Response 12: Due Tuesday, April 21 Sunday, Apr 19 2009 

Review the projects you’ve completed for the class. Write at least two paragraphs detailing what you might improve on the existing projects. Consider your point of view about the event as your guide in thinking about the revision. Also revisit the project prompts and my comments about your projects and consider how you might do the projects differently now that you’ve gone through the process already.


Project 3 description Sunday, Apr 12 2009 

Project 3 due Tuesday, April 14


  • Text Book on textual transformation
  • On your own about your event/band/artist
  • Music Videos, Bruce Conner’s Report


You should be comfortable experimenting with graphic tools. We’ll add animation and a navigation bar to our repetoire.


Taking a cue from the music videos and experimental film we’ve watched, create a textual transformation “music video” of your event. The music video format allows you to organize information according to images, rather than narrative or argument. Like the textual transformations we’ve read and viewed, we can “steal” images or text from preexisting texts and, using the principles of intertextuality, compose new ones. You should be review the readings and the viewings, seeking compositional strategies that you can implement in your own “video.”

Unless you are really ambitious, you don’t need to make an actual video, but can use some of the techniques we’ve learned and will learn to create a collage of images and text that replicates a video’s techniques. Many of the texts that we’ve looked at use repetition as a composition strategy. You can use animation techniques from photoshop to replicate that technique for example.

You should use the band or singer that you choose as the star of your video to help organize the images you use. Think about their “star image,” that quality that makes them appealing over and above what their talent would suggest, as a way to select and compose your video collage. We’re using the examples of textual transformation to learn about how to organize our own thinking about our event according to an image.

The genre of textual transformation that we’re most concerned with is collage, which uses the principles of selection and juxtaposition as compositional strategies. Like Andy Warhol’s Sixteen Jackies and Bruce Conner’s “Report” feel free to use images from the news media for your source material. You’ll want to modify them, add a “sound track” (in transcript form as text) and perhaps juxtapose them with images of your band/singer.

Project Design

Aim for about 7-8 web pages with both images and text. The design of the Website is based on a collage of preexisting materials according to the image of a band/singer. The project transform text either from an official source for your event or in combination with song lyrics. Make the images, through animations and image manipulation, do the work for you.

Ingredients for the design include the following:

  • Text Book: Knowledge of textual transformation
  • Your knowledge of popular culture (and specific musicians) including your sense of their “style”
  • Research on your historical event

Brief example: What if Justin Timberlake had a music video using material from 2008 election?

Project 3 Presentation: Due: Tuesday, April 14. Points: 25 Length: 5-7 minutes

  • Objective: Present your website in 5-7 minutes. Walk us through your video and discuss how your thinking developed throughout this process.
  • Your goal should be to convey what you learned and what that experience of learning felt like. Be prepared to answer questions regarding why you made your decisions and how your learning experience differed than if you have simply analyzed a video rather than created one. This presentation is also designed to help you develop a crucial skill: to be able to think on your feet.

Response 11 due Thursday, April 9 Tuesday, Apr 7 2009 

Write at least two paragraphs summarizing your idea for Project part 3. The more detailed you are about your project, the more feedback I’ll be able to provide to help you complete it. Include what music video (with a link) you’re using as a model and how you’re thinking you will transform a preexisting text associated with your event.

Here’s the example I’m working on.

Response 10 Due Thursday, April 2 Tuesday, Mar 31 2009 

In class on Tuesday, we watched Bruce Conner’s Report. Write a couple of paragraphs responding to your viewing. In the first paragraph, write about what materials you noticed being used. What was on the sound track? What images from the JFK assassination were used and what else was included?

report11In the second paragraph, write about how the images from the assassination were used in connection with the other TV images and abstract images along with the reports on the soundtrack. Describe any compositional techniques you noticed in how he organized the various images with the soundtrack.

Project Part 3 due Tuesday, April 14 Tuesday, Mar 31 2009 

I’ve posted the Project Part 3 prompt. Please ask questions in the comments. The comments are also a space for posting project ideas and getting feedback on them.

Assignment 5 Due Tuesday March 31 Friday, Mar 27 2009 

I’ve posted the prompt for Assignment 5.  Please complete the assignment on your websites and ask questions about the assignment in comments.

Response 9 Due Thursday, March 26 / Transformations Contest Tuesday, Mar 24 2009 

In class on Tuesday, we practiced doing some transformations in the style of Raymond Queneau. Post the transformations we did in class (see Text Book pgs. 157-161). First, post the one that you wrote on your own and the transformation of your partner’s into a different style.  Then, read the other transformations and vote on them using two categories: most consistent to the stylistic principle and the most creative use of the stylistic principle. Send your votes to me in an e-mail <>. You must vote in order to receive full credit for the response. The winners of each category (“Most Consistent” and “Most Creative”) will receive bonus points.

Response 8 Due Saturday, March 21 Thursday, Mar 19 2009 

For response 8, reflect on the learning process in project part 2 by using a literary figure as an icon for you learning. You’ll want to achieve the same intertextual effect as the Nike ad from Text Book page 156 (a feat of impossible strength) but without the same intent (to sell shoes). Rather, you’ll use your literary figure to stand in for your struggle with and completion of the project.

For example, I might say that working on and teaching the project is similar to the figure of bluesman Robert Johnson standing at the crossroads. crossroads-aboveThis figure has been used to convey the struggle with pursuing a passion over the constraints placed on the individual by society. Specifically, Johnson was thought to be waiting at the crossroads to sell his soul to the devil.  The image of the bluesman at the crossroads was used by the Coen Brothers in their film O Brother, Where Art Thou?,  giving me proof that assigning this project coming up with an example made sense. Because the film’s plot mirrors the historical event I used in coming up with the example–there is an election in the film between an entrenched corrupt governor and an populist but racist challenger–I’ve come to see that my reaction to the event can be evoked by the image of the bluesman at the crossroads.

In creating the example there was a certain amount of sadness in thinking about this election and indecision in pursuing it as material for the web site. Thinking about Robert Johnson at the crossroads helps me see that there is power in that sadness and that the indecision is part of finding a way to use the event to learn about my creative style.

Project Part 2 Due Tuesday, March 17 Tuesday, Mar 3 2009 

Project Part 2 description has been posted. We will have presentations in class on Tuesday, March 17. Please ask questions in the comments section.

I’ve also started working on an example to help you better understand what I’m expecting. The quality of th site reflects that I’m not expecting greatness, just a solid attempt to use the features of the web (color, pictures, layout, etc) to give your site the impression of a parody, sketch, or stand-up. While my site is not a parody of the Ford F-150 commercial, it’s using the logic of a parody (keeping the recognizable form but changing the content) to help present my metaphorical commentary. Check back to see how the site winds up.

Response 7 due Tuesday, March 3 Thursday, Feb 26 2009 

Ad parodies (such as the SNL commercial parodies we watched) help us get a sense of how to create a commentary without needing to explain our point of view explicitly. Similar to the resource of metaphor or parable, parody works argumentatively by presenting a fake product that in some way resembles a real one. Being able to detect the difference is key to understanding the argument and, therefore, the humor. Choose one of the parodies we watched in the screening, or one of the spoof ads found on and write a paragraph describing what argument is being made. You will need to interpret (by identifying the latent aspects of the ad through the manifest ones) what comparison is being made in the ad.

In the second paragraph, describe the form of the ad. How does it resemble the original that it is parodying? You want to look for particular that are found in ads, from celbrity endorsements, non-celebrity spokespersons, slogan or tag-lines, to logos. How does the parody use these elements to build expectation and then subvert it?

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