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-Ray

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Updates, Updates, Updates

Howdy Ya’ll,

So I just finished my fall quarter Photo Editor position at The Daily Northwestern. It was fun, but it was busy. To put it in perspective, I used the charticle format that appears in The Daily Northwestern .

By The Numbers:

550: Estimated hours worked (+/-25)
50: papers produced
20: most photos in one paper
12: Weeks worked
9: football games photographed
7: NU administrators asking for my photos (Henry, Burgie, Morty, Amy, Pat, Doug, and Chris,
1:minimum number of photos in every single paper

Some memorable photos:

1) Schapiro chilling outside of Lutkin in September
2) Sherrick McManis’ pick at Purdue that got him the nickname Pickmanis
3) John Legend performing at Welsh-Ryan arena.

Needless to say, it was crazy. I loved it, though. So now it’s over with, I’m going to start keeping up my website and my blog for all my countless readers out there.

Updates on the rest of my life:

I wrote a column.

In the next week, I have a one-day photo internship, should hear back from the Hearst people, the Boston Globe, and Washington Post about internships and awards. We’ll see what happens with all of that.

As one of the managers for the NU Women’s Basketball Team, I need to let the world know that we defeated #15 Depaul this Tuesday! It was a great win because Depaul went on a 16-0 run in the second half and we still won! Although it is early in this long season, it looks like we have a chance to be playing when it matters.

I still have my sights set on that 3.7 g.p.a., but we’ll have to wait until finals to see if I actually succeed. I ecstatic that it’s within reach after classes ended.

I’m having a journalism movie marathon over break. Shattered Glass, Good Night and Good Luck, The Pelican Brief, The Killing Fields, and All The President’s Men are my first five on my list.

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was great.

I’m thankful for every day that I have.

Until next time, Good Afternoon and Good Luck.

-Ray

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Busy bliss.

In the past six weeks, I haven’t updated my website or my blog. So much photography-related stuff has happened in the interim.

Chicago Magazine (specifically, Esther Kang) has given me really cool opportunities.

Photos:

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah

The Olympic Bid Announcement

olympics4.whitehouse.WEB

I’ve been working as The Daily Northwestern Photo Editor for about five weeks. The job has been pretty time-consuming. As photo editor, not only are you the editor, you are also the lead photographer. I don’t know why or how that happened, but it is the truth. I shoot and I edit. Recruiting has been an uphill battle, but it is starting to show some promise. I have to go with the newbies for their first couple of assignments until they are comfortable (and I am comfortable with them) shooting with a setup that costs $2000 or more. I really enjoy this job. Shooting and editing are fun. You meet someone or see something interesting almost every day.

Things I learned from Daily Photo:

1 Morton Schapiro is a great guy, especially if you like to talk sports. His three favorite teams are the Wildcats, Trojans, and Patriots.

2 Shandra Smith is a great fit for her new position of Director of African American Student Affairs. Her emphasis on good communication is going to make life easier for everyone involved.

3 Governor Pat Quinn likes the White Sox world series chances next year if Jake Peavy stays healthy. Coincidentally, he said this as he was walking to a town hall meeting on health care at the Holiday Club in Chicago.

4 Burgie Howard is a very respectful man. I respect him for that. His ability to converse with without talking at 18 year-old kids amazed me.

5 I have come to appreciate women’s sports so much more. Without trying to stir up too much of a gender argument, at the games I’ve photographed, the girls look as if they are trying so much harder than the boys. When I look through a telephoto lens and see a player’s face at 450mm film equivalent focal length, I can see the focus, determination and dedication in their eyes.

6 Roland Burris actually exists. With all of this corruption in Illinois, you can never be sure.

I eat, sleep, work, and I’m aiming for a 3.7 gpa. I’m playing club baseball and working as the manager for the Women’s Basketball Team once a week as well. Do you think I can do it? I do.

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The End of Books comments

For the NMR reading of my choice, I read The End of Books on page 707.

The End of Books is an article written in The New York Times in 1992 by Robert Coover. He discusses the increased visibility of hypertext and then analyzes what other people say about the implications of more visibility. There are two things he discusses in the article that in my opinion are blog-worthy.

First, he says that some people think printed books will probably die out because of their environmental impact and ability to be read on a computer. In other words, a machine capable of recreating pages of a book on a screen with the capability to accommodate hypertext is much more efficient device than a book. Although he claim to not be an expert on hypertext, he disagrees with this assessment. In his defense of his view, he quotes Carolyn Guyer and Martha Petry.

They say ‘the difference between reading hyperfiction and reading traditional printed fiction may be the difference between sailing the islands and standing on the dock watching the sea. One is not necessarily better than the other.’

I really agree with this idea, especially when it comes to applying to new media art. One art form isn’t better than another. I believe that certain art forms will not die out even though they are outdated because of exactly what Petry and Guyer are referring to: new technology doesn’t have the same effect of art as it does on something like science.

The second noteworthy point in this article is the assessment that hypertext is the third great event in the history of literacy. This assessment at first seemed controversial, but the more I thought about it, it made sense. Hypertext is redefining how you consume information. Whether it be something relevant to this class, like art, or something like fiction, hypertext’s seemingly limitlessness possibilities are a major change in the society with implications as big as Gutenburg’s moveable type.

Link to the original article.
It’s the first link.

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Strange Culture Documentary Comments

Strange Culture Cover
Strange Culture was a very powerful and relevant documentary about bio-tech artist Steve Kurtz. It was relevant to our class because of Kurtz’s involvement with bio-tech art and Critical Art Ensemble. The film was powerful because of the creative storytelling of Lynn Hershman Leeson and the acting by Tilda Swinton and Thomas Jay Ryan. The stroy they told was phenomenal because it seemed to accurately re-create the events that unfolded without breaking the law for disclosure of details from an active case. Leeson let the audience know that Swinton and Ryan were acting, yet also made it clear that their actions were accurate representations of what actually occurred.

As I watched this movie, I was dumbfounded by the government’s interactions with Kurtz and how ludicrous their claims were. It gave me a new perspective on the paranoia level of the government in the post 9/11 era. The segment of the movie that discussed how the FBI investigator thought it was relevant that there were Arabic writings on an invitation to Kurtz in his house is a example of how paranoid the government was. Another poignant example of how absurdly paranoid the government was is that although Kurtz did not break any law by buying the chemicals, he was charged with a crime based on that purchase and his quirky behaviors, like tin-foiling his windows.

The aspect of the movie that really affected me was the analysis of what would happen if Kurtz had been convicted for bioterrorism. United States citizens’ civil rights would be significantly curtailed. Thank god he wasn’t convicted.

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Final Project Abstract

My final paper will be on Edunia. Edunia is a petunia with DNA of Eduardo Kac in it. The flower challenges the distinction between a plant and an animal. Although the plant doesn’t look any different, the genetic composition of this plant distinguishes it from every plant in history. Kac considers himself a part of the flower and vice versa. The technology used to do this is really complicated and I haven’t fully understood it. The basic idea, however, is that Kac inserted some of DNA into the existing DNA structure of the petunia.

For a little more information and a picture, please see my earlier post about Edunia:


Edunia

Also, check out Eduardo Kac’s website about Edunia.

Whitehouse

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Critical Art Ensemble Comments

The project that I enjoyed most from CAE was tactical. I enjoyed it because of the extent that these pieces attempted to criticize something. For example, in the ‘Useless Technology’ ad, there was this false veneer of sincerity because of the flowery word choice. This false sincerity was so ironic and in turn critical.

The project that was most controversial to me was the ‘Flesh Machine’. This Bio-Tech art piece was similar to the ‘Useless’ ad in that it gave people who interact it an idea of what biases the creators have. In this example, the piece gave off the impression that it was informing people of new technology that would help people in the future whereas in reality it hoped to instill “a more skeptical view of the utopian presentation.”

On the macro level, I think that these projects are well researched and effective in changing people’s views on certain issues or objects. However, some of these projects are so invasively interactive that I am a little bit turned off by them. The people who passed the donor screening test actually gave DNA to these people so that they could asses their DNA’s market value? That seems a little bit overboard to me, but maybe that’s the most effective way to get people’s attention.

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