Reflection/Introduction

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Experimenting in the chemical lab” by Florida Memory

As I have looked over all of the projects that I have submitted this year, I do see a progression in the quality and the care that went in to each of them. I see the strengths in each as my ability to adapt from programs that I am familiar with to programs that I had never worked with before. I see the weaknesses in the safety that was played in the attempt to just get each project done by the due date. However, I do not consider playing it safe to be a bad thing. Sure, taking risks is admirable; that feeling of ‘gut churn’ that we discussed in class is an affirmation that risk is being made. Playing it safe can be a good thing–knowing your strengths, using them to your advantage and doing work on a topic that you care about are all factors that can lead to a stellar project. No, I am no claiming that any of these projects are stellar. I was a beginner on a few of these programs and working with some of these media (audio and film) was a whole new rodeo for me.

In the photo essay, I will admit that I was not taking risks–aside from my decision to choose a web theme that everyone else was steering clear of. As we moved on to other projects and newer programs (for me at least!) I was forced to take more risks and explore various features in the programs; there were plenty of “what does this button do” moments throughout the course of semester. There also plenty of moments in which I was very uncomfortable. I can honestly say that throughout most of the film project making, I absolutely hated my video. I did not like where it was going at all. In the end I threw in a few transitions for the audio and rearranged some clips before I was comfortable enough to submit it as a final cut.

I did have some strengths, I did feel, when it came to using Audacity. Using the program came easily to me once I experimented with the different features on a few sound clips. The audio essay is also the one I am probably the most proud of–not including my final Tumblr project. I had a total vision for it and was incredibly pleased with how it turned out. While some did have different ideas of what certain sounds were, I think they translated well no matter how the listener interpreted them. This is also the project that I am comfortable saying, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” In the feedback, it was noted the the music in the middle was a little long. However, I have my reasons for that–it’s realistic in the coffee making process that I was conveying. It is personal.

This mentality may also be a weakness. My projects were based off of my own interests and the visions that popped into my head upon reading the directions for the projects. The issue came with trying to pose a “big question” with which to address the audience. I’m still not completely sure that I was able to accomplish this–though I certainly did try to justify some questions! I think the common thread between all of these projects, is that they ask the viewer or listener to focus on the subject in a specific way that they may not have before. It’s a simple question, but I did not have the interest (or even the bravery) to pose more complex questions.

Looking at this portfolio I am pleased, because I can see the progression. My capabilities in composing digital media have changed and so have my opinions about digital media. The course has broadened my mind in terms of what is considered digital media and how I interact with them. My final project is a Tumblr page–of which prior to the class I had never considered “media”. The order of photos in it are deliberate so that they form a timeline from the past to the present. It even features a few photos that were Photoshopped by myself!

Inspirational Peer Project

Stu’s video essay was one of the best projects in the class this semester, I think. His technical prowess really showed through. The message was also clearly delivered by his manipulation of the found footage and the placement of sound clips. It was humorous but it also made sense and invited the viewer to consider the big question.

Found Footage Essay

Somehow, I found the digital project a lot more difficult that the project we did in class with actual film. In class we were blindly putting together clips we had never seen and did not know what the sound was like. That made the final product a lot more interesting to watch. The digital project was more stressful because the placement of each clip and soundbyte was a lot more deliberate and there was a bit more pressure to have the sequence make sense. My video was not very argumentative—aside from the quotes that differentiated records from CDs—and presented an object that we do not really interact with anymore unless it is for nostalgia reasons. The video itself also felt nostalgic: the happy, relaxed reactions of those listening to records and even the more educational aspects of the video that depicted how they are made.

Audio Essay

Through my audio essay, I wanted to convey in an interesting and fairly simple way the journey of the coffee bean from the rainforest, to the café where I purchase my ground coffee, to my apartment where it is part of my morning routine and finally to my lips where at the end of the clip you get the final reaction and the sound of the mug being placed on the table. This particular project takes the listener on a journey via sound that is very calm and tranquil—with exception of the sound of a coffee grinder—like the morning when the coffee is enjoyed. Jad Abumrad discusses the feeling of “gut churn” when it comes to dealing with something new and creating something that has the potential to be very strange. It is all about exploring the technical and creative possibilities behind this kind of project and following through no matter what the end result may be.

Pinterest/Tumblr + Photo Essay

Below are links to the two parts of the Wunderkammer project:

Pinterest & Tumblr

Next is the link to the Creatavist photo essay:

Then & Now

When I first approached this whole project, my ideas were very limited. However, when I considered the format of the assignment and my own personal interests I knew I had to do something that revolved around history and antiques. I looked at the Wunderkammer as a welcome to my crazy thought processes and as something that would accept my own cluttered and unorganized way of thinking. There is something appealing in clutter. It makes the objects displayed feel a bit more sincere; that they were meticulously placed or studied excessively. [In my photo essay] there are five stories for five different types of objects that have evolved over time or are somehow related in their use. It is one thing to say that things have changed; it is another to see how they have changed.