Saturday, October 30, 2010


"The new documentary 'Psywar,' featuring CMD founder John Stauber, explores corporate and government use of propaganda and public relations to manipulate American people. The movie explores how the U.S. government staged events to manipulate public opinion about the Iraq war, like the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, the supposedly spontaneous mob that pulled over the larger-than-life statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. It also discusses the Pentagon pundit scandal, and the hidden activities of the Rendon Group, a PR firm specializing in spinning war. The film exposes government and corporate activities to blur the lines between real news and fake news, as well as the development over time of public relations misinformation campaigns, strategic corporate campaigns to generate goodwill and the perception of good works, the use of staged photo-ops, and other manipulative PR tools that have turned the land of the free and the home of the brave into a place where citizens are now manipulated with great efficiency, and on a massive scale."

PSYWAR (2010)

Friday, October 29, 2010

A messed up Advert of the day

Media Concepts Projects (Font and Visual Literacy)

Some are a little pixelated but you can click the image and it will open in a new window and be more visible. Comments are also welcome.

Font Project (typeface that relates to prompt)

"Less is More" Problem

Sign Problem Project (Visually depict the prompt of the sign)

Create your own sign prompt

Digital rendition of "Life and Death" (left side=life right side=death)

Same project but I wanted to try hand drawing the prompts

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Helpful Information from Geert Lovink's Presentation

Reclaim your facebook privacy

Openbook lets you search public Facebook updates using Facebook's own search service. (Here's more about it--read up and know how you're affected too.)

If you're going to commit virtual suicide (disconnect from online social networks), here are some sites to retrieve the information you've already put out there:
Give me my data
web 2.0 suicide machine

Here are some sites that aim to A) show you how "bad" closed-source social networks like facebook are or B) want you to become members of their open-source social network sites:
Virtual Suicide Club
No-FAcebook Dating (no FAD)
open source networks:
apple seed project

For all you artists out there who are looking for a way to generate money for your projects and for all you people who want to help support artists' projects:

So, I'll be letting you know when I have accounts with Flattr, Kickstarter, and Kachingle because I will so be needing help with future projects.

The Fall and Man’s Loss of Language

A theme that both underlines and rises to the surface in a number of philosophies of language is loss. The essay, “On Language as Such and on the Language of Man” by Walter Benjamin is no different. He begins by expounding on language through its materiality and metaphysical traits while exploring language’s mystical and magical qualities but he explicates greatly on creationism as language’s epistemology, which is where the concept of loss appears. Benjamin implies this loss on page 326, “The paradisiac language of man must have been one of perfect knowledge; whereas later all knowledge…was indeed forced to differentiate itself on a lower level.” The Fall removed man from the level of name language—the creative word—and the “human word” originated with the judgment of good and evil. Benjamin states that the composition of language comes from a three-part consequence of the Fall: language as a means—a mere sign that results in plurality; the magic of judgment; and the origin of abstraction.

The first part is the ramification of the paradisiac language of naming. Man, having lost his purity, over-named things so language became signs pointing to things as a means to communicate. “Language is in every case not only communication of the communicable but also, at the same time, a symbol of the noncommunicable” (Benjamin, 331). This communicating function of language is formed by the symbolic limits and the signs in which man extends through all of nature. According to Benjamin, over-naming through this communication of symbols and signs is a reflection of God. He says, “God gives each beast in turn a sign, whereupon they step before man to be named…the linguistic community of mute creation with God is thus conveyed in the image of the sign” (326). Multiplicity of languages resulted from the naming word falling short of the creative word of God. Man translated the signs into his own image because the Fall soiled the purity of name; with that Fall, man came into the “uncreated imitation of the creative word” (Benjamin, 327), the nameless knowledge of good and evil.

Part two of the Fall is the magic of judgment. Man did not name the judging word; rather, man sensed the judgment and identified good and evil with the Fall. “The tree of knowledge did not stand in the garden of God in order to dispense information on good and evil, but as an emblem of judgment over the questioner” (Benjamin, 328). Benjamin explains that Adam and Eve aroused the judging word when they were expelled from paradise thus originating the mythical form of law. Not only law though, this was where the idea of man having free will formed, which resulted in linguistic confusion. Man’s free will shook the foundation of signs because he contemplated the Fall and discovered guilt. The consequence of the Fall and judging words is multiplicity because the definition of good and evil transformed and translated. Judgment is rooted in double meaning so when Benjamin says, “The abstract elements in language…are rooted in judgment” (328) one can see how abstraction is the final stage of language resulting from the Fall.

In man’s attempt to expel abstraction from language an element of specific word formed. Benjamin recalls the melancholy of the linguistic being and it’s relation to language: “The overprecision that obtains in the tragic relationship between the languages of human speakers” (330). What happened is man used over-naming to define the self and in doing that defined all else in his own liking. When Benjamin speaks of the language of the arts (sculpture, painting, poetry), does he mean the language associated with the action of these arts or of the language that envelops the essence of these arts? He opens up the concept of spheres of language, which it self is abstract. Man attempted to grasp artistic forms and functions through the language of specificity but that essentially removed art from its nature and its own communication with the world of thought.

Benjamin says, “Man communicates himself to God through name” (331) but man named the nameless again and again until the meaning of the things have been divided and have become incommunicable. Does Benjamin bring to light his notion that language is incomplete and inexpressible because of man’s Fall from pure knowledge so the reader is merely aware of this state of loss, or is his reflection an attempt to further boost the spirituality of language? One could argue either but the result would most likely be that the two reasons coexistent.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Map of Online Communities

Geert Lovink: 10.25.10 Guest Speaker

I'm pretty excited about the speaker tonight, he's written a number of books that extrapolate on different aspects of the internet and networking. These are his books:

Zero Comments — Blogging and Critical Internet Culture (Routledge, 2007) In Zero Comments Geert Lovink upgrades worn-out concepts and inquires the latest Web 2.0 hype around blogs, wikis and social network sites. In this third volume of his studies into critical Internet culture, Lovink develops a ‘general theory of blogging.

Uncanny Networks — Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia (MIT Press, 2002), a collection of interviews with new media artists, theorists and critics from East and West-Europe, USA and Asia who reflect on their concepts and practices. It provides a critical context of ideas, networks and artworks that have shaped the past decade.

My First Recession — Critical Internet Culture in Transition (V2-NAi, 2003, translated in Italian), contains essays on Internet theory, dotcom literature, the issue of moderation, lists, blogs and open publishing and case studies of three list communities: Syndicate (Deep Europe), Xchange (streaming media) and Oekonux (GPL society debate).

The Principle of Notworking — Concepts in Critical Internet Culture (AUP, 2005), inaugural speech at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, february 2005, with three chapters on multitude, network and culture, the theory of free cooperation and the dawn of the organized networks. This booklet can be download here as a pdf (2.2 MB).

Dark Fiber – Tracking Critical Internet Culture (MIT Press, 2002, translated in German, Italian, Spanish, Romanian and Japanese) brings together texts about new media culture worldwide, with essays on The Digital City Amsterdam and nettime, data dandyism, tactical media strategies and early critiques of dotcommania.

I'll be purchasing Zero Comments and Dark Fiber

You can also check out his blog: net critique

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Media's affect on Politics

During Understanding Media Studies class on Monday October 18th, Dr. Christiane Paul gave a presentation on Media Art Politics. Specifically how new media art creates interventions between nation-state relationships with the common person, in regards to economic, political, and cultural conditions. Each art work involves one or more aspects of aesthetics, wreckage, counter-measures, intersections, agency and reconstruction, which results in the disturbance, reflection, or action in the world.

One student questioned whether the innovative media technology used in the projects have had direct affects on politics, specifically if the "common" artist or artist group has changed the political system or if there have been any legal ramifications due to the projects mentioned in the presentation. (Here's an interview with Dr. Paul about some of the projects from the presentation.)

Dr. Paul's answer said that new media art falls in a legal grey area and that the projects she presented do in fact create commentary about people's access to government information. She said that no one project has had a direct affect on politics but many of them, collectively, have created buzz in the system. I found an article on Mashable/Social Media that discusses the use of new media in this is a case where politicians have introduced the use of social media to win elections/spread their message. It's not directly related to Dr. Paul's theory that a desired state of understanding can be implemented through new media, it more reflects on the influence of media on politics.

Follow the link:

Social Media: The New Battleground for Politics

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Meet my mediation with media

The purpose of this blog is simple. It's to be used as another resource for my Understanding Media Studies course at The New School. "Resource" really isn't the right word, I would say it's a new media forum for me to utilize as a means to post my assignments. Simple right? Yes. But I also think that's boring, so I'm going to also use this blog to promote interesting aspects of new media via videos, theories, graphics/designs, information about new art installations, media politics and links to just plain cool media stuff.

So with that, here's a video by Ze Frank that illustrates Procrastination, enjoy.