SLURPING UP MEDIA

By Ally Bush
slurping up media.JPG
The title of my box is Slurping Up Media. The subject is that humans willingly choose to be influenced by media and modern technology, and that the time we once had (that was used to spend time outside, with family, or doing meaningful things) is now used on the computer, watching TV, and on the internet. The theme of my box is a duck (representing humans) must choose whether to be influenced by nature, creativity, and purity or modern media, technology, and the pressures of society.

There are two sides to my box. The objects on the left side sit in front of colorfully painted walls, floor, and ceiling. These objects consist of a pinwheel, earplugs that wind around the outside of the box, and a spoon holding an orange, plastic egg. The pinwheel represents the innocence of childhood, although technology and media are being introduced to children earlier and earlier in their lives. The earplugs symbolize the option to not "hear" the media side, if one chose the colorful side. The egg represents purity and a new chance at life. The spoon holding it is to show that you can eat the richness of life, or drink the media's influence. The right side is painted black, and has an old, cracked phone, a small keyboard to a phone, a piece of hardware with the a magnet with the word "up" glued on top of it, headphones that are tangled around a rubber duck, and a straw glued to the duck's beak. The duck is situated so that half of it is on the colorful side, and the other half (and the duck's face) is on the black side. The phone represents technology, and the keyboard represents our society's natural instinct to text or type rather than talk face-to-face or even call. The hardware again represents technology, but it is faced toward the duck, telling it "up," as in "drink up the media's influence." One end of the straw is attached to the duck, and the other end is on the bottom of the box, in the middle of an empty black spot. This represents how we willingly take in media and technology.

In the movie, Wall-e, the people living in the dystopian world can drink meals, beverages, and the influence of the Buy-N-Large company. Also, my box reflects the changing of the peoples' red suits to blue. They do have a choice of whether or not they want the blue suit, but the second the company says "Red is the new blue!" every single person simultaneously makes the choice to change the color of their suit. In our modern society, we are told that we have the choice to be influenced by media or not, but really, we don't because media is everywhere and can't be avoided. When the main area of the ship was shown in the movie, Buy-N-Large advertisements were everywhere. There wasn't a single place you could look where the wall was free of ads. My box also reflects Milton's Paradise Lost. Eve could have chosen not to eat the fruit, but the influence of the serpent was overpowering and too influential for her to make her own choice.

To find my objects, I walked around my house picking up things that I knew would not be missed. The phone was my mom's old one that didn't work any more. The straw was one of hundreds in a box in our pantry. The pinwheel was a cheap prize I had won a few months ago at a festival. I think we want to spend our time on things that won't be missed so we can destroy them without feeling guilty, like the time we spend on social networking sites and mindless texts. When I found some of my old headphones, they were all tangled up. I thought about how we are all trapped by media and technology, and that gave me the idea to strangle the duck in my box with the headphones. After that, i connected the duck to the media side of my box with the straw to show that we are willingly forced to choose.

MUSIC STATEMENT

The music starts with a staticy-techno sound. This represents mankind's first instinct to turn to technology and media in any situation. Then a steady beat starts in the background. This symbolizes the natural basis of all life. More electronic sounds are added in. What sounds like a snare drum can also be heard under all the electronic and techno sounds. Snare drums were first used hundreds of years ago, which implies an idea of beginning and long-practiced activities like enjoying nature and spending time with family. Then a bike bell rings, again in the background. It is as if the creativity and nature are trying to be heard over modern media and technology, but it is barely audible. Techno sounds stop and start for several seconds, with beeps in the background before low ambient music can be heard at the end of the song. This shows how unreliable technology and media are, and how one day, they will fail, and humans will be left with nothing.