Sunday, March 21, 2010

Final Project: The Missing Link

All too soon the term has ended our aim has been achieved. This video is our final project. Our aim for this project was to make a video that would in a critize the media about how Africa is portrayed in the West and vice versa. Our main resource was interviews of African Student studyind on Lawrence University campus and specifically American students who have had the opportunity to either visit or study in any west African country.

The our mission was to explore how their perception and expectations have changed after visiting these countries in relation what they thought off prior to their visit. For many years, the media have fed us with informations that have created in our minds a blurry way of viewing the world around us.

Interestingly, opinions and comments varied from one interviewee to the other even though they both share same experience. That is the difference between these people were not just what they media has fed them with but also how an individual decides to dive into the media believing very thing he or she is fed with. To enable a fair level palying ground, they media should learn to portray the all of a country or a continent for that matter. As one of the interviewee said " the media should show the good side of life". Yes there are poor people dying in Ghana, Sudan or Kenya and yes there homeless people leaving on the streets here in America but the best information to show is the balance.
This project has not only thought me how to gather information but also how to create and educational forum for people to decide how much and what to take form the media.
We have a choice to seek information but we also have and obligation tell the truth of situations as it is.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Radicant: "Cultural Rain"

Well, thinking of the cultural rain one thing came to my mine. That is the ideal of sharing of cultures in a mutual way.Just as Picaso found inspiration in African art back then, so has our world today. We are all seeking to do a collaboration of some sort. Either as means of learning, sharing or even both.

In this video, students from University of Colorado did justice to taking devoting time and practice to making other culture their own. Nicholas Bourriaud did good in addressing the cultural globalization that exist in our time today. Not only did these student practice the song, they learned the lyric but also made it their own.
I believe it is time to let go the old way of thinking and seeing art.And embrass what our world offers as well as interacting with other works from other parts of the globe.

James Danky: Comics

It is very interesting to know how people take advantage of what we all disregard. James Danky journeyed a long way to making a name for himself. It also shows that our Librarian are important to us not only because they are a resourceful but also for reserving history.

I was not entirely, pleased with Danky's presentation. I was hoping he would have shown more of his work rather than the paintings he showed. Least to say that massages in the presentation was not entirely clear to me. But I found the few comics he show very interesting and controversial in it won way.
I thing that interesting to know from him, was the idea of learning and seeking inspiration from other artists work. From his slide one can tell he has a wide range of artist he adnires from different generations and movements.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Radicant: "No Fixed Form"

The second part of this book talks alot about philosophy and way art has to seen. Nicolas Bourriaud's The Radicant deals with concepts and further with an increase in discussion of philosophy and influential thinkers as well as the controversy it raises.

What is art? and who decides what art should be or look like? Bourriaud begins by elaboratiing on some famous artist like Joseph Cornell's surrealistis boxes and Marcel Duchamp's fountain. The idea of challenging traditional art is to prove that Art is dynamique. It changes with time and taste. Many art forms came about as the quest fo rseeing news things grow even stronger in people.
Bourriaud argues Marceld Duchamp's ready made art to show the evolution in art and what used to be acceptable and creative in the art world centuries ago.
Today the Computer has even taken art to the extreme. How would we see art inthe next tweenty years?

Mentor/ Muse

Lindsey and I had not thought of a mentor prior to starting our project but somehow it all fell in place when our questions sparked answers that evolved about mostly Western media perspective about the rest of the world especially in Africa.
We hope to include this video clip in our final project to give our audience a better sense of media criticism.

Michael Jackson was a victim of the media. Just like many other celebraties, Micheal many public disgrace,rejections and many unanswered question about him through the media. This video is a good example of reactions to the media. Many misconceptions pass through to people from all angles and such is this video. We also chose this video because of its aesthetic beauty.
During our presentation, we had a lot of great suggestions and comments which we are paying much attention to make our video great in terms of th einformation we are trying to put across and the idea of technological advancement.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


After the comments and suggestions we received our presentation, we are thinking of probably incorporating a traditional Ghanaian dance video performed by a Lawrence student who has been to Ghana twice to learn the culture in performing arts. This is also to show how cultures are being shared in a harmonious way as technology advances to all parts of the world.

We also hope to work on especially our sound quality and transitioning. Finally, we are thinking of how to incorporate ourselves into the video. still playing around with what we have so far to make the best out of it.

Nature vs Culture

Many things means different to different people. Culture is one strong and valuable element of human life that can unite or divide society. It also means people of different race and ethnicity eat differently. There is a saying that goes like this; one mans' meat is other mans' poison. This is true to this video.

As Professor Sedlock is spending enormous time studying these wonderful and distinct creature in the best way to preserve them, it is the soul food of other. This is not necessarily wrong because as it was said, they have grown up to know bats is part of their meal.
One interesting thing i learnt about bats are that as at now there are about 198 different species of these unique creatures. The still believe that there are more things to the history and story of bats in terms of how they fly at night with that limited vision. This is something i hope to research on myself.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lost and Found

This Week on our Project Report:
Looking back to what we have so far, I can say Lindsey and I are doing great on our project.
We have all of our interviews done, edited interviews into sub clips , and finally we have done some logical arrangements of the clips as to how we want things to flow like the quick-time movie in our presentation. We have done through all the sub clips to make sure we have all the vital  information and in sequence for our project.

Next Step...
 Our next plan of action is to do all the cool stuff to our video.
  • Artistic editing
  • Sound track: maybe have some music at the background
  • Transitioning: find a harmonious way to merge all clips together  as one big piece
  • Organization and finally
  • Perfection: we hope ;to make our project at perfect and appealing as possible.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Andy Warhol : Abstract Creativity

He took art from a traditional context or meaning  and redefined  it. He challenged how we view art and the question of what constitute and art piece or form. Andy Warhol was very obsessed with repetition and themes. His style was unique and personal and change the art world after World War2.

According to the media, Andy made more than 10,000 art works which has given him fame still after his death.Warhol was very creative and made a lot of experimentation with different kind of media including experimenting with urine to test for how oxidization can recreate  new forms and produce interesting results. He gave meaning to abstract form of painting and action painting.

As a successful artist, Warhol was interested in new things and  had a good sense to learn more. As much as he was interested in consumer culture and commercial form of advertisement, he was fascinated with the youth and how fast technology is helping to define these younger generation.
Even though he was popular, he still engaged himself in social events as a form giving back to society. I think what makes an artist is not simply being great at painting, drawing or whatever interest you but being able to change and adapt make you even  more stronger.

Klaus Nomi

When one thinks of an artist so  many things comes to mind. But in my case, when i  think of artist especially an music i think  of  style, looks or appearance. I think of something that makes him or her unique. Klaus Nomi is no different in this sense. Indeed, he had a unique personality in terms of appearance.Like many artist, stars, celebrities or whatever name we   choose  to give them, has his own identity. Whether it was given or taken by the artist himself a  distinction is made from who the artist really is and what he or her is  known to be.

To some extent his artificial makeup look was a signature of himself but at the same time i think he  did that to make himself feel better. Nevertheless,  he was trying to fit in and find a common grounds on which he can fight his loneliness issues. His inability to find a permanent relationship. It is natural to feel lonely  sometimes especially when you can get what you think would make you whole say, love. But in the case of artists or well known personalities, it would be extremely hard in a sense that, first and foremost you are in living in two separate worlds. That  is the stardom, living a life where you feel loved, attention and in control and the  second life where you feel like a cocoon, you go unnoticed. That is the reality.

Stereotypically speaking, what happens to most artists in the long run that either they die as paupers or of strange ailments. In Klaus' case, he died of the later and according to the media, he was the first publicly known artist to die of AIDS.  In a sense Klaus contributed greatly on having an image something uniquely you in the artist world and there are artist today that one can easily say is influenced by Klaus Nomi. A typical examples could be Lady Gaga or even the late Micheal Jackson..

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Missing Link :Part 4

Progress Report:

As of now we have been able to edit all our interview footage. I were very happy with the outcome even though there are other thing to add.Our video for the final project would be in a form of snippets and clippets. The questions being answered will be highlighted before each snippet and clippet, so it might make more sense for our viewers to follow. we could also pick random words and phrases randomly describing what the interviewee is putting across.

The next thing on our agenda is to decide on how to incorporate music to the video and also play with the background, as in choice of color. Its brightness and contrast.

 Our Mentor:
Initially, we hadn't taught of a person that would best qualify to be our  mentor for this project. We were looking for someone in his/her own small we has address the issue of globalized world and had affect a lot of people with his ideas. Finally, along cam Micheal Jackson(MJ).

We choose MJ because is a typical example of one of the best artist whose ideas and work has affect the world through his music. Our project is focused on finding how technological advancement has influence the social and cultural behavior of especially Africa and the Western world. The link below is a video on how Africa received MJs' death.

Just as we showed a video of Obama in Ghana and the amount of excitement, so was MJ's death a blow to Africans. People tend to relate to Western Celebrities like  a relative of theirs. One may ask why? because they grew up with all these technology that make people more aware of the international world than say it would have been in fifty  years. This would be elaborated on more as our project progresses.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Missing Link: Part3

Progress Report:
Our progress for week was to start editing the videos we had from our interviews so far. We started with Nidal Kram, from Sudan and Mariah from America. It was very interesting how much time we had to spend on just these two video but then again we didn't have to do much sound editing because the locations for the interviews weresound controlled.We used Final Cut for all the editing.

We are still looking forward to interviewing Professors Skran and Vertinde to add another view to our students perspective.

Time Line:
We hope to edit at least half of the people we have interviewed so far.

Abby Disney: Peace Is Loud

When Peace talks loud, war listens and with both ears. Peace is Loud. Pray The Devil Back to Hell is an amazing, informative and one of its kind documentary of the role women in bringing peace to Liberia. This movie tells a story that had never been told. A story of bravery, dedication, and determination to make changes  in their and the lives of future generation. That muslims and christians can live together by putting aside our differences and embrassing our similarities as humans and also learn to tolerate each other.These women have showned to world that peace is speakable and loud, that is about time the world re-defined the role of women in society.

Interestingly, the women involved in bringing such a change to a country were almost all regular people, market women or better still women who knew no academic knowledge. But the beauty of their actions was to tell African women especially that, they could use their natural, loving and nurturing nature to peacefully end war. After all when the men causes the war , it is women who are left as widows with a family to take care off when they are away hidding or even dead.
Techonlogical advances has help us in most ways document event and time for future records and reference. Without the help of technology there would have been no way that this brutal but again historical moments would have been recorded . As terrible as the situation was , technology provided means of capturing the moments in time.

The Success Story:
As much as this country has experience hell on earth, the people are determined to bring back its country from the ditch back to normal. This process began with a democratic election which for the first time in the history of Africa, there is a female head of state. This a see as an appropriate measure to help them put together the pieces.
The media is helping in educatiing people on the need to forgive and reconcile with each other especially to accept former child soldiers who were influenced and used as tools to commit such atrocities. The child soldiers are also undergoing counselling and education to bring their lives back to normal and to help them forgive themselves and let go their past. This is a wake up call for all countries at war and to women to bring peace to where there is war.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bourriaud, The Radicant: A Creolized World

" The World is becoming creolized"- Edouard Glissant. " This is to say that the culture of the world is furiously and knowingly coming into contact with each other, changing by exchanging, through  irremediable collisions and ruthless wars-but also through breakthroughs of moral conscience and hope".(10)
The ideal am trying to put across form this short commercial video is the idea of how close the world is becoming. Due to technological people all over the globe are being presented with the opportunity to share our culture and trade.

Art, media, marketing and technology has made possible the for the world coming together as one. The creolization process can be very ruthless when it comes to finding a pure cultural state. One would be amazed how far technology has changed the lives of people who for whaever reason would not have the chance to experience first hand most of the things we take for granted in America and even the bigger towns in say Africa.
Coca-Cola is known world wide but without the help of technology, it wouldn't have been able to assume the marketing/comsumer position it has now. The poor people in the rural villages in say Ghana might not have the opportunity to own a television or electricity for that matter but would have acess to information and be aware with their environment through a small radio that uses battery. How is this possible? Technology

Again, the world has indeed become a globalized village where information flows to and from. Yes there are limitations but honestly we are more informed than say fifty years ago. There are more things to be addressed in the vidoe and am saving it for later.

The Missing Link: Part 2

Progress Report:
With the help of a Sony Camcorder & Canon- SLR Like, Lindsey and I have been able to interview most of the people on our interview list. These interviews are  aimed at getting people to share their personal experinces with technological media as they travel internationally. During this interview, alot of new and interesting information that have came long that hadn't been tought off prior to the interview.
So far below are the list of people we have interviewed this past week.
Nidal Kram - African - American, Sudan

Mariah Mateo - American, Uganda and Sierra Leone

Natalie Fordwor - Ghanaian

David Frempong - Ghanaian

Sarah Ehlinger - American, Sierra Leone

Natalie Gratton - American, Sierra Leone

Harjinder Bedi -  India, American, Ghana,Togo,and Benin

William Meadows - American, Sierra Leone

Chelsey Sand - American, Sierra Leone

We have had some successes and difficulties but in all its been a progressive week in terms of gathering information. Having said this, we are hoping to re-adjust some things like re-phrasing some of our questions and also find a place that people would feel comfortable to be interviewed at the same time would work for us in terms of sound and lightening for a professional outcome.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Buchminster Fuller: Doing More with Less

This is a story of a man whose ideas, inventions, and foresight has changed the world and also created in our minds  a new way of living. Buchminster Fuller believed in the need for all mankind to live as each others' keeper and believing in nature as the reason for our survival. He allowed himself to be tought by nature. He was curious about his surroundings and found ways and all means possible to make the best out of it.

Buchminster was a visionary who pursued life ahead of his time. In my opinion he understood the planet earth not a thing but rather a form. He believed that we all live in a unified system with limited resources and hence, our behavior and actions would affect our future. In other words our future was tyied to each other. Knowing this ahead of his time contributed to him being all eco-friendly and trying to create a one unique instituetion of living in which we will all learn to share space, energy and other natural resources.

Although Buchminster Fuller objected what  people said about him as being as trying to imitate nature, his ideas in terms of designing an ideal house and transportation was a little in line with the perfect habitation. Nevertheless, he had a sense of creativity in tecnology. The name DYMAXION which breaks down to Dynamic, Maximum and Ion proving this by Inventing a 3-wheel auto-mobil and moveable dome houses. Buchminster Fuller was by all standards to me a humanitarian. He had a vision to save his world. He enjoyed his work and tried to create a safe haven for all.

Laurie Anderson: Making Art Ours

Laurie Anderson is a very Creative and unique artist. Her style,approach and use of technological instruments are intriguing. Her sense of immitation to sound and space is what I refer to as making art ones' own.
In this video, she addresses some of the issues facing society today. Finding Solution to our numerous problems which most of the time are solely because of how we view and respond to the world around us. It is human nature to be problem solvers but the question is, have we been able to do so? and seeking things that we hope would quinch our thirst for survival by all means.

There is one thing I find very inspiring about Laurie's work. That is she is very technological even though she admitted to becoming weary sometimes when trying to put together a lot of cords to spark up one thing.There is not thought that what made her even more famous was her "O Superman" commercial among others. She was also creative in her appearance to performances.Her outfit itself was art and described her to some extent.
Technological creativity is a plus and Laurie Anderson took it to higher level whiles applying it to her work.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Missing Link

Lindsey and I intend to explore the impact of technology on human and social behaviour. The media, with the help of technology has very much succeeded in creating an illusion and misconceptions about the Western world to Africa and vice versa.More importantly, our project is to gather personal information of on how Western Culture has penetrated through the African media sector, and how people from both cultures find a medium like the internet, television and a radio to compensate for their desire whiles away from home country. Our project would also address what Nicholas Bourriaud refer to as Creolization V.National/ Ethnic Identity as means through we share our culture with the rest of the world.

Our Goal is to create a short but quality video that explores at least three major media influences on Entertainment, News, Education, and Politicsin Africa and the Western world.Sharing and or borrowing from each other helps us to value how much our culture means to us.

-Video footage of West African interviews
-Audio clips of interviews
-West African music
-Interviews of Lawrentians effected by this multicultural media
-Youtube clips
-Written scripts
-personal stories

Technology -MAC
-Canon SLR-like w/1 hr video footage
-LaCie hard drive
-flashdrive 4GB
-Final Cut

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pursuing Life's Goal

It is very true that it is never too late to pursue ones' goals and ambitions. Sometimes situations and misfortunes can lead us to unveil a hidden talent. Another thing that kept me thinking is the fact that most of these artists' standard of living were very bad. Most if not all had health issues as well but a few things were certain. These artists were very passionate and content with their work as countryside musicians.

Prior to the exposure offered by Matthew Johnson, BL Burnside, T-Model Ford, and Junior Kimbrough were only passionate about their Blues and in entertaining their neighborhood. Keeping their popularity in their hometowns and the attention they received from the local folks were more than enough for them. On the other hand, the consumers could relate to their music in all aspect of their lives because there was not much of a difference between them. Most of these musicians never gave in to the idea of taking their music to a higher level before they passed away but the few that did like BL Burnside gave not only his town but did collaborative work a youth band. Sharing his talent and music to the rest of the world. He pursued life and made difference to Blues.

Embracing Technology

After watching a documentary on Les Paul, I insantly began thinking about the technological advancement. Technology today has a great impact on our world. Technology has changed the way we live and views things. It has enhanced easy access to information, education and entertainment. Even in developing countries such as Ghana, the quest for technolgy has created more room for collaborative and immitation especially in the world of music. Western influences have dived it way into most traditional/ cutural settings.
Just like Les Paul whose curiousity, passion, and obsession with electronics lead him to becoming an inventor and the pivot of change in the music industry and music lovers all over the world today are being challeged to embrace technology in all forms in which it may appear. Les Paul had an edge to creativity,he was open minded, and above all had a minds' eye that could foresee the future in terms of technological advancements.
Below is hiplife music video from Ghana that show a collaborative work of art showcasing cultures from both Western and Ghanaian perspective.

The artist is showing two different world in a single image. The rythm is contemporary but still traditonal. The artist is portraying his culture through the use of traditional dance custumes @0:46 and the contrast but still harmonious blend of dance attires that is typical to most Wertern music video.The use of the a traditional instrument(drum) and the digital sound track alongside also gave it a unique blend. Technology has open a wide window to the world especially for the youth on how far we can go in terms of innovation, artist creativity and personal technical knowledge.