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Archive for October, 2008

I Believe

morgan and kelly

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Peter Beard

Attached are a couple of links to a photographer – Peter Beard. I came across his work for the first time in agallery in SoHo a few years back and have started to look at his work again. He’s a very interesting personality with a history as a fashion photographer. His first love is Africa. His motivation is to “save” the indigenous peoples and wildlife of his adopted country. He has a very different idea about African aid. Whether or not you agree with him, his opinions are cause for reflection.

http://www.peterbeard.com/

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/theampersand/archive/2008/07/17/from-the-cutting-room-floor-the-uncensored-interview-with-photographer-peter-beard.aspx

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hello all. well, this seemed quite obvious but, I came across this blog today. Surprise, its called The Documentary Blog. Attached is the link. Perhaps you all know this and I’m just slow in the blogging world!

http://www.thedocumentaryblog.com/

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I’ve decided to make a confessional for my final new media project.  As you enter the darkened space you will walk up to the monitor. The internal web cam will reflect your face on the monitor. The image will be zoomed into to focus on your eyes.  You will then make your confession. The computer will record the confessions.

What I’m interested in is the idea of saying confessions out loud, because we all have truths we don’t like to speak out loud. I like the idea of speaking a  confession to a computer that will not judge you. And I’m interested in exploring the idea of using technology as a tool to provoke an intimate personal reaction.

Now I just have to see if I can pull this together.

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hi all. i wanted to comment on the concept of blood memory that Lila raised last week. it struck me very personally. as a child of a mother who was a holocaust survivor, my sister and i grew up with a full awareness of her trauma and loss, before we were old enough to know anything about war. My mother lost her two brothers and her father. when the germans came into Lithuania while she was away visiting cousins in Kovno.  She was put into the Kovno ghetto  (later to Stutthof concentration camp)  and never saw them again. so when she began her own family, it’s hard to imagine what those bonds meant to her. what’s interesting about blood memory is how little needs to be spoken, if anything. experience is passed on through behavior, in the tiny, insignificant details of everyday.  When it’s passed through generations , it’s hard to know where experience ends and genetic imprinting begins but it adds up to cultural identity…

on another note, my friend D sent me this link this morning

ruthhttp://morris.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/28/people-in-the-middle/?th&emc=tha

a really interesting piece by Errol Morris about how the publc is manipulated/targeted/reflected through election advertising

the other night i saw most of a doc by the daughter of David Maysles (one of the filmmaking Maysles brothers, he died  about 15 years ago, she was 7), as she searched for footage with him in it. the family politics played out on camera, kind of a performative, reflexive piece i guess. she visits one of the women from Gray Gardens (which they M brothers made) and befriends Edie, they drink wine and go to the house which now has new owners and so Gray Gardens is now a gentrified, Pottery Barn property.

over and out,

ruth

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Hello All,

Just a reminder that this Thursday, October 30, Kodak Lecture Series
present it’s second speaker of the 2008/09 year. New media researcher,
Cindy Poremba will speak about documentary videogames. Poremba is a
digital media researcher, creator and curator investigating documentary
videogames through Concordia University’s Doctoral Humanities program.
She holds a Master of Applied Science degree in Interactive Arts from
Simon Fraser University, as well as a BA from the University of Waterloo
in Rhetoric & Professional Writing. Her work focuses on digital culture,
rhetoric, creative appropriation and non-fiction aesthetics in digital
practice– particularly in the context of games and robotics.

Her current research explores the expressive potential of documentary
videogames — games that not only explore non-fiction content, but also
present and sustain an aura of reality, anchored in the real world

WHEN:    Thursday, October 30, 7:00 pm.
WHERE:   IMA 307
122 Bond Street (East side of Bond Street at Gould Street)
FREE:     Arrive early for guaranteed seating.

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Mystery Solved

As some of you know already I have been sending you emails for naught since October 21, when you all mysteriously dissappeared from my course and from blackboard. Apparently we were given the wrong course code — DM 8104 — now we have the right one — DM 8106 but no one informed us when that change took place. Now I have to request a new blackboard shell for our new course before I can send you group emails. So, the blog is it for now. Here is a copy of the email I sent this morning:

Hi Everyone,

A couple of things — first Nick is cool with spending the last 3 weeks of November in class with you on your projects.

Second, to facilitate that we will have critiques during exam week, instead of the last two weeks of class. If this is a problem for anyone, let me know and we will work out something. I am still working on space and will let you know as soon as I do.

Third, MAX/MSP will be installed on the computers in the grad lab by the end of today. The New Media program director asked for this to happen in September so both he and I were quite surprised to learn yesterday that this had not been done.

Finally, Nick and I went over all the proposals that were posted by last Saturday. For the most part they are feasible. Nick will talk to you more about that in class today.

We also wanted to tell you that if you are still having trouble coming up with an idea of your own, you are welcome to join someone else to work on their project.

Lila

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Hey Gang,
For my what’s in a Doc, I took a look at Shelby Lee Adams ever-evolving imagery from Appalachia, Kentucky in a documentary titled, “The True Meaning of Pictures”.  It was directed by Jennifer Baichwal (2002).
Generally, I was happy with how the presentation went.  I was brief with my spoken word, and tried to show clips that concisely contextualized the debate within Adams’ work.  That is, highly loaded imagery that deals with the poor, disenfranchised, stereotypes, personal story, privilege, and ignorance to name a few.  His images run a fine line between art and documentary.  With such loaded topic and imagery, it was natural to have some discussion revolving around the interpretation of his images, as well as the complicated nature in the way that he ‘poses’ his sitters, and his addition of artificial lighting.  How does this alter his images?  Are these honest representations?  What right does he have to do this?  How do we understand or categorize his work?
It was very interesting to hear people’s opinions and immediate reactions to his work.  I loved discussing the tension between the aesthetics of Shelby’s work and his juxtaposed imagery. It’s just such fascinating subject matter that he is able to explore – albeit in an artistic or documentary way.  Neither of which I am sure of.  At times I view his work and wonder how he managed to bamboozle those people to be represented in that way.  In other images, I simply nod my head in belief saying to myself, “yeah, that’s just the way it is, isn’t it?”
I would have loved to have shown more of Shelby’s work.  It would have emphasized the longitudinal work that he has done in Kentucky.  He chose to start photographing certain families, and once the pictures or the family situations turned sour (extensive death, for example) he also chose to stop photographing them.
If I were to do this presentation again, I would likely try to first hear opinions regarding Appalachia, rednecks, and the poor in America prior to showing the images.  It would be an interesting experiment to see if people’s opinions would change, or how/if they would be altered upon viewing his imagery, and ultimately what does that mean for his photographs.

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Project Proposal

My idea is to play with the images that are common in mainstream media representations of Colombia (my country).  I will use images of violence, drugs, and so on, in contrast with images made by tourism industry in Colombia to promote travelers to come there. I will contrast those images with the clips from soap operas, and movies, made by Colombians for Colombians.  Finally, with those four sources create a new narration, probably a clip no longer that 15 minutes created randomly the mages selected before.

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Today we will work on our final projects in class.

First we will finish off with last class.

Here is our second patch and third patch that we made last time.

Here is a utility that will help to select files from a folder with Max…useful for selecting from a changing repository of media clips, and a common interest.

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