Cumbia Exhibition – Round Up Post

•August 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

So I’ve decided to do the online exhibition for the assignment. Leaving the Jodoverse, I’ll be doing it on CUMBIA, a type of really interesting Colombian folk music which I really dig. Lots of possible content, perhaps maybe too much. I’ll be using alot of audio, obviously, and photos, plus a few interesting YouTube videos. The blog is still NOW COMPLETE AND READY FOR VIEWING!

The rationale can be found here also.

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It took alot longer than I had originally planned actually, and my perfectionsit tendandies did not help as I found myself fiddling with HTML and font size for hours. One thing I do regret is being forced to use the Blogspot plataform as it added to the work because its HTML coding is really aimed at a very low denominator and I found myself continutally fixing and editing the posts over and over again.

The reason I had to switch from WordPress to Blogspot was because, as it was an exhibition about music, I really wanted to have playable music content. After a little searching and seeing what some of the other music blog’s I visit use, I settled with Yahoo Media Player, only to realize that WordPress does not allow the JavaScript from that particulate application (thanks to SAMY, my eternal nemisis).

The exhibition turned out pretty well, considering. Some of the things I had wanted to do to improve functionality I was unable to do because of my limited knowledge of Javascript, but hopfully it succedes in its aims.

Analysis of Two Music Videos

•August 24, 2008 • 1 Comment

In an effort to waste my time online and stay up too late, I finally managed to put up that essay I was talking about in a previous post. It’s an analysis of two music video’s, “Afrika Shox” by Leftfield, and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by Saul Williams. In addition to a pretentious title, I’ve embedded the clips so you can see for yourself what I may or may not be talking about.

Black Men In The Urban Jungle: A Semiotic Analysis of Two Music Videos

Synopsis

The music video is an interesting cultural text that contains a unique constellation of meaning, given its technical and stylistic features. Using the semiotic analysis developed by Saussure and Barthes, the various orders and degrees of meaning can be peeled back from the multiple and diverse images of the music video’s for Afrika Shox by Leftfield, and Sunday Bloody Sunday by Saul Williams. These signs and significations relate to themselves, other images in the video itself, and the wider cultural context of the viewer and in which these signs operate. Multiple political and social meanings can be teased out through this semiotic analysis which highlights the importance of a readers, and a cultures, overall paradigm in the construction of meaning within these cultural texts. [continue here]

Gorman Is King (reprise)

•August 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Extra Gormanium Nulla Salus

•August 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

(click to view 1 min film)

Alejandro Jodorowsky

•August 20, 2008 • 1 Comment

I’ve been meaning to do a post about this topic for a while. I’m considering doing the first assignment for Networked Media Production as an online exhibition of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s creative works. I’m also considering doing my cultural studies research project on his films, but I’m having some trouble developing a specific research question. Either way, he is a highly interesting topic for a blog post (as you can see here, here, here and here!)

I first became aware of his work when a friend told me about this crazy movie he saw on SBS late one night. I have a genetic predisposition to watching crazy films and so after some research I decided to purchase the recently released Jodorowsky Box Set. Great timing as his films were stuck in legal limbo until 2007, and were only available in low quality versions. Since then I’ve fallen under somewhat of a Jodorowsky obsession, devouring his graphic novels, films and books.

There is a wealth of information about him and his creative works to be found online and sifted through. This is a great article which gives a overview of his work.

It’s strange but almost every single interview I hear or read with Jodorwosky is highly amusing and interesting. His perspective is very refreshing. In this interview he touches on the themes of my previous post about human evolution and conciousness:

Interviewer: Are you optimistic about humankind’s future?

Jodorowsky: Civilization can come to an end. But I believe that if man was created, it’s not because man wanted to exist, it’s because the universe wants consciousness. And there are all these threads of the universe working for us in order to make a new mutation. We are creating a new brain. Because we have three brains, no? The Reptilian, the mammalian and the cerebral cortex. We will make a fourth brain. We are monkeys now, but this will be rearranged. If we don’t do that, our children will do it. Without a revolution, without anything. The next generation will change everything…

For a unit last semester I made a 1 min film which was in a large way inspired by The Holy Mountain. In the mean time no post on Jodorowsky would be complete without a clip from The Holy Mountain and an interview with the man himself:

Internet ; MultiVac

•August 13, 2008 • 5 Comments

[From this weeks readings: “We Are The Web” @ Wired ]

Three thousand years from now, when keen minds review the past, I believe that our ancient time, here at the cusp of the third millennium, will be seen as another such era. In the years roughly coincidental with the Netscape IPO, humans began animating inert objects with tiny slivers of intelligence, connecting them into a global field, and linking their own minds into a single thing. This will be recognized as the largest, most complex, and most surprising event on the planet. Weaving nerves out of glass and radio waves, our species began wiring up all regions, all processes, all facts and notions into a grand network. From this embryonic neural net was born a collaborative interface for our civilization, a sensing, cognitive device with power that exceeded any previous invention. The Machine provided a new way of thinking (perfect search, total recall) and a new mind for an old species. It was the Beginning.

I was reminded while I was reading this of an old school SF story I read once about a supercomputer called MultiVac. The story is interesting in it gives a insight into views of technological advance from the 50’s, but there are still some interesting parallels with the internet and what people say it will become in the future, specifically Google.

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov © 1956

The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way……(continue)

This talk of a global Machine, connected to everything and everyone also makes me think of the possibility of artificial consciousness within massive global networks. While this is obviously far, far off into the future, and any ideas we have about it now will seem as dated as that 50’s story, it makes you wonder what the ultimate “end point” to our networked technology is. AI seems like an interesting possibility, and actually IBM has apparently begun such a project….

Its name is Blue Brain. Its job is to simulate, at the cellular level, the interaction of neurons. Launched as a collaboration with IBM in 2005, its makers have taken it as far as simulating a basic computational unit of a two-week-old rat’s brain. This single neocortical column – around 10,000 neurons locked into 30 million synaptic handshakes – has been doing what they had hoped it would do, which is act much like a real bundle of neurons. What’s especially remarkable is that it accomplishes this feat from the bottom-up, with the complexity emerging from the behaviors of the individually modeled parts alone.

Convict Colony

•August 12, 2008 • 1 Comment

Saul Williams – Convict Colony

This is the new Saul Williams film clip. His first one was for a cover of U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. I wrote about it for a class last semester which  I finally managed to put it up here for someone to plagiarize. This song was actually written while Saul was in Sydney and relates to his take on the Indigenous people’s of this country.

[From Ninwiki: Saul Williams on Convict Colony]

Obviously, Australia is a Convict Colony. In my estimation so is the US and few other “allies”. I was mad at the lack of Aboriginal people I was seeing out and about Sydney. The projects in RedFern looked exactly like the projects I grew up around, with people getting high or drunk on the stairwells, hanging clothes to dry out the window etc. I even had a bunch Aboriginal kids walk up to me and tell me excitedly that they were niggers too. I wanted to write something they could scream at the top of their lungs.

Very psychedelic, great visuals. Film clips are a really interesting medium. The internet and YouTube in particular have really given them a new life as there was a time there when it looked like they might be on the decline. Now seems like clips can be made at a fraction of the cost, and they can be shown to literally millions of viewers without the involvement of the record/tv industry…

[from: DIY Video; How The Detroit Music Scene Is Seen on YouTube on Model D]

Indeed, bands are hardly just about making records and playing gigs anymore. And long-gone are the days of adventurous MTV programs like “120 Minutes” and “Alternative Nation,” where some independent bands were given the chance for their videos to see the light of day (or, rather, the dark of night, as most of these shows only aired in the wee hours in the morning).
With the advent of social networking sites like MySpace, and the feeling of immediacy that comes with YouTube, Detroit artists are hardly worried about their videos seeing the light of day on media giants like MTV and Fuse.
With the surge of YouTube and all its cousins, however, it’s anybody’s game. And who needs the big guys anyway, when uploading a video is as simple as a few clicks and some coding?

It’s one argument for the continued romance that we have with technology, its powers of democratizing and liberalization by its undermining of the Techno-Giants of this universe!