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Blogging and Art: Lauren DiCioccio

Lauren DiCioccio’s paintings replicate random pages in magazines and other publications of work; the words are replaced with small blocks of color so that an ordinary page becomes art. An entire page is replicated so that depending on the original article or image, Lauren’s pieces become dramatically different. They all display the different layout of a publication and it is somewhat easy to distinguish between the types of articles Lauren painted.  As we said in class, one looked like the credits from a movie or the front page of a magazine where the editors’ names go. Another looks like a magazine article, possibly with an interview (as evidenced by the highlighted block quote).

I think Lauren’s art can actually teach a lot about blogging. Despite Lauren using eye catching colors, the use of the colors is so prevalent that the eye is no longer attracted to certain words. Everything has color so that what catches your eye is the white space and the shape that the words (blocks of color) take in the paintings. It is no longer readable so what truly catches the attention is the format and the layout. Certain pieces are just massive blocks of colored dots. There is one piece in particular, called Vanity Fair MAY08 pg 269, that shows what was originally three columns of text. Nothing stands out, there are no pictures, no quotes, and the first letters of the paragraphs don’t stand out too much. There is no pause or break in the colored dots so it just becomes one big image and your eye isn’t drawn to any specific place. This becomes more clear when compared to another piece of hers (the eighth one shown in the slideshow). The format of this piece is much more attention-grabbing because it utilizes its white space and its layout in a pleasing way; a picture begins the article, there are three small columns of text, a giant quote in the middle of the page and three more small columns of text underneath. When a new part in the article begins, the first letter of that paragraph is big and immediately discernible.

By studying Lauren’s paintings, it would be much easier to find the kind of blog layout that you want for a blog. You could study each one and see where your eye is immediately drawn and then you could try to replicate that on your blog layout. Obviously, layout depends on what kind of blog you are running but her paintings are still rather useful if you are going to be using mostly words or if you will occasionally post pictures to accompany your words.

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Nude Media; Origins and Context

Nude media, the articles explains, is when something is stripped of all it’s context, all the original information it was first published with. This refers to pictures, captions, quotes, and formatting. The article shows just how different things can be stripped of their original meaning. It showed the difference between printed/published works and works that may appear online. If someone cuts and pastes something online, a certain quote might be spread around to represent something completely different from what it was originally meant for.

I never actually gave any thought to the way information is spread across the internet. It never occurred to me that information could be so butchered and I never thought that articles might have context. The example was really excellent; the newspaper article on Tony Curtis seems more legitimate and holds a certain credibility that the online source loses when it attempts to go for a simpler/easier read. The article further loses credibility when it is e-mailed to another person. It loses it’s original font and formatting and it becomes increasingly easier to take out of context. People could easily mess up the original message by only sending a portion of the article or  and the writer of Nude Media makes a great point when he states that it’s essentially like a big game of Telephone. It gives new meaning to the common saying that you can’t believe anything on the internet.

It certainly makes me think more on the “facts” and stories I see on various websites. The article also makes me aware that I’ve probably seen many nude media sources of information. Tumblr is a great example of Nude media. Everyday, there are pictures or comics that have meanings and lessons to them but they will never be interpreted correctly because the original poster’s comments get deleted. Other times, a fact or piece of information is posted with a sometimes irrelevant opinion which ends up changing the context of the fact. This information is reblogged countless times and the false. assumed information is spread to others.

Overall, after learning about Nude Media, I think Creative Commons is even more important and useful now. With Creative Commons, people who posted something that wasn’t theirs, they would be required to put a link or an acknowledgement back to the original poster. This wouldn’t get rid of Nude Media but it would at least help combat the issue and it would provide a reliable source for context.

Creative Commons

It’s important to use Creative Commons so that you don’t get sued. It’s also important for the original contributors/makers/artists; if they put their art up and other people are reposting it, it gets hard to know who it actually belongs to and in this way, the original source may lose their rights to whatever they posted. People could change it or just blatantly take it and make a profit off of it and that’s not fair to the person who actually made it in the first place.

I think that as a creator, using Creative Commons is great; your work is monitored and respected (ideally) and you hold the rights to whatever you created.

As a user, however, I don’t think its very useful. I mean, the website is useful because it helps people avoid being sued or having to pay compensation to someone for using something without permission. But I don’t think the concept of Creative Commons laws are very useful because they aren’t enforced and they aren’t well known to the general public. I think that if you are putting it on the internet, you know that people are going to see it and share it because that’s the whole purpose of the internet in the first place. If no one ever shared anything, nothing on the internet would even be as popular as it is.

I think there needs to be some kind of differentiation between something that is created for commercial purposes or perhaps, that is intended to make a profit and something that is created strictly for attention/entertainment. I honestly don’t see the purpose of even putting something on the internet if you don’t want people to share it. If you told them not to put it on the internet, most people would reply “but the internet will reach a higher number of potential customers.” And it’s absolutely true. But the REASON isn’t that everyone on the internet is flocking to one store/person’s website. It’s because a small percentage of people saw something they liked and decided to share it, garnering a bigger audience. And maybe some didn’t attribute what they shared- they can be reprimanded. But people who let viewers know where to find something shouldn’t be penalized because in my opinion, that’s exactly what the original poster wanted in the first place.

I just think that the internet is an entity all it’s own and I don’t think it’s possible or even logical to try to restrict the sharing of information. As previously stated, if you are trying to make a living off of something you created or if you created something with the hopes of making some kind of profit, it is understandable. But things like this that are copyrighted should have something attached to them (?? I don’t really know how the internet works lol) that does not allow them to be copied or shared or reposted in the first place if it is that important.

How the Internet Created an Age of Rage (Response)

In his article, Tim Adams discusses what trolling involves and what mentality trolls have because of anonymity and a general lack of rules online. Because of a perceived “mask,” people comment and post rude comments or make threatening remarks to individuals. People no longer feel the need to adhere to social normsl; Adam calls it “deindividuation.” Some troll for reactions and others do it because they are angry people. It has become a much bigger issue, however, with the emergence of comment sections on most entertainment news providing sites.

trollI don’t think trolling is as serious as people make it out to be. Yes, trolling is bad; it’s annoying, inconvenient, and generally unhelpful and irrelevant. The last word is important however: irrelevant. At the end of the day, people can ignore trolls and go on with their lives, just like a person walks by strangers every day. There are so many people and so many comments that it is not necessary to give them the time of day. Perhaps that seems a bit lax but this is because I don’t consider people who use explicit/violent language to be trollers. I consider this to be harassment. I think there’s ultimately a huge difference between saying “you suck!” and “I will come to your house and slaughter you and your family.”

Unfortunately, whatever it’s considered, there’s no real way to stop it without censoring, something that people seem to shy away from as though the rule “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” isn’t still great advice. Anonymity is something that should be permitted. So many things have stigma attached to them that it benefits all to be able to hide behind a username at some point in their lives. Not only that, but not everyone believes it is necessary to have an account for every website just so that they can provide insight. It would be unfair to people who genuinely want to contribute but who feel they can’t because they can’t remain anonymous.

I don’t believe anything needs full censorship. I think the most anyone can hope to do is moderate. I believe people should be able to express themselves and their opinions, whether it be positive or negative. That being said, people can still express themselves and say what they want to say without excessive use of expletives or without the need to threaten bodily harm. And if it can’t be said, it’s because nothing was being said in the first place.

pokemonAn excellent example, if not a bit off-topic would be the game Pokémon. There used to be a time where players could nickname their Pokémon whatever they wanted. And I do mean WHATEVER. If they wanted to name it after a body part or after an expletive, they had full rights and they weren’t censored at all. It’s important to note that no one saw your Pokémon unless you were interacting through use of a (physical) link cable. In the year 2014, it is now possible that I, a 20 year old in New Jersey, can interact with a five year old playing Pokémon in Japan. Players can no longer name their Pokémon anything that they want. Curse words are not allowed, the word “kill” is not allowed, nothing negative or excessively violent is allowed. This is because gamemakers realized that as the internet gets larger and the world gets smaller, it is much easier to be exposed to all kinds of negativity. They have acted accordingly by moderating what can and cannot be said.

WordPress already employs this; in the settings for comments on our personal blogs, we are able to blacklist any words we do not want a commenter to be able to post. This needs to be adopted by more websites so that, for the most part, no one is censored, people can remain anonymous, and people can still contribute and express themselves and their opinions.