Meditating on remediating

I am very excited to begin working on my remediation project! The topic of my first project had to do with the nature of perfection in the arts and how the idea of ‘being perfect’ can be damaging to students. For the remediation, I plan on making a podcast that contains interviews with various SMTD professors.

I chose to interview professors over students because I would like to add another layer of “proof” to my argument; that is, when students hear from their own professors (who are all accomplished, fufilled individuals) that mistakes and instances of imperfect aren’t just okay, but sometimes necessary. This will not only provide comfort for my audience, but also bolster my own ethos (and the ethos of my piece?).

The two models for my source come from my educational/intellectual radio station of choice: NPR. The first model is the radio show This American Life. This American Life is an episodic radio show. Each episode follows a theme and includes a variety of narratives, essays, and even comedy routines that correspond with that theme. I love This American Life because of the way it ties seemingly disparate subjects together and the intimate way the show presents them (interviews, personal testimonies, etc.). Ira Glass is pretty cool too.

My other model is a specific episode from the radio show Fresh Air with host Terry Gross. The episode features alt-pop singer/pianist Regina Spektor. The interview is very personal and feels more like a conversation than a formal recording. Spektor outlines her life story, basically, and talks about how her past influences her present musical composition. I’m going for a similar tone in my interviews, although it may be a more formal because I am talking to my professors.

The process of the remediation project definitely won’t be easy, but I’m excited to get started!

Repurposed, and now Remediated

My transition from the repurposing project to the remediation project has been both slow and challenging, perhaps because I am relatively unfamiliar with digital rhetoric in an academic sense. Of course I am a regular consumer of digital rhetoric. I do, after all, use my phone everyday to read interactive journals and communicate with friends. But I have never had the opportunity to study digital rhetoric as a genre or construct a multimodal project with such focus in mind. Luckily the time is here, and I am very excited about the topic I will once again communicate: the pros and cons of preventative health care.

I plan on remediating my creative nonfiction piece into a whiteboard animation video, based on the hundreds of models seen on YouTube. The first model that tipped me off to this idea was the remediation project of former Minor in Writing student Christina Morgan. For her remediation project, she created a video in which she tells a short story while simultaneously illustrating the story on a white board. This single example of dictating over illustrations provides an excellent example of “whiteboard Digital Animation Videoanimation videos” as a whole.

Generally speaking, these videos utilize 4 modes of communication: linguistic, aural, spatial, and visual. The linguistic and aural modes are present in the spoken aspect of the video. The illustrations complement the spoken aspect, and when presented in a spatially dynamic manner, offer clarity and precision to the content of the video. This mode of digital rhetoric provides an efficient platform for communicating complex information, and is therefore well suited for the complex and often multifaceted topic of preventative healthcare.

For my video specifically, I plan to focus on the facts regarding preventative healthcare as opposed to the personal anecdotes I chose to include in my repurposing project. In that sense, my appeals will be more logical and less emotional in nature. However, all that is lost from the anecdotes will be more than made up for by the satire I plan to include. The inclusion of clever satire will allow me to freely express my style as a writer while also keeping my argument concise and limited to a reasonably lengthen video. These video are usually 2-5 minutes in length, and I will inevitably need to cut information out of my creative nonfiction piece to meet such standards. But while some information will need to be cut, I look forward to reassessing the various points of my original argument and condensing such points down into a clear and concise piece of digital rhetoric.

Blog 6: Digital Rhetoric

Digital rhetoric has been hard at first to wrap my head around. Obviously digital rhetoric exists everywhere for us. We’re constantly on our phones and laptops going through emails, facebook, working hard… or hardly working. What has been most interesting has been my changed perspective. I realize now that not only is everything manufactured on the internet (given, yes, but I’m not a tech person so give me a break) but it is visually prepared in a way that hopes to maximize appeal, influence, and affect. That is super interesting. Just how any essay is written to have the biggest impact on its audience, any digital media is formed through the aspects we’ve discussed to be as productive in its goal as possible. Online platforms offer literally a blank slate, and so the options are truly only limited, for the most part, by one’s imagination.

In thinking on what I will do to remediate my project, I am keeping in mind that I am by all means limited by many more factors than imagination. I don’t have all the technical skills or know-how to put together what I imagine (and my imagination could think of plenty of options…). I need to choose a mode, as well, that is recognizable to the audience; something that makes sense given the context, for the sake of productivity and effectiveness.

My goal for the remediation will be to give better perspective on the people, opinions, history and current events associated with neighborhood inequalities in New York and specifically Chelsea. This will help my hypothetical audience delve deeper into the lives of those on either side of the boundaries that exist in places like West 16th street. I want to focus on the personal/people aspect of the issues, but I also want to continue on with some of the rhetorical elements of ‘zooming in and out’ and providing a deeper breadth of context and information in order for the reader to then make better sense of the microcosm (in the context of the whole). This being said, I’ll need to incorporate information, like I wrote up there ^^, that will give this rboader context – and I can also do this through the lense of viewing ‘people’ not ‘things.’ Here’s an example, and something I am considering: focusing in on “the players,” which include journalists, politicians, community organizers, residents, and business owners, and more. I can focus in on certain people, or types of people, to create this network of knowledge and information that my audience can feel interpersonally connected to while they learn, so that it may stick with them on a more personal longer-lasting level. I envision doing this through the format of a NYTimes infographic or something of that nature. Here’s a cool example: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/class/index.html

My work would be less statistical, but this provides a glance at the type of organizing of content I would want to have. Different perspectives and lenses on the same issue. There are pictures of people, there are interviews and slideshows, there are graphs, there is a ‘series’ involved, which takes the reader through different types of ways in which (for what this serious is concerned with) “Class matters.”

That’s what I’ve thought out so far!! Thanks for reading. 

Project Remediation

I was hesitant to think too much about the remediation project until I had fully completed my repurposing project because, to be quite honest, I wasn’t too sure about what my repurposing project would finalize as in itself.  I hadn’t known what genre my project was going to transform into until many weeks into that project.  I realize, though, that this time around with the remediation project, I can not be as jumpy with ideas and that it will be much more productive to put a lot of thought into what I want the final project to look like before I start it.

I think it is natural practice for me to let ideas organically create themselves in my work because of my roots in design.  When something isn’t working the way I want it to, I let the materials and composition of what I’m working with take shape and form all by themselves.  This is often what I do in my creative writing assignments, too.  You’d be surprised by some of the things that this method can produce.

Like I said before, though, I think this remediation project should have a bit of a more concrete idea at the start of my work with it.  And since the completion of the repurposing project, I have finally had some time to work on this idea.

I am interested in doing one of a couple of things.  My first idea is a picture book.  I would go home during the Thanksgiving Break and snap photos of all of the locations  I discussed throughout my repurposing project and compile them into a flip book sort of format.  I would potentially sift through old family photos or news paper articles of major time period events going on during the stories and memories that I brought up throughout the term of my years reflected upon in that project 1 and insert those into the flip book as well.  Doing this will allow the “old” and the “new” pictures to be in conversation with one another and help the reader to sense a common theme of change throughout my life.A picture of Anima Series speaker in a dark auditorium giving a motivational lecture.

Another idea I have is creating a video.  During this video, I envision myself sitting on a stool on a dark stage with a single light on myself and the stool (setting the stage as if I was talking out to an entire theater of listeners) (a scene similar to the one that the speakers of Anima Series presents their messages in and this is pictured in the image above)  and I would say some sort of message, either pertaining to the quickness at which life passes and things change, or I would talk about my dog and her years here on earth, as she was definitely the inhibitor and inspiration behind my repurposing project.  I would set the stage as a casual format for the video with more of a “talking over coffee” type of vibe.  The video inspiration that I am working with right now is a Soul Pancakes Production that you can find right here.

The main difference between the two options is the subjectivity in audience.  The picture flip book would be more geared towards my family and close friends.  The video can be related to by a much broader audience: anyone with a dog or anyone who experiences the quickness of life could find importance or inspiration in what I would be saying in the video.

Both options allow me to explore my interests in connecting my passion for visual and designed arts as well as the creative aspects of writing.

Writer’s (or producer’s?) block

Sometimes, going against the norm is not good, it can just create problems

I feel that my situation for the remediating project is different than most, and as a result, I am not sure as what I am going to do. Most people’s repurposing project involved transforming an essay they wrote into another form of written genre. So, for this project, they have a wide variety of non-written mediums to utilize.

For me, the situation is reversed; I repurposed a memoir I wrote into a video already, one similar to The Daily Show or Last Week TonightNow, I am not sure as to what medium I want to remediate this project into. I cannot think of a non-written medium that has a similar audience to the target audience of my repurposing video (generally curious young adults who want to learn things from a different and unique perspective). For me, some options that have crossed my mind is a podcast and an article similar to The Onion.

However, one possibility that I have been mulling over considerably is creating an animated cartoon of sorts, like Futurama or South Park. While this is still a video, the genre and style is vastly different from programs like The Daily Show. Instead of acting like a news reporter and directly giving information to my audience with a satirical twist, an animated show would involve me creating a story of sorts, one that has a plot where I could tie in the information I gave in the repurposing project. The reason why I am suggesting this is because of my target audience; while the audience would be less inquisitive about certain topics, they would still appreciate the humor that is presented. This would most certainly be reflected in the material; I would be less informative and more comedic if I decided to remediate my video into this type of show. Nevertheless, I could still include some informative elements into this type of show, which is why I have strongly considered this possibility.

south park

However, I am still in debate as to what I want to do for my remediation. Since my target audience for the repurposing project was so specific, I am still exploring other forms of media perfectly encapsulates my target audience.