October 19, 2010

"We Will See"

"Resist the temptation to hurry the process simply because the uncertainty of not knowing is uncomfortable. "
-Dr. Mini Kaur

Foreign Affairs article by Hilary Clinton

What better place to be than where the action is right?!

The obvious result will be that North Korea will fall just because it has zero resources, and still decreasing if that is even possible.

Although I was contemplating talking about 'black swans' before I was introduced to the TV series FlashForward, which has now been canceled (not the most brilliant choice), now that it was mentioned in a very good TV series and has something to do with this entry I need to write about how it is relevant to the Koreas.

This Black Swan related to this entry is not necessarily as unlikely and massive as the disproportionate, high impact, unexpected event in FlashForward, but it is important to where I will be for at least the next year and of interest to the world. South Korea is a major economic, geographic, and political ally to the United States where is draws a lot of military support from, even if the South Korean youth think otherwise. Americans I hear are not too popular due to our reckless military youth stationed there. However, the relevance of South Korea in the political world and its future dealings with North Korea when, and I do mean when, it falls, will be a major concern for international trade in the future.

North Korea's new leadership will take on an even more militaristic character that threatens democracy and does not necessarily give the United States a choice, when it attacks South Korea. China claims that it does not support North Korea in the recent attacks on Yeonpyeong Island off the coast of the South Korean peninsula, but from my observations of "China's word", we better not rely on that. No matter how much I hope that China will stop the trade and destructive economic activity in Africa, and its self-inflicting poverty among Chinese individuals/citizens, I still think a better access point for China is through South Korea.

North Korea, due to common language (sometimes), culture, tradition, and history, will seek more help from South Korea because, first of all, they already do, and secondly it will make the peninsula more powerful in Confucian ideals and in 'fitting in' with the westernization of the rest of world. This combination can be achieved with hard (very hard) work, but it can also act as a bomb, when mixing two chemicals/(politicals), causing an explosion.

In Hilary Clinton's article she mentions, "Today's world is a crucible of challenges testing American leadership. Global problems, from violent extremism to worldwide recession to climate change to poverty, demand collective solutions, even as power in the world becomes more diffuse. They require effective international cooperation, even as that becomes harder to achieve. And they cannot be solved unless a nation is willing to accept the responsibility of mobilizing action." America's main motivation will need to be to reclaim or 'share' the leadership role.

President Obama frequently mentioned South Korea as a role model for the United States in his State of the Union address. He mentioned South Korean teachers to be "nation builders", as opposed to our 'tenure-hungry'-unionizing-blame-the-government teachers, and how when Americans are struggling to get internet all over the country, South Koreans have better quality and faster service, all over their country. This is a significant sign of America's lack of leadership. Are we already 'old timers' that we can't even implement a functioning wireless service to our entire country? Our country is quite larger than South Korea's but is it to large to manage efficiently, I mean we have done it for 200 yrs plus! Our ability to evolve as become slow, and this lack of creativity and curiosity in the world has hindered us. Generations before, well... mine, have been more focused on money. Money was what they built and created, rather than new economic methods for new technology etc. Was capitalism taken for granted?

The world is definitely getting smaller, and like in the previous post, America is becoming more vulnerable, therefore more worried and defensive because of the lack of knowledge about the 'outside' world. Although we have spent many years, since Nixon, developing foreign affairs for the better. Good things always take time, and to rush the process, like North Korea is doing, will ruin what it could possibly become. China needs to put a muzzle on their dog as a symbolic action that proves to the US they are serious about peace and security in OUR (as in everyone's) world.

I should be off to South Korea soon enough to teach English for at least a year. Once I start there, I am guessing this blog will take on yet another form, from Art to Politics/Governance (IR) to traveling and cultural anthropological observations - maybe it will just be more personal. I hope to learn more Korean, maybe an instrument?, who knows. Maybe I can find something on here that will lead me.

I was also told South Korea is not a place to 'find yourself', haha, well we will see. Having been to South Korea before I know to 'watch' myself in certain situations - pay attention to detail and emotions more so than I do in the stix of Kansas. This is probably for the best because I do care about certain people, and it will make me a better judge for those who care (or say they care) for me. Of course finding that medium between the two culture will result in some not so easy sacrifices, patience, and an extensive understanding by both parties involved.

Paul Kennedy emphasizes the strategy of "Wait and See"

Try Harder, Be Better, and Never forget to Smile :-D.

October 14, 2010

Digital Security

New media technology advancements are threatening our security or are the expanding our freedom?

Defending America in the digital age. Flow of Terror

"Nothing is Free", I have been told by my parents many, many...MANY, times. Obviously, because I am our households most expensive child...or maybe even human? Private schools all the way will certainly blast a hole through somebody's portfolio.

But other than education, which should be available to every American/human being BTW, Is the easily accessible new medium; internet, iPhone, cell phones, skype, a substitute to education? None of this is free. However, people have been able to watch FULL movies online for FREE even before that movie comes out in theaters. Of course there are your cyber-police out there who shut these sites down, but just as fast as someone else is creating them.

I guess the cost in ripping Hollywood off is in the morals, ethics..and ..the guilt?...right?

But I would have to say ripping off Hollywood does not make me feel as guilty as ripping off the music industry. Music, to me, is a whole lot more meaningful when it comes to managing things in life. I have overheard, and ripped off the idea that managing things is what life is filled with.

Movies may help some people manage things - they certainly inspire ideas, and feelings, and substitute as a "How-to"..'How to date a girl?'..'How to feel when your significant other walks off with..another'..and maybe even a "how to"..'act when you get a job', but my argument for music being more valuable than movies, is that when you are listening to something you are applying your OWN visual to the music, and in a way practicing your own creativity. Music inspires thinkers, and Multitaskers, and athletes. Movies require ones full attention - as do books (but this is a new media conversation) And ripped off ibooks are only in the future (at least mine).

Therefore I feel more guilty ripping musicians off than Hollywood as a whole. The individual in the music industry is hurt more than any actor or actress in Hollywood when you rip off a film.

Will Natalie Portman lose any jobs because somebody ripped off a movie that she was in? Will she lose money? No, because the director already paid her, probably before the movie was even finished.

But a musician relies on album sales, and radio as a main contribution to their continence in the industry because rating are based on having the public actually hear the music, Academy Awards are not based on Box Office sales.

The expansion of new mass media opening our access to the world ..let's say ..outside of America can substitute as education but - such as is said in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead - "people only believe what they want to believe" - even if you smack them, hit them, scream, and shout - people will not succumb to the truth (whatever it might be at the time), especially Shakespearean characters, who are so stubbornly written down, sometimes, that there may be no reason at all for them not to listen, other than for Shakespeare himself to produce a more exciting, deadly, and/or laughable ending.

So apply this idea to new media and you have people who only search for things the believe in and/or consider relevant to them. Individualism, especially in the US, is first and foremost when making a search in www.google.com or www.wikipedia.com. Can it be possible that people in Africa research and hear more about America and Europe than they do their own continent/country? Is this due to new media expansion? Why are they not as self absorbed as Americans?

CNN first went international when "the network, in large part a result of Ted Turner's Globalization ideals, began transmissions in 1, January 1984 at first primarily broadcasting to American business travelers in hotels." - wikipedia.com This expanded to local newsstands, boutiques, etc around third world countries and Canada and Europe. American culture blasted out of CNN. For awhile America was only giving and never receiving, now with the capitalization of new gadgets in the US, that Asia probably made popular, globalization continues its trend to bring each culture to another via invisible semes or strings. However, a natural American reaction to imports (including information) is "Are we secure?".

Is freedom something that restricts things that are from an 'unfree' world? Is freedom defined by how secure one is playing with ones own toys and no one else's toys?

Since the US does not have complete control over the world, instead of the US govenrment mistaking new mass media as a form of peacemaking, they are considering it a threat and a tool that portrays the US as vulnerable. We are only vulnerable because we think we cannot/do not understand the mediums involved, nor do we have control over them. Does our freedom offend other culture? groups? traditions? religions? Yeup. Which makes the US even more defensive.

October 5, 2010

Watching Wasteland

Jumanji, a game that tests your character. I always wished this was real.

Discovering one's character is easier when you stand on the outside and watch then when you are participating in the conversation or interaction itself. If you are interested in another individual that you are...'participating' with, and you want to find out more, do you a) act like an asshole b) play dumb c) interrogate?

What do each of these methods produce?
a) -a conflicted person who does not know how to react because they are interested in you too, but you're being an asshole...
-a violent person (physically or verbally)
-a confused and offended person

b) -a frustrated person who does not want to take the time to explain to an ignorant what he/she knows because you are not cooperating based on your intelligence level....not on the fact that you may just NOT know....
-a patient person who teaches you like a child while also feeling empowered by his/her knowledge and therefore feels superior
-someone who enjoys showing you and tolerates your mistakes....

c)-a scared bewildered person who does not understand why your questions are so direct and rude because they fire like bullets....
-an excited person who wants to play the game of 20 Questions..so he/she fires right back just as quick
-a person who cannot handle the pressure, so crumbles under the insecurity of his/her answers to your pointed questions.

So you get a reaction...
what is a good reaction to play acting? Is what you see is what you get good enough? For anything, job, housing, family, friends, etc.

Can you really twist something out of someone and should it be based on that particular moment where their true character shows? Who knows, but its fun.

Could not resist...

October 1, 2010


While watching the live quorum Monday Night, I made a joke to the Kansan sitting next to me that it was kind of like birdwatching. Trying to pick out the senators and match them to a visual. Being all old men with gray hair it is always more difficult. This was nothing like Monday night football, where numbers would have helped.

What is hard and very disappointing is that most interns on the hill do not recognize the Congressperson that they share an elevator with, pass by in the hallway, or run an errand for. Some interns however did memorize the "Bird-Almanac".

How does Capitol Hill work so differently than other...'institutions'? Connections are key, Information is fluid, especially the myths about the physical Capitol itself. Even experts say that rumors spread through these walls like butter. This reaches Congress at many different levels of Congress.

Tours are my personal favorite. 1. you get to watch a movie 2. you look like you know everything 3. you are not condemned to a stinky old office. When not in session, life can get a bit dull. So fixing constituent lists by adding the Mr. and Ms. is usually all there is to do in a days work. And you ask how is this going to help me on my way to being Secretary of State?......

Well the answer to that one is not completely obvious to me yet either. So for the time being I can say I am happy to be here to meet new people. One thing is for sure I need to maintain those contacts. And coming from Kansas we tend to know how to do this in the friendliest ways. Gift baskets, fruit cakes, Christmas cards, frequent facebooking. Skype is new (my mom's fav).

The connections I make however, might be Congresspeoples and they might not be, those connections are important to maintain as well. But the most important people are those who you believe could support you in the future career-wise, and maybe you could do the same for them.

Some birds just go unnoticed sometimes.

What will this get me? Great pen pals. ;-)

September 26, 2010

Acronyming the Latino Routes

Although I live in the NE, lots of interesting things have happened in the NW, SW, SE of the DC.

Acronyms haven't been common for me in the past. Now I live in a place where everyone comes from everywhere and MIK (more in the kitchen), and ITB (in the barn) no longer are used but rather PTFO, LMFAO, FML, JB....etc. IGO, UN, UNDP and the list goes on. I feel left out because I was not given a dictionary for these 'short-speak' terms.

Above is a picture of (L-R) JB friend, me, Ambassador to Costa Rica(former president's daughter), and my Ukrainian/Chicagoan roommate. This adventure to the Costa Rican Embassy was for their Independence Day Parade Celebration. (Technically I was in Costa Rica for a couple of hours.)

My connection was through soccer of course. Having been recruited to the Kick Tease team by a guy in a law program at Georgetown University with a majority of international lawyers in it. One of the lawyers was Costa Rican and invited us to this event.

Food, dancing, meeting people, learning about a culture, I have never been to, completely excited my roommate and me to the point where we needed to check out other embassy events. However it seemed that the non-'third-world', non-'south', tended to be more expensive than we were willing to pay. And our research still needs to extend to the Senegalese, Sierra Leonean, Argentine, and other embassies.

Weekend adventures have proved promising. Karaoke in Alexandria, Festival on H Street in the NE, exploring, and meeting new people all falls into what I wanted to discover about a big city.

August 29, 2010

Country Roads

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains
Shenandoah River -
Life is old there
Older than the trees
Younger than the mountains
Growin' like the breeze

Country roads, take me home
To a place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads.......

Having planted new routes in the town of Washington DC, I am energized, focused, and developing new opportunities. Refreshing is hard, changing routes was never my thing and I try to establish a routine everywhere I go.

Leaving the past two years behind is so relieving and liberating. College is a bubble, 2 years may be enough to get what you need and get out, 4 years will be enough to make an impact while you're there.

During the summer of no destination, a.k.a job searching, I discovered;
  • how working hard for something doesn't necessarily mean you should.
  • Taking things with stride tend to leave you with better results.
  • Being open to things you weren't before can change you for the better.
  • Surprise is a feeling that guarantees you're alive.

*Don't ever settle.

April 16, 2010

"What We've Got Here is..a Failure to Communicate"

Do not let the conflict between men and women stop you. Let your light shine and do not let the other sex define you. Let you and your gender be there, no need to impress or fear being a woman or a man.

No race should interpret your culture or heritage. No socio-economic forces should determine who YOU are when you strip yourselves of clothes, money, food, and just BE.

Let the women glow like the sun and shift like the crazy wind. Sometimes what one needs to get on is an exasperation, an exhalation, a scream, a yell, a holler. More so an act of powerful force done. Hopefully positively.

Insanity is not as insane as it looks because there is even something more insane, unexplainable, irrational, and unstoppable.

Let her go free.
Let him be simple.

Let them collide and separate.

Let things be - do not force and you will always be free.

Control is not the answer. But love, trust, honesty, understanding, and personal touch is key.

March 23, 2010

Roots Sweet Roots

Although it is the season for potato planting, these are not the roots I am referring to. I am referring to coming home for Spring Break after a long, annoying winter. It did snow, however, which was not very nice but the fish were, and are, still biting. And now that it has melted and my bogs are going crazy I took a lovely 8 mile run/walk around, took the Evening Star route - gorgeous! Might have to do this every other day, because this afternoon my knees are throbbing!

Bourriaud commented on how modernism is a return to your routes..oh I mean roots, and how altermodernism is the picking up of those roots and planting them somewhere elsewhere, while having the option of continual connection to the original root. Well, as I am applying for jobs and connecting to all of these networking improvements, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, I question whether I want a job here, in Kansas, or there, wherever there is. I would take anywhere, in fact I'd prefer it, being so young and all, but getting there would hopefully be paid for.

But if I would get a job in my hometown, where I would love to eventually settle, I would have numerous set connections and I would no longer be a stranger (having gone to a high school and elementary school out of town and all I really have 'displaced roots')

Another question is whether I even have the original roots at all or are they loosely placed and ready to fly away? Adventures always seem a logical solution to this dilemma, but how much credibility to they actually have in the job market? Probably none, dealing with people and not escaping them is an asset one needs to build on. Creating roots seems to be another solution that may be harder, but perhaps more beneficial. Wherever these roots are created, Wisconsin, Texas, Kansas, abroad...I plan to always keep them planted because if you burn one of those bridges sometimes you end up not being able to go back.

One week isn't enough to build a root system, but can be a good start. So I guess we should go plant those potatoes.

March 16, 2010

The Missing Link

Lawrentian look into media and the society where they live or have visited or are visiting. Americans having visited, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Uganda comment on their first impressions, their realizations, and describe the profound change they have undergone after having been there.

Africans from Ghana and the Sudan comment on their first impressions of America and Americans, and how the media plays a very important role with the expectations they had before they came.

These comments and opinions about media within the two VERY DIFFERENT societies puts our generation on a level playing field with media but the perspective of the media creates an uneven playing field yet again. If media were to "show the good side of life" in Africa as well as what it has been showing, and then also show the hard side of life in America as well as what else it has been showing, then it would be a level playing field.

Final Project is complete.

March 9, 2010

A Social-lite

"The person is intelligent, people are stupid" - K, MIB

As technology has increased the awareness of other cultures in far far away places, people have been either less and less or more and more informed about that culture. Controlling or ...informing, excuse me...a large amount of people tends to create social culture in a media-lead world. Although information may be available to everyone on the net, people still need to be told where to look.

Usually people associated with some type of social group, through church, museums, sports, opera houses what have you, hear about whats new, good, or better through word of mouth. I heard about Drudge Report from a friend for example, not from Google-ing "best political blogs", although if I had it still would not have been on the front page, yet it is still a popular social source for political news among conservatives. Now depending on where you stand, you either choose to like the link because of its stance (that's being partisan) or because of the variety of links provided (this is being qualitative), or because of the number of links provided, and therefore by some logic declaring it diverse? (that is being quantitative)

The one thing about the internet is its power to destruct the idea of nationalism and within that a pure claim to cultural identity. If there are no segregated nations or cultures on the web, then does this mean differences can be solved, nations can find common ground through this technological void, and there would/should be no more war? It is a possibility, but we are not there yet. The reason I bring up Matt Drudge's political blog page is because he almost started a war by taking what he thought was true and posting it as truth. It is because of the social network online which has taken his blog for granted and the unreliability of certain media that these mistakes occur. However, people also have the responsibility of not taking his blog for granted, but this just supports the idea that people are stupid. But by people taking a blog's legitimacy and truth for granted because it is referred to them through an online (or not) social network, everything played at the opera is good, or everything in a museum is art.

It tends to be a "location material" that people are attracted too and when transferred to the net it takes the same form and function of a social structure, but in this case social has become a form on indirect social. These people do not know each other but they know what each and every other one of them likes, therefore creating a detached social network where you can remove yourself without...harm, because that person doesn't actually know you.

Public Interest or Public Opinion are what now drives the good and bad levels of art, books, and perhaps academics. But what is it that has been declared a 'good video' on youtube, or an 'amazing' song on the radio? Something that someone else has told you about, and because of that person's attraction to it, it is, by popular choice, good. But what is quality? Does public opinion know quality over quantity? Can we really classify people in qualitative groups? Is this global capitalism*, even though what we are consuming is virtually free? How long will this freedom last? Youtube videos' embedded ability is becoming restricted, and without a social network telling one where to find videos or music, it is hard to utilize the web efficiently. Can the collective whole become intelligent enough to out maneuver web restrictions? Some have, however those are anti-social individuals. Is the internet educating the people as a whole?

3rd Rock from the Sun provides a good look at how what someone from the outer space would think of our social customs, and preferences. Deciding whether humor is quality or what is primitive, through looking at your lifestyle as if you've never lived it, or as if you never were trained to live like others, can be a good way to evaluate how we do things here on Planet Earth. The movie Brazil where the audience is introduced to a new world, rather than viewing those being introduced to your world, also can carry the question what is quality? or the message that although you are human that does not mean you cannot be alien or vice versa. Although you are a piece of readymade that does not mean you cannot be art - Marcel Duchamp.*

*Reference Nicolas Bourriaud and his book The Radicant

March 7, 2010

Where da Party?

Paper or Plastic? Consuming or producing? Post-modern or Altermodern?

Today with global capitalism each sector of the world has been introduced into a digital world at the same time, rather than going through an agricultural, industrial, and then technological process that has lead to this digital new media era. Now the 20 yr old generation has grown up with a sense of the same technology and ability of that new media.

In the next few generations students around the world will hopefully be experiencing the same amount of access to the new technologies. Due to this spread of materialism and products and the consumption of these products, our world has interconnected itself through the trading of those products - creating (of course) a circle.

However, capitalism has seemed to have taken a hit from "dematerialization" the new technology seems to enforce. Without a product to sell there is no consumption of that product unless of course one has changed the essence of that product to what was materialistic to a new conceptual and 'altermodern' product, but the question is can these still be sold? or is everything up for grabs? Ideas, beliefs, time, ..or knowledge.

The amount of information on the net void is infinite, the amount of credible information of the net is questionable. But Nicolas Bourriaud explains in the ending pages of his book The Radicant, that locations seem to take a huge toll in validity or legitimacy of art and knowledge. As a 'semionaut' in order to lead your audience down a path of progressiveness concepts and ideas you need art to embody the signs and visual, or audio, representations that will direct the world to understand what will be. The signs do not necessarily have an end, and obviously the journey is the art or the answer, rather than the destination, but Bourriaud is trying to express that these projects are merely "dots upon a moving line" where our contribution is shared with everyone in the world simultaneously and access is infinite, therefore making it never-ending.

"The quality of an artist's work depends on the richness of his or her relations with the world and these are determined by the economic structure that more or less powerfully shapes them -- even if, fortunately every artist theoretically has the means to evade or escape that structure."

A good artist is a "net citizen" for the media void which serves us and is there for us to spit anything into it. Although, the responsibility a net citizen has is to guide those within to sincere intellectual place of knowledge or interest. But there will always be citizens who are irresponsible.

This is NOT the Altermodern stage yet because everyone does NOT have equal access to technological void of knowledge in which everyone must be apart of to have an altermodern society, but are we close?

Sometimes people choose not to be apart of that society does this make impossible to be the altermodern society?No as long as the option is there, people NOT choosing it cannot prevent from societal changes to occur. One can chose to be ignorant and sometimes some people cannot handle the truth, so it is a practical precaution to choose not to participate as a 'net citizen' in this void where knowledge can be infinite (at least for the human's finite brain).


The recreations of ancient works of art in the medium of comics as defined by James Danky as Comix, seemed to be a product of the drug induced late Sixties era. Where sex, drugs, and alcohol seemed to be the inspirations for these old artists it seems to show in the horror and sexual representations that the Comix portray.
Danky focused a lot of his presentation on female sexuality which also seemed to be key in art history. Sometimes things never change but what does seems to be the amount of criticism and tolerance directed at what never changes therefore allowing it to become either offensive, degraded, more expressive, or more interesting.

Forbidden things always seem to be more addictive to look at than what is allowed by the mainstream media. Porn, monsters, political criticism, hallucinations, drugs, etc.

The co-mixture that Comix in Danky's world provides is a the mixture between then art and "now/then" art and then the tolerable and intolerable media images that have been criticized before but now that they can be represented in this art form are more tolerated..?

What other mediums can we "indirectly" represent what is forbidden in mainstream media? And then once its represented that way is it still forbidden?

Evolution of this medium has seemed to be exclusive to certain subcultures who tend to keep up with the storyline and imagery depicted. It is which subcultures impact the Comix that is interesting and seems to be a way to predict where the Comix are going and what they will continue to raise up from the underground.

February 28, 2010

French Potatoes

What we classify as good enough to show off, in public, in galleries, at the Olympics etc. What passes the test for US products? What doesn't? Some products are sold in South Korea before they are sold in the US as to see how well they did hear measuring whether the profit in South Korea would make a profitable impact in the States.

The separate consumer locations now classify social status and where you can shop. The separate portrayals of classy and not classy all depend on where you buy it rather than what you buy. Fashion judges everywhere seem to have thier eye on you in Reality TV shows like What Not To Wear and Project Runway.

The "Revocable Aesthetics" mentioned in Nicolas Bourriaud's The Radicant are served to us as the-best-possible-thing-you-could-ever-need and decided upon by a set hierarchy that was put into place by who knows who - God supposedly.

So if something else maybe unpleasant was placed in the window what would everyone say?
NYTimes - I think there was a naked person on a corner window and the caption was - "its not inappropriate it's art". So would you approve of a naked woman or man standing in a window display at a corner in New York City?

Well should there be limitations to some media? What media? What art? Should what is displayed in windows be something that can only be sold to the public? Artists can take that even further and represent ideas that are 'sold' to the public. Persuasive arguments that convince people to support this or that idea displayed in a corner store window. What about a politician's message or protester signs?

Is anything in a corner store window aesthetically pleasing because it is displayed as such? What makes it more valuable to be on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri rather than in the JCPenny outlet store down the way? I guess this is in terms of fashion, but fashion is 'supposedly' an artform where the public as the opportunity to wear it around in public for everyone to see rather than keep it in a gallery. Does the art of fashion mean since everyone can enjoy it everyone can dictate it?

According to the French, some American women dress like sacks of potatoes and look like ghosts without their makeup and hose, or witches with their flat footed shoes. So the french determine American fashion now? Well no. I am just illustrating the effect other countries and other perspectives have on each other in the art/fashion/music world.

(and maybe Jackie Kennedy)

One question Bourriaud asks;
"How do artists take account of the space in which they live?"

Through exploration and contact with other cultures something new emerges and an Fremerican or Amerench fashion emerges so instead of just looking like a sack of potatoes one can go about looking like...just Potatoes.

Now the world will have to strive for relating art and food in order to 'equally distribute' this necessity as well.

Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'

Scream - Michael and Janet

The movie I hope to include in the final draft in order to get a better sense of media critique and power. Michael Jackson will symbolize a victim of media like the America has been in Africa and Africa has been in America. Many misconceptions pass through this void and in this video I think he puts it together in an aesthetically appealing way, which hopefully we may be able to incorporate well and skillfully in our "interviewdeo" - where the perceptions of people help to clarify the truth about countries and the addition of music videos add emphasis and art to the mix.

Michael Jackson seemed to be very determined to clear up the misunderstandings about him and his family that the media tended to spread, later in his life. His effort was through interviews and when asked questions he genuinely was talking one-on-one with his audience. he knows how to manipulate media but as a human being can become victimized by it as well. Through interviews however he was able to record the Life of Michael Jackson series where the TV network was invited out to Neverland Ranch and witness what it was exactly. As a form of documentation these interviews captured what we think to be the true Michael Jackson. Jackson's point is that nobody know him better than himself besides maybe his family members, however people tend to believe the media because they are an 'objective' source. Well, abuse of that reputation comes willingly and fast, especially among a media form called "The Tabloids".

Our presentation went well, when asked where we were going I think we were stumped about where we could go concerning mainly our technological education about final cut. Now that we know a little of what we can do, perfecting sound and color and including online videos we can answer that with a well organized "interviewdeo" where students from Lawrence incorporate their perceptions, education, talents, and opinions together to find the truth while Michael Jackson adds his own experience and connections for appeal, relevant music media, the level of notoriety he is on and the new media era we are entering impacts us all - so hopefully this video can as well.

February 25, 2010

Dreams, Drywall, Slime Mold, and Stephan Anunson

What inspires people tends to be some of the most ridiculous things at first but once explained and applied they become the most fitting for that particular person, project, or event.

The kind of intellectual humor that dreams, drywall, and especially slime mold and Stephan Anunson have, when applied to new media sources it takes a certain amount of effort to control the humor when attempting to present the piece of work in which they are included.

Of course maybe what inspires people is not necessarily the subject they are presenting but the people, artists, fungi (not fungi?) that drive semes to explore these particular mediums, characters, and hallucinations or oneirology.

Who knew?

February 21, 2010

Speak Media?

Maybe not as good, but we are attempting to incorporate a video of non-Africans doing African dancing. This will incorporate the music we intended in the best way that catches the message and beat of our project.

Also hopefully a non-African speaking a native tongue of Ghana; Twi

Introduction = first impressions and expectations, short a choppy, maybe some leeway time at the end of some snippets.
Transition slides saying "On Africa" , "On America", "Perceptions" and "Reflections"

Body = perceptions, reflections, clips from Michael Jackson (either music or music video; Scream) ; still keeping with a short choppy clear and understandable message about the media in Africa and America

Video Perfection = Volume, transitioning, matching music to video, or audio to an embedded video, color content maybe can change (labels on the shirts and stuff in the background)

End = African dancing

Da Vinci of Bats; Jodi Sedlock - Bio Prof.-

Becoming passionate about something in a completely different field by using what you already love in your chosen field helps those "non-art" fields see new, creative, and different solutions to problems that they otherwise would not have found. Combining art and biology together, as Jodi Sedlock did, allows art to grow in different fields. Government, Science, and Economics are all places where art is flourishing but maybe it is not recognized as art because it is not in a big museum with white walls all around it, or up for sale within the high art community. However this 'academic art' is focused, purposeful, fulfilling aesthetically and scientifically, and can help the fields where it seems to focus the researchers, or the scientists.

Fruit Bat Video

This video shows some artistic documenting through the video medium. Sedlock mentioned she is going to take a student back to the Philippines with her who is a film studies major and plans to do a documentary.
~maybe they can come up with something better?

Combining fields of study into a major research project, whether in the political sciences or natural sciences, can both be explained to the public through video, photography, or literary media. Art is a tool for communicating the academic topics assisted by other artistic, and creative values. Catching bats, interviewing journalists, studying anatomy, the front page story, or acting out a play for HIV awareness and teen pregnancy. All art forms catch the world's attention and expand it to be something that becomes top priority. Thanks to the art world we can see and hear overseas, we can understand how a bird flies, measure the way the body works, and listen to what nature has to say. Da Vinci was a scientific artist whose work was influenced by the other world, so he also demonstrates how influences may work both ways.

February 7, 2010

Who Inspired Us? MJ Inspired Us.

Michael Jackson's Black or White

Africa Commemorates MJ

February 6, 2010


So you cannot stray from a medium in which you were a great part of?

John McKinnon mentioned in his lecture that Andy Warhol was told that he cannot do abstract because he is Andy Warhol.

This video clip of Andy Warhol in a Japanese ad was an attempt to connect Andy to new media, and multiculturalism. It seems as though if you want to change your medium you need to flee the country in order for whatever comes next to be accepted. Klaus Nomi, at the end of his career/life, seemed to be more accepted in Europe.
Andy Warhol in Japan?

These commercialized art forms seem to be exhausted here and then shipped abroad unlike commercialized material things which are invented here tested there and then if they pass the marketing test they come here. Sometimes those inventions after passing the test abroad come here and inspire new art forms, such as digital media art. So incorpoting capitalism in the global world, hence da title.

February 5, 2010

Lost Nomi

Do Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga fall under the same spotlight as Klaus Nomi. New wave music is a hard thing to uphold alone, so does one create another personality in order to manage, and is this necessarily the best way to manage the fame?

Do you even sell yourself then or is it just your character? Is this what celebrities tell themselves?

In the heat of the era, Klaus Nomi found himself in search for the spotlight, attention, that is positive attention. Sometimes such fragile characters cannot be celebrities, or else they end up putting up a wall, or in Klaus's case, a mask and a costume. Drama to the 'poppest' degree. Upholding this new wave music along with others can be detrimental to your health, because it becomes more than just exploring a new medium, but commericalizing that medium and in a way 'selling yourself' to that medium.

Musicians who try and change their sound sometimes, in fact most times, end up with negative and very critical reviews. A musician become strapped in that medium, and the public interest or opinion controls their creative growth and restricts these musicians from diverting from what the public likes. In the Nomi documentary his performances seems painfully repetitive, not just for the audience, but for him.

The public's restricitons on artistic creativity are painful but necessary to have the ability to do any art at all. Money becomes the root of noticable art.

Klaus Nomi's story dug deep into the profession of being a celebrity and the effect it has on human beings minds. His origins were more interesting and made his story even sadder when one discovers that his profession was founded on such a pure and classic medium; opera.

"You can completely reinvent yourself" (quote at the end of Nomi documentary)

Before one is a celebrity, one creates an identity for this celebrity, that they plan to become, that is recognizable, consistant, and hides all human aspects of the one who plays that celebrity.

Klaus began to 'detach himself'. I think Klaus became lost in his costume identity and all human aspects had almost been forgotten, except when he visited his aunt (or his past), and when he was acknowledging his disease.

Snippets and Clippets

This is an example of what our video will offer, snippets and clippets of interviews, mixed together answering the same questions with different answers that gather the perspective of an American in Africa, and an African in America.

Main questions or themes will be highlighted before each snippet and clippet, so it might make more sense, if that ends up being what we want, OR we could leave it to random words and phrases randomly describing what the viewer thinks the interviewees are describing?

Also, some of the movies need a little spoofing up, or do they? Color and sound are something we'd like to play with, however we also do not want it to distract from the word or phrase, maybe it would add to it?


"Through the production and consumption of images, we are created, exhausted and remade."
Sut Jhally

Some people fear that technology will lead to a less understood world, because of the media's power to manipulate people's interpretations and the illiterate, uneducated people who are vulnerable to these images, videos, television dialogues, and news bites that traverse through the internet void.

One fear brought up in one of our interviews, specifically Harjinder Bedi, was the power of media to have the negative effect of such as "technology being another vehicle for social domination and cultural domination, and for new wave colonialism of developing countries".

A question that I was asked recently was: How does human nature impact social organizations? Not necessarily how do social organizations reflect human nature but How does the nature of man impact how men live together in society?

How did human nature impact colonialism, or initiate it? How does human nature deal with developing countries? Does human nature differ from continent to continent?

What made Russia and China communist, and the United State a democracy or England a parliamentary system? Do all humans have their own nature? IS there such thing as a collective natural?

In Post Colonial Literature I am reading The Colonizer and the Colonized by Albert Memmi, who discusses how it is human nature to assimilate to colonialism, and then to shift to revolution. But in shifting towards a revolt, the colonized abandons their own nature and uses the colonizer's values and nature to combat the colonizer.

This can be translated through technology, literature, language, and now new media. Having come from the western world and imposed onto the post-colonial countries, media has the potential to put the 20 yrs old generation on th same playing field (depending on class), but it also has the potential to influence the 20 yrs old generation even further with western music, video, images, movies, news, and language (not depending on class). Misconceptions of both worlds, first and third, are being flung at each other from every which way. Dominance is now found in popularity, viewership, public interest and appeal.

Money is not as physically present with the new media as it was with resources, and market advertising. The amount of material needed to function in a new media world is by far less than it used to be, and therefore one's physical perception of money is also being sucked into the void, or the "semes" of new media. The stock market initiated this 'untouchable concept' of money, but now it is even more untouchable, and unreal. What is real is what is noticed, and what is not noticeable anymore is the amount of money one has, because the internet and new technology is more accessible, lighter, and becoming cheaper by the second (because the new thing is seconds away), more people can be noticed due to the things they say.

"The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room" - American Gangster
Just because you have the money to shout does not mean you are saying anything important.

January 30, 2010

Final Clutter

First final cut experiment was on Nidal Kram. This was fun, and successful however we wish in the Canvas section of Final Cut it actually played the video along with the sound. Also cutting of Mariah's video went smoothly.

Take each bit cut from each interview - have them repeat each other using the different voices whether matched with their speaker or images that display misperceptions of the world. Along with an overall 'plot' surrounding these tidbits of information, that we have gathered from the interviews. We are not documentarians, although I have gathered we are artists trying to obviously address that missing link through a medium that ironically portrays the so called 'missing' link - even though it is right under your nose. I want to show the 'missing link' quickly and obviously.

Few changes;
maybe not going to interview Skran and Vetinde (although if the opportunity arises - most definitely will do so)

Also we plan to be a little more artistic in our presentation.

Sorry, there was an error uploading your video. Please contact support and include the ....

I am Woman, Hear Me Roar

What Abigail Disney chose to portray through her documentary was something ignored by absolutely everyone, making this film a connector for women all over the world.

She mentioned at the luncheon that her decision to not use a narrator was vital to the project because ' Liberian women have already been spoken for, too many times have they been spoken for'. This aspect of the documentary was not obvious to me when I watched it the first time, however it did make a big impact whether the viewer knew it or not. I imagine the film with a narrator and it could not have been as powerful as to hear Leymah and her friends telling the story themselves. Common Language has played its part in allowing them to communicate their story to the rest of the world.

Abigail Disney is an activist whose mind is set on demolishing weapons and joining all countries in the process of peace. This is good, and she inspired me. She also demonstrated that with new media this is possible, by bringing the story to us and connecting it with all women, in all countries. She mentioned some examples of when she presented it in other countries and how different women from Europe to America had all responded differently. In Europe some women felt it was insulting and some said it was the best thing they'd seen, and they were 80 (or something). She mentioned the different reactions in America and how Americans tended to separate themselves more from this documentary and did not connect or find similarities as did the European women. This reflects onto how most Americans forget we are involved in two wars at the moment and how we separate ourselves from deatha and destruction is unbelievable sometimes.

One cannot, should not, be negative or critical of Disney, she is aware she is a white woman trying to make a film about Africa. And in order to not be cliche she did things differently in the details of this documentary. I am sure none of her story is false, and to not believe the women who work for peace in Liberia again is pessimism at its worst.

In these viewings of a press conference, you see these women elaborate on the documentary.

January 24, 2010

Artineer or Engintist?

Nicolas Bourriaud on Facebook

A secondary root in addition to the primary one seems almost too much to handle, however everyone these days, due to globalization (caused by the communications revolution and therefore technology), has a secondary root, or can now finally acknowledge it.

Nicolas Bourriaud, when he wrote The Radicant, was explaining the direction artists are taking NOW. He discusses the exploration of these invisible pathways and this invisible yet powerful connection we have with each other made possible by a signal, a channeled void, or rather "semes". "Pathways within the cultural landscape", and Semionauts are those "inventors of these pathways, nomadic sign gatherers", aka artists. (39)

Putting altermodern into a visual interpretation is what Les Paul, Buckminster Fuller, and Laurie Anderson started. The first contributions to advancing the human mindset to think what they are, and where they are by "decentering, of setting in motion, of unsticking, of de-crustation", through some kind of art; music, performance, visual, 'finest', or architecture, and new engineered inventions. Engineering in my opinion is the new art, the engineers will be making the money, selling the new ideas, and they will be shaping the new mindsets of youth all around the globe.

Can an Artist be an Engineer? or an Engineer and Artist?
Yes, of course. Sure, why not?

Golden Gate Bridge Example

New words will begin to define these new concepts that try and explain these new ideas, which before all that, will be triggered by the mindset change all humans will undergo. Of course there will be controversies, traditionalists, nationalists, etc. but there will be those who talk and think like Laurie Anderson, and Buckminster Fuller, and those who grow to the kind of popularity like Les Paul who will in some way tackle those who doubt, and these "semionauts" will lead us to the next Age/Era.

The secondary root is the connector between one and all, publicizing whatever, and registering to be a facebook name, Blogger, myspace user, twitterer, or Void Citizen aka 'Net Citizen', is claiming your identity among World Population, U.S. and World. Subjecting yourself to everyone and subjecting everyone to yourself. It is a choice and by opening this door you take a risk but without this risk there can be no understanding of this connection. Understanding is knowledge and knowledge is power. Power to the people.


January 23, 2010

Lawrence Media Minds

Sony Camcorder & Canon SLR-LIKE

Collecting material on media in Africa and media in America and the connection between the two.

Interviewing people has been difficult because most people have not thought of the questions that we have chosen to ask them. We allow them to review the questions beforehand however these questions are more complicated than we meant them to be. The reaction is something to explore as well, because our project is about what people do not think about. And we are shedding light onto this invisible connection.

We have so far interviewed;
Nidal Kram - African - American, Sudan
Mariah Mateo - American, Uganda and Sierra Leone
Natalie Fordwor - Ghanaian
David Frempong - Ghanaian
Sarah Ehlinger - American, Sierra Leone
Natalie Gratton - American, Sierra Leone
Harjinder Bedi - American, Ghana Togo and Benin
William Meadows - American, Sierra Leone
Chelsey Sand - American, Sierra Leone

So far it has been difficult with some and easy with others depending on how much they have thought about or been subjected to the issue. Engaging people is key, explaining and simplifying the questions, and trying to set them up in an environment where they are comfortable.

The Sound Effect

Laurie Anderson's style helped me think about new media more artistically and also as more of a toy. Her approach to the new technology that was emerging in her time when she was graduating was experimental and considered things very carefully and very closely. It does take a certain amount of patience to understand, if it even can be understood, her work and the level where it is. She mentioned she tries to portray some of the dumbest things she can think of, getting down to the very core of what something is. What technology is.

A very fast paced medium in which people are caught up in and that Laurie Anderson slows them down with. Her art is very rythmic, repitious, enhanced, and a ' technological overkill'. The amount of technology within her art is a technique which slows it down, sets it at a constant. And she mentions again explores the 'silence, which is when your are with someone either awkward or you are in love'. This exploration of different sounds inside the visual brings her into a state of mind very far from the categorical or direct but rather the circular, neverending, and contemplative. Her work reminds me of Lawton's project involving pandora and the video art that he will use.

She does express how she needs to bite her tongue when someone misunderstands her work. She does try to convey a specific meaning to her audience and that isn't a hatred for technology but a different way to 'embrace', and in fact more of an embrace than a 'being subjected to' action.

Her performance art has used a more classic form of sound, the violin, and combined it with a newer foreign visual or sound of techno, or 'digitized', making a stride to connect art with the unfamiliar and in that sense advancing it, and redefining it.

Dropping Knowledge

Living Non-Linear

Buckminster Fuller lived in his own world, which was beautiful and genius, however, it seemed to not have punctured the human mindset for quite awhile. His inventive and interesting ideas were not 'attractive' enough for humans to accept this interconnected mindset into their linear short-term, short-lived world.

The World of Buckminster Fuller portrayed Fuller exactly how a genius should be portrayed, speaking of his ideas with an awareness of his surroundings (putting him in a field was actually a 'natural' thing to do). Fuller's explanations of the visual in the documentary most likely confused people who could not or would not follow. However, he challenged this laziness and dug deeper into another world within his mind. He obviously was inspired by things in his environment that he did not himself create and yet he put them together to create a mindset he says we have not yet recognized but that has always been there. So, in a way he resembles Les Paul by bringing what is in front of him together and creating something, whether a new sound or a new mindset.

It is one's responsibility as a human being, as a citizen of the world, of a certain community, as a member of a family to do what is needed to better that group. The necessity of something, however, is determined by the individual and how it impacts those others in the group. Knowledge is power and Fuller's mention of literacy and its role in the the democratizing power of radio and new technology makes it easier to do what you like to do rather than something you are told to do. Technology is fulfilling Fuller's vision in a way doing more with less through advancements in sustainable agriculture, renewable energy use, less gadgets doing more and becoming smaller, making our lives less cluttered, and less polluted as a result.

Fuller would embrace the new technology because in a way he helped with the original creation of them.

check out the documentary~ also if you can find videos; "Eccentricty of Life", and "Fuller on Death"

January 14, 2010

Bridging the Multicultural Media Gap

Sierra Leoneon filmmaker,
Karim Bah

(highlight the text)

Babylon Illusion - a vision of a different culture with an accompanying assumption that that culture is better, contains more opporunities, and that life is more exciting there as opposed to where they are.

Karim Bah made a film Babylon Illusion that contains interview footage of Africans in western countries, UK, and the USA, where these gold diggers are complaining about how hard the life is there. The documentary is in a sense critiquing them, but also it is an attempt to desolve this illusion that Africans have that "the west is better", and it is an attempt to initiate actions that lead to pride in their own country.

Zenabu and I intend to investigate what type of media create such an illusion. Americans suffer from a similar illusion, based on adventure, excitement, or violence and war.

Goal; 10+ minutes of quality video footage containing a mixture of new media arts, politics, and entertainment that explains this "Babylon Illusion" that westerners have of the African world and that Africans have of the western world.

Media bridges this gap as long as it is not misunderstood. However, a gap may not be able to be bridged if there is no old media material to build it with. The Missing Link we deal with today is literacy.

-Video footage of West African interviews
-Audio clips of interviews
-West African music
-Interviews of Lawrentians effected by this multicultural media
-Youtube clips
-Skype examples
-Written script

-Canon SLR-like w/1 hr video footage
-LaCie backup hard drive
-flashdrive 4GB
-Final Cut

January 9, 2010


After watching the documentary on Les Paul's life, and being introduced to him this way for the first time I felt like I had been out of the loop, but I guess I have an excuse because 1. I don't play guitar, and 2. I never was in the music loop to begin with, so no big surprise there.

The documentary portrays Les how he portrayed himself throughout his career. Les, unlike Pete Seeger who avoided the spotlight whenever possible, naturally belonged in the spotlight and benefited from it.
He strategically organized his life around promoting his music.
One thing he is praised for among musicians is TONE. Tone is probably key in all art. Photography, movies, music, expression, writing. What does the viewer, listener, reader all get out of it? Les knew how to market his goods. Music was a medium he could filter his inventions through, but his inventions were inspired by music, instruments, and SOUND and what made him marketable was the obvious appreciation for his craft.

This documentary even provided "marketing material" for the Les Paul electric guitar.

Would his collaboration between him guitar, technology, and Mary Ford be as accepted today as it was then? Or would we just pick up something some old guy invented and think we were creating something new on it? Remember his brother did say he was weird, because he wondered why rather than just accepting it as the way things were. This reflects back to What are you Laughin' At?! post. Did those Bluesmen create anything new? Or were they continuing a tradition that had roots older than them?

New, different, was in but it was also out. People did accept Mary Ford and Les Paul and their multitracking, but they were not so accepting of the youth culture's, Rock n Roll. However because of the rejection of rock n roll Les and Mary were back in again, another example of pure LUCK!

I believe his attitude had more to do with it then anything. But also this documentary was to celebrate, commemorate a legend. One example of a talented inventor who got lucky at every turn he made, and proof that passion and attitude really are all one needs... once they got talent of course.

January 8, 2010

K-State Video; A Vision of Students Today

a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what...
a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. So you are welcome to download it, share it, even change it, just as long as you give me some credit and you don't sell it or use it to sell anything.
Category: Education
education statistics media ecology KSU ksudigg digital ethnography WEC2008

What Are You Laughin' At?!


The South has a separate culture, and the people livin' there have a kind of pride in their culture that outsiders, especially those from the city, or otherwise known as "civilization", cannot understand. Matthew Johnson is intrigued by the Blues in Mississippi where R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Cedell Davis, and T-Model Ford indulged in a sound and performed for the locals every week.

Johnson made a documentary, You See Me Laughin'; Last of the Hill Country Bluesmen takin' place in Mississippi, about Blues musicians that are not well known. This documentary has received certain amounts of criticism and praise for either finally recording this culture, or for exploiting these musicians.

Many questions came to mind when I watched this film such as, is this film humiliating for these musicians? Musicians who, can't walk, don't have the use of all their fingers, have health problems and don't go to the doctor, live in a shack, and drink, smoke, shoot..people..and curse. R.L. Burnside mentions that "anybody can have to Blues", it isn't specifically for people in the South, or people in poverty. Blues can be when your wife leaves you. Truthfully these Bluesmen bring these Blues on themselves, and if they don't experience the Blues but just play them like T-Model Ford they are just selling something, and figured it is the only thing they could sell.

Most of these musicians express disinterest in record labels and touring and performing and were satisfied with where they were. This has more to do with their age than anything, maybe if they were in their 20s or 30s their dreams wouldn't have worn down before this opportunity come along. But seein' as it did, money is what matters in the end and dreams are what mattered in the beginning.

Would these Blues musicians be has cultured if they had made it big in their 20s or 30s? Is suffering what really triggers this Blues music? At the very beginning Ford mentions he never been in the Blues and Davis was told if he played the Blues he will go to hell. The Blues was these men's only way not to be Blue.

T-Model Ford. however, didn't pick up a guitar til he was middle-aged. He is quoted saying, "I cant read, I can't write, I can't even spell, but I can play the guitar when I wanna".

I think that if these cats can't read, can't write, don't give a shit about shooting someone and the only way they can express themselves is through a musical instrument and that expression sounds like what the Blues sound like, then yes I think their lives, their experiences, their situation, and their culture is what creates that sound, whether they know it or not. They might not think of it as the Blues, or "in the Blues", however it might just be a culture one becomes accustom to having lived in it for so long, never known anything better, never wanted to.

Is what Johnson doin' threatening the Blues culture? Does he exploit these Bluesmen in the quest for a recorded history? These Bluesmen were playing Blues to play them but also to have something to do. Is Johnson providing them with a final pay off for doing what they "love".

The documentary itself is not exploitation, and the record labels provide an income, and a choice to receive that income for these Bluesmen. In this case the Bluesmen ain't workin' they are playin' for money. "If you love what you do, then you will never work a day in your life".

January 7, 2010

New Media Old Media

Welcome to a perspective on literature, music, politics, old media, and even education through new media. Yes we are talkin' about a technological revolution that has redefined how we apply for jobs, critique books, movies, and music, and entertain ourselves.

Exploring the use of old media in the new is something I might explore through literature, journalism, politics, and the impact new media is having on cultures that have not even experienced the old media.