Thursday, February 24, 2011

Something to [think/be/do/act/fart/sleep/puke/love/&] about... (maybe)

Exhibition: ‘Sally Mann: The Flesh and the Spirit’ at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA - Art Blart:

"Focusing on the theme of the body, the exhibition will revolve around several entirely new series while also incorporating little-known early work. Mann is admired for her passionate use of photography to address issues of love and loss, expressed in images of her children and southern landscapes. Her recent work uses obsolete photographic methods and nearly abstract images to push the limits of her medium and to dig deeper into themes of mortality and vulnerability."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So today I did a bit more experimenting in garageband, this time using a clip of conversation my friend recorded on his iPhone. I snipped up segments of dialogue and mixed them with music. It was fun. Here's a link:

FreeVideoCoding.com

Graffiti Alley photo spread....

...because it took me this long to figure out how to post them.


I've never visited the alley without running into one or two other onlookers...though I've never caught anyone in the act of spray-painting. One of my friends, a photography student, drove out to Ann Arbor just to use the graffiti as a backdrop.


A beautiful urban collage, the product of many different graffiti artists.


The chewing-gum wall (once very colorful) has been covered up with thick red paint.


"So much pain."

The STROKE to BOW= The Sustainability Transition: Restructuring Our Knowledge of Environment to Brighten Our World
I was sitting in the Graham Sustainability Office today waiting for office hours with my professor when an idea popped into my head to name my project for this class...

It shall be named "From Stroke to Bow"!
A play on words named for the seats in the boat...stroke sets the pace and bow keeps the pace...interesting huh?

The stage has been set for rowing as a metaphor...to what specifically yet, I'm not sure.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Limited Fork Theory + Many Collaborators

video

This is a piece that I did for the Detroit Independent Film Festival that will play in March. Evaluating this piece, I was thinking about the process of collaborating with other elements in art making. For this piece, I took video and translated it to VHS tape and then I re-translated the VHS footage to a Quicktime screen capture. I noticed the "artifacts" popped up in the film. These artifacts are the black flashes with green stripes that flash up in the film. Limited Fork discusses the concept of multiple collaborators in the creative process- space, time, etc. The use of digital equipment, in art making, can be as "experimental" as the work of the abstract-expressionist movement during the 50s and 60s. Digital equipment and programs DO in fact lend gesture or the artist's touch-- it is not just about the mechanical age of reproduction anymore.

WOW!

The Museum in the Age of Digital Reproduction.

What will experience be like once everything is mediated by technology. I already can zoom into any location with Google street view or use my mobile camera and gps to get information about the locations around me. More and More, the world is packaged in digital space, and as scary as it may be, it allows us access to information we otherwise could not see or know in physical space.

Prime example, the new Google Art Project will not only allows anyone with Internet access to navigate museums around the globe, but also zoom into to paintings at high resolution allowing you to see details that the regular human eye would not be able to capture.

HOW THEY'RE DOING it:



When Benjamin spoke of how art would change in the age of mechanical reproduction, he thought art would become more democratic but that its aura would somehow be lost in a sea of infinite replications. There is no doubt that looking at the Mona Lisa in person is an entirely different experience than looking at it in pixel form on the computer screen, but many people cannot afford to travel all the way to the Louvre. Art is democratized for the masses, no longer a privilege for the wealthy.

While it may be an experience absent of aura and that special life force that outlines physical presence, Google's Art Project will no doubt redefine the place of the Museum as well as the place of experiencing art in the digital age. While it won't completely discount the importance of actually visiting museums (one can only imagine it would increase it), I am left wondering whether the virtual will be the penultimate experience, mediating and informing our physical reality?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Collaborative Art and Technology

Collaborative art is nothing new. There's always been graffiti in big cities and writing on bathroom stalls.

But I'm interested in not only what, but also HOW and WHY. What's so intoxicating about writing where you're not supposed to? What's the draw of sharing something that will remain anonymous, something that will probably be painted over or covered up?

The internet has given a new outlet to this controversial art form. Websites like postsecret, fmylife, and even twitter allow strangers to come together and create a collage of secrets, of thoughts and ideas and confessions. Why are people so drawn to public (and often anonymous) forums? Should projects like these be considered art?

I'm not sure EXACTLY where I'm going with this, but the idea may extend into other areas....any place where people take ownership of technology or use a medium that no one else has thought of before.

P.S. Rainbow font in honor of "I wish it were spring" Sunday, a holiday I just invented. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

progression

this past class i sat and worked on a music program. i proceeded to create a small song and put some lyrics to it. i took words i had heard at the jail the past week. i personally think it sounds pretty rad.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

truth in the Environment

Does anyone remember the truth ads that aired quite a bit on TV a while ago?
Here's one to jog your memory as I'm sure you've seen at least one:



This campaign of shaping a small space in New York to send an anti-smoking, anti-tobacco message was effective.  As you can see in the above video, they did use words to express exactly what was represented when 1,200 body bags were piled outside a tobacco company building.  But, would the words mean as much or have the same impact without the body bags laid out for anyone to see?  The words, by themselves, do send a message, but that message is greatly enhanced by using the environment to grab passerby's attention and make them seek out an explanation instead of throwing out some words on the street hoping for someone to take the time to read them.  Even if the truth campaign merely confused a few people, the message was received and it made someone wonder the meaning behind two large stacks of body bags right outside a tobacco company's office space.  Mission accomplished.
I will be forever dedicated to rowing whether it be through actually participating in the sport, watching it, coaching it...I will somehow always be involved. It has many different aspects to explore and is a great metaphor to life in general. I'm thinking about focusing on a specific part of life for the purposes of this class, but will continue to explore my idea further throughout my life as I experience more and have more inspirations for where my project shall ultimately go. For now though, I leave you with this clip...one of my favorite sounds, the sound of oarlocks being feathered, the squeak of the slide, the run of the water beneath the boat, and the catch of the blade.

Here's the link to the sound of rowing from freesound.org
http://media.freesound.org/data/56/sounds/56166__juskiddink__Z_Finland_rowing.wav

Publishing Project Progress

Today I began making progress on my investigation into the world of publishing. I came up with a kind of outline for my project, though it is definitely not a comprehensive list of all of the topics I will be attempting to cover. I am sure I will end up expanding upon it considerably. I also started the creation of the website on which I am planning on recording my findings. Using my current outline, I designed multiple tabs that encompass the different categories I will be delving into during my investigation. I took a screen shot of the beginnings of my website (at left). Thus far it is still just a skeleton but eventually it will encompass the entire project.

I also discovered a Journal of Electronic Publishing that is the product of Mpublishing here at U of M. I am really looking forward to reading through it and hopefully linking some of the relevant articles to my website.

I had the idea to add a blog to my website as well today. Although it is mainly supposed to be a research project, I feel that the nature of the topic I have chosen to look at calls for discussion. My hope is that if visitors to my site read through the information I have presented, they will hopefully generate ideas of their own which they can then add to the blog. In this way, creative new ideas about the possibilities that electronic publishing facilitates can be communicated freely.

This post sums up my project so far. Any comments or suggestions to improve it are welcome. I'll post more as progress is being made!

Expanding the Enviornment towards Idea Systems

OLAFUR ELIASSON- THE WEATHER PROJECT



This immediately came to mind when we discussed expanding or growing enviornments to complicate or develop idea systems. Here, Eliasson uses many sensory experiences: changes in light, mist, etc to expand or change perception. People where so moved or affected by this piece that they started to lay on the floor. TAKE A LOOK!!!!

More on the Exhibition

New Today

Two developments today:
the first is that I have an idea for a project, a portion of my final weblog/website, it being a faux-newscast, with the normal technodrab background and generic geriatric newscaster with beautiful nature panoramas, shots of running river water etc. and the normal depressing newsreading replaced with a yet to be determined essay.
Number two:
I fooled around in garageband and made this today.



FreeVideoCoding.com

USING TECHNOLOGY OR USED BY TECHNOLOGY? (in part a response to the Spalding/Bieber Quesadilla incident)

I hope that you've found your documentation of your relationship with technology insightful. This post is a followup of that investigation, a followup that you can listen to, if you've noticed the two audio blog options now available here: Odiogo (the clearer voice, I think, and the more fluent reader without voice options at sign-up, and iSpeech with a choice of female or male voices and different forms of English: US, Canadian, British, Australian, but without the clarity and fluency of Odiogo. Try both options simultaneously).

How pervasive technology is in our lives —and how fortunate, or this post would not be happening —but should it happen? That is, is it necessarily a good thing that technology is all but completely omitting the lag time between response and delivery of response to an audience. Think of the information delay that accompanies traditional book and magazine publication.

Are we giving enough thought to how we're wielding the power of technology?
This video made it to youtube shortly after the Grammy Award for best new artist went to Esperanza Spalding instead of to Justin Bieber (please forgive the expletives, but they are necessary in this context, just as the profanity is even more necessary in The King's Speech):



Just to provide context for the object of the above video rant,
here's Esperanza Spalding performing Prince's If I Were Your Girlfriend at the BET Music Awards:


and performing on the David Letterman Show:


In addition to enabling the rant video, technology also assisted Bieber's fans in committing some temporary digital vandalism against Spalding's wikipedia entry.

WHAT FOLLOWS IS A QUOTE FROM A FLOP OF THE POPS FORUM, AS QUOTED THERE, SO SAYS THE FORUM CONTRIBUTER, FROM CBS:

NEW YORK (CBS) It seems that fans of Justin Bieber weren't too pleased that he lost the Grammys' best new artist award to jazz singer Esperanza Spalding.

After Spalding was crowned the surprise winner on Sunday, her Wikipedia page was vandalized.

The valdalism since been removed, but Gawker was able to get a screenshot of some of the changes. Among them, Spalding's middle name was changed to "Quesadilla" (and then "Justin") and the page noted that "She now has the 2011 Grammy for being the Best new Artist! Even though no one has ever heard of her! Yay!"

Another fact added to her page was, "JUSTIN BIEBER DESERVED IT GO DIE IN A HOLE. WHO THE HECK ARE YOU ANYWAY?"

"BIBER 4 LYFE !" was also tacked on to the end of her bio.

If you were just Googling "Esperanza Spalding"—tonight's surprise winner of the Grammy for Best New Artist—you may have been surprised to learn from her Wikipedia page that "SHE IS F****** RETARD," or that her middle name is either "Justin" or "Quesadilla," or, for that matter, that she beat out "Nominee and gay favorite Justina Bieber" for the award. Well! Far be it from us to cast aspersion on the accuracy of a user-edited font of knowledge like Wikipedia, but it certainly seems possible that fans of losing nominee Justin Bieber (or, perhaps, people who like to throw poop around the internet) may have been "vandalizing" her Wikipedia page, adding possibly-untrue facts like:

Her middle name is "Quesadilla"

"She now has the 2011 Grammy for being the Best new Artist! Even though no one has ever heard of her! Yay!"

" JUSTIN BIEBER DESERVED IT GO DIE IN A HOLE. WHO THE HECK ARE YOU ANYWAY?" (n.b. this does not really seem to be a "fact" about anyone)

"HaHa Justin Bieber, you're just a little boy with no Grammy for Best New Artist."


_____________________________________________


Because of the speed of just-a-click uploading and publishing, technology helps us capture the authenticity of the emotion of the moment, the moment not tempered and filtered by time, helping us avoid some of the regret that can be the aftermath of impulsive actions.

Please give some thought tonight in class, as you continue your exploration of the many applications available in DL1, to think of ways to use this digital technology to communicate better, to enhance and improve the still-prevailing single-mode delivery of most academic papers.

How can you use digital technology to construct an environment in which to experience more of the complexity of an idea system?

Think about what it can mean to produce an idea as an environment instead of as a printed, usually, text piece. What are the differences? How can you use digital technology to accomplish more than what the printed text piece accomplishes, provided that it is: a more that is useful, a more than extends understanding, and inspires further engagement with the idea, further exploration?

By the way, if anyone is interested in a better quality audio version of Esperanza Spalding's cover of Prince's If I were Your Girlfriend, let me know with a comment to this post.

Essence Fades.


This poem demonstrates the transience of thought over time - how things may be rekindled into a different form than how it burned first, how things may be buried only to be excavated in a completely degraded or hyperbolated form etc... Memories are interesting, we may remember, but we can only remember from the current point in perspective and time - an instant that is lived can never be re-lived in its entirety from a memory. Essence fades.

Today, Because of you,

It filled, blurred, and lingered in my eyes

Before banishment away


The reel I thought had burned at conclusion

Smoulders in a memory – spits fire –

From two stones pestle into dust

Within this willing mortal.


(Is this why, in the conjoined spirals, hesitation laced inclination?)


Minute moments of Minute pleasures

Exiled into antiquity…

Carefully, meticulously, I pick gossamer cobwebs,

Arrange faint strands of distinction around your site ends

So breathlessly

Pull back the drapes of time.


And how have you been? Cloven of my flesh.

The grains of sand mingle with the téars of my palm

And remember when it was rock.

when it was quarry.

when it was older.

And lay as boulders, beneath the mountain’s

Base.


My clenched fists cannot – do not –

Hold memory,

They clutch at individuals.


There will be no living in the sarcophagus,

For you have rotten in the crypt I have kept you.

Fan the smoke into combustion,

We must burn it all down, these,

The abodes of old.


Softly trickle the boulder – wasted away –

Return it to the desert.

Smoothing the layers –

I bury,

Prayers,

Under,

Each,

: Because mirrors underlaid the screening.

.Because mirrors underlay the screening :

Saturday, February 12, 2011

progress

I think I'm making progress here. I was brainstorming on the bus the other day, and I do believe I'm getting closer to a final idea for my work. So this is my process. We are missing things because of lack of understanding. I was thinking language. Then I moved onto thinking about whose ideas we might miss. So this brought me to convicts. Now to connect it all together. What if they were to write down their ideas. What if i was taught what they know and I taught them. What if this exchange led to something greater. My plan right now is creative writing in jails. After that I'm not positive what I will do, but maybe I'll combine their words into a greater work filled with knowledge, feelings, and their spirit.
Prepare for the walls to crumble

Thursday, February 10, 2011

High School Teacher Under Investigation for Blogging

Click here for the full article!

I came across this article today and thought it was a perfect discussion topic for this class.  Personally, I agree that whatever the teacher blogs outside of class is her own business, unless she's making threats on her students or colleagues.  That being said, I think what she said was extremely unprofessional and rude.  What kind of teacher says that about her students?  Especially in a public place?  I consider the internet to be like a public square.  Don't say things you wouldn't be willing to say in person, in front of a large crowd of everyone you know (because on the internet, everyone you know could somehow find it).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ice ice baby

WHY
is
it
such
a
cold
cold
winter?


flaw magazine

Free Video Coding



FreeVideoCoding.com
Talking in Code


This is an image manipulation I did of several combined images.
FIND

Magic Potion

HYPER LINK

Asymptote Architecture

Experiments with html

This is a picture of our trip to maine This is a picture of our trip to maine This is a picture of our trip to maine This is a picture of our trip to maine This is a picture of our trip to maine This is a picture of our trip to maine the sunset was beautiful This is a picture of our trip to maine the sunset was beautifulThis is a picture of our trip to maine the sunset was beautiful This is a picture of our trip to maine the sunset was beautiful This is a picture of our trip to maine the sunset was beautiful
This is a picture of our trip to maine the sunset was beautiful
This is a picture of our trip to maine the sunset was beautiful

The beach is my favorite place


Maine

hot new dance



FreeVideoCoding.com

Dekooning

DWARF HAMSTER

RAWR Picture


RAWR

hello!

wanna put my tender heart in a blender watch it spin around
into a beautiful oblivion
rendezvous then i'm through with you



this text is supposed to be centered....

making omelets with shallots and justice

dwarf hamster

Internet Tree


Recently I've been thinking a lot about trees.  For the longest time, winter was my least favorite season, because I love to be outside when it's warm and green.  Then last year I noticed something: trees are really beautiful without their leaves.  I found myself fascinated by the lacy, web-like tangle of branches, especially when they're silhouetted against a sunset.  When I came to this class, I immediately thought of internet systems and webs of intersecting information, and how it parallels the tree form in nature.  I'm working with thread and trees in part of my BFA thesis at the moment, and I'd love to explore how intersecting webs can be used to personify this endless flow of information going on in our computers. 

Dun, dun, dun...technology fail.

So today, I was supposed to turn in a paper about sustainability by 2:40pm. The source I was citing as I was finishing up my paper around noon today decided to crash just then. It then took a couple hours to get it back up and running so needless to say my paper is not finished. Thanks technology. This never would've happened if we still used hard print copies to cite research papers. Oh well, can't live with technology, can't live without it.

And ironically, this relates to the college environment theme I continue to explore...gave me insight to how procrastination affects the social construction of nature and our idea of natural.

International Media

Who are the Media?

IN these great United States The First Amendment protects the freedom of the press, a right for media to exist in whatever outrageous form it might be manifest in.

For the average American, this freedom is taken for granted but in places around the world, it is much more difficult and dangerous to attempt to Free the Press.

According to the French NGO Reporters Without Borders the United States ranks 20th in their annual "Press Freedom Index" behind Germany, Japan, Austria, Lithuania, the UK, and all of Scandinavia. Aside from being middle-of-the-pack among industrialized nations, many key US allies around the world are embarrassingly low on the French RSF's index, such as Yemen in 170th, Tunisia in 164th, Pakistan in 151st, Mexico in 136th, Israel in 132nd, Iraq in 130th, and Egypt in 127th.

As you might have learned from the link above, an Egyptian journalist was shot while covering the protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo. In fact, in addition to this singular tragedy, journalists across Egypt covering the weeks of youth-ignited rallies were under fire from the military as well as Mubarak's executive security forces.

Notably, American CNN Journalist Anderson Cooper was attacked by violent Pro-Mubarak protesters, probably hired by the same people responsible for this.

Let us not forget that our government was deep in bed with Mubarak's 30 year regime, offering them $1.3 billion in aid annually, second only in US aid to Israel. More recently President Obama has come out in favor of the throngs of Egyptians camping out in Tahrir Square, demanding their basic human rights, including the freedom of press. The irony is that we spent literally billions of dollars over the last 30 years oppressing these very same people. Pardon my French, but what balls Obama has to step up and pretend to support these people.

In fact the United States has been perpetrating this same foreign policy feint for decades. Supporting oppressive regimes that benefit us economically while ignoring their human rights violations on the one hand, and deposing other autocrats or "dangerous powers" in advantageous situations with impunity on the other.

Probably this is a tiny, distant idea to you. There seems to be almost no one who will admit this openly, on television, in print, in any media in this country. The exception is of course the internet, as well as Dr. Noam Chomsky, who has been trying to prove and popularize this viewpoint for decades.

The question I began this post with "Who are the Media ?" has unequivocally not been answered, but its led me to observe and critique some pre-received ideas about how free our press is.

An Allegory_2

The allegory, although basic, is at its core, highly explanatory. The larger hands and the smaller heads of the villagers mirror our larger craniums suited to higher brain function and capacity. The villagers likewise must use their hands to harvest and plant their seeds in the earth.

The field represents the platonic notion of forms in that they are the ideas that everybody can tap into. The process of harvesting and planting is the notion of the creative process: in essence, they transform the ideas which ‘float around in space (the scene is set in an alien land)’ personally through their given fields.

When Presston, play on the word “press” from the “printing press”, creates a connection to another group of people and thoughts he opens up a dialogue and a multitude of new ideas (the seeds from the sides of the paths). Currency is established in order to trade to the optimum. In our own world the printing press essentially made it possible for us to exchange aesthetic and literary content.

Enter Trenneti; – an anagram for Internet – she opens up an exponentially larger set of connections. Likewise, if the press could be depicted as the one path, the internet has opened up a miasma of different interconnections and exchange. Knowing about these paths, she is able to stay one step ahead of her village, selling their wares as her own. This is analogous to matters of intellectual property such as internet piracy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An Allegory

Allegory:

At some point in the continuum of time in a land far far away (as all social allegories must start) there is a rather disk shaped plain. It is not so different from the geographical world the Ancient Greeks envisioned. Now, in the middle of this plane is a circular field of grain. But it is not just any kind of grain – yes, it provides nourishment, but not particularly of the body. The heads nod slowly in the alien breeze; it is quite a sight to see: perhaps, the most amazing thing is their splendid coloring. It is not quite an alternating image of rainbows, but if you’ve ever seen a bubble of soap: (like the ones children blow in the happy parks of our own dear world) that is what it most closely resembles.

Surrounding this epicenter of grain are villages. Small and quaint – by human standards it would be aptly described as simple. The inhabitants of this village are humanoid, but with one exception. They have small heads and instead have extremely large hands. I am also under the impression that they have nerves that we do not have in their hands. Each village member dwells on a plot of land and on this land they plant flowers and vegetables of every kind. These plants all die within a few days; they are either harvested or traded within the village for other flowers or vegetables. And each village member, each third day takes a delicate harvesting device and heads to the center of the plain. Once at the field they carefully collect the heads of grain and carry their loads back, planting them in their plots of land. It should be mentioned at this point that these grains never yield the same crop. It is as though there is a sack of seeds with only one type each of seed. So trade between village members is always quite active.

There are quite a few villages around the field, but they do not know about each other. One member of a village, we shall call him Presston decides one day that he would like to know what is on the other side of the field. He makes preparations and sets off, after a week and a half (these creatures do not have as much need for food as we) he parts the grains of the last metre and comes out into the plain again. Following a path he comes to a village not unlike his but oh! the plants in this village. They were so exotic: shapes sizes and colors that Presston had never seen before. Presston, being what we would call a natural businessman, decides that the people back in his village must experience these vegetables and flowers. Journeying back, he begins to pull out - from the roots - the stalks of grain, ultimately clearing a direct path from village to village.

This opens up a frenzy of trade. The villagers from the other side had also never seen the likes of the plants of Presston’s village. The villagers collectively come up with a system of exchange involving tokens; many generations pass. For no known reason, nobody has opened up another path, like Presston had done. Until Trenneti. Trenneti has an even more ambitious idea; she takes a blade and begins to clear many paths going to 8 points of the compass originating from the center of the center. She discovers 8 different villages. She finds that these villages also possess plants that have never been seen before. Trade reaches a new frenzy.

(Readers should also take note that the grains from the stalks on either side of the paths cleared also yielded plants never seen before.)

Trenneti, also being, what we would call, a natural businesswoman, discovers that if she keeps track of who is selling what plants at which location she is able to trade what her fellow villagers have produced. The villagers of Trenneti’s village trade in a clockwork pattern, visitng village by village. Trenneti simply keeps one mark ahead of her village.

The villagers, for obvious reasons, become angry but they cannot seem to identify and therefore catch Trenneti.

Thus the now connected community of the plain trade and farm and attempt to trade and farm first, their flowers and vegetables, counting their marks always.

Barrier

So i initially i was working with different languages.  I then changed gears, changed lanes, and changed my way of thinking to people in our nation but in different situations. So i went to a jail. I met with some guys and it was a very interesting experience. For me to hear what they are doing with their lives now and where there are planning on going is very interesting.  To know that coming in to see them and create a change in their day really means something is also very interesting.  All i know now is that this was a touching experience and i will do it again.  Where this is taking me, i do not know as of yet, but i do hope it takes me somewhere good. That is all.
Peace

Audience matters

As I continue to explore what technology is and means to us today. I recently came across an interesting section from the book "Publics and Counter publics" by Michael Warner. In it Warner suggests there always is an audience. Regardless if the audience is actively engaged or passively amused. He also brings up several notions that I think go hand-in-hand with our overly sharing offenders (myself included) with social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, YouTube and good ol' Myspace. Who are you addressing and what's your intended audience?  With that being said, I'm puzzled by the means of this new age rhetoric of instant publishing. Are we so intertwined with the (general) public that we don't have the means to choose a public anymore? 

Warner suggests knowing where and when it is assembled in common visibility and common actions allows people to find their belonging, their subscription and their own discourse. Also, in that sense Warner goes on to pose the question, "Can the public exist apart from the rhetoric?"

Relating this to my project of decoding dress codes and the socio-cultural meanings we come across through our garments, Warner's claims make me think of a crowd witnessing something, the attire of a street performer or an audience member at the opera. Who was their chosen public when deciding their dress? Do they reach only them? Where do they start to form their own discourse on what to wear or as in Warner's critique are they addressing their audience through their clothing?

Who is your public?






Tuesday, February 1, 2011

UNIX Guru

unix guru/

The state of Texas owns this guy's thoughts...link posted above.

IP Law, Copyrights, and Ebooks

As I'm focusing my project on technology and the publishing industry, exploring Internet Copyright laws regarding ebooks and digital publications was extremely intriguing. While looking through the copyright restrictions listed on the CreativeCommons website, I began thinking about the implications of those laws on the meaning we attribute to certain publications. The most common guideline was that an author's works are not considered public domain until either 90 or 120 years after their death. What does this indicate about the value placed upon an author? Does this indicate that an author's works are somehow inherently devalued 120 years after their death? Or is the law more about an author's rights to make a profit. If this is the case, shouldn't their family be entitled to the profits later on? The whole issue prompts a slew of questions that I intend to investigate further in my project.

I also thought it was interesting that we have more access to works published in various other countries than in the U.S., provided that a language translation is available. Copyright laws do not often apply to or are not as harsh on works from other countries. What does this say about America? Does this result in Americans being more knowledgeable about artistic works from other cultures? Or maybe this is an indication that America values its own work more than that of other countries. Whatever the answer, the implications of these laws are extremely interesting.

During my investigation, I looked on the websites Project Gutenberg and Ebooks.com. Project Gutenberg is a nonprofit website that functions with the goal of providing free ebooks for anyone to download onto kindles, ipads, etc. They seem very dedicated to the idea of the free circulation of creative works online. While on their website, they discussed libraries and how they aspire to be a comprehensive online library. This certainly applies to my publications project. I began thinking is this the future of the library? It makes sense, a completely free database that one can access at any time without a library card or overdue fees. Yet, what is being lost? I have to wonder whether these books that the Project Gutenberg website says are printed in a "Plain Vanilla Format" have aspects of form missing. Often, especially in poetry, form and presentation of the words on the page are important to the piece...do online publications take these elements of reading away? I also began to wonder what happens to the ability of writers and artists to make a profit when these works are posted online. I can see pros and cons: on the one hand, writers are probably more easily published and generate a wider audience using online publications, but without copyright laws, how do they make a profit? How much does free circulation affect their well-being and their ability to make a living?

As I begin to investigate the transition from paper publications to digital publications, these questions will surely need to be researched further.