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Creative Commons Project

Before this class I had no idea what the creative commons practice was. I am still not sure if I fully understand the difference between the creative commons and a regular copy write, but I think the creative commons is a simpler version of copywriting, with more flexibility for new creators out there who want to build off of someone else’s great work.

The creative commons project alters the way we understand ownership and copyright because it allows for almost the same benefit as copyright, without the individual negotiations part of it. If I understand correctly, the creative commons project is beneficial for both parties who don’t want to drag out the process the way copywriting drags it out. This project affects the subject or subjects of a work because it can get the subject noticed quicker and just as efficiently as a regular copy write. Creative commons “allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.” This means that the creator is able to waive certain writes so that if another artist is inspired by his or her work, they can go with their inspiration.

A Creative Commons license would have altered the works cited in the text Gone with the Wind because it may not have blocked and secured all references so much. If an individual fell in love with Gone with the Wind, they were blocked from expanding and broadening their interest because they couldn’t possibly be allowed to work of the works already used in the novel. With a creative commons license, we could have been fortunate to have a sequel to the book or a novel building off the book.

I would say that the Creative Commons project does afford protection to the right of publicity. When looking at the Bela Lugosi case, you and see that Lugosi ended up being very famous and loved by the public. This hurt him at times because producers and creators did not want such a “famous” actor in their movies because Lugosi was starting to be seen as a one role artist. It was beginning to be hard for him to play different roles since new roles weren’t being offered to him. If the creative common project existed back then, then Lugosi would not be strictly attached to a certain role and many other creators could take what they liked about Lugosi’s work and use that towards a different woke altogether.

I do believe that the creative commons project is a great way for new creators to build off a great piece of work, or even simply to reference a great piece of work. It allows for the great works of the past to be brought back to life and recognized more than they ever were. One would never think that as a new creator you could be so stuck with the rules of copywriting, but without the creative commons, it must have been very difficult.


Self Portrait

This week’s assignment reminded me a lot of the film we watched in class the other day. The film about how the human body have been drawn, sculpted, painted, etc. is just like the assignment. I am taking my actual form and manipulating it to what I think that I represent. I really liked this assignment because it was creative and fun. It also allowed me to link what we were doing in class to this blog post really easily.

The photo of me differs from my ration/symbolic representation because the photo of me is myself. I am mirrored in the camera and this is what I actually look like. There is no Photoshop, disfiguration, or change to the image of myself. It was simply taken from real life. The picture of “me” in sign form is very different than my actual picture when you first look at it. The image is not of a person at all, but of shapes that make up what I believe I generally look like.

There were a few areas of intersection between my empirical representation and my symbolic representation. This intersection was in the mouth. In the empirical representation I am smiling in the picture taken. In the symbolic representation I have a sign that says “smile” where my smile would normally be. The other areas of intersection were the general shapes of the signs. I picked signs that were the general shapes of my actual features. My head is somewhat oval, so I chose an oval sign, and my nose is a triangular shape so I chose a triangle sign.

I chose the symbols I did because they have some meaning to me. The sign that represented my head says “welcome” because I am a welcoming person and very easy to get to know and become friends with. The oval eye signs (I have oval eyes in my empirical representation) say “private property no trespassing.” This is because I am guarded when it comes to certain things and like my privacy. The triangle sign I used for a nose is an exclamation point. This is because I think I have a very outgoing and energetic personality. As I stated above, where the mouth would be I have a smile sign, because I like to smile and in my real picture I am smiling. I made my bangs a fashion sign because my bangs in real life have no definite shape, but they are a representation of my love for fashion and the latest trends, which is why I chose the “fashion style” sign. Last but not least, my ears are the life is good sign. I made my ears oval as well because that is the closest shape to my actual ears. I chose “life is good” because I really do believe that life is good, and I cherish every moment of it.

I think that every one of the signs in my photo describes me symbolically. There is nothing really that rational about my symbolic image. Everything is a metaphor for who I am deep down. The only somewhat rational thing about the image is the sign that says “smile” because it is where I am actually smiling in my empirical image.

empirical image     symbolic picture

Spectatorship and Power Relationships in Advertising

When learning about the gaze, I thought, “Why is this so important?” I have come to realize that the gaze is used by everyone in everyday life. We see ads almost every day and for the most part just know what the ad is telling us. When you look more closely at ads, you can pick them apart and really see what the advertiser is trying to get across to his or her viewers. With this assignment I could see that we really have to look at the audience’s connection with each image, and each person in that image.

In the magazine advertisement for Koper Design with one human, the subject does not, in fact, seem to be aware that she is the object of the photo and she does not know she is being viewed by the spectator. The characteristics of the photo that support my answer are the fact that the girl in this ad is glancing behind her, not at the viewer, but at something else we cannot be sure about. She seems to be hiding almost, or seem shy. Her gaze does not go up I the air at above the viewer, her gaze does not go down below the viewer, and she does not seem to be looking at the viewer. She seems to be glancing at something behind her a ways. The fact that she seems to be hiding matches almost perfectly with the actual image. The fact that her dress is the same pattern as the background behind her looks like she is trying to blend into her surroundings (almost like a chameleon). The words in the advertisement, “Now you see it” don’t really matter that much because the ad says that for itself.

ad 1

In the magazine advertisement for Handi Wrap with two people, one subject is looking directly at the viewer and the other is looking to one side at someone or something that is not seen in the ad. The subject in the advertisement that seems to have the power in the advertisement is the woman. The evidence in this ad that supports my claim is that the woman is positioned in front of the man. The woman is also holding the product being advertised, and showing it off and how durable it is. By her being the one that is showing off the product, you can see she is the one that holds the power of the viewer’s gaze. You can tell this advertisement is an older one. This is because of the hairdo of the woman as well as her dress. This ad is a stereotypical “woman making sandwiches for the man.” The woman is showing the viewer how easy and durable Handi Wrap is to use. There is even proof of this by the happiness of the man’s face behind her. I think that all in all, the fact that the woman’s gaze is at the viewer make’s her the more powerful one point blank. It is like she is staring at whoever looks at this ad saying, “This product is great, buy it.”

ad 2

Appropriation in Popular Culture

Appropriation was a word I had never heard until reading this week’s assigned readings. I soon found that appropriation is “the act of borrowing, stealing, or taking other’s meanings to one’s own ends” and cultural appropriation as “the process of ‘borrowing’ and changing the meaning of commodities, cultural products, slogans, images, or elements of fashion (pg 87). The first thing I thought of when reading “elements of fashion” was what has changed drastically in the recent fashion world. Once I began to think of this, I asked myself, “What has changed drastically that has been somewhat of a shock to people or just out of the ordinary in general?” Immediately I thought of eyeglasses. These are not just regular eyeglasses that people used to get that were just so small and barely there because they didn’t want them to stand out. I am talking about big, tortoise shell glasses that people of my generation have begun to wear for fun.

The creator here is anyone who wants to purchase glasses for the fashion purpose. I wear glasses, and recently just got a pair that I never would have four years back. The creator(s) take what was once just a necessity, and make it into a want in order to “look cooler.”

  1. The original intended meaning of eyeglasses was for someone to be able to see. We have all been to the eye doctor and have had our eyes checked to see if we need glasses and to find out if we are near sited, far sited, or neither. Now a days, many people wear contacts, but that has changed within the past six to twelve months. As fashion moves forward and styles begin to change, people have adopted eyeglasses as a new fashion statement, not just for seeing better.
  2. The artifact is appropriated because it has gone from the meaning of “used to visually see well” to a new, “hipster” way to look. People are buying glasses without prescriptions in them to just get the look, and for most, the bigger the better.
  3. The new meaning intended through the appropriation is a fashion forward meaning. If you walk into a frames store there are salespeople selling frames to everyone, not just people with site problems.

I can relate this to the definition of meaning as we were learning in class. The meaning of an image is produced in three ways, but the meaning of a statement can also be produced in these three ways as well. When we talk about codes and conventions we can think about the code of wearing the glasses in general. Are we sending out a message that we are trying to conform? Or simply that we are trying to see? The viewers and their interpretation of one wearing glasses could be that they are trying to “look cool” or maybe they just simply need to wear the eyewear. Lastly, when we think about the context from which the image is viewed I guess you could think about this in terms of, “is it viewed by other people who wear glasses for fashion,” or “is it viewed by another blind person.” I have attached before and after pictures of what glasses one were, to what they are now.


Looking at Icons in our Society

1. The image icon is called Ground Zero Spirit. It is a picture of firemen taken at Ground Zero.
2. The concept of this icon is to to show the spirit of the firefighters and all heroes of September 11th, even when there was so much heartache in our country.
3. Nothing is really being sold in this image. What is being “said” is that America can get through anything and everything with the help of one another. No one or nothing can tear us down.
4. This ad definitely makes me feel pride in my country. It makes me feel for the families who lost loved ones and makes me want to stand that much stronger for our freedoms.

Name of Iconic Image: Ground Zero Spirit

Creator of the Image: Thomas E. Franklin

When was is Taken: September 11, 2001

Where was it Taken: Ground Zero

comm 265 iconic photo