take out: assignments (last updated Oct. 30)

September 4, 2008
1. Read article on “Remix Culture” (found on DVD)
Questions to consider during the semester (to blog as required or necessary): … “can we distinguish between different kinds of remix aesthetics? What is the relationship between our remixes made with electronic and computer tools and such earlier forms as collage and montage? What are the similarities and differences between audio remixes and visual remixes?”
Lev Manovich, from the online essay, Generation Flash

2. Make notes that recount your strategies for approaching the “Logo” assignment.
To be blogged at the appropriate time. Upload examples of your work with variations to illustrate your text. That means you’ll need to save your ongoing work and its variants and comment upon the changes to the work specifically, the thinking process that supported those decisions.

3. Find and use “interesting and relevant” examples of typography and design from the web or print media. To be noted in the blog during the semester. Duration: ongoing research.

October 1, 2008

Post your general description of your project. Update this post as the project progresses. One posting per week will do.

A.) Gather the necessary equipment to shoot a “working rehearsal” tape using the equipment demonstrated in our last class. Try to create a rough approximation of your intent while attending to the technical part of your production, that is; handling and using the hardware effectively. Shoot about 5 minutes (or more) of rough tape that will convey to me the direction of your segment, what the mood will be like. And if you can get good production value from the equipment (and locations). Due the following week at the beginning of class.

B.) Make a  blog entry that reflects your experience with this 1st attempt to record your idea(s).
It should include your experience organizing the equipment and what steps you took to create your segment. Tell me if you thought it was successful or not, and why.  Was your planning beneficial to the outcome? What went wrong and what are you prepared to do to correct it? There may be other question that you want to answer. The above questions and statements are suggestions. Organize your thoughts accordingly and in a cogent manner. No streams of consciousness or rants!

We’ll use this tape for our first (follow along) editing demonstration. You need this footage in order to participate in class on October 9th.

Mid-Term Evaluation, October 14, 2008

I read through all of the blogs created for the class and considered the following categories in my evaluation:

Creation of the blog itself- 1 person is non-compliant.

The Typography process text and your 3 examples (Logo Creation), the Remix Culture essay response and interpretation, the Individual Project Descriptions, and the 1st Production test tape, which was supposed to act as a test to see whether you could record something and possibly work out a few visual ideas on tape. Together with the self-evaluation (everyone complied) made a total of 80+ assignments for a class of 14.

More than 30 of those assignments have not been completed at the time of this writing. Almost half the class absented themselves for the 1st production deadline. 2 people scheduled appointments with me during my office hours (preferable to just dropping in and later telling me that  was not there). Another 4 people came to class without preparing any video. A few others tried… and for them the job is to pick up from there and adjust ones working method to achieve visible results.

Additionally, I made comments on almost all of the blogs and when I returned to the site to check if the comments appeared, only 2 of the approximately 10 comments made by me appeared online. I’m not quite sure what’s going on. Maybe some of you have turned off comments in your preferences. Maybe it takes a day or so to register the comments on your site. If this doesn’t appear to work I’ll need to establish a different means of contacting you (indirectly). So I’ll be speaking with you individually about your mid-term assessments at some point during the next class.

As far as traffic on my site, there has been precious little of it… I can see this from the blog stats.The hits on the Assignment page are miserably low. I’ve written and revised a reasonably dense text and I don’t expect anyone to take in all of the ideas in at once, or upon 1 reading. Very discouraging, from my perspective, considering the steps taken to present alternative ways of thinking about the project and the process, the variety and depth of the screenings and development of discussions around the topic.

You’ll be required to check this site 2 1 time per week,  preferably the evening before class, unless instructed otherwise.

There will be another post this evening. And hopefully we will be able to proceed with an editing demo in class. You need video tape with some relevant “footage” for the exercise.

Important: I’ve made arrangements with the AV counter (in 2E.01) to establish a new pick-up time for video cameras; 12:00 noon on Fridays. All other times are the same.

October 30, 2008
Important Post Mid-Term Evaluation

The second half of the term presents a timely opportunity to do a little accounting and to clarify some points that may not be entirely transparent to you. I would like you to read this very carefully to determine where you stand in this course and how you might successfully complete it.

Let me reiterate, I understand that, although given other options, some of you may have opted for program choices that did not include computers as a focal point. Given this, I have tried to create a flexible atmosphere in the class and expose you to a variety of contemporary and postmodern media models, discussed the relevant issues with you, and conducted classroom demonstrations and presentations, to help you complete your part in a larger and group oriented communications media project. I have also attempted to imbue our classes with ideas suggesting a potential for the issues raised by using computers, which has far less to do with hardware and software per se than with an understanding of ourselves in relation to media, technology, and creativity.

Your part in the academic mix is to “try”. And on this point I have been faced with a variety of responses. Some have done just this, tried hard and worked throughout each or most classes. Some have done a mediocre job of this. Some have faced the situation in an overly casual way. Some have blown the class off altogether.

Regarding the last two choices or paths. Given the degree of structure, some people appear to be incapable of organizing their own activities around a set of loosely structured guidelines. From my perspective the inability to follow and interpret guidelines, some of which are self-generated, as in the choice of topics, indicates varying degrees of immaturity and/or lack of self-motivation and academic curiosity. Total avoidance of responsibility is, of course, the extreme response.

And this was amply demonstrated during our October 9th class, the 1st production deadline, in which approximately half the class simply didn’t show up. Of these, one person had a legitimate explanation for their absence. Of the remaining students attending that day, 4 came to the class without any indication of a serious attempt to fulfill the said production requirement. The following week, October 16th there were still a few people who were not prepared to show their work and get timely feedback. This type of response ultimately slows the entire process down. Remember when I said, “ If one person puts a hole in our boat, everyone is jeopardized.”

It is startling to consider how little co-operative effort has actually occurred in the class. Remember this is a group project carried out by the entire class. When are you going to start forming your own committees to discuss how the project will take shape?

There has been enough time and sufficient support for you to carry out a project for the end of the semester.  As you know the ponderation for the course is 0-4-2. Meaning that you are to work on your project a minimum of 2 hours/week outside of the classroom. This has not been even remotely demonstrated to me. However, a few in the class are moving, more or less smoothly, in that direction. Still others do not feel comfortable when faced with the possibility of having to try things out several times before coming up with results that only vaguely represent what they had originally envisaged. You should understand that this is all part of the creative process. That includes, as I’ve mentioned in class, making mistakes and finding your way through or past them. What you choose to do with aspects of the project that require individual choice is up to you. Inhabiting the bottom end of the “response spectrum” is the sometimes-heard defense, “ I still don’t know what to do.“

As I’ve mentioned, there has been ample hardware and software support. Especially now that you are registered at Lynda.com and can access clear and concise software tutorials at your convenience, whether I’m available to consult or not.  The topic itself, and the depth of its exploration, is in your hands. As senior students at the college, research or an investigation of this type should be no mystery to you. The difference in this case is the organization of materials around the use and implementation of a camera and our software applications.

Some of you think that it is too inconvenient to adhere to the rules and schedules for taking out equipment. It doesn’t suit your schedule. Therefore you haven’t made much progress in gathering the raw data, (images, video, sounds) causing you to fall behind. Still others are completely addicted to Facebook or texting (or some other unrelated and unproductive activity) and can’t leave them alone, to the detriment of their real work in the class. Using your time in class on non-related activities, in my estimation, is a sure indication that either you haven’t thought much about your project or that you are not prepared to work during the class hours.

So, what then are my expectations? Evidence of having taken the project seriously, that the topic has been thoroughly considered and relevant material has been created, acquired, and assembled. In short, that you have tried conscientiously to construct a project according to the evolving guidelines. The best efforts and work, obviously, will receive the best grades, but I will certainly recognize an honest effort and the ability to respond to the responsibility that comes with the freedom to choose.

One response to “take out: assignments (last updated Oct. 30)

  1. This week I have been trying to keep up to date with my work and I got a lot done with motivation to do a good video. It is smart to check twice a week at least and what’s good is that you can do it anywhere to your convenience if you have Internet. It’s great to check classmates blogs to see how they are progressing and to give tips. I now how to rent tracy fragments and watch the movie. Hopefully it is good.

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