May 2010 Archives

Bonus beat

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(Drawing)

 

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Berkeley High School Jazz Quintet, powered by a naturally aspirated 16 or 17 year old 5.5 liter beatmaster.

 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Re-Modelling

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(Document)

 

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We don't know how long ago this girl was prepped as a model. We know the image was supposed to make a lasting impression. The picture that was made to allow the image to make that impression is not lasting, but it is reproduceable. Some of us grab the image and hold it in memory, as was intended. Some of us grab the picture. Some of us, doing both, are greedy. But taking the picture this way, by making a second picture of the first one, created some after-effects that contest simple acceptance of the latter picture as a "representation" (re-presentation) of the former. 

For one, I now have this agreeable TV character named "Cork Screw" burned into my mind, waiting for some next episode of a non-existent show -- which is not the presumed intent of the poster. Second, I couldn't find an electronic copy of the advert poster's original image, but now I realize that I prefer the derivative picture made here, anyway, which "documents" both the image and the poster picture. And third, the rough qualities of this second picture -- its "foundness" and "aging" (plus being in black and white) contrast strongly to the color and gloss of the original poster (whose mission was to announce "New!") -- but ironically the actual poster would last nowhere near as long as this electronic documentation of it (and in fact it already hasn't), so the document will have much more chance to exert influence anew than will the poster picture.

What is still on my mind, in terminology currently popular and annoying, is the notion that this latter picture is a derivative of the presumed "original" picture, having apprpropriated it. Instead, in more useful terminology, it is -- just like the original picture -- a derivative of a precedent image. This is not a new idea: the concept of variations on a theme is very old. The image is the theme, and the pictures are each a variant of it. 

And then we remember: usually we assign value to the particular variant moreso than to the theme. In the picture here, data about the original context of the image is left available to help provoke a re-reading of the picture, an alternative to its first impression. This variant is about its multiple impressions and what we do mentally to bridge them or collect them all...

Copyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Prima Facia

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(postcard)

 

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The New Urban Creep, Upper West Side, Manhattan

It's early, right, and we're just having pancakes at the Metro by the window, and then...

 

 Copyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

 

Clips

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Writer, cultural observer and film critic Ray Sawhill asks: we get to just "take pictures" instead of having to "make photographs"; or we can go "filming"; but what do you say instead of "shooting video"? Instead of "video-ing"? And how do we know when to do videos instead of stills?

Vidz are always about time... time needed to either be sure what you saw, or be sure what you showed. Naturally, then, you are aimimg the camera at things that best "make sense" (have effect)  as revealed over a little time.  But there's an even more important aspect; vidz are especially for when you want to have the viewer step in your shoes, so the point is that you spend more time allowing the viewer to "take your place" as the observer.

We can always call short videos "clips", but who ever says they are "clipping"? With stills, one might say you are "snapping", and you wind up with snaps instead of clips.

 
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There's no reason why vidclips, like snapshots, couldn't wind up being referred to by "clipping" -- it's just a matter of how such terms get socialized these days, and clipping won't make it.

One tricky part in this is that shooting is the parent term, while snapshooting is associated with stills, and no other verb is similarly associated with clips. But snapshots are not a technology, and video, like radio, is. Snapshots are a mode; "clipping vids" makes exactly the same kind of sense as "snapping pix" or even "shooting film" (which leaves you with "shots", but note that in film you also have "takes" and no one says "I'm taking...".

The struggles here are not about meaning at all; they are about phonetic convenience first, and the dynamics of slang second. Interestingly, since language activity now has "tweets" (which I hate), we could imagine video simply having "peeks"...   Although in some sense that is the most obvious choice, it's unlikely to become our popular language unless it gets massively commercialized first by someone shameless, then rich.

"Flicks" is already taken, of course, plus it names something too big. "Strips" won't get recycled; it's too late for that and it has no digital cache, although an awful lot of stripping is done on video  -- but it's clear that we now have to say "in" video. 

What I think our generation will already tolerate is the construction "shooting vids" for the same reason that it tolerates "taking meds". We can easily cope with the contraction "Vids" always meaning miniature videos, or as Ray called it the other day, micro-vids...

The only other way through this is the path that led to the term "blog", a trendy concatenated contraction of the phrase "web log". But unfortunately the formula doesn't work for "digital videos", so then you just dismiss the "digital" and you wind up with Vids anyway. (That's the case because the best shot at it, "divix", is already taken for a different use.)

Anyway, let's not forget that since we already have streaming Tubes (and is anyone caught tubing?), no one cares about this vids thing anyway until they try to make a recording.

Gingerbread ...

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(Postcard)

 

GingerbreadHousePortal-IMG_0491Abw2.jpgCopyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Gingerbread ..

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(Tile)

 

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In this economy, the now closed Gingerbread House, home of TJ's Jambalaya, and parked immediately under a railway overpass in Oakland, is more likely waiting for demolition than revival.

Copyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Gingerbread .

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(Postcard)

 

GingerBreadHouseGrafitti-IMG_0475A.jpgCopyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Gingerbread

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(Postcard)

 

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Mezzanine, Gingerbread House, Oakland

Copyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Gingerbread House

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(Postcard)

 

TJsJambalaya-IMG_0467A.jpgCopyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Jack London .

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(Drawing)

 

JackLondonSq-IMG_0495Abw.jpgCopyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Jack London

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(Tile)

 

JackLondonSq-IMG_0505Abw.jpgCopyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Fruitvale Windows

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(Postcard)

 

FruitvaleWindows-IMG_0458.jpgCopyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Fruitvale ...

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(Postcard)

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Copyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Fruitvale ..

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(Postcard)

 

TamaleMural-IMG_0450A.jpgCopyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Fruitvale .

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(Drawing)

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Copyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Fruitvale

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(Postcard)

 

 
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Copyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder

Commuting to Wall Street

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(Postcard)

 

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Guardians Of The Vibrant Economy

 

Copyright 2010 Malcolm Ryder