Creativity Does Not Come From Within

Kirby Ferguson did a Ted talk on creative ideas and the way in which we look at creativity.  In the past, someone was considered to be creative if they had “original” ideas. But where did these creative ideas come from? What is their source? Maybe these ideas were not as original as we think.  There was no internet in the past, and we have no idea how people actually arrived at their so called “original” ideas.  Today it is much easier to spot material that has been reused in a different way.  So, it may be that we used to believe that all great works of art came from within in the artist.  But what if they came from without?

Maybe it is the combination of different components that are not usually linked together that is original and creative, even though the actual components are not original at all.  Kirby claims that all creativity comes from copying, transforming, and combining the materials that is available to us, which is the idea behind remixes. If that is the case, then there should be greater creativity today than ever before because the infinite amount of content, information, art, and ideas that we have access to through the internet at a moment’s notice.

But there is something that is hindering our progress and creativity.  That is patent and copyright laws that inhibit our ability to share our own work.  If we can not share, then we can not grow or advance because creativity is about making connections not inventions. The inventions and creations are a result of creativity but the basic foundation of the creative process is about the connections that are made.

If we could get society to see creativity in this way, then perhaps patents and copyrights laws could be changed and molded in a way that suits this perception of what it means to be creative.  But motive behind the laws may very well not even be about creativity, authorship, property, or a sense of entitlement.  Instead it is probably just about money. Why? Because it’s always about money.

The makers of the iphone including Steve Jobs did not want other companies to sell products similar to the ones that they were selling.  Patents and copyright laws are used to reduce competition and increase the profit for a company even if the basic technology was not originally their idea but had been around for decades.  Alright so this is the case in business, and no one would be able to convince these companies otherwise that their ideas are not really original enough to be patented since they don’t care and only want to profit as much as possible.  What they care about it money and making lots of it.  Understandably, that is the after all the main objective of any business or company.

But what about the folks that are not just trying to make money. What about the people who want to express themselves by remixing old material to make new material without making a profit from it?  I believe that copyright and patents in this case begin to take away our right to free speech. We want to share something and express ourselves, but we can not with these laws stoping us.  Sometimes the material that is  reused  is degraded by what it is associated with when it is combined to make new material.  As mentioned in the video, the quality of content of was diluted when the Grey Album was produced according certain people.  However, this should not be reflective of the old material or the author of the old material because it was created by someone else.  Once material is in circulation, artists should not inhibit others from utilizing it in new and different ways.  New people will be exposed to the material that might not have been beforehand.  Also, there will always be others who appreciate the remix and see the beauty in it because art is subjective and as they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Auditory versus Visual

For the past week of working on my podcast project, a thought came to me about the topic of audio and how it pertains to individuals in relation to visual learners. People identify themselves as either auditory learners or visual learners. There is belief that there is a distinct difference between the two in which people tend to choose one from the other based on their experiences in school or from their work experience. I have often subjected myself in identifying myself as a visual learner. For example, in class I need professors to present pictures or videos in order for me to have a better understanding of the subject matter in class.

However, when reading the article “Think You’re An Auditory Or Visual Learner? Scientists Say It’s Unlikely,” I was surprised by the research that has been conducted in finding the difference between auditory learners and visual learners and how different teaching styles have affected students. In this article, psychologist, Dan Willingham at the University of Virginia, have found studies that there is no scientific evidence that supports that idea that auditory learning is better than the visual learning or vice versa. He says the learning process is more about the idea of how information is presented that will boost students’ attention; therefore, by maintaining students’ attention, they will learn better.

auditory&visual

Now that I think about it, I identify myself as a visual learner because of the way the information is presented to me that grabs my attention. In my experience, audio has always been the weakest link making me pay more attention. Therefore, when referring to the Podcast Project, I had a difficult time in trying to think of ways that will make it interesting to my listeners. In relation to the new digital age, there is technology that enables audio to sound more interesting in ways that will make listeners want to listen. By mixing voice with music and sound effects, the podcast project turned into a fun project in how I can mix all these aspects that will make it worthy of listening – in trying to make it unique. In today’s society, technology has made it possible for not only for myself, but for other students for having more options in how to learn in classrooms.

The Meme Museum

3t5chyDuring our discussion in class, the professor brought up this idea of if there would ever be a “Meme Museum” and if it would be able to replace traditional paint to canvas art. This led me to Google and I found this article. The author Kenneth Goldsmith provides his insight on the idea of memes and how at face value appear simple but when it comes to creating one it becomes much more harder. He sees these memes as subtle bits of poetic work and to some degree than can be argued. For those who use Reddit, memes flood the pages and subcategories. The art of a meme is something that the people of reddit use to express situations in their own lives or even for things that they find funny, frustrating or the whole span of human emotions. It has become part of this generations culture. I can guarantee that 95% of college students have observed some sort of internet meme at some point in their life and may even be able to identify it.

3t59k8

I am not advocating that memes are art but having a successful meme but they provide an insight that allows people to commentate on current events and even use humor to make a situation that is shocking a bit more bearable. They can be made just as fast as tweets and each meme can represent a different situation. Overall memes are not art but they are an expression of an individuals feelings, thoughts, and relationship to life and the complexities it bring along. I love memes and although they can be made poorly they all demonstrate someone trying to break tout of their mundane life and express how they feel.

3t5awqdownload

“Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy”

4evryung.wordpress.com

After our class discussions I’ve been thinking a lot about how technology changes our everyday life – especially our understanding of convenience. Whether we’re flying from A to B or nuking a vegan bean burrito, convenience becomes something we expect. Its a vital factor in our decision making and a huge selling point for any product. Everything is convenient  made easier, made more intellegent – more advanced. We have the next best everything…. but are we happy?

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8m5d0_everything-is-amazing-and-nobody-i_fun

Luis CK. jokes here on Conan (2009) that everything’s amazing but no body’s happy.  We can sit in a chair and fly over the earth but all we can think about is wi-fi availability and how small the bathroom is. Its a modern miracle, but we can’t stand that it takes us 5 hours to get from California to New York (a trip that would have once taken years and possibly meant death for have your caravan). Soooo everything’s amazing..but no one’s happy.Nothings fast enough, smart enough, or convenient enough. We always want more. We want whats ‘better’ than the last thing.

This is not to say that striving towards an innovative future through the creation of better and faster technology is a negative drive,  but it is undeniable that this drive has had effects on our understanding of what’s easy, what’s difficult, and what’s necessary and unnecessary.  Because we can easily accomplish tasks with the push of a button, the previous alternative is perceived as more ‘difficult’ – tasks like walking up and down stairs  for example is harder than taking the elevator, writing an email is ‘easier’ that writing a letter. Overall what I want to point out is that technology has a way of changing not only our perception of convenience – but that these views show themselves linguistically:  Words like ‘better’ and ‘best’ for technology have a way of easily creeping into our reasoning – convincing us that one thing is ‘better’ than the last.”Google it”  is used instead of any alternative.  In short – we think less about the actual process of what is ‘easy’ when we rely on the language of convenience that comes with new technology.

Color Me Free: Real Life Bad Boys in the Comic Book Color

            After our classroom discussion this week revolving around artistic interpretation in regards to messages and mediums, I really started to question how different cultural icons could be used as teaching tools. It was interesting to contemplate whether or not a meme could ever generate such a cultural following that it would be able to be considered a way to learn about the cultures of today in years to come.  In looking at the different art pieces that focused on images of the intimacy of motherhood and the isolation of death, I never realized how many social interactions people accept as universal law. It was remarkable that we all had similar definitions for how we internalize human contact that we were able to share and engage in based on one stimulus. I kept thinking what could society use as a teaching agent that has cultural weight and is presented through am innovative channel people are willing to pursue. While keeping this idea in my mind, I went rummaging through the Internet and I came across this little gem of an article.

 Image

            When I first went through the series of original pieces, I was blown away by the creativity and dedication that must have went into connecting two different environments. Even if you did not read or follow comic book universes as a young child, the cultural relevance of those materials is undeniable. From books, clothing apparel, and costume concepts to movies, television series, to valued collector’s items, comic books have found a remarkable pulse in popular culture that still beats with vigor. The fact that many young people, boys and men in particular, have had such an emotional connection with these characters and stories for generations really underscores how much aesthetic arrest these plots must have. Those stories are were people figure out the difference between right and wrong and learn that life is a constant cosmic battle of identity, sacrifice, and the strength of the will. Likewise, the villains of these stories are equally as powerful as they serve as the character foil to the heroes and show how quickly good intentioned people can fall from grace into a dark, unmaintained, space.

 Image

            In juxtaposing the “real” bad guys with the super-villains, this sends a powerful message that the sometimes the make believe characters have very real world counterparts who are, often times, even more sinister than the comic book men and women. It also details how events and occurrences that take places in comic books are not completely made up; it is often the case that many things in comic books mirror the social climates of our world. With stories that revolve around adoption, loss of family, corruption, and unadulterated destruction, this is how you can communicate with people in future generations; you allow them to address heavy issues in a way that compels them to stretch their horizons. This is a big reason why Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and the Harry Potter series are all such canonical pieces of masterworks! They teach without having to be in a classroom. There are lessons of genuine friends, different temperaments, and heartbreaking loss that sometimes feel more real to us than the world around us.

 Image

            What makes this piece really spectacular is how devoted the writer and artist had to be to accurately match up the real life bad guy with the comic book evil dude! I’m not sure how much everyone knows about the comic book universe, but this guy sure knows his villains. The characteristics and personalities of the comic bad guys compliments and sometimes is an exact replica of the actual men who are featured in the piece. The mania and high level of theatrical violence that was associated with Charles Manson could only truly be compared with the sheer uncompromising madness that makes The Joker such a worthy arch-nemesis to The Batman; it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, then it’s The Joker’s playground. There are also different degrees and styles of evils that are listed too. Adolf Hitler as Galactus is pure genius because both the entities sought total domination through means of using constructed machines. Galactus must use his armor to maintain all of his internal energies and power and, likewise, Hitler used his social machine, the Nazi Party, to control and manipulate the lives of millions of people. It doesn’t hurt that they both have larger than life images too.

Tumblr and SOPA

I have not logged into my Tumblr account in some time. (Mostly out of laziness, but I still frequent certain tags.) I was still pretty active, though, during the time the SOPA bill was in the process of being passed. Understandably, many Tumblr users (and countless others) were incredibly against the SOPA bill. Such an outrage was provoked, that on all of my favorite blog authors’ sites, numerous rebloggable posts showed up, all condemning SOPA. It didn’t matter what type of blog you had, what your interests and fandoms were, to Tumblr users everywhere, SOPA was a huge threat.

Image

(source: http://youranonnews.tumblr.com/post/15783460213/stop-sopa-the-essentials-summary-and-bill-text)

Just what exactly would SOPA mean for Tumblr users (and every other internet frequenters, which are essentially, all of us)? You see, on Tumblr, one can find virtually anything, from fashion blogs, art appreciation/art blogs, and comic/video-game/movie/TV show/what have you blogs. What would happen? Unless something is your own original idea, it would be taken down. Any references to copyrighted material such as movies or TV shows would be considered for censorship.

Image

(source: http://www.letthemhavepolish.com/2012/01/screw-sopa.html)

One thing that I really noticed was the indignation of Tumblr artists. That would most likely be on account of my love for art blogs. Now, you see, many Tumblr artists are inspired by their respective fandoms aka any books/people/TV shows/movies/video-games/etc. While they usually have their own unique, one-of-a-kind works and concepts, they love paying tribute to their favorite fandoms. They usually even mention what their fandom is, who the creator is, and any other information that would be helpful for other users to find out about that particular series, bringing further attention to said series.

To recap, luckily, it all turned out well in the end. Social media websites all collaborated with each other to raise awareness and pretty much defeat the rise of SOPA. Of course, when there are so many people whose lives pretty much revolve around the use and enjoyment of the internet, having any sort of constraint or restriction would seem unendurable slights to our internet freedom. In the face of such adversity, people work together to fight for their rights. Still, although the threat of SOPA seems long gone, there are always going to be more cases like this.    

Tatted

Tatting one’s body with art is beautiful, in most cases. A lot of people have controversal opinions when it comes to the topic of having tattoos, especially as a female. My name is Jennah, and I’m not addicted but I love tattoos. There’s something about the pain in getting one that i enjoy. Its like having surgery, revealing a beautiful scar. The first step to overcoming this “phase” is admitting and surrendering to the fact that I love tattoos; i have four in total but have plans for getting many more. My first tattoo is a purple rose on the left side of my neck behind my ear, it symbolizes eternal beauty in Arabic…purple is just my favorite color and represents loyalty and royalty. I have Arabic writing on my right shoulder that says “No creator save Allah, Mohammad is an apostle of Allah.” I have a multicolored peacock feather down my spine, which in fact was the most painful but blissful. My last one is a giant colorful koi fish on my right hip that i cannot wait to add on to.

Image

I always feel as though i am being frowned upon because i am Muslim, and am not supposed to alter my body in any way, shape, or form. So here I was at 16-years-old facing an ethical decision of whether or not to get a tattoo. I wanted one so bad and would be the first of my friends to get one. I decided finally on getting one because it is the way i’m choosing to express myself. Each one of my tattoos has great meaning and intangible value to me. I wouldn’t change a thing about them.

However… my parents feel differently. They don’t want me to get any more….ever. But I just figured I’m grown, right? I’m old enough to make my own decisions, and still to this day i have zero regrets.