Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mucking About in Media - Exploration in Alienation

So I've been continuing to work with the idea of "Media" manipulating sound and text mostly at this point, trying to integrate different sources within a given medium. For instance using found sound--recorded by my friend on his iPhone and trying to integrate it into a Garageband track, as well as integrating the OED into my own Media-related rant. These two little projects have been rather successful insofar as they've allowed me to stretch my creative legs a bit, reaching out into areas formerly foreign to me, but I'm well stretched now, I know how long my legs are, (I can almost touch my toes!), and it's about time to jog a bit. I tend to think that constructing and working within metaphor is one of my strong points, and so in that spirit I've decided to jog. To clarify, stretching- something I'm not so good at, but necessary. Jogging- something I'm a bit better at, and which I'll begin to do now. What I mean by that, is the synthesis of the two media I've worked with so far, text and sound, through the descriptive medium of metaphor, in this case poetry specifically. What I'd planned to do today was to write I poem (I've already started) and then have it read by the computer voice-over thing, while recording it, and ultimately reintegrating it back into a sound, music-type file. The idea of a poem, a deeply human thing, being read in a digitally produced voice, surrounded by digital sound, is a somewhat alienating idea to me, which draws in another feature I've been fascinated by recently, that is, alienation. To be alienated, divorced from the familiar and comfortable, is how I mean to use this word. What is the purpose of alienation in this situation? The purpose of alienation in media? By separating ourselves from that which is near and possibly dear, or at least intelligible to us, we're given an opportunity to examine it more objectively. (I wouldn't dream of attempting true objectivity, I imagine it to be impossible.) And so through alienation I can find what used to be human and familiar, to be alien. Again, why bother? For something to become unfamiliar gives us a chance to demystify our relationship to it without the hazard of that assessment being effected by the very relationship. We are given an opportunity (though not imperatively, we can choose to ignore the chance) to see it for what it is, to see how we feel about something without the shroud of our own prior preconceptions. This is all very abstract and maybe even (a bit) sickeningly philosophical, so to be concrete, I intend to alienate myself from my own creation, to hear it inhumanly, and allow my reaction to that experience to change the creation into something it would not be without the filter of digitalization, alienation. My reaction to the computer-read poem will very likely alter its meaning to me, or at least its mood, leading the final product to be radically different from the original, or a poem/sound product without the alien interference of a computer voice.

1 comment:

  1. Slight change: instead of having playing the text-to-speech and trying to record it, I found simple app online that automatically converts text to audio files. The end effect is the same, but is a great deal easier and avoids the issue of background sound while recording.