Masters

Media Ecology: Is Technology Moral?

Neil Postman asks in his 1993 book ‘Technopoly: the surrender of culture to technology’ (Postman, 1993), is technology moral? As technology changes, the culture surrounding it and the way in which people use technology to communicate also changes. We are driven to participate in media through society, our western culture dictates that in order to stay connected with those around us, we must use the new technologies. The media environment that we exist in today defines the range of responses and actions that we take, the way we communicate with others and puts restrictions on the full human experience that we would have had prior to the digital revolution. Lance Strate suggests the following,

“As environments, media do not determine our actions, but they define the range of possible actions we can take, and facilitate certain actions while discouraging others.” (Strate, 2008)

His paper on ‘Studying media as media’ (Strate, 2008) delves into the study of media ecology focusing on Marshall McLuhan’s work in the book ‘The Medium is the Massage’ (McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q., & Agel, J, 1967). Media ecology is the study of media as media and McLuhan, Strate and Postman all point at the situation that as media and technology change, it is important that we are aware of how the medium (the technology) is altering the way in which we send and perceive the message it contains.

Technology is embedded in everyday life for most of us, access to the internet with customized information is available in our pockets and all around us. It would seem that the advancement of new technologies in entertainment, communication and connectivity is continually pushed forward for the sake of consumerism and financial gain without any thought into the social and human ways in which we have learnt to interact prior. Technology can shape the way we interact in a positive way by bringing people together geographically, giving rise to independently sharing ideas, events and concerns that would have previously been suppressed by old media and government control. This is seen directly for most people in the use of social media sites.

(https://fredcavazza.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/panorama-ms-20171.jpeg)

But in contrast, this new media environment is also growing unchecked and the overload of information, content created by all users in a convergence culture (Jenkins, 2008) is what Postman is suggesting could create a disconnection between using the technology and being used by the technology. Is technology being moral in developing ways and mediums of communicating media faster than we can make sense of the ethically right way of adapting to it?

“Whatever the consequences of the messages we send, it is the media we use that play the leading role in human affairs; it is our technologies that shape us individually and collectively. It may be true that a good part of what we call reality is a social construction, but the construction we end up with is not necessarily one that we intended to build.” (Strate, 2008)

In my lifetime since 1980, I have seen the rise of the personal computer and the connection of this to the network we call the internet. It has drastically changed and shaped the way we find and collate information, while much more is available with ease from my home, I have found less of a need to transcribe and collect my own thoughts on topics, rather relying on searching for others thoughts and research. In hindsight, it is clear to see where the moral and ethical consequences of the impact of media and technology on society have made mistakes and could be improved. The adaptation of new media and technology always seems to come first without the thought of its effects.

Neil Postman’s views on the effects of technology on culture (Postman, 1993) are drawn from a standpoint of creating the discussion around the topic. This awareness of the cultural impacts that technology has on us is perhaps the main trigger that is needed in order to make an ethical judgement on our use and interaction with new media. I don’t consider Postman’s views to be extreme, but rather an introduction to thinking before we leap into changing the way we communicate with each other. At the time it was introduced in the mid-early nineties, we were beginning to see the rise of the new internet SLIP/PPP protocols (PPP and SLIP protocols, 2017) that constantly connects our digital devices to a network that today spans the globe. Postman’s metaphor at the time was relevant to the change from written and oral communication to print and TV, but its even more important in today’s culture as digital mediums slowly reform all forms of print, written, oral and video media. In this video, he discusses his book and defines what he refers to as technology.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbAPtGYiRvg)

Strate suggested that McLuhan’s goals were to communicate that we should take care in paying attention to the medium, as it can direct the ways in which we live our lives.

“McLuhan’s goal was the liberation of the human mind and spirit from its subjugation to symbol systems, media, and technologies. This can only begin with a call to pay attention to the medium, because it is the medium that has the greatest impact on human affairs, not the specific messages we send or receive. It is the symbolic form that is most significant, not the content. It is the technology that matters the most, its nature and its structure, and not our intentions. It is the materials that we work with, and the methods we use to work with them, that have the most to do with the final outcome of our labors.” (Strate, 2008)

The discussion and study of media as media, media ecology is an important step to deciphering the paths and methods of adapting to the new media technologies. While not all new technologies are considered useful to our lives, change in technologies and the ways in which they integrate into our lives are inevitable. It is perhaps only after using and then considering what we have lost with new technologies, that it can become apparent the precautions that should have been taken. Each user has a choice to some extent to involve or not involve themselves in the changing media landscape, but failure to do so can result in being uninformed to the current situations and events. As new media technologies arise, it is important for users to change their habits and become more aware of how they themselves fit into the media environment and this awareness can help lead us to a more balanced media ecology.

 

References.

Postman, N. (1993). Technopoly: the surrender of culture to technology. New York: Vintage Books.

Lance Strate (2008), Studying Media AS Media: McLuhan and the Media Ecology Approach, MediaTropes eJournal Vol I (2008): 127–142

McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q., & Agel, J. (1967). The medium is the massage: an inventory of effects. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Jenkins, H. (2008). Convergence culture: where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press.

PPP and SLIP protocols. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2017, from http://ccm.net/contents/282-ppp-and-slip-protocols

B. (2009, October 19). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbAPtGYiRvg

 

Creative Statement – Guy Cooper

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AUD451 TET Distortion & Quantization Error

Guy Cooper Distortion TET.png

The sound used to analyze the quantization error created by the bit depth change was the preloaded full drum kit recording. The cymbal-heavy sections were difficult to determine the changes, but the lower frequency tom sections and quieter sections made it easy.

A sound with less audio content would make it easier to hear the quantization error. The dynamic range is 96.33dB at 16bit, 72.22dB at 12bit, 48.16dB at 8bit, 24.08dB at 4bit and 12.04dB at 2bit. (Smith, 2007)

Therefore it would be easy to determine the quantization error noise if you can aurally analyze the noise in the signal during sections with less audio content. (Corey, J. 2010)

The quantization error is more noticeable in the higher frequencies due to the larger and changes in level per sample. Sounds with lots of high-frequency content such as cymbals would make it harder to hear the noise created by the quantization error due to masking.

“Critical bands are important in many audio disciplines. For example, codecs such as AAC, MP3, and WMA are based on the principle of masking. A tone (a music signal) will mask quantization noise that lies within a critical band centred at the tone’s frequency. However, if the noise extends outside the critical band, it will not be masked by the tone. One critical band is defined as having a width of 1 bark (named after German physicist Heinrich Barkhausen).” (Everest, F. A., & Pohlmann, K. C. 2015)

References
Smith, J. (2007). “Pulse Code Modulation (PCM)”. Mathematics of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) with Audio Applications, Second Edition, online book.

Corey, J. (2010). Audio production and critical listening: Technical ear training. Burlington, MA: Focal Press.

Everest, F. A., & Pohlmann, K. C. (2015). The master handbook of acoustics. New York: McGraw-Hill.

AUD451.1 Delay & Reflections

Guy Cooper Delay Lvl 1Guy Cooper Delay Lvl 2

Sound reflections from surfaces blend with and affect our perception of the direct sound in differing ways depending on the delay time, directional angle and level. The result of these reflections is how we analyse the environmental acoustics of closed spaces. Understanding how the impulse response is used in acoustic reverberation analysis prompted me to use a similar sound source for delay exercise. The sound source used in the above technical ear training exercise was a single snare drum hit due to its strong attack transient, making it easier to identify the delay time by ear.

Delays over 30ms are also more easily identifiable as echo’s by the ear and therefore the delay time is more easily identifiable using impulse sounds with a strong attack transient that have an initial duration of 5-15ms such as a snare drum or click.

The experiments indicate that the localization of impulsive sounds, with strong attack transients, is independent of the room reverberation time, though it may depend upon the room geometry. For sounds without attack transients, localization improves monotonically with the spectral density of the source. Localization of continuous broadband noise does depend upon room reverberation time, and we propose the concept of direct signal to reverberant noise ratio to study that effect. (Hartmann, 1983)

Sounds without attack transients can make the delay time harder to hear, as the comparison of the sounds original source with the delayed sound is more difficult to identify. The resultant combined sound has a less defined repeat of the initial wave pattern and sound when analysed with the ear so the use of gradually increasing sounds such as cello would make it more difficult to hear the delay times in the exercise.

Environmental characteristics are determined by comparing our memory of the sound source’s timbre outside of the host environment to the sound source’s timbre within the host environment. We must go through this comparison process carefully, scanning the composite sound for information and then comparing that information with our previous experiences with the timbre of the sound source (at times considering how the source appeared within other environments). Differences in the spectrum and spectral envelope of the sound source we remember, and as heard in the host environment, form the basis for determining most environmental characteristics. (Moylan, 2014)

Utilising a source that I am familiar with also made it easier for me to identify the timbre change from the short delays. I am familiar with the snare sound used in the example from its production in this recent track and this has helped me to recognize the comb filtering effect and timbre change in the snare sample when combined with the delayed sound.

Hartmann, W. M. (1983). Localization of sound in rooms. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America,74(5), 1380-1391. doi:10.1121/1.390163

Moylan, W. (2014). The art of recording: understanding and crafting the mix (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Focal Press.

Harry, L, Campbell, I & Cooper, G. (2017, November 14). The Dash, Gold Coast: Human Records. Retrieved November 16th, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLV7tYXTdXY

Everest, F. A., & Pohlmann, K. C. (2015). The master handbook of acoustics. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Rindel, J.H. “Diffusion of Sound in Rooms – An Overview.” 15th ICA, Proceedings vol. 2, 633-636. Trondheim, 1995.

AUD451 wk1 Technical Ear Training (Compression)

Guy Cooper Attack Time

  • Attack Time
  • Detail the type of sound used and reflect on its suitability for training to hear that specific parameter (attack, release, and ratio).
    • The sample sound used was a raw snare top audio file, the short transient hit (approx 60ms) and also varied dynamic range allows for easy analysis of the attack time on the compressor.
  • What type of sound do you think would make the parameter easiest to hear?
    • Any sound with a defined transient attack and dynamics on the part would make it easier to hear the attack time as the input sound triggers the compressor threshold.
  • What type of sound do you think would make the parameter hardest to hear?
    • A sound that has a smooth attack and low dynamic range, such as a violin would make it more difficult to hear the attack time as the input sound triggers the threshold.

 

Guy Cooper Release Time

  • Release Time
  • Detail the type of sound used and reflect on its suitability for training to hear that specific parameter (attack, release, and ratio).
    • The sample sound used was a raw snare top audio file. The quick and repetitive drop off of the snare and the bleed of the cymbals made it easy to hear the gain reduction coming back in from the release time.
  • What type of sound do you think would make the parameter easiest to hear?
    • Any sound with a fast decay on the tail that passes below the threshold would make it easier to hear the release time as it transitions.
  • What type of sound do you think would make the parameter hardest to hear?
    • A sound that has a long slow decay would make it more difficult to hear the point at which the compressor release kick in.

 

Guy Cooper Ratio

  • Ratio
  • Detail the type of sound used and reflect on its suitability for training to hear that specific parameter (attack, release, and ratio).
    • The sample sound used was a raw snare top audio file. The changing timbre of the snare with compression and also the bleed in the mic made it suitable to hear the ratio changing.
  • What type of sound do you think would make the parameter easiest to hear?
    • A sound that has both quick transient hits, a noticeable dynamic range and also low-level background noise would make it easier to hear the ratio changing.
  • What type of sound do you think would make the parameter hardest to hear?
    • A sound that has a very small dynamic range and slow attack and decay would make it harder to hear the ratio.

 

CIM402.1 Community is a postmodern metanarrative & Do we consume media or decode it?

Community is a postmodern metanarrative

The show “Community” is built upon a typical US TV sitcom situation in which 7 unlikely students from a community college are drawn together into a study group that sets the scene for a repeating set of scenarios. From the outset the inclusion of a 7th member to the typical 6 person, 3 male, 3 female situation lends itself to the shows main focus Jeff, being left as the narrator or commentator of the situations which is where this show makes it first postmodern announcement. The pivotal character sets the tone of the show and allows for a sarcastic turn, starting to define a postmodern take on the usual sitcom situations that arise from the storyline.

The application of the term “meta” and the definition of the show as a postmodern metanarrative begins with the declaration that the show’s audience is educated enough to understand the concept of meta. The joke of the term “that’s so meta” takes on a sarcastic meaning in the show when applied to multiple mundane situations that the characters refer to as meta and in turn expresses an awareness of the term meta to the audience to get the joke. The term metanarrative is perhaps used in this situation to describe the standard base storylines of each episode, but then the ridiculous direction each of these easily predictable storylines take. The underlying storyline of each character as it progresses throughout the series takes on a developmental and different approach to the usual TV sitcom.

“They told very different over-arching stories of the progress of their research. Within each tradition, accounts of research depicted human characters emplotted in a story of (in the early stages) pioneering endeavor and (later) systematic puzzle-solving, variously embellished with scientific dramas, surprises and ‘twists in the plot’.” (“Storylines of research in diffusion of innovation: a meta-narrative approach to systematic review”, 2005)

The underlying storylines in the show Community are what provide this direction as a metanarrative. The narrative of the show is typical in its school location (‘Saved by the Bell’, ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ & ‘The Wonder Years’), but the bigger picture that the characters and storyline creates suggest a more relatable and connectable truth to the audience through their commentary on the situation, primarily through Jeff’s character. It suggests a drive towards the every city scenario of similar colleges and how these extreme sitcom scenarios are played out in less TV fashioned ways, but with similar experiences across the lives of college students.

The postmodernism of this show is only expressed in the following of typical US sitcom shows such as ‘Friends’ & ‘Roseanne’, Community is a giant postmodern joke on so many of the typical US sitcoms from the 90’s and 2000’s. Its sarcastic storylines and characters only work in the space of the post-sitcom scenario presented by these previous shows. Taking on situations that lend themselves to the typical scenario, but then applying a different direction and also running commentary on that scenario as it plays out in a less than usual fashion.

So the combination of the postmodern scenario and the metanarrative storylines in each episode and then in turn with the season progressions, the show itself becomes a joke and sets up its own demise as a series. Caught between being able to reset itself each season as a typical sitcom does and progressing to fill the metanarrative of the storylines, the show must come to an end and this in itself is discussed and commented on, also creating another postmodern take on the TV sitcom series.

Storylines of research in diffusion of innovation: a meta-narrative approach to systematic review. (2005, January 26). Retrieved October 25, 2017, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953604006471

Sheehan, Helena and Sweeney, Sheamus (2009) The wire and the world: narrative and metanarrative. Jump Cut, 51 (Spring 2009). ISSN 0146-5546

 

Do we consume media or decode it?

In Stuart Hall’s ‘ENCODING / DECODING’ he talks about how “reality exists outside of language, but we constantly mediated by and through language. What we know and say has to be produced through discourse.” The consumption of media is a misuse of the term consumption, media doesn’t become used up when we consume it, we take it in and although we pass it out, it isn’t consumed and it doesn’t go away. What we get out of it is related however to our perspective on how we view it. Entertainment media is typically used to distract and fill the void of time and thinking for most people, but even when we are just watching, we are still decoding the media we consume. The content affects us and changes our subconscious beliefs of what is possible and makes us think or at the very least believe that what we are seeing or hearing is possible.

The aspect of if we believe the media we are seeing or if we reject its content as possible is itself a form of decoding, we are not just consuming the content, but constantly processing its validity and meaning. Its meaning may not be obvious, but even when we think we are simply being entertained by color, light, and sound, it is being processed by our brains to serve a purpose to us. That purpose may be unconscious, but we are constantly taking in the world around us and when we view media, entertainment, informative or otherwise, we are still decoding its meaning or processing the images and sound for decoding at a later stage.

It is perhaps not just the delivery or distribution of the media that changes our thoughts, but our interaction with the media as we reproduce it to our friends, peers and even our own selves in dreams or unconscious thoughts that allows this decoding. Not thinking at all about the media we consume is a difficult line to take, switching off completely with sound and images coming into our senses is not possible as we have been wired to be aware of our senses for survival. Some forms of true meditation can occur when our subconscious is let to flow, even in the presence of auditory and visual stimulation, but that conscious flow of thoughts is still relying on the decoding of the world around us to put itself in the place of physical safety.

When we take in media, we are always decoding it. Though it may not be thoughtful and meaningful analysis, it is still being processed and affecting our sense of reality. We usually put ourselves and the media in its context before and while consuming and this can define how much we are aware of the media and how much we can choose to ignore its true meaning. Popular entertainment, when considered and believed to be simply for entertainment purposes, is perhaps not given the same gravity as news media when we consume it, but it is affecting our vocabulary and discourse with the world when we view it. Simply not decoding and only consuming is not an option for a functioning conscious human brain.

The Bjork – CIM405.1 Case Study – Creative Practitioner

Icelandic musician and visual artist Bjork was asked “What drives you ? what makes you creative ?” in an interview by Herman Vaske in 2002 on a TV series called “Why are you Creative?” (Vaske, H. 2002. YouTube) and her response was that she doesn’t see herself as any different from anyone else creatively. She uses the example of her family, whom make fireplaces and are electricians, they are obsessed with what they do like her, but they are not considered creative socially. In the interview Bjork says that she works hard at being creative and in turn being a creative practitioner, she does not take holidays and works on her art 24/7. Bjork’s process is natural for her, singing is something she has always done and for her it started as a child singing on her walk to school, interacting with the environment around her. Using the natural beauty of Iceland and the open space to fill it with her voice. This is her creative process, allowing whatever she see’s and feels around her to channel her creativity. She then expresses it in her own unique way using technology and striking, bold adaptations.

Picture1
Figure 1 Bjork in the MoMA-commissioned video for Black Lake, directed by Andrew Thomas Huang.

In that same interview, Bjork also spoke more about creativity and said,

“For me, maybe I’m not so concerned about if it’s creative or not because it’s a funny word. Maybe because I’m brought up with a working-class situation, and with the people I admire the most, my grandmother, my family, if you were to look at their passport, no one of them says artist, but for me all of them have been very brave and completely stood by what they are made of. Sometimes to take care of a lamp shop is very creative, or to feed 8 children can be a very pro-life statement. And my grandfather would show me a fireplace he had just made, a polaroid of it, just as proud as I would play him a song.” (Vaske, H. 2002. YouTube)

The first of Tony Buzan’s six aspects of ‘How to have better creative thinking’ (Buzan. T. 2011. Video) speaks about how everyone is creative, Bjork embraces this philosophy and works with passion and consistently at what she does to create, as she is an artist and that is her job. Growing up in a working-class family has given her that hard working ethic and she carries that into her profession, making her a creative practitioner. She utilizes her own personal emotions and experiences and embodies that into her music and visuals, reliving them through the art form. She then takes those productions and displays them publically in unique and different ways, embracing technology to better serve herself and the way she chooses to deliver her art.

She also embraces the exploration of the creativity of the audience by allowing her music to become a vessel for education, as seen in her 2011 album ‘Biophilia’.

Her 2011 Biophilia app has since become a large-scale educational project, teaching kids to explore their own creativity while learning about music, nature, science, and technology. It has now done three years at schools across Scandinavia and is becoming a very serious part of the curriculum. “Out of all of my projects, this one is growing the most,” says Bjork. (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview)

Picture2
Figure 2 Biophilia Album Art

Bjork works divergently (Manning A. 2017. Website) in her head for long periods of time, developing the music and ideas in what she refers to as sections and little cupboard and drawers.

“Most of my work I do in my head, just when I’m doing other things, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been doing it for so long, or because I spent so many years without recording my songs, I wasn’t till 27 I started recording them. It actually becomes quite organized in my head, and I’ve got all these little sections and little cupboards and drawers and I started that idea and drawer and I can come back to it a year later and it will still be there. So I work in a room and it looks like I’m starting a song, but I’ve actually been working on it for a year.” (Bjork on Writing Music, 2017, Youtube)

She then returns later to bring those ideas together with convergent thinking (Manning A. 2017. Website). The use of low-tech and easy to use technology like the simple laptop computer as opposed to a large-scale studio facility, allows her to take control of the creative process and not rely on others and waiting for the right time to record her music.

 “I see myself as someone who builds bridges between the human things we do every day, and technology,” she says. ‘So when the laptop came, it meant I didn’t need a studio anymore. I hate them anyway – they don’t have windows and they are really expensive – but now I can write my music wherever. For a woman, I think it is really empowering because I don’t need the whole patriarchy of the studio and that whole universe to make my music. Instead of doing a small proportion of it myself, I could go all the way up to doing 90% of it myself.’” (Ellis-Petersen, H. 2016. Website)

Picture3
Figure 3 A hairpiece and dress from the Medulla era

The ability to capture the moment in a way that suits her thinking and process is a very important part of delivering the emotions she embodies into her songs and recordings. She can work around her mood, sleep patterns and life with this portable technology to efficiently and more directly record the way she chooses. This allows the raw emotion of the original intent of the piece to carry through to the final product more clearly.

Divergent thinking and using the environment around her, combining nature and science into her process and then relating it back to the music is her most utilized process. Letting the ideas settle in her head and then developing them further to come out at the right time and be captured under her own control have proven to be very effective for her. She can embrace the technology and explore the options available to her music production this way, without being hindered by the logistics of high-end studio production.

She bases her art on her own emotional experiences and then channels this for the performances in the live and studio settings. The album Vulnicura is a good example of this process, even though it can be tough emotionally on her.

“There’s no easy exit through. I wish. I would have taken it if I could. [long pause] It’ll be emotional. I’m just going to have to cry and be a mess and do it.” (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview)

This in turn causes problems in her practice, when the emotions she is channeling are negative and not easily relived. Effectively communicating her feelings and emotions safely, while being too close to the content is something a lot of emotionally based performance musicians face. Creating art that is, as Joe Zadeh explains as “Almost too powerful for the artist themselves” (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview), gives the product more depth and connects with the audience on an emotional level as well as auditory and visually.

“It feels like Björk Digital was a means for her to promote one of her most successful albums in decades, without having to actually relive the pain and anguish that was the fuel of its conception. And that doesn’t detract from the validity of the exhibition, in fact it adds to it: here lies a piece of art almost too powerful for the artist themselves. It opens up a strange and interesting path for the relationship between art and technology, that machines could somehow liberate artists from the crippling weight of extremely personal projects, and perhaps enable them to write more truthfully than ever.” (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview)

Picture4
Figure 4 Performing a DJ set at Björk Digital in Tokyo in June 2016

The Wiki entry on CIM405, ‘Bjork: Tech & Human Connection’, discusses how she uses her art and the album ‘Vulnicura’ as therapy to process the pain of her divorce. This was a matter of urgency for Bjork to be able to release the pain. She has used VR technology on the album ‘Vulnicura’ to overcome these problems, by creating a VR version of herself, and then performing it once and sending that on tour.

“[Vulnicura] has been different to all of my other albums,” she tells me. “I wrote it faster than any other, and I wanted it over as quickly as possible. I did the least gigs I’ve ever done for a record, because I didn’t like the moaning. So I did like twelve gigs. Maybe fifteen.” Her tones changes: “I thought maybe there is a way? If I film myself singing those songs in VR, then I just have to do it once. I could put that on tour, instead of me. Meanwhile I could focus on more positive energies and write new songs. Instead of indulging yourself in negative shit, you should just make new stuff, it’s much better. So I started doing that, and I have been ever since. Most of my time goes into writing the new album, which I’m pretty far with now.” (Zadeh, J. 2016. Website Interview)

Picture5Figure 5 Visitors experience Björk Digital at Somerset House.2016

The Vulnicura album was performed live on tour in a showcase entitled ‘Bjork Digital’ As I have written about in my Wiki entry in the CIM405.1 Wiki entitled ‘Bjork: Tech & Human Connection’,

She was driven by experimentation and improvisation with the album and the interactive VR displays she made with other directors is a way for her to distance herself from the feelings inside the art and inspired it in the first place. She is using the creative process as therapy for her own self. (Cooper, G. 2017. WIKI CIM405.1

She overcame the personal negative association of the emotion in the album’s content by collaborating with other creative industry practitioners, such as video directors, animators and graphic designers, using their perspective to work further on difficult personal projects. By using other art forms to further deliver her art. The use of different directors has allowed different points of view of each of the tracks on the ‘Vulnicura’ and helps Bjork distance herself from the difficult personal topics.

“The visual side of Vulnicura has been a very slow plan … I think emotionally it really works because heartbreak is the oldest human story of all, so it could take this experimentation,” she says. “Each song has a different format and a different director. I think that helps because the story is mainly just me moaning, and the instrumentation is always the same, just strings and beats. So to get different points of view with different directors and different technology … I think it suits the project really well.” (Ellis-Petersen, H. 2016. Website)

Picture6
Figure 6 Speaking at the launch of Vulnicura, Björk appeared not in person but on screen in the form of an ethereal avatar.

Through the use of technology, Bjork is able to deliver her art within the restraints of the music industry, while still exploring experimental and avant-garde approaches that suit’s her personality. Creative divergent beginnings, formed in her head, that are then folded into practical processes, using new technology, equipment and methods. The collaboration with visual artists, matches and brings her music to the industry with new and exciting formats that engage the audience in an active way, such as the VR ‘Bjork Digital’ shows. This evolving and exploratory process helps challenge the music industry expectations and yet still conforms to what is considered a musical performance.

It is the visual, emotional and musical aspects of Bjork’s art that engages the audience. Not simply a .WAV file audio recording, but a technology and interactive based package that works for Bjork herself and the industry to accept and take in the art she pours so much passion into.

Björk – Vulnicura Live (Complete HD 1080p)

References

Cooper, G (2017, June). CIM405 WIKI Bjork: Tech & Human Connection. Retrieved June 20, 2017, from https://campusonline.gscm.sae.edu/mod/wiki/view.php?pageid=14#toc-7

Ellis-Petersen, H. (2016, August 31). Björk: ‘I build bridges between tech and the human things we do’ Retrieved June 20, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/aug/31/bjork-build-bridges-technology-somerset-house-london-virtual-reality-vulnicura

Björk on Writing Music. (2014, July 03). Retrieved June 16, 2017, from https://youtu.be/JNFktYapxWY

Joe Zadeh, (2016, Sept 22). How Bjork Created a Virtual Version of Herself to Deal With the Pain of ‘Vulnicura’. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/how-bjork-created-a-virtual-version-of-herself-to-deal-with-the-pain-of-vulnicura

Fusilli, J. (2015, March 09). How Björk’s New Album Creates A Welcoming Universe Both Logical and Unexpected. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/universes-both-logical-and-unexpected-1425938338

Vaske, H. Björk – Interview on ARTE – Why Are You Creative? (2002). (2012, May 04). Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://youtu.be/oUKMIlsoevU

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What is a creative practitioner?

After 15 years out from university at the Consevatorium of Music (and spending 17 yrs as a lecturer), I have re-entered the student life to study my Masters in Creative Industries. I have spent the last 19 years being a creative practitioner with my production company, record label, publishing company and as a musician, photographer, director, producer and artist.

But what is a Creative Practitioner ?

This was the inital response I gave,
Living Creative – Creative people tend to approach decisions, choices & life from a different direction and with a different intension/goal. 
An internal drive to create and share for their own understanding of the world around, as well as inspiring others with expression of emotions and thoughts.”

I wouldn’t change anything in that description and the key words for me are intension, drive and expression. The discussion surrounding the aspect of artists that create art for themselves, being creative practitioners, has no solid answer. For myself it is centered around intension and direction. Anyone can create or “do” art, it might be a simple as cooking a meal or running your finger across a fogged up mirror. But I believe that practitioners have direction and intension in mind with their creative endevours. It may not be financial or even to be pleasing for others, but it has an intial purpose in their minds.

I was more focused on the aspect that a creative practitioner creates for an audience outside of themselves, an outwardly facing project. But upon more reflection, the project can be selfishly and inwardly facing with a purpose to explore or interest the self and still be considered a practitioner. I would certainly not argue that the term “creative” can’t be applied to a range of skills and aspects of life. But the term practitioner suggests someone that activly thinks about their practise, their art, their method and perhaps their purpose and then integreate this into their future work. Their practice and the direction of their creative efforts is refined with each thought.

Which comes back to the defination of intension for myself, a direction and an awareness of the thought process behind creating. Self reflection in the process and final outcome, having a self awareness of many aspects behind the art and project production itself.

Here is a photo I took of a succleent in my garden, because I liked the patterns, in hindsight after selling the picture for stock use in some advertising, the colors and angle and lighting were all directed at being a background shot. But the intension was purely self indulgent, whats the outcome ? a nice picture and some cash ? hahh

The other photo is a shot from a music video I recently made for one of my artists Mickey (www.mickeytheband.com). Much more intension with the colors, props, technical equipment, flow and shot order. All set to follow the musicial composition and production we made, lyrical and artisic connection and intension for a commercial and artistic purpose. Whats the outcome ? a 3 min video that is exposing the artist on the internet and soon MTV, but maybe no cash or commercial outcome. Both are examples of my creative practice, but originate from different places.