Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Media Fair Use

Copyright issues emerges when the Internet storytelling and sharing trend have evolved throughout the years, In Lawrence Lessig The Failure of Fair Use and the future of Free Culture, Lessig states that creators live with direct and indirect constraints, the constraints that are created by U.S law. Sexuality, copyright issues, and vandalism are especially covered in the discourse. In my opinion, media fair use is still a vague term, the definition of the restraints are constantly changing and violated in the name of art.

Man Ray's photograph of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain for example, sarcastically challenged the notion of copyright and media fair use. A photograph of another artist's art work counts as an independent art piece. In this situation, it is all about the idea that counts as art. The physical form of a piece withhold no signification of the art work than its message conveyed through itself.

In general, the age of Web 2.0 provides more and more chances for people out there to take other people's stuff transforming those to their own work. While contemplating the ownership issues regarding to the phenomenon, we should really pay special attention to the aura, the idea, and the message of the work instead of blindly accusing others of copying.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Transmedia Storytelling

I highly agree with Jenkins's opinion on the definition of transmedia storytelling: "Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story." Jenkins mentioned that we, as grassroots, factor the expansion and the spreading of the transmedia storytelling. In my opinion, the promotion and the circulation of the storytelling of one media is closely dependent on the grassroots.

As Jenkins said, the possibility of initiation to transmedia storytelling needs the original story's group of fans. Only if people like the story, the creator of the story will continue the development of the story world. This can be explained by so many cases. Take the movie Saw as an example, if the first Saw movie was not successful, the producer would not spend the rest of 6 Saw movies trying to explain all the unresolved clues and characters in the franchise.Also, fans contribute to those storytelling. When the second Saw movie came out, some avid Saw fans already guess the identity of the operator who implant the key into the first victim's eye socket in Saw2, some even predicted what happened to the doctor in the first movie who was never mentioned in the franchise until Saw 7. Words have been spread on Internet, and that fan based comics as well. Eventually, Saw video games were made too. And all of this contribute to keep the series moving.

In general, the formation of transmedia storytelling depends tightly on the dispersion of the story itself, and it needs the effort of both the grassroots and the story creator to survive. The interconnection of fans incites the brainstorm of the story, and the creators have an easy access to more inspiration to keep the storytelling going based on the favor of its fans.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Essence Of Photography

The indexical and the Concept of Medium Specificity reveals the author's minor concern for using digital archive. That is, the challenge in achieving the goal of getting digital achive to work out is to find out a way to keep the image's aura. I highly agree that digital takes away the originality of the photograph making it not "authentic", whereas film possesses the essence of the image, being purely genuine.

Doane argued that the index of a photography is like trace or imprint, it is the impression of the real object, and it is limited to medium specificity. Doane used the example of M to explain how index is limited by medium specificity. The mise en scène in the frame serves as an index, however, what we see on screen is limited by the movement and the placement of the frame, which is controlled by a specific medium, the camera. The medium specificity of photography plays a huge role in the outcome of the image. Film, as a medium, limits the image to its originality. And, in terms of the original object and the photographed object, film possesses more authenticity of the photographed  objects than digital does. Because film is touched by the user's hands, it carries the stains, the ash, the imperfection at the moment, it reveals the user's trace of trying to fix it, and the most important part is, it possesses physicality and the trace of decay, in other words, it carries the history.The use of the example Decasia really showcased the importance of a image's physicality.

The idea of immateriality sounds fairly promising in the idea of digital achive. It takes aways the physical and retains only all the information, and it surely would make things permanent. However, as Doane said-"The photochemical image is an inscription, a writing of time", digital would lose all the image's history and the trace of time. This is why Doane described digital achive as a "fantasy",  keeping every trace of meaning, every ounce of originality, and the passage of history in digital is nearly impossible.Thus, film embodies the originality, the aura, meanwhile digital keeps nothing of its original but the indexicality.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Online Publishing and Storytelling

The age of web 2.0 provides us a grand opportunity to connect ourselves to the world. Blogging became an inevitable element of the web 2.0 culture and it gave birth to numerous Internet social groups and society. With every debut of all kinds of Noe-society, specific ethical guidelines and certain rules are always brought out, along with strategies on how to get popular. Storytelling is definitely for sure the most important part in succeeding in this new writing culture.

Brian Carroll brought out the issue of blogging ethics in the essay Blogito, ergo sum: Trends in Personal Publishing. Based on Carroll's writing, online publishing should follow similar guidelines as ones for other writings, such as: academic essays, published scholar journals, newspaper articles, etc. The content has to be as realistic as possible, materials from outside sources should be cited, content should be as precise as possible, the author should always remain objective not biased, etc. I personally think that it is responsible for an online publisher to remain ethical because the Internet is accessible to people in all age/professional/ethnic background, nobody would want to be misled, copied, or offended.

When concerning online publishing, storytelling guidelines are just as important. The content of a blog is constructed by text. Web 2.0 brought us so many different ways of storytelling in a multi-media sense. We can compose stories with limited words through twitter and facebook status, we can also use video to replace written texts, and we can document things through photography or audio recordings. The multi-storytelling way is no more innovative than storytelling styles in films. Take Citizen Kane for example, the storytelling style in the movie contains newspaper, flash forward, flash backs, voice over, photo montage, etc. Online publishing really made everyone the director of their own business and films.

Here is a video about a lecture on storytelling theory and practice.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


the Idea of Hypertext

The idea that hypertext reveals readers' mental process is extremely agreeable in Landow G and Paul D's essay Hypertext, Hypermedia & Literary Studies: The State of the Art. The traditional way of reading is linear and discrete for the readers. Through traditional reading, we keep our thoughts to ourselves and let the content and the text of the reading material lead us to wherever it goes. However, Hypertext stories force its readers to make conscious decisions.

In general, when we pick a book and decide to read through it, first thing we do is to start following the direction that the author has already set for us. We know that we have to follow the plot in one direction and eventually we are going to be led to one exclusive ending of the material. This is what I mean by that the traditional way of reading is linear. Additionally, when we read the book, we do not keep a tack of our thoughts because there is only one way to go, therefore, we do not reveal our thought processes to others or even to ourselves. This is what I mean by saying traditional reading is also discrete-we keep our thoughts separate from the public and ourselves.

Hypertext provides us the opportunity to actually get involved in the story building process by giving us the option to select different story path. Trough this process, our thinking process would be documented and we actually put in effort making conscious plot-related decisions while reading. Hypertext is obviously the originality of modern Internet gadgets, such as: hyper links. It offers its reader the option to choose what they want to read and what not. This intractability pushed us to think and offers us more convenience to get to where we want to get in the reading.

In conclusion, hypertext breaks down the linear process that traditional reading offers. It provides its readers the option to choose its content-related direction and reveals their thought processes.

Here is a video of what hypertext is.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gentrification Video Done

After 10 weeks of hard work me and Kanesha finally finished the production of poem and the music video. The video production is aiming to raise the awareness of gentrification in Chicago area. Kanesha did a fantastic job forming the basic concept into the video and making it a serious issue. And I hope it did help to make people aware of the fact that gentrification is destroying the lives of people in the lower social class. The stylish look of the video is only tyring to grasp the attention of the audience, what we are trying to convey is what we really want to show the audience. I will put the video in this post once we upload it online.

oops, here's the video.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hype Williams

Harold "Hype" Williams was born in 1970, Queens NYC. He's currently known as a music video director. I found his style really unique. The use of color, green screen illusion, and "flashing screen" are commonly seen in his music video. I don't really know how to describe the "flashing screen" effect, but it is basically two frames are shown at the same time in a way of flashing over each other. In Christina Auguilera's music video Not Myself Tonight you can see the effect was shown in the second climax part of the song. Also this effect is also shown in lots of his videos.I'm especially intrigued by his use of color and the modern style he attributes to his work. This is something I want to put in our music video too.

Hype Williams

Here are some music videos of his that represent his style.

About our music video, we finished shooting 90% of the scene last Thursday-both studio shooting and outside shooting. Now it's just the time to put the pieces together and let the magic happen. Kanesha did a good job contributing political and social perspectives in the video and I'm trying my best to make the video stylish and aesthetically enjoyable.