Promotional video - week 1

Stephanie, Jade, and I as a team, worked out our first concept of our video project this week.

Description of the product

- Summerized by Stephanie.

The Memory Pill
What if you could buy someone’s memory? Or record every emotion you felt and play it back exactly as it was? Would you want to? 
The Memory Pill temporarily alters the biological formation and experience of memories. It operates in two states: record or experience. When taking a blank pill, users record all that they experience for 24 hours. Emerging from their belly button, the 24 hours are physicalized into a memory growth . Upon removal of the physical growth, it is uploaded to the Universal Memory Bank  and reconstituted into an experience pill.  Browsing the Universal Memory Bank, individuals can download, print and then ingest the experience pill of someone else, or from their own catalogue of uploaded memories. But while the potential experiences of an individual have now exploded, what does it meant to share memories? How can multiple people experience a moment from a single point of view? How is the “memory” reinterpreted? Would this enable ‘true’ empathy? Is empathy ever possible—or do we only attempt to empathize and are completely able? Swallow and find out.


- Drew by Yuan (ACT 1) and Jade (ACT 2).

Sound story: Bloodchild - Gan's emotion room

This sound story is based on the narrator - Gan's emotion change. The listener should imagine walking into a room which is showing Gan's feelings changed with timeline.

We recorded most parts of the sounds from our daily lives, except the gun shot, glass smashing, women screaming, and background music.

Dianna and I discussed the story and both brought out the first idea about what we want to tell in the sound. The first agreement was making a one piece song with multi layers to express the reader's thinking - it is a horrified disgusting alien story, but with some kind of warm family love in it. But this plan would make the sound too short and has no arc in it. So we finally decided to use Gan's shifting emotion to construct the sound's structure.

Then we decided what kind of sounds we needed in each part - the happy childhood with little awkward background, the frightened scary feeling about giving birth, the struggled denial and fighting with new informations, and the last grown-up accepting with little sad. We focused on finding and recording matching sound in our daily life separately for 4 days. I chose to walk from WTC to NYU, expecting to find some surprises, and I did find some. For example, I accidentally got the awkward sound coming from the escalator's rub handrail in a mall of WTC, the carousel music and rain drop at the playground of my living community, and the the underground train noise on the street, etc. The serendipity is, I also got a traditional chorus of indians from my neighborhood and two country musics from Washington Square. How beautiful are they!

Dianna and I both wanted to try editing, so we decided to do our own sound stories and put them together at the end. I found a guitar album in my old hard drive by chance, and solved the music searching problem. I tried not only to cut and connect the guitar song to an ideal duration, but also to edit the recorded natural sound to fit the rhythm of each background music. Dianna also got some amazing effects such as the bubble sound. We cut and combined the good parts from each of our works, and dowloaded some necessary sound pieces from internet, the women screaming, the gun short, etc.

I truly enjoyed this assignment, because I found so many beautiful things from my normal life, and this is the first time I used english to discuss serious subject with partner from a different country. In order to understand each other better, you need to listen, guess, and reconfirm everything patiently. It is hard, but fun.

If I had a second time to do the project, I would do it with more details by adding more interesting sounds and effects.

Read, watch and audio walk

1. About plagiarism

Reading: The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism

watching: Embrace the Remix


Both the article and the video are talking about the point that plagiarism is not only a necessary but a harmless way to create new arts. The progress of useful arts is based on a huge database inherited and enriched by all the participators before. The process we using this database, even we may not realize, happens everyday when we make something new, which can be called plagiarism.The truth that“ creativity comes from without, not from within. We are not self-made, we are dependent” is a translated form of the concept that if we don’t have this database, there will be no more new arts. So the intensifying resistance of plagiarism today will prevent the appearance of new ideas, then slowdown the enrichment of the database, finally hurt the prosperous of human culture. So the activities, which are sharing, giving things away as gifts, making connections, and considering the plagiarizer as a fan and a friend, will not only continuously contribute to the society, but also make yourself happy.


But plagiarism becomes a problem today is because the situation in the real world is very complicated. The most intolerant case is someone steals my whole work then trades it, without any single change, for fame and fortunes, which neither makes contributions nor communications. As my opinion, this should be judged by publics and laws. The other case that involves plagiarizing my work but adding some new ideas into it and making it a sort of a different thing, can be tolerated and even encouraged because of the exchange of informations and the inspired connections between these two.


I can really understand the worries of today’s creators, and their unfair feeling when their efforts get nothing but help other people win. Even I know in some ways plagiarism is not as evil as it sounds like, I still want to respect and try entitled every name I know whose work are clearly being used in mine.


2. Audio walk: Her Long Black Hair

I have to confess that I did not actually walk in Central Park, since I made my schedule a total mess last week. I listened the whole album in the midnight, sitting beside my desk, facing the river view of Newport, imaging that I was walking in the park (Yes I can do that because I spent lots of time there in August). As a result, this album can be the one of the most inspired things I’ve known since I got to NY. 


First of all, It makes this amazing feeling of space-time disorder. When I was standing in the space, but hearing the trumpets and claps, so real, coming out from the same location 40 years ago; when I made saliva on my cheek, just like the speaker said, and felt the tiny winter cold in September; when I heard about the lively children, singers, whispers and phone talking passing by, but I saw nothing but trees and ground, I felt such a confusion that I was experiencing two different timelines at the same time. I think this is a great way to tell the history and provoke empathy, especially when you even hold an old photo helping you understand the old scene. 


Also, there are some special sound effects in the tracks that create new feelings that I never experienced. For instant, the slow motion sound with my action of walking backward, and the polar bear talking about his own story. They never happened in the real world, but they are so real in the sound, making me felt like I was in a movie or I had this ability of hearing animals’ thoughts.


Another fantastic thing is, this “fake” sound walk experience make me stunning about human’s ability of distinguishing subtle sounds and quickly reconnecting the sound to personal memories. When I closed my eyes, I could even tell when the speaker was walking on what kind of ground or material, which direction she went or passed, and how fast things went away next to me.


The last thing is, some narrative skills are also interesting. When the speaker was talking about the story of the red-coat-girl photo, a man suddenly interrupted and started to talk about his memories about his mother which provoked by this photo. So there are 4 layers: me in the park listening, the speaker in the park recording, the red-coat-girl in the park taken this photo, and also the story of the man’s mother. The depth of informations is fantastic. There is another following part is: A song appears instead of the real world natural sound before. I guessed that it was trying to tell that the speaker was wandering in her feelings and memories, and this song was the sound inside her mind at that moment.


The audio walk makes me realized the functions, powers, and creativities of sound, and also give me a new example of story telling. When sound enlarges peoples’ feelings, the world is not only 3 dimensions, but way more richer with crossover things from memories and imaginations.

Notes when I was listening

Notes when I was listening