2010年10月20日 星期三

Interview - Identity

1. How many online identities do you have?  What are they like?
For all of the interviewees(Bowie, Vivian, Kasey, Nina and Rainbow), they got more than five online identities.  And their identities are facebook account, messenger account and different kind of game account & forum account.  There is an extreme case, for Vivan, she got more than 20 identities in facebook!  This result shown how easy it is to make an identity online, unlike real world, we only have to click few times, then we can have as many identities as we want.

2. In what ways are they different to your "in person" identities?
I split the answers from the interviewees from 2 categories.
I. Passive
For Bowie, Kasey, Nina and Rainbow, they choose to be a passive role in the internet, they don't want to share what they really think in the internet.  For Kasey, she even think herself is an observer in the internet.

II. Active
For me and Benlansha, we think we are more "open" in the internet, and more willing to share our ideas and feelings.  I think it is because we are more hidden in the internet, unlike real world, we have to be responsible for what we have said, in this virtue world, we only have to change a username or open a new account.

3. What are some benefits of expressing one's identity online?
More Rights & Power
For me & Chriz, expressing one's identity online can allow us to have more benefits in the internet, because many services (facebook, MSN...etc), required us to have an identity first, after this, we can enjoy the services from these websites or softwares.

4. Risks of identity online
As mentioned by Chriz, he worried about the when he is being caught by what he did with his identity, such as download games illegally.  From his response I think what is he worrying is correct, in 2005, there was a user called "古惑天皇", he uploaded many movies to the internet and being caught in the same year.  We always think that there is no responsibility with our identities, but sometimes we may have a great trouble because of this thought.

I think another risk is related to the first problem, as I have mentioned, it is very easy to make an identity online, the users don't know which identities are real, or fake.  In the culture of internet forum, when there is a big argue happening, users can create lots of fake users to support his view, making the others believe in him.

2010年10月6日 星期三

Unleash your pressure on YouTube!

In many years ago, there was one video, showing a mad man having an "interesting" conversation with a young folk.  Right after it was uploaded, this clip had received million of views, and a big fedback from Hong Kong' society.

1. How many viewers are estimated to have watched the youtube video?
In this video, there are more than one million viewers, almost 1/7 of the total Hong Kong population.

2. How would you rate the video?
Cinematic Technique
I would rate it 100 out of 100, if it is in terms of content, if only talk about the form/ cinematic technique, I think this clip is not good, may only got a 30 out of 100.  Why would I say that?  In terms of aesthetic, I don't agree that this clip has a high aesthetic value, the only one interesting composition that I can see is Bus Uncle is higher than the young guy, which shown he is "superior" than young guy.

pic1. A picture that shown the "superiority" of bus uncle
Apart from that, I afraid that there is no more aesthetic (formal) value.

However, I think it is normal, as a viewer, I am not expected to see some really great production (like Avatar) in youtube videos, the people who uploaded this clip may just is one amateur.  So I would say that the content is far more important than the form.

Social Value
And there is no doubt that the social value that this clip arose is more important.
For the social value, after this clip is uploaded.  There was a great reflect in Hong Kong's society, people started to talk about this clip, saying bus uncle famous catchy phrase "You got pressure, I got pressure", it should be only a trend and we will forget them in few months later, but in Hong Kong, there are more and more clips, which are similar to bus uncle's clip, all the people in Hong Kong, start to judging people by what he/ she did in the clip.
"KONG" Girl Vs Foreigner
And here are the comments:

I think that YouTube has became a place for people to gossip, when other people uploaded a clip, because it is almost impossible to know the real name of the one who leave comment.  People will be free to talk about it, and this phenomenon has became increasingly visible.

3. Do You think it deserved the attention that it received from the internet community?
Yes of course.  It deserved the attention.  I will explain it with reason.

Moral Value
From this video, it arose the moral value of ordinary Hong Kong people, which most of us don't like people who is being too rude.  People started to say that bus uncle is wrong and he shouldn't talk loudly, and I think this clip has let people to have a moral judgement, which let them think what is right, what is wrong, and the things that they shouldn't do (such as being loud and impolite in the public place).

pic2. People appreciating what the kid have done

However, there are something for us to notice.

Side Effect: Cyber Bullying and Risk
There is still a risk of cyber bullying, since everyone can upload a video and let the subject being judged by everyone, and they are not a trained professional journalist, they don't really care/ know how does the subject feel like when he is being uploaded and judging.  Furthermore, there is a risk of people edit the video and upload it.  After uploading, they say that the video is representing the truth.

pic3. Everyone can be the judge, even me
4. Do video-sharing sites such as YouTube enhance or worsen creative culture? Comment.
According to Roman Marek (2009), there are two points I want to discuss

In his speech "Creativity Meets Circulation",
The first one is the division between Amateurs and Professionals has became not distinguish as before.  Some non-professional products is even more popular than the professional one.  I will see that as a thing that enhance creative culture.  As we know,  creative is not related to your equipment, you can have the creative under constraint, in long time ago, when the Dogma movement has not begun, people were caring talking about good camera, lighting, recorder...etc, some relatively poor countries cannot compete with these rich countries (such as USA).  And when the Dogma movement has begun, people start to think about creative under constraint, and after that, there are more and more filmmakers making films after this movement, this can apply into YouTube too, we can see there are many successful story in YouTube, such as guitar90, the hero who made the canon rock, and daneboe, the one who created the famous Annoying Orange Series, they all managed to make video without some really professional equipment.  People who have talent will  be encouraged by these cases and try to make a video.
Guitar90 guitar, 2005

daneboe Annoying Orange#1, 2009

And the second point is about the circulation of idea.  I think it is interesting for having the "evolution" process.  People doing remix, mash-up with the original material, and I think it is enhance the creativity, that because it is one of the first step to let people create something with their own hands, and one of the important thing of YouTube is, there is no such a limit or law to limit user's works, they can upload whatever they want (except some pornography and copyright violated items).  So no matter they want to do remix or start a trend, it is their own decisions, there is no such thing as limiting creative culture.

Think about aesthetic alternatively: Merging of YouTube and cinema?
After reading Roman Marek's article "Creativity Meets Circulation", he mentioned that "amateur's products and professional's products seem to have given up their traditional role patterns", "On one hand, professional products try to imitate the "amateur look and feel", in order the be perceived as organic and authentic".  This quote reminds me one movie called Cloverfield, which is a mimic of many YouTube videos such as bus uncle, the jump-cut, shaky shot, the producer of this film even also used YouTube as one of the platform  to show the other parts of movie, and make them look like some ordinary clips on the internet, and all they done has greatly strengthen the connection of the film with us.

Matt Reeves Cloverfield,  2008
Matt Reeves Cloverfield: Jamie and Teddie#1, 2008

2010年10月5日 星期二

Mission To Earth

1) Using “Mission to Earth” as an example, note what is new or different about digital cinema 
compared to traditional filmmaking? Consider the story and appearance of the film.

1) Randomness
I think it is the most important feature, in this film, the screen is split into many part, 
such as the color cubes, computer graphics, and the video footage, they are being selected randomly, only the voice over is not random. For the traditional cinema, it is impossible, as there is no program to select different footage or CG. This "random" feature allowed the film can be shown in different appearance in different time, i think it is innovative and creative.

2) Computer graphics
In this film, there are some split cubes, showing some computer graphics, some of them are GIFs, some of them are color cubes, and I can even see a voice visualizer for the narrator. These computer graphics are cannot be done by traditional cinema, as they are randomly produced, it is impossible to draw them frame by frame.

For the story of this film, I think it is being told by the voice over, but not the images. I think it is because it is impossible to use only the images to tell the whole story (the images are randomly chosen). However, in terms of the story, I don't really think that there is a shape difference between this film and the traditional cinema, if there is really a difference, I think it would be related to genre, for traditional cinema, almost every film has its genre, it can be comedy, romantic...etc, but for this film, I can't see any genre in it, it reminds me The Celebration which I saw in last semester.

2) What other art forms (eg film, digital art, painting, websites etc) does this film 
remind you of? Explain the similarity.

Digital art

For the computer cubes and diagram, they remind me one of the installation that I saw before, in this artwork, the artist used equipment to stack television images into one pixel wide slice. They make me think about the possibility to tell a story by using simple cubes and diagram, maybe a red color tone means angry, vivid voice diagram means happy...etc

Daniel Sauter We interrupt your regularly scheduled program, 2003

Jazz is the genre that I think similar to this film. Jazz improvisation is quite similar to the randomness of this film, they are generated immediately, for the music, the performer can play the note in his/ her head, and for the film, computer will select different images based on the rules given by the programmer.

As mentioned in the previous class, this film also remind me the art of De Stijl.  And according to Wikipedia, artist try to create a clear and ordered form in their artworks, and seek harmony and order, and Piet Mondrian is one of the important figure of this art form.

Lev Manovich Mission To Earth, 2005
Piet Mondrian Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow, 1930

I am sure to say that the technique of this film is innovative and creative. And it makes me think about two questions: can AI make artworks? I think if the programmers set enough rules and guidelines, AI can still do the job and trick us.

Digital vs Traditional photography

1) What are some photographic effects that can be achieved using digital or analog (darkroom, film, lights etc) technology?

There are some effects that can be done by both technologies.

Multiple exposure, according to Wikipedia, multiple exposure is two or more individual exposures are made to create a single photograph.

Multiple exposure can be done by letting the film exposed more then twice, which means, shooting different images in same film.  Take the photo which is done by NASA as an example, because the crescent phase, it was impossible to shoot the moon next to the rocket, so the photographer has taken two images, the rocket and the moon, into same film.

NASA Apollo 8 lunch, 1968
Photos can be joint together by using photo editing software such as Photoshop.  Users can control the opacity of photos, and stack them together, or put them into different layers and choose the multiply option to stack them into same photo.
David Ball Lunar Eclipse, 2004
Filter, photographer can use filter to create different effects, for example, adding or reducing colors. 
Users can insert a filter on the len, so all the light must pass through the filter and be captured by the film.
Users can make some interesting effects by using different filters, take the photo below as an example, the photographer use the star filter to turn the light source into star shape.
Amramha Star
Filter effects can be done by Adobe photoshop, by using it, users can create different effects, such as color subtraction.  Take the photo below as an example, the photographer used plugin of photoshop to create star filter's effect.
Maciej Star Filter, September 2010
2) What are the photographic techniques which can be only done by digital photography?
Free Transform
By using photo editing software (Adobe photoshop), users can transform the image and the subjects in the image easily.  For example, I have used the puppet warp option to create the second image, and it is cannot be done by traditional photography.

After the puppet warp

3) What are the differences between traditional and digital photography?
In terms of cost, digital photography is way cheaper then traditional one.  For digital photography, photographer may only need a camera and one computer with photo editing software, and they can do most of the effects.  For traditional photography, users have to buy the films, different filters for different effects.  In my opinion, lower cost can let more people to use photograph to record their life, or making artworks.

Distribute ability
Digital photography is easier to distribute, as the photos are saved in digit, users can email their works to others, or upload it to websites such as Flickr, everyone can see their works in front of their computers,  users can show their talents easily.  If it is in the past, photographers may only share their works on newspaper, magazine or in gallery, and it is very hard to achieve.
People talking about Lbrahim Lujiaz's work

Surprise/ Creativity
I think it is one of the points that traditional photography is better or different from digital one, photographers can make some experiment with their cameras/ film, for example, they can try some new materials as filters.  Or doing tone control with different chemicals.  People may invent some techniques which is new and interesting.

There are many differences between traditional and digital photography, but I think the important difference is digital photography can allow more people to use photography for their artworks, as it is low cost, and easy to distribute.