Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reading Response #1 due Sunday, February 22, 5 PM

Hello, again.

The first Reading Response is due this Sunday, February 22, at 5 PM.
You will post your response as a comment to the post linked HERE.

Reading Response #1 will consist of a three-paragraph statement on one
of the readings from the list below, answering the following three
questions (one paragraph per question):

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.

2. What are the main points of the essay?

3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your
own practice as a media artist?

Choose one of these readings: Cosgrove, Cresswell, Cross, Debord,
Ferrington, Hall, Hart, Hiss, Peterson, Sant, Westerkamp.

Check the Research page for direct links to these readings:

Again, the deadline is Sunday, February 22, 5 PM.

11 comments:

Liz Leighton said...

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.
I chose A New Way of Walking by Joseph Hart. I thought this would be the best selection because after perusing several other articles, I found myself most appreciative of the straightforward language the writer uses. He is also very enthusiastic about the subject.
2. What are the main points of the essay?
The notion of psychogeography are explained. Hart goes into detail about how it is experiencing a place rather than just passing though it. To do this, he states that one should not have a destination. By leaving his comfort zone and using an algorithmic pattern, he was able to make discoveries and learn about different places. He feels that people take the same route day after day with really experiencing or seeing any new places.

3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your
own practice as a media artist?
His assertion is not only correct about place, but about everything else in art as well. If an artist never leaves their comfort zone in order to experiment, there is never any innovation. I feel if I can start trying things outside of my typical habits, I can grow as an artist even if doesn't work out the first time.

Greg Borkman said...

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.

I chose "Walking through a liquid forest of symbols" because the title of the article intrigued me. The author, Hansen, could have said 'Walking through an Ocean of symbols' but instead he chose to go with 'liquid forest'.

2. What are the main points of the essay?

While we take everyday city life for granted we should take time to do so. Yet it can be difficult sometimes because the city seems so chaotic, think of it in terms of a jungle or forest. In a jungle or forest there is chaos but because we don't spend time in the jungle or forest we are able to notice things because we are new to the environment.
Hansen says there are a few methods to observe the city better: 1. View it from the walker's perspective or 2. View it from a fixed location

3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your own practice as a media artist?

Since I am new to city life you would think I would get caught up in the hustling chaos of the city, but being new to the city allows me to notice things people may not have noticed. I am from a relatively small suburban community where the streets become extremely quiet at night but are busy during the day. I tend to look closer at things because I enjoy nature, there is not much nature in the city but I intend to find it come spring time.

timeggert said...

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.
I chose A New Way of Walking by Joseph Hart. i picked this one because it wasn't in pdf format (which my Firefox doesn't open). Also, the topic was one of the least far fetched and incomprehensible.
2. What are the main points of the essay? The author talks about how our travels eventually turn into a habit, that we go to the same places and to break up this monotony he introduces a strategy called 'algorithmic walking', which is using a predetermined formula for deciding where to go while taking a walk. the example the author uses is "first right, second left, first right, repeat", meaning that at the intersection you come to you take a right, at the second intersection take a left, then the next left. the cycle then repeats. the author then describes one of his journeys using this pattern.
3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your
own practice as a media artist?
using a method to break up the monotony in ones life can also be applied to my media. adding a bit of randomness and controlled chaos can give rise to new ideas, and in turn a new way of doing things.

timeggert said...

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.
I chose A New Way of Walking by Joseph Hart. i picked this one because it wasn't in pdf format (which my Firefox doesn't open). Also, the topic was one of the least far fetched and incomprehensible.
2. What are the main points of the essay? The author talks about how our travels eventually turn into a habit, that we go to the same places and to break up this monotony he introduces a strategy called 'algorithmic walking', which is using a predetermined formula for deciding where to go while taking a walk. the example the author uses is "first right, second left, first right, repeat", meaning that at the intersection you come to you take a right, at the second intersection take a left, then the next left. the cycle then repeats. the author then describes one of his journeys using this pattern.
3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your
own practice as a media artist?
using a method to break up the monotony in ones life can also be applied to my media. adding a bit of randomness and controlled chaos can give rise to new ideas, and in turn a new way of doing things.

gollbladder13 said...

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.



I chose to read the article “Sounds of the Season”. I am more interested in the sound aspects of drifts than than the mapping aspect. Of the sound articles, Peterson's title seemed the least “academic”, “egotistical”, or “nostalgic”. After reading the subtitle, I was glad that it was a straight forward phrase and not “the philosophy of footsteps”, or something along those lines. I am not sure what he meant by “acoustic ecology”, but I am sure that further reading will either answer that question, or make me think he should have left that last tag out of the title.

2. What are the main points of the essay?



-sound is continuous; we can not turn off our sense of sound
-people often do not pay attention to sound unless it disrupts their normal routines
-the internet is making it easier to share sounds globally
-some sounds live on, some sounds die out

3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your own practice as a media artist?

As a musician, sound is obviously very important in all aspects of what I do. Not only the sounds that the audiences hear, but the sounds going on in every day life are crucial, as well. Different sounds can influence the way a piece is written or performed. Many works are written with the intent of driving home some sort of political or social message. For example, while attending Butler in Indianapolis, I played in a Wind Ensemble that performed a piece “Fanfare Ritmico” by Jennifer Higdon. The piece was meant to reflect the sounds of the machinery in clocks to represent time – in all possible senses of the word – during the turn of the millennium and the industrialization.

Tucker James Rowan said...

1. Identify the article you have
selected and why you chose it.
-A New Way of Walking by Joseph Hart. I chose this article because my friend and roommate's middle and last name is Joseph Hart. Simple as that.

2. What are the main points of the essay? Hart starts by explaining the excitement of a psychogeographer's convention, and then goes on to explain what psychogeography is, using examples from the convention, pulling the roots of the idea from history, and finally experiencing it himself in a small town called Albert Lea, outside the Twin Cities.
3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your own practice as a media artist?
-It helps in many different ways. he article actually talks about the rich detail and oddities found in this small town outside of the Twin Cities, finding Nordic Rune graffiti in the most unlikely of places. I wouldn't pay as much attention to such small places, but his enthusiasm for the subject makes it seem like a worthwhile opportunity to capture, as an artist. He also makes strong points about leaving your comfort zones, and that made me think about just when I went walking around downtown looking for a restaurant I had never been to before, and ended up finding a great Italian place. If you walk off the beaten path, it can sometimes be rewarding.

Nathan Irish said...

The urban landscape can be a frightening environment, causing a person to refrain from observing what is included in that landscape. A New Way of Walking by Joseph Hart helps to overcome that fear of the urban landscape by providing a simple explanation of psychogeography. While the article focuses on the artistic implications of psychogeography, the descriptions of the various ways people explore urban landscapes are clear and encouraging.
This article describes psychogeography as “a slightly stuffy term that’s been applied to a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities”. The purpose is to make pedestrians have a new awareness of the urban landscape. Each strategy should be have a structure that allows the participant to creatively experience an area of a city, but forces them to move in unexpected directions through that city. The result is a new logic that shifts our focus to aspects of a city we would typically ignore. Following what is referred to as a “generative psychogeography” or using an algorithm to decide which direction to go, the participant may discover that the ordinary and extraordinary have switched definitions. A neglected plot of land in a city could hold more significance than the famous church three blocks away.
The idea of letting chance or a seemingly random course of decision making control my actions is a challenge. I my work, I prefer to have as much control on the various parts of the project as possible. I don’t like surprises. I want everything to be planned out carefully. So, the idea of wandering a city with no other purpose except for enhancing my awareness of the urban landscape seemed dangerous and foolish. However, the exercise of developing a plan that is ever changing could force me to be more daring while still having the comfort of a well laid plan. Sometimes the unexpected is worth the danger.

Morgan said...

I selected Joseph Hart’s A New Way of Walking to help me better understand the concept of a flaneur. I thought it very interesting that people have created a science out of walking, psychogeography. I chose this article because I’m very interested in taking in information that helps me understand things differently or gives me a new perspective on something.

The article started off describing an annual event held in New York City, the Psy. Geo. Conflux, that explored the ideals of the 19th century flaneurs. The event guides participants through this style of observing and exploring the city around you by walking randomly, trying to get away from the preset locations that they are most familiar with. The most popular method for walking used by the flaneurs was the algorithmic walking.

As an artist the article provided me with different ways to think about walking. The majority of people walk everyday, and walking is something done mostly out of necessity, as a of moving from one location to another. To many, walking becomes mundane and more of a chore than a means of enjoyment. As an artist I already understand the importance of paying attention to detail but the article gave me another way observing details by acting as a flaneur.

Joseph M. said...

For this response, I have chosen to write about Gary Ferrington’s analysis of his surroundings in “On A Clear Day I Can Hear Forever.” In every place I have lived or spent more than a few days time, there are always different - or similar - sound markers that, if paid close enough attention, can identify position, space, size, and time. The examination of his environment, while undoubtedly more detailed than that my own, was similar to the way I enjoy taking in my surroundings and identifying familiar sounds. I chose this article for the way these similarities resonated with my own experiences.

The essay chronicles the sounds Ferrington observed through his window on an early Sunday morning while simultaneously reminiscing on past observations. Starting at around three o’clock in the morning, he scribes the changing soundscape surrounding his Salt Lake City high rise apartment from the scattered peacefulness of the early morning to the bustling Sunday Church crowd. He talks about how his position from the ground, the day of the week, and the clarity of the day – including people and weather – effect the amount of sounds that can be identified and the intensity/qualities of those sounds. He doesn’t necessarily speak negatively or positively about the oft-noisy cityscape, but rather gives credence to the distinctive audible qualities of the peacefulness and the ‘noise.’

The ability to identify patterns of sound in a setting along with the way those sounds react to other ‘interference,’ so to speak, in the environment can be beneficial in many ways. If one were to want to capture video and/or sound in that environment, knowing an advantageous time to do so can be helpful in minimizing extra variables in the equation of sound. Furthermore, knowing what environment would be better suited for a particular project could save valuable time recording and editing. In most mass media productions, time is an ever-present and ever-diminishing factor. For myself as film major, I recognize the importance of the quality and accuracy of sound along with the impact sound has on the overall quality of a piece. Knowing the environment can help me, as an artist, to create better sounding pieces with less overall time and effort needed.

-Joseph Michals

thad said...

I chose A New way of Walking by Hart because it was it was good explanation of what this class is essentially about. Also this was a very quick and easy to understand article. It got right to the point.
Hart made several points in his writing. He explained exactly what psychogeography is and how it makes us more aware of the subtleties of the places we frequent. He also pointed out the benefit of algorithmic walking when he mentions the fact that, once reaching a dead end, he wanted to continue through the tall grass toward the water however, the algorithmic walking turned them around and brought them to places much more interesting.
These things that Hart writes about are certainly relevant to what we do in Film 116. We want to be more aware of what's going on around us. We need to rely on other senses other than seeing. Algorithmic walking is something that we will be using in this class to help us find interesting places with unique sounds. Altogether I have to say that this was just an nice easy well made article.

Daniel Schneider said...

The piece I have chosen is Guy Debord’s “Theory of the Derivé”, for its exploration of this sort of technique of aural analysis. Not to mention that Mr. Debord has a very holistic approach to listening, considering – as he quotes from Chombart de Lauwe in this same essay – more than just “geographic factors” but the “image that its inhabitants and those of other neighborhoods have of it”. Few stones are left unturned in this relatively brief summary of ‘the derivé’, but in not too many words Debord manages to explain, tactfully and tactically, the tenets and assumptions surrounding this act of deep listening.

A key theme of “Theory of the Derivé” is the concept of ‘psychogeography’, a rather broad term that, indeed, covers a wide area of intellectual space. Primarily, ‘psychogeography’ seems to apply to not what one might hear but how one hears it and why – which, in turn, depends heavily on the where and when of the sound in question. However, the focal point of this essay is to be a rough guideline for fledgling listeners who have reached a ‘certain level of awareness’ and are eager to explore the act of the derive while paying – or failing to pay – heed to the illusions – or realities, Debord leaves this open for interpretation - of chance, boundaries and the concept of sound in a space.

Why. Why. Why. Why. The never-ending-god-damn-story of every media artist – if that’s what they’re calling themselves these days – is to get a grasp of that eternal, unforgiving ‘why’. It is not only in the cloisters of the chemically handicapped that the question ‘what if you don’t hear what I hear?’ is tossed around; quite the opposite, in fact. Considering the impact of psychoanalysis on contemporary art – and life, as it were – it comes as no surprise to me that asking ‘why’ often seems to become more and more essential as one is submerged into the world of high art. I do not believe that this is necessarily a good thing - there is something to be said for the idea of over-analysis – though it is a hard question to avoid, in truth. I do agree with Debord’s concept of the Derivé being an act separate from daily life, away from routine’s grimy paws and into the muddle of life outside of one’s beaten track in the snow.