SoundSalad Compositions

For this first sound salad, I was trying to convey a sense of tension and conflict. The underlying static sound effect slowly and surely given weight by the ringing bells that increase in speed, given a climax, leading to a dreadful moan that emphasizes the absurdity of the ‘meow’ sounds. With this mixdown, I was trying to almost tell a story, as if a cat were hit by a speeding train in some way, and then it would haunt the audio further.

For the ringing noise, I duplicated and crossfaded each clip into a progressively faster beat. For the violin-like squeal proceeding the ringing, I enhanced its volume and added a distortion effect to bring it to a rise for the climax. For the moaning noise, it was a yell that was slowed down, given a low reverb and then distorted further, making it a creepy and confusing. For the meow noises in the second half, I changed the pitch on each clip, making it progressively higher, then suddenly dropping it low. Finishing the mix is a warbling noise, made from an oscillating fan sped up.

For this sound salad I attempted to create music from chaos. Even with random noises and strange unpleasing sounds, the only thing keeping it from being music, is order and measured repetition.

There are 3 layers of repeating patterns; the first is the constant ‘shh’ sound that provides the overall rhythm, made by taking a bowl being scraped and cutting it short to a fraction. Then the melody is a single, unedited chair scraping noise with a reverb added. On top of those is a sonar-like ping noise that is mitigated throughout the beat, the vocals. Mixed in with the vocal layer is a low tone that breaks up the song. Finally is the chorus of a single ‘gonk’ sound effect that repeats every three bowl scrapes, and doubles every third time.

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Flarf Poem and Unstable Text

The S.W. is able to pan around and see the woman’s home. The floor is dirt. He can almost touch cement and stones layered between pieces of wood. More young men in fatigues appear on the screen, now in front of what looks like an office building. The voice says, “More rangers’ lives would be saved with better communication.” The rangers are trying to prevent poachers from capturing gorillas. The S.W. is in the jungle. A gorilla now walks across the field of vision. The S.W. tilts his head away from the gorilla and stands amongst lush green foliage.

The young man explains that the video was a trailer for a longer video used to raise money for energy projects in the Congo. The S.W. says that it must be an effective fundraising tool. Smiling, the young man agrees. “It provides empathy for the donors, pulling them into a new experience they wouldn’t normally have access to.”

Following a pair of keynotes in which guests hear about how the viral is becoming more viral, and websites are mousetraps, and content the cheese, the S.W. heads to a session called “How to Create Truly Valuable Content.” The speaker is Melanie Deziel, female, white, late 20s. She wears dark jeans, sneakers, a fitted blazer. The room is full of guests, with some standing up in the back by the table with hotel stationery and pitchers of ice water.

This flarf poem utilized the historical “cut-up” poetry variations using modern text and subject, with the paragraphs taken from Tablet magazine’s online article titled “The Future of Media is Here, and I Was There,” by Sean Cooper.

As a freelance journalist, the article itself struck me due to the constant discourse of uncertainty in the industry and how journalists are running around in desperation to not only keep up with the latest multimedia technology, but also to maximize profit and stay relevant. The passages taken from this long-form journalism piece are located within the middle of the features piece.

The poem itself is about a woman’s relationship with the men around her. How she is perceived by them and how she perceives herself. Examples include the lines “The voice saved from capturing,” refers to the woman’s consent had it not been given, she wouldn’t be “saved.” The poem starts with “the woman’s home is dirt” and ends with “she wears the room standing up in water,” signifying her ownership of her free will.

Critical Digital Culture: Modernism, Post-Modernism and New Aesthetic

I think “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee is a great example of Modernism because it criticizes the ugliness of old southern history and culture that thrived on prejudice and subjugation. Harper combines the coming of age tale of children with the promoting the regression of Southern morals. She describes the positive points of of Southern politeness and how it should be in the hands of both the white and black peoples. The children of the story reflect the hopeful strength of breaking old traditions to construct a new southern society.

 

A great example of postmodernism is One-Punch Man by the author ONE. OPM is a Japanese comic that offers a satirical take on the superhero genre of comics, where the premise is a man who gets so strong that he can defeat any villain with a single punch. The beauty of this concept is that the hero is completely bored with being so strong and is a reflection of readers fatigue with characters like Superman, who always win. The self referential humor pokes fun at every hero trope including ridiculous characters, dire situations being diffused easily and more. Even the art becomes very meta in certain situations, where super detailed art is juxtaposed to simple art, symbolizing that despite using traditional means to tell the story, it is a parody of itself.

One flavor of trans-modernism I like is the New Aesthetic, and a great example of this are memes. A mix of post-modern and relationism, reminiscent of the Dada art movement, belonging exclusively to internet culture. Memes are a form of artistic freedom, destruction and almost fully self-referential, they are a form of new aesthetic that relate to how we view the world and ourselves. Memes are always changing and evolving of of themselves and almost never resemble what they used to be from years ago. Even New Aesthetic itself is completely outdated and replaced by new referential works. What makes memes truly interesting is that anyone and every can participate, adding to and evolving things further and further, like post-modernism but with the influence and speed of a virus, which is best defined by the New Aesthetic catchphrase “going viral.”

Rock Concert Visuals from the 1970s and Beyond

 

One of the most popular fads of the 1970s was also the culmination of hybrid multimedia regarding music and technology—laser lighting display, or more commonly known as “laser light shows.”

Laser light shows combined theatrical and musical aesthetics to enhance not only the musician’s work but also the audience’s experience and interpretation, similar to the psychedelic liquid shows held back in the 1960s decade. In the 1970s, rock and roll bands such as The Who, Led Zeppelin, and—most notably—Pink Floyd popularized laser light shows in their concerts to convey story and emotion, such as when their 1973 album release “Dark Side of the Moon” and performances were done utilizing laser light shows from concert venues to planetariums.

Nowadays, despite intense safety regulations from the FDA, laser light shows have experienced a revival thanks to technological advancements and the electronica/EDM festival culture.

Perfume, a Japanese pop trio and one of my favorite artists, are well-known for hosting concerts with laser light shows that coordinate with each song and costume. In 2015, they attended South by Southwest (SXSW) and performed “STORY” through numerous laser lights and imagery, similar to their various concerts both in Japan and international.

Datamosh and Glitch Images

As part of our visual vocabulary expansion exercise, I manipulated three images into stylized glitch/datamosh looks using Photoshop. All three of the images used were from Pexels, a royalty-free stock image website.

The first image I worked on was this beautiful blue smoke powder [click here for image link], which I took in a more artistic route for Photoshop glitch editing due to the vibrant color and imagery.

The process in achieving the result of the first photo was following the step-by-step guide in this YouTube tutorial [click here for video link], going through the RGB channels and distorting the Blue channel, being the most prominent color.

The second image was this Scrabble piece [click here for image link], and I worked on this in the classroom during studio session and experimented based on the tutorial listed in Professor Bargsten’s Canvas guide. The online class tutorial process used here were the Magic Wand Tool, Duplicate Layers and Smart Sharpen Filters.

The edited version also contains the image itself processed through Rutt-Etra-Izer, an online synthesizer that turns 2D images into 3-dimensional interactive presence. Once I finished downloading that version, I went back into Photoshop and converted it into an additional layer, set it to “Overlay” with a 70% Opacity.

Last, but not least, this final picture of a Minions toy [click here for image link] is a less extreme version of the second photo, yet the same basic steps apply.

For this last image, I rendered a lens flare over the Minion’s eye, used Smart Sharpen filter, added Noise filter at 50% on the RBG Green channel (as it’s the closest to yellow), and finished with the Charcoal filter on the same Green channel tab.

Overall, the assignment helped me rekindle my relationship with Photoshop, as it’s been several years since I started playing with the program itself in favor of other Adobe programs, on top of the quick and easy access of photo editing through mobile apps. And because of the abstract elements regarding glitch images, it was a change of pace from the standard use of Photoshop of correcting mistakes and making the photos better than its original version.

Multimedia Object as Database/Interface

Screenshot of the KnightLabs Timeline on Revolutionary User Interfaces.

The following multimedia example is of a website that uses a timeline to catalogue the history and events related to information databases and their unique and evolutionary user interfaces.

The Revolutionary User Interface website has recorded several historic database devices starting from the 1600’s to modern day in chronological order. The user interface of the site itself is simple and intuitive to use and navigate. It uses an interactive timeline with the dates of the articles and allows you to slide around to access each point on the timeline. You also have a slideshow of each article that features a photo and description of the photo, and you can navigate to the next article by clicking the ‘next’ arrow or the ‘back’ arrow. The algorithm the timeline uses is a simple CSS slider code to retrieve and access information upon request. The narrative of the site is is to showcase how much advancement database devices and their interfaces have changed from several hundred years ago compared to the rapid increase in efficiency in the last decade.

When I first used this site I immediately and intuitively knew and understood how to use the multimedia featured. It offered a simplistic and basic design that was as easy as picking up and reading a book.  The information of each article was clear and concise and offered relevant information for each device featured. With the ease of use and uncluttered interface, it made me feel able to fully invest my attention on the content without distraction.

https://timeline.knightlab.com/examples/user-interface/index.html