Vaporwave: I tried

After watching a video on the brief history of vaporwave, I followed the step-by-step Vaporarts 101: Visual Aesthetics Photoshop Tutorial. I really don’t know if I was on the right track or not, but this was my end result.

vaporwave-art

According to Aesthetic Wiki: Vaporwave, “imagery associated with vaporwave includes glitch art, Renaissance sculptures, ’90s web design, outmoded computer renderings and classic cyberpunk aesthetics. Use of Japanese characters and other non western writing systems is also prominent.” I don’t know how to add music, so I just worked on the art portion.

I started out with a simple image of an individual I photographed last year. 11168004_10153194592160609_3124054003572767573_n

I cut out the background in Photoshop then followed the video tutorial in duplicating layers and creating a symmetrical image of this guy seemingly processing information with his hand on his forehead. I remember at the time of the photo, he was actually studying and I considered creating something around the theme of “knowledge is power,” which is exactly what the Japanese characters on the image state (I used Google Translate.) I searched Google for some PNG images of books and personal electronics, some of the ways in which people get information. I added some low poly computer renderings of birds flying out of the books’ pages up to his ears, symbolizing pigeons that were once used as messengers, sources of information. There’s also an image of the earth and dollar signs which could symbolize power. We’ve got the 1990s Windows Start button as well as a random Renaissance sculpture. I then overlayed the image with two types of VHS screens in Photoshop…

The first (turned vertically) gave me that dark to light gradient.
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The second gave the more visible horizontal discoloration.
vhs-screen

After putting the image together by following the tutorial, I downloaded the Glitch! app on my Android phone, transferred the image there, then played with various glitches before ending with this one.

glitch_sharefile

I don’t like politics

I don’t like politics. But this year, I paid attention. The news coverage of Donald Trump’s bigotry, racism, sexism, islamophobia, ableism, narcissism, and bullying made me (as well as most others who could care less about politics) pay attention… I’m a naturalized citizen, and I voted for the first time ever… out of fear, I suppose. The fear that Donald Trump could become president of a country I love. And… unfortunately, that fear came true. Many Americans are disappointed, upset, frustrated and emotionally distressed over all that could possibly occur during Trump’s presidency. Thousands of protestors are marching across big cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Portland. How could he possibly win? Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but Trump won due to the magic of the Electoral College. “As messed up as the Electoral College is, we’re likely stuck with it for some time. Your safe state vote might be wasted, or it might even be subverted by rogue electors,” said Andrew Prokop in Why the Electoral College is the absolute worst, explained. I think many of us feel the same as Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech, “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” Now, The Golden Sun is reporting Canada received over 10 million immigration applications from Americans since Trump was elected president Nov. 9… Here’s a funny Tweet with Canadian recording artist Drake and American comedian and actress Leslie Jones…

Maroon Breeze

I miss traveling. I miss going new places, meeting new people, witnessing unusual lifestyles, appreciating all the beauties of the world, and falling in love with new cultures… I miss moving. Moving to a new environment meant pressing the reset button and starting a new life. Sleeping in airports and sitting on aircraft were usually my transition periods to creating new memories and letting go of the more undesirable ones… it was turning the page… beginning a new chapter… Traveling was freedom. Traveling was happiness. It was the life I loved.

But that was a different lifetime, while I served in the military. I don’t currently have the means to continue the fleeting life I once had. Now, I’m making an attempt to navigate a new lifestyle and learn what it means to settle down. Quite frankly, I feel stuck in a fish bowl.

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I chose to name my website Maroon Breeze because… that dark brownish crimson pretty much sums up my life. It’s beauty, passion, sacrifice, bravery, rebellion, pain and love all in one. And… I like to go where the wind blows… I see myself as a breeze, coming and going freely. Even deeper, I’m also a descendent of the Jamaican Maroons who were escaped slaves that “ran away from their Spanish-owned plantations when the British took the Caribbean island of Jamaica from Spain in 1655… and formed independent communities as free men and women” in the mountains. The word maroon comes from the Spanish word ‘cimarrones,’ which is defined as wild, untamed or undomesticated. So, that’s how I created Maroon Breeze. My website will be a blog about my journey to figuring out my new life and creating a life I love.

Don’t copy anything, all right?

Several years ago I would record videos of myself singing at home or performing with local bands on stage and post them onto YouTube to share or keep simply for memories. Most of the songs belonged to famous artists; they were not our own. The performances were like singing karaoke on stage or performing a solo in the comfort of your own home. This was something everybody did, I thought.

Then one day I went onto my YouTube page to find these seemingly innocent videos marked with the copyright symbol and an “Includes copyrighted content” message. I was shocked, nervous, scared, like, oh my gosh, what did I do? After clicking the link, it said: 

Copyrighted content was found in your video. The claimant is allowing their content to be used in your YouTube video. However, ads might appear on it.

Reading further on YouTube’s What is a Contend ID Claim?, YouTube explained:

If you upload a video that contains copyright-protected material, you could end up with a Content ID claim. These claims are issued by companies that own music, movies, TV shows, video games, or other copyright-protected material.

Depending on the copyright owner’s policy, some Content ID claims prevent certain material from being available on YouTube. Others allow the video to remain live, while directing the advertising revenue to the copyright owners of the claimed content, like music.

I haven’t uploaded anything to YouTube since then, but I’m glad I’ve learned how serious Copyright Laws really are as a result of this experience.