Research

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2010 by chez jones

The list of websites I have used for research can be found under the blogroll list.

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Memory Artifact

Posted in Uncategorized on December 16, 2009 by chez jones

When deciding what to do my memory artifact on it was suggested in the seminar that I could ask members of my family or myself about the memories of my uncle being in the 1991 Gulf War. This interested me but in a way I wanted to do something away from that, and with the obstruction being make something you’ve not done before and and do something different and abstract I didn’t know how I could do this with the topic of war and missing the person out there. I was scared it would not look or sound serious or the meaning might be lost.

I was watching a program on Alzheimer’s and it got me thinking about my memories and how I hate to lose them as I’ve got some that I definitely would hate to forget. Tucked away in the depths of my computer I found photos and video clips of things I consider memories I don’t want to forget. I also found on the research and development page links to vimeo and a filmmaker called Karen Abad and while looking at some of her films came across ones that were called Memory Bank and had a serial number. I found these films very interesting to watch and it was also like she was creating her very own memory log. Of the few that I watched they all seemed to have a look as though someone had plugged into her mind and was seeing an un sequenced video playback, the same way our memories appear to us inside our head.

So I decided to make a memory bank of my own using video and pictures of my memories.

Here is one of Karen Abads films.

Memory Bank Video

Our Memory

Posted in Uncategorized on December 16, 2009 by chez jones

I saw a documentary last night on my on demand TV called Wonderland: The Alzheimer’s Choir, is was a 40 min program about a choir made of Alzheimer’s sufferers and their partner’s. The program interviewed the partner of the Alzheimer sufferer and followed part of there home or residential care home life and how strangely music is one thing that all Alzheimer’s sufferers no matter how far along their disease has progressed seem to remember and remember word for word in most cases. This documentary is very moving and has made me understand Alzheimer’s a bit better, I have for a long time thought that people with Alzheimer’s revert back to a childlike state but I was so wrong and I want to learn more. If you have the time please watch the documentary for yourself.

\”Wonderland: Alzheimers Choir\”

No one truly knows how our brains store and recall memories, why a smell can make us remember something we did years ago or a song we hear can trigger good times. We can remember good times and unfortunately bad times too but we can also forget things and lose our memories for certain reasons and so memory is precious thing. Especially for people afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease.

In Britain three are around 500,000 people with Alzheimer’s Disease (35 Million worldwide) and daily life is a constant battle with their memory. The disease was discovered 1901 after the man it was named after (Dr Alois Alzheimer) wrote a paper on an elderly patient displaying short term memory loss. The disease was recognized Alzheimer’s 1906 after Dr Alzheimer gave a speech about his findings.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form Dementia and is a progressive, degenerative and terminal disease. It starts with memory loss, in some cases depression and an impairment of the ability to do complex tasks and retain newly learned information and is called pre-dementia. The second stage is called early dementia and can affect language, the persons perception and and their movement, these symptoms become more noticeable than the person’s memory loss and it is their short term memory that is affected  rather than their long term memory. Stage three is called moderate dementia and starts to affect the persons independence where everyday tasks become difficult to do, their speech becomes impaired as are writing and reading. Long term memory also starts to be lost and the person finds it difficult to remember who people are, they also become prone to falls, irritability, wandering, emotional (laughing and crying) outbursts, unrinary incontinence, and seeing things that aren’t there. At this stage carers find it difficult to cope especially if they themselves are elderly and the Alzheimer’s sufferer is moved to a care home. In the final stage, advanced dementia the sufferer depends entirely on their caregiver. Their speech is almost or completely lost become exhausted are bedridden and are no longer able to feed themselves. As Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease with loss of braincells and the body slowly shutting down it is not because of the disease that the person usually dies but an infection or pneumonia.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible debilitating disease which is incurable and is terrifying to people the older they get, members of my family have spoken words like “if I ever get Alzheimer’s just shoot me” which is horrible to hear from someone you love, but the hope is that with the advancement of science we may one day find a cure.

10 Memories

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2009 by chez jones

No particular order

1 – Moving to Minehead for 3 years on my own

I moved to Minehead to work for Butlins for 2 seasons and ended up living there for another year and a half, it was a lot of fun. I only came home when I split up with the guy I was engaged to.

2 – My parents splitting up and divorcing

This was not a good time in my life. I was 9 when my parents split up and it was especially traumatic because it was my Mum that left and eloped, so we (me, my brother and sister) had to move with my dad into my Nan and grandad house.

3 – First time I flew

I was terrified on my first flight, and I only flew and hour and a half to Prague, but now i’m a lot better with flying.

4 – The first time some one died in my family

The fist funeral I went to was for a Step Aunt who died of breast cancer when I was about 18, and it was a very sad occasion because she was only 42 when she passed.

5 – Becoming an Aunt

This was a fantastic feeling, my sister having her first baby, a girl called Lauren and me becoming an Aunt. I was so happy, the only bad thing was that I was living in Minehead when she was born and didn’t see her till she was a month old.

6 – The day my sister got married

The day my sister got married was a happy day and I was so proud that my sister asked me to be her maid of honor. I came home from Minehead for her day and I hadn’t seen her for 3 months so it was extra special.

7 – My first tattoo

I was so excited to get my first tattoo but nervous at the same time, my friend paid for it for my birthday and I got a pentacle star on my shoulder-blade. It hurt like hell but I love the pain, it makes you know your alive and it’s not a bad pain (most of the time), I since had 8 more since then and would love more.

8 – When I went to New York

New York is a place I’ve always wanted to go, and I got the opportunity at University. We went for 5 days and even though the weather was crap for the first 3 days it didn’t matter, the place is amazing. We did a lot of tourist things like statue of liberty, empire state building at night and Madame Tussards, and shopping. But the highlight (although it probably shouldn’t be called that was visiting ground Zero and crying uncontrollably in the tribute gallery and having a tour by people who lost loved ones in the towers.

9 – Spending a month volunteering with the AWF in Tenerife

This was the best month ever, I went to Tenerife to log and photograph whales and dolphins for the Atlantic Whale Foundation. I stayed in a 300 year old house about  20 mins outside Playa Las Americas and went on the tourist whale watching boats 3 times a week. It was an amazing experience and one I’ll never forget.

10 – First Foo Fighters concert

This was an experience…my favourite band is the Foo Fighters and I went to see the at the NEC in Birmingham. But I’d got very drunk the night before and was violently sick a few times that morning. So went to the concert feeling like crap and couldn’t eat or drink anything all day but had a great time at the concert despite the fact I felt really ill.

Power of the Computer

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2009 by chez jones

Computer technology has revolutionized the way we live our everyday lives. In 1613 through to to the mid 20th century, a computer was a person who did calculations, by the end of the 19th century the term computer was beginning to take the meaning of a machine that did calculations.

In 1623 Charles Babbage designed a machine that was the first fully programmable machine called the Analytical Engine but was never finished. In the late 1880’s Herman Hollerith’s machine readable media was invented which recorded information on punched cards ( two other machines were invented for use with the machine readable media, the Tabulator and the keypunch) these machines were used in the 1890 US census. Hollerith’s company would become the core of IBM in 1896. By the end of the 19th century the practicality of these machines was realized and led the way for Punched Card, Boolean Algebra, Vacuum Tube and the Teleprinter. Up until mid 1900 the first analog computers were created and in large number, they were either electrical, mechanical or hydraulic, the mechanical versions were used for gunfire control in WWII and the Korean wars. The drawback with these machines was that they were not programmable and not very versatile or accurate. In 1936 Alan Turning came up with concept of the Turning Machine and is considered the father of the modern computer. The first working computer to be controlled by a program was built in 1941 by Konrad Zuse and in 1955 built a computer with magnetic storage.

The recognized creator of the digital computer was George Stibitz, and was a relay based calculator and was the first to use binary circuits. The 1950’s the vacuum tube electronic elements were replaced by transistors in the 1060’s which were smaller, cheaper and a lot more reliable, the 1970’s saw integrated circuit technology (the micro chip) and this led to the design of the micro processor to perform program functions.

At the end of the 70’s many electrical products, the video recorder  and washing machine being some contained microcontrollers, small computers to make the machine programmable. The 80’s saw the first home computers and later the personal computer. With the invention laptops and the World Wide Web (by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989) computers have given us the power to instantly send messages and gain information on the move.

How will computer technology evolve in the future?

So many everyday operations today rely on computers, from power stations to banking, transport to cooking out meals. There aren’t many things that don’t contain some sort of computer. If the computers were to suddenly stop working, the world would be in an instant case of mass panic, without computers the world we know and take for granted would disintegrate before our eyes. Technology is an amazing achievement but are we now too dependent on it?

Power

Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2009 by chez jones

If you google the word power it produces 157,000,000 hits, power has so many definitions that to say something about each one would take days. The most relevant to this course is media power, from large production companies creating blockbuster movies to advertisers telling what to buy.

The media for years has told us that if we buy this, look like this and have this job then you’ll have made it in society and you’re a success, but this is just an ideology. For a lot of people and in this economic crash the majority of people just can’t afford to live the picturesque lifestyles shown in advertising. This can lead to debt with people living outside their means, depression and many other unwanted problems.

One that has plagued the modeling world for years is eating disorders, with supermodels and fashion labels promoting (in a way) super skinny as being the best way to look it led to girls of all ages falling victim to anorexia and bulimia. A few years ago when size zero became an issue when a few models died of eating disorders. Modeling agencies were asked to only use models above a certain size, but stick thin models are still used on the catwalk to promote fashion designers. Cindy Crawford has recently urged women not to buy magazines with skinny models on the front in protest of size zero saying that women have the “power” to change body image stereotypes.

The clip below is an anti size zero campaign from MTV

There aren’t many women out there who haven’t struggled with the way they look at some point in their life, and this is down to the way the media shows women as stick thin, beautiful and successful.

Power Artifact

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16, 2009 by chez jones

I knew straight away that the interview I did with my Uncle a few years ago was what I was going to use for my Power Artifact. The problem I had was how was I going to cut 55mins into 1 min 30, I needed to chose which part I was going to use. The interview was about my Uncles time in the 1991 Gulf War and his struggle with Gulf War Syndrome because of the cocktail of drugs he was given. I was going to use this part, but it needed a lot of time as it was quite in-depth, so I chose to edit the part about what he did while he was out there, which I feel wasn’t as powerful as the struggle he’s had with illnesses but is quite powerful in its own right.

It took about 3 hours to listen it and edit the pieces together, I wanted to also add images to the piece but after editing the sound I had a problem with my computer…basically it crashed on me! So I decided to just keep it as an audio piece and to let the audience use the power of their minds to put in their own images which would then make it even more powerful. Also I did want to use You Tube images as they wouldn’t be personal to the audio and as my Uncle didn’t want his identity revealed so I couldn’t use images of him then or now.

In the end I was happy that this was just audio, it is something I’ve never done and after listening to it a few times realized that it was a very powerful piece.