Author Archives: Lily Ingram

Sonic Example 2

Reinventing the Wheel to Run Myself Over

I could walk this fine line between elation and success, but we all know which way I’m going to strike the stake between my chest. So, “You have to prove yourself”. You’ll have to prove it to me. So now you’re waiting up for him…

Episode 6 of Ways of Hearing talked about how we choose which sounds are noise and which are signal. Kurkowski talks about the remastered version of the Beach Boys song not including the conversation that was being had in the background. This reminded me of a song off of one of my favorite albums, in which they chose to keep in what might have been considered noise. In the first verse of Reinventing the Wheel to Run Myself Over by Fall Out Boy, the lead singer says “‘You have to prove yourself,’ / You’ll have to prove it to me.” At the end of the song, you can hear the beginning of this line shouted by someone before trailing off, followed by laughter. I remember watching a video on Youtube a long time ago in which the band members said they asked their friend from The Plain White Tees to join them on the song. However, when it was time for his line, they all stopped playing as a joke, leaving him to shout alone. This clearly isn’t meant to be part of the song, and is something they likely would have cut out if it wasn’t funny. They chose to add what would have been noise to the song, and amplified it by adding it to the very end of the song.

Ways of Hearing Episodes 5 & 6

Krukowski boils down this concept very simply by saying that “even yesterday’s hits end up in the dollar bin eventually.” Popularity is fleeting and the powerful will stick to whatever is popular and making them money. Most physical copies of the top ten albums from this year will probably sell for a few dollars in 2050, unless physical copies of music become a collector’s item in the future. Krukowski believes that by going back and looking at things that have been forgotten, we can reuse and reinvent.

Forced Exposure has all of its employees listen to every track on every album they have. This makes the employees experts at helping customers. They are better equipped to introduce something the customer may never have heard before. At Spotify, they are trying to make a “magic music player that knows exactly what you want.” They want the customer to have a continuous flow of music that is similar to what they might like without having to ask.

When I was twelve my TV broke and was unable to show picture, with the exception of a thin line in the middle of the screen. Lucky for me, the TV had a radio setting and I could faintly tell which station it was on based on the think line. For the next few years, whenever I wanted to watch TV I would listen to the radio instead. I was exposed to so much more music then than I am now. I was forced to listen to songs full through or constantly switch stations until I found something I liked, but it vastly broadened my music taste. I love Spotify, but I get tired of listening to songs that fall into the same genre. I do “discover” new music that is similar to my tastes, but it makes it easy to fall into a pattern. I miss hearing something totally out of left field on the radio that I wouldn’t have found if the DJ hadn’t spun it.

Noise is sound in the background, sounds that “you’re not interested in” according to Krukowski’s doctor. Signal is the main sound, the sound “you’re trying to pay attention to.” These terms are the difference between sound that someone wants versus sounds that they don’t.

The point of this episode is to show the significance of noise. We all know the importance of signal, because it’s what we actively choose to focus on each day. Krukowski talks about the background conversation in the Beach Boys song, which I think enriches the song and makes it special. He also talks about how audio engineers concern themselves with removing noise from songs and focusing on the signal as much as they can. In this way, they are controlling what they want us to hear.

Krukowski relates this episode back to each one before it. The imperfections of “real” time add more to the signal than the lack of noise in machine time. Headphones allow everyone to control the signal no matter where they are. Digital transmission on cellphones treats the voice as signal and removes all noise, which in turn removes depth of meaning in phone conversations. Similar to the first episode of Ways of Seeing, streaming strips music of context. Context is noise and the music itself is signal. Finally, in a world where corporations are catering to the individual, they have made everyone a signal, trying not to leave anyone out.


Sonic Example #1

No Title

ET’s Keltie Knight spoke with the GRAMMY nominee ahead of the 62nd GRAMMY Awards on Sunday. #GRAMMYs Exclusives from #ETonline :

The first episode of Ways of Hearing talked about how digital time lags behind real time due to latency. The example they use is of a baseball game on announcer on the radio that is out of sync with the game on the TV because the TV had switched from analog to digital transmission. This made me think of how award shows censor accidental cursing on live television. At the Grammy Awards earlier this year, singer Arianna Grande accidentally cursed during a live interview, which is prohibited on most television networks. Luckily, due to digital being a few seconds behind real time, the network was able to cover the curses with bleep noises. I used to ask my parents how the Grammys could censor mishaps if they were happening live, and they told me that TV is behind, so they use that time to cover mistakes. This podcast showed me that digital made that easier, if not allowing it to be possible at all.

Ways of Hearing, Episode 1 & 2

Krukowski describes real time as “lived time” and digital time as “machine time.” You can manipulate machine time in ways you cannot manipulate real time, like by speeding it up or slowing it down. Krukowski points out that when media went digital, it changed our way of sharing time together. Previously, everyone would have to tune into the radio at the same time to hear a new song or listen to the baseball game, but now we are able to listen and view at our leisure. This makes us all a little less unified in the way we share experiences. 

Moss mentions the rules now set in Astor Place, and the security guards there to enforce them. The space gives the illusion of being public, for everyone to share. In reality, it is only for certain kinds of people who are acting in a certain manner to share. The privatization dictates how the “public” space gets used.

The further you are from a sound, the harder it is to hear it. Thompson talks about concert halls as a refuge from outdoor sound. They filter out the sounds you don’t want to hear and amplify the sounds you do want to hear. She says that earbuds are an “auditorium without walls,” enabling the listener to hear the sound without noise pollution.

I was supposed to go to a concert in Radio City Music Hall in May, which got postponed due to the pandemic. I’ve been to many venues, but this podcast made me truly excited to visit Radio City. When you go to a concert, you want to be able to hear what is happening on stage just as much as you want to be able to see it. Thompson describes the venue as almost a chamber to reflect the sound of the stage back down to the audience, to try and filter out any other sound there may be. I hadn’t realized how much work goes into perfecting the sound in a venue before listening to this.

John Berger’s Ways of Seeing Episode 4

Berger states that advertising gives consumers something to envy in a time when status is not determined by birth. We live in a society that makes it feel like anyone can be a celebrity with the right tools, and advertising exploits that feeling for a profit. This is important because it puts extra significance on money, which can cause people to “scramble competitively to get more.” Berger also mentions people taking out high interest loans just to keep up the look of a certain lifestyle.

Oil painting and publicity photography both glorify money, but in different ways. Oil paintings show the wealth the subject of the paintings had, while advertising shows the wealth that the consumers want to have. These advertisements send the message that consumers are inadequate, but also offer a solution. If you buy what is being advertised then you will be, or at least feel, more wealthy. This is a false solution, as Berger mentions, because you will only be less rich once you’ve spent your money. It shows that these images reproduce what Western Europeans thought signified wealth, and use that to push the items they are selling in the present.

In the “dream of later tonight” that Berger talks about, the subject of the dream is alcohol. Berger says that everyone is smiling, and everyone is “surrounded by what brings pleasure.” Although you, the consumer, are said to be bringing the “greatest pleasure of all,” nearly every photo shows people with drinks in their hands. These people laugh, pour, clink their glasses, and share intimate looks. The following morning, the consumer’s pleasurable night is again attributed to alcohol. The concept of a “dream” contributes to the idea that advertisements offer something that will enhance the consumer’s life and increase their wealth. 

Blog Post #3

1.     Briefly answer these questions from Chapter 2.2 Prewriting in English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate:

  • Is the purpose of the essay to educate, announce, entertain, or persuade?

The purpose of this essay is to persuade, that is where the argumentative portion of the thesis comes from.

  • Who might be interested in the topic of the essay?

Black Lives Matter activists and people interested in historical photography might be interested in this topic.

  • Who would be impacted by the essay or the information within it?

The essay impacts the many protestors demanding justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among many others.

  • What does the reader know about this topic?

The reader is my English Professor who specializes in African American Literature, I presume he is very knowledgeable about this topic.

  • What does the reader need to know in order to understand the essay’s points?

The important background information is that Ieshia Evans was at a protest and that she is being arrested in the photo.

  • What kind of hook is necessary to engage the readers and their interest?

The hook will be an appeal to the reader’s emotions in relation to the death of Alton Sterling.

  • What level of language is required? Words that are too subject-specific may make the writing difficult to grasp for readers unfamiliar with the topic.

College level language is required, use of the elements of art we’ve learned about.

  • What is an appropriate tone for the topic? A humorous tone that is suitable for an autobiographical, narrative essay may not work for a more serious, persuasive essay.

The tone will be serious and educational, making an effort to convince the reader that Ieshia is fearless.


2.     Write a draft of your opening paragraph based on Chpter 3.2 Opening Paragraphs from English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate

The death of Alton Sterling sent shockwaves through Baton Rouge, Louisana. Sterling was shot and killed in an act of police brutality outside of a store where he regularly sold DVDs. He was known affectionately as “CD Man” in his community. Sterling’s shooting was one of many racially charged incidents that gave rise to protests across the nation in 2016. Among these protests, one image rose to the top and became synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement. In Baton Rouge, protestor Ieshia Evans was photographed standing alone in the middle of a road while being arrested by two officers advancing from a line of police in riot gear. She stands completely still, one arm tight around her waist while the other is slightly extended to the officer running toward her. This is not a photo of a scared woman. Evans is not frozen with fear, she is rooted in her courage. Her arms at her waist and her shoulders pushed back show a woman with patience and confidence. Although her body language is stiff, Iesha Evans is fearless due to her unshakeable strength in the face of arrest.

John Berger’s Ways of Seeing Episode 2

John Berger believes that the difference in nakedness and nudity lies in whether or not the subject is aware they are being seen. In a painting depicting the story of Adam and Eve, the pair eat the forbidden fruit and realize they are naked. Upon this realization, they hide from God out of shame for being bare. They go on to use leaves to cover themselves up from each other’s gaze, as well as that of the viewer. The moment Adam and Eve become aware of their nakedness, they become Berger’s definition of nude. They see each other differently, as something to be seen, and cover up as a result. I agree with Berger’s interpretation of these terms, being naked is to be free, while being nude is to be under a magnifying glass.

The Western works of art depicted in the second episode of Ways of Seeing generally show women in a submissive role to men. In the painting sent by the Grand Duke of Florence to the King of France, Venus is having an intimate moment with Cupid. Her body, however, is not facing him. She is facing forward, on full display for the King rather than Cupid himself. She is there solely for him to look at. This idea’s influence has lived hundreds of years beyond this painting. Until around the 1960’s the ideal woman in society was a housewife who was seen and not heard. In American Psycho, a movie set in the late 80’s, Patrick Bateman tells his assistant not to wear pants to work anymore. He tells her he likes heels, a subtle order for her to begin wearing those shoes as well. Bateman is meant to depict the average male working on Wall Street, signifying that the “seen not heard” mentality was still prevalent among the upper class in the 80s, and worth talking about when the movie was made in the year 2000.

The significance of the mirror in the paintings Berger talks about has been my favorite part of this special. He talks about how women look in the mirror and see a sight to be looked at rather than just themselves. Male artists paint a nude woman, looking at themselves in a mirror. This image of a woman with a mirror becomes a symbol of vanity. These men judge the women for worrying so much about how they look, while painting them for their own viewing pleasure. He relates the facial expressions of the women in the old European paintings to the ones of women in pornographic magazines. They both give the capturer a face they believe will be alluring for the man who views the final product. I particularly enjoyed the comment the women in the closing discussion made about intentionally seeing yourself in the mirror as opposed to catching a glimpse by chance. She says that when you look with intention, you go to the mirror in a pose, seeing yourself with a projected image in mind. However, when you look without intention you “see yourself as you are,” outside of the image you are trying to maintain. Whenever I see a reflection of myself in a glass storefront, I feel a small shock at my own face. I felt that this woman captured and explained that feeling very well.

Importance of Context in Images

Obtained from

When this image first emerged, it was accompanied with worry for the President’s health. His struggle to bring a glass of water up to his mouth with only one hand was a general concern for a person who is supposed to be the leader of a nation.

At his rally in Tusla, he spoke for ten minutes about his exhaustion from saluting each graduate at West Point that day. He tried to spin his two-handed sip as a byproduct of spending all day honoring American troops.

This is an example of a single image being used to represent to ideas: That of a frail man and that of a respectable one. I’m sure that each message is very effective in reaching the audience it was meant to. I sincerely doubt these messages were successful in convincing the opposing audience.

John Berger’s Ways of Seeing Episode 1

The Icon, representative of God, had a deeper meaning long ago. In order to see it, and therefore be close to God, people had to travel to see it. The habit of making the pilgrimage gave the Icon great significance. The Icon is given a different kind of significance today, as the viewer can feel close to God while sitting in their home. I think this is part of what John Berger was trying to convey when he said “seeing is shaped by habit.”

Museums are designed to create a certain ambiance for viewing art. The art is also the focal point of a trip to the museum. A person gets up, takes public transport, and tours a museum to see it. The dedication and general feeling around seeing an authentic art piece can be dulled when seeing it is as simple as typing the title into Google. Additionally, when seeing art on a screen the viewer can’t zoom in and focus on specific parts of the art. They must trust the person operating the camera to get as much detail as possible. This is how seeing art in a museum is different form seeing it on a screen.

I think that when Berger refers to reproduction as a “form of information,” he is referring to the art as having a message to convey. I think this is why he also mentions them having to compete with other information “jostled together on the same page.” The idea of “talking with reproductions” is sort of lost on me and I’m not sure I understand it. I think this is the way that images can have a universal meaning? Like a red octagon means “stop” and a yellow triangle means “caution,” these images have stable meaning because they have been reproduced so many times.

The Power to Look

The title of the video The Power to Look, is slightly misleading. The video is about the power of looking closely, but also the power of the artist to command a spectator’s view. With this in mind, the Art Institute of Chicago is able to meet at least three standards of intellectual quality: logic, relevance, and depth.

The speaker’s argument makes sense. For example, the photograph Untitled Film Still #92 by Cindy Sherman is meant to depict the scene of a vulnerable girl in a movie. The distraught look on her face, her position on the floor, and the viewers position looking down at the girl all contribute to Sherman’s vision. The speaker relates this to “the power directors have placing their audience in a scene.” Her argument is logical and seamlessly flows from evidence to conclusion.

Additionally, all of the speaker’s evidence is essential to the main idea. The veil of the Yoruba crown has a deeper meaning, as the viewer is shielded from the gaze of the king. The Paris Street, Rainy Day painting shows, upon closer look, the distance between the upper class and the working class. Untitled Film Still #92 intentionally put the viewer in a position of dominance over the subject of the photo. Each piece of art relates back to the significance of  attention to detail, and the artist’s affect on the viewer.

Lastly, the speaker’s argument is sufficiently complex. She uses three different mediums of art to support her claim. She uses the crown from the Yoruba, the French panoramic painting, and the work of an American photographer to support her idea that an artist tells the viewer how to interpret their work. She deeply explores each medium used diversify her argument by showing how widespread the power of an artist is.