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"