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September 19, 2011

Nap Time Library

by Glenn Zucman

Lots of nice vlogs you guys! It’ll be nice to look at your later vlogs and see how your ability to present yourself across the time of the semester evolves. As Monique mentioned in her blog post we switched what peeps we’re grading this week so we could all get to know a few more of you. I graded the 9a peeps with last names A-C this week. We’ll do the same thing next week and then switch it up again. BTW, we talk to each other a lot and work hard to make sure that you get the same grade regardless of who happens to review your work. That’s why we go to the trouble to create and fill out and save the rubrics, so you can see how your project score breaks down.

This week’s vlogs had a lot of strong insights from many of you. I was impressed. Our upcoming lecture “The Reader” is about Media Literacy. I’m excited to hear your insights on that since (no dis intended) you’re actually more insightful on that topic than I thought you might be. Rock on! 🙂

The question I didn’t hear so many strong answers to was the name of the Library. Almost all of you didn’t want it called “The Starbucks Research Center” or something like that. “Starbucksplatz.” You probably won’t be shocked to hear that I don’t want the name changed either. But what we were fishing for with that question was to think about what a hub of activity Starbucks is in that building. It looks to me like most of the traffic and most of the money is in that Starbucks. After than peeps go to the Library to use the computers or the study tables. Honestly, I almost never see students looking at books in the stacks or checking them out. So maybe it shouldn’t be called a “library” if we don’t actually use books there. Maybe it should be named after the corporation that brings so many of you in…

Or maybe the disconnect isn’t Starbucks fault… maybe this 20th century building that used to check books out hasn’t kept up with the way students work in the 21st century. Anyway, I thought Kaila really got this when she said she neither buys Starbucks there, nor checks out books there, so she wants to name the building for the way she actually uses it… “The Nap Time Library.”

“What if one day I decide to make a character up and start publishing stuff like this in media outlets…”

hahaha – thanks for that plug Cain! It’s called Project 10 – Counterfactual Identity! 🙂

This is a pretty tiny point, but a few of you called it “Eva & Franco’s Book,” actually it isn’t their book. That is to say they didn’t write it and they don’t make any money when people buy it. The book’s lead author is Domenico Quaranta and lots of other authors contributed articles about Eva & Franco. As you’ll notice on the spine, it was published by the Italian Art Book publisher Charta.

Speaking of the book… we are reading the rest of it… so for those of you that had to work with the online PDF copy, be sure to still get the book from the bookstore or online when they come in, or from a former student who has a copy.

These video blogs are mostly about your ideas. More about substance than about style. That’s why we don’t encourage too much fancy production, but just suggest you turn the laptop on and talk. Still, style & substance, or form & content, if they’re really working, are not isolated things, but aspects of a work that interweave to produce a compelling whole. The simple touches that Chad put in his video, and just the palpable sense of place he gives us: not simply hunched over a random computer, but meditating from his thinking chair, make his video and our sense of his ideas more engaging.

BTW, I know a few of you had technical difficulties. Part of why we do these projects, besides the “art part” is also to help you master this contemporary media. I hope over the course of the semester you get better at speaking to a camera and better at posting videos online. Some of you had sync issues. Lots of others didn’t. Does anyone know what things led to the sync problems? Were they on videos recorded direct to YouTube? Or uploaded after shooting? Edited? Or straight? It’d be nice if we can sort this out and make better videos in the weeks to come.

I know there were also uploading issues for some of you. Again, these are worth sorting out. I’m convinced that Art110 is not the last time in your life you’re going to want to talk to a camera and post your speech online. A few weeks before school began I drove up to Vancouver and I uploaded a few vids along the way. My worst connection was at The Oregon Trail Motel (a fantastic place, just with crummy wifi) I tried to upload a short vid: it took 6 hours and then failed. The best connection I had was at the Vancouver Convention Center – they had a blindingly fast connection. Even a 14 minute HD vid uploaded in under a minute!

So… if things aren’t going that fabulously for you… maybe do your next vid on one of the iMacs in AS-120. They’re nice machines and the ethernet connection there (unlike the less speedy CSULB wifi) is really fast. If you’re a PC person, don’t worry about it. It all works pretty much the same.

kk, thanks to Kaila, Cain, Chad, and a bunch more of you who did thoughful, compelling work this week. And last but not least, a great piece from Mario Bonilla:

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