Tag Archives: Creativity

Transcription time!

So we’re well into 2012 and I’ve been busy transcribing my interviews since before Christmas along with arranging the last phase of interview participants. Transcribing is a slow and laborious process. I’ve tried plenty of transcription software which managed to recognise words in the recordings (although often not the correct ones) but the real problem was that the words didn’t make any sense when put in sentences! Pretty useless really. It’s what you’d imagine using William Burroughs book writing software would look like. I could use a commercial transcription service to produce them for me but, apart for the fact that it costs money, I don’t think this is a good way of getting a rich understanding of the text. If you transcribe the interviews yourself it enables a greater understand of the themes that are developing within the data. It’s very time-consuming but necessary… I think.

On Monday I conducted an interview Peter Oakley who is well known for his YouTube channel geriatric 1927. He’s been broadcasting his thoughts through self-recorded online videos since 2006 and he regularly gets over 1600 hits for every video he posts. Pretty impressive. He’s a warm, easy-going and very approachable man who’s in the 9th decade of his life and still extremely alert and on the ball. It was a pleasure and a privilege to interview him. He gave me permission to mention him on this blog and to embed one of his videos.

After the interview we compared notes on our experiences of Art Foundation courses and going to Art College in different times and at different ages. Like Peter, my Art Foundation course was one of the most enjoyable and creative periods of my life. Anyway, here is Peter describing his thoughts and the experiences of his art education in one of his videos.

Creativity and Remix Culture Lecture

Yesterday, I gave my lecture on ‘Creativity and Remix Culture’ as the final lecture on the Creativity module. I used a lot of music examples to add some variety and to slow down the pace in-between the different stages of the presentation. Using music in this context was valid as artists such as Grandmaster Flash and Danger Mouse revolutionised how music is remixed. As for remixing on the web the Google Chrome and Arcade Fire project ‘The Wilderness Downtown‘ shows how current web technology can mashup content to create a truly immersive and emotive experience. The lecture was well received by the students but this may have been more to do with the content and subject matter than the lecturer.

And here is the RiP – A Remix Manifesto – Trailer that’s linked to in the presentation.

[youtube 9oar9glUCL0 460 277]

Final Creativity Lecture followed by Lou Reed

Yesterday was the last lecture and seminar on the Creativity module. The student’s second essays need to be submitted imminently so we’re expecting a very low turnout. I spoke with my colleagues to see if we could amalgamate our classes to have a large end of module group. We got them to work in four separate groups and gave them 25 minutes to come up with marketing strategies and media campaigns for two current issues.

1) The General Election is approaching. Devise a media campaign to encourage 18 to 25 year olds to vote at the General election.

2) The Digital Economy Bill has just been rushed through parliament. This gives ISP’s the legal responisbility to take internet access away from individuals and households. Devise a media campaign to discourage illegal music and film downloads.

This was a great session and the presentations were very well thought through with lots of radical and inevitably reactionary ideas.

In the evening a friend of mine had managed to get two tickets to see Lou Reed perform his ‘white noise’ classic “Metal Machine Music” at the Royal Festival Hall. This was an album he recorded in the early 70s and was considered unlistenable at the time. It still is now by most people.

The first half hour was spent listening to a repetitive drone with no one on stage. I half expected him to come out and bow and then walk off as if we’d just witnessed an amazingly minimal set. When Lou and his two younger musical cohorts eventually came on stage there was a photographer frenzy at the front. They all left after about the first ten minutes. After they’d got their pictures.

Seeing him perform this album live was both bizarre and electrifying. The music was indecipherable in that it was hard to distinguish one track from another. It didn’t matter as this was a rock legend on stage.

There was a moment I found very amusing. At one point, while Lou was playing some feedback from his guitar, he summoned a stage hand to go and twiddle with some knobs on an amplifier and seemed to get a bit miffed when stage hand didn’t do it right. The stage hand frantically kept trying, eventually finding the correct knob to satisfy Lou but given the racket coming from the rest of the equipment it was hard for us, the audience, to notice any discernible difference. It was still a cacophonous, albeit fascinating, din. Great to see he’s lost none of his petulance though.

Read more about Metal Machine Music in Paul Morley on Music in the Guardian

Field Trip to The V&A

Took the BA students on the Creativity module to the V&A today. Originally DG had planned to go to the Design Museum but last year very few people turned up as they had to pay to get in. Students don’t change. They would probably rather go down the pub with the money they saved.
Anyway I has suggested to DG that we should go to the V&A instead as it was free to get in with a diversity of creative styles on show and the Decode exhibition was still on. I thought this would suit these technologically inclined lot. He agreed. I did my spiel about how good it was but only three students were convinced to cough up some money to go. As I say, students don’t change.

I love the V&A. It was a sunny and warm enough to sit outside for coffee for March.