Video & Sound

How-to videos with Claire Volpe

Response to Walter Much’s “In the Blink of an Eye”

The digital era has brought upon us a revolution in film editing and Walter Murch exerted a pivotal influence in such a revolution. Directors record enormous amounts of footage, leaving editors with enormous evaluating tasks. The film shot to film seen ratio has dramatically changed in the last decades, and in movies such as “Apocalypse now” it was one to forty seven, what gives us a clue of the daunting challenges editors face nowadays.

In general, good editing should allow the viewer to immerse into a scene and seamlessly accept the time and space disruptions that the movie requires. On the other hand, bad editing jumps abruptly, disturbing the viewer and affecting the quality of the movie. Editing is about showing discontinuity, understanding that it may affect viewers in different ways, provoking different and even unrelated reactions. When cutting the “bad parts” and determining what should and shouldn’t appear in a movie, Murch embraces a process for achieving three-dimensional continuity. An ideal cut, feels right “where you feel comfortable blinking,”(Murch) what bring us the “three problems wrapped up together” (Murch) which are essential for achieving good cuts: “1) identifying a series of potential cut points (and comparisons with the blink can help you do this), 2) determining what effect each cut point will have on the audience, and 3) choosing which of those effects is the correct one for the film.” (Murch)

The job of an editor is “partly to anticipate, partly to control the thought process of the audience.”(Murch) In general, when editing you should get to a point in which the there is some kind of a synchrony with the audience in which you slightly anticipate their needs and wants, giving them “what they want and/or what they need just befor they have to “ask” for it—to be surprising yet self-evident at the same time.”(Murch)

Running – with Dan Melancom

Response for week 2 readings

This Video Will Have You Completely Rethink How You Conduct Yourself Online And In Person

I really enjoyed E. M. Foster’s “The Machine Stops”.  It’s a moving sci-fi short story written in the early 1900s, that illustrates a future in which “the machine” controls fate, and the human natural need to recovering it. In some ways, I believe that the story is premonitory to our days, a time in which the interaction between humans and machines has become the pivotal role of human innovation. Coding is becoming as important as reading and writing and “feeding” the machine has become the fundamental role of a large segment of the population. Algorithms and the economic crisis of 2008 clearly illustrate such relationship between humans and machines. Millions of machines–programed by humans–betting against each other without any human control, caused the deepest economic crisis since1929. A crisis that has defined our present and future.  Networks, computers, algorithms–the machine–have become our fate. Today, as in Foster’s story, “the machine” exists as a fantastic network of computers connected through the world wide web, seamlessly controlling our reality and sustaining a system that defines our lives. It is a time in which–as in Foster’s story–we need to go back to the surface and see the sun again.

Response for week 1 readings

Defying the traditional concept of plagiarism, Jonathan Lethem offers us the convincing argument that it is possible to track the sources of inspiration for every creative act in the realm of cultural production. Such argument implies that inspiration comes from external influences, and that creativity can be understood as a process of change and accumulation in which ideas belong to the people, not to individuals. I believe that understanding human creativity as a collective process and reevaluating the concept of ownership, are pivotal steps towards societies in which the common good is valued over individual’s interest.

The second article by Joy Garnett and Susan Meiselas, not only exposes the two artists opposed positions on Lethem’s argument, but the human conflicts involved when egos and ownership are part of the equation. It is fascinating to witness how Garnett’s viewpoint clearly illustrates the “plagiarist viewpoint,” more open to participatory artistic environments in which sources of inspiration are open and available to everybody, while Meisalas-as the original owner of the picture-unsuccessfully struggles for recognition, trying to provide a valid argument for retaining the ownership of an idea-arguing that the context is pivotal to understand the value of the work. However, what really struck me about the articles, is to realize that ideas-and particularly good ideas-will eventually become part of the cultural production and sooner rather than later belong to the people.

Undoubtedly,  appropriating other’s work for creating new things poses complex moral dilemmas that we-as societies-must face.  It is an old question that has been tackled in different ways and different times, and that has no correct answer.  In his video, Kirby Ferguson shows us that all human creativity is a product of appropriation of other’s work, defying the idea of divine inspiration. Collectively accepting that originality doesn’t exist and embracing the unprecedented possibilities for collaboration that the digital era is bringing upon us, can dramatically change our world leading us to more inclusive societies in which ideas could flow freely.

Roger Meyers Jr. “You take away our right to steal ideas, where are they going to come from?” – The Simpsons


Jonathan Lethem’s The Ecstacy of Influence: A Plagiarism

On the Rights of the Molotov Man: Appropriation and the Art of Context


Allergy to Originality

Kirby Ferguson’s Embrace the Remix

Class 1


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