Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mobile project links

Here are links to various elements of the final mobile projects:

BeeTagg tour of public art on campus

These are meant to be viewed on mobile devices while standing near the artwork.

The Wailing Bell

The Pillars of Fulfillment

Opening the Secret

The Golden Section

The Firstenburg Family Fountain

Got BeeTagg (group information site)

Mad Liberation

A Mad Libs-based interactive game, involving text messaging and Web publishing, intended to encourage playful interaction with the WSUV campus and its stories.

Photo tour of WSU Vancouver
The images of this abstract narrative predominately were produced by mobile devices

Mobile campus map

Through the Wikitude platform

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If Twitter had been invented sooner ...

What it might have been like, for example, at Gettysburg:


"Twitter is being used for many things. Here at TwHistory we feel the service can be a novel way to tell the stories of our past. We pick historical figures, especially those that kept detailed journals or histories, and tweet the experiences they went through. By doing this, followers get a feel for what has happened many years ago. Consider it a type of Twitter historical reenactment–reliving history in real time.

But this is more than a ‘what happened on this day’ service. We are interested in telling stories. The Battle of Gettysburg, or the Cuban Missile Crisis were more than a couple of random events over a few days. There are exciting backstories of many characters who witnessed these events. We feel these stories can be told in 140 characters or less, over the course of many months.

We currently have one active project - the Battle of Gettysburg; care to follow along? If you are new to Twitter, please visit our getting started page. Or, if you are a seasoned Twitter veteran, visit our Battle of Gettysburg page to follow the historical characters."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

MadV's "One World"

A YouTube collaboration of significance (reportedly generating the most responses in YouTube history, at least up to that point), involving just web cams, Sharpies and personal messages that people wanted to share with strangers:

If you want to participate in the new version, MadV recently posted this:

Free Hugs campaign

The web site

From the creator, Juan Mann:

"I'd been living in London when my world turned upside down and I'd had to come home. By the time my plane landed back in Sydney, all I had left was a carry on bag full of clothes and a world of troubles. No one to welcome me back, no place to call home. I was a tourist in my hometown.

Standing there in the arrivals terminal, watching other passengers meeting their waiting friends and family, with open arms and smiling faces, hugging and laughing together, I wanted someone out there to be waiting for me. To be happy to see me. To smile at me. To hug me.

So I got some cardboard and a marker and made a sign. I found the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held that sign aloft, with the words "Free Hugs" on both sides.

And for 15 minutes, people just stared right through me. The first person who stopped, tapped me on the shoulder and told me how her dog had just died that morning. How that morning had been the one year anniversary of her only daughter dying in a car accident. How what she needed now, when she felt most alone in the world, was a hug. I got down on one knee, we put our arms around each other and when we parted, she was smiling.

Everyone has problems and for sure mine haven't compared. But to see someone who was once frowning, smile even for a moment, is worth it every time."

And the video (more than 50 million views):

Charlie Bit Me!

This video amazingly enough has been viewed by nearly 140 million people on YouTube (and, almost equally as amazing, generated 260,000 responses):

As part of that response, it has generated a vast amount of remediation and examples of participatory culture, with a few of those examples below:

A remake, framed as 15 years later, (2.9 million views) ...

And a remix (nearly 10 million views):

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Star Wars Uncut"

Just heard about this on the radio over the weekend, "Star Wars Uncut," so had to share:

"You and 472 other people have the chance to recreate Star Wars: A New Hope. Below is the entire movie split up into 15 second clips. Click on one of the scenes to claim it, film it, and upload it. You can have up to three scenes! When we're all done, we'll stitch it all together and watch the magic happen."

An example of both participatory culture and remediation, among other ideas we have studied this term --

Star Wars: Uncut Trailer from Casey Pugh on Vimeo.

What's your favorite scene so far?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mobile examples

Here are a few examples of how mobile technology has opened up new ways in which we can experience the world:

Amsterdam RealTime, collected over two months in 2002; click on "view map"

34North118w, what about instead of moving around, you just stay still and look at what comes to you?

I Like Frank, or what about if you start talking to strangers, about a virtual quest?

Also, mobile technology can subvert media and government monoliths:

This footage, shot with a mobile phone, of a young woman in Iran, Neda Salehi, protesting the questionable elections there in June of 2009:

Her death, but also this footage, turned her into a martyr around which the Iranians have rallied for dramatic changes in their government.

Technology on the way:

Look past the thin surface of this video promo piece for mixed reality, and what do you see?

And this sort of research is being done at the University of Washington, by Babak Parviz, with computer-enhanced contact lenses:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Two ways to showcase your audio projects

Please don't forget about these two options to share your audio projects with a wider audience:

The Digital Media Sandbox Consortium (based at Tennessee State University in Nashville) is offering a national podcasting contest. We have entered this before, and if you want, I can help your group post to the iTunes-based contest and complete the submission.

A group of colleges, predominately on the East Coast and in the South (WSU Vancouver had the honor of being the first Northwest college to join the mix) will participate in an annual podcasting competition, which offers prize packages of up to $500 in cash as well as "gear."

Our audio stories could fit perfectly in the category of "creative feature," but those aiming for that distinction will need to keep in mind the theme this year, "distraction" as well as the submission guidelines (such as maximum length of 10 minutes). This might take a bit of editing, or additional credits and such tweaks.

A full set of contest rules and criteria can be found here.

Here are the winners from last year, to compare techniques and quality level.

Besides the Digital Sandbox contest, Jon Tanner also identified a site, Radio Drama Revival, that accepts submissions. This not only would be a great line on your resume, but if you can get your work posted on the site before the end of the term, I will negotiate a few extra credit points as well (for the person, or people, who work through the submission process, depending on what that entails).

Any other sites you have found that might be worth a look? These are good projects, and it's important to share your work with others,

- Prof Brett

Friday, November 13, 2009

Did You Know 4.0, updating "Shift Happens"

"Facts and stats focusing on the changing media landscape, including convergence..."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meet in our regular classroom on Nov. 18

MOVE lab demo has been postponed until December. ... We'll start class on the 18th with the quiz.

- Prof Brett

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Podcatchers and examples of podcasts

Here are a few podcatchers of note (which handle your "subscriptions":





and, of course, iTunes

And some general repositories of podcasts:

Podcast Pickle

GarageBand Radio Network



Podcast Alley

As well as some examples of kinds of podcasts:

Adam Carolla,
mainstream radio personality and comedian who moved into the realm of podcasts, referenced by Rick Emerson during his guest appearance last week"

"60-Second Idea (to Improve the World),"
rant, then roundtable, produced by the BBC.

Android Guys,
by a couple of Android phone enthusiasts, who also run a web site on the same topic."

experiments in audio.

"Cruising to Otherworldly Antarctica,"
an NPR story of the day.

Block of R.S.S. coding for iTunes:

Written by WSUV student Kerry Mraz

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Participatory culture

A couple of examples of participatory culture (concept from Henry Jenkins' "Convergence Culture") from Rick Emerson's visit to WSU Vancouver on Thursday, Oct. 29:

Rick said he never would have imagined five years ago that listeners to his radio program could and would be creating this kind of content and recirculating it among themselves (creating remixes of remixes). Within days of the original bagel piece airing, he said the first remix appeared followed by other listeners submitting riffs on that, and creating t-shirts, and the like, in what originally was just an off-the-cuff observation about what a waitress said to him at Gustav's in the airport.

And here is a second one, about a news story turned into a tune, created by the same Rick Emerson fan, "Calvin," I think:

Here is a link to the KOUG podcast of the interview:

KOUG radio

Or the direct one

Could (or should) your resume be remediated, maybe into audio or video?

The Aleksey Vayner video (Yale student, 2006, Wikipedia on this), an example of what you don't want to do:

One of the many parodies on this:

A WSU grad, Benajamin Hampton, who created a video resume mentioned in Time magazine on this subject.

Here is a NPR piece on multimedia resumes

MSNBC piece on multimedia resumes and its tutorial on video resumes:

Other links of interest:

JobCircle's VoiceIntro





Thursday, October 29, 2009

Emerson campus visit

Here's the map: 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Examples of "reification"

Peter Schaefer in "iPod and Philosophy" mentions Marx's concept of "reification," or verdinglichung, which translates to "thingification."

That refers to the ways in which the all-powerful market reduces workers to quantifiable "labor" hours, stripping away all individuality, while simultaneously giving human qualities to the manufactured products, such as iPhones or iPods, whatever gadgets that people tend to love as much as living things. This anthropomorphication seems funny or cute on the surface but disturbing in its transference of humanity. Most of the people in China who make iPods could never afford one.

Look at this current Honda commercial, for example, which treats a car like a beloved pet:

Or this Zagg commercial for the Invisible Shield to protect an iPhone, like a loved one:

Does this raise any issues for you?

Audio projects

Here are the completed files:

"Mask of the Living Dead,"
by Jon Tanner, Linda Wylie, Linda Zandi, Phil MacArthur, Brad Martin and Danielle Berk, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "Masque of the Red Death."

"Croquet with the Queen,"
by Kerri Lingo, Jessica Stockton, Faun Scurlock, Samantha Zeiner, Barbara Melton and Nate Mannan, an excerpt from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll.

"The Game,"
by Eric Hill, Danielle Chaney, Vince Paulson, Aaron May, Dale Strouse and Kaitlin Himrich, a morality play of the same name by Louise Bryant.

"Apocalypse 2.0,"
by Shawn Kepfer, Ruth Zschomler, Yasha Kehn, Alex Barry, Jerry Joiner, inspired by "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," one of Aesop's fables.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Remediation collection (Prompt 6)

If you haven't looked through the fantastic collection of remediation examples brought to class through Prompt 6 in the Google group, you really are missing out. There are way too many good ones to share them all during the class period (thank you all contributors!), so I encourage all of you to browse through the list, if you haven't done so already. In relation to our discussions and readings, particularly Jenkins, here are a few of special interest:

Audio and text:

Courtesy of Shawn Kepfer -- "V for Vendetta"

Audio and imagery:

Courtesy of Jerry Joiner -- Secret Mommy's "Kool Aid River"

Video games:

Courtesy of Yasha Kehn -- The Beatles RockBand video game

Beatles RockBand trailer

And from Aaron May -- BioShock bedtime story

Once Upon a Pixel Video Game, Bioshock | Game Trailers & Videos |

From short children's book to movie:

Courtesy of Linda Wylie -- "Where the Wild Things Are"

And Eric Hill's mention of R. Crumb's remediation of the Bible:

R. Crumb site

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What does music look like?

Some attempts at music visualization:

The Music Animation Machine -- Beethoven's Fifth

DFR - Music Animation

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Philip Glass in Portland on Nov. 3

A note from PICA:

"Philip Glass
Creativity and Collaboration: An Evening with Philip Glass

In conjunction with Portland Opera's west coast premiere of Philip Glass's Orphée, PICA and the Northwest Film Center will present a very special evening of piano, film, and lively conversation. On November 3rd, Glass will share, through music and words, how artistic collaboration across genres has influenced his work.

Afterward, PICA invites you to a special post-show reception with Glass. Reception tickets include admission to the lecture. Just select the "PICA member" category when purchasing advance tickets. You will be required to show your PICA membership card at the door.

November 3 | 7-9 pm | Kridell Ballroom at the Portland Art Museum
$25 General / $20 Member (Purchase advance tickets)
$75 Lecture and Reception (Purchase advance tickets)"

Audio narrative / radio theater resources

Dr. John Barber has compiled a great list of resources for his Digital Sound class this term at WSUV, including links to various audio narrative / radio theater examples (scroll down about 2/3 of the page, to the section entitled "Radio drama ...").

Some samples:

"Art" by Yasmina Reza, three characters talking about a white painting,

And from the Rick Emerson side project, "A.Z.," an action piece about when zombies take over the world,

Episode 6: "No Mercy"

Creation of the most desirable and undesirable songs possible

I mentioned this in lecture last week. So here are the links, in case you want to follow up (via Eric Jackson):

From a "This American Life" segment on the topics of polling and artistry and music creation (on episode two).

Eric also found the mp3s of the songs, found here

Hindenburg coverage with/out sound

Without sound:

With sound:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Check out the remediation of balloon boy

First, the initial report ...

Then, the media response, and I mean that in the most general sense, open to anyone in any form as modern technology now allows instantaneous worldwide distribution of media material, regardless of production value or talent, including this song:

Then, the Oops!

And the cover ...

And the press conference ...

And more amateur response (obscenity warnings on these). ... Again, technology allows instantaneous worldwide distribution of material, regardless of production value or talent:

And, yes, even the "Downfall" parody, presented as if Hitler is in charge of CNN ...

The idea of a media hoax certainly isn't new, even one involving balloons. Here is a story about the one pulled off by Edgar Allan Poe. He wrote it for the New York Sun in 1844.

What really has changed, though, is the technology of the media environment. In what ways did that affect the outcome of the recent balloon boy story?


"Within minutes of the story breaking the term "balloon" was trending on Twitter at over 1600 tweets per minute. Twitter accounts were created, claiming the names @boyintheballoon and @balloonboy almost immediately. A website, was created to provide updates on the story. Before the boy was even found, "Save Balloon Boy" t-shirts were available for purchase online. Just now a tweet came through my TweetDeck advertising Balloon Boy shirts for $30."

And by the way, any similarities with the case study we examined last week regarding the attention-seeking dad of "Adolph Hitler"?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another great example of time-based media

Yasha Kehn discovered this video of an artist/storyteller using just sand, music and a light table to create an emotionally compelling production. Wow!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another opportunity to showcase your audio project (and earn XC points)

Besides the Digital Sandbox contest, listed below, Jon Tanner also identified a site, Radio Drama Revival, that accepts submissions. This not only would be a great line on your resume, but if you can get your work posted on the site before the end of the term, I will negotiate a few extra credit points as well (for the person, or people, who work through the submission process, depending on what that entails).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Triumph of the Will"

This Leni Riefenstahl film, which became a propaganda tool for the Nazi party, challenges Oscar Wilde's contention that art is autonomous from morality. What do you think?

Strange maps

Sorry I didn't find this a few weeks earlier. But here it is anyway:

Strange maps

Nazi rhetoric in modern American politics

Here are some examples:

From (Aug. 6, 2009):

"Over 10 years in Congress, U.S. Rep. Brian Baird has stayed tethered to his district, flying back to Southwest Washington for more than 300 sometimes-bruising town hall meetings during Congressional recesses.
But this year, he's literally decided to phone it in.
Instead of appearing in person, where "extremists" would have "the chance to shout and make YouTube videos," Baird said Wednesday, he's holding what he calls "telephone town halls" instead.
Baird said he's using the new system because he fears his political opponents may be planning "an ambush" to disrupt his meetings, using methods Baird compared to Nazism.
"What we're seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics," Baird, D-Vancouver, said in a phone interview. "I mean that very seriously."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Zombies and "Star Wars"

After talking in class with a few students about how a layer of zombies can be added to just about anything, I ran across this mock trailer for a "Star Wars" version of that:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Springtime for Hitler"

Another remediation example relating to Nazis; see visual references to "Triumph of the Will" (as well as Busby Berkeley). ... From Mel Brooks' "The Producers." The two main characters in this piece try to oversell shares in a Broadway musical as part of a scam. The show is supposed to be so bad that it will close immediately, and the guys can skip town with the investors' money. But they need a piece that absolutely will flop. They think they find the perfect script: "Springtime for Hitler."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Downfall" parody

This clip from the film "Downfall" has generated many remediated parodies on a variety of topics, including the Apple Cup in 2008, right after the Cougs surprise victory (which made them only the second worst team in college football history); if you are a Cougar football fan, I think you'll find this to be quite clever:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Digital Media Sandbox Consortium contest

At the end of this month, our class could collaborate again with the folks at Digital Media Sandbox Consortium (based at Tennessee State University in Nashville).

A group of colleges, predominately on the East Coast and in the South (WSU Vancouver has the honor of being the first Northwest college to join into the mix) will participate in its annual podcasting competition, which offers prize packages of up to $500 in cash as well as "gear."

Our audio stories could fit perfectly in the category of "creative feature," but those aiming for that distinction will need to keep in mind the theme this year, "distraction" as well as the submission guidelines (such as maximum length of 10 minutes).

A full set of contest rules and criteria can be found here.

Here are the winners from last year, to compare techniques and quality level.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

David Sedaris on language and symbols

This David Sedaris audio excerpt, from a piece called "Six to Eight Black Men," provokes thoughts about language, stereotypes, foreigners, small talk, onomatopoeia and traditions, including the stories we pass down from generation to generation. And it is really funny.

Examples of audio theater

Here are a few great resources to hear high-quality radio theater:

L.A. Theatre Works (we are going to hear this group's Pygmalion on Wednesday night)

The Mercury Theatre (Orson Welles's troupe, which created the infamous "War of the Worlds" broadcast

And a big list of all sorts of radio theater on the Web

Friday, October 2, 2009

Another extra credit opportunity

The Portland Art Museum is presenting a show right now that I think offers interesting insights into our class:

"Word and Image/Word as Image
AUG 22, 2009 – NOV 29, 2009
Featuring works by artists from Albrecht Dürer to Ed Ruscha, this exhibition examines the relationship between word and image in prints over the course of more than 500 years, from the Renaissance to today. Comprising nearly 70 works, the exhibition is assembled from the permanent collection of the Portland Art Museum and local private collections.

The exhibition focuses on four groups of works, beginning with late 15th- and 16th-century prints, which tend to convey clear messages with a close correlation of text and image. This section includes a page from the renowned Nuremberg Chronicle, the most lavishly illustrated book of the late 15th century.

Prints of the 17th and 18th centuries often present ambiguous messages, particularly in commentaries about society, as in works by by Francisco de Goya and Cornelis Dusart.

With the emergence of Pop art in the mid 20th century, prints drew from everyday subject matter, common objects, and consumer culture, as in Andy Warhol’s large-scale renditions of S&H Green Stamps, Robert Rosenquist’s layered corporate logos, and Roy Lichtenstein’s comic-book style portrayals of melodramatic or violent subjects.

From the late 20th century to the present, artists have explored language as a subject, used text in conceptual or paradoxical ways, and explored social concerns. In Ed Ruscha’s Drops, from 1971, the letters in the word ‘drops’ are formed illusionistically with drops of water. Bruce Nauman’s Eat Death, a lithograph of 1973, evokes disturbing associations, and Edgar Heap of Birds’ 2006 monotype series addresses issues relating to indigenous peoples of North America.

Other artists represented in the exhibition include Odilon Redon, Käthe Kollwitz, Georges Braque, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jenny Holzer."

If you attend this exhibit, and then write a thoughtful piece of discourse about it and its relationship to themes we have discussed in class (500 words minimum, posted to the Google group), I will award you 10 extra credit points.

- Prof Brett

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cobain symbols at work

Kurt Cobain singing a Bon Jovi tune, especially this one? Per our discussion in class last week, I find this example fascinating:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Class moved to VMMC 16 this Wednesday, Sept. 23

To accommodate DTC Information Night, and to give prospective students a chance to play around in the VMMC 111 lab, we will be moving our class to VMMC 16 on this Wednesday, Sept. 23. I think the number 16 means it is in the basement. But get there early, like I will, to find the right spot. Thanks!

- Prof Brett

P.S. More on Information Night:

The DTC Information Night is a recruiting event aimed at potential students and others interested in the DTC Program. It takes place on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 from 6-7:30 pm and is co-sponsored by the DTC Program and the Office of Admissions. It begins at the Firstenburg Student Commons with a "meet and greet" and a brief presentation about the DTC Program and then moves to VMMC 111 for a Student Showcase. At the end of the evening we will go to the MOVE Lab to see a demonstration of the research in progress. The event is free and open to the public. I have been told by the Office of Admissions to expect between 20-40 participants. You are all welcome to attend.

Friday, September 18, 2009

October - Extra Credit Month

I will be offering a variety of extra credit opportunities in October, for those interested in gaining some points and experiencing some of the special events brought to you by the hard working faculty in the Digital Technology and Culture program.

Those are:

Oct. 2 -- From 5 to 9 p.m., the Willamette Radio Workshop will be collaborating with DTC to present:

"mediartZ: Art as Experiential, Art as Participatory, Art as Electronic” Kick Off Party!

North Bank Artists Gallery, 1005 Main St., in downtown Vancouver
Free and open to the public

During the whole month of October the DTC Program is hosting a media art exhibit and media art events at North Bank Artists Gallery. But the "Kick Off Party" takes place on Friday, October 2. John Barber has secured the Willamette Radio Project to perform. They will give a live radio show at North Bank. The party also launches the new issue of Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures. Many of the artists featured in the online gallery in this issue of Hyperrhiz are the featured artists at the North Bank exhibit. Note that our own Jeannette Altman has a piece in the show, and Fine Arts faculty from both TriCities and Pullman are also featured."

(15 points, for attending the opening night party, watching Willamette Radio Workshop perform at least three times -- they are doing 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off -- and then writing a thoughtful and insightful 500-word response about what you learned from the experience, including reaction to the art you saw, and posting that on our Google group).

Oct. 8 -- From 6 to 9 p.m., Willamette Radio Workshop will bring its performers directly to the classroom, as part of Dr. Barber's Digital Sound course, VMMC 111. Those folks will talk at length about radio drama, including the technical aspects of producing such work.

(15 points, for attending the entire class, asking at least a couple of questions of the Willamette Radio Workshop group, and then writing a thoughtful and insightful 500-word response about what you learned from the experience and posting that on our Google group).

Oct. 29 -- Rick Emerson, who hosts the KUFO 101.1 FM morning radio show, from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays, as well as the "Outlook Portland" television program at 6:30 a.m. Sundays on NW Channel 32, will be spending much of the evening with us at the WSU Vancouver campus, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 29. This collaboration will start in the KOUG radio studio, where students will have the chance to interview Emerson on air about some of his latest projects, including the "A.Z." radio drama (zombies in Portland; we'll be reviewing this program in October), and talk to him about the industry. This will be followed by an informal dinner with Emerson, in which students are welcome to join us for the chat, followed by the class session from 6 to 9 p.m., in VMMC 111, in which Emerson will critique some of our audio projects, including at least a couple of the ones created for DTC 375, and be open to questions of all sorts about the current state of the industry, the future of radio, technical questions about producing great sound, etc. He said he's willing to talk about whatever the students want, including how to get a break in the radio biz. Save this time and date on your calendar.

(35 points, for attending the entire five-hour session, being engaged in the activity, including asking at least a couple of questions of Emerson, and then writing a thoughtful and insightful 500-word response about what you learned from the experience and posting that on our Google group; 25 points for attending the class only, plus the questions and Google group post).

Monday, September 14, 2009

How ya doin'

These "How ya doin'" commercials efficiently isolate one of the odd, yet versatile, ways in which we use -- and understand -- language:

Followed by:

Then these:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More on the PICA field trip

Please read the post a few below this one for all of the details (and please do that), but, again, we will be meeting at 6:15 p.m. Sept. 9 in front of the Portland Art Museum, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., under the giant paint brush, in place of the class on campus that night.

There are many places to park in the area, including a flat lot right next to the museum (but it's a small lot and might be full at that time). Also be aware of the various one-way streets and such you will have to maneuver (and don't forget your car-pooling pals!).

Here is a map of a Smart Park within a few blocks of the venue at 10th and Yamhill (this annotated map is also available to the right, under class materials; and you can check parking availability in real time at that lot at

If you miss us at the paint brush, don't panic! The Whitsell Auditorium is nearby, right inside the museum, in the basement, and I won't mark you absent until the first show actually begins.

Afterward, we will be walking as a group a couple of blocks to the second venue of the night, the Winningstad Theatre, in the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 S.W. Broadway.

After the shows, you are free to hang out with classmates or go home or whatever you want to do. I will be making a visual check around, just to make sure everyone stayed through both performances. But there won't be any other formal activities that night.

I will be asking you, though, to comment on what you have witnessed at the PICA festival through the class Google group, as Prompt 2 (see the link for Assignments DUE for details), due before the start of class on Sept. 16. You also will have a translation assignment due that week, which we will go over in class this Wednesday.

You should have ordered your PICA tickets by now. If not, do so right away. The box office, listed in the post below, is open noon to 6 p.m. daily.

Any questions?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prompt 1

Per the syllabus, this actually won't be due until Sept. 9, but the first Prompt assignment is the Google group response to Clive Thompson's Wired article on the "new literacy." To receive those 10 points, you should post a response to Thompson's piece on the Google group, and a response to one of your classmates' responses (5 points for each). Most of you have done this already, but I wanted to put the assignment in writing somewhere right away. So here it is.

If you had trouble posting on the opening night of class, please retry now. It seems to be working for just about everyone. And let me know if you have problems doing that.

Please check your email and Twitter contacts in the sidebar on the right, and see if you are receiving my tweets from @profbrett. I'd like to have all of these communication connections completed by next week's class.


- Prof Brett Oppegaard

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"The Medium is the Massage" online

Stumbled upon an electronic version of the "The Medium is the Massage" book by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore. We are only reading an excerpt for DTC 375. If you want to look over the rest of it, this link might help.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Please take a moment to fill out this survey

Click Here to take survey

Your answers will help direct the course. Thanks!

Ways in which we learn today

This video -- created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University -- suggests that modern classrooms need to evolve with the times and technology.

What are some of your ideas for improving the university learning environment?

Clive Thompson on the New Literacy

Recent Clive Thompson piece on about the new ways in which people "write." What do you think about this perspective on the evolution of communication?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

PICA's Time Based Art festival on Sept. 9

We will be taking a mandatory class field trip on Sept. 9, to the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time Based Art Festival.

We will be experiencing two programs, back to back, that raise interesting discussion points related to our class topic: Language, Texts and Technology.

The first one is Daniel Barrow's "Everytime I See Your Picture I Cry," which starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Portland Art Museum's Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 S.W. Park Ave. Synopsis: "Daniel Barrow's animation combines overhead projection with video, music, and live narration to tell the story of a garbage man with a vision to create an independent phone book. In the late hours of the night, he sifts through garbage, collecting personal information, tracing a portrait of each citizen through the windows of their homes as they sleep." How our identities can be created and communicated is a major theme of our course.

We will meet at 6:15 p.m. at the Roy Lichtenstein sculpture, "Brushstrokes," the 30-foot-tall metal sculpture in front of the museum, that looks like a giant paintbrush. We are time shifting the class just a bit to accommodate the schedule on this night. Attendance will be taken at that time.

The second show, Pan Pan Theatre's "The Crumb Trail," follows at 8:30 p.m. in the Dolores Winningstad Theatre, in the nearby Portland Center for the Performing Arts. That piece, which is 75 minutes, is described as "A deconstructed Hansel and Gretel, this wickedly funny multimedia theater piece blends the imaginary, subconscious, and real. The Crumb Trail takes on everything from parent-child relationships to Internet predators to the self-aware construction of our own identities." That last clause, again, is of particular interest to me and our class.

Please read the excepts about the shows beforehand here (pages 30 and 34) and do additional research on the artists, Daniel Barrow and Pan Pan Theatre, and their work.

This is cutting-edge contemporary art, so prepare yourself for that in whatever ways you need.

This is a requirement of the course, but each student in the class does get one absence this term without penalty to the attendance points. So that is always an option.

To participate, you will need to call PICA's box office at 503-224-7422 right away (these could sell out) and identify yourself as a member of the DTC 375 class at Washington State University Vancouver, then purchase your tickets. As part of this class, you will get the member rate, meaning a total cost to you of $32 ($30 for the tickets, $2 for handling). This is in place of buying a second textbook for the course.

If you have any trouble with any of that, please let me know right away.

Your course pack for the semester

Instead of textbooks this term for Language, Texts and Technology, we're going to use a course pack containing readings from various sources. This gives us more flexibility to cover broader ground. It also provides access to a wider breadth of voices and ideas than otherwise possible, while still working within current copyright rules and compensating authors and publishing houses appropriately.

Instructions for purchasing the pack (for $64.82) are below. Another significant expense for the term will be passes for a field trip on Sept. 9 to the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time Based Art Festival. More details will be coming on that soon.

Forgive the boilerplate, but here is the note from University Readers:

"Dear students,

Your custom course materials for DTC 375 published by University Readers are now available online at I have carefully selected the readings included in this course pack to provide you with a more relevant, custom learning experience. Please purchase this course pack to stay on top of your readings. Doing so will help you be successful in this class.

The course pack price is $64.82, and includes materials that we will use in class daily, so you should purchase your own copy. Also, please keep in mind that our institution adheres to copyright law, so any copyrighted material should not be copied or duplicated in any manner.

To purchase the course pack, please follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Log on to

Step 2: Click on the white "STUDENTS BUY HERE" button located in the "Student Store" section (upper right-hand corner of the page).

Step 3: Create an account or log in if you have an existing account to purchase.

Step 4: Easy-to-follow instructions will guide you through the rest of the ordering process. Payment can be made by all major credit cards or with an electronic check.

Orders are typically processed within 24 hours and the shipping time will depend on the selected shipping method and day it is shipped (orders are not shipped on Sundays or holidays). If you experience any difficulties, please email or call 800.200.3908.

Kind regards,


P.S.: after purchasing, you will also be emailed instructions on how to download a FREE 20% PDF to get started on your required readings right away."

Thursday, August 13, 2009


To Language, Texts and Technology, DTC 375, at Washington State University Vancouver.

Your textbook this term will be supplied through University Readers (more details on that to follow soon, or just go to the link on the right, under class materials and explore the store). The syllabus is posted here, to the right, under class materials. We also will use a Google group for asynchronous discussions and updates (link to the right; are you sensing a pattern?). The first assignment sheet is posted, as is my contact information:

Any questions so far?

- Professor Brett Oppegaard