Tuesday, March 18, 2008


For a while now, I have known about a British graffiti artist who simply goes by the name of "Banksy". The art to which he presents is not only a marvel to the eye, but as well, holds strong purpose. His street art varies from political, to inspiring, to just plain comical.
What is actually known of Banksy is very little, due to the fact he wishes to remain unknown.
"His artworks are often-satirical pieces of art that encompass topics such as politics, culture, and ethics" (Wikipedia).

Here's the link to his website, have you heard of him before? What do you think of his work?


"Banksy." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 17 Mar 2008, 00:13 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 19 Mar 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Banksy&oldid=198747507>.

Pitching a Feeling...

My first reaction to the Think Different Apple commercial was, "Wow, how inspiring!" That is of course right up until the end, when the intriguing slogan, "Think Different" and the famous Apple logo popped up to reveal what was really going on. However, not all people would feel this way. I believe that in this particular ad, they're not pitching Apple products specifically, but instead they're pitching an idea. More specifically, a feeling.

Right at the very beginning of the commercial, the narrator says, "Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels..." and he says it with a slight emphasis in his voice. The commercial wants to emphasize rebellion, because this is what sells. They want to pitch that idea, and that feeling of living life of the edge, and specifically being different.

By presenting this "feeling" or sensation of rebellion, the person viewing the commercial automatically associates rebellion and being different, with Apple. Not just Apple, but also buying their products as well. Rather than conform to become the regular Microsoft user, why not do something different?? I'll go out on a limb, and buy a Mac!! is issentially what is happening.

It's not just pitching rebellion however, it's pitching it so in a positive light. By showing distinct individuals in history, be it John Lennon, Einstein, or Amelia Airheart, a very positive and light-hearted connotation is delivered to the ad as well. It's good to be different, it's good to rebel!
Buy from Apple and you'll be doing yourself good!

Now, I'm not saying being different and standing up for what you believe in isn't right, far from it. Instead, I comment on how rather than pitching a product to sell, Apple had decided on pitching a feeling. And by the looks of it, it didn't seem like a half bad idea.

How Mod

In last evenings class, Ian had discussed Mod vs. Punk in Britain during the late 1950's and early 1960's. It had reminded me of this clip from, "A Hard Days Night", which features George Harrison stumbling into an apparent "top design" team's office for what seems to be an audition.
It's quite funny.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

After I heard a lot of hype about the recent performance of Kanye West and Daft Punk at the Grammy’s, I finally decided to check it out. Being a huge fan of Daft Punk, I was already mildly intrigued to see what all the buzz was about. Not only was I pretty impressed, but I also started to think about how brilliant this creative mixture is. I myself am not a huge fan of hip hop, but listening and watching Kanye West deliver a new spin to a somewhat dated track was both very interesting as well as entertaining. The single itself combines two very different genres of music, hip hop/rap and dance/techno, and creates a really epic sound that crosses over between the different genres. Of course this has been happening for years, remixing older tracks with new hiphop/rap based lyrics and turning them into new again, however
Daft Punk of recent have been touring to promote their newest album, and the original track itself, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” debuted only in 2001.

This also reminds me of another band, Ratatat, who recently did something very similar. The band, Ratatat, is a New York based group who play electronic alternative music. After releasing their first self titled album in 2004, Ratatat teamed up with multiple R&B/Rap/HipHop artists and remixed a majority of their singles in the same year, and released the “Ratatat Mixed Tapes Volume 1”. After the success of both albums, Ratatat made their next album in 2006, named, “Classics”, and then the following year in 2007 remixed “Classics” and created, “Ratatat Mixed Tapes Volume 2” (Wikipedia).

Another example would be Leslie Feist, commonly known just as “Feist”. After the success of her first album, “Let it Die” in 2004, and then in 2006 released “Open Season”, which consisted of remixes and alternative versions of her first released album. Although remixing is nothing completely new, musical artists are now branching out and teaming up with other artists to renew their already seemingly fresh work, and putting a spin on their own sound by collaborating. In the case of Daft Punk, by teaming up with Kanye West not only boosts the popularity of older tracks and albums, it also boosts their newest albums and concert tours. In the situation with Ratatat, instead of putting out just one album a year, they’re able to produce double that and create a larger fan base by crisscrossing popular music genres. I feel as though this is a new step into the future of popular music and sound, and the way bands can reach a bigger and better fan base in the years to come by crossing genres of music and collaborating new music.
This seems like a new way of reinventing predominantly new music.

"Ratatat." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 15 Feb 2008, 16:20 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 18 Feb 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ratatat&oldid=191665903>.

"Open Season (Feist album)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 25 Jan 2008, 23:57 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 18 Feb 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Open_Season_%28Feist_album%29&oldid=186922296>.


After reading Dave’s post regarding the new “Virtu-Sphere”, I was sort of freaked out. On the one hand, this is awesome. On the other… has it seriously gotten to this point? The website itself claims that “Virtu-Sphere is an international award winning product that revolutionizes the way man interacts with computers”, which is completely true. However I feel as though it’s almost a step backwards in the sense that man is erasing reality and turning it into VR.
“The Virtu-Sphere enables 6 degrees of freedom – one can move in any direction; walk, jump, roll, crawl, run over virtually unlimited distances without encountering real-world physical obstacles”.
This is a perfect example of remediation, taking something such as an interactive gaming system, like Nintendo Wii, and evolving it into an interactive virtual reality, such as the VirtueSphere. However, this product aids in eliminating human interaction, and reality itself. The same way that the “ear-buds” signify that those listening to music do not want to interact with those surrounding them, the Virtue-Sphere gives the impression that those playing within the system wish to interact with that which is surrounding them, not reality. Not to sound old fashioned, but what ever happened to just playing outside?It is a giant step in technological advancement, but a step backwards for human interaction.

VirtuSphere Inc. "About VirtuSphere." VirtuSphere. 2006. VirtuSphere. 15 Feb 2008 .

Funny vs Shocking

While watching an interview with Jon Stewart on Crossfire, he states that, “..the show that leads into me is puppets that make crank phone calls…”. The line is both very funny but brings up a good point, that perhaps the viewers not only want to receive the news, but also wish to be entertained.

Jon states in the interview also that Crossfire rather then “doing theatre, should be doing debate”. The nightly news has more or less become about and shock value rather than it is about delivering the news. This has become both repetitive and tiring to the public.
Jon Stewart stands by his claim that he is not a newscaster but instead is just a comedian. If this is the case, then why are so many turning to The Daily Show as their form of news? Do they wish to be entertained or are they keeping up to date with what is going on in the world? I believe it’s probably both.

As Laura Shirk posted in one of her blogs, “It is unprincipled to claim themselves strictly as comedians. They are, in fact, distributing news to the public. Therefore, I see them also as newscasters” (Shirk). With this I completely agree, however the show is based solely on parody and the use of political satire. By doing this, it can appeal to a larger field of viewers.

I believe that The Daily Show is a step in a new direction, or at least it is for now. There was a time when the nightly televised news, and before that radio broadcasted news, were the main sources of news consumption. Now “fake” news seems to be opening up a more appealing way to deliver the news. It's funny instead of shocking.

Shirk , Laura. "Reality Strikes Back." [Weblog Blogger] 17 FEB 2008. 17 Feb 2008 http://approachestomediastudies.blogspot.com/.

"CrossFire." CrossFire. Jon Stewart. CNN, CNN. 15 OCT.

Windows XP and 98's Garage Band

this was featured on www.digg.com , and it reminded me of Apple's Garage Band. using sound clips from window's XP and 98, a quick song clip is created. obviously it would have taken a little more time and effort to create this then it would on Apple's program.