reading Songs I tried to grasp a deeper understanding of why this book was chosen for us to read. When I thought about it I realized that this book is a perfect symbol for what our class is about.  The technique of storytelling throughout this is very intriguing to me.  If you were to read the text by itself without knowing what the image that stands by it was, chances are you would conjure a vision in your mind of something different than that which is portrayed by the artist.  Most often when reading a novel or poetry, the fun or beauty of the read lies in the vision you create for yourself without a previous notion of what the text is “meant” to depict.  For example when you saw Harry Potter for the first time the sudden rush of excitement or dissapointment as the images flash on the screen from a text book you had already read can either be a great thing or a nightmare.  When you read a text and simultaneously view an image that is meant to further describe it, you are somewhat set up for interpretation.  Throughout this semester the goal of this course is to look into different forms of stories and decipher how media and art play their individual roles.  This book to me was a great example of how such a simple form of image making can bring ancient words to life adding a little something extra.

1984 January 28, 2009

Posted by slickpig in gender, television.
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This is a clip that has been circulating around the net recently. It’s Apple’s superbowl commercial for the first Macintosh, which depicts a dystopic future, like 1984. A large computer screen speaks to a crowd of men, who are all dressed in the same grey uniforms (It calls to mind the workers of Metropolis). The screen is then destroyed by a woman wearing bright clothing, wielding a sledgehammer. Can this commercial be any more perfect to analyze? Gender! Technology! But don’t take my word for it.  Have a look for yourself.  

I think the commercial is playing off the fear people have about technology, that it erases human diversity, that it is conformative and controlling. In a world ruled by technology everything will be grey, everything will be the same. This is also represented through gender. The male figure on the screen is pitted against the female figure with the sledgehammer. The male figure is an older gentleman, and appears not in the flesh but on a large screen. This aligns him with ideas about dominance and control. His age vis a vis the youth of the woman is meant to evoke the idea that this is an old kind of technology or an older idea about technology, outdated and about to be overthrown. The choice to have a woman be the destroyer of this dominating technology is extremely interesting. It is in line with many other representations of women and technology, I’m thinking specifically here about Metropolis and the Robot Maria, in that when technology is mixed with women and femininity, it is generally a more destructive force, much more wild and uncontrollable. The fact that the woman uses a sledgehammer, a fairly primitive tool in what seems to be a fairly hi-tech society, again has much to do with humanizing her. Her choice of tool is old, familiar, yet she utilizes it in a creative way to take down her foe. Apple is trying in this commercial to humanize technology, to explain that their computers don’t supersede the humanity in all of us, but rather aid us in furthering and extending ourselves. It is about individualization and creativity, which Apple represents through the image of the female in this commercial.

Reproduction of Songs of Innocence and Experience January 28, 2009

Posted by baimeeker in art, visual culture.
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I do not think it is weird that most publications of Songs leave out the prints. Although our text does include these prints, they felt the need to also include the text. Copies of these prints are hard to read. This reflects one of the difficulties of reproductive technology.

When David Mack gave his talk last semester, he brought original art from his comic. Although I had seen some of these pages in Kabuki Art books, I was stunned at how different they looked in real life. The art took on another dimension of clarity, a different medium, and even a literal thickness missing in its copies. Copying results in fuzziness, everything printed in the same medium (computer ink), and a loss of the third dimension of thickness produced with heavy paint or Mack’s pasted borders. This can be seen in the fuzziness of the text in Songs. The ink and method of printing are different than in the original.  And of course, it is also a copy of a copy.

I am not saying that we should read only the text, but that if we lose a dimension by leaving out the pictures, we also lose a dimension through the copy machine. My question is, how much do we lose and how important is this dimension to our understanding of Songs?