Soundwalk: Her Long Black Hair @ Central Park
It was my first time to experience soundwalk in my life. I was impressed by Janet Cardiff’s Her Long Black Hair which set in Central Park. I completely dissolved into the Cardiff’s guidance and the sound remix that blurred the border line of the soundtrack and outside noise. Although the artist and I exist in the same space at different times, this soundwalk made me feel that I live then. Even if I can’t see anything from the soundtrack, the soundtrack made my brain to generate scenes. In my view, I think there are two reasons made the whole experience so vicarious. First of all, the binaural technology precisely demonstrated the perception of three-dimensional space. The speaker’s footsteps sounded so realistic that made my footsteps synchronize with her’s. More importantly, the sound balance among every object was perfectly integrated. Although the ambient noise, music, poetry were all merged, I can easily recognize every object’s sound and what the speaker wanted to emphasize at that time. Secondly, the speaker interacted with listeners. Not only did she give the route guidance, but also pause and pull out of the storyline to let the listeners get involved in the physical surroundings. By doing so, this arrangement made the rhythm smoothly and made the experience more like wandering around in the Central Park. All in all, It was an incredible sound walk journey which was beyond my imagination.
Brief Response: Jonathan Lethem’s The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism
Jonathan Lethem’s article gave me an introspection of intellectual property and originality. What is the real purpose of copyright? Ideally, it should be a method to protect the creators. However, it could also be mean to monopolize the market. The Walt Disney Company utilized common culture and fairy tale, which are all the work of others. Disney used them to create animation, toys, and Disneyland. They moved all these common cultures into their protected territory and trademarked them, labeled them copyright symbols to claim that these common culture and fairy tales are all their private property. Ironically, if someone wants to use the image of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it is very likely to be rejected or asked for a high premium by the company. Does the law of intellectual property protect the originality in this case? In my view, No. What’s more, this circumstance could also be the impediment when others want to use these common cultures to create.
Brief Response: Kirby Ferguson’s Embrace the Remix
Kirby’s talk gave me a new definition of “Invention” and “originality”, which are both the word deified by media because deification could lead to significant marketing and business triumph. Take iPhone for instance, all the technology the first iPhone used had already existed before it launched in 2007. The origins of multi-touch began at many prestigious technology institutes and universities, and it was in use as early as 1985. Before Apple popularized the term “smartphone”, PDA(Personal Digital Assistant), also known as handheld PC, had already include most of the smartphone features like web browsing, touchscreen, portable media player and so on. In my perspective, iPhone is a significant landmark in human technology history, but I disagreed with people called Apple an inventor of the smartphone. I think Apple only “remixed” the current technology at a perfect time. As Henry Ford said, ”Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable.” However, Apple asserted that other competitors were all followers who stole their idea but neglected the truth that iPhone is also a collage from others’ discoveries.