Sampling and Recycling Music

The use of sampling in music first emerged in the mid-1980’s, where hardware such as the E-MU SP-1200 and Akai S950 allowed smaller studios with smaller budgets to re-use music from other artists and putting a twist on it. Mostly used by Hip-Hop artists, it has since been perfected and is almost a necessity for hip-hop artists and DJ’s.

One artist who is considered as a master sampling is the controversial Kanye West. Almost all of his music samples beats and musical motifs from other artists, but is always used in a way to create something new. In fact one of his songs “Ni**as in Paris”, which was part of his collaboration album “Watch the Throne” with fellow artist Jay-Z, samples dialogue from the 2007 Will Ferrell comedy “Blades of Glory”. Kanye West’s work epitomises how re-using content can be used and manipulated creatively, in order to produce something new.g1492989132513706372

Below is my rather poor attempt at sampling someone’s work and forming something different (although its more of a remix). Enjoy 🙂

 

BCM112- Introduction & DA statement

So, here I am, another year of uni and therefore another year of blogging. Not that I don’t enjoy doing it. I very much enjoy it. It’s just that, after a 4 month break, it takes a while to get back in the groove. Anyway, let’s get to the point: this semester I’m finally doing BCM112 and have found myself reunited with Ted, which is great. This also means another semester of dank memes and discussions about all things related to the Internet. However, much like DIGC202, it also means developing a digital artefact. Having not been consistent with my Sims project, from last year, I’ve decided that this semester will be different. I intend on being committed to what I end up doing. Basically, I’m in it for the long run.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Max Clement and I am a 4th year Media & Communications/International Studies student. I am a lover of things Cinema, and write regularly for Chattr. I promise I’m friendly, so if you’re ever around Uni, hit me up on twitter: @max_clement. (Stop it Max, you’re acting desperate. Play it cool)

 Meme 1

As for my BCM112 DA, I am considering joining the established Faces of UOW project, and using the work I produce for them, as my digital artefact, although it’s more of a digital portfolio. Why am I doing this? Simply because it will make for a good starting point that could lead to further opportunities in the future and to develop my photographic skills (of which I don’t have, yet!).

 So that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoy my blog and that you are having a nice day (or night, depending on when you’re reading this)

 Peace out

DIGC202-Battle of The (mobile) Operating Systems

Coming off Apple’s highly anticipated IPhone 7 launch a few days ago, now is a perfect time to re-examine the long-lasting battle between Apple and Android.

Everyone knows that in the market of mobile software, Android and Apple are the major figureheads. I mean, honestly, does anyone actually use a Windows phone? However, the debate still goes on, regarding who is better than who and the fight for total market dominance continues. For a number of years, particularly in the last decade, it always felt like Android were playing catch-up to Apple. Yet, in the last 5 years, Android have started catching up and the two have never been closer until now. But what are the differences?

matrix-meme

One of the major differences between Android and Apple is the open-ness of its operating systems. It is well-known that Apple is very restrictive with customization and general content, whilst Android is generally more open, to an extent.

 

To conclude, I’m going to leave you with a question: Do we choose safety or do we choose freedom?

 

MEDA102- Human Fax Machine

In our second tutorial for MEDA102, we learnt a bit more about the different forms of codes, such as the QR code. More specifically, however, we learnt more the history of the fax machine, and were required at the end of the class, to fax and receive specific images, without speaking. The challenge was to see whether our group could encode something using only a sound-making device.

The first task of the lesson was to research one of the forms of code provided on the MEDADADA site. Our group chose the QR code (Quick Response Code) which is particularly prevalent in the advertising industry. Additionally, the QR is also commonly used nowadays to scan electronic tickets, particularly for concerts. The QR code was created by DENSO WAVE (a division of DENSO CORPORATION) in 1994, and was originally adopted by the auto industry for use in their electronic Kanban. The conventional one dimensional barcodes used on virtually every consumer product are mechanically scanned. That is, they’re read by physically bouncing a narrow beam of light onto the code, which can be interpreted using the pattern of light reflected off the white gaps between the lines.

 

mcr_coke_qr_4_905

The prospect of undertaking the human fax machine task was initially very daunting and also quite amusing, as some of the other groups were all creating their own sound-based codes and also recreating famous tunes through their instruments.

The biggest problem for our group was trying to distinguish different sounds for each shape that needed to be drawn. For example, if we wanted to draw a curved line, we decided to represent through a high-pitched crescendo. However, as we started testing these various codes, it started to become very confusing and as time went by we were starting to run out of time.

 

When the time came to communicate an image, it was initially quite successful. However, as the images became more detailed, it took much longer for the other group to draw the image. Additionally, hearing the sounds of other human fax machines made it much more difficult for our group to distinguish our sound device from the rest, which then led to difficulties in communicating the image to the other group. This issue was also prevalent when our group attempted to draw the image communicated by the opposite group.

 

Undertaking this task made me realize how important language, as channel of communication, really is.

Polar Opposites- MEDA 101 Final Project Statement

For my final project, I was very motivated to create a similar atmosphere to my previous projects, though much more cinematic. The idea for the project emerged when I was taking photos for my last assignment at Guest Park in Fairy Meadow. My project, titled ‘Polar Opposites’ explores the way our perception of the places around us change, depending on our state of mind.

A major cinematic reference for the project was Duncan Jones’ 2009 sci-fi film” Moon”, which although features a fairly conventional series of shots in the opening scene, still manages to successfully blend a series of extreme wide shots, mid shots and close-ups to produce an incredibly melancholic and isolating atmosphere, which was what I wanted to achieve with this project.

For the Still Image assessment task, I was very interested in creating a visual response to Keiden Cheung’s audio piece titled “Playground, Scared Hound, Had to Drive Out of Town”, which was recorded in Area 19. The principal reason why I was attracted to this piece was because of the incredibly atmospheric and desolate feeling it created.

Having decided and located the area which I was going to photograph, I then took a series of concept images to experiment different ways of conveying that feeling of desolation, created in Keiden’s audio piece.  The photographs presented to you, attempt to form some sort of a narrative, much like many of French photographer Richard Vantielcke’s work. I was also influenced by Michael Wolf’s Paris Roof Tops from 2014. In my still images, I attempted to replicate Wolf’s use of geometry and architecture, but instead of representing density, I wanted to represent desolation and the use of black and white in each photo is what I believe to have been the most effective way of displaying that sense of desolation and loneliness.

 

Struggle Street: Poverty Porn and Mediated Suffering

It is incredibly hard not to feel incredibly cynical whilst watching videos of wealthy celebrities such as Jack Black visiting poverty-stricken countries. Although it is well-intentioned, it is also incredibly hard not to feel slightly patronised when a celebrity attempts to help those who suffer from various problems such as poverty, illness  and malnutrition, but then return home and continue to make millions of dollars, whilst those who are suffering continue to do so. Now, this may just be the cynic in me, but videos such as Jack Black’s visit to Uganda for Comic Relief are very problematic and are veering towards exploitation. The same can be said for the incredibly controversial programme “Struggle Street” which observes the lives  of struggling Australian families who live on the fringe of society. This issue is sometimes referred to as “poverty porn” and is the topic for this week’s post.

For this week’s topic, I will be using “Struggle Steet” to explore the issue of poverty porn and why it is so problematic. Before I begin, I will just state that having watched the first episode of SBS’s infamous programme “Struggle Street”, I was deeply disturbed by the way in which the people were represented and the invasive nature of the programme. The question remains, however, is whether the producers were well-meaning in their intentions, or whether they were intent on manipulating the representation of the people on the program from the start. Regardless of the intentions, the effect the show has had on those represented on the show has been destructive.  In an article on news.com.au, Peta Kennedy uses words such as “hurt” and “humiliated” to describe the way in which she felt after watching the show and seeing how she was represented.  However, producer David Galloway claims that the show is attempting to go “ beyond the stereotype and finding out why you end up in Mount Druitt” (2015). This may be the case, but having watched the show, the programme does little to explain the stereotype and in fact heightens the stereotypes by showing these people at their worst and hence manipulating the way we perceive these people, who are looked down upon by many and continue to struggle every day. Additionally, the incredibly problematic use of narration makes the show feel much more like a generic reality-television show, rather than a substantial exploration of the problems that these individuals go through and the way  they are treated by the government.

Having said this, attempting to address the issue of poverty through films and documentaries without coming off as patronising and exploitative and is incredibly difficult. This is why I believe that poverty porn will continue to be an issue in the future and will continue to divide people. However, the optimist in me hopes that one day documentaries and media coverage of poverty will instigate positive change, rather than being part of the problem.

 

References

Willis, C 2015, ‘Struggle Street mum Peta Kennedy says SBS documentary ‘has ripped us apart’’, News, May 11th, viewed 28th March 2016, < http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/reality-tv/struggle-street-mum-peta-kennedy-says-sbs-documentary-has-ripped-us-apart/news-story/b73ac50de773884c7591b4db835d3adf&gt;

Kalina, P 2015, ‘Struggle Street is a raw insight to life at the edges of Australian society’, Sydney Morning Herald, April 30th, viewed 28th March 2016, < http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/struggle-street-is-a-raw-insight-to-life-at-the-edges-of-australian-society-20150423-1mqz40.html&gt;

How do I look: Selfies and the Quantified Self

As I sit on a packed train heading towards the city, I notice three girls sitting across from me. Whilst I type this, they are adjusting their appearance, using their camera as a mirror. In the age of social media, this could only mean one thing: they were going to take a selfie.  In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, a selfie is essentially a digital self-portrait taken by a smart-phone. Selfies have emerged in the wake of the social media age, which has changed the way we communicate with others, for better or for worse.

One of the major issues concerning the ‘selfie’ phenomenon is that of narcissism and the obsessive search for reverence from others.  In fact, the emergence of the media platforms ‘Snapchat’ and ‘Instagram’ have arguably elevated this problem to a higher level and has only intensified the most concerning issue of body image, which I will discuss later. Living in the age of social media, it is indisputable that narcissistic behaviour has spiked. The idea of “updating your status” or “tweeting” are narcissistic in principal.  However, the rise of selfies  have arguably taken narcissism to a new level.  Eric B. Weiser states that “selfies seem inherently to contain the most explicit elements of ostentation and self-propagation” (2015, pg. 477). Instagram, with features  such as hashtags, likes and followers is arguably much more susceptible to narcissism. Because of those fore-mentioned features, people become so obsessed with how many “likes” they get, that their posts are determined by what they think others will like, rather than what they themselves find to be interesting. The obsession for “likes” also leads to, particularly with females, someone exposing a little too much of themselves, which leads me to my second point: body image.

selfie1

Body image, particularly for females, has been an issue long before the ‘selfie culture’. However, there is no denying that the anxieties about how we individually perceive our bodies has heightened significantly in the age of the selfie. Helen Briggs says that “the more women are exposed to “selfies” and other photos on social media, the more they compare themselves negatively” (2014).  However, Pamela B. Rutledge believes that they are “a by-product technology-enabled self-exploration” (2013).  Both of these arguments have equal amounts of truth in them. The argument, in regards to body image, can swing both ways, as selfies can both cause anxieties about how we see ourselves compared to others but can also instigate positive change to improve our self-esteem. As a pessimistic person, I am more akin to Brigg’s argument that selfies are harmful to the way we see ourselves, particularly for females. That being said, I do enjoy taking the occasional selfie and do have a Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook account. So in a sense, I am part of the problem. Whether selfies are a real problem, however, is another question.

References

Briggs, H 2014, ‘ ‘Selfie’ body image warning issued’, BBC News, 10th April, viewed 25th March 2016,  <http: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26952394&gt;  

Rutledge B., P 2013, ‘ #Selfies: Narcissism or Self-Exploration?’, Psychology Today, 18th April, viewed 25th March 2016, <http: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/positively-media/201304/selfies-narcissism-or-self-exploration&gt;

Weiser, EB 2015, ‘#Me: Narcissism and its facets as predictors of selfie-posting frequency’, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 86, pp. 477-481. Available from: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.07.007. [26 March 2016].

 

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