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I must admit todays reading ‘The later features: The double life of Veronique’ was one of the most engaging readings I have done for this class. The verbal richness describing the character, her experiences and intricate details of her feelings and conflicts blew my mind. I watched the film first and then did the reading. As I was reading, the entire film flashed through my mind subtly pointing out the scene details and connections between them. Elliot W. Eisner describes criticism as ‘the art of disclosure’. In his article ‘Connoisseurship, criticism and the art of education, he quotes Dewey – ‘Criticism, as Dewey pointed out in Art as Experience, has at is end the re-education of perception… The task of the critic is to help us to see.’  I believe this nature of criticism of the film ‘The double life of Veronique’ was very well done by Kickasola. ( Though I didn’t get all his points, I experienced some ‘ah-ha’ moments while I was reading).

Another thing that struck me was the subtleness of the clues in cinematic techniques and narration that contributed to the film experience. In designing user experiences, I believe we can take some inspiration from Kieslowski by making careful and subtle choices regarding design elements. For a ‘happy’ experience, the design need not scream ‘and now it’s time to be happy’ (hopefully this makes sense). The point I am making is by downplaying some elements or giving indirect clues, designers can craft more meaningful and deep experiences that can have a lasting impression on people.

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Now I’m reading “Authors” for next class.. I’m not finish it yet but feel not sure about purpose of this reading so just want to make it clear before continue reading tomorrow.

What I confused so far is a bit similar to Mengyao’s post below, but a bit different, I interpret the reading in the view of “Authors of critiques” instead of Authors of literature. What I’m thinking is that critique also can be categorized as literature. I cannot find the definition of literature in the reading but when consider these conflicting conception over nature of literature, they look pretty the same.

The intention debates is a manifestation of deep divisions over the very nature of literature, arising at a fault-line between two powerful but conflicting conceptions: the romantic conception, as noted, which sees literature as a vehicle for personal expression, and the modernist “autonomy” conception which sees literature as pure linguistic artifact.

Critique, in my view, can be seen as the vehicle for personal expression too, since it has subjective property. Only one difference is this personal expression is a reflection for other things. Also, critique can be seen as the linguistic artifact. Then the next question is, if critique can be a literature, should authorship matter in the same way too?

So Carroll wrote something like this on Page 5 of On Criticism:

Whereas I maintain that evaluation is central to the criticism of art, many of the reigning theories of criticism today appear to treat interpretation as key. But I can even envision examples of criticism sans interpretation, so long as they do include evaluation.

I am a little bit confused by this. “Examples of criticism sans interpretation.” What does he mean here? How can someone critique something without interpretation firstly? In my point of view, I believe one of the premises of good critique is understanding. Only if we understand what the creator and the work are really talking about, can we critique them precisely and deeply. Maybe I have encountered the difference between “understanding” and “interpretation” here again. If interpretation doesn’t include any factor of understanding, then I’m able to get the gist of Carroll’s words. What do you think?

So, I am still stuck on Geiger…in a good way! One of the take-a-ways that I would like to bring up for discussion was from page 28 when he says “critical film analysis and interpretation enables us to understand our cultural beliefs and our own ideas, our own ways of seeing and thinking about the world.” I saw this as an amazing point that through the simple process of reflecting on a work or a text we are also defining our world view so to speak. What are your takes on that or the implications of that. If effective criticism is designed to be persuasive is that imposing personal beliefs on others? Just a thought to rack the brain a bit.

You guessed it: Geiger et al for the last time this week (I might reference it in the future). One more quote to rattle the brain: “through careful attention to the film itself, through analysis of it, we can discover not just its obvious meaning, but its more complex, sometimes even contradictory, connotations (21).” They discussed these multiple layers to a text and how these layers–while most are invisible (22)–can be contradictory! Does anyone have an example of that!?! I thought it would be cool to have an exemplar–I’m drawing a blank. I found it interesting that they mention these contradictions and connotations in analysis as a means to make us aware of what is on the invisible level (making us aware of our personally held values and beliefs). Do you agree with this statement? Since I cannot think of an example its hard to agree–but maybe its because I don’t really watch or entertain text that I feel might be contradictory to beliefs that I have seen–though invisible. smile

Just sharing some videos of works referenced in the readings for Tuesday.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern shows Hamlet from the point of view of two other characters. It’s funny!

http://youtu.be/T4SVVKuOr0c

Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, which caused people to fight in the theater. Not sure if this is Nijinsky’s choreography.

http://youtu.be/NOTjyCM3Ou4

I’ve talked to Jeff B. about this (kind of) but I’d like to see what everyone else thinks. There are a lot caveats I could add to what I’m about to suggest, but I’m going to try to keep it simple to make it easier on myself.

Is there an inverse relationship between becoming an expert in a certain medium and being able to enjoy it? For example, do you think film critics enjoy film less than non-film critics? Has becoming a critic ruined film for them?

This can be applied in a lot of situations, but I think most of us can relate to becoming interaction snobs. During our first year of the program, we all began to increasingly use the phrase “that’s bad design.” We started to see bad design in almost everything. In some instances it would get in the way of what we were doing.

Some websites are now simply unusable for me, because they make me too frustrated. I won’t buy things from an online store if the purchasing experience is awkward, but that hasn’t always been the case. I used to have to order computer parts from terribly designed websites, but I wouldn’t do that anymore. And it’s not the case that I wouldn’t have recognized the bad design previously; I definitely knew those sites were awful. I just didn’t let it get in the way.

Recently I was trying to teach Colin, an instructional designer, how to play a board game I got for Christmas called “Quarriors.”  He refused to read more than a few pages of the instruction booklet because he became too frustrated with the way they tried to explain the game. It had nothing (or little) to do with the game itself, but everything to do with the way the game was explained. It got in the way for him.

Of course I’m not trying to say that we shouldn’t become experts in interaction design because it will make us snobs. I just think it’s interesting to think about. What do you think?

PS: if I should use other tags or categories than the ones I used, let me know and I’ll add them.

Folks. I don’t know how to explore this so can you help me tease out the “binary” conversation we had yesterday?

Classical or Baroque?
Rap or Hip Hop?
Loud or Quiet?
Tall or short?

“Wolfflin {blitzer} suggests that Classical and Baroque paintings may be distinguished in terms of their ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ clarity (176, Barnard). What I hear is that there are these absolute terms, removed from the context of the art(ifact) itself.

Let’s use Rob’s example of the iPhone. Stripped of social context, looking at the iPhone from an absolute perspective I think I could make this list about the way to look at smartphones. Insider tip: I’m really opposing the iPhone to some Android phones.

Touch Screen/Button input
Russian Doll Navigation (digging deeper and deeper into an app)/ Singular back button
Single service carrier/Multiple service carriers

I could continue making the list but I think the point is made. So, let’s look at the Russian Doll Navigation. In an the tweetie client for example, I go to my feed, click on a link, see the profile, click on the link again, load the browser, and to go back to my feed I need to go back, back, back back. It’s like a Russian Doll stack. But, the iPhone also has that big round button that lets you get to the home screen at any time. It also has some new multitasking features.

That being said, the binary argument doesn’t work. Perhaps that means I haven’t reduced the interactions low enough. Maybe there always is a way to reduce it to binary. Even so, I think that still doesn’t get at many of those ooh, ahh wonderful feeling when our phones do something that seems magical. That “experience” thing.

There was on perspective on today’s reading that Jeff thought we should tease out. From the airport, he asked me to post this idea for us to chew on today in class:

This is a close reading of the film (The 400 Blows) itself, and we might also note that it begins to transition our orientation from creator perspective to artifact perspective. The way Neupert describes the film through the details of the creator and biographical details of his life is still creator-centric; but through the details of the film’s close reading, we should begin to see this also as an artifact-focused account of the film.

Also, I have the film with me today, so we can watch parts of it in class if we like. 🙂  Yay!

After reading the Alien paper, I felt that it interpreted the film primarily through the lens of gender. So I thought I would add an additional interpretation through the lens of race (xenophobia) and nation.

The film could be interpreted through the lens of race (xenophobia) and nation. For example, the alien is obviously something other than the humans on board the ship, so the fear that the humans have of the aliens’ monstrousness might be in part based on the alien’s otherness, as well as fears of colonization or miscegenation, the entering of a cultural space by an alien intruder and the transformation of that space to fit the needs and desires of that alien-other at the expense of its original inhabitants.

Within the article, they mentioned a scene where Ripley showed reluctance in allowing a potentially polluted member of their group back into the sanctity of their ship for fear of endangering the integrity of that group. This scene could also be read as a reminder that in the human world, women are often placed as being carriers and protectors of cultural values inter-generationally, so Ripley’s desire to protect the ship’s integrity was a demonstration of the desire to maintain a societal order created and determined by human motives and values, rather than one created by an alien-other. So in short, Ripley is a mother.