Jean-Baptiste Clamence's Playlist
I especially enjoyed the playlist assignment because it combined music and literature, which are arguably my two favorite things. I plan on ripping some of these songs off vinyl (I don't own all the CDs) and uploading the full-length playlist for the final portfolio. I am not keen on including itunes links, because I hate the way itunes functions as a company. Not to mention, full length songs beat 30 second clips.
I think an assignment like this allows for a very unique, creative interpretation of a character. Music is just as powerful as the written word, and combining the two can present new feelings and emotions not previously felt about either as an individual entity. A complicated character like Clamence who goes through such a dramatic transformation can be easily portrayed through music. There are countless songs that could replace the ones I chose, so long as they focus on the expansions of intellect. Having an existential basis, as much of underground music does, also helps dramatically in reflecting the thoughts and feelings of Clamence. Clamence is not alone in this "intellectual transformation" and a lot of music can surely show this.
My initial plan for this revision of the playlist was to include an upload of the entire thing. However, considering the open nature of this blog, I've decided for the safer route of just linking to the Youtube versions. For the ones with actual music videos, it's always interesting to see the artist's adaptation to a visual realm.
Every time I hear somebody state that this is their favorite poem, I question the possibility that they probably wouldn't be able to name another poem if their life depended on it. However, there is a reason this poem is so widely known, and to put it simply...it is awesome.
The thing that really stands out about this poem (to me) is that it can be associated with any conflict one has in their life. As a result, it seemed really hard to create a collage that represented this. I went with the classic "good" vs. "evil" because so much of our conflict really boils down to whether we want to do the right thing or the thing that benefits us most (which in many cases is the wrong thing). I think nearly any opposites could be put as conflicted images in the collage however.
This collage probably makes no sense if one hasn't read The Castle, because it really is such a bizarre text. However, I enjoyed working on this one in specific, because it let me be creative with images and associations that may be stretches in terms of the text. I especially enjoy having Kafka's face watching over everything, because it really is a text that only his mind could possibly create.
I think the only thing that really limits me is my experience with Photoshop and photo editing in general. There is more I wish I could do, but considering my skills, I was still surprised at what I was able to create.
Somewhere in the process of saving these images, I neglected to save anything but the backgrounds. Thus, I can't actually edit any of the photos. I know words don't really do a picture justice, especially in this case. However, I do realize that the major issue hindering the overall expression of these collages, is the quality of the opacity. I think for starters, I should have let the backgrounds speak for themselves a little more, especially in the case of The Castle. The 1984 sign bothers me the most, and it sticks out like a sore thumb. If anything, I would simply just get rid of it and find a replacement image of just the numbers. Perhaps actually using text would have been the easiest method. I don't really think I would have edited particularly much in the other collage, because I found it to be much less expressive. I would have merely abandoned it and started over. The only other solution to save it (I am not happy looking back on it 2 weeks later) would be to minimize the size of all the images added to either side of the road, and add a wealth more options of possible "roads." I probably would not have gone this route however.
Original Video Essay
In the revision, I addressed two major issues. The first was that the text simply scrolled by too fast for anybody to really process. Obviously, this is incredibly frustrating if you're trying to learn about the coolest generation there ever was (no bias). The other minor thing I addressed was to get rid of the Ken Burns effect on all of the photographs. I enjoy it being so minimal, and the lack of transitions keep it from becoming distracting. Ultimately, I think the song (again, no bias here) is what helps tie it all together. It's a very simple song that actually addresses lost generation type themes in the lyrics. The fact that it is a remix keeps it from violating any copyright laws, which is sometimes a good thing.
Overall, this portfolio really allows for me to respect what we've learned this summer session. Both my knowledge in Photoshop and iMovie have vastly increased, and I'm really glad for it. They've always been the software I purchased and intended to learn, but never got around to actually messing around with.
Again, I also want to express my support for the methods of allowing students to interact that this class employs. The chatrooms stand out as the most especially effective, considering they allow for everybody to speak up, where a normal classroom setting usually gets led by the most outgoing. I also enjoy that blogging, which is becoming so relevant in our culture, was a method that everybody got to experiment with. To top it all off, we even created our own "wiki," which is something I feel that has the power to become really influential as more people begin to familiarize themselves with the wiki world. I can only imagine how effective it would be in a setting where the class wasn't limited to simply five weeks.