Final Post

I can honestly say that this was one of the most enjoyable courses I’ve taken, second only to my creative writing class; I was able to express myself in a similar way through writing my blog posts and, unexpectedly, with the help of gifs and memes.

The last thing I had expected from this course was learning how to make gifs/memes using Photoshop and incorporating them into my posts to tell a narrative. Although it was fun making memes and taking panoramic pics in class, writing all these blog posts was my favorite part out of everything we’ve done throughout the semester. It didn’t seem like homework to me and being able to freely write about my feelings and things that I enjoy was really refreshing in contrast to all the restricting prompts I have to deal with in my other writing intensive courses as an English major.

Creating my own website was also something I didn’t think we would be doing in this class but I’m grateful for the opportunity. I initially thought building a website would be incredibly difficult and though it was overwhelming at first, following the tutorial videos from our Zoom meetings made it much easier to navigate WordPress. I did, however, run into a few minor issues while customizing my site; there were different widget areas (sidebar, content top, and footer) and it took a bit of messing around to figure out where things went and how to disable them entirely on different pages.

Another issue I had was adding subpages; I had a hard time making subpages for my blog page as the only way to organize my posts is by using the different categories as subpages themselves which is rather inconvenient. The subpages didn’t display on the browser I was using so it caused some confusion before I had the thought to switch browsers but the process of creating my site was otherwise smooth. Learning how to make my own website will be useful to me when I start posting more of my artwork online; I’m going to take the professor’s advice and post them on my site first before posting them elsewhere. As such, I will try to maintain my website and post whenever I can. My site can be found here, there’s a couple of subpages under the blog menu dedicated to a number of my interests. Though I haven’t published any new posts yet, I’ve started on some drafts that will be available here once they’re completed. Be sure to check back for any new posts!Lastly, the part I’ve been dreading, I think I have earned an A in this class. I attended every class, arriving early, actively listening and following along the lesson for the day. During the panoramic group project, I fulfilled my role as the photographer and communicated well with my members to ensure our photos turned out as best as it possibly could. I believe I put in a good amount of time and effort into my blog posts as well; I always make sure to have the calendar page with the week’s prompt opened in another tab while writing so I know I’ve answered all questions clearly and adding in gifs or memes when I thought was needed. With that being said.. maybe consider giving me an A, I would be eternally grateful because my GPA is on life support right now– k thanks bye!

Website

Mornin’, hope everyone haven’t lost their minds in quarantine yet. It’s a bit simple but I managed to customize my site a little so if you have time (I know you do), feel free to browse through it. There’s not much going on as of right now, though, I’ll be sure to post more soon!

 

First Post

Assignment #7 – Virus

When I had first read the announcement for the distance learning transition, I was pretty ecstatic thinking about all the bus fares I could save on- and of course, being able to sleep in and not have to deal with any socialization. My friends have been complaining about the hassle of suddenly having their classes become online courses but I think our class will move forward more smoothly, considering it was a hybrid to begin with. Quarantine honestly seemed like the ideal situation for someone like myself who don’t go out that much anyway.

With each passing day of quarantine though, there were less and less things to do and I soon grew restless. My parents had already prepared and stocked up on essential supplies the second they learned of the initial outbreak in Wuhan so I wasn’t too concerned about the ongoing war over toilet paper (seriously, guys?) but I definitely didn’t expect running out of stuff to do, everything is.. BORING. Quarantine sucks, all the boba places are closed and I’m sick of looking at my brother’s face at home.

The only good that has come out of this whole mess was the release of the new Animal Crossing game for the Switch: New Horizons. At least I can enjoy the blue skies and greenery in the game. The graphics are breathtaking and aside from owing a heck ton of debt to some capitalist racoon, it’s a rather relaxing game that I recommend to everyone in these oh such trying times. Pocket Camp is an animal crossing mobile game that’s free to start for those who don’t own a Switch; it has its own limitations but it’s still an enjoyable game where you can experience the simple pleasures of building your own campsite and inviting your favorite animal friends over. Just don’t forget to protect yourself!

Assignment #6 – Copyright

The piece that I chose to focus on was the Everything is a Remix series by Kirby Ferguson regarding remix culture. In his TED talk, Ferguson states that “copy, transform, combine” are the basic elements of all creativity and by that, he is saying all works created are based on already existing ideas. His case study on the iPhone stood out to me; it was interesting to see the device broken down into individual pieces that are derivatives of existing works such as the icons being modeled after real world objects or even the keyboard sounds mimicking a typewriter.

The bit on Bob Dylan was also very interesting to me; Ferguson mentions that two-thirds of Dylan’s melodies used in his early songs were borrowed. While all works created take inspiration from other existing materials, I think “transform” is a gray area in which a work may become plagiarism rather than a remix of the original work. In previous cases where songs were deemed to have plagiarized, two melodies were aligned at 50% or higher using a functional graph of the song’s melodies mathematically analyzed with common points. With more than half of the melodies calculated to be reused in Dylan’s songs, they don’t seem original enough to be called remixes. However; I say this is a gray area since there are many variations to analyze songs mathematically such as melody, chords, rhythm, beat, tempo or lyrics. As such, a slight variation of the factors can alter the outcome; one functional graph may state 58% of two songs align while another graph may state 33%, making it difficult to prove the basis with this method.

Watching this documentary series actually called the ship of Theseus to my mind where essentially a ship gradually gets replaced with new parts until all of the ship’s components are replaced. Would this ship then be the same ship or a new ship? If it’s a new ship, then at what point did it become one? Although it’s not the exact same situation, hearing about Dylan’s songs raised similar questions: Are songs that reuse materials from other songs a new song and if so, at what point during the “transformation” process did it become a new song? Whether or not Dylan’s songs should be considered remixes or plagiarism is hard to say based on melodies alone but it does make me reconsider what is truly original in this world.

Assignment #5 – Pano

As the photographer of our group, it was interesting to see how the surrounding settings affected the photos. Our first location was the music practice room where we struggled a bit with the strange layout of the room. It took a few tries before we managed to figure things out and capture the shot although the outcome left much to be desired. The glares from the lights are just distracting enough to divert attention away from how stiff and awkward everyone looks in this photo.

Our next stop was the fine art gallery where we all got a little too excited and started poking around the different exhibitions for a solid minute before getting to work on the shot. It was at this point that everyone eased up and the group assignment seemed more enjoyable. We took advantage of the spacing and incorporated the exhibitions into our photo which helped it appear less forced than the first photo of everyone clustered around an empty music stand. Personally, this is my favorite shot because of how fun the experience of being in the gallery was.

Finally, our last photo was taken at the dining hall; we were exiting the art gallery when we noticed how nice the lighting was. Unlike the other locations where there was some kind of concept in mind, this was an unplanned shoot and everyone just went with the flow. I think this photo is a huge improvement from the first photo despite being taken so spontaneously. Though we had much more ideas that we wanted to carry out for the assignment, these photos will have to suffice as, sadly, no one was very willing to drown for a shot by the pool or get caught trespassing on the roof. All in all, it was a pleasant experience taking photos with everyone and I’m glad to say that this was the least stressful group assignment ever.