Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reading Response #2

Reading responses on assigned readings will be due throughout the semester as comments to selected posts on the Course Blog. The responses will consist of three-paragraph statements on the readings or screenings, 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?

Pick one of the following readings (Cuper, Daniel, Hansen, Hill, Lippard, Lopate, Peterson, Pinkowish, Self, This American Life) and post your response as comment to this post by Sunday, April 5, 5 PM.

49 comments:

Ali Walker said...

I chose the article “Sounds of the season: learning to pay attention to the sounds around us-acoustic ecology,” by Ivars Peterson. I chose this article because I thought the title was extremely interesting and I thought it would relate to the Soundwalk that I took in the winter.

In the essay Peterson discusses the immense amount of sounds that surround us daily, some of which we pay attention to and some of which we block out. He mentions how sounds in the environment can influence and condition human behavior and goes on to cover the “World Soundscape Project,” by Simon Fraser which did exactly that. Along with Fraser, a composer named R. Murray Schafer was concerned with the environment and the noise within it. He says that “Noise pollution results when man does not listen carefully,” and further says that we must determine what sounds we must preserve, encourage, and multiply. For once we discover that, will we be able to eliminate the destructive sounds. In the essay Peterson notes that when people do listen to the sounds that surround them, they are usually loud or unpleasant thus having a negative effect on people forcing a change in social attitudes. It is only when we are able to eliminate these annoyances will we have better noise control and attitude towards the sounds within our environment.

All of the ideas that Peterson mentions in his essay are relevant to me as a media artist in many ways. As a media artist I am forced to step out into the environment and open my ears to all the sounds that overpower my hearing. It is then that I choose what I want to listen to and what I choose to block out. As a media artist it is important to take in all these sounds or at least be aware of them. This is especially crucial when I am working on my Soundwalk, for it is my goal to capture as many sounds as possible. If I begin to block out sounds that most people might consider “noise pollution” will I be hurting myself as an artist. I agree with Peterson in that we must determine the positive sounds within our environment so that we can eliminate the destructive ones, causing people to have a better attitude towards the music that surrounds us daily.

vINce maslowsKi said...

I chose the article Quiet Please by Mary Desmond Pinkowish because it reflects the the common problem that everyone, including myself, has with their environment: Noise.
The article is focused on the ever-growing problem of noise pollution and how it can be harmful. Noises such as motors, people screaming senselessly, extremely loud music, and everything else thats ridiculously undesirable to the ears, can be both psychologically and physically harmful. Even though there are attempts to dampen these noises, they merely compensate for the ever growing volume of noise pollution, hence not really eliminating the problem at all, but maintaining an unhelpful balance. Thankfully, there are certain parts of neighborhoods and cities where disruptive noise is banned from being produced. Hopefully this trend will grow in popularity. I found it interesting that when Pinkovish, when speaking of tension between neighbors, explains that it is a joint effort to keep away from each other's throats, developing a trust that can assist in the control of tiresome noise.

The article related to my drift assignment because it highlights annoyances that are everywhere, especially when we are trying to record sounds.Throughout my drift walks, I had always heard the rumble of traffic in the background, almost as though it is as existent as the wind. Although this hasn't exactly been a large problem for me, considering that I stayed as far away from it as I could when recording sounds, it's simply the volume that a single car can produce when it passes by that will remain on my nerves. Although these are often discouraging, they are only momentary, and barely scratch the final result.

Joel Augustine said...

Joel Augustine
Reading Response 2

That article that I choose to write about is Walking as do it yourself, by Kenny Cupers. I choose this article for a variety of reasons. First of this article deals with photography, which I’m very into. Also I choose this article because it gives a very different approach of thinking and viewing the urban landscape. I felt that this article was a good one to read before I went on my drift two walk. It answered some of the questions that I had about the drift one assessment.
In this article they discussed a project done in London about “Where do you breathe?” From this project they had three parts, a photographic essay, an urban intervention and a website. The photographs from this project were used for postcard to distribute around the city. One side was the photograph and the other was a map to get to that specific place. So photography was just the starting point for this urban exploration. From these pictures they hoped that other people would start to explore the urban space and find where they could breathe. And they used the website for people to come together and share their experience from their walking. This article then deals with how the planner and users coincide with one another and how they affect the urban territory. And from this walking experience they plan was to alter ones state of mind. Alter you mind in such a way that you listen and take in the surroundings with out judgment or rejection. From this the project wanted people to find places between a point A and B, where they could breathe. This breathing was found in the tension between walking and resting, and it is not a specific place, but a duration of time and space from the walk itself. And the final thought of this article was that this to it yourself walking would allow users to filter out an urban space for what they want to experience from their mental desires.
I feel like this article hits home to my own practices in two ways. The first way I feel that when they say that the photographs were just the starting point of the experience. This is true for what I want to accomplish in a photograph. I want the viewer to feel inspired by the photograph. Inspired is a broad term, but I feel that if they were affected by it at all then I feel that I accomplished something. And inspired could mean that they want to either search out for that place or to just go photograph something, anything is open to this. The second thing that this article is relevant to my own practices is for our walks. While on the drift one walk I took in the urban landscape with an open mind. I just wanted to see what I could find and to make a good experience from it. And then there talk about a breathing place, as I talked about in my drift one assessment, there was a duration of my walk where I did not think about anything else besides what has happening at the particular time. And I feel that, that point of my walk was the breathing point in which they were talking about. I feel that this was a very good article for what it presented and would encourage others to read it if they did not do so already.

Matt Minue said...

I decided to read, and write about the article "Walking As Do-It Yourself Urbanism" by Kenny Cuper. I chose this piece of literature because after reading the first paragraph it seemed almost exactly the same as what we are doing with our drifts.

In the article, Cuper describes a project where he would go out and take pictures of the city he lived in. He would then upload these images to a website, and would add a short description to where these places were located, and would then locate the place on a large map. After I read this, I made the realization that this was almost the exact same as our drift two walk, except that we would be using sound to describe the images that would be uploaded to our personal blog. Each of our sounds and images would be placed onto a large map, just like what Cuper had been doing. The only difference between us and Cuper is that the places he chose to photograph were areas he was well aware of, and visited often, where the destinations we chose were mostly random. Together with Cuper, we are still bringing light to areas that most people are not familiar with, and allow them to experience these interesting places before actually going out in search of them.

Our Drift Two and Cuper's own project are related in so many different ways. It's almost as if we the artist are bringing forth hidden gems located in a large metropolis, and sharing them to the rest of the world. Both of our installations allow anyone, anywhere, and at any time to explore our own places of solitude, or breathing places.

Chelsea Fox said...

I chose the "Quiet Please" article by Mary Desmond Pinkowish. I chose this article because it points out the opposite side of sound - noise. The article brings an interesting point about noise that we don't really think about in class: how disruptive it can be.

She talks a lot about how loud noises can have harmful effects on a human. That high decibels can increase stress and blood pressure. She also talks a lot about hearing loss from everyday noise like traffic, airplanes, trains and ipods. Another result of noise according to Pinkowish is that it can increase possibilities of neurosis, hysteria, nausea, aggression, argumentativeness and social conflict. Basically in her article, Pinkowish points out the negative effects of sound.

Arguments in this article are relevant to my practice as a media artist because it reminds me the importance of not over-amplifying my recordings or making them too loud - I do not want my work to be categorized as "noise".

Shawn Rodriguez said...

I chose the Quiet Please! article by Mary Desmond Pinkowish. I decided on this article because I have found it hard to try to decipher good sounds from a lot of the crappy sounds that can overpower it and this article pertains to people who ruin peoples day with their noise pollution.

The main points of the article are basically that noise pollution is bad and that people can seriously be affected by it. The article is also trying to persuade government to try to change state laws in various states banning certain noise pollution.

The points and arguments that are made in the article pertain to what we're doing in class, although some noise pollution can be turned into something very artistically interesting, a lot of the noise that goes on in the city is very unattractive to the eat and therefore will make our projects unattractive. I just need to sift through the noise pollution to find something truly great

Hannah Mann said...

1. I picked “Quiet, Please!” by Mary Desmond Pinkowish because I am quite easily irritated by noise. I don’t know if that is due to the quality of my cochlear implant, or if I just am not used to it. (I was implanted late, at 10 years old; the ideal age to implant a child is… well, a lot longer before 10 years old.) Either way, too much noise bugs me, especially when I’m trying to concentrate, so I end up turning my implant off. I guess it’s comforting to know that even hearing people have the same problems.

2. According to the article, not only is noise a nuisance, but it can even be detrimental to our health. It’s even gotten to the point that Someone Somewhere set up organizations, like the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse (NPC) and the Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise, to monitor noise; and the World Health Organization and Environmental Protection Agency even got in on the act. These groups and others study the effects of noise on people: hearing loss, stress levels, heart conditions, difficulty learning and paying attention, and male impotency. OK, I made that last one up, but these guys did reach the conclusion that too much noise is bad for us.

There is hope, though. Les Bloomberg (president of the aforementioned Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary noise) says that noise pollution is so bad, it can’t get worse, which is good. Seriously, though, folks are hoping that technology, legislation, and good ol’ community will help bring noise levels down. That, or we can all flock to the nearest airport and threaten to release lots of balloons.

3. Well, as I’ve mentioned, too much noise bugs me. But on the flip side, sometimes I get so engrossed in what I’m doing that I don’t even notice it. Obviously, when working with media, I’ll want to pay attention to any noise that could be potentially distracting or even annoying. And of course, I don’t want to overwhelm my audience with too much noise.

Joseph M. said...

For this response, I have chosen Mary Desmond Pinkowish’s article “Quiet, Please!” about noise pollution. My main reason for choosing this article was for my conflicting feelings about the topic of “noise.” She makes convincing arguments about the dangers of noise pollution on our minds and body but, aside from a brief mention at the end of the article, doesn’t speak much of the positive effects sound can have on people. I have an appreciation for all types of sound, but I can understand the distracting, unsettling or even annoying nature of noise; be it in my home, in the city, or in projects on which I have worked.

In the article, Pinkowish speaks about different types of noise pollution and how it can adversely affect the human body and mind. Agencies and groups dedicated to the suppression of noise and the advancement of noise-reducing legislation discussed their various proposals and wishes to reduce noise pollution, some of which were already put into action. Pinkowish highlights the negative impact noise has on our hearing, blood pressure, stress levels, and even the learning process. She focuses a bit on airlines and the nearby inhabitants which suffer the most from the noise and vibrations emitted from low-passing aircraft. In the case of one airport, “bunches” of balloons were set loose by local residents to halt air traffic in a protest against the noisy airport, costing that airport hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. In the end, one proponent suggested that the simplest solution would be one of empathy and community (with an emphasis on “unity”) in regards to executions of noisy activity.

I can understand the need for noise reduction especially when I am working with sound; the less noise the better. On the other hand, there are qualities and characteristics to noise and sound that can assist in creating a mood or evoking an emotional response in an audience. Furthermore, the sounds that make up the “noise” of one area won’t necessarily be the same in another area, so one has to understand the complexity of noise in order to accurately duplicate it for an audience. Therefore, understanding what makes up noise and knowing ways to lessen the amount of noise (or increasing it, if need be) can be beneficial in my own works as a media artist.

-Joseph Michals

alwaysnightowl said...

1. I chose the article “Quite Please” by Mary Desmond Pinkowish. I chose it because it because I too suffer from a noisy neighbor, or because I can really relate to the article. I grew up on a farm, so when I made the move to the city 4 years ago it was jarring to say the least. First, I had to get used to numerous city sounds that filled my bedroom when I went to sleep. Then there was the adjustment to hearing it almost 24/7 of my new city life. This experience has linked me to understand this article on level of definite understanding.

2. The first main point of the article is some examples of what is noise pollution such as a lawn mower, car noise, airplane sounds etc. etc. The article then goes on to point out what exactly is tolerable for the human ear to listen to without it being dangerous. It also talks about how we have the right to not be intruded by sounds that are dangerous to our bodies, that essentially it is trespassing. Pinkowish goes on to talk about how to the difference between noise that is our daily life that is excessive and noise we create, because we can control that and make our noise levels at a better level. For example, we use an IPod and go to rock concerts both can be exceedingly harmful for our ears both things we can control. Lastly the article goes on to talk about the different causes that noise pollution has on the human body and what the government has possibly consider to protect us from noise pollution.

3. This article is important when considering our drifts because noise pollution is essentially the cause to most of my frustrations while recording. I would be in the midst of a great recording, when all of the sudden a cherry pipe’d car comes strolling down the street drowning out any hope of the gold recording I was looking for. Sometimes I would find a location, but I couldn’t even attempt it with the noise that was created by traffic. It’s interesting how much everything amplifies when one is on the drift and really listens to how much clutter fills our daily lives. This article shines light on that fact, sure we may have come used to the beeps and alarms etc, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ok for us.
-Rob Niesen

Rachel S said...

1. I decided to listen to the episode of This American Life," the theme of which was Mapping! I chose this because I am a BIG fan of the program as well as NPR as a whole, and I listen to This American Life regularly but had never heard this particular episode. (There's a TV show now?? Wow. Still haven't seen it, as I don't watch TV, but I bet it's good...)

2. Well, this episode, entitled "Mapping," was about just that. It began with it's usual introduction which defined mapping as an obsessive concentration on one particular theme and it's placement in the universe. The five acts go on to explore the idea of mapping through each of the senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Act 1, sight, was about a man who was making sight maps of his neighborhood in North Carolina. He has made maps of all the Pumpkins on porches in the neighborhood, all of the pools of light created by streetlamps, all of the underground electric cables and sewer lines, the houses that have most often been mentioned in the town newsletter, etc. Act 2, sound was about a man who became obsessed with the humming sounds created by the electric motors constantly running around him. He began to map out the sounds and reproduce the chords which were being "played" by the machines in his office and home. He discovered that we always have these awful minor key chords droning away in the backgrounds of our lives, potentially producing boredom and depression. Act 3, Smell, was about an "electronic nose" which is programmed to map out the world's smells one at a time. Act 4, Touch, was about a woman who was a severe hypochondriac. Because of her obsessive belief that she was developing tumors and any number of other ailments, she began mapping out her body's anomalies through her own sense of touch. Act 5, Taste, was about a man who mapped out an entire street in Los Angleles using his sense of taste (I'm tempted to try this one myself). He went to every single restaurant on the street, trying foods from a huge variety of countries and ethnic groups. He learned a lot about diversity and his neighborhood and eventually became an LA Times food critic. I'm quite jealous, that sounds like fun.

3. All of these people (or things) are connected by obsession. There's one thing that they're concentrating on. They're shaping their world around that thing and forcing it into the context of a tangible or mental map. As a media artist I can do the same thing. A project has much more impact if it is extremely focused. That focused attention can be "mapped out" using any number of mediums for presentation to the world. And there are an infinite number of things in the world ready to be mapped in an infinite number of ways. It's a never ending source of ideas and projects (which admittedly take a pretty sizable amount of patience and concentration).

Liz Leighton said...

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

I chose the podcast of This American Life. I chose this because in actuality, I am a very big fan of This American Life, because it has become an example of what radio should be when it's an incredibly wasted medium. It takes overlooked perspectives and explores them.

2. What are the main points of the essay?
The radio program is about mapping through the senses.
They start with sight mapping, then move to sound, then on to smell, touch and taste. The show starts out with how maps are often ignored, when thousands of them are made for various reason. In the first act, they talk about a man who makes maps from varying perspectives in his neighborhood in Raleigh North Carolina. The second act focuses on a man who maps the world based on everyday sounds. Through this, he searches out whether or not there's dissonance in any given environment. I would also like to note that this guy has a really cool job now because of it. The third act talks about a company working on an electronic nose. It is an usual perspective because people don't primarily think of the world through the sense of the nose. With this device, they are hoping to employ it to smell illness or bacteria on human beings. The fourth act is about a woman who maps her own body through the sense of touch. As a hypochondriac, she is very aware of her body because she's constantly checking her own body for any perceived illness she may have. The act on taste specializes in a man who decided to map a portion of his city based on the restaurants. Which I am now tempted to do because I'm obsessed with food, and I want an excuse to eat at a bunch of restaurants.

3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your own practice as a media artist?
The major thing I appreciated about this podcast and the show was that it looked that the world through a different perspective. I will try to do this if I can through art.

Mark O'Neill said...

I am responding to Mary Pinkowish’s article “Quiet Please”. This article is about the annoying noises that are always around us and how we need to learn to deal with the noise or fix it. I know firsthand how certain noises can drive someone insane. Every morning I get woken up early by the sound of a dumpster directly below my window. I felt that this article could provide some good tips on how to deal with this nuisance and inform me on what everyday noises are doing to my health.

Pinkowish made sure to cite the health problems caused by sound and how relevant those sounds are to everyone. The article states that noise can increase blood pressure and heart rate, as well as create stress and emotional problems. According to Pinkowish, 44% of Europeans are exposed to “health threatening” noises every day. She also talks about the general dissatisfaction that people have toward the noises in their environments. There have been several technological advances and laws made to reduce the amount of sound that is produced. However, the absence of sound will never exist so we must embrace the sounds of our community and learn to enjoy it.

This article was helpful to me because it made me realize that, even though sounds can be very annoying sometimes, they will never go away. There is no reason to stress about the noise because without it, my city would be a very boring place. While drifting, I would get very annoyed with passing cars and the noise they make. I found it hard to avoid this sound but it is a prevalent sound of the city so I shouldn’t avoid it. All of these annoying sounds is what makes a certain area unique.

e.jones said...

1. Last week I began hearing birds outside and I realized that I had been taking their calls for granted. I really enjoyed listening to them, which is why I chose the article “Sounds of the season: learning to pay attention to the sounds around us-acoustic ecology,” by Ivars Peterson. The title grabbed my attention and I wanted to learn more about his thoughts on the topic.

2. Peterson quotes Gary W. Ferrington, a teacher of audio design as saying, "Everyone hears, but very few listen." The article explores how our ears are bombarded with sounds and how some people really capture them, while others tend to ignore them. In order to really appreciate environmental sounds we must eliminate the noise pollution and determine which sounds are worth keeping because they all have an affect on us.

3. This article is relevant to me as a media artist because I have to pay attention to all sounds in order to decide which ones I like. If I had nothing to compare pleasant sounds to I would not think of them as such. I also have to listen to the changes in the sounds to make sure I capture them accurately.

crazyacorn16 said...

I chose the article "QUIET, PLEASE!" The main reason I chose this article was because I liked the layout; it appealed to me. I thought the article had personality so I chose to read it.

2. Basically the article is about how the amount of noise around us is ever growing and can be dangerous to our health. The noise and be bothersome to concentration and can lead to anger and high blood pressure or other serious body issues. The author is telling us flat out that we are running out of options for the noise pollution. Pinkowish kept bringing up the fact that we can't keep running to the suburbs, because even there sound is getting increasingly louder.

3. I think that the author made very good points about the noise level around us and especially for this class. No matter what sound we capture with our mics, there is always some sort of background noise that comes along with it. We can't run from noise and its overtaking the way we hear and perceive our environments.

Emily Downes said...

Reading Response #2

For my reading response, I selected Cuper’s “Walking as a Do-It-Yourself Urbanism”. I particularly enjoyed this reading for its descriptive elements, my interest in photography, and its tips for viewing urban landscape in a new way. An example of this different view of an urban location was discussed with the example of a project done in London. The article discusses that as opposed to the image of the city as a dense and chaos world, the photographs were able to portray London as a “tranquilised terrain open to contemplation”. This directly applies to the drift projects, dealing with viewing the urban landscape in a new way through the act of walking. With these drift walks, there is a push to acquire a new urban sensibility, which this article fully relates to. Growing up relatively close to Milwaukee and coming to Milwaukee a lot throughout the years, I was never able to fully appreciate the city and urban lifestyle as much as I am able to now. Being forced to walk around and collect bits and pieces from the city and put them together into a sort of “story” is an exciting new task for me. The article also discusses how the power through creativity can provoke theoretical questions. As a media artist, particularly interested in film and photography, this is what I hope to accomplish through my images and other works of art.

Michael DuBois said...

I chose the article Walking as Do-It Yourself Urbanism by Kenny Cuper. I picked this article because I though it represented what I was doing with my walks. I also was glad that I picked it because he goes into describing why he did his project the way he did.
In this essay Cupers explains what he did for his project. His project was called "Where do You Breathe?" which he made a website, postcards, Urban intervention. Cupers put his picture on the post cards with a map to where it is located. He then used the website for people to log on and share their experiences.He wanted people to experience the city or urban landscape in a different way. By exploring the places you are familiar with and see everyday. I think this article is about how can you as a listener and a looker see the places you already experience in a different way.
This relates to drift 2 because when I do my walk I will mos likely be walking in familiar places. I will have to think of something to make it more interesting and unique. Its also related because he uses a website to gather experiences and point of views that he was previously aware of. Like ours we are sharing our walks online also on a blogger which people can comment on.

brookeduckart said...

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

I chose to read, “listening to myself listen” by S. Arden Hill. When I was on my first Drift 1 walk I realized, and was surprised by, how much noise I make that I was totally unaware of. So the title of this article intrigued me.

2. What are the main points of the essay?

There is a large difference between our ongoing involuntary hearing versus our focused hearing (listening.) Also, depending on who we are (our experiences, our knowledge, our gender, our profession, etc…) effects how we listen to our sonic environments (where we are hearing sounds.) We all have different levels of “listening attention.” The essay explores different examples of sonic environments, observations, and exercises in alternative and integrated ways of listening.

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

This article gave me an interesting view on how we take the way we listen for granted. It encourages me to try to manipulate this experience the next time I go out on a soundwalk. New experiences and experimentation is always a great way to grow as a media artist.

Charlene said...

The article I chose was "Sounds of the Season: learning to pay atteniton to the sounds around us-acoustic ecology" by Ivars Peterson. I chose this article because the title sounded interesting and like something that might closely relate to the sound walks I have been doing this semester.

This essay was mostly about the paying attention to the sounds around you instead of blocking them out. '"Everyone hears, but very few listen," comments Gary W. Ferrington, a teacher of audio design at the University of Oregon in Eugene. It takes a real effort to open one's ears.' The article also talks about how different people react to noises differently. While something might be loud and annoying for one person, another might find it peaceful or not notice it at all, such as noises in an old house.

This article related to me as an artist because as I go out walking and recording I should be paying attention to everything around me, not just the sounds I find interesting. Luckily my microphone picks up everything and I often listen to it and think, "I wish I would have heard that as it was happening" because I find, I do tend to block out certain types of sounds as I am walking. Something I need to work on. I also have a tendency to record a lot of the same types of sound, which might always be appealing to my audience, like the article described, different people have different opinions on sounds, and I need to be aware of this as an artist.

rachelramirez said...

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.
I chose the article, "Listening to Myself Listen," by S. Arden Hill. I chose this article because I found it very something to easily relate to. I found the relation especially evident after doing my first sound walk. Because the article explains a variety of ways to identify sound, versus hearing. While doing my first drift, there were sounds that I was 'hearing' that I didn't think I wanted, but after actually 'listening' to the sounds later.. I was able to interpret and understand the purpose of that particular sound.

2. What are the main points of the essay?
The main points of this article were, like I had stated in my previous answer, to identify what the difference is between 'hearing' and 'listening.' He also takes this a step further and defines 'sonic environment.' Sonic environment is where our listening is taking place. The characteristics of the site we are around, versus what we are hearing, helps us to identify and relate to what we are listening to. He also compares the sonic environment with the relation to our culture. This is important because we can understand and make something not only of our surroundings, but ourselves as individuals.

3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your own practice as a media artist?
The ideas in this argument are very relevant to what makes me a media artist. This is true, because with my recordings, and what I have done so far, I wouldn't be able to successfully complete without understanding and feeling the effects of this article. Focusing on what I hear, and by successfully interpreting it.. is the only way I will be able to show to my listeners what I was trying to interpret in the first place. Without having a successful understanding of what I'm listening to as an artist, the sounds that I'm trying to portray to my viewers will not properly be heard.

Ryan Cooke said...

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.
I chose, “On the Aesthetics of Urban Walking and Writing,” by Philip Lopate. I chose this article because I found Lopate’s unique ability to appreciate his city incredibly interesting. His interpretations of the relationships we share with other pedestrians on the street, as well as the connection we have with the city as a whole are in very insightful.
2. What are the main points of the essay?
This essay follows Phillip Lopate and the change in his relationship with his home city of New York. Lopate tells about how he experienced walking the city streets changes over the years and how he himself has been changed by those experiences. Lopate writes a lot about the poets of pedestrianism who have inspired him. One in particular, named Diane Arbus. Arbus spoke about the brief relationship shared by passing walkers. His main point, or at least how I interpret his ideas is; we only have a second or two to notice that one attribute of the passing walkers will forever define them to us. That’s why we are able to identify strangers as the lady in the red hat, or the man on the phone. Lopate goes on to end his essay with obvious frustration. Now being in his mid-forties he finds himself not walking for the reverent joy of it but for the practical transportation. He is frustrated by the effort he has to put forth in order to see the city as he once did. He even states, in so many words, that if New York is to stun him as it did, it should it not require any effort from him.
3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your own practice as a media artist?
Whether or not Lopates essay will affect me as a media artist is hard to say. I can say, however, that the points he makes will definitely affect me as a pedestrian. Like Lopate, I think I will be more in tune with the surroundings as I walk though an urban environment.

tjthorp said...

The article I chose was "On The Aesthetics of Urban Walking and Writing" by Phillip Lopate. I picked this article because I am from a very small town, and coming to Milwaukee and walking the downtown streets made for a whole new experience.

The article discussed reasons why people (and more specifically, writers) spend a great deal of time walking the city streets. Reasons range from taking the time to look inward, or to "sharpen perception" to outward sights and details, and even, or for simple free entertainment. A lot of people walk, and a lot of literary works deal with journeys. It seems as is walking is a like an alternative to going to the movies. Author Walk Whitman even went to the extreme to say that he would take walks for the erotic excitement of meeting a female stranger. It discusses that in an almost primitive way, men enjoy walking their territories to overcome their feelings of powerlessness. For whatever reason these authors would write, they would always discover some kind of beauty, or muse that they could dwell on in their rooms to write about.

I thought this was a great article, and I really could relate to a lot of it. Being alone, while not really being alone, and opening yourself up to all kinds of random opportunities and people, that you would otherwise never encounter. I enjoy going on walks for a lot of the same reasons presented in this article, and the urban side of things is definitely important to me, having come from a small town. For example, just going on walks in order to better understand my area, so I don't feel so clueless, and so I can develop a comfort. And discovering all kinds of beauty that wouldn't normally be absorbed.

Max Kobold said...

1.) I chose the Pinkowish article "Quiet Please"

2.) The primary points touched on in the article relate to noise pollution. I think that it was interesting to hear the majority of noise pollution comes from everyday things. Its crazy to know how awful my generation will be at hearing based on the average amount of decibels humans are supposed to take in on a daily basis.

3.) In terms of how it affects me as a media artist, I think a lot about my audience and what I'm subjecting their ears to. More specifically in terms of our two audio projects, I'm looking to reduce sounds that are both harmful to our ears and that are generally unpleasant. It's important to provide a comfortable audio atmosphere so that the viewer can really enjoy it.

Joe Grennier said...

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

The article that I selected was This American Life: Mapping. I chose it because I have always enjoyed the program and the idea of mapping based off our senses intrigued me. Not only did the article examine mapping based off our distinct senses, it offered-up five unique perspectives on the very concept of mapping. While some of the processes seemed closely related to conventional mapping, others seemed very distant. All of these examples have helped me to break through some of my preconceived notions about our relationship to the process of mapping as well as the objects themselves.

What are the main points of the essay?



When most people think of a map, they likely recall a traditional street map of their city, state, country or perhaps the entire world. Most of us were raised to believe that traditional geographic maps are one of a few, if not the only types of maps in existence. When most people think of cartography or mapmaking, they probably envision a scientific process of taking measurements and examining details in order to make a traditional map. As we began to explore earlier this semester, the act of mapping does not necessarily have to fit into this framework. Maps can be useful for reasons other than getting from point a to point b. Maps can be thought provoking, visually stimulating or self examining. This American Life:Mapping, explores the idea of mapping based off our five senses through five unique perspectives.

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

As a media artist, anything that can help me to break free of conventions is undeniably useful. This article, in addition to other readings and fieldwork throughout the semester, has helped me to gain a clearer understanding of the potential that exists for maps in terms of visual art. I have also been able to set aside many of the conventions and pre-conceived notions that I held about mapping. I am much more likely to consider the incorporation of mapping as part of my work after experiencing this class and this article.

C. Christman said...

I chose to respond to “This American Life: Mapping”. This episode documents the charting of different parts of our world using each of the five different senses. I’ve always enjoyed the different style of This American Life, documenting different aspects of a similar story or theme. This episode is particularly relevant to our sound walk because it deals with the idea of mapping using a particular sense. In our case we use sound and sight. Each of the different stories on this episode is mapping using sight, sounds, smell, touch or taste.

The main points of the essay are emphasizing the different ways that maps have begun to be used. Ira Glass said in the prologue, “Maps have meaning because they filter out all the chaos in the world and focus obsessively on one item.” This sums up the idea current idea of mapping. Maps have changed over the past decades. What were first landforms with arrows pointing to the new world have become as abstract as mapping the tastes of a city.

These ideas are relevant because they give insight into how aware people have become and how it seems that humans have such a strong desire to categorize the most abstract subjects. Mapping is not only done for convenience or out of necessity, but it is a way to document the past. Maps serve as a timeline and give a detailed account of a moment in time.

Chris Brehmer said...

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

I chose to read the article, "listening to myself listen"; by S. Arden Hill. I chose this article, mainly due to the title name. I thought it sounded really interesting, and I knew it would relate to the second drift walk.

2. What are the main points of the essay?

The main points of the essay are to really try and alter your focus on listening. What ever it is your listening to, try and variations to get a new understanding for your environment. Also, the author discusses the idea behind ethnography. Which, he has several listening hypotheses to follow.


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

The ideas in this article are relevant to my practice as a media artist in multiple ways. Reading this will help me get a more unique angle on my surroundings. Hopefully, by doing this; I will be able to focus on something that is pure, that no one else notices.
I also think this will help me be more aware to not only sounds being heard, but possibly subjects for photography.

steve said...

I chose "Quiet Please!," by Mary Desmond Pinkowish. I chose this article because it relates to what everyone has to go through everyday, which is unnecessary noise that pollutes our ears and causes high stress levels.I can relate a lot to this article in the sense that a lot of the sounds I hear everyday bother me and can raise my stress level or cause me to be in a bad mood.

Pinkowish starts out by saying that unnecessary sounds ruin quiet peaceful days filled with natural sounds of birds chirping and such. She says that hearing the sound of a lawnmower over these other natural peaceful sounds frustrates people and that sounds like these bring out the worst in human beings. She states that although water and air have been becoming cleaner over the past 30 years, noise pollution has not. The definition for noise is any sound that impacts or harms people's health. The amount of unnecessary noise in our society continues to grow and the amount of people who complain about it as well. More young people continue to have problems with their hearing due to all the extreme noise they expose or don't expose themselves to.

As a media artist we must take in all the sounds that surround us, even the "noise pollution," and be aware of it. It affects us and our everyday lives, so we have to make sense of it all. When I go out on my drift walks and explore the city, my ears are filled with this "noise pollution," because it fills the city, but it is my job to make some sense of it all. As I continue to go on walks and edit my sounds I will be forced to deal with the unnecessary sounds, especially the traffic sounds that continue to always echo through the city.

Amber Michelle Glembin said...

I selected "Sounds of the Season," by Ivars Peterson because of my immediate attraction to the title. As an artist I like the idea of using sounds to give association, so that the listener will be reminded of an image or memory when they hear a sound. I hoped to be able to relate to the article and maybe get some tips from it. Thankfully the title provided a good idea of what the article would be about.

I felt as though the main point of the article was to discuss sound’s current status in the world and how it often has a negative connotation. A quote by Gary W. Ferrington a teacher of audio design at the University of Oregon in Eugene was mentioned in the article, “Everyone hears, but very few listen.” It seemed as though the first thing that comes to mind when people think sound is noise pollution or unpleasant sounds, rather than art or nature that deserve appreciation. However on a positive note Peterson also explained how people who appreciate sound were coming together and the community is frequently growing. “The recent formation of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, based in Vancouver, is one sign of growing interest in the field,” (Peterson, 4). Sound is making its way back to good standing and most importantly as art.

“Sound of the Season,” was one of the most relevant articles I have read, especially pertaining to myself as an artist as well as our class in general. Our purpose in class is to collect sounds and turn them into a piece of art that we can share with others which is exactly the kind of passion the artist in the articles possess. It is important for students enrolled in this class to read this article to feel a connection not only with themselves and their work but other artists striving for the same goal.

Cassandra R. Smith said...

I chose the article Sounds Of The Season by Ivars Peterson for my reading response. I decided to choose this specific article because I had enjoyed reading it earlier in the semester. The main focal point of my recordings, with visuals and sound, is nature. This article discusses the importance of environmental sounds, which I think is important as well. Plus, I liked the title of the article, and the mention of “acoustic ecology”.
The article starts with the author’s intake of early morning sounds after he wakes up. He describes how sitting in bed and just listening to the outside world before looking out the window can allow interpretation of the weather according to bird chirping or muffled car sounds, for example. Peterson then discusses influential people who have worked with acoustic ecology, noise pollution, and electronic sound production among other sound-related fields of work. These important people include music composers, professors of different audio categories, and even a representative from a company that focuses on examining and altering sounds of commercial household products. Peterson uses the theories of the mentioned people to connect what should be done to prevent noise pollution and how to preserve environmental sounds through this age of technology. The article ends with the mention of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, which is based out of Vancouver and how the preservation of Environmental sounds does have a interested following.

As I mentioned before, I am interested in natural sounds. Not that I dislike the other sounds of the world, but I always seem to gravitate toward animal and nature sounds. The article mentions the different people who work toward sound preservation and how many of these people had lived in natural surroundings. I am so interested in ‘environmental sounds’ because I lived my earlier years out of the city. Even when my family moved in the city, we had a large backyard to enjoy. I am sure many of these sounds enthusiasts can relate to enjoying being out of the city, Whenever I go camping or leave the city to spend time in a more rural environment, I go through an almost painful adjustment to city life and sounds. I liked the author’s inclusion of the quote "The sense of hearing cannot be closed off at will… There are no earlids" by R. Murray Schafer, a Canadian composer. Schafer also said "Noise pollution results when man does not listen carefully” which I agreed with after thinking about that statement for a minute. Another quote that I enjoy that Peterson includes is by Barry Truax, a professor and composer of electro acoustic music in Burnaby, British Columbia: “The central ideas of acoustic ecology could benefit everyone in a society struggling with the impact of technology.” I liked that I could relate with many of the key points n this article. It helped me to realize I could do a lot with ‘natural’ sounds if I wanted to pursue a career related to that.

brandon kingsley said...

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

I chose Mary Desmond Pinkowish's article, "Quiet Please." I chose this article because the idea that noise is the destruction of neighborhoods and people fascinated me. I find it strange that the technological revolution could be the downfall of our society due to only noise.

2. What are the main points of the essay?
The article stands against technology and how the sounds around us will be our demise. It's the fact that about 100 years ago there weren't nearly as many sounds as there are today.
There are radical solutions to this sound problem stated in the article. One solution by Bloomberg is to find some sort of way of interdependence. Strangely, they go on to say that there is no definitive way to solve this. There has always been sounds and you need to get away from society to get away from the sounds.
So after all of the stances against sounds the article ends with the notion of the impossibility to eliminate sounds.

3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your own practice as a media artist?
Well I don't believe that sound will take over society and be its downfall but the article does make some strong points. It makes me relate my own ideas of technology and where society is going to these idea's of an overabundance of noise. Overall, I'd agree with the fact there is too much sound floating around and people need to take a step back from all of our technological achievements and enjoy the silence.

Liz Keniston said...

I chose Walking as do- it-yourself Urbanism by Kenny Cupers. I picked this article because the title was appealing to me. I felt like it would give me some good tips for my Drift 1 project. I believe the main points of this essay were Cupers ideas on creativity and for an individual to understand the social production of space. The concept of do-it-yourself urbanism is interesting to me. It provides me with the idea that everything is left up to me. It is up to my creativity and inspiration of space to complete this Drift 2 project.
Cuper explains that urban space is filled with many distracting qualities, graffiti, graphics, media, ect. I understand this fully because I grew up in the city. This part of the article is very useful for me because that is what I’m going to try to be capturing in my Drift 2.

Morgan said...

I selected Mary Desmond Pinkowish’s article Quiet Please because I often find myself in situations silently wishing that someone or something would please be quiet. I often find myself annoyed and loud people and loud noises. I myself am a quiet person and tend to feel that my personal space is invaded when a loud sound is occurring in my vicinity. Also when I attended school in New York, I found myself growing increasingly aggravated by all the constant loud sounds. If I did not get a break from all the noise I became highly irritated and very cranky.
The essay explored noise pollution, its effects on humans and what is being done about the excessive and growing noise pollution. In addition to causing deafness, loud noises are the culprit for increased levels of stress hormones, which adversely harm the body, and spikes in heart rates which can cause multiples problems. Some problems linked to unrestrained noise are hysteria, anxiety, nausea and aggression. Unnecessary noise also greatly affects the ability for children to learn and develop healthy listening habits. To deal with the ever-growing noise pollution some have turned to protest while others have car-pooled and others have started using earplugs.

During my drift walks I become irritated and impatient with all the extra noise such as traffic and the constant drones of machines. For my second drift I tried to find a place still in the city of Milwaukee that was void of nearly all the unnecessary noise. My search brought me under the bridge and along the river. Although not all the extra noise is gone there is a major difference, so much so that sometimes I forget that I’m still in Milwaukee. This is a good thing since I get submersed into to walking and exploring and listening real hard for an interesting, unique noise.

taylor brown said...

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.
I chose Quiet Please by Mary Pinkowish. The reason I chose this article is because the title sounded interesting and i thought it would be interesting to read about silence after doing a soundwalk.


2. What are the main points of the essay?
The essay focuses on the many different kinds of noise pollution. It goes on to reveal the dangers and effects of noise pollution. It also outlines some strategies that have been tried in the past to cut down on noise pollution, and also some new ideas.

3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your own practice as a media artist?
The ideas in this article are relevant to my practice as a media artist because if noise pollution isn't dealt with, you miss alot of interesting and unique sounds. Noise pollution is also detrimental to physical health, even make people crazy.

D.Cohen said...

The Sound of season was the most interresting to me. I really enjoyed how the acoustic ecology was desribed in the article.

The main point is how sounds is apart of everyday life. If we didn't have sound the world would be lost. You can sometimes hear what your doing. Most blind people can see in their hearing.

The ideas are relavent to everyday life because it has purpose behind it. The way we come up with technolgoy, has the purposed of what it needs to be used for. The same thing about sound. Sound is vitle for alot of people because we need it.

Marisela said...

1. I chose the interview with Will Self titled "Will Self: On ‘Psychogeography’ and the Places That Choose You" because I found it interesting that after being addicted to drugs he found something as "simple" as walking so fulfilling that it created a whole new experience for him.

2. Self talks about walking being an activity that can "decouple yourself from the human geography that so defines contemporary urbanity". Self says that the places that you walk choose you and that these places hold a special meaning to the individual. Another important point he makes is that anyone can start a walk because only minimal supplies are need (pen and paper). Rather than materialistic things, more of what is needed is a desire to explore.

3. Self's ideas are important to my own practice as a media artist because he emphasizes the importance of considering the spaces around us deeply. According to Self, the special consideration of space while taking long walks helps the mind also create a unique experience to these places.

Justin Deutmeyer said...

I chose to read “On The Aesthetics of Urban Walking and Writing” by Phillip Lopate. This, as with all of the other readings, obviously has to do with this particular class, because it deals with walking, which we do a lot of for our drifts. I enjoy reading quite a bit, and to a certain degree enjoy writing, so I thought this was an interesting article. Lopate talks about the idea of walking in order to find inspiration for writing. He talks about certain writers who loathed the big city, along with writers like himself that found great beauty in it. He would walk around the city always looking for something new or new ways to describe what he sees, and thought of each pedestrian as a character in one large story. He felt that on the street, a person's feelings show through in their faces and body language more than in the office or home, because they are anonymous among a vast number of people. Toward the end he seems to have grown more cynical, which coincides with him having married another woman. He mentions that as he would walk he would imagine dating the women that he saw, but once he re-married, that had to stop. He then looks back at his walks and claims that he was forcing himself to find beauty in the city and to act as if he were seeing these things for the first time. He doesn’t feel like he should have to do that anymore; the city should do that on its own.
The article is relevant to my work in this class, of course, because I need to be walking around trying to find beauty of some sort in the city. I need to explore and try to notice things that I don’t normally notice. I also need to put what I find into words, which is like the literature of walking that he writes about. Instead of words, for the most part, I need to put the beauty and feelings into pictures, video and sound. I need to capture the things that I find along my walk and have them display some sort of feeling. Being a beginner at this kind of thing, I don’t believe I could become as cynical about it as he did in the end. He had a great many years before that took over him. Milwaukee isn’t quite as spectacular as New York City, but to a smaller extent, it has its own beauty to find.

Amber Blanchard said...

The article I chose was "Quiet Please" by Mary Desmond Pinkowish. I chose this article because I feel that I always hear too much noise. You really have to search for those places where you can only hear sounds. I'm not really sure if I completely agree with all the noises being harmful to us though.

Throughout the article Mary discusses how the very loud noises can create harmful effects on a human. The effects that the high decibels of noise can have on humans are increase in stress, blood pressure, neurosis, hysteria, nausea, aggression, and argumentativeness. In the article she states how much hearing loss is from the everyday noises. During the article she talks about she thinks noises is negative, and increases health risks in humans. This article was also written in hopes to persuade the government to try to change state laws, which would ban certain noise pollution.


The arguments that were posed in this article are relevant to my work because I tend to not be patient for those sounds to happen. So in my recordings I feel as if I just have a lot of noise. After reading this article it reminds me to be patient when I am getting my sound recordings.

Greg Borkman said...

Quiet Please! When I opened it up I liked all the artsy "noises" that were all over the screen. The words conveyed a randomness and chaotic feeling that I would associate with too much noise.

The article is mainly about how noise disrupts everything, from sleep to daily activities. She argues that sound is not a bad thing but too much of it can be harmful to the well being of people. Limit the amount of sound your ears take in.

I also enjoy the quiet, which is why I respect sound so much as a tool in film. Plays are so stupid because there is a missing element sound. Music in film is very important to me, it can make or break a movie. The right selection of music can give people an edge in this business. I come from a background in music and have put music in my work but I can appreciate the quietness of Vermont any day :)

Christina Heppe said...

I selected "Quiet Please" because when I opened it up, it caught my eye. The first two pages reminded me of our soundwalk that we did and how we had to draw all the noises out that we heard, and clearly she is trying to show that there is two much noise in the world.

Some main ideas that were covered was how there is too much noise in the world, what effects the noise has on the world, and what is being done about it. However the one point that sranded out to me was the fact that there is so much noise in the world, which I have to say that I completely agree with, we need some peace and quite. It would be nice to not live where you hear the roar of the cars but hear the rush of water, but it's just not possible.

This relates to Drift 2 because when we are doing our drift we try to go when there won't be that much noise that is un-wanted, but noise will always be there, wanted or not.

ajosephson11601 said...

I chose the "Quiet Please" article by Mary Desmond Pinkowish. This article jumped out at me because it discusses the opposite side of sound which is external noise. The article brings an interesting point about noise that we don't really think about which is how disruptive noise can be.

Pinkowish writes a lot about loud noises that can have harmful effects on human hearing. High decibels can increase one’s stresses and blood pressure. She also talks a lot about hearing loss from everyday noise like city traffic, planes, trains, car stereos and personal audio devices such as iPods. Another result of noise according to Pinkowish is that it can increase possibilities of neurosis, aggression, argumentativeness and social conflict, hysteria, and nausea.

The points and arguments that are made in the article pertain to what we're doing in class, although some noise pollution can be used to create something very inventively pleasing, but at the same time, a lot of the noise that goes on in the city is very unattractive to listen to and therefore will make the drift project subprime.

Alex Foerster said...

I chose to do “Walking Through a Liquid Forest of Symbols” because the title sounded very interesting and I found out after reading is that is really was interesting. I think the main point of this reading was to get across the point that space is everywhere and it is always changing because of the ways people live in it. That looking around at what people do every day and how the different areas of space are lived in changes how each place will turn out to be. I felt like I was reading someone’s rant about the space wars that are going on constantly within this world; whether it’s the stock market, or the building of a new city into a metropolis there is always a space war going on. While reading this I started to think about what I wanted to use for my visual part of the drift 2 and thought about how I want to take pictures of street signs and all different kinds of signs in the public. It made me think about how we are controlled by these signs because for the most part if we are to disobey most of the signs we can get in serious or maybe just mild trouble. It makes me think that then Hansen said that the space wars aren’t just physical space he was right. We have a sign war so to speak against the governments that control and post these street signs restricting our movements. Of course some of the signs, but not all of them are placed in their locations to help us and keep us safe as citizens. I will be looking at my purpose as to why I wanted to use street signs for my draft 2 in a whole new way making this draft 2 even more unique and that much more important.

shudder1989 said...

article chosen
Listening to myself listen - S. Arden Hill

List of Points

-The difference between hearing and listening. The idea that hearing is strictly involuntary, that we just hear to get by in life. While listening is placing a context and an environment to the sound.
-The idea that people with different backgrounds have a completely different tuned ear so they will then in turn, pick a completely different sound to listen to rather than just hearing what is around them.
- Points out the idea that sound not only gives us a feeling of place, but also, the evolution of the society creating the sound as a whole.
- the idea that when in a group of people, sounds like cell phones, bells, sirens and familiar voices are immediately focused on because they have been in our repertoire or sounds that need attention.
- He uses a situation of where he is listening to the soundtrack of a film only to hear a foot tapping in the audience. Because the sound did not match the sound environment and was completely removed in tempo/consistency of the music, he could not help but pay attention.
 So he is stating that some people are drawn to what doesn’t belong in a situation.
- The rest of the article starts to get quite experimental with the idea of constructed and natural sound environments, but than he states that depending on your skill of listening and what you are listening to dictates whether it is something that is natural or constructed.
- Some film makers know that some people focus on different sounds over others, so that is why they will write and direct their dialogue in a way that will keep the listener completely wrapped up in what is being said.
-How gender, age, skill level, your job and other factors can determine the types of sounds that you prefer to focus in on.

How this article applies to me.
-
I Personally liked this article a lot. I actually bookmarked it so as to go back to it again. It is something that is so deep with interpretation. While reading it I wasn’t sure if I was bored because his writing style felt juvenile to me, or I was possibly just completely over filled with information that my brain couldn’t completely siphon through it all. The part that I feel is something that I will carrie with me as a media artist is the idea that people can only really focus on one thing at a time. If the video is too violent in its transitions while important dialogue is being displayed underneath, the patron is going to miss out on one or the other. This is something that I feel is most useful to me. Now I know that when I am writing dialogue for film, it needs to be something that never becomes stagnant and repetitive for a reason or else the listener will start to find a different part to focus on. Whether it is a sound in the theater that they are in, or a background sound in the sound track. While this also tells me that if I am going to have dialogue during something that is visually intense, it must be something that will only add to the current visual situation, like pointing something out to the viewer. These are just themes that I should learn to embrace and hone so as to create a work that is both aesthetically appealing, but also psychologically and auditory.

Daniel Schneider said...

For this second reading response I have picked S. Arden Hill's "Listening to Myself Listen". My reason for reading this was, initially in part due to the extended title of the piece, which adds on the phrase "the performance of listening in actual and
constructed sonic environments - an ethnography. As someone who is as much a spiritual student of anthropology as they are a literal student of film, the phrase attracted me immediately. Ethnographies are, in a way, a sort of map. Questions bubbled to the surface: what is this person trying to map? A culture? An idea? A read through showed that the latter was the case.

Hill's objective in writing this piece is to, as the phrase "ethnography" implies, create a sort of symbolic map of listening (as an act). Her main subject? Herself. Hill, using analogy and metaphor to illustrate her point, asserts that what we hear is largely a matter of our psychological wiring. When we listen, as in all things we do, we respond to signals in stimuli in a certain manner which is based directly on the culture we grew up in. And, if culture is the source of our reactions to these stimuli, it only serves to reason that listening, a largely psychological process, is also a function of culture.

Though I did not specifically mention this paper, I touched on this notion briefly in my first post for Drift #2. In choosing my second starting point, I realized that I had sold myself short the first time around by beginning my drift in a fairly familiar area, one where I have had years of training in regards to the surroundings. I could easily paint a mental picture of nearly everywhere that I walked on drift #1, leading me to believe that, though the directions that I walked in were random, I was psychologically predispositioned to hear certain sounds in the city. Therefore, I made note of Hill's ideas for Drift #2 in order to achieve more cerebral freedom in which to record image an sound.

Ben Fisher said...

I chose the article "listening to myself listening by Arden Hill. I chose this article simply based on the title. It made no sense to me so I wanted to check it out.

The main point of this article was to chance the way that we interpret sound. He explained how we take in sounds that focus on and block out the others. He explains that we associate certain sounds with certain environments. Because of this listening for and focusing on sounds that we normally block out and ignore can change our perspective of location.

The arguments that the author makes are relevant to what we are doing. In our drift 2 we are trying to create perspective by sounds and visuals. The article explains that sound plays a huge role in perspective. That focusing on sounds we normally would ignore can change the perspective of an environment. This article how sound effects perspective. Being more aware of sound and sounds we ignore is important for doing Drift 2.

thad said...

I chose the article "Quiet Please" by Pinkowish. I chose this article because it interested me in the sense that it is somewhat opposed to what we're doing. I t also included some interesting facts about the effects of loud noise on human health.
In the article Pinkowish describes the everyday annoyances of noise and how it effects human emotion as well as it's physical effects. She speaks about decibel levels and how bad they are most of the time; how simple things like mowing the lawn can ruin your neighbor's day.
I think that this article is relevant because, even though it's essentially opposed to sound, it reminds us that sound is all around us all of the time. It also explains that many people learn to screen sound or tune it out at a very young age. By saying that, we are reminded to keep our ears open and to listen for what could be deemed "the subaudible".

Jamie Dertz said...

I chose to respond to the article, Listening to Myself Listen by S. Arden Hill. This article begins by emphasizing the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is an involuntary intake of sounds where as listening is a purposeful effort to absorb what is being heard. The location where one is listening is termed the sonic environment. The author emphasizes that it is the sonic environment that should be evaluated during listening to get the complete ‘culture’ of the sounds. The sounds in the sonic environment can mean different things to different people depending on each person state of mind. For my walks, I chose a woods that I have spend a lot of time in and immediately realized how many sounds I was hearing that I’ve never listened to. The little things like the sound of walking or the far off traffic seemed to amplify once I really listened to them. The woods that I thought I knew so well drew a completely different meaning to mean once I stopped to listen.

MDUWM said...

The article I chose was Diane Daniel's "The Sound of a Spritka Spruce" from Ode Magazine. I selected this article, because I liked the story of Hempton and how he was trying to create a quiet place for people to go and try to experience a place that is most likely more silent than any other place they've been to.

I believe the main point of this essay was to bring awareness of a place that Hempton created and is making his mission--a place called One Square Inch of Silence. I had never heard of it before and liked that someone was trying to perserve a place of quiet. I especially like how this is being done in a natural place, which I think would benefit the creatures that inhabit the area.

I found it quite comical that Hempton would drive a noisy, 1964 Volkswagen bus that creates a lot of noise and defeats the purpose of One Square Inch.

I think that introducing new places and concepts to artists is good, and is something that they can take away from articles like these. I also think that if artists find a quiet place of their own to go and reflect and brainstorm ideas it can be beneficial to their artwork.

David said...

1. Identify the article you have selected and why you chose it.
The Article that I choose was Pinkowish, Mary Desmond. "Quiet, Please!"

2. What are the main points of the essay?
The essay goes into great depth about how noise can affects people in everyday life. She backs up many of her arguments with statistics from the World Health Organization and from some European counter parts. They concluded that many people today live around high levels of noise and that this may be detrimental to their health. This is seen in much of Europe where some 40% of the people live around noise that may affect their health. Simple things like planes, trains, cars, and subways systems may all be affecting people health. A study showed that sleeping in these environments causes high blood pressure and can make a person become less healthy. This is amazing because in my own experiences I have learn to live around trains and traffic all my life and I have never thought what it could be doing to my health. Along with that a survey showed that up to 40% of people would consider moving because of noise from neighbors or other elements. That is absolutely amazing to me because I never thought that many people had issues with noise and where they live.

3. How are the ideas or arguments in this article relevant to your own practice as a media artist?
After becoming a media artist and learning more about sounds I can see how people could become increasing annoyed with high noises, and how it could affect someone’s health in a negative way. Using sound equipment has made me more aware of some of the sounds around me and has actually made me hear more sounds that I would have never heard before. In some cases some people have to live with these sounds all there life, though the may be not loud but enough to disturb their lives enough to make them unhappy. After taking sound recordings around my house I could see myself getting annoyed with some of the noises and might think about doing something about them.

Ryan Cooke said...

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

I chose “The Art of Noise” by David Troop. I chose this article because it addresses an interesting topic, noise as sound art. Also it makes an argument that I myself very much support. That is the fact that sound is one of the most taken for granted senses and often times it is not until that sense is offended, that we become aware of it.

2. What are the main points of the essay?

Troop spends much of the essay discussing sound artists and their work. He also discusses the similarities and differences between sound artists and musicians. More than once in the article, Troop makes the argument that music could use a refresher course in the art of sound.

Oddly, the point that I find the most interesting in the article was not made by Troop, but by Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo. Back in the years before World War I Russolo observed that the new industrial noises were giving the young urban setting a unique sound track. This was an interesting way to think of the industrial revolution, as a new setting of noise. I think these new industrial sounds as heard by Russolo can be compared to the new digital sound’s we hear to today. For example, back in the mid 90s I heard a sound that was unlike anything I had ever heard. It was the sound of a Windows 95 computer connecting to the internet.

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

Previous articles discussed and taught me, that sound establish place and setting. Troops article takes this idea farther and argues that sound not only establishes location, but also time. This article has taught me that an audience can be taken back in time with simply an obsolete sound.

Chris Amhaus said...

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

-"Quiet, Please!" by Mary Desmond Pinkowish was my article of choice. Immediately when I heard it was about "noise pollution" I thought of difficulties I've experienced myself with obnoxious and unnecessarily loud sounds. I wondered if anyone really is doing anything about controlling them.

2. What are the main points of the essay?

-This article discusses the abundance of noise pollution in our societies today and how some a coping with it. Noise pollution has had negative emotional and physical effects on us. The loud sound from your neighbor's leaf blower may be bothering your quiet afternoon but it can also be related to raising your blood pressure and heart rate. In some areas almost 50 percent of people deal with high decibels of constant noise on a day-to-day basis. Even while we sleep our brain still takes in information around us, so what might not wake you can still cause problems for your body. There are some organizations attempting to deter the presence of noise pollution, through both legal and protest means. The pollution has also been linked to how well children exposed to it are able to concentrate in school. As long as humans are around there will be some noise pollution. However, silence in not necessarily ideal. Without sound our communities would be rather poor and dull places.

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

-This topic has been especially affiliated to the work I've done in this class for drifts 1 and 2. It was impossible to record audio anywhere downtown without some background lull of traffic, even at 3AM! I never realized how loud busses are too. Most of us have become accustomed to their blaring roars. The bus sounds picked up on the mics were unbearable and I often found myself taking my headphones off whenever I heard one approaching. No matter where I went those deafening bus sounds always seemed to find me. Even when I try to record a dialog piece indoors, without a proper recording studio, traffic is always present.