Monday, March 22, 2010

Grid Project and Surrealist Art

Here is my grid project for comments.

In class last week we were also asked to blog about Marcel Duchamp's Mona Lisa and the Surrealist Film "Un Chien Andalou". Marcel Duchamp reproduced the Mona Lisa with a mustache and goat-tee in 1919 as one of his "readymade" pieces. It is one of the most famous and controversial pieces of readymade art. I believe Duchamp was able to pull off the degradation of DaVinci's masterpiece because of the way he was redefining art at the time. I believe that most artists either before or after his time would not have been able to create such a work without significant controversy and a blow to their reputation. Duchamp, however, was well ahead of his time as a Futurist and contemporary artist. His ready made sculptures and cubist paintings were abstract enough that the Mona Lisa reproduction fit snugly within the boundaries of his unique and noncomformist artistic style.

In class we watched a surrealist film done in the early 1900s called "Un Chien Andalou". The film was extremely experimental and unusual. There were many seemingly random inserts and discontinued scenes that did not seem to pertain to the previous scene in any narrative way. Despite its strange content and non-narrative structure I believe that this film had the ability to be a successful film beyond the realm of art film. Because it was made so early on in film history, the "True Hollywood Narrative" that exists today did not have a strong foothold on society. Therefore an art film such as "Un Chien Andalou" could have very well defined the structure of mainstream film. If the same film was recreated today it would barely make it outside the art world if it even found success there. Now that the Hollywood Narrative is the form by which all films are measured, a film such as "Un Chien Andalou" is not accepted as openly as it would have been in earlier decades.

The History of the Internet

I just got done reading some history about the internet, I focused mainly on the invention of email and how it developed into a useful and convenient medium of communication. One of the more interesting things I learned about email was that the basic applications we use in our email programs today in the 21st century, existed at the very beginning of the invention of email. These applications were developed further and improved upon, but I was interested to learn that these things were created so early on in the process of email development. Another thing I found in the article about email was a table about the growth of the server Usenet-which was the platform for which email was developed and put to use-over the years from 1979-86. During this time the number of sites grew from 3 to 2500 and the number of articles went from 2 to 500. I have always been fascinated at the power of the internet as a mass medium. It's influence and ability to reach a large number of people far surpasses that of any other mode of communication. Sites such as Google and Facebook grow exponentially each year and even in the early beginnings of the internet it was growing in leaps and bounds. A video that provides further evidence on this was done by XPlane about 5 or 6 years ago. There are now 5 versions. Version 4.0 is attached below. This video contains information about how the Internet is thriving so much that every other mass medium is suffering as a result. Some staggering statistics you will find in the video:
-There are a little over 200 TV stations, there are 1 TRILLION unique Web pages
-There has been more content uploaded to YouTube in the past 2 months than if ABC, CBS, NBC had been airing new programming 24/7/365 since 1948.
-The above 3 networks get 10 million unique visitors per month, collectively. MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube combined get 250 million per month.

These 3 facts alone show how much the internet is favored over the other mediums, namely Television. Since its creation the internet has steadily increased and continues to grow without signs of slowing down.