Blog Prompt #7: WEB DESIGN ANALYSIS

For this post, spend some time browsing the Web and identify a website whose look and feel you really like. (Try to find a site that is new to you — a google search for “web design galleries” might be a place to start.) Think about the choices made by the designer (layout, colors, typography, visual concept, navigation, etc.) and write a detailed design analysis of the site. What makes the site “work” for you? How are different components of the site working together to produce a particular feel or effect? What is its rhetoric (ie. purpose, audience, argument)? What might you take away from this site design as you think about your own web design concept? As always, please include relevant screenshots and links for the class.

DIY: DIY Photoshop

Blog Prompt #6: DIY Photoshop

As a reminder:

DIY Blog Posts should provide practical instruction on a particular skill or technique that is not covered
by the in-class studio, in-class practice or assigned tutorials but that might be useful for other students in the course. DIY posts should include relevant images (screenshots, etc.) and links to additional web resources or tutorials, as needed.

The idea behind these is that you do a little research and play around with the software. Google something you might want to figure out and then make your own tutorial. Personalize it and make it fun. Be ready to teach someone your trick on Wednesday.

dr. c

Blog Prompt#5: Image/Photo analysis

Choose an image — one that you find particularly challenging or compelling — from one of these three particular photo essays we are viewing for this class (“The Ruins of Detroit,” “Where the Children Sleep,” and “Remembering Hardware”) and write a detailed visual analysis. Drawing upon the readings for last week (“Top 10 Photography Composition Rules” and “The Photo Essay: Give It Your Best Shot”), your analysis should address (1) the key compositional elements of the image, (2) how you see the image fitting within the scheme of the larger photo essay of which it forms a part, (3) the emotional or rhetorical affect/effect the image evokes in you as a viewer and (4) the story the image conveys.

(Remember that rhetoric is all the available means of persuasion working together to persuade an audience toward some purpose. When you use rhetoric to analyze a piece, you want to switch from what it’s saying to how it’s saying it.)

This is due by 12 noon on Monday.

Looking forward to reading!

Be well,

dr. c

DIY: Video editing

DIY VIDEO: DIY Blog Posts should provide practical instruction on a particular skill or technique that is not covered by the in-class studio, in-class practice or assigned tutorials but that might be useful for other students in the course. DIY posts should include relevant images (screenshots, etc.) and links to additional web resources or tutorials, as needed. Have fun with these and make them your own. Consider something you want to learn yourself or something you can help others learn. Please do not simply copy a tutorial online or offer a link. Instead, learn something from an online tutorial, but then personalize it, learn it, teach it, and share it with the class.

Looking forward to it!
dr. c

Blog Prompt #3

Choose one of the four “documentary portraits” we watched for class last week (Amar (All Great Achievements Require Time) / A Brief History of John Baledessari / Odysseus’ Gambit, Every Runner has a reason, Delivery ) and write a detailed compositional (aesthetic and affects) and rhetorical analysis of its approach to audio-visual storytelling. Draw attention to one or two specific strategies you see the director using in constructing the piece’s argument and discuss how those strategies are working to tell a particular kind of story — with a particular tone or message — in a way that responds to the particular life being documented. Consider what affect the documentary creates and how that affect was crafted, through what available means of persuasion. Also, think about what ideas you might take away from this video as you begin to plan and produce your own video portrait.

Remember: We always want to think *with* the medium. How does this story get told in this medium? Effectively or not?

Looking forward to reading your ideas and thoughts.

Peacefully,

dr. c

Blog Prompt #2

Erika Larsen begins her “Photograph Not Taken” essay by saying, “the photographs not taken are the photographs not given. In many ways this philosophy keeps things quite simple for me. When I take pictures I become as much a part of that moment in time as the person I am photographing. Their path will inevitably take a new dynamic as does mine because of the exchange” (57). wood_es_graffiti

And Marlene Manoff, in the article you read for class, “Theories of the Archive from Across the Disciplines,” quotes Derrida’s most important contribution as being this sentiment, “archivization produces as much as it records the event” (23).

Going one step further, famous cartographer, Denis Wood, writes that maps are like archives in that they give us reality, “a reality that exceeds our vision, our reach, the span of our days, a reality we achieve no other way. We are always mapping [or archiving] the invisible or the unattainable or the erasable, the future or the past, the whatever-is-not-here-present-to-our-senses-now and, through the gift the map gives us, transmuting it into everything it is not…in the real” (The Power of Maps 5).

Can you create a blog post that puts these three ideas in conversation with one another. Consider how they speak to our class so far? What does this have to do with being a digital media maker? Missing information? You can use the readings for class thus far and our course description to open up this conversation and explore it, but also feel free to discuss your own reality, experience, and understanding of the above sentiments. You can use your own examples, and your own “Picture Not Taken” essay. Considering yourself a maker and a producer—how does this change your approach to this post?

Looking forward to reading these!

As always:

Critical Blog Posts: 

1) Should engage with the text

2)  Refer to specific examples from the text under examination.

3) Pose at least one question for class discussion.

4) Be a minimum of 300 words.

5) Include a descriptive title and relevant tags for navigation and indexing.

6) Must be proofread and spell-checked.

 

Blog prompt #1

Welcome to our class blog! Feel free to make yourself at home. This will be an archive of all of your wonderful, smart work during the semester.

For this first post:

After reading Derrida’s Archive Fever, discuss, in your own words, what Derrida means by “archive.” Because this is a complex text, look up words and concepts you don’t know, and begin to forge some kind of meaning out of what you read. There is no right anwer. Instead, you will notice that you will begin to understand the text as you go back through it to write about it. You might consider how “the picture not taken” [discussed in class] might relate to it? What does this say about past and future? Or what it means to alter the archive, memory, knowledge? Once you’ve done that sufficiently and thoughtfully, discuss what technology has done to the archive, both according to Derrida and using your own observations. You could refer to the art exhibit, Archive Fever, or  “How Documentary Became the Most Exciting Kind of Filmmaking” reading and/or Misty Keasler’s picture not taken.

For these posts, don’t be afraid to make them your own; be creative and artful in your response. Use craft, but also be self-reflective.  SAY NO TO CLICHES! And please stay very close to the text for this first post. Do close reading and thoughtful writing as a way of opening up the prompt above. I look forward to reading!

dr. c

Remember | Blog post requirements:

Critical Blog Posts: 

1) Should engage with the text

2)  Refer to specific examples from the text under examination.

3) Pose at least one question for class discussion.

4) Be a minimum of 300 words.

5) Include a descriptive title and relevant tags for navigation and indexing.

6) Must be proofread and spell-checked.