Unphotographable Phiction (sic)

Working alone, you should choose one of Michael David Murphy’s “Unphotographable” posts and create a multimedia narrative. You should use your own images, new or from your archive and you should create an accompanying soundscape.
Please upload the pieces by next session to vimeo and tag it #phonar.


I went through all Micheal’s writing of a picture he did not take. I could not find one that related visually with my work so far, and I did not have time to make something new.

credit where credit is due
I have been a supporter of Creative Commons for some time and use the licensing scheme for all of my published work. I am aware of the capacity for creation of the remix culture and appropriation, and always happy to see one using my photographs to enhance their story. What I have never done so far was to tap into the massive archives of online content. There are archives of music, sound, video, photographs and anything you can imagine licensed under more flexible terms than “All Rights Reserved” allows. Creative Commons is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s been around since 2001 (founded by Lawrence Lessig) and belongs to a network of license agreements, most software oriented (GNU GPL, BSD, MIT, ODbL, MPL), but all free. Richard Stallman, software freedom activist and computer programmer, argues the definition of “free as in freedom, not as free beer” (Gratis vs. Libre). In the same spirit Creative Commons has created variety of agreements than instead of reserving all the rights of the author on the work, are permissive. Think Creative Commons as pizza recipe. Attribution (abr. BY) is the base. The available toppings are as follows: Noncommercial (abr. NC) that blocks commercial use,  No Derivatives (abr. ND) which does allow any remix, Share Alike (abr. SA) asks for sharing under the same conditions.

Many creatives and artists have embraced the power of this way of licensing and internet companies too! Many user generated content websites have given multiple licensing options to the users, or better say producers of content, the most popular being Creative Commons. (YouTube and Vimeo, Soundcloud, Flickr / Freesound.org, CCmixter.org, Archive.org)

For this task I have created a super remix entirely from other people’s work. I have used five different sound recordings sourced from Freesound.org. These are environmental sounds from cities. I did search under these terms: city, traffic, New York, noise, car engine, coins, falling, car window, electric window, footsteps, pedestrians
I started by combining the sound into one. When I exported in file, I moved on searching for photographs on Flickr. I searched under these terms: New York, Manhattan, limousine, morning, people, walking

When I collected all the content, I categorized and label everything, kept creator names, links to the originals, links to the creators profile and the actual files attached. The audio served as the base layer on which I built on top.

I should also mention that for the first time I though trying something new! I documented my progress on a google document and made it public and shared on twitter. I invited people to observe me working live, making notes, sourcing material. I left the comments on to enable the audience to participate.

For full attribution on the sounds and photographs used + my methodology check the document. It’s still open so you can comment if you wish!



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