LAUSD Locker Checks: Invasion of Privacy or Routine Practice?

Mar 28 2017

Recently implemented into LAUSD’s lengthy archive of rules and regulations, schools across the district have been granted the contentious right to conduct random locker and backpack searches at will. While there are clear positives that help contribute to overall school safety from this, a mass majority of the student population actively protest against the new rule.

For instance, administrators are allowed to enter my locker at free will without any prior warning. While they have a right to do so, students feel like the district tries to take advantage of the rights they are given too often.

Admins justify this invasion of privacy as “routine” and for the better of the school. While that’s true ,many students (including close friends of mine) think administrators are trying to dig up dirt on their own students. One of my friends described it as “the school making me their property.” Why is it that the our district allows these searches through our “private” property, and are there any actions we can take to combat it?

While it can be argued as being unethical, incorrect, and flat out wrong, what the district is doing is completely justifiable. As described by the LAUSD Policy Bulletin, these searches are meant to “ensure an effective learning environment”and schools are “authorized to implement random metal detector searches,” essentially giving them the right to conduct any random search they feel is necessary. Despite all the authority presented to the district and information clearly presented to the students, many still actively express their disgust with the rule.

Regardless of all the arguments posed by students district wide, why should this rule seize to exist? If there isn’t anything wrong with what one has in a locker or backpack, is there really a reason students should be protesting this rule as actively as they are? Sure it may create a sense of “loss of privacy”, but in the end it shouldn’t matter at all. Take for example the recent school shootings that have sparked throughout the country. While they have not been caused solely by students, there is a chance these shootings could’ve been prevented with just a little bit more of security protocol.In the end, it’s all procedure to prevent any more of these crimes against schools around the country. LAUSD is simply executing a plan that should be normal procedure, preventing what could become possible disasters.

Regardless of the amount of protests and debates that are posed by the public, LAUSD will most likely not back down from this rule. However, let’s not view this as a negative. The district is making choices that might not fare well with the public, but ultimately will prove to be positives for LAUSD, and in time, districts around the country. Let’s stray away from worrying about our personal opinions and think about what this rule brings on a larger scale; safety for schools.

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ICE Raids; Unethical, Yet Lawful?

Mar 22 2017

“The actions are the first concerted effort by ICE under the Trump administration to arrest targeted undocumented immigrants for deportation proceedings, but agents maintained the operation was not related to the president’s executive order regarding immigration and public safety.”

Thanks to a bout of raids recently conducted by ICE officials throughout the San Fernando Valley, these past few weeks have brought a certain amount of discomfort for specifically immigrant families.

KTLA 5 News states that over 160 immigrants have been detained in anti-illegal alien raids throughout the San Fernando Valley, making the raids one of the largest and most significant to happen during Trump’s presidency. Despite the popular belief being that Trump is behind it all, it’s still unclear if the raids are a product of the President’s executive order which was signed 5 days after he entered office.

According to KTLA, the detainees have been described as immigrants with criminal records or having other problems with the law that should eventually land them in jail either way. However, protesters claim that those detained aren’t exclusive to felons or criminals, leading them to demand a more transparent explanation and even documentation which could shed light on the controversial situation. At this point, it still remains unclear whether or not these raids have completely coincided with what ICE has described them to be. Protesters have also described these raids as “organized acts of racism,” believed to be led by Donald Trump himself.

Now, without getting too political, it is critical to understand that these raids have always been lawful. Nothing has changed in terms of ICE’s ability to deport any illegal immigrant that seems to be out of line whether it be with the law or because they might be affiliated with a terrorist organization. The legal process in regards to illegal immigration has remained relatively unchanged since Obama’s presidency and not all the blame should be put on Trump exclusively.

Personally, I know various illegal immigrants. All of them being lawful citizens, they pay their taxes and pledge allegiance to the American flag. Most of the time, you wouldn’t know who is illegal and who isn’t. But what I do know is that the law should always be followed. If there are any federal offenses that an illegal immigrant has, the correct punishment should be in order. Whether or not they feel they have the right to stay in the U.S is irrelevant. If you are a criminal, it should be understood that you are privileged to live here. So, if ICE feels it’s necessary to conduct raids to weed out the criminal immigrants, it should be done. After all, it is the law.

Americans don’t realise how flexible our immigration policies actually are. One example of an “unfair” law that Americans among others would find oppressive is being practiced in Mexico. That’s right! Mexico. Who would’ve thought that racism exists in Mexico. If any Guatemalan, Venezuelan, or Colombian tries to become a resident of Mexico, they are deported. No questions asked. If you’re anything short of a Mexican trying to live in Mexico, (not including Americans, Canadians, etc.) you’re immediately deported; no questions asked.

So, while it may seem that ICE is doing unspeakable things, it is crucial that Americans realise the situation isn’t as bad as other countries have it. American immigration policies have been incredibly flexible throughout the years in comparison to other countries such as Mexico and even Russia. Maybe- just maybe- it’s not too bad here in the States.

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Guitar Tone: Unlocking A Personalized Voice For Your Guitar

Feb 23 2017

Back when I was still a clueless rock and roll wannabe, I decided to try my hand at completely renovating my secondhand guitar. While still being a novice in regards to the designs and electronics of a guitar, my 6 string went from being a boring black and white Stratocaster, (Fender’s most prominent model since 1954) to a refreshed, surf rock and Eric Clapton inspired sea-foam green and tortoise colored slab of alder. Design and aesthetic was important to me, but I also decided to clean out the electronics and get a sharper understanding of my instrument. This prompted me to dive into a deep “quest” to find my own, personalized sound known as “tone.”

At a time that saw me listening to a good amount of Eric Clapton and surf rock legends such as Dick Dale and The Beach Boys, I thought I needed to compromise. Tone gets so specific at times that I thought it would be impossible to dial into a bluesy and tight surf tone all in the same guitar. Being the oblivious youngster that I was, I thought I needed to buy at least three guitars to fit all my “needs.” To top it off, my band mates were urging me to get a ‘hard” looking guitar with a crunching tone that would compliment the heavy metal genre we were going for. Luckily, we grew out of that phase and we’ve moved on to making better, less unnecessarily angst driven music.

Whenever you get to know someone else who plays guitar, you will always end up discussing tone. Tone can be alluded to a human voice; always different. Some people have low and smoky voices, others have high, “trebly” voices, and other people have flat and outright uninteresting voices. However, rather than vocal cords being the reason for such diverse color in our instruments, it’s all thanks to electronic devices known as pickups, the neck of a guitar, the bridge of a guitar, and so much more. In order to find what I was looking for and fully understand the anatomy of the guitar, I decided to do some research. Luckily, it took me five minutes to find my game-changing article. <— SOURCE

This blog entitled, “Of Tube And Tones: The Only Guitar Tone Guide You’ll Ever Need,” is without a doubt one of the most straightforward articles on tone I have ever read. Disregarding any of the dispensable psychobabble that many “tone masters” go on about to create an expert illusion of themselves, this article told me everything I needed to know to get what I wanted; a killer and versatile tone. Emphasis on killer.

Essentially, the article discusses everything that directly applies to tone. Magnetic devices known as pickups “pick up” the vibrations of the strings when plucked, different models of amplifiers can deliver different quality for different situations (such as shows), and a wide array of pedals can deliver different effect to the vanilla guitar sound. I learned that it is not exactly a necessity to have a different set of electronics for every time that you want to play a different style of music. For example, going from a twangy country rock much like Johnny Cash’s tone to a warm American jazz tone does not require a different set of pickups. In fact, it has a lot to do with the tinkering around with knobs. For example, mostly every amp has at least three settings; bass, middle, and treble. Bass is the lower frequency sound, middle is the line between “bassier” and lighter sounds, and treble is the sharp twang. In order to get a country tone, bass is virtually unnecessary. On the other hand, bass is paramount to achieving an even spread jazz tone. In addition to tone, I discovered pedals that release an effect into the guitars sound when you stomp on them (they are also known as stomp boxes) . Effects that I had always heard yet never knew how to use such as reverb, delay, and chorus were suddenly so clear to me. This was a revelation. I have never sat in the same spot moving knobs around for 10 hours until that day, (Chorus is considered the sound of the 80’s. Described as “warbly and almost waterlike”, musicians ranging from Metallica, Madonna and The Cure have experimented with this effect.)

Being able to master the “art” of tone is practically impossible. No one can say the have tone nailed down exactly the way they want to. Tone always leaves much to be desired, but that’s one of the best things about guitar electronics. All the different factors that play a part in achieving a certain tone are far too wild and untamed. Nonetheless, searching for a different, specific personality in your guitar every time you play is especially rewarding and allows one to build a better relationship with the beautiful instrument.

photocourtesyofdv247.com

The above image displays a diagram of the Johnny Marr (The Smiths) Signature Model Jaguar

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Rejection At Age 10

Jan 23 2017

As I progress through my high school years, I realize how simple life really was back when I was younger. Simple homework assignments, simple tests, and simple problems. I can’t compare any of the work I do now to anything I even touched in 5th grade. Everything we have done seems so much easier years after we’ve done it. We look back on learning long division in middle school and think of it as a piece of cake. However, middle school us would definitely not agree. But, as Bruce Hornsby, and later Tupac said, “That’s just the way it is.”

Now that I realized just how easy the 6th grade really was, I stop and think about why I struggled so much. Why is it that everything seemed so difficult back then? What was I doing wrong? In 20 years, am I going to look back on high school and think the same thing? However, after thinking about this for an extended period of time, I realize it maybe wasn’t entirely my fault.

After browsing through universities the other night, I came across a help forum designed for professors on the Carnegie Mellon University website titled, “Solve a teaching problem.” The forum gave many valid points and methods for bettering the learning environment such as helping students develop adequate studying strategies and giving feedback. While these can prove to be key components, I found one particular sentence that stood out to me personally. “Students may also have had discouraging experiences in similar courses or on early assignments in a course that convince them they cannot do the work.” Early on in the class, if students are presented with an assignment that they may think is on the harder side, there is a chance that they will become discouraged or disinterested with the course. In all honesty, it is natural to think that way. My AP Bio summer assignment took me a while to do, and I may have felt a bit discouraged. However, I shrugged that worry away as the extra GPA point and AP test would definitely help me redeem my lacking high school career. Now, while the quote is explaining why students may lack motivation when it comes to taking a new course, I began to look back on something that is arguably a bigger deal than one college assignment; 6th grade.

I walked into my 1st-period science class and I distinctly remember how terrible I felt after realizing I had been placed in the non-honors category. I had always been a straight “A” student until 5th grade, which is why by the time I got into 6th grade I was placed into the non-honors category. Now, we all know that middle school wasn’t going to change my life and prevent me from going to college, but I didn’t quite grasp that. I honestly thought that this would affect my ability to make it to college or anywhere for that matter. I had a feeling that people looked at me differently, and that my parents saw me as some sort of delinquent. My study habits only declined after that. I was barely getting a grasp on math and I felt like for the first time, my teachers thought I was dumb. Kind of scary for a 5th grader when you think about it, isn’t it? That’s the honors system. I can’t think of a reason why it’s an absolute necessity in middle school.

I believe the honors system discourages students at the extremely early age of 10. The honors system makes 6th graders think less of themselves. The honors system sets a social divide between kids who don’t even know how to use long division yet.

I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to be the smartest kid in the class when I was only 10. I already “knew” that I wasn’t going to get into a good college when I was this young. I can assume that this played somewhat of a role in my less than adequate performances throughout high school. Even as I walked into SOCES as a freshman with a supposed clean slate, I had always had a thought in the back of my mind that told me I wasn’t going to do so good compared to my peers. That was just the mentality I’ve had since a young age. I never really questioned it. It was something that I had sort of accepted and learned to work around.

Humans build off of encouragement. You don’t really need scientific evidence to support that; it’s known. However, I also believe that humans deteriorate when shunned, scorned, or rejected. I’m sure there’s evidence to support this too. Now, if this is the case, why is it that throughout elementary, middle, and high school, students are categorized into various different groups based on “intelligence” and learning “abilities?” Is this meant to boost children’s confidence? Will this make them want to work harder? Is this the best way to “encourage” our students?

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#blacklives & #alllives

Oct 24 2016

African-American police brutality victims, Syrian war victims, Mexican cartel slaughter victims. What do all of these crime vctims have in common? Of course, they’re all against humans. All acts of violence in our modern society, these humans of the world have all been affected by crimes involving violence. While these crimes are not exactly similar in every aspect, they all have sparked large amounts of protest and organizations throughout the world.

black-lives-matter-all-lives-matter-e1436355792382
photo courtesy of livefromlockdown.com

Now, if at the core they are all extremely similar, why are these humans and what they stand for separated into different groups? Why is the public employing the use of hashtags on Twitter such as #blacklivesmatter and not #alllivesmatter? Sure, it’s known that police brutality has affected a large portion of the African-American community and that there should be a focus on the topic, but what of the other races? Why should it be necessary to prioritize a certain race rather than all races? It shouldn’t. Ever. The very purpose of living in a country such as the U.S (while I admit it’s not perfect, as nothing is) is to bring together what is known as a “melting pot” of races that should all live in harmony. Have we forgotten of the Schoolhouse Rock “Melting Pot” film that was meant to ensue a sense of partnership within our communities rather than tear us apart? While I accept the hashtag as an act of nobility on part of the American community, why is its counterpart “#alllivesmatter” shunned as much as it is. And what of the rest of the world? Regardless, isn’t the U.S a combination of all lives brought together anyways?

The hashtag, blacklivesmatter, is meant to advocate protests against police brutality on the African-American community. Many organizations around the country, including Black Student Union here at Sherman Oaks CES, have adopted this hashtag as their slogan to further spread their protest. Despite having been adopted by many as a form of hope for all races ostracized by police brutality and discrimination, it clearly places priority on the African race. Evidently, in recent times there has been a spike in African-American targeted violence, but does that mean that #alllivesmatter shouldn’t be used? Cited as racist and a form of white supremacy protest, #allivesmatter- according to various news sources such as Huffington Post and NY Times- is a “perilous phrase.” It is viewed solely as a retaliation on #blacklivesmatter by white people, for white people. Now, let’s ask ourselves this. Where are white lives ever stated in #allivesmatter? Sure it is implied that white lives matter as well, but it’s not principally focused on only white lives. On the other hand, #blacklivesmatter, while some say is not, is primarily focused on the well being of African-American lives affected by racism and police brutality in our modern society. And as I had previously stated, black lives do matter, however why should we prioritize this certain race when there are clearly Syrian, Mexican, German, Russian, Korean, Filipino, and yes, even African lives that are all at danger throughout the world and not just the U.S. What is so wrong with protesting for the lives of other races besides African-Americans? Why should we not be able to exercise our right to protest for the lives of the world’s races, including African-Americans.

While black lives matters is based on factual evidence that displays there is a large amount of prejudiced crime against African-Americans, there is also factual evidence that there is a large amount of crime against Hispanic-Americans as well. Again, I cannot stress this enough; why focus on one part of the problem when there is something much grander we could be looking at, together as one group. Why not bring ourselves together into the “melting pot” we were once known as and prevent a sense of separation within our society.

Protests against our very own country from many celebrities and athletes, most notably and recently Colin Kaepernick, are completely justifiable. However, we should not let a sense of a tear within our country bring us apart. Situations such as police brutality and forms of racism should not separate us into groups, but rather prompt us to come together as a nation once again. It may seem distasteful, cheesy, and a big remark for someone who has not first handedly experienced a large amount discrimination, however I firmly believe that even in times of hardships within a community of a certain culture or even a group of friends, it is key to stick together.

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What Compelled Me To Write Music And What Kept Me Going

Oct 12 2016

I always wanted to be just like my brother- a musician. Seeing him play trombone since he was in the 5th grade got me thinking about all the benefits that come with it. Girls, fame, and the slickness to play “Mary Had A Little Lamb”… it was a no brainer. That was until I discovered what choir was! Girls, fame, and the capacity to sing “The Star Spangled Banner”… this was my real calling.

While I had no problem with it at the time, joining choir meant that I had to give up on my trombone dreams and all the benefits that came with learning to play an instrument. As I accepted that, I thought of alternatives such as playing guitar and taking private lessons to better round myself as a vocalist and instrumentalist. It was the best of both worlds! That was until I realized I completely despised guitar and every little aspect that had to do with it. The thick, steel strings and the stench it put on my fingers after 10 minutes of what could be loosely described as “practice” was all too much to handle. I didn’t pick up the instrument for another 4 years.

Before I would find myself playing the guitar again let us rewind. Taking up the clarinet in 8th grade here at SOCES, I finally got a taste of what I’ve wanted to do ever since I saw my brother play that trombone of his. While it was a hard adjustment, actually playing an instrument was worth every second. Everything I ever thought I knew about music was suddenly so much clearer and it put me on a clear path to becoming a better musician.

Come the end of 8th grade, I found myself and my best friend on a bench during P.E class. Discussing the grander parts of life such as everything is not what it seems to be and humans are simply alien feces that fall from space, we end up coming to the decision that it is absolutely critical we start a band. At the time I was completely into synth pop music (something I kind of regret), while he was as grunge as you can get. After his decision that synth pop isn’t an option at any costs as it would not get us ANY girls, I reluctantly surrender my dreams of becoming the next Passion Pit. (Thank you Damian for opening my eyes.)

The plan was to become the next Nirvana. I was still foreign to the idea of grunge and everything that was a distorted guitar, but it attracted me for some reason. The culture and everything that came with the rawness of power-garage rock was something especially compelling. I was quickly exposed to guitar culture and I never got out. The only problem was, I still didn’t know how to play.

Initially telling my friend that I knew how to play because I honestly thought I did, I was set as the lead guitarist. After a “practice” we both realized I was no Jimmy Page and after trying out keyboard, we both knew I wasn’t going to play guitar or keyboard. I was suddenly lost again. Nevertheless, we eventually contracted the help of another SOCES student and found our guitarist. This however, made me feel dejected and unhappy with myself. It was clear I was no good, however I was determined to become okay at best.

After extensive soul searching and hours of no good practice, I gave up once again. Both of my friends were better than I was and it would take a LONG time to get to a fraction of their level so there was absolutely no reason for me to even imagine myself being any good at guitar. Nonetheless, I still loved the way guitars looked. Everything about them was absolutely mesmerizing. Being able to color them any which way, changing parts to make them sound different, and even the kind of straps you can use. It was a whole different world.
(insert kurt)
fen-0251401502-02 photo courtesy of getty images

I owe the above image so much. Too much. If I had to pay this image for all it’s done for me I would become broke. It sounds like an exaggeration and it might be, but it’s exactly how I feel. Seeing the man our band was initially modeled after (our band’s name is ZOMBIELOAF if you were wondering. You have probably heard of us as because we are FAMOUS at SOCES) sparked something inside of me. It brought back all the thoughts of wanting to play an instrument and why I wanted to in the first place. Girls. And becoming a great musician of course. However, it wasn’t exactly playing the guitar that drew me to the image, but rather discovering more about the instrument.

As I had previously stated, guitar culture had completely sucked me in. I wanted to learn absolutely everything there was to learn about it, and everything came together perfectly for me. I was able to receive an old guitar from my father’s co-worker. While it had a simple black body and maple neck, I had a vision for this instrument. I would take it completely apart and paint it exactly like Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang. My mom thought I was dumb and my friends though I would just end up with a broken guitar. However, for the first time, I decided to not listen to them, and just do it. I knew they didn’t actually mean any harm towards me but I still wanted to prove them wrong.

In the meantime that it took me to finish that project , I reunited with my first acoustic guitar that I despised so much and practiced everyday. I was able to become better at something that I longed to be good at for so long and nothing has ever felt so good. And about a year after I had begun, I completely finished my guitar and made it my own. The time and effort I put into my instrument made me develop a relationship with an instrument that I’ve never felt before. A purpose was there and I couldn’t hold back my every desire to completely master this instrument.

Being able to set my mind onto something and doing it all by myself was kind of new to me. This was a fresh sensation and showed me that as long as I want to I CAN actually do it. It sounds cheesy, but I thoroughly believe that anything you set your mind to can be accomplished. After reflecting on these events a while back, I realized that most of why I do certain things is mostly to prove myself and others wrong. I’ve been in many situations in which people have told me that I simply can’t do something that I really wanted to. Even I’ve told myself I can’t do certain things, however now I write music and play guitar better than I ever have and am constantly improving. I’ve realized -thanks to playing and taking guitars apart- that proving others and yourself wrong is the best part about doing any activity.

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Painting Our Dreams

Sep 20 2016

   Surrealism– the art movement adopted by writers and artists alike in the early 1900’s that attempted to depict what many human beings see in their dreams or at least a hint of what could be seen while one sleeps. While it’s all interpretation and it’s rare to look at or read a piece of surreal art or literature and  immediately associate it with the dream you had last night, surrealist artists and writers  such as Yves Tanguy, Leonora Carrington, Salvador Dali, or Max Ernst all have a certain something to their work that brings elements of eeriness and confusion.

yves-2

image courtesy of art.ayay.co.uk

   One particular artist from the surrealism movement that has previously stood out for me is Frenchman Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy, simply known as Yves Tanguy. Without having any prior knowledge of Tanguy, I saw one of his images while browsing the internet and I looked at it for a few seconds and thought to myself, “Hey! That kinda looks like a scary dream.” The picture stimulated my interest enough that I looked into it a bit more and sure enough, the image was meant to exhibit the atmosphere of a dream-like scenario. Ever since that day, I’ve considered myself a fan of various surrealist artists and writers as there really isn’t much that is anything like the surrealism movement. I say that not because I would have a bias towards this genre of art, but because there literally is not anything that is similar to this type of art.

   The piece that will be the topic for this blog will be my personal favorite: “Slowly Toward The North”; Tanguy’s 1942 effort. Ironically, I never paid attention to this painting until very recently. I had always looked at it but never cared enough to actually take a GOOD look at it for whatever reason. Now, I consider it my absolute favorite artwork by Tanguy and I use it for every homescreen, lockscreen, and screensaver on all of my electronic devices. Enough of that though! Let’s get to the good part. As SOCES students who are able to critically think, it is time to dissect the illustration that can be seen to the left. After examining the image, I’ve noticed that textured surfaces and shapes on this piece add an element of confusion to the mix, which I believe is key to Tanguy’s pieces and surrealist art in general. When one thinks of a dream they had recently had, it’s usually hard to make out what exactly the circumstances were or even recollect most of the dream at all. In order to capture the essence of confusion that usually is associated with dreams, I believe these artists venture into making these works as confusing as they can. Perhaps their use of colors that don’t usually pair with each other or odd shapes that only our subconscious could possibly fashion is what makes these artworks what they ultimately are meant to be; confusing and surreal.  Textured surfaces, quirky shapes, and unconventional color combinations pair together nicely to create a complicated feel. This specific piece also utilizes dark shades of blue on the background that make it seem like a gloomy, eerie night on the ocean, simply add to the confusing yet oddly comforting ambience that this particular creation already has presented to us.

   Personally, as I had previously stated, I receive an odd, yet comforting feel to this particular painting. I believe the thing about this sort of art is that you can never quite put your finger on what it is you’re looking at. The good thing about topics that can baffle and mystify the human mind is being able to have your own outlook and opinion on things. Situations encountered throughout ones life that allow one to devise original judgement is key to being able to express who one honestly believes he/she is. Too often are societies the victims of being constantly fed what they should believe. Whether it simply be someone teasing another for certain views on topics that may include religion/politics or perhaps a media conglomerate giving the news, there is always someone who is making one question opinions of our own. On the other side of the spectrum, artists generally always like to be obscure when it comes to the meaning behind their paintings.  Nonetheless, you can almost always formulate your own interpretation to these paintings. For this particular art movement, there’s not even much the artists can say about their own work (when it comes to the artwork at least). There doesn’t seem to be any bigger, deeper meaning to these pieces that are clearly presented to the public that can make one think, “Oh yeah that’s what it means!” I believe that the revelation stage is completely blocked out and it’s all left up to one’s own interpretations (if it’s even possible to conceive your own opinion that makes sense on these paintings.) The beauty in this art is that it completely defies any parameters that were already set by other artists even though art is meant to already be outside of the lines. The surrealism movement managed to break out of the box that is enclosing the box that other artists thought they had already broke, completely disregarding any barriers.

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Liu Di

Sep 01 2016

   

http://theinspirationgrid.com/animal-regulations-photo-manipulations-by-di-liu/

In my search for a compelling image to reflect on, I came across an orangutan. A large orangutan. This orangutan (clearly subject to computer manipulation) can be interpreted in many different ways, making it the ideal topic for my first blog. For the sake of creativity and not becoming influenced by what it really may mean, I have decided to not research anything about the image until I have formulated my own opinion. You and I, reader of my blog, are both venturing into this lair of mystery together.

   After an investigation of the image and it’s origins, I have learned it is the product of small time and almost elusive Chinese artist, Liu Di. A resident of Beijing, Liu Di was born in Shaanxi Province of China in 1985 and graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Other than a few websites displaying his art for sale and a few biographies, Di is almost a ghost on the internet. With what little information is shown, I was able to find that Di conceived the idea of this art series known as “Animal Regulation” while traveling through bus around Beijing. Di describes this series of images (not only orangutans) as “a highlight between nature and human society, between the material world and the intellect, between obedience to and violation of the laws of nature”, as stated for Chinese art website “White Rabbit.” From the rest of the short biography I found a quote from Di that especially intrigued me. “It is only when our preconceptions are jolted, that we wake up and truly see”. While Di clearly states what his intentions were behind the series were, I believe this quote to be a better interpretation of what he was going for. Di explains in the quote that the image gets a reaction out of viewers and test their “preconceptions” of what was once there to create a “jolt” and grab the attention of the viewer.

Liu Di exceptionally gets this reaction he desired out the viewers as evidenced by me personally. This strange and enticing image stopped me and even inspired me enough to write my first blog about it.

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