Sound and Space : Setting and Space
In this swirl of creative agitprop and com- mentary, several questions came to the fore: Does the author of a documentary photograph -a document whose mission is, in part, to provide the public with a record of events of social and historical value have the right to control the content of this document for all time? Should artists be allowed to decide who can comment on their work and how? Can copyright law, as it stands, function in any way except as a gag order? These remain open questions for many people. It was a blogger named "nmazca," however, who posed what has, for me, become the central question in all of the activity surrounding Molotov. Referring to the lone figure of that Sandinista rebel, nmazca asked, "Who owns the rights to this man's struggle?"
There is no denying in this digital age that images are increasingly dislocated and far more easily decontextualized. Technology allows us to do many things, but that does not mean we must do them. Indeed, it seems to me that if history is working against context, then we must, as artists, work all the harder to reclaim that context. We owe this debt of specificity not just to one another but to our subjects, with whom we have an implicit contract.
The article raises questions about the rights of authors of documentary photographs and the role of artists in controlling their work. On one hand, artists may want to protect the integrity of their work and its intended message. On the other hand, there's a public interest in preserving historical accuracy and allowing commentary and reinterpretation of such documents. These questions are particularly relevant today, where the proliferation of digital media has made it easier to manipulate and decontextualize images.
Assignment 1 : Sound Vacation
In teams, collect sounds for a sound vacation. This could be informational, fictional, sensual, spoken-word, musical. It could be about infrastructure, architecture, people, or something completely different. Be specific, and transport us to another location through a 1-2 minute journey crafted through sound. No longer than 2 minutes please!
Team: Ellen, Diana, Shun
Diana and Ellen proposed a shift in the theme from "rooftop meditation” to the "a day of an ITP student" to enhance the depth and intrigue of our storytelling. We agreed to break down the 2-minute narrative into three segments: morning, afternoon, and night. Each team member would take charge of one section and capture corresponding sounds. While I strongly recommended establishing an outline before recording sounds, Diana and Ellen believed that embracing spontaneity could yield unexpected and unique outcomes. Thus we started on sound collection during the rest of the week, later deliberating on the story based on our audio material.
In Monday's follow-up meeting we heard from everyone’s result .Diana chose to record the morning cooking sounds, which proved captivating with a diverse range of audio qualities. Ellen, on the other hand, selected the afternoon study sounds. Unfortunately, due to our initial lack of discussion on recording choices, I also ended up recording study sounds for the nighttime section. Recognizing the overlap, we decided to shift the night section to a bustling and noisy environment such as a nightclub or bar to clearly distinguish between morning and afternoon. In doing so, we sacrifice the uniformity of the three sections to be more creative in each part.
To collect sounds, I went to a techno club named "Home Sweet Home." While the music there was amazing, I noticed that the background noise was not ideal for sound recording as all the sounds were blended together, making post-processing editing quite challenging. Therefore, I recorded human and ambient sounds at home and in a classroom the following day. I manually layered these sounds with a techno music track I found online to recreate the ambiance of the bar. Additionally, I employed effects in Premiere to swing between realism and a more imaginative audio experience.