Tuesday, December 8, 2009


So im laying in bed, as I often do, with my laptop listening, exploring, and researching music. It all of a sudden dawned on me that the music I listen to and my taste in music in general is extremely postmodern. So, seeing that we might have talked about postmodernism once or twice (I'm not sure, don't quote me on that), I thought I'd blog about the postmodernity of my musical taste.

A great amount of the music I'm into, electronic, indie alternative, freak folk, noise, and general avant-garde tinged music probably wouldn't exist if our culture wasn't so invested in postmodern ideology. A lot of electronic music is sample heavy in its presentation. The idea of the sample seems like a very postmodern thing. Taking music from other artists or sounds from television, movie clips, and other sources falls in line with the idea of using culture to make something new out of it. The use of samples, though its not always important that the listener has knowledge of their source, is built off the idea that people today have an extremely large cache of pop-culture knowledge and references, and are not surprised by the implementation of vocal clips and sound bits in their music.

This idea of recycling musical culture also works with indie alternative music extremely well, though it may not be as blunt and obvious as the sample. Bands like Animal Collective have been pegged as several genres of music from everything to rock, indie rock, psychedelic, noise, avant-rock, folk, freak folk, and dance. The truth is, in the end, that they are all of these genres and have taken inspiration from a wide array of musical genres to form their own fresh and unique postmodern musical identity. A great amount of music in the indie scene seems very fresh, new, and often shockingly odd but it all seems to be very reminiscent of older genres of music. I can listen to bands like Deerhunter, No Age, and even Animal Collective and recognize very punk-like song elements and structures. Now that I am more familiar with these postmodern ideas I have noticed a shift (its not huge, but its noticeable) in the way I listen to and understand music.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

LEGO MAN UPDATE! because i know how much you care . .

Horay! My project is no longer just some fragmented muse or mental fart! It actually has substance beyond the fact that its about some lego dude. And I'm being quite literal when i say it has substance. My exhibition in a box is about a lego person- namely Dan Brickman (brickman-brick-lego . . . well i thought it was clever). Dan Brickman is a drug addict. Yes- even in the magical world of lego, there are substance abusers. This exhibition will chronicle the progression of his addiction and the substances that aid in this progression . . . somehow progress doesn't seem like the right word. AT ANY RATE, the reason i chose lego for this project or, rather, the reason I adapted this idea to that choice of media, is fragility. Fragility in that the mind of the addict is irrational, altered, and thusly fragile. Lego isn't the most durable building material out there, so I thought that concept worked well with the medium. And now that i say that, I'm surprised at the durability of some of my creations . . . . . . shit.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Nathan Sawaya "The Brick Artist"
I hope my skill with lego matches my ambition because, at this point in my life, its probably been around 8 years since I actually sat down and played with lego. I figure it won't be too hard, but what I want to do may be a little more difficult then making a sick space cruiser or lego mansion. Creating a sort of chronology of a man whose entire body is made of lego is an intimidating venture. I really don't know how I will go about it exactly. It could go a number of ways. The most obvious being the reconstruction of the life of the iconic lego minifig. That idea is tempting but I really want to push myself and try to explore lego as an art form. Simply using little lego dudes and their little cars, gear and so-forth seems a bit cheap. The implementation of some sort of overarching postmodern theme or ideal is pretty challenging too. I haven't really thought of that part yet. Guess it might be KIND OF important. Dont worry. I'll think of something.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


"Quick Canal" [ft. Lætitia Sadier of Stereolab] (fan video) An awesome fan made video for the song "Quick Canal" from Atlas Sounds new album "Logos." It was interesting to see that the artist chose to splice a very contemporary piece of music with reminiscent 1960s iconography. While at a glance this juxtaposition seems a bit odd, it somehow starts to work extremely well for the song. The content in the video seems to match the sublime, surreal, and subtly reminiscent quality of the song which-a bit like reflecting on old memories, or flipping through a yearbook-comes at you with a wall of loud sensation, just as looking through a yearbook and remembering all the sights, events, and people can be a little like being hit by a wall of memory. All of this to an overwhelmingly mesmerizing effect. GOD I LOVE THIS SONG.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Q: How does the creative commons project alter the way we understand ownership and copyright?
A: First and foremost this website is not an easy one to navigate. Just thought I'd throw that out there. ON A MORE RELATED NOTE, CC seems to be a tool for novices in the realm of the copyright. Im not sure that this project alters the way i understand the copyright, but rather, it makes the experience a bit more streamlined, user friendly, and intuitive.
Q: How does this affect the subjects of a work?
A: In the case of Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, CC has had a very positive effect. One commenter said Reznor's decision to release his album for free was "selling free, and it works everytime." Reznor is not only just selling free here, but is also using the hype created by a free albums release as incentive for listeners to be even more inspired by his band's work and encourage fans to buy the next time a retail release debuts.
Q:How would creative commons alter artist's works form our reading?
A: I think it would alter their meanings substantially. The work of artists like Sherrie Levine would no longer have such a strong message if their sources were licensed by creative commons. Duchamp's work would have been up for grabs so any budding artist who wished to do something as provocative and insightful, as Levine did, could do so.
Q:Does CC afford any protection to the right of publicity?
A: It doesn't seem to really. If you use creative commons, as Reznor said, people can take it and do with it what they will. But this confuses me. Does the artist receive any cut at all when people use their work? It doesn't seem like they do. I think that is the point of the project all together, expressing yourself and letting anyone use it and enjoy it without permission. If you were to license a character you played in a film with CC, anyone could use it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Creating a symbol with a punctual and immediate readability has been troubling for me. My first ideas seemed to centralize on an abrasive, irreverent, and often offensive aesthetic. Namely, my idea to create a shirt with the American symbol of the Bald eagle on the front and on the back, a white trash man wearing a shirt with the same iconic animal. Aside from being the perfect excuse to make an animal shirt, although i already own plenty, this shirt was meant to be an interpretation of the world's opinion of our nation, and how the most outspoken of individuals native to our nation aren't always the most progressive or open-minded people. Though i do still like this idea and its inherent edgy qualities, i am not a digital artist in any regard and executing this design would definitely require some skill in that field. The idea that i've decided upon now is a bit more personal for me. The issue i'm choosing to tackle is the digital distribution.
I'm not entirely opposed to this advancement in the way we buy and use media. As a gamer and an admirer of radical futurism, digital distribution excites me. I can buy games online and download them instantly without the fuss of going to a game shop, and the fact that i can download essentially any form of media from the internet is an enthralling one. However, as a music listener, digital distribution frightens me a bit. I'm not saying i'm not guilty for having bought songs and albums on Itunes, but the way in which the mainstream consumer is buying and downloading music concerns me. This all stems from my love and appreciation of the musical album and its potential as a singular work of art. Peoples tastes in music are becoming increasingly segmented and episodic, relying on engines like Itunes to sift through albums to purchase only the singles and popular tracks rather than the album itself. In this way i believe the album is being, slowly but surely, fazed out all together. I'm just postulating and i hope I'm wrong but i wouldn't be surprised if the majority of music released in the future was on singles or EPs.
Its this idea that I am designing my T off of. I've been juggling ideas but one that keeps popping up in my head is as follows: Itunes logo on front. Itunes logo on back only this time with a face drawn on it (perhaps a coy little smile) with a small amount of blood dripping from it's corner, and below it fragments (crumbs) of LPs and CDs.
Thats what i got. We shall see how things play out. Pun intended unfortunately.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I found several posters that were perfect for this assignment. Two of which display changes in pop culture, and another represents the mindset and concern of its respective era.
The first poster i chose was from Flash Gordon and The Conquerers of The Universe. This piece is indicative of the era in two ways. Firstly it represents the film genre of Space Opera. This genre, known for its grandiose plotlines and now humble special effects, was widely popular in the 1930s. Secondly it represents just how naive our nation was in the realm of space exploration at the time.
My second poster is almost directly related to my first. In 1977, Star Wars was released and almost immediately re-kindled interest in the Space Opera genre. The film also made great advancements in the realm of visual effects and was a great influence on science fiction films that would follow.
The final poster i'm featuring is from former Vice President Al Gore's acclaimed documentary on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth. This is one of the first films that brought one of our nations biggest concerns, global warming and climate change, into conversations around the nation.