Category Archives: Communications Lab

A Final for Comm Lab

All Lovely lovely things come to an end. Here’s my Comm Lab final – a Mix of Photoshop, Audacity, and After Effects. Enjoy!


After Effects Video

Here’s a little video created with After Effects. It’s the best thing I have ever ever done.

Fortunate movie

So here’s a little movie I made with Jorge, Gordy and Sonar. You guys all rock, as does this movie.

Some Storybords

Here are some really rough storyboards for the little movie I’ll be making with Sonaar, Jorge, and Gordy. Click for full size.

Influence is nifty

Johnathan Lerhem’s Ecstasy of Influence is a lovely manifesto for free information. It’s also totally unrealistic, but I really dig it anyway. To paraphrase Bongwater, “Hey you, I admire your getup and go, your youthful and sexually charged enthusiasm.” He’s not youthful, but my comparison stands.

An “open source” culture is a lovely idea. The battle cry shall be “If these examples of plagiarism, then we want more plagiarism!” And all of us will just take whatever we need from each other for arts sake, because Art Should Be Free.

But honestly, that’s a pretty pretentious concept. And I bet it’s also one that only well-fed artists are probably backing. The social negotiation of copyright that Lethem refers to does protect big companies unfairly, but it also protects the guys who work in those companies. Not just the CEOs and such, also the animator who’s sketching up the next short. It’s easy to get pissed at a company who you feel should be giving you its products for free. It’s a lot harder to get pissed at a guy just doing his eight hours who would really like to keep his job, thanks.

I’m reminded of an event I attended a few days ago when I was walking by a park. I stopped in, and it turned out there was a “free market” going on where an anarchist group was giving away food and clothes and playing music for free, to prove a point about personal property. It was fun so I signed up on their list. A few days later I got my first email email. It was a request – some guy had put his guitar down and someone had walked off with it. He was asking for whoever took it to return it please, it wasn’t meant to be free, thank you very much, I want my guitar back. Everyone’s always for public domain until it’s their stuff that becomes public domain.

Some of the restrictions are bizarre and arbitrary, but you have to draw them somewhere. Legislature is always behind technology by a couple years – as it should be. It’s impossible to make fair laws without understanding the ramifications of a new technological change. What choice is there but to use old ones until the full effects are felt? I say let the cycle run its course, rather then to knee-jerk-change the laws every time a new medium is found. That would just compound the problem.

The argument that companies cut off their nose to spite their face when they prosecute folks for piracy is an old one. It was tried for a long time as the defense for Pandora (which I love), saying that people who hear the songs on Pandora for free would want to buy them. It would be like free advertising. And even if it wasn’t, didn’t those artists just want to be heard? Well, I’ve listened to Pandora every day for the last 3 years, and I have yet to buy a song I found on it (definitely pirated quite a few tho). If Pandora was the only music outlet, there would be a lot of Ramen getting eaten right now.

I’m not disputing the concept of common heritage and an intellectual commons, I just think that making gross simplifications can cause the very same counter reaction of “well if that’s the way you’re gonna be about it, let’s just copyright absolutely everything” that he claims to be against. Making artists feel safe, letting them know that their work will be worth value – monetarily and respectfully – that’s what will heal the intellectual rights paranoia. Not demanding that people do it for their own good.

Incidentally, best quote ever: A time is marked not so much by ideas that are argued about, as by ideas that are taken for granted. The character of an era hangs upon what needs no defense.

I often quote the phrase, “life is what happens when you’re planning for the future”. Maybe it was plagiarism.

The Guilty remix

Well here’s an odd little MP3. It’s a mix of Nina Simone’s Sinnerman, and the Lonesome Valley song from the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. Find someone you disagree with religiously and sends them this song.

The audio editing was compliments of Audacity. There was much messing around with midi generators, but in the end I decided to go for pure. Pitch shifting was done by finding a piano applet online and pressing buttons till I matched up the tones needed (I know nothing about keys n’ such, but I know a “boing that sounds like this” when I hear it). Getting all the layers of clapping to map up weren’t no easy thing. I have a newfound respect for DJ’s.

I call it the Guilt Remix. It’s silly. Get the MP3 here . Be warned, it may take a little while to download.

Not Understanding Media

I have tried, oh how I have tried to read Understanding Media by Marshal McLeuhan. Why is it I just can’t seem to get through it? I’ve snuck in up on myself, tried reading it in person and on googlebooks- but by last week’s Comm Lab discussion I was still only halfway through! Why am I reduced to reading it’s Wikipaedia Page?

I think it’s only in the last 20 years that design became something people realized was supposed to be fun. I’m reminded of no less an expert than Dorthy Sayers talking about what a mind-numbing job creating advertising was, when now we push any kid with an ounce of creativity that way. Come on, you boring 1950’s white men, why the hell did you take this stuff so seriusly?

Alright. Now that that’s out of my system. I truly beleve that the main concept in this book – the sensational sounding “the medium is the message” thesis, has been completely misunderstood. Surely the medium is *a* message – there are things to be imparted by taking a step back and looking at how a medium is being used. Those messages all relate to, well, the medium. It’s certainly not *the* message, any more than the primary message of a bouquet of roses sent to you on your brithday is really an ecological warning about the terrible work conditions of South American flower-processing factories. Sure, it is *a* message, but only a real git would try to pontificate about it being the only important one. If it was my birthday anyway. It’s a dangerous thing to discount the user when talking about a user-based medium.

In any case, I’m sure there are fifty people who will get really angry at me for saying this, but I just can’t see what the big deal is.