April, 2009

Swine Flu: Aporkalypse or Map Maker’s Delight?

“Decorated Swine Flu Surgical Masks in Mexico,” photo essay via the UK’s Telegraph.

Sometimes I deny it, but really I am highly susceptible to panicking about some new illness, environmental toxin, or general germy news.  I’m also hugely susceptible to conspiracy theories and general distrust of media-induced panic.  As you can image, this has made being around me the past few days loads of fun.

Visual and Verbal Arts Around Town

As the weather gets nicer, and as the semester nears a close, [[NOTE: Yesterday was the final day of CCT Thesis presentations-- Congrats 2009 Thesisers!!]] it’s time to start thinking about productive and acceptable ways to blow off steam. Srsly!

The Crime of Sensational Media Coverage

It’s the classic conundrum of what comes first — the chicken or the egg? When it comes to media and its coverage of violence, the answer to that question is never quite clear. While I do not buy into the media simply mirrors society theory, it’s impossible to gauge just how much crime the media is responsible for perpetuating. When does coverage of crime become premature? Why can’t mainstream media resist the pressure to exaggerate violence through ‘trends’ that reinforce conservative fear mongering?

Has “‘shopped!” changed our expectations of photography?

I am growing increasingly addicted to the Photoshop Disasters blog, not because of its outrageous images, but because of the comments that follow every post. Often, the first few comments are by skeptics who either don’t see the disaster or who believe that, strange as it may seem, the disaster can be explained as a real-life phenomenon or a photography quirk, not a bad Photoshop job.

Wrapup: Change (in which Obama is only peripherally mentioned)

The end of the academic year is coming up fast, which means that, whether we’re graduating or not, we’re all wrapping up our courses and theses and thinking about whatever will come next. Outside of academia, change isn’t constrained by the class calendar, but things still seem particularly busy these days. Maybe it’s just spring.

Here at gnovis

Some Do’s and Don’ts for Thesis Writers Present and Future

One of the unfortunate side effects of writing a thesis is that you essentially vanish from campus – your non-thesis-writing peers don’t see much of you. The result? A lot of valuable information about the thesis writing process, information that could be shared from one year to the next, just gets discarded at the start of the summer. The following Do’s and Don’ts are my modest attempt to get around this problem, by sharing some of the things I’ve learned along the way.

Bringing the Music Back: MTV’s Experiment and Why the Music Video is Still Viable on TV

In an attempt to make the ‘M’ in its name mean something again, MTV announced the debut of AMTV, a six-hour block for music and advertising experimentation, slated to run from 3 to 9 a.m.- hence the name AMTV. From Monday through Thursday, AMTV will feature music videos, news, interviews and performances in hopes to become a little more reminiscent of its former self.

Photography: Experience Versus Expectation

I’m still six weeks or so away from my end-of-semester vacation to Budapest and I’ve already compiled a mental list of the must-haves. I’ll be packing a week’s worth of clothes, those 99-cent toiletries you find hidden in the back corner of a pharmacy, a few cynical books on media theory (yes, I read them for pleasure), my running sneaks, two iPods, a travel guide book, avocado flavored lip balm and, most, importantly, my camera. And all this got me thinking about the last few class discussions we’ve had in Mark Crispin Miller’s Media Criticism course.