Today, I watched a film by Stan Brakhage called Stellar. It is a strange film, one that I don’t particularly know how to describe, especially about how I feel and what goes on in the short film.
In this 2 minute film, what is shown is an array of colors, which closely resemble, at least to me, nebula and star dust, hence the title. Most of the space in the frames are black rather than color, and rarely show white or any grays, which furthers my thoughts of the artist interpreting the color in space.
What made this film especially strange for me was that it had no clear sequence of frames nor any dialogue, the only clear image that shows up are the credits, which give the title and the people who have created and helped with the creation of the film. Because of this, the film is truly left to the interpretation of the person who is viewing it, and it can lead to a lot of different opinions and thoughts of the viewers, whether it be that the film is absolutely bad and has no purpose, or that the film is, while nonsensical, still beautiful in its own craft. I have noticed between people commenting on it that no one agreed on how the film should be thought about, whether it was a bad opinion or a good one.
In conclusion, this film, while a confusing and very ominous one, does bring some interpretation out of people, and every viewer’s views will differ with this one.
I have watched an episode of a podcast called Song Exploder, where the particular episode was about a music artist named Michael Kiwanuka and his song Black Man In A White World. He talks about how he came to create this song through his mood for the time he created it.
In the beginning, he describes that he came to create the song, specifically the chorus “I’m a black man in a white world,” because of how he felt during the time from his sadness, to where he started singing the chorus while he was playing the guitar, and his producer heard it and told him that it sounded good and that they would help him create the full song. What interested me was that in the audio, he mentions going from a different genre than playing the guitar in a country-music manner. He explains that usually, it’s a white man that creates music in country form, so he decided that, to reach out to black people, to do it in another genre. I wondered about this, especially since most country artists are, in fact, of white or Caucasian origin. (I have only seen one black country artist in this day.) So it got my attention when he decided to get the producer’s help to turn it into another genre, just to reach out to people of his race.
After he explains this, he goes on to talk about how he decides to add in lyrics to this so that the white people who listen to this will not think that he wrote this to hate on white people, but just explain that he feels left out in a world not made for him. It reminds me of my own feelings when it comes to word choice and not wanting to offend anybody when I make my writings, etc.
This podcast was interesting to me about what it takes to reach out and appeal to people through sound and word choices, and what it takes to make a song, especially about isolation, successful rather than separation-oriented.
I have recently listened to a TED talk by Amy Tan titled Where Does Creativity Hide? It talks about certain attributes that indicate possible creativity, as well as how to bring up creativity from the person.
In the beginning, she was listing all the known attributes in people that have contributed to artists and creative thinkers throughout the ages. Some listed were being born with creativity, learning/having tools for creativity, or having mental disorders/trauma in your life.
One quote that stuck out to me that she said in her speech is, “Save a man from drowning and you’re responsible to him for life.” This stuck out to me because in some cases, this is true, as if you get into somebody else’s business then it may stick with you throughout your life. I have had many experiences with such that some events or situations may alter or change your life, for better or worse, because you didn’t necessarily belong in the situation.
This TED talk was interesting for me since it goes through what happens that makes people creative, and it definitely gave me some insight on how mine and other people’s creativity may have been bought up as they developed and learned how to create things. It was great hearing about this theory of where creativity can come from in life, and in the mind, as well.
What I have read from that will be talked about is Kenya Hara’s What is Design? This reading talks about how the concept of design has evolved, mainly with modern Western influence on the world.
One part I have really paid attention to was when the author talks about the beginning of human design. It goes back to when our early ancestors started walking on two feet, which made them able to do other stuff with two free hands, which lead to tools and intelligence being built upon to change their world. When humanity made these tools, from then they went to make weapons in order to hunt, farming tools to help gather food, and tools to build shelters with. Design has been with us to help us know what we can do to better our lives and how we can alter our environment to better fit us.
One topic that popped out was when the author mentions the Romantic Era, where during the Industrial Revolution, people were against mass production of goods by machine, which often turned out crude, but due to meeting the demands of consumers by mass-producing, the machines were never taken down. However, this did set a spark for a group of people who were designers and craftsmen into creating movements for keeping design alive. The Romantic Era has then put a significant effect on how creativity and design exists nowadays, up until how we now work with designs in the modern days.
Overall, this reading was one that made me think about the origin of design and how we got around to not just starting, but evolving design to the modern days. It continues to evolve to this day, so we can only see what will happen in the future.
The reading I’ve done for this time was “High Concept, High Touch”, and Chapter in Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind, which talks about the technological and conceptual evolution in how the human works. It goes into how to survive in the modern economy we live in today.
One of the things that stuck out to me in this reading is when the author talks about how to survive in this day and age with business, that you should do something that no computer can do faster, what no overseas person can do cheaper, and what is in demand. I think about this because that’s what it take to prosper, as many companies and businesses don’t like to pay for labor unless someone or a group of people are really good at it/have major skill. That’s what it takes in order to survive, just having the skill or giving needs and wants in order be able to appeal to people and grab attention.
The other thing that stuck out to me was when the author started talking about IQ and how it really relates to people getting a career. When the statistic shown in the text of how IQ affects career success came out to 4-10 percent, it shows how much IQ shown in standardized tests really means to whether people will succeed or not. In a way, as I thought of it, it showed how while some people may be bad at the standard testing process, they could still come out successful in other fields, especially creative and even professional ones. How well you do in school does not determine if you will prosper out in the real world.
With this narrative talking about money, survival in the modern world, and how the human thinking process works in different ways, I’ve found this reading has got me thinking about the career world and how to prosper.
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When I read this one passage by Vilem Flusser called “The Photograph”, it gave me thought about the composition of the photograph, mainly in black and white. It talks about the photograph’s appeals to the specified audience it was made for through moral, emotion, and thought, as well as the breaking down of the basic elements to decode its purpose.
The one part of this passage, however, that really caught my attention, was the part talking about the existence of black and white. It makes me wonder about how black and white came to be thought of, and why it cannot truly exist in our world, just be a known concept. It also made me wonder about how the photograph could catch the world using the “black and white” concept, but it is shown that we are actually looking at things in gray, as since they cannot be in color, instead it can be gray, although black and white would make since as actual images and not just concepts.
With all of this, the photograph is shown to be some sort of concept, taking the image of things the person sees and putting it into black and white, which is discussed as the photographs “true colors”, that colors on a photograph make it more abstract due to concealing the true origin, which is the shades of black and white/gray. Each photograph will leave a person to “decoding” its meaning, which will almost never end up with a satisfactory result.
Throughout this passage, I really could not just get over the discussion of color, as it made me think about the truthfulness in black & white and color in photography, for conveying the message and leaving it to the audience to decode it. Of course, I enjoyed thinking about how different our world is in terms of the gray scale and colors.
Flusser, Vilem; “The Photograph”