Mask Project Reflection Project Description Essentially, the assignment of this project was to write an essay and create a mask in order to define how the topic you chose (music in my instance) has influenced yourself and society as a whole. The process of this project started with us creating the masks from plastic wrap, straws (for oxygen), gauze and tap water. We’d put the plastic wrap over the subject’s face and create a hole for the straws so they could breathe during the development of the mask, then we put a few layers of wet gauze over their face and let it dry in order to make the initial mold of said subject’s mask. After the molds were created we followed by using powdered plaster to layer the mask, and afterward, using sandpaper to smooth out the flaws in the plaster. After applying and drying a layer of modge podge, the masks were painted based on the subject of your essay. Project Effort When speaking in terms of my essay, I was generally satisfied with the final product, although I definitely wish I would have refined it more, not necessarily because I want to better grade, but solely because I tend to incorporate a specific type of confidence. It’s one of those internalized feeling where I disappointed in the fact that I could have put out an essay that I was proud of and I didn’t. It’s not as if I didn’t put any effort into it, but rather the fact that it fell shorter than I’d hoped. As for advocacy, that has never been a stongsuite of mine, and it definitely wasn’t in this project. I have a habit of trying to be too independent, and when that quality of mine shows itself sometimes it’s the opposite of a positive outcome. My essay didn’t follow the TEA paragraph standard. I guess I could have asked for help, but it wasn’t that I didn’t know what I was doing with it, it’s just the fact that I have a specific writing style and although it’s an essential part to the grade I get, I still didn’t do it simply because I found it restrictive and pointless. On the other hand, I should’ve had a conversation about that. That also goes along with my level of perseverance, which wasn’t as bad as my lack of advocacy, but there were still issues. I gave up quite easily on the mask, and I think the reasoning behind that is because I’m not a visual artist, so when I hit a pothole I just gave up on it. The essay was a different story though, even though I’m not entirely satisfied with it, I still feel like I can say that there was effort put into it. So all in all, my final product was definitely underwhelming and I’m not proud of (the mask specifically) it. Personal Growth and Development It’s obvious that I didn’t do well on the “artistic interpretation” of the project, however the project did provide some benefit. When I started this project I wanted to develop some skills of visual representation, but I didn’t achieve that and I think that’s due to the lack of motivation I have towards visual arts. On the other hand, before this I had never looked at the way that music culture has affected politics in such a large standard. It’s made me think a lot more about the examples of this that are surrounding me in my daily life rather than examples that took place in the past. It makes it evident that the voice that the music industry had in the past is not nearly as prevalent. I makes me consider how certain music industries have changed for the worst.
Music and Socialization Jack Dominick In some aspect, socialization is thoroughly defined by the cultures and idols that surround it, either if that applies to a minuscule group, or a mass population of people. As time progresses, these concepts of socialization embed their roots deeper and deeper as they and their morals and ideas are passed between various generations. This idea of socialization is incorporated into practically everything we know, and the music culture has created and emphasized many pieces in the society that we’re experiencing today. These areas can include things such as fashion, arts, politics and industry, and/or how a single figure can cause drastic influences on things of the sort. Cultural Movements Every genre and every sub-genre of music has some sort of creation, and some sort of history connected to pre-existent music genres. Some of these were much more prevalent and influential than others. Some of these “eras” of music held more lasting effects than others. Take the 1990’s, specifically around ‘92 - ‘96, for a credible example. On one side of the spectrum, you had what’s known as the grunge era. It originally roots from bands in the late 80’s (‘86 - ‘89) like Sonic Youth and early Mudhoney, and some earlier influences like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Initially, grunge was just another form of garage rock to satisfy the angsty teenage population of Washington. In about 1991, a few bands from an uprising genre found success like Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam, but Nirvana was specifically crucial to Grunge’s development. Their album Nevermind (‘91) went massive and set an entirely new standard. This album essentially foreshadowed the shock wave of culture to come. Seattle began to flood with a sea of edgy teenagers and young adults dressed in flannels, old band tee shirts and ripped jeans. It started this pop phenomenon that spread like plague, and examples of its aftermath are still here. For example, if you were to walk through the hallways of your local high school, I’d be willing to bet that you would see a number of students wearing flannels, old band tee shirts and/or ripped jeans. Politics Bands often restart the previous trend of criticizing politics relevant to their time by making political comments in their music and bringing light on the issues to their audience. The (I know this isn’t necessarily grunge) Red Hot Chili Peppers’ The Righteous and the Wicked is a perfect example. This song specifically has a few various points that were (or are) relevant. For instance, one of the lyrics comments on our currently deteriorating environment saying, “Holy mother earth, crying into space, tears on her pretty face, for she had been raped.” Everybody is entitled to their own interpretation, music being one of those subjects where it’s emphasised, but I think this is a blatant comment on how poorly we people as whole have treated the environment, and how we’re practically a defining factor in the decay of our earth. Music has carried political weight for years, since the 60’s, and it’s been somewhat vital to the progression of the U.S. specifically. One of my favorite examples that comments on a number of conflicts and beliefs is the album Toxicity, by System of a Down. The first two songs in the album can be well interpreted to fit the U.S., and those are titled Prison Song and Needles. Track 1 (Prison Song) calls out the American Prison Systems, with the lyrics, “All research and successful drug policy shows that treatment should be increased, and law enforcement decreased while abolishing mandatory minimum sentences.” The purpose of these lyrics is initially obvious. Serj Tankian (the singer/songwriter of System of a Down) is commenting on how the prison system is ineffective compared to successful drug policies like the one in Portugal, due to the fact that their attempts to eradicate a drug epidemic have consisted of imprisoning addicts and filling their prison systems with minor drug offenders, even through practically all research has backed treatment and that idea that it should be increased. The lyrics of the song also provided a picture perfect example of the social hypocrisy by mentioning in incident with Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) when arrested for buying crack in 1995 and got off with a year of probation, while on the other hand millions of other U.S. citizens are incarcerated for years for the same offense. Bands that carry the political nature of System of a Down often cause an immense amount of backlash, (especially when voicing opinions on American politics) but that can be perceived as a good thing. It often draws attention to the said issue and gives it the relevance that it deserves. Social Statements & Media Backlash Music has always had a symbiotic relationship with passion. It’s always been an age old way to express complex emotion in an artistic manner. One of the defining examples of this was displayed in 1992 with Sinead O’Connor and Saturday Night Live. She was brought on to the show as a guest, and was asked to perform, and that she did. She sang the song “War” originally by Bob Marley, and the lyrics themselves were based off racial inequality. However she took a different approach, twisting some of the lyrics in order to criticize the catholic church and its connection to sexual abuse. At the end of the performance, she took a picture of (the pope at the time) Pope John Paul II and tore it to shreds on live television, finishing her statement with “fight the real enemy.”. Her act, although extremely admirable to some, effectively destroyed her musical career and any positive publicity, and was harassed for years on end. On the other hand this was an extremely remarkable event, due to the fact that it completely challenged social standards, and with religion especially she put her neck out as far as she possibly could, and got her throat (metaphorically) slit by the catholics, and that was also intensified by the fact the she grew in an Irish Catholic family. This just further prevails that music is a way to spark political activism, and spread messages that challenge “normality”, like things as well as the punk movement in the 1970’s.