Difference between reality TV and Documentary

The topics of documentaries tend to be scholarly or academically related, that is, the goal is to educate or inform people with a scholarly knowledge using scientific methods of thinking as well as conclusion. A reality TV merely depicts “unscripted” situations of individuals and focused greatly on an entertaining subject, just like a easy reading article or magazine. Reality TV tend to target more general mass without much knowledge in academics, as well as reality TV does not try to justify their thought processes, rather, it is a series of events. Not all documentaries are scientifically accurate or fact-based, but they do try to make it seem like what their topic is a fact.

Mental Illness awareness on campus posters (Advocacy project)

mentalposter1

This one was inspired by a mental illness event poster, image is similar but the concept of ‘reaching out’ is emphasized by the title. The green ribbon is for the Mental Awareness campaign. Picture is pretty straightforward, hand reaching out to a neuron which symbolized brain functionality.

mentalposter2

This was pretty straightforward concept as well, thermometer symbolizes illness or possibility of illness(checkup), and the words just describes more clearly what I was trying to come across to the viewers, which is that mental illness checkup should not be a stigma.

Rationale of Intro to Bass

Typically, when a person is listening to a band perform or the song they have produced, you can easily hear the soaring guitar sounds, tense drum beats, and harmonic vocal sound. However, in many cases the bass guitar goes unnoticed. I did not care for the bass nor did I even knew there was an instrument called bass guitar until I joined my classmates’ band to fill in the bass part -I was fourteen. Although at first I was not too happy with the fact that bass guitarist’s role of rhythmic support, I soon to fall in love with the groovy curvy sound of the bass guitar as well as the potentials it can hold. Therefore, for the audio project my objective was to help the common people to know what the bass guitar sounds like, as well as making the listeners experience how iconic bass lines can serve as a incorporating factor into rest of the song by generating interactive game with the listener(s).

I started out my audio with subtle chatter of people in the background in order to set the mood of me telling the entire story in a casual setting. I wanted to remind people that the everyday method of communication is often verbally carried from a person to another. The crowd noise sounds as if it is from a concert venue in between sets just so I could keep the general theme geared towards band music involving bass guitar. In before leaping into my main point, bass guitar sound, I start out introducing the other instruments of the band. I introduced the instruments -guitar, vocal, drums, and bass- by verbally first in order to let the listeners know what is coming after, and then I inserted the solos of each instruments except for the bass guitar. As Heidi McKee cites Aaron Copland in her article Sound matters: Notes toward the analysis and design of sound in multimodal webtexts, my sound project’s musical elements emphasize on the sensuous plane of listening music. In particular I wanted to focus on the medium and the dynamics or the intensity of the sound such as type of instrument, uniformity and change(McKee 344). Among thousands of great instrumental solos to choose from, I chose a japanese animation imitation of guitarist Jimmy Page’s solo style because I thought it is not ridiculously technical based but shows enough intricacy of guitar solo. For the vocal, I chose Freddie Mercury’s edited voice from the song Don’t stop me now by Queen, and the reason I chose his voice is because he is one of the most prominent rock vocalist of the century as well as the song’s intro captured his ability(such as powerfulness or smooth fluctuation) quite well. For the drum solo I chose the jazz legend Buddy Rich, since his drum solos are known to be complex and technically advanced to dazzle the listeners. Although my goal of this piece is to raise awareness to bass sound in a band to people who does not know the bass sound well, I did not want to overpower the bass by purposefully choosing less prominent(or boring) solos for the other instruments because I genuinely think all parts of a band is equally important.

For my main point, the bass, I started out a bass solo complemented by the drum beats since that is how most bass solos are performed in live concerts. I faded out the solo slightly in order to increase the focus on what I am telling the listeners as well as introducing the game part of my project where I start out pure bass sounds of a widely recognized songs, letting the listeners guess the song in a brief moment without the song in the background, and proceed to play the actual song to show what the answers are. Other than making my project interactive with the listeners instead of one-way relationship, I chose to do this game structure to communicate the bass lines of the songs first repeatedly so the listeners catch the lines before getting introduced to rest of the song. This concept in particular was inspired by Theo van Leeuwen’s approach on sound in Speech, Music, Sound, which concentrates on the communicative roles of sound. Especially the part where he describes “the semiotics of sound concerns itself with describing what you can ‘say’ with sound…In the past the dominant semiotic understanding and explanation of communication derived from particular conception of language which saw language as set of rules, a code. Once two or more people have mastered the same code… they would be able to connect the same meanings to the same sounds… and hence be able to understand each other.” (Leeuwen 4-5), I wanted my listeners to understand how the bass lines go in the song first, remember them, and then when I play the actual song they would be able to still keep track of the bass sound -hence our little ‘code’.

For my first final draft, I wanted the instruments to be the main focus of the piece, so I drew back on my own voice explanations. However, I would definitely try to emphasize more on my vocal explanations parts by either making them louder or reducing the volume of background music if I had an opportunity to revise or begin again. Instead of fully explaining each and every verse and functions of bass, letting the listeners follow through the instruments’ sounds seemed to work better since the project tries to interact with listeners.

Composing a piece to be heard instead of to be read was different since every little sound matters to the listeners as well as I was given much more dynamic opportunities to interact with the listeners instead of plain texts. Although readable materials can communicate many things, features such as dynamic tones/volumes, ability to present the actual bass sound to listeners instead of describing in words how the bass can be emphasized or what bass even sounds like has much better effect on my goal of this project. Although being able to present sounds also means I had to consider effective use of silence, overall harmony of the piece, how the places are divided, and how I am going to get my point across without blatantly stating all the things I am doing, I think composing a piece to be heard was the best approach to introduce the bass guitar sound.

Works Cited

McKee, Heidi. “Sound Matters: Notes Toward the Analysis and Design of Sound in Multimodal Webtexts.” Computers and Composition 23 (2006) : 344. Web. 25 September 2015.

Leeuwen, Theo V. Speech, Music, Sound. Hong Kong: Macmillan press ltd, 1999. Print.

Maps

mapworldold

This map was made during the Age of Exploration, which explains why the North American portion remains unfinished. The map evidently shows that the concept of Earth being round has been standardized, judging by the circular outlines of the map. Also the fact that Australia is chopped up as well as the size of Asian continent is much smaller than it is(map is obviously not in scale) indicates either they did not had a good grasp of the size of Asia or they did not wanted a foreign region overpowering European continent in terms of size.

Map-of-london-places

This map on the other hand, is a very modern illustrated map that serves a very specific purpose: to indicate popular tourism sites in London. The map is far less formal and bubbly compared to the previous one. The occasional phone booths suggest that the author associates that particular symbol to be one of the most prominent feature to introduce London.

In depth analysis of Beercade women’s bathroom

During my visit to Chicago for Riot fest this year, I was able to not only enjoy two full days of grungy sounds of guitars and endless mosh pits, I was also able to go out at night and enjoy the nightlife which I wasn’t able to do so in the past due to the age restrictions in greater Chicago area. The first bar that I went with my companions was called the “Beercade”, from a bar offering endless free arcades(which I have no clue why Chambana doesn’t have yet). Now, before leaping into a full depth analysis of ladies’ bathroom, I feel necessary to explain how the rest of the bar is set up at least briefly. So, unlike the typical setup of arcades, Beercade has an established classy atmosphere; the lighting is dark, the floors are kept clean, the arcade games are kept decent looking, the bartenders dress up enough to show that they are not too casual, as well as the columns and furniture being kept clean and classy vibe. Now, although the overall feeling of the bar is classy, it is not to say that Beercade is one of those fancy bars where you pay $20 for a glass of beer(beer is about $6-8, which is more pricey than our college bars but not ridiculous for Chicago downtown). So naturally, the women’s bathroom kept the same vibe of the bar as well. When you walked into the bathroom, you see the bathroom stalls on the left side aligned together for the purpose of convenience(less pipework if toilets are closer together but giving enough space for each person to comfortably use the bathroom), while on the right side there was a long decoration along the wall that resembled a Rococo style wall decor with equally long mirror on top of the decoration. Now for people who have no idea how Rococo interior design looks like, it’s basically fancy flowery columns and decorations that you put in outer frame or walls(to be very very concise). Although the bathroom stalls itself did not had that particular decorations, it did have a mint-green color which is suited for the overall feminine while classy looking space. When you go all the way straight on the mirror-stall, you find two mirrors side to side with, again, Rococo style frame mirror with napkins in between them on top side of the sinks. Although the bathroom stalls itself had enough space to comfortably do your business in the bathroom, the passing space as well as the sink space was very limited and small relatively, giving the vibe that there was a very limited space the management had to work with for the women’s bathroom. The obvious toilets and sinks indicated that the space is for people to dispose their human by-products, as well as many girls to socialize while waiting for somebody or something. But for instance, we can safely assume that the place is not for cycling, for example, since there is not enough space for a bike to ride. Overall, this bathroom was showing that the space is largely used by women(by the feminine decors) as well as its functions by the toilets and sinks.

Wikipedia? Wikipedia!

  • James P. Purdy has three main claims in his article. First, in the Invention and Revision of Wikipedia, he analyzes how Wikipedia works as a website(its premise and purpose etc.), as well as start introducing the benefits of the Wikipedia system, which is the ability to be edited by many non-professional academic sourcscholaryes. Second, in Collaboration and Discussion in Wikipedia, he furthers his points with benefits of Wikipedia, which is a great source of introductory collaborative scholarly work for many people who are intimidated by the formality of academic prints, as well as encouragement from Wikipedia to students to be in part of scholarly process. Third, he discusses about how citations in Wikipedia works(how they are more served as fun fact that furthers article’s discussion) as well as the benefits of that.
  • As I mentioned above, Purdy sees Wikipedia as a foundation of introductory scholarly writing platform. Since Wikipedia articles can be modified as well as created by anyone(although that doesn’t mean all entry will remain for extensive periods of time), students as well as amateur scholars can join in and experience the process of academic information put together just like the Encyclopedia. He sees Wikipedia’s casual nature as its strength and encouragement.
  • According to Purdy, the process of a Wikipedia article being created goes as follows: first an article is created with its original author’s input(s). Second other people who has better knowledge of the article’s matters include their knowledge. Third, some people refine the article, fixing the grammers, weeding out errors generated by un-founded authors etc. Fourth, people with very different perspective on the article’s issues input their own knowledge(in this article he uses the technological and anthropological viewpoints as example). And those processes supposedly cycles through, leading the article with more information as well as more accuracy.
  • I agree with many of his positive outlooks on Wikipedia, that how it can serve as a introductory platform as well as opens up the world of scholars to general mass so they can be encouraged to build upon such academic processes. However, Purdy is way too optimistic about the processes of Wikipedia. He does go over the critics’ opinions on Wikipedia and sufficiently counters them, but Wikipedia is still unreliable to be cited in as a trusted source. Sure if all students and scholars cites the version and time modified for the Wikipedia page and be precise about it, but there is no way of a viewer instantly knowing what they see in the page is wrong or arguable. Pages with concrete facts as well as many people willing to make it as neutral and accurate as possible will serve in a very reliable source, but I have seen some historic event pages that are not as often modified being skewed towards a very radical direction and not being modified for years.

Berger/Ong discussion

  • Both Berger and Ong argues that print reproducing an artwork alters the perspective that viewers have from actually seeing the painting in person and how and why those altercations occur by mass produced printed version of artworks
  • Berger states that often times when you are viewing an artwork at a museum the setting is silent(you truly focus the senses to the artwork). Whereas with the aid of film or photo(s) the author or director can alter the viewer’s focus by cropping and/or focusing specific parts of artwork and narrating while focusing on specific part. Also for film or photo, the sound(music) the director chooses to put with the artwork can change the mood of the artwork. This is different from reproduction of written word since there are a lot more going on that are purely depending on our ears and eyes, and the emotions associated with the artwork are altered by our vision and hearing. All reproductions do distort, for a great example, the blue/black or white/gold dress photo was largely sensationalized on the web since people were perceiving the coloration differently. Photos and videos can easily change the settings of the original artwork. True copy(with zero difference) of an original artwork is impossible.
  • Berger states that meaning of paintings has become information since often times when the reproduction of a painting is displayed, the narrative walks the viewer through the meanings, small details, what the hand gestures mean in the painting, the year, the background of artist for better understanding etc. Since there are so many more information provided with the reproduced artwork than the small caption next to the original artwork, the reproduced artwork becomes more focused on informing as much as possible to viewers than when one is looking at an original paint.
  •  Partially yes, since the words in digital medias can be altered or move unlike the texts in a printed book. There are more varieties of methods one can use to show words than a printed book. Thus, Ong’s argument about thing-ness of text does get altered in the digital era.
  • When Berger states that the era of pilgrimage is over, since we can view the artworks without traveling across the world(Artworks have became mobile). Desire to look at original artwork has become an act of trying to fully appreciate an artwork rather than purely viewing them. Also, when Berger states that children are much more prone to interpret artworks purely based on their experiences since they do not have any information on the artist nor the detailed descriptions of it.

Post by: Trish Fleming, Rachel Walker, Hayne Ryu

Artist and their artworks

Right after graduating high school, I moved to Chicago to attend School of the Art Institute of Chicago(SAIC) in order to expand my artistic abilities as well as get better at Graphic Design(or Visual Communication, as SAIC called it). From the school, my first graphic design course’s final project was to create my own font, which I chose to create a Russian theme font in Russian alphabetical letters. Now, my font was VERY decorative, meaning it had fancy ridges, shadows, duo-colored, as well as decorations for serifs. In my font’s case, my font was not intended for regular legible book font kind of use, it was for Russian themed logos or advertisement titles that were supposed to be flashy and complex.

parta

(well this is the vibe I was going for. More decorative though!)

Now, with my kind of font, the artist has a lot of room of expressing themselves. I was able to express my interest in Russian culture, my preference of bold colors, as well as my association of colors related to communism being red and yellow. However, when it comes down to fonts like Gill Sans, there not a whole lot of room where we can deduce about the artist from their font. If you look through some of Eric Gill’s artwork, you can infer the similarities between his artworks and Gill Sans: curly, simplistic, and modern. But non of these attributes tell ANYTHING about Eric Gill’s crazy incest-bestiality sex life.

gillsansart

(I mean, it’s curvy and feminine-ish, but no crazy implications here…)

Now a person’s artwork does usually reflect something about the artist, but that part is often very specific because the artist CHOOSES what to depict in his/her artwork. So regarding the question whether one can separate an artwork from the artist I would say it is not possible since the artwork is produced by the artist, automatically reflecting some degree of persona of the artist. However, in more practical artworks like typography or graphic design, the artist usually concerns more the practically of his/her artwork than the regular fine arts piece, leading to the result being less personal and more practical. Therefore, the need of practicality in typefaces naturally eliminates more room from the artist to express themselves(especially on modern simplistic fonts) which leads to almost minimal connection between the artist and their artwork.