Spencer

Freshman majoring in Graphic Design, but I have been studying/working with photography too.
Taught how to use Adobe products since High School.
Works for the GW Hatchet as a photographer/designer.


Homework 1 Response

As a 19 year old, I am starting to realize how Social Media is continuously playing a huge role in our world today. People are addicted to it, and as more and more applications get made to express yourself, complications persistently arise. There are definitely benefits when it comes to being able to share your life on a constant basis with your “friends”, but like most things in life, there are downfalls too. After reading “Tales From the Public Domain: Bound by Law”, I began to learn that artist like filmmakers, photographers, song writers, etc, have a hard negotiating the waters when it comes to Copyright laws. It didn't really hit me how almost everything in our world has some type of copyright associated with it. What is odd to me is that with the increase acceptable use of social media and the constant use of technology, these opportunities are in a way contradicting the copyright laws.
The comic mentioned the concept of a “twilight zone”, which basically states how material is technically available for us to use in a free way without permission. Take Facebook for example; yes people use Facebook to message and post to their friends, but a majority of it is also used to share personal photos. Technically, it is fair for people to post as many photos as they want on Facebook for the use of their friends seeing it; however, in retrospect, even though Facebook claims the photos you post are private, anyone can screenshot or save those images and use them for their own purposes without you ever finding out. Once anything is out on the web, the owner loose a lot of control over it. You know longer completely own it, either the website has some rights to it now or the people you shared it with do too. There is no way of knowing for certain if your photographs are being used for other people’s creative works. Because of this, I know many photographers who put a watermark logo over their photographs to stop people from stealing their photographs for free. Likewise they might also verbally demand people give them a credits shoutout. Most photographers settle with his solution because they believe it stops their copyright issue. However, someone can easily crop out the watermark logo and still post the photo without giving you credits, and there is almost nothing you can do to stop them. Instagram is another example. Once you post a photograph on Instagram, anyone has the power of screenshotting it without your knowing, and more importantly without your permission. There has been countless times where people have reposted someone’s posted photograph and did not give them acknowledgements, and there is really nothing Instagram can do about it. It’s too late. It is already out there by the time it gets reported and taken down.
Clearly, technology gives us so many options to sneak past most copyright rules, without ever getting caught. To me, the rules of copyright still have a lot of wiggle room because everyday people on the internet are getting away with stealing a tremendous amount of copyrighted works. But once again, this goes back to the idea of trying to have a balanced law.. how much is too much? Like Judge Kozinski said, "overprotecting intellectual property is as harmful as under protecting it."
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Writing Exercise - In the middle of a dark, dry field stands a barefoot, blue eyed, little girl. She is probably around the age of 6 or 7 years old, wearing a dark blue long sleeve dress. She has blonde hair in braids with two big white ribbons tied on the ends. She has a solemn look upon her face and seems a little lost, like she was just planted there in the middle of know where. She is holding a bouquet of warm-colored flowers, which seem to be drooping. Likewise, near her feet are a collection of the same flowers that might have fallen off of her bouquet. Additionally, near her feet on her left side, sits a gold bird cage that is almost as tall as her and holds the same flowers too. The door to the cage is ajar, which might mean she got the flowers from the cage. The field she is standing on has medium sized mountains far in the distance behind her. The sky is very cloudy and gloomy; it looks like a rainstorm is approaching soon and the time of day is most likely early evening time. Last but not least there is a royal blue and purple colored bird perched on her left shoulder. It looks like the bird is a crow, which could also tie into the eeriness of the approaching storm.
Sense terms: In a middle of a field stands a little blonde-haired girl. The field seems to be mostly soundless, but maybe in the far distance there are the sounds of a faint rumble of a storm approaching and a crunch of the dry ground beneath her barefoot feet. The scene behind her shows a couple mountains far in the distance that are blurred due their far away distance. The whole background scene has a feeling of colorless, there is big presence of a gray hue. The little girl is holding a clump of limp, damp flowers that has also fallen near her feet. The remainder of the flowers are incapsulated within a bird cage on the left side of her body. The aroma of the colorful flowers probably smell faintly of a sweet fragrance that is completely opposite to the bland field. The crow perched on her left shoulder is somewhat heavy, dusty and in a way odorless.
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Adding color back - black and white, colored tiger.
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Warp - manipulated the figure with puppet warp, and added other elements to the scene, like fog.
466689245_wide-aa4df497fcb823136a19152c29544bafd47dbd38.jpgSnowboard warp STRAUSS.jpg
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Surreal Composition

(1/8) Original Black & White
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(2/8) Colored the objects I will put in my final piece.
clean plane colored. STRAUSS.jpg
(3/8) Original Background photo
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(4/8) Adding a foreground - sense of a airport runway. Added a volcano - sense of fantasy / a need to leave.
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(5/8) Adding more elements to have more detail, and an additional reason to be flying away.
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(6/8) Added in the colored version of the black&white plane.
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(7/8) Put in more dogs and shadows.
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(8/8) Finally added in birds and their shadows to tie into the fantasy feeling.
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GIF
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Augmented reality
1. GW Tour - Prospective students could take a tour of their own on campus, and hold up their phone to certain buildings to learn more about them etc.
2. Textbooks - Teachers/professors could leave more in-depth explanations or diagrams within textbooks for students to find, so more interactive homework assignments.
3. Gym video game - When you're at the gym, certain machinery like stationary bikes could have an interactive game that you could "play" while working out.

Project: Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Deals with the idea of seeing a daily moment in two people's lives that is usually private. Bathrooms have a sense of privacy towards them; likewise, mirrors expose us in a raw way, and with Augmented Reality we are to expose these moments that are usually not meant for viewers to watch. Being able to see them brush their teeth raises the question of who is the cleanest between the two people, and in the bigger picture, how clean are people in real life? We all like to believe everyone takes care of themselves, but we never really have visual proof of them committing the act. My project was a play off on the fairytale saying of "Mirror Mirror on the Wall, whose the prettiest of them all?" but I decided to tie it into an act we can all relate too - brushing our teeth. I also purposefully filmed two different people; this allowed for both genders to get questioned in this project, and to make it more visually interesting and complex. The 'Be My Valentine' sticker on the mirror also let the viewers ponder if these two people are a couple or not. Overall, most of us have mirrors in our bathroom, so if I was going to further this project, I would have attached the trigger image on an actual mirror that could be assessable to all. As a viewer, being able to physically see the mirror and experience something that is not there would really give into the effect of breaking the privacy bubble we all put up.

Trigger Image:

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Added in pieces:
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Anti-Monument reading
After reading the article, one of the key points that stood out to me about anti-monuments was the form. Anti-Monuments are usually build as an abstract form than a figuration. It tends to be the opposite of what a monument looks like - for example, an anti-monument could be a huge gap in the middle of the ground, to signify the anti-building aspect. Additionally, I found it interesting how both an anti-monument and a monument have the power of evoking feelings. Although a monument tends to make the viewers feel a sense of pride and positive feelings, an anti-monument on the other hand wants to make the viewer feel troubling memories or feelings. However, I feel like sometimes a monument could evoke troubling feelings, and an anti-monument has the same power in evoking a positive feeling; it really depends on what perspective you, as the viewer, are looking at the monument. Take World War II monument as an example, if you or a family member suffered from that war, I feel like you could have troubling feelings, or sad feelings while looking at the monument. On the other hand, if you survived with little injury or your family were not harshly effected by that war, the monument will not be aching to observe. Monuments and Anti-Monuments are definitely complex piece of architecture and I sometimes wonder, with everything that has been going on, why we do not have more anti-monuments dispersed throughout our country..
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Counter Monument Project
I wanted to create a monument that was interactive, but yet had a purpose. I decided to turn the Washington Monument into a carnival swing ride; however, the motion of the people going up and down the monument represents the action of raising or lowering a flag when something beneficial or harmful happens in the world. It is a way for America to say, "we notice" and "we care", and as a way to pay respects. Due to the recent Paris bombings and the slogan "Peace for Paris" I purposefully dedicated my project around the horrible event. There are seven swings, which are the color of the Paris flag - blue, white, and red. The earlier in the day you arrive at the monument, the shorter the wait line will be to ride. It is open from 9am-9pm, and anyone who is 5 years old and older are allowed to ride it (due to seat sizes). Additionally, if you look down when you are swinging, you will be able to see a collection of small, man-made ponds spelling out "For Paris" as a way to remind you the money spent on the swing ticket (four dollars) is going towards helping Paris. Since it is a carnival themed monument, there is a food stand and Photo Booth - all the money spent there will also be donated towards helping Paris. The Photo Booth strips will have a theme, right now it would have Paris related filters. On the ground, there are a couple park benches surrounding the Peace for Paris logo. That space is a place to come together and openly discuss your opinions on the event with others. Looking into the future for this project, when an unfortunate or beneficial event happens again, the monument park will be modified and continuously re-dedicated towards the newest event. So the swing chair colors will change, the flag on the ground will be altered, and the pond letters will form a saying that correlates to the new event. After the modifications are finished, the monument will re open.

The location of the monument will be on the National Mall, where the Washington Monument is right now. It will take up the same amount of space and will be the same height. The Monument will also be made out of stone and metal. The ride itself will take approximately 10mins, to allow for maximum experience. Since the swing ride takes over the Monument, the tour set up inside the Monument currently will no longer exist. However, this isn't a bad thing - instead, people are still able to get the same view experience, but in a more fun way, and for a good reason. It will leave people of all ages with an ever lasting memory and wanting to come back for more. Since the ride dedication continuously changes, this allows for people to continuously want to come back and still be surprised.

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