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thinkin

So. Based on the things that i’ve been reflecting on and things i’ve learned (and also haven’t learned). I’ve realized that I dont really vibe with the idea of a video based final project. My video editing skills are lackluster at best, and its hard to get a Solid Uninterrupted period of quiet and quiet to film when there are 5 people & also 2 beagles in the house. This reflection led me to really consider where and when i was really enjoying myself the most, and that was during photography and design week. I really enjoy taking photos, setting up the shot and photo editing (now that i’ve got more of a handle on it), and turning it into a story and connecting photos and all that jazz. So this post is definitely more photography/design based, but I’m excited about it!

So I’ve still got corona on the brain, as I’m sure is the case for many people, so i’ve got a couple plans that are based off of that. first! a comparison of before & during coronavirus. This is a little bit broad and based a little bit off of all the covid memes. I think it could be cool to collect photos of different people, my friends, family, maybe even find public figures, and compare appearences before & then now that its started to Get Real. I know many people who are dying or cutting their hair (i have big big plans to do so) and I think that has potential to be a poignant, or as least visually interesting, project to work on. The other or additional direction this project could take on is the state of the world in general before and mid corona. This part would be a little bit more difficult what with the shelter in place, but I’m sure I could make it work/maybe it will be lifted by the time finals roll around (wishful thinking, i know). So there’s that!

I’ve also always been a little intrigued by stop motion film making, i think its super cool, and shelter in place could be a really good time to try it out. This would combine the control-ability i like of photography with the fun cool motion of video, and I really have just always wanted to try it. As for themes, my initial thought is, again, something about coronavirus— maybe a progression thus far, maybe a psa about staying home, maybe a tips and tricks for being quarantined— but it could also be 80s pretty easily, maybe recreate an iconic film scene but stop motion and with supplies i have in my house, maybe do something with music artists or broadway, who knows! but yeah, im into the idea of stop motion film because I don’t really vibe with regular film (and i think the editing would be a tad easier?).

Okay i did mention in my first idea post that I wanted to try an 80s recipe gourmet makes style video. I am less eager to do a claire saffitz style video given everything i’ve said thus far, but i do love gourmet makes and cooking and baking. I could try a one shot “hands and pans” style video, where i don’t have to worry about shots and can just speed up the audio to where i need it to be, and/or, like i said originally, do a long-winded accompanying blog post explaining my long history with this dish. I just love claire saffitz and think it could be super fun.

Okay last and also least. I downloaded TikTok. And I want to start making TikToks. So even though i don’t like video editing. I want to try tiktok and see how hard it is. And I think that has the potential to be really cool, if i do some kind of series relating to either the 80s or coronavirus? Bonus points for me if i can hop onto trends & maybe even learn a few dances? But this would definitely need more fleshing out as a concept and some practice with the tiktok software. I just think a series of tiktoks could be fun and cool!

woo! -liz

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stop collaborate & listen

in which i combine the 10 step photograph challenge with a sound effect challenge! I had a really good time with the 10-step photo challenge, and although i didn’t do any of the “walk around and record the sounds of your day,” I really wanted to, so this is my compromise! Starting in my backyard, I took 10 steps at a time (mostly), and every 10 (ish) steps, I took a photo and recorded a sound on my phone. I tried to vary the sounds as much as possible, but despite the wind noise I think I did pretty well! So here’s the collage:

And heres the audio (the numbers on the collage correspond to the order!)

so a quick transcription:

1: a photo of some branches & audio of me shaking them

2: a photo of my backyard fence and audio of me tapping on it

3: a photo of a tree trunk & audio of me knocking on it

4: a close up of a ladder & audio of me running a stick across the grooves

5: my dogs behind our fence & audio of me rattling it

6: a molehill in the playground & audio of the wind and me walkin

7: a dandelion! & audio of me picking [dead/flowerless] stems

8: my shadow & audio of me picking up and flinging mulch

9: my view while swinging & audio of me swinging

10: this weird m-shaped jungle gym thing & audio of me climbing down it

so I chose to mix these two assignments because I had A Ton of fun with the 10 step photo challenge the first time I did it & wanted to do it again, but also wanted to do one of those “found sounds” type projects, so i COMBINED the two! I’m super happy with the result. I think it would be really cool as some kind of slideshow/video, with the photos appearing and switching as the sounds change. I just really like photography and want to do more of it. I wish it was less windy out, so that the sounds were more clear, but that was out of my control. If i were to do this again i think i would try to be a little bit more creative with my sounds, but there were a lot of loud buzzy bugs out and i was kind of afraid. overall 10/10 recommend tho!

:D, -liz

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let me tell you a story

or some concepts of one, at least.

So. Idea one! I’m thinking playbill comparison, like, from a design perspective, which would be Very Research Based but like, I could make it a story. So I’m thinking either compare playbills of different eighties shows to each other, or maybe compare the history of playbill design with shows that premiered in the eighties. So like, the initial Les Miserables playbill versus the current or latest Les Miserables playbill. Maybe culminate in using what I’ve learned to create a playbill of my own? Likely for a show that already exists, but mayhaps come up w one myself? Or at least a plot summary. So there’s that!

Image result for les mis opening playbill

Even though I (and I’m assuming everyone else as well) has been thinking A Lot about COVID-19, i do kind of want to pursue that as the basis for some kind of something. My current thought is maybe some kind of self-quarantine vlog, likely w attempts at humor (not laughing at the virus tho, more just havin fun n vibing despite it). Or mayhaps a collection of Things To Do, poster/psa-style. Depending on timing, meaning how much the world is still being affected by COVID-19 at the various Project Times, it also could be interesting or worthwhile to focus on the virus itself, be that public health and safety tips, be that the “history” of the virus over the past few month, or Something Else. So there’s that!

Next hot take. 80’s RECIPES. So as of a few days ago, UMW is not going back to campus this semester. I, like many— i dare say most— students are Very Sad about this. However, making the best of being stuck in my house, I think it could be fun to try and either make popular 80’s foods/recipes, or pull a claire saffitz and make [although likely not “gourmet”] versions of popular store bought food & then do one of those fun Super Long Essay Backstory blog posts with the recipe at The Very End. Or maybe go full Claire Saffitz and turn it into a video? probably both!

Bon Appetit Jazz Hands GIF by Ashley
ik this isnt claire but its the best i could do

Okay last but not least, and this is vague as heck, but like, a comparison between the 80s and the now. This stems from I have seen Quite a few posts/places/people on The Internet comparing Coronavirus to AIDS. I want to check out a) the strength of this connection; how similar are they, & b) are there any other Very Similar Happenings in the 80s. I’m sure there were because personhood and humanity as a whole is the same now as it was 40 [o my] years ago, but like. Could be interesting. & thats that, a few ideas for Longer, Bigger Projects to do.

Be kind to each other, -liz

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be quarantined, do crime

a reflection on the ds106 radio shows! I listened on Wednesday, which was 80’s crime and Social Media: an 80’s Rewrite. These were both really really well made, and super interesting topics that were quite conducive to being in a radio show format. The crime one was incredibly well-put together, with real interviews of the people being discussed added into the student speaking, I was super impressed with that. True crime is as fascinating as it is horrifying, so hearing about the big ones of the 80’s was really cool. I also heavy appreciated the “Whats your damage” line because [intentionally or not] it made me think of Heathers, and I l o v e Heathers. Additionally, I, a couple months ago, was on a true crime media binge, the most recent of which being a, somewhat dramatized, documentary about Jeffrey Dahmer, so being able to compare what each piece brought up about Dahmer was super interesting. The other show on Wednesday was Social Media: an 80’s Rewrite. This show was super cool because I’ve recently become a little bit obsessed with how social media shapes our world and affects our LIFE [and also how memes do that but thats less relevant] so this was a g r e a t show. The points about how fast the media cycle is thanks to social media were so valid, the media coverage of the nuclear meltdowns would have been huge, and the backlash for attempting to cover it up even bigger. Although this wasn’t discussed at length, the show got me thinking about what exactly would have been meme-ed in the 80’s, and then about the present and how our memes are going to be studied in the future as history [especially the coronavirus ones]. Additionally, the format of this show stuck out to me, I really liked the way they had a host who responded to each caller; it really helped with the cohesiveness of the show. Overall, I’m s u p e r impressed with the quality of the radio shows, and of the ads and bumpers, which were utterly fantastic and I can’t believe I forgot about them until this very moment but they were amazing and super high quality. The shows were super well-made and fun to listen to, and of course I do Love to live tweet!

wash your hands, -liz

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The Eighties Through Spacetime!

Wow, shes finished! What a wild ride! My group’s radio show, The Eighties Through Space-time, focused on how the eighties as a decade are perceived at different points in human history, is finally complete! Overall, i’m really really happy with how it turned out. I have loved our concept from the start, so seeing it all come together firsthand (for I did the final editing of everything together) was positively delightful! I think we made a really funky fresh interesting show and I can’t wait to hear it on air!

Ill start with the positives. I really enjoyed talking about 1984, thats no shocker. It allowed me to do some deeper thinking (think like in an english class) but on my own terms and with my own boundaries and how I wanted to, which was amazing. I love reading, and I never thought I would miss Socratic Seminars, yet there I was, ITCHING to talk about 1984 by George Orwell. So this was a really good way to scratch that itch! I also really enjoyed listening to the segments of my group members, even though I wasn’t really familiar with any of the medias being discussed, they all did an amazing job of giving a plot overview so that people who weren’t familiar could understand. I also really liked trying to tie everything together in the conclusion. It was so cool seeing things from such different time periods connect, makes my little nerd heart happy.

However, not all sunshine. My time management this week was through the floor, so although the final radio show was posted on spotify before midnight, all of my blog posts are going up after midnight. Unfortunately. Additionally, after getting kicked off of campus, I had to fight with the generally Bad wifi in my room, disconnecting and reconnecting and disconnecting and reconnecting and etc (until i got frustrated and moved downstairs). Additionally, I ended up having to all my recoding at home, so in all of my pieces there’s either a weird background noise, or my voice sounds Kind Of Odd the entire time:(. But really, overall, i couldn’t be happier with the end result, and the process was a lot of fun, 10/10!

make a wish -liz

important ps: i totally just posted this without the soundcloud embedded so i just edited the post and added it. oh my. im doing my best and i suppose thats what matters. so uhh, im gonna go take a NAP.

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reflection time baybee

week one of radio show fun is over and done! I’m super excited to get writing and recording everything, because i’m really happy with our groups concept. We decided to go with an analysation of media that was created in different time periods, but all of which are set in the 80s. which gives me an excuse to talk about 1984 by George Orwell, which is THRILLING. I read 1984 one time and go absolutely bonkers. Overall, im pretty happy with our progress this week. We settled on an overarching theme, and each of us has our specific piece chosen. Although i’m happy with our concept, i am a little bit worried on making sure it seems like a cohesive radio show. We are planning on fighting this with consistent music and a STELLAR introduction and conclusion, but its something we are going to have to be very careful in planning and watching out for. As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to be talking about George Orwell’s perception of the eighties, which I’m almost certain is going to be ridiculously different from all of the other perceptions, for Orwell was mad pressed about totalitarianism and the growth of technology stripping the rights of man away. But it will certainly make for an Interesting comparison! As for the plans for next week, we’re gonna keep working mostly individually, with intermittent updates on progress & theme work so that we can start on that aforementioned stellar conclusion. I have high high hopes for our radio show, and i’m Certain we will deliver!

go team! -liz

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big brother is watching you

hey hey homies! so my group’s radio show is entitled “The Eighties Through Space-Time”, and the plan is to take & analyze different piece of pop culture created during a different decade but set in the eighties. My piece is the novel 1984 by George Orwell. For advertising purposes, we have decided to each theme our specific advertisement around whatever piece of media we will be discussing for our portion of the show & then making sure to incorporate the title of the show for branding and cohesivity purposes. I am Super Pleased with how my advertisement turned out, its a little bit chaotic, but in a funky interesting way that makes it cool to look at but not too confusing (at least thats what i think)

one of the things i really liked about making this assignment was embracing my inner totalitarian propaganda minister. It was an interesting change from my usual modus operandi of Cute, Colorful, and Pretty.

I created this poster in Canva, which I’ve used before and is very user-friendly, so definitely recommend. Originally, i wasn’t going to add the white text, but the poster felt a little blank & my inner propagandist was feeling it. I really like the way the two fonts play off of each other, and also how the white text is still readable and interesting, but is clearly secondary to the black text, which holds the Important Information. I’m also very proud of myself for the heavy contrast of connotation between my “big brother is watching” and my plug for the show (where the title is revealed). Overall, this was a really fun poster to make & its got me super excited to keep working on the radio show!

make sure to tune in! -liz

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[regular] design is THEIR passion

the design blitz bby! so the first design element i was able to find was color, which I found in one of the dorms on campus that was advertising and giving info about housing selection on campus.

I really like the way the background is in black and white. I think it allows for there to be some interest in the background, as opposed to a plain black or white background, while still not overwhelming and making chaotic the poster. Similarly, the red for the Important Information was a really good choice on the part of the designers because it really Pops out and draws attention to the entire point of the poster! Overall just a really good and smart use of color, it works very well with the purpose of the poster and I actually really like looking at it, which is Ideal for a design!

The next element I found was on the UMW Step Team’s advertisement for their show this weekend, and I think it speaks well to the importance of minimalism.

& I’m not at all trying to harsh on the step team, theyre mad talented and I wish I could go to the performance, but the poster is a little bit chaotic. Although normally i’m all for chaos, but in this case it really detracts from the purpose of the advertisement, i cant read any of the information without squinting and looking really hard at the poster, which is unideal for an advertisement mid-campus walk. I think maybe shrinking the background graphic so that it doesn’t overlap with the words, or maybe adding blocks of color so that the words have something solid to reflect off of, could help with the issues here, but I’m sure there are a ton of different resolutions.

Next up was symmetry, which I found on my yogurt!

this is SUCH good design, i’m kind of in love with the yogurt packaging. The way its symmetrical on both sides of the words, but with the two different fruits, is brilliant and makes it really fun to look at! Additionally, the centered-ness of all the writing helps to emphasize the symmetry A Lot, and its just overall such a Good Take. I think the symmetry and also just overall calmness of the packaging really helps this brand stand out in the yogurt aisle, which is very funky fresh of them.

Image preview

and finally, typography! found this on my way to Giant, and I just Really Really like the typography in it! it seems to be just one font, but the different sizes and colors makes it seem like a bunch of fonts (while staying really cohesive). Additionally, the formatting of the type keeps the flyer interesting even without any sort of photo or visual stimulus. also, sorry for the Really Poor photo quality, that was the best I could do.

keep it _exy, liz

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graphic design is my passion

so the general vibe that i got from the readings and articles & my minor rabbit-holing is that less tends to be more, and that good designs tends to be somewhat timeless. And I understand this and the appeals of this, especially for brands trying to build brand recognition, but it kind of goes against the everything about me. my personal style & aesthetic tends to be pretty “throw A Lot of things together and have enough confidence to make it work” I like colorful things, i like patterns (i’ve even started to appreciate a little pattern mixing here and there), and there’s very little about me and the things i create that shoot for “simple” or “timeless”. i like stuff. the way i speak and the songs i listen to vary by the month, sometimes even by the week. and although all of this is not explicitly design related, it all feeds into my being and thus into my approach to design. All this said, i certainly don’t completely reject all of the tips that i’ve learned, because i recognize that some of my attempts at design are, in a word, bad. my desire for stuff and interest and much often does not translate well into designing things. As the brainpickings article put it “complexity has to be very carefully managed or it becomes chaos”. I go for complexity, and end up with chaos.

Thus, i really like the tips concerning how to make a design interesting without going crazy going stupid, like using negative &/or white space. the font rules were interesting to read about too, the sizing guidelines and the idea that its less about finding the exact perfect font and more about making the font work for your purposes using formatting and all that fun stuff. Additionally, i like how chaos and asymetricality are not completely written off as Bad Design, and are recognized to have a time & a place & that they can be useful and good when used well and correctly.

like I said earlier, i do recognize the importance of timelessness for brand designs & brand recognition, but I kind of don’t see why its as necessary for all other types of design//for design as a whole (as it is implied to be in the Vignelli booklet). why not go with the current fashions or with funky new ideas and cool things. what really made me Feel Contrarian to the point of timelessness was the push to use primary shapes and primary colors. that plus the use of first person plural made it feel very much like the author was telling what to think which I Do Not Appreciate. I also might be letting my passion for things and much get the best of me, but restricting myself to the colors red yellow and blue and a square (even though thats a hyperbole) seems neither efficient for design purposes or any fun at all.

but maybe thats just me? -liz

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the disappearing lady!

tonights radio drama was a part urban legend part Anthropocene-ic investigation of a popular urban legend about a lady whose mother disappears from a hotel after having seen a doctor for some unknown illness. Not only was this a really interesting story, but the live-tweeting aspect of the radio show was super cool! I made a few Integral Contributions to the discussion like

and

however, it wasn’t all insightful contributions like these; I was, at many points between 830 and 930, quite confused, as illustrated by tweets such as this one!

In all seriousness, however, this was a really interesting and fun experience. Overall I really enjoyed hearing the different endings to the story and the implications and ins and outs of each one. I think it would have been even cooler if the narrator had been able to explore the female protagonist end of things. It was mentioned, but I’m Always Ready to hear more about ladies and their place/lack thereof in history. However, the anthropocene is also super interesting to me, like, the very concept is just Wild and Really Fun to explore. Tweeting along and interacting with my fellow ds106ers was so cool and i liked being able to bounce ideas and concepts off of one another. That being said, my personal contributions to the discussion were overwhelming more reactionary and invested in the story itself, rather than the aspects of its storytelling, which, although not horrific, is not ideal. Enfin, the disappearing woman and ds106 radio gets a 10/10 in my book!

retain your physical form! -liz