Class Archive

As I was looking through some of the previous blog posts, and remembering others throughout the year, one thing I noticed, and realized a few others also noticed, was the great variety of topics that we as a class have covered.  Blog posts have ranged from Egyptian funerary practices to sports technology to digital aspirin.  With our class wrapping up, and all of us exploring incredibly diverse topics for our final papers, I wanted to look back on one of the first topics we were all charged to write about—artifact politics—, and analyze how we all took a very different perspective on how to write about this topic.  I also wanted to look at one of the topics a classmate has chosen for his/her final paper—cinema.

Earlier in the year, we discussed how an artifact can have a certain political dimension after reading the work by Langdon Winner, and tasked with choosing an artifact and writing about its political dimensions.  I remember that I chose a gun, partly because I felt that it could have both democratic and authoritarian aspects when put into specific hands.  When going through all of the other posts about artifact politics, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the astounding diversity of topics we as a class chose.  Two posts that specifically interested me were about GPS and the pen.  The post about GPS really interested me because I had never fully realized all of the information wireless service providers, and even the government, had on us, which I believe to be an invasion of privacy.  The post about the pen also interested me because I never really thought about how influential, yet simple, an object a pen is.  I guess the saying “the pen is mightier than the sword” really is true.

Now to talk about one specific topic, which is cinema.  One student is choosing to write about cinema for his/her final paper, and this caught my eye because I have always had a special interest in movies.  I even considered writing about movies for my final paper, but ultimately  I have always been fascinated by the fact that two hours of film has the ability to change a person’s life.  Take The Wolf of Wall Street for example, a movie about a big-time executive on Wall Street during the 1980’s named Jordan Belfort.  After this movie hit theaters, many teenagers and college kids decided they wanted to major in business or finance so they could live the wild lifestyle shown in the movie.  One thing I enjoyed about this student’s post was how he/she evaluated the history of cinema, starting with a photograph and now today having CGI effects.  We discussed cinema in my communications class, and this student was basically spot-on when describing the history of movies.  I also like how the student described the evolution of film as an art form, from realism to surrealism.  One thing I would have liked for this student to include in his/her post is an analysis on the social impact cinema has had on society, particularly the United States.

In conclusion, I believe that we as a class have really developed a great blog site that analyzes various technologies and their different functions.  I hope that students in the future will look at this site and perhaps use it as a resource, or simply inspiration, for their own work.

Personal Reflection-Cinema

For my research paper I am looking into history of cinema. Ever since I was a kid I have watched many movies, and always had the curiosity of how they are made and how moving actors get captured on screen. This semester taking a class on art cinema has allowed me to get a better understanding of cinema and how far it has come since the late 1800s. From a simple photograph, to blurry movements, and finally to highly computerized content truly is astounding. Knowing the physiology of cinema from, editing, cinematography, aesthetics, and overall acting really is interesting. I believe this is one of many factors that has driven me to pursue this as a research topic. I remember when I was a kid, and used to watch a film I always thought the actors would stop what there doing and start acting just for me. It was a childish, yet naive understanding how films were created, and coming from that perspective, with the addition to watching movies all throughout my life has really compelled me to investigate this topic.

Analyzing my local identity, I have a lot of diversity. Seeing films in both Hollywood and Bollywood all throughout my life, has given me the opportunity to watch many films in both genres and to compare and contrast between them. Just like most people we all watch movies throughout our life, however we do not take into account of how it is made or how we have the technology to even create such films. Fortunately, for me I had the opportunity to take the history of art class designed for cinema, as mentioned earlier, and it has really opened my eyes and gave me a reason to strongly believe that cinema is a form of art akin to any painting or sculpture. I believe my personal identity has strongly influenced me to have this perspective on films, because I have been watching a diverse content of films from Hollywood to Bollywood. I believe it does depend on your identity and location because if you were more influenced in your childhood to watch films, you most likely take great pride in them to even consider them as a form of art. My art professor took an interest in cinema because her family used to sit down together and watch films all the time. Having that influence at a young age, and watching films throughout your life allows you to have a curiosity to better understand how what your watching works and how it has come about. Which is the main reason I want to pursue cinema as a research topic because I want to learn more of how it works and how it has evolved over the years.

As mentioned before, being exposed to a certain thing differs your perspective on that said thing opposed to something else. Cinema is a form of technology that really has taken great strides in the last 50 years, and being apart of a community that watches films, old or new, makes me want to analyze that technology even more. Which is why I believe personal experiences, identity, and location play a critical role when investigating an object or technology.