Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Philosophy Behind Honor

The convocation brought up a lot of issues for me about interventionism, and both the positives and negatives surrounding the topic. Overall, I felt like he tried to fit too many concepts into 70 minutes and just mentioning problems without really guiding us to a logical solution. There is merit to addressing specific issues, but there were just so many problems brought to our attention, and I felt like he was only halfway finished at the end of 70 minutes.

ANYWAY, as I was listening to his speech, I was struck by the excessive use of 'honor' without really defining what it is, and I think the same problem extends to the honor code here at Lawrence. What exactly does "The Honor Code" entail? We have this basic sense of conditions drilled into our head: don't cheat, don't lie, don't steal material from the internet, return lost items around campus. The general idea is follow the moral code of a virtuous person. Appiah's idea of honor is similar, except that he uses this sense of honor to judge the activities of non-Western nations, who potentially have a very different sense of which actions are honorable. The rightness and wrongness of those 'honorable' actions cannot actually be judged, by either the people who do the action, nor the people who perceive it to be harmful.

In light of this fact, how do we reach any conclusion?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My First Gallery

This whole project was very exciting. My book turned out really well, but I wish my thesis had been more clear, because on the surface it looks like I had several different topics; I was critiquing capitalism, making my photos look almost like pages in a magazine. Within that critique, I wanted to highlight how much value has been lost for so-called sacred ideas or people, like Confucius, and how we as a society are so focused on the past (like the drum or the Latest News container) yet we can't wait for the newest technology. I kind of wanted to communicate all of that, so I hope it was effective and everyone kind of understood what I was trying to get at. 

The print project was also very interesting, but less enjoyable and satisfactory than the book. My two prints, "Follow the Rules" and "$12.95 of Right" worked well together, and continued the critique of capitalism. 

This was my first time being part of a gallery opening, and I have to say it was pretty cool. Surprisingly little work went into setting it all up. It was fun, and I really enjoyed it!

Friday, February 20, 2015

To My Fellow Classmates...

[Transcript from my book The Beatles and McLuhan]

Lennon: The medium is the message, you see.

McLuhan: You know there's a hyphen in there, didn't you? Mess-age.

Lennon: No. And then it was massage last time I heard it.

McLuhan: And mass-age. Put the hyphens in and you have the real message.

Lennon: Yes. Yes, very good.

McLuhan: They, they were - it was always intended to have hyphens.

Lennon: Well, I just got the hang of medium is the message, and then somebody told me, "Oh no, it;s the medium is the massage."

McLuhan: And the mass age and the mess age.

Lennon: I gave in.

McLuhan: So, this is - you're trying to tidy up the message a bit.

Lennon: Yes, yes...

Ono: Yes.

Lennon: We're trying to get it over in three-letter words.

Monday, February 16, 2015


RETHINKING THE IDEA: This is how I would think a computer would breathe if we gave it life. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Photo Project

OKAY! I was unable to create a slideshow, but all of my photos are on flickr at this address:

I Have This Thing About Boxes

(That's the title)

There were a few different ideas going on in my head at the time that I was shooting, but the main theme is consumerism and more broadly capitalism. The order is important, because the first photo you see is of my friend looking at a box, and she said, "I have this thing about boxes", which I thought was such a telling example of how much our lives revolve around things that don't really have any meaning (like small ornate boxes).
Among that overarching theme, I also focused on an obsession for nostalgia that is present in American society. This is almost self reflexive in a way, because I also like to photograph old things--they're just usually more interesting to look at. In Mcluhan's book, he says "In the name of 'progress', our official culture is striving to force the new media to do the work of the old". Because we arrive at new technology so quickly, the old quickly becomes the stylish, and that's kind of what I wanted to capture with my photography.
On a few photos ("Dat Goddess Tho" and "Twinning Hardcore") I wanted to focus on how capitalism made holy things into commodities, like Confucius and Cleopatra. In the same store, I found a very large crystal, already out of place in a store in Appleton, Wisconsin, and to add to the bizarre nature of seeing a two by one foot crystal, it had this sign on it that said "Please Don't Touch, I am a fragile piece of nature" which is just utter bullshit. The people in the store took it out of some sort of natural habitat, probably touched it a lot, and then put this condescending sign on it for customers. Like we're going to disrupt the flow of nature more than they already have. What.
Yay, consumerism!