Welcome to the homepage of the Digital Cultures and Creativity Research Practicum for 209B (directed by Krista Caballero) and 209D (directed by Jennifer Guiliano). Throughout Spring 2013, students will be posting a series of materials under development as part of their Capstone project that reflects the culmination of two years of coursework and learning in digital culture and creativity. We invite all visitors to participate as commentators and students to contribute across the two courses.


**with just a few days left in the semester, we remind you to complete your course evaluations.***


One Response to Welcome

  1. Avatar of Matt Dohm Matt Dohm says:

    Music; the language of emotion.

    One of my skills as a musician is composition, I love to take ideas & themes and put them into music. I speak music better than I speak English, and i can to communicate and connect my ideas & emotions with my peers, friends, or perhaps an unknown audience. I see this as “easy translation”; there’s no person better to describe my feelings than me.

    For the first time, I’ll be writing about how someone else feels. This presents a difficulty in translation. My questions will excite other’s emotions, that they’ll put into their own words. I’ll have to sort & arrange in my mind what they meant from my own perspective, then put that into music. This project will lead me to integrate myself into the minds & emotions of others, & allow me to color & texture their thoughts & ideas with my music.

    The subject I’ve chosen to write about is America. When the subject of our country comes up, different things will jump to mind for different people. History lessons, the past election, our influence in the outside world, the policies of our government’s effect on our individual lives, etc. Just in the past couple months, I’ve heard & seen everything from love & adoration, to hate & disgust, to confusion & doubt, towards the country that we live in.
    So, I’ve decided to find out my fellow DCC students feel about America. I plan on collecting & recording the expressions from all current DCC students, freshmen & sophomores. I’ve created an interview process (information-gathering) to retrieve these emotions. I’ve created questions that are purposely open-ended, so that the people I’m asking are free to expand their answers without worrying if they’re answering my question correctly.

    I will go through multiple types of communication, utilizing the different forms of social media & digital communication we use on a daily basis, to retrieve these emotions. I will randomly place people into the categories of the different forms of communication. E-mail, texting, Facebook, people use these somewhat regularly to express how they feel; so when I use them to ask questions, I expect to get different kinds of answers based on how that form of communication is normally used.
    I plan on utilizing many forms simply because I don’t know which me will provide me the “best” answers. I see this as a research study into social communication, how do people express their feelings, and is there a “best” way? Is there a “usual” way people will respond to a text, or a tweet? How do people see the application of these forms of digital communication in their own lives, and how will it effect my responses?

    I will have face-to-face conversations; going up to individuals with a video camera to record our conversations, and ask them questions. They will not have a lot of time to respond, and have to answer with the first thing that comes into their mind. I’ll also have video-chats on a computer. A recorder will be set by the computer to document the conversation, with a similar response time.

    I will e-mail questions to some people, allowing the conversation to take place through typed chat. I’ll also retrieve info through texting. I’ll be asking questions & receiving answers through single texts, limiting their answers to the 160-character limit. I’ll utilize the media platforms of Facebook & Twitter, posting a question, and ask different people to respond to it, through a conversation with each other, on the comment thread birthed from the post. For these types of communication, there will be no time or word limit, and they’ll have as long as they need to respond.

    The format of how will I pose my questions will be different for each process, for the perspective of the person being interview would change based on the platform where their being asked things (a different style of questions will be required from me on a texting conversation, as oppose to a face-to-face conversation).

    To keep things professional and consistent, I will have to find a way to treat everybody the same in each process, asking them questions in similar fashions, whether I previously know them or not), to have a consistency in their answers. My previous relationship with each student will have no effects on the type of communication used with them, and the way the questions are asked.

    I expect to get different answers from people who are texting me (with time to think about their responses), as oppose to answering spoken questions with immediate responses. People may treat me differently, based upon whether I’m right in front of them in-person asking questions, or miles away responding by e-mail.

    This project is also meant to research how multiple steps, or a breakdown in communication, may or may not influence the composition process. Through these varied responses, will I able able to correctly translate their feelings into my music? I plan to have follow-up interviews with everybody after the songs are written, & see whether I succeeded in stepping into their perspective.

    From these emotion, I will create a song-cycle. A song cycle is a group of songs centered around a common subject, set as a “musical revue”. Each song has a different style and feel to it, and the performance order is determined by the style of each song. The number of songs I will compose completely depends upon the different kinds of answers that I receive. If I get 8 different types of answers, I’ll write 8 different songs in my song-cycle. I will vary each song (by the emotion that carries the song forward into meaning) with different styles (rock, mambo, jazz, pop), through varied rhythms, dynamics, meters, and (obviously) lyrics (taken directly from the words of my peers). Each song will represent a different emotion portrayed by my peers.

    A true song cycle finds unification around a central theme or narration that the songs relate to. A child will be wondering throughout the halls of Queen Anne’s, as he learns about America through the voices of DCC students. Some will openly volunteer information; some will have to be asked. Some will care, others will not. Through their answers (and their lack of answers), the child will gain a better understanding of America.
    I will connect my fellow DCC community around a common theme, so we can better relate, understand, and unite with each other’s feelings through the language of music.

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