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Freshers’ Flu

We all know the horrors of “freshers’ flu”. If you haven’t experienced it, you probably know someone who has. Around o-week and the weeks following, many students living on campus get sick with flu or virus-like symptoms. So, I asked myself, why is it that at the same time every year students tend to get sick? As I reflected on my time at university so far, I noticed that I had gotten sick more often than I did before coming to university. I talked to a few other students who had the same issues. I started researching to find out if my theory had any legitimacy.

Turns out, students living on campus have a high probability of getting sick as opposed to those living at home. The main reason for this is that living on campus puts many people in a small amount of space, exposing them to different germs. When students are “sharing restrooms, showers, desks and dining space…germs are bound to spread” (U.S. News). However, there are other contributing factors that significantly lower students’ immune systems. Stress, diet, and lack of sleep all play a big role in our ability to fight off illness. Alcohol also effects our immune systems. It’s no surprise that many university students consume high amount of alcohol. In fact, the Center for Disease Control states that “approximately 80 percent of students in college drink alcohol. About 20 percent of them have engaged in binge drinking three or more times in a two-week period” (Livestrong). The important thing to realize is that “Those who consume alcohol at higher-than-moderate levels experience double the rate of pneumonia, and increased rate of tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and cancer, as well as greater exposure to hepatitis B, HIV, and other infections” (Alcohol Treatment).

I find this topic particularly relevant to university students because chronic illness has multiple effects on our wellbeing. Sickness keeps students from going outside, meeting new people, or enjoying various hobbies. This tends to get people down or could lead to depression. One of the more important issues with getting sick is how it changes our ability to participate and do well academically. When students are ill, they tend to stay home from classes which leads to them falling behind in content and assessments.

In my research, I would like to survey various university students, both on-campus and off-campus residents, in order to discover if there is a higher rate of illness in students living on campus. I would also like to find out if there are certain times of year that people send to get sick, and if it is around the times students are consuming more alcohol. Hopefully, my research will bring light to why students get sick, and how we can avoid it.

The Effect of Alcohol Abuse On The Immune System

https://www.alcoholtreatment.net/the-effect-of-alcohol-abuse-on-the-immune-system/

How College Students Can Avoid Getting Sick

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/slideshows/how-college-students-can-avoid-getting-sick

The Reasons College Kids Get Sick

https://www.livestrong.com/article/209706-the-reasons-college-kids-get-sick/

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Homesick

Two years ago I moved away from my home in Texas and came to study in Australia. I truly love it here and have never regretted my decision to move. However, lately I’ve gotten awfully homesick… I miss Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal and yummy fast food.

In a sad attempt to pacify my craving for American food, I started googling ways to get USA goodies & snacks sent to Australia. After too many hours spent on this, I discovered a grocery store in Sydney that is solely dedicated to selling groceries from America. So, let’s just say I have a trip to Sydney planned for this weekend…

MEDA 102 Assessment 2

 

When searching for inspiration for this project, I was mesmerized by the seemingly hypnotic nature of various works by Frank Stella and Bridget Riley.

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Bridget Riley, Blaze 4

The two series that resonated with me the most were Riley’s Blaze Series and Stella’s The Black PaintingsBoth series consist of thin black or white lines that form a pattern, leading your eye to one (or a select few) focal points.

For my piece, I abstracted the idea of thin lines and one focal point, similar to Blaze. I was fascinated by Stella’s ability to portray depth by making the background black in The Black Paintings, an idea which I abstracted for my own work. By using Processing, I was able to add an element of movement to the piece, which enhances the hypnotic effect.

In my work, I explored the idea of the eye. I took Riley’s and Stella’s ideas further by exploring it in relation to this. By forming my shape into a concentric circle that seemingly dilates, it gives the viewer a sense that they are being watched or hypnotized.

Overall, this project helped me develop my understanding of lines, depth, and focus. Using Processing as the medium added another dimension through movement, furthering the hypnotic nature of the work.

Self Portrait – Analog Coding Assessment

When first learning about ruled-based art, I hated the idea. In my mind, art is an expression of freedom, an opportunity to push the boundaries, and break the rules. This is something I’ve always admired about the European street artist Banksy.

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So thinking about a form of art that forces you to follow rules? Sounds like the worst thing I’ve ever heard. As we kept talking in class, I could hear my mothers voice in my head saying to me “limitations spur creativity”. If I’m being honest, she was probably one of the biggest inspirations I had for this project. Her idea was that the rules don’t hinder my ability to create, but rewire my brain to create in a new way, in a way I wouldn’t have imagined before.

After this realization, Yoko Ono’s book Grapefruit was brought up in a lecture. Given just a few examples of her work, I fell in love. I ordered the book on line and spent the next two days reading it and making notes.

I really enjoyed her more conceptual approach, leaving much of the interpretation up to the reader. Many of her instructions left me thinking, “is she serious?” and I think that’s exactly what she intended. I later stumbled across a work by John Baldessari, which I found had a nice balance between the interpretive style of Ono, and the structured style of Sol Lewitt. Baldessari_3.jpg

The piece that shaped my work the most was Yoko Ono’s Collecting Piece III, where she says

“Break your mirror and scatter the pieces

over different countries.

Travel and collect the pieces and glue them together again.”

I was fascinated by the idea of destroying something that reflects yourself, and then searching to put it back together. With that in mind, I created these instructions. scan-71.jpeg

Here are the three executions.

I was extremely pleased with the results. Each pieces has a unique feeling of confusion and mystery, as if the girl is hiding something, or hiding from herself. Even though each artist were from very different backgrounds, the outcomes of their work was beautifully similar. I think because of the open interpretation of the instructions, it led the artist to contemplate what it means to cut up a self portrait, and that idea is what makes each work aesthetically similar. I also think using pencil for this project is essential because it allows the artist to be able to shade the portrait, which provides a necessary depth that would not be attainable with a pen.

Overall, this project showed me that my mother was right, rules don’t always hold you back. It is limitations that spur creativity.

Goodnight

 

Throughout my experience in MEDA 101, I have allowed my Remoscope project (talked about in previous posts) to become more and more distorted. Playing with the idea of reminiscing over childhood has brought me to a deeper understanding of the corruption we face as we age. It is such a slow process, we almost don’t even notice it is happening, until one day we realize our lives aren’t pink and blue balloons anymore. Now, things have glitches and are messed up. In this final project, I have used George Lyon’s Poem “Where I’m From” as well as “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown. I chose to use the words of this book to be spoken over my video because it was one of my favorite childhood books and I am intrigued by it’s subtle eerie undertones. I also gathered inspiration from remix culture, and glitch artists such as Nick Briz. The videos I chose to project are taken from an assortment of different places. The heart monitor is actual footage of my fetal monitor when my mother was pregnant with me. This video also contains the first footage of my parents and I after I was born. In here, some of the other more abstract projected videos are taken from my previous remoscope project. Others are simply pictures from my hometown in Texas.

The Yoga Gypsies

Welcome to my Digital Artifact! Follow yoga instructors around the world as they show you what they love about their practice and about their country. Enjoy videos from Nicaragua, Galapagos Islands, Australia, California, and Thailand in the following sneak peek..!

 

Join the community of yogis by submitting a video to theyogagypsies@gmail.com or by simply following youtube channel!

Being a yoga instructor has become a large part of my online persona, which is one of the reasons that led me to choosing this to be my DA. The appeal of an online persona is so gravitating that people actually spend hundreds of dollars buying themselves likes, followers, and other items that boost their online image. It seems so strange to me to spend money on the online version of yourself, instead of the physical version of yourself. Why not instead of buying yourself followers, you bought yourself coffee? Or instead of buying yourself likes, you bought yourself a new yoga class?

Treat yo’ self.

Transmedia vs. Multimedia

Multimedia is a term we hear used a lot in the digital age. It generally refers to anything that is a mixture of text, photographs, videos, or music. It is the use of many types of media to tell one message, through one channel. For example, this blog would be multimedia, for it has used gifs, photos, videos, soundcloud, and other media forms all in one website, or ‘channel’.

Transmedia, however, is slightly more complicated, mostly because it is a term that is not often used. In transmedia, the story is seemingly, ‘broken up’ and distributed throughout various media platforms, to be put together, to form one story. Transmedia takes many channels, and uses many types of medias.

 

Once Upon A Time…

Stories were just stories.. passed down from generation to generation. No one owned them, they did not belong to anyone. They were just stories. Now, everything is owned by someone. Even the sound of birds chirping, and cats purring is copyrighted. The things that they do by nature is owned by someone else. What if one day someone gains the control to do that to us? To do something as crazy as copyright our DNA? the very thing that creates us… If our existence was owned by someone else.

Living in our current media content situation is hard enough as a user-produser, and would be even harder if it was taken a step farther and directed towards our nature, instead of our ideas. Having someone own our creativity is one issue, having someone own us, is something even more terrifying.

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Audio Remoscope

In response to “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon, I’ve created this sound project as a reflection on the distortion and complexity that follows the seemingly ‘simplistic’ life of a child. I found this project very interesting, as I focused on noises rather than music. Growing up, my father was in a rock band, and spent most of my childhood touring. Surrounded by music, I’ve created it my whole life. It wasn’t until recently that I began toying with the idea of noise versus music… how the combination of a coffee grinder and an elevator is not a song, and yet it conveys a feeling. So then, what is the difference between noise and music? Does all music have to have a melody? Or instruments? Or is it enough to just have sounds found in everyday life? If the definition of music is “vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion”, could that not include sound projects similar to mine? Similar to our development after childhood, the lines become blurry, in many ways, around many things. It is terrifying but also freeing, because we are the ones who get to define what we see in the world around us.