Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blog 12. auf wiedersehen lessig

First off the messages of both the book and RIP, the documentary, are similar. They focus on how restrictive regulation is on creative works. Both mention Girl Talk (RIP especially... man there was a lot of Girl Talk in that movie...), yet a real difference is the focus between both mediums. Lessig tended to romanticize the amateur more than RIP did.

Both the movie and Lessig also stress the fact that culture builds on culture, and that originality is not as common as we might believe. Remixing and sampling are long, time-honored traditions in all forms of creative creation as both these products point out.

A final concept that both the documentary RIP and Lessig's Remix share is their view of why copy right law seems so ineffective today. It is because these laws are terribly out of date when compared with the technology that creative industries use today. Copyright law reflects a knowledge of more analog technologies, yet poorly handles the distribution and creation of digital works.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blog Post 11: Sharing and Commercial Economies

Lessig presents the idea of separate economies, namely sharing and commercial economies. These two ideas and the fusion of them into hybrid economies make the bulk of Lessig's argument about vehicles that can better support art and commerce in the future.

A sharing economy is an economy in which goods and services are traded and shared without any sort of "money" equivalent behind the transaction. Essentially it is people sharing things with the preconceived idea that exchange benefits those that remain in the economy. Demonstrating the difference between sharing and selling from Lessig's book p.147 "It is the cardinal difference between gifts and commodity exchange that a gift establishes a feeling-bond between two people, while the sale of a commodity leaves no necessary connection." This bond is a very important difference between the commercial and sharing economies. While money might make the world go round, this friendly bond causes participants in a sharing economy to return whereas in a commercial economy people only return when a monetary benefit is present.

This is a central point to Lessig's argument. He presents the pros and cons of both economies, and then leads in to the hybridization of both making a stronger third economy. The distinction between both of these economies, this bond, is a pivotal piece of what can make the hybrid economy work. A balance is what is necessary for success.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog post 10. RETURN OF THE BLOG

A remix that I find rather nifty is...

This is a rather eerily spot on mash up between the 'Im not a homo' kid and Bill Oreilly's infamous 'Fuck it we'll do it live' outburst.

This is an example of a simple remix as explained by Lessig on pg. 69, all it is is a layer of the kids mouth from the no homo video layered over Oreilly's with the no homo audio played. A rather simple touch, which leads to another point hat relates to Lessig,

This is an example of 'bits of culture' that the artist remixes to 'deliver a message more powerfully than any original could' p.71. In this case, the message is that Bill Oreilly really wants you to think he isnt a whiney 'homo' *nice try bill*.

Thirdly this clip relates to Lessig's point about the power that remixed items generally have. The two videos that were mixed here carry cultural signifigance, just look at the views each respective one has on youtube. The mixer's message wouldnt be anywhere near as sharp or hilarious had it not been for the weight of the two videos.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

blog post 9. Catching up

First, describe what you see as Lessig's key argument in the Introduction. Second, describe the difference RW and RO culture and why it matters to Lessig's argument. Third, why does Lessig use Sousa?

Lessig's introduction, I believe, is meant to spur a debate within the reader as to what ownership is, what art is, and what exactly the current climate of copyright law is. It sets up several different cases in which ownership of particular things is used as protection from use from others, and how those cases can be ridiculous. Lessig's key argument here is that we need to rethink how we view originality, ownership, art, and the laws that hold them together if we are to save not only the content industry but the way that people view remixing in general.

RW (read/write) culture differs from RO (read/only)in that one is a passive way of consumption, and the other is a way to create new things. We use to live in a time when RO was all that was really feasible, so people scheduled their lives for their daily intake of cultural consumption. Today however, technology allows us to 'write' after 'reading' almost anything we want. Lessig argues that this is a natural way for creating new things, we are learning from the past to create something unseen before, through mixing.

Sousa is Lessig's marker for the coming of a RO culture. Sousa argued against using machines that could reproduce sound, pushing for harsher copyright law. Sousa feared that people would receive a less democratic culture if they were only reading and not writing. Lessig is enjoying using Sousa as a heralder of the return of RW culture.

Monday, March 7, 2011

blog post 8. finishing rhythm science

Rhythmic Cinema Quotes
"As the amount of information out there explodes exponentially and threatens to become almost the only way people relate to one another, it's a question that seems to beg a response: What would happen if it just vanished and the lights went out?" p.80

Miller is talking about the way people are consuming, producing, and using information in the digital age here. He sees that there is a trend towards people relying on information to relate to others rather than... just relating to who that person is... I think.

"Whenever you look at an image or listen to a sound, there's a ruthless logic of selection that you have to go through to simply to create a sense of order" p.81

Other than it being a tough read, this quote pulled me in because I find the idea interesting. What are the steps we take in creating a sense of order when we see an image or hear a sound? are the two different? How does it differentiate from person to person? I cant quite figure out if Miller answers this question but it is a nifty idea...

Rhythmic Space
"Speaking in code, we live in a world so utterly infused with digitality that it makes even the slightest action ripple across the ... web" p.89

Our actions today do have much more repercussions than ever before, as pointed out by Miller. Responsibility is the name of the game here, and Miller is pointing out that this can be both a good and bad thing.

Errata Erattum
"Who is who in the theater of sounds where any sound can be you?" p.93

I mostly just found this awesome because it sounds like something Morpheus would say in the Matrix. I think he is talking about the endless creativity that can be unlocked in the age of mixing and sampling. If not, still cool.

The Future is Here
"'s almost as if the main issues of the day are all about how people are adjusting to the peculiarity of being in a simultaneous yet unevenly distributed world." p.105

This is easily my favorite line in the book. It is a great way of describing the way people feel, almost off balance today, as if all these different forms of media are warping our sense of place and time subliminally. Really cool quote.

The Prostitute
"You have a culture founded on unceasing change and transformation - so much so that things change too quickly that there's no there there..." p.112

Miller is trying to tie philosophy and technology together here (like the rest of the book i guess). He is saying that because things are changing so fast, our goals often move, morph, transform from our original intent to something new, the "there" is no longer "there"

As for a song connection, Id thought it would be cool to use a song that strongly uses sampling in the entire track. I chose to use Moby's "Flower" from 2000. This song heavily mixes an old southern chant that loops and is mixed throughout the entire song, giving it a structure almost like a skeleton that moby can work around.
Here is the track...,%20Mary%20Gardner%20and%20Jesse%20Lee%20Pratcher-Green%20Sally,%20Up/

As for connecting it to Miller... This song doesnt seem to have any covers of itself nor any remixes (at least any that have been posted) but it does show that two other songs have remixed this southern .. diddy? I dont know how to explain the track by the Gardners and Pratcher. I guess the best connection is Miller's idea on originality and how much that idea is tied to opinion. This song by moby isnt original, but you can make the argument that the song it is covering and mixing isnt original either.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

blog post 7. la stereo and rhythm science

briefly summarize the overall argument(s) of the deBourgoing piece...

Hip Hop Goes Transmedia is a piece on the current (well, almost a year old) climate of hip hop as it exists in LA. There are 7 main points pushed in the piece talking about the many aspects of hip hop. The overarching theme of the piece seems to revolve around how people in the rap game are embracing two things specifically, technology and culture. People who have fallen in love with hip hop, rap, djing, emceeing, what have you are embracing a new identity in LA and are utilizing new technology to achieve their goals. deBourgoing seems to be arguing the authenticity and strength of the genre after it has been hailed as dead by some of the biggest names in the game. deBourgoing also ties in a sense of the past cultures that inspired hip hop into the rising scene that exists today, and how people are looking for ways to be different while still "sampling" past ideas and methods.

briefly describe any connections you see between her argument(s) and the things we discussed in the first half of the course...

I guess the best connection here is the importance of collaboration and utilizing crowds in manners that they normally arent. Take the first point on the importance of having a presence online to help bolster your image in real life. Finding someone online helps them grow an audience in real life and seeing someone live is a great excuse to find their persona online.

the Miller book is a bit tough to read, but do your best to summarize his key argument(s)...

I actually really enjoy reading Miller, the way he writes makes me focus on the beats and rhythm of his prose... yet I am kind of at a loss for what he was talking about. It will take a while to sink in but as of right now I see his main points as:

Identity is important to understand, and it is important to realize how much of a mess our identities are. "multiplex consciousness" seems to mean the stacked tiers of different identities we walk around with and how much of a struggle it is for any specific one to take shape.

Originality and sampling are in a struggle between each other and have been for as long as we have been able to think. Our perceptions of reality and originality are based heavily on things that are wholly unoriginal. I dont even know if that makes sense but that's how I see it.

make any connections you can between deBourgoing, Miller, and any of the topics we've discussed in class so far...

I think one theme that is popping up a lot here is the concept of utilizing the old to make something new, be that a new way of categorizing, a new way of using crowds and fans, or just a new beat.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

blog post 6. Jenkins and Weinberger

The introduction sample that we read from Henry Jenkin's Convergence Culture was very interesting. I have always been interested in the idea of convergence, especially when applied to popular culture, and it turns out that Jenkin's has gone and made a career out of analyzing the convergence of new media and how new/old media thrive, fall,and eventually coexist... and the guy is an MIT professor!

My summary of this introduction, and thus Jenkin's main points were the focus on the shift in media culture. How convergence has been grouped into this idea of a "single black box" and what it really means when different media converge. The cultural shift towards more gadgets and more information has not lead us down this predicted black box path, but Jenkin's is keen to point out that it might not have manifested anyways. Jenkin's tends to focus less on the physical act of converging things, and tends to look more at how ideas converge and what that might mean for industries in the future. Can we all get together and solve each other's problems?

In comparison to Weinberger, I am seeing a trend in how both authors tend to look at the use of crowds in gathering and manipulating data. Weinberger looked to crowds and focused on how people could gather data and what could be achieved when people lost control and gave the power to the crowd. Jenkins is close to this idea, but his work seems to be looking more at how these acts will affect us culturally and the ways we perceive the different media we use today.