Over the holidays I was tasked to create a makeshift musical instrument, which left me stumped for quite a while. After being strictly told that we couldn’t place rubber bands over a tissue box, I turned to the internet for inspiration. Initially I was really excited to create a guitar out of a cigar box, a niche hobby that the internet is more than happy to guide you through. However after sourcing a beautiful vintage cigar box at a low price over on eBay, I accidently had it sent to my hometown, rather than my room at Uni. Oops. I instead turned to the Wash Basin Bass, which turned out to be a fun little project for a very low cost. Turns out Wilko sells broom handles without the broom at a very reasonable price, and I was very lucky to find a metal bucket that would serve as my Wash Basin at my local Bargain Buys. By simply drilling a hole into the bucket for the string and sawing a groove into the broom handle so that it fit snuggly on the side of the bucket, then attatched the string to the bucket and held it taut with my guitar capo. The string is played like a bass guitar and the pitch can be changed by leaning the handle back and forth, then the bucket provides the acoustics. It has a surprisingly strong sound, despite it being very tricky to create a recognisable tune, and for under a tenner, it’s a cool novelty to have around. I might add a pickup if I find the time and the pocket money, and see if I can get a nice recorded sound from my little creation. Some videos of me playing the instrument may surface in the next few days – so stay tuned.
When asked what my favourite movie is, my go-to answer is usually City of God. Full of character, style and incredible story telling techniques, it impressives me everytime I have the pleasure of watching it. For my next brief, I was tasked to take twelve screens of a movie that had a particular impact on me, so it made sense to select City of God as that movie. We then had to retell the narrative with those images in any visual way we wanted, I decided to turn it into a comic book, or graphic novel, since the cinematography of the movie really lends itself to be pictured and presented. My technique was quite time effective, and produced surprisingly good results. By taking screenshots of the film then drawing over the characters and props of scene, I was able to transform it into something that looks rather convincingly hand crafted. At just twelve pictures, it’s impossible to tell the story exactly, but it’s a fun mockup that I thought was worth sharing, especially if you’re a fan of the movie yourself!
Read my review of the latest Decemberists album over at The Fifty One Fifty by clicking here.
*for my course I am required to write a paragraph reflecting on my seminar discussions.
In ‘A Queer Romance’, Burston explores a number of different author’s approaches to feminist critiques and looks at varying views on the objecification of women, such as ‘othering’, the implications of self-surveillance and the male ‘gaze’ or spectation. Burston opens by summarizing the views of a few writers, but ultimately focuses on two: John Berger and Michel Foucalt’s work, using the idea that objectification is strongely connected to the experience of being ‘looked at’. Berger makes an especially interesting argument that the idea of the ‘surveyor’ and the ‘surveyed’ is inherent to western culture and capitalism, which functions by reducing everything to a commodity and thus an object, since capitalism operates on power inequalities. Foucalt has a different model, suggesting that objectification is not the product of economy, but instead social ‘discourse’ – Foucalt believes that objectification can be explained through psychoanalysis. Burston seems to favour Foucalt’s model over Bergers, acusing Berger’s argument as being “limited by a rather crude Marxist reading which places social values above aesthetic values”, and failing to explore discourse as a possible explanation.