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Gotta Catch Em All March 5, 2009

Posted by boricuagirl1801 in cyborgs.
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Not for nothing, but Pokemon used ot be my favorite show way back when it first came out. Now, after listening to Roland Kelt’s Fisher Center lecture, I stopped down to think about how Pokemon has become commercialized. What happened to the 150 pokemon? As the years went along, pokemon cards, video games and newer shows came about to make Pokemon something that I am unfamiliar with. I used to be a fan of playing Pokemon Red and Blue on my Nintendo Color, but as the nintendo became more advanced, so did the pokemon games and the pokemon versions. Now there are so many pokemon that I can’t keep up. GIVE ME BACK MY 150!!!

Animation or Live Action? March 4, 2009

Posted by smike97k in cyborgs.
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During the discussion after the screening of “Grave of the Fireflies,” the question of whether the film would have been as heart wrenching, or more so, if it had been made in life action.  The film actually was transferred to live action; however most of us had not seen that version.  An argument was made that it would most likely be more relatable and intense if it had been live action, with actual human characters, because it would be easier to relate to them as other human beings in terms of their physical bodies.  I had a different opinion of this question.  I thought that the animation was more intense than it would have been in live action.  Though I might change my mind if I were to see the live action version, I felt that the fact that it was animated, allowed for the character’s facial expression and movements to be extremely exaggerated, exaggerating the intensity of their feelings, fears, and appearances.  The intensity of feeling and fear struck me especially in the character of the young girl.  There was something about her intense and ever changing facial expressions that really left no room for interpretation; if she was upset, you knew it for sure.  I think this is because of the detail in the drawing aspect of animation creation.  Animating pays special attention to detail of each element within the individual drawing.  Because it is not “live” or “real life” an animator needs to exaggerate the characteristics of the subject so that they are sure to get across.  I think that that is what made this piece so powerful.   The emotion felt, especially from the young girl, was inescapable.

Someone brought up in class the point that it made it easier to feel more for these characters because they weren’t actual humans playing them.  It allowed us to remove our selves far enough away from reality that we actually could end up feeling more.  I thought this was an interesting idea.  Often times, in live action, what is being portrayed is too frightening to take in because you are seeing “real live” people take place in it, and so one may shut off connection to the characters out of fear.  On the other hand, the animation takes us away from our fears of this happening to us because we are “live” so that we can enter more into the story.live-action1

Anime Masterpieces March 4, 2009

Posted by yakshi in cyborgs.
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Above is the link to the Anime Materpieces website. At the screenings of Grave of the Fireflies and Tekkonkinkreet, we received booklets describing the films from Anime Masterpieces. As Roland Kelts explained before the film last night, Anime Masterpieces was developed to help summarize popular films and graphic novels for Japanese Studies professors or those out of touch with the younger generation’s pop cultural obsession with Anime and Manga. Most students, Kelts noted, become involved in Japanese Studies because of their strong interest in Anime and Manga, however professors do not typically have a background in that field. Anime Masterpieces is an academic and intellectual approach to the films and graphic novels and their cultural phenomenon.

As in all subjects, Japanese Studies is also evolving to accommodate the growing interest in Anime and Manga and what it means for contemporary Japanese history. The new wave of students and academics drawn to careers in Japanese Studies will find a successful way to incorporate these movies into their courses. What does this also mean for the history of American graphic novels and comics? How will Art Departments incorporate this demand for creating Anime into their courses? Will there eventually be a blending of Eastern and Western drawing and narrative styles?

On Shelley Jackson’s Lecture March 4, 2009

Posted by yakshi in cyborgs.
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I am intrigued by the idea of death and monsters in Shelley Jackson’s work and writing process. During her lecture, Jackson explained that a dictionary is a cemetery of words. The image is haunting, dead and extinct words that writers must exhume. After Jackson described her technique to break the habitual use of the same words and phrases to describe certain emotions, I have a visual of her returning to the word cemetery to unearth new words. Every writer does it in every piece of work, she explained, Patchwork Girl just makes the stitches between these words more obvious. For Jackson, fiction is friction. In Patchwork Girl she borrows not only words but entire excerpts from other works. She also re-imagines the lives of actual people, taking on Mary Shelley as Patchwork Girl’s creator.
Because Jackson came across as enamored with the writing process, I wonder if Patchwork Girl is intended to be Mary’s physical creation or just a hallucination. In the journal portion, it came across to me that Patchwork Girl is a character that Mary is working on, even falling in love with. The scene where they are lying in bed together, for instance, is written like a figment of Mary’s imagination. It is not clear whether she is challenging Patchwork Girl’s physical boundaries by lying next to her and touching her skin, or if she is attempting to better know her invented character in her head. Either way, Mary’s maternal responsibility and ownership over Patchwork Girl is evident. Mary is acquainting herself with the monstrous other as a writer.
With Jackson’s other project Skin, she embraces the direct correlation between language and the body. By imprinting one word on each participant, 2,095 in total, she is allowing human beings to literally embody her work. The photographs of each tattoo, most of them taken in the tattoo parlor while still bleeding, immortalize her work for as long as the participants live. The fact that Jackson recognizes and addresses the eventual death of her participants demonstrates the impermanence of both the body and language.

Shelly Jackson March 4, 2009

Posted by smike97k in cyborgs.
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Seeing Shelly Jackson speak this last week really helped me to “sew” the pieces of her Patchwork Girl together. I haven’t seen many authors speak about one of their pieces that I have not studied some myself. I really enjoyed hearing her voice reading it because it almost gave more life to the characters. She also helped me to understand how to navigate the hyper text better so that I could get as much of the story as possible. I realized how little of the story that I had gone through, and even though it turns out I read very little of the story, unintentionally, I still feel like I got a lot of information of the story line, which shows how advanced and intricate this piece really is. Jackson said that the “text is shaped by choices” of the readers, and it is the reader, like Mary Shelly, who helps to bring Patchwork Girl to life, in different ways depending on who is reading it from what angle and perspective.

There were a couple of points that Jackson made that really stood out to me concerning the topics of time and the life of words. She said that “all looking is looking into the past.” Even though I was aware that when an image enters the eye it takes a split second to reach the brain, meaning that we comprehend that image in the past, technically speaking, I didn’t fully comprehend this scientific fact in terms of the concepts of past and present. If this transfer of image takes place with a time laps, no matter how small, is there such a thing as the present, or does only the past exist? I know this is being very technical but it is an interesting question to think about. Jackson also talked about the life of words. She said that with words “we recycle voices of the dead.” I thought that this was a fascinating idea. All words have been spoken. Therefore each time anyone speaks, they are speaking words that have had previous lives. Giving life to words is an interesting concept to me. Words, whether written, signed, or spoken, depend on our lives to live, therefore do we depend on their lives to live? Confusing and maybe a little too philosophical, but interesting.

I really liked her new project “My Skin.” I like how she combined the concepts of words and bodies to create a story. She made the point that “context alters the simplest words.” This was interesting to see as she showed us the slideshow of tattoos on participant’s skin. Not all were clear in context but some of the words were extremely influenced by the body part they were on. These words were given a different life that those spoken or on paper, as they were directly connected to the body. This was just another way she portrayed the life of words.

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!