Video and Sound: Light and Storyboarding

For the lighting workshop, we were to create a sad photo of someone missing someone else. We used the light to create a shadow for one series of photos. We thought it was not sad enough, so we went to a darker location and made a more depressing photo. Marina commented that it looked like an anti-drug advertisement, so I guess it was semi-successful!

Storyboard for upcoming video project:

Video and Sound: Bloodchild Sound Piece

by Bryan Hsu and Jingfei Lin

If you haven't read Bloodchild by Octavia Butler, please do so or else none of this stuff will make any sense.

The Bloodchild soundpiece is from the point of view of the achti chosen to be sacrificed for the emergency Tlic birthing. I felt that the relationship between Terran and Tlic is an extension of the relationship between animal and human. In the story, Terrans are fed, nurtured, and cared for, until they are needed to be used for selfish reasons. As Gan carries the injured achti to the house, their breathing and heartbeats become one. Gan is hesitant when killing the achti since he may very well meet the same exact fate.

The audience is required to have already read Bloodchild in order to fully understand this soundpiece. The soundpiece is essentially what the achti hears and experiences, so headphones are recommended to enhance the sense of immersion. If this was an installation, visuals could be used to help heighten the experience, and the next step would obviously be VR.

The recording process all of these sound effects was enlightening. Every sound source (except the music towards then end) was created with what most people would call trash. Most of the recording was done in one day. I went to New Jersey over the weekend, so I was able to capture some more organic sounds such as the nighttime ambient noise and footsteps in a hay field. I ended up becoming very familiar with the Zoom recorder's microphone level. By looking at the sound levels, along with general awareness of external forces like wind, I quickly grew accustomed to rapidly recording sounds without having the need to double check the sound recording with my headphones.

Editing in Adobe Audition was a bit of an ordeal, however I was able to get a hang of it quickly. My final Audition mix is still a bit of a mess though, so in any future projects, I need to remember to be more organized with my sound labeling and track naming. The Effects tool was fun to play around with, but I kind of felt aimless since I was basically using trial and error with the different tools to find the effect I wanted. Overall, this assignment was a challenging and great learning experience.

Video and Sound: Plagiarism

Embrace the Remix

The Ecstasy of Influence

The readings/viewings this week focused mainly on the concept of plagiarism and how current copyright laws are a detriment on furthering future artistic endeavors. 

In both critiques, large corporations (Disney and Apple) are shown as hypocrites. In The Ecstasy of Influence, Jonathan Lethen combines Disney and denial, penning the term “disnial”. In Embrace the Remix, Kirby Ferguson criticizes Steve Jobs' drastic change in his stance on the open-sourceness of certain patents.  Disney and Apple are two of the most successful companies in the world at the moment, which makes them an easy target for these types of criticism. Although they may be taking away the quantity of potential art in the world, I’m not sure if their business practices are taking away the quality of said art. They have constantly been able to manufacture high quality products. So even though I may or may not agree with their practices, I do not think that they should be taken full blame of limiting creative output in the world.

I think plagiarism is accepted when something's considered "good" and severely frowned upon when something's ehh. In both the reading and the video, Bob Dylan is mentioned because he's known to sample previous works of music. Nobody cares because Bob Dylan is "good." But when Vanilla Ice samples Queen, everybody bashes on the poor guy. Everybody's a hypocrite in some way, and the inclusions of money and greed only escalate these kinds of reactions further.

Video and Sound: Soundwalk

I started the audio walk around 11:45am.

The sounds from the real world blended with the audio from my headphones, creating a surreal state of both past and present. I wandered through Central Park in another realm. It was isolating. 

And it was spooky as hell. I wouldn’t know whether the sounds came from my phone or the world. I would hear kids running and playing, look around, and see no kids. Ghost kids?...

And then there’d be moments when Cardiff would narrate EXACTLY what was going around. She literally narrated “a woman is taking a photograph,” and ten feet to my left I’d see a woman taking a goddamn photograph! I looked around and imagined Cardiff surveilling me from afar. 

Events like these happened throughout the walk. I was there, and then I wasn’t.

When I reached the clock tower in the zoo, I heard a bell. I assumed it was from the audio, until I realized that it wasn’t.  It just so happened to be noon time and the clock bell rang and rang. To make sure, I cheated and removed my headphones, leaving Cardiff’s past. The noise of the present was quieter, with only the bell ringing in the background.

I put my headphones back on, hearing again those ghostly children laughing along with that clock tower bell. The music of the past is discordant with that of the present, yet we can’t help but to look backwards and find those brief moments of harmony.

Thanks to Danni H. for accompanying me and helping me with these pictures!

Thanks to Danni H. for accompanying me and helping me with these pictures!