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Does art really
lose its
significance with
Adrianna Bennett
is currently a student at California State University,
Northridge. She enjoys singing, creative writing, and
hanging out with friends.
Martin Vargas
is currently a freshman at California State University
Northridge. He is majoring in History, and is
planning to become a Military Historian in the
Avisely Solis
is a freshman in California State Northridge. She is
majoring in Anthropology and minoring in

Vartan Deranteriassian
is a freshman at California State University
Northridge who plans on graduating with a degree
in Computer Information Technology. He loves to
play sports and spend time with his family and

By Adrianna Bennett
I very much enjoyed writing these
articles, even though they were
through assignment. Reason being, I
had more freedom than one would
normally have with a traditional
assignment in the classroom setting.
I was with this given a genre to write
on, let loose into the world, to engulf
into something that actually mattered
to me. When given a genre to write
on, I didnt think too hard about
what to write about. The topic would
randomly come to me as I would go
through my normal day to day life;
at some point before the following
My process to writing
these articles was simple, watch,
analyze, research when needed,
write and edit. I was aiming to get
understanding. Understanding of the
way I see things, and why my over
analyzing of certain things, that
others normally wouldnt makes
perfect sense in my mind. I want to
give people a new way to look at
things theyve seen the same way for
Why I Write
By: Martin Vargas
I write for the same reason why a
painter paints a mural for self-
expression and accomplishment.
Ive grown extensively in my
writing, from the beginning of this
semester to till now. I chose to make
a part of me rather me a part of it.
Some people see writing as an
assignment from the student
perspective. I too was one of these
students in which I did the near
minimum just to call it a day. Now it
may be asked, How did you
become in writing? Well this
occurred while completing my first
essay which is actually in this
Magazine the articles name, The
True Meaning Behind The Mineral
Rock. While ding my research I hit
a threshold, it seemed like overnight
I had gained interest and fascination
in writing. In this article I was
conducting some research on some
mineral rocks that I had purchased
on a trip to Guanajuato City, in

Unlike most of my past essays I had
never really been given a prompt,
which directly involved my personal
life and interests. For the first time I
would be writing about things that
interested me rather, I think thats
what really helped me realize that
writing doesnt have to be just a task
to receive a grade but rather a way
of self-expression. It gave me the
opportunity to open up my
experiences for people to actually
read and enjoy them as much as I
did writing them. Also for the first
time I realized that I had some
potential for writing, my professor
and classmates showed me that I
was able to actually able express
myself and send out the message
clearly to the reader. Actual
feedback can was very helpful
because it actually helped me
pinpoint were I was failing, and
hearing how my classmates could
relate with what I wrote about.

It been quite a journey, although I
couldnt have reached were I am
now in my writing if it hadnt been
for Professor Marcelo; she was the
one that really showed me that
writing does just have to be shore
but can be a way to express
themselves. I learned that writings
could cause revolutions and change
in our societies. But the greatest
advice that I received was that when
you have to write about something
that you find bland in your
interesting you should find a way to
correlate with you interests. Plus
you might learn something new.
These are my best pieces that I have
written hopefully you will enjoy
them as much as I did creating them.
Sometimes you need to change it up
to become well sounded. Sometimes
the pen is more deadly than the

Dear Reader,
by Aviesly Solis
In todays day and age, writing is a bit less
appreciated as it was before. I can recall, a
time earlier this semester where I desired
nothing more than to have an audio type
software. I am not particularly overjoyed by
the thought of having to type 1,500-2,000
word essays once or twice a week. However,
I did find that although I loathed the idea of
writing, or much rather, typing, I absolutely
had to. There is something about writing and
reading what I have written over and over
again that enables me to continually re-
analyze the material we have covered in
class. In the past, I had the opportunity to
discuss the majority of the content with my
peers, but given the fact I am a college
student now, I am expected do the majority
of my learning individually.

While I much rather discuss my opinions, I
realize I can only appropriately phrase my
ideas through writing. I guess that is the
beauty of writing for me. It allows me to
share with the reader what I could not
otherwise share audibly or in person. I have
heard it said before that writing is timeless,
or something similar to that, and I could not
agree more. Much like the written work of
Shakespeare and Hemingway, my work has
the potential to reach and connect with
someone decades from today. Written work
is an art that will most likely be around much
longer than I, and the notion of having a
small remnant of me circulating years after I
have been forgotten puts me in a good mood.

I would like to think that my writing style is
a modern creative one, I am not entirely sure.
I enjoy writing as though I was speaking to
the reader, much like in novels. I love
interacting with the reader and incorporating

them into my writing. I feel as though over
the years relationships have become more
and more impersonal and perhaps writing
has added to these circumstance. I am sure it
also has the counter effect; just like it can
push people away it can also bring them
closer. I would hope that my work be helpful
or enjoyable to the reader, and maybe even
give my audience something to think about
or take away.

The last thing I desire to do is waste my
audience's time, so I always keep in mind
and continually ask myself Is what I am
writing about worth reading? For most class
papers the writing required is a bit rigid and
dull, but when I have the opportunity to
write concerning something creative and
outside of the realm of academia, I endeavor
to make what I have written worthwhile.

I generally do not take time to create an
outline and brainstorm ideas because I have
found that while these steps are helpful they
are far too time consuming for someone who
works as slow as me. I find it much more
effective to simply sit down and just start
writing. There have been a few times in the
past where I have found myself writing a
good page, analyzing it, then writing an
outline or mapping out how the rest of the
paper should look like. One of the things I
struggle with the most is proofreading, I can
find someone to analyze the structure and
ideas in my writing but proofreading is out
of the question. I feel that for the most part
its what holds me back from having a neat
and well ordered paper. Nonetheless, I still
strive to submit my best work and as I have
brought up before, writing is something I
know I need to do and perhaps even come to

Expressing Myself
By: Vartan Deranteriassian

Some people are born to be writers but
most people relate writing to an academic
chore. I guess Im part of the second group;
however, Ive realized whether Im writing
an assignment, a personal note or a work
email its important that I know how to use
the English language well. Words have
power, some countries in the Middle East
have disallowed women to write because
their opinions are much too powerful and
may start a revolution. We all have something
to say and based on your word choices you
can express yourself on paper smoothly or
clumsily. Especially in todays world, with
so many social media, networking websites
its increasingly important to type a few great
words to capture the attention of many. I
recently gained enough confidence in my
writing and have started to write about my
hopes, dreams, as well as my fears and
frustrations. For example, last week I was
trying to study for an exam but I couldnt
study from all the noise. I think three
gardeners were making their weekly visit to
our neighborhood. Instead of studying I
started to write about mow much noise the
blowers and other power equipment were
making. It enabled me to express my
frustration and I actually felt a little better. So
thats pretty much my style, once I am
frustrated or as soon a professor assigns work
I immediately jot down my ideas on a piece
of paper. At home I have developed a routine
for my essays. Next step is extensive
research, anywhere from two to four hours;
where I come up with hundreds of supporting
ideas. I review the ideas and connect the dots
crossing off the items that appear outside of
the circle. I immediately begin to write in my
room on my desktop, and I dont leave until
Im in a good place or completely done. The
following day I revisit my paper and begin
the editing process. I repeat the editing
process at least three more times before
considering my paper a final version. From
start to finish the process of posting stories on
a blog site and then into a group magazine for
English 114B has been self-rewarding. I am
one fourth of the Adrianna, Martin and Avy
group. Each member of our team was happy
to put the time and effort required to build a
successful magazine. Articles are placed in a
particular order to help our audience enjoy
the reading and see the connection between
the stories. There are a total of twenty-four
stories; each team member shared six articles.
The magazine layout consists of different
stories and they are the following: Long-Form
Essay, Ethnographic Observation, Group
Critical Essay, Analysis of a Work of Art and
our Theory of Art and Reproduction Essay.
As a team we decided to place the interview
piece first followed by the long form essay.
The information in our interviews is used to
support the facts in the long form essay and
therefore we felt that was the best placement.
I truly enjoyed every portion of this class
from exploring new places to learning more
about my family history. For example, my
visit to Moonshine Canyon Park to complete
my Ethnography Observation brought back
special memories from my childhood visits to
this park. For my analysis of a piece of art,
my family and I visited The Los Angeles
Getty Museum. With the temperature in the
80s, it was a perfect day to learn more about
art and enjoy the day with my family.
Creating an article based on research or an
actual visit was fun and made the learning
process more interesting. My aim evolved
with every new piece. The priority was to
complete my assignment and earn a good
grade; however, with each piece it became
more fun because it became a way to express
my opinion. The activities of selecting a
subject, choosing a side and placing on a blog
site for others to click and see made it more
exciting. In the end, I realized that my best
work happened when Im true to myself.
This class was a great way to learn about me,
my arguments, my preferences and I truly
appreciate it. Hope the readers of the
magazine enjoy our pieces as much as we

Table of Contents
Tittle Page
A Gift From My Father . 5
Interview With Dad .. 8
A Present To Remember . 10
You Didnt See It Coming . 12
The Lantern ......... 14
Lantern Interview . 16
The True Meaning Behind
The Mineral Rock . 18
Interviewing My
Grandmother . 20
Art Ruined? . 23
A Day at the Park . 27
Bayramian Lawm . 28
The Blue Room . 29
The Pride Center . 30
Analysis of Irises . 32
Buried Memories . 34
Early California . 36
The Point . 38
War In Visual Art . 41
The Guitar Solo
That Represented
A New America . 44
1 Day and 1 Year Later .... 46
Musical Reproduction .... 49

A Gift From My Dad
By: Vartan Deranteriassian
Content in my Long-Form Essay is based
on the information I gathered during my
fathers interview to solve the mystery
of the Cartier watch.
Over the years I have given and
received a lot of great gifts from family
and friends. Though one special gift, that
was passed from my grandfather, to my
father and now me, has a special message
and a very interesting story. When I
turned eighteen, I received the best gift,
my grandfathers Cartier watch. This
priceless gift was life changing and made
me feel appreciative because I saw it as
the passing of love and responsibility
from one generation to the next.

Cartier is one of the most
famous brands that are known for their
jewelry and surprisingly are the oldest
jewelers in the world. According to
Cartier, in 1899 Cartier opened its first
shop in Paris and began to attract celebrity
and royalty members such as King
Edward VII of England. According to
Guardian, since the early 1900s Cartier
gained worldwide notoriety after creating
jewelry for Russian, Indian and British
Royalty. Today, Cartier is one of the most
famous watch and jewelry makers with
over 200 shops in 125 countries.
Coincidentally, a young royal prince
passed on the Cartier watch to my
grandfather as a way of showing his

Before his passing, my
grandfather enjoyed telling us some great
stories about his life back in Beirut. His
favorite tale was when a young Arab
prince showed up in front of his auto shop
on a very hot and humid day during the
month of August 1951. Its important to
point out here that I was named after my
grandfather, so we share the same first
and last name, which is typical in the
Armenian culture. Grandpa Vartan
grappled with boxing in his early twenties
and was the undefeated lightweight boxer
in Lebanon. He loved to show us pictures
of himself from boxing matches. He had
an incredible physique but that all
changed once he married my
grandmother. In his younger years he was
over six feet tall but as he got older he
became about five feet and ten inches tall.
He was thin and bald with a very loving
heart. Everyone in town knew my
grandfather as Boxer Vartan, who was an
owner of an automobiles body shop called
Garage Vartan. My grandfather was a
young man who knew everything about
automobiles and had a passion for fixing
The Prince of Qatar had traveled to
Lebanon to meet with the countrys
political ambassador. It was a regular hot
summer day for my grandfather, fixing
cars and trying to make all of his
customers happy. The garage was small
enough to fit only two cars at a time but
he was always busy and had at least
another four cars parked outside that
needed repair. The princes pearl white
1951 Bentley MK VI automobile had
been in an accident and the young prince
asked everyone in town where he should
take the car to be fixed. Not surprisingly,
everyone recommended he visit my
grandfathers shop. On this day in 1951
the prince and his driver arrive at my
grandfathers garage to deposit the car.
My grandfathers helper alerts him of the
young prince who was dressed in a
dishdasha, a traditional white long robe
along with a Middle Eastern headdress,
standing at the entrance of the shop. My
grandfather recognizes the prince and is
stunned to see his highness in the garage.
My grandfather remembers a man telling
him, if youre lucky enough to do work
for royalty make sure its done quickly
and perfectly otherwise it might be your
last job. The princes front bumper needed
to be fixed as the chauffeur accidently
rear-ended another car. My grandfather
knew he was good at what he did so he
took the job and proceeded to fix the car.
After fixing the car, my grandfather
refused the payment from the Prince of
Qatar. However, the prince insisted on
paying him and was so happy with my
grandfathers work that he even paid
double. Because of his kindness and
generosity the prince gave my grandfather
his Cartier watch. My grandfather
cherished this gift by wearing it for
multiple years and at the age of forty he
decided he to give it to my father and
asked him to always keep it in the family.

The watch is small, made of gold, its
black leather strap smells like vanilla,
reminding me of the times my father used
to wear it. It doesnt look expensive but
its priceless to our family. The numbers
are black and bold, the glass is dirty, filled
with dust and the watch has even stopped
working. Its been worn for over forty
years so the strap is wrinkled and feels
old. There is a signature on the back of the
watch that says France which would
suggest its made in France. The watch no
longer tells the current time of the day but
it symbolizes the relationship between a
father, son and grandson.

My father, Ken Deranteriassian,
was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and is the
middle child of three boys. He was born
in Lebanon and at the age of nineteen
escaped from Lebanon with his family
and immigrated to America. My father
was the drummer of a well-known music
group in Lebanon and once in California
he formed a new group and they called
themselves Pacifique. My dad was a great
drummer but after discussing the late-
night lifestyle of a musician he decided to
go into the studio and for the past thirty
years thats where he has been working as
a sound engineer. As a Grammy
nominated record producer, he has
worked with hip-hop artists like 50 Cent
and Britney Spears. According to my
father, the life of an engineer is difficult
and tiring. Artists primarily work at night
and fifteen-hour days. He usually goes
into the studio around ten in the evening
and comes home sometimes the next
morning. My dads workday starts two
hours before the session starts, setting up
the microphones

and room before the artist arrives so they
can quickly go to work and start
recording. However, as my father got
older his tolerance level for long hours
and late nights diminished and it caused
him plenty of health issues. Recording
studios have fabulous rooms, with
thousands of shining buttons and hundreds
of cables running throughout the room
like snakes. Engineers use these buttons
and cables to create distinctive beats and
rhythms. According to my grandfather,
my father was always the most ambitious
and hardworking one out of the three
brothers, wanting to achieve something
for himself as well as support his family
in a new country. He learned to create and
produce music all on his own. My
grandfather knew my dad made tons of
sacrifices to support his family and
decided to give him the Cartier watch.
The passing of the watch from father to
son symbolized that his hard work has
paid off with a great reward.

We often hear that a mother is a
very important figure in a childs life but
both of my parents have influenced me
and taught me different things about life.
My dad has always taught my sister and I
to never give up on our dreams. Even
though as a sound engineers my father
had to stay up all night for seven days in a
row, he never gave up because he always
wanted to support us and be the best he
can be. He made numerous sacrifices so
that we can live a comfortable life. My
father always explained that hard work,
dedication and higher education is the key
to a prosperous future. Also, my dad
stresses that education is the key to a
bright future because without education in
todays world you wont have the
opportunity to change paths during
hiccups. Lastly, my father taught our
family the value of the dollar. Back in
Beirut, my grandparents were the only
ones who owned a television set on their
street. Also, he said that the water didnt
run for 24 hours but instead ran for certain
periods of time. They were able to make
that purchase of the television because my
grandfather made sacrifices and worked
hard. We learned to spend less and save
more but its also important to spend on
necessities. My father has made me the
person who I am today and I am thankful
for everything he has done for me.

Similarly, on my 18th birthday my
father passed his Cartier watch to me,
showing me that I had worked hard
enough to earn the gift. It all happened
last November as my family and I were
celebrating my birthday at home. After
eating my second serving of a delicious
chocolate covered cake I decided to go up
to my room to relax. My father came into
my room and told me he needed to have a
very important conversation. I saw him
take something out from his pocket as he
stepped inside my room. He immediately
handed me the Cartier watch and he told
me, Vartan, Im so proud of what you
have become, keep working hard and
never give up on your dreams. I realized
that my dad believes in me and I should
aim for greatness instead of mediocrity.
That was definitely a very special night
for both of us and even though the watch
doesnt work anymore its worth so much
more than its value to me.

One gift that has so much meaning
not only because it came from the man I
admired the most but also because it
represented the recognition of my hard
work. Its possible to enjoy life without
leisure activities such as going to movies
or expensive restaurants. However, if you
work hard and dedicate yourself you will
be successful and have a comfortable life.
If you work hard you will be rewarded.
My fathers gift will always have a special
place in my heart, knowing that I was
rewarded for hard work I became even
more motivated and started working much

For my research paper I wanted to
collect more information behind the gift I
received on my eighteenth birthday. My
grandfather passed away when I was only
six years old so the only source left to
interview was my father. My father has an
enormous impact on my life and we have
had countless conversations about his
early years in Beirut and my grandfathers
life. The interview took place after our
family dinner on a Friday night. The
interview was informal and I obtained a
large amount of information after this
Q. When did you leave Lebanon and
immigrate to America.

A. My parents saw the danger of the civil war
in Lebanon and within a couple of weeks we
were ready to leave the country and head to
the U.S. I was only 19 at the time.

Q. What were your hobbies in Lebanon?

A. Back in Lebanon my brothers and I had
started a small band, we called it Pacifique.
We enjoyed playing and making music
together, I played the drums. Music was
always a big part of my life and I knew that
was my strength and gift.

Q. How did you transition from a drummer
into a recording engineer?

A. It might seem nice to an onlooker but the
life of a band is hard work and late nights.
My mom didnt enjoy waiting up late nights
and worrying if I would make it home safely
so the answer was to make a career move that
would help me earn more money and
achievements. For the past 30 years I have
enjoyed learning and working with the best
musicians and was nominated for a Grammy.

Q. What is the life of an engineer?

A. Naturally just like any other job
sometimes great and other times
difficult. Sometimes I work fifteen-hour

workdays; it can be nights, weekends and
holidays. Sessions are usually booked late in
the evening. What makes it difficult is
sometimes you have to go weeks without

Q. What does it feel like to stay up till five in
the morning days at a time?

A. When I was younger I was able to stay up
for a straight week with ease because I was
excited about working and being involved in
the process of music making. However, now
that I am older my tolerance level has
diminished and I cant handle it anymore.

Q. What does a studio room look like?

A. The rooms vary in size; some are small
and others are large to accommodate
large groups. The studios I work at are
jaw dropping and inspiring to me. There
is usually a console used to record and
mix like Neve and Solid State Logic.
You need time and experience to learn
the ins and outs of the cables and buttons
on the consoles.

Q. How did grandpa come to receive the
Cartier watch from royalty?

Interview With Dad
By: Vartan Deranteriassian
that just like him I was hard working, focused and
honest. He also said to keep the watch in the
family and pass it down to my son when the time
was right.

Q. What was the first thing you thought of when
your dad gave you the watch?

A. When my father gave me the watch I was in
shock because its an extraordinary gift. Back in
Lebanon it was very rare for people to wear
watches because there werent many rich people
in the Middle East. You were considered high class
and respected if you were seen with a watch.

Q. Why was the watch so influential to you?

A. The watch inspired me to work even hard it
symbolized maturity and showed me that if you
work hard there will most likely be a reward at the

Courtesy of Weebly
My mom casually walked into our living
room as usual once she had gotten home from
work; while my older brother and I watched the
television. It was my 9th birthday! I didnt really
expect much, but I had a good day considering I
got my vocabulary test back with an A on it.
Then my mom and dad called me into the
kitchen, as I entered, I saw a white icing covered
cake with nine already lit candles. One, Two,
Three, Happy Birthday my family screamed as I
blew out the candles. My mother small and short
in stature then handed me a gift bag. When I
grabbed it, it was heavier than expected. I
opened it and began to pull out its contents. I had
received a few games for my Game Boy
Advance, but that wasnt all I was to receive.
This was a birthday present from my mom I
would never forget. As my lips began to curve,
from the small box being handed to me by my
mother she said, I think youre really going to
like this one. As I opened the box, I was
surprised to see these shining pieces of metal
linked together, I couldnt have loved it
anymore. It had a pendent and I didnt know
what it meant at first, but the extremely dark
stone only seen to be truly red when held to light
was beautiful.

My first thoughts ranged. Ive always seen gold
chains as a fashion statement. Just look at artists
like 2 Chainz who himself is known for wearing
two large gold chains (Karizza Sanchez).
Karizza Sanchez is a writer for the magazine
Complex Style. Upon further searching for the
origin of wearing chains I discovered that chains
werent always gold. Before necklaces were
made from, stones, bones, shells and teeth were
worn by men and women used to represent
religion, power, status and wealth, according to
chain.org a chain comparison site. Which
completely makes sense considering its
believed, you have status, if you own a gold
chain or jewelry. But is it really that simple? Do
people realize the full extent of what this
fashion statement means? With all the
questions I had I decided to do some digging,
discovering a few things: Early Egyptians wore
gold chains and bracelets traditionally to ward
off evil (hot1079philly.com). Some consider
gold chains to represent a miniature iron chains,
bondage .Gold isnt only used for jewelry.
People have moved across the lands in search of
gold far and wide. Is used to accent art Wearing
gold chains started becoming so popular in the
Hip Hop world in the 80s when Run DMC
began wearing huge gold chains during
performances. Also, gold is so expensive
because of the demand for its use once used as
the backup for printed dollars Gold with its
current value is priced at 1314.60 US Dollars per
ounce going up from mere hundreds that it cost a
few short years ago.

No one really knows where gold comes from for
sure. Some people simply think that the gold is a
product of the pressure of a multitude of
minerals being pushed together while under the
earths surface and is eventually being eroded
over time through the excavation of man or the
eventual weathering of the rock and dirt itself.
While others believe that gold comes from the
collision of starts in outer space
A Present To Remember
by: Adrianna Bennett
Photo courtesy of Weebly
This long form essay was based on
my accounts and research on a gift I
received at 9 years old; in attempt to
unravel the mystery and popularity
behind this special gift.
Gold is so commonly used because: Mr. T for
example, recently made it known in his book
that his famous gold chains were worn to
represent the chains of bondage black people
wore during slavery. Gold conducts electricity
well. Unlike most metals, gold does not
tarnish in the air (modernghana.com).

Another way to think about this could be
people of the Christian faith for example
having gold chains with the image of Jesus.
This shows their bondage to their faith. The
stereotypical black Hip Hop star showing his
or her success or popularity in the music
industry is not the only reason why they
choose to wear gold chains. They do so to
represent the memory of those who come
before them, to represent the daily struggle
they were forced to endure. Some people are
trying to keep up with fashion, while others are
so invested and determined to make themselves
seem as though they are of a higher economic
status that they will spend money they do not
have to buy gold or a likeness to it. However,
due to the high value in gold and having gold
jewelry to own it doesnt show necessarily
class but that you possess some sort of
disposable income to afford such a non-
necessity or that someone close to you did.

When I see gold, however, I see something
different. I saw my gold chain as nothing more
than a reminder of my moms love, I suppose
now it can be defined as a bondage to her. Just
as some having a gold chain with a dollar sign
as a pendent can be seen as having a bondage
to money or material objects. I eventually over
time after wearing my chain for so long saw
myself feeling irregular when not wearing it
for too long, it became a sort of comfort to me.
It is really unlikely that I would feel the same
attachment about my gold pieces of metal that
that happen to be linked if I thought of them
originally to be represented an always
remembrance of slavery. The thought of the
links of a gold representing the heavy, rusted,
iron chains slaves wore most, if not every day
of their lives without a choice to or not,
wouldnt have brought as warm of a feeling to
my heart as the thought of my mother. Wearing
a chain on a daily basis can show that though
most Americans would argue that our nation
has moved away from slavery and that we as a
population are no longer racist in any way,
others do remember and wont ever forget
when they, America, were officially by law.
Some refuse that this so called blemish, on
Americas history was ever as bad as claimed.
Some Americans of all ages may claim, for
various reasons, that the injustice for people,
who were of a race other than white was so
long ago that it no longer matters. While some
wear it for no particular reason other than it
being a gift.

The moral of story is: Gold chains did not
simply gain importance to individuals in the
80s, it had it centuries prior. Not every fashion
statement is what it seems. Ignorance isnt
necessarily bliss in this case because when you
do not know the true meaning of what you
wear you fall victim to stereotypes and
assumptions about your beliefs. Causing you to
be treated accordingly whether you ascribe
with the previous or not. Know what you wear,
for no ones benefit but your own.

You know, I wish I still had had my gold
chain. Nine and a half years later, who knew it
would be violently snatched from my neck as I
walked down the cool, wet industrialized city
known as Los Angeles. I was hurt more
emotionally, than physically at my chains
kidnapping. I always wore that chain, I only
took it off for sleep or a shower. That chain
meant more to me than just a fashion
statement, it reminds me of my mom, her love;
You Didnt See It
By Adrianna Bennett
Q: Hello, how are you?

A: Im fine, and yourself?
Q: Im doing alright. Why was it that you or
likenesses of you began to surface?

A: Well, that itself is hard to
pinpoint. Native Americans were known for
one, to wear chains made of bone, stone,
shells and teeth. No to mention the
Egyptians who were known to wear gold

Q: where does gold come from?

A: People have many theories as to where
gold originates. Some say it came
from outer space, a result of colliding starts.
While others say it is a reaction of the
pressure put upon minerals upon minerals,
coupled with the pressure and heat put on
them under the earths crust. Only to be
exposed through excavation, weathering of
stone and dirt, or natural disasters.

Q: Colliding stars you say? Thats very

interesting. Why do people wear gold
chains? What draws them to it?

A: That question requires a complicated
answer. It can range from wanting to show
status, trends, religion, and ideologies/
beliefs. For example, seeing that gold itself
is so expensive, owning say a gold chain,
can show wealth or the burnable income
you possess.

Q: why do you suppose mothers give their
daughters necklaces (gold or silver) at at
one point during their childhood?

A: In many cultures every child has this
pivotal age, in other words the year they are
finally seen as becoming or already mature.
Now, the age varies from culture to culture,
but the message is nearly the same, you are
becoming an adult, mature. This gift equals
status to some; the status of no longer being
a child.

Photo Courtesy of weebly
I was curious of what the fascination with wearing gold chains were, so I decided to find out. I emailed a
nearby gold chain asking if they would like to be interviewed about their origins and how it is they
became so popular. It didnt take love to receive a reply and we decided to meet in the California State
University, Northridge Oviatt Library, the following day. Once we found each other in the library we
made our way to a study room in hopes of a bit more privacy.
Q: What have people in done in the past
for gold?

A: People have gone against their beliefs,
killed, gone to jail, gone crazy, even died.
Just look at the times of the Gold Rush.

Q: Why is it that gold became so popular,
instead of it being just another rock or

A: Things are as valuable as we make
them. Gold has become so treasured
because of it easily manipulated state. Gold
is actually used more than many actually
realize. Most dont even realize their
computer, or phone they love to use so
much contains gold in it. Reason being
because gold conducts electricity well. If
gold wasnt used as much as it is whether
it be to set off an outfit or to cap a tooth it
would be as expensive.

Wow, I had no idea that the idea of
wearing gold chains was so
complicated. Thank you for taking
time out of your day to sit down and
talk with me.

Photo courtesy of mobilespiritmarketing.com
By Avisely Solis

A story concerning the relation
between a person, an object and
the further implications of the two
I hate having split ends, but I just can't
give up straightening and curling my hair
on a weekly basis. I contemplate trimming
the ends of my hair once more as I slowly
turn away from my bathroom mirror and
lean on the counter. I sigh and survey my
studio apartment as I always do every
morning after putting in my contacts, and
right out the corner of my eye I catch a
glimpse of my lantern with the candle still
lit inside. I must have forgotten last
night, I tell myself as I get comfortable on
my neatly arranged bed and reach for the
drawer with a hair brush and organic
coconut oil.

It is a bitter sweet story really, but it never
fails to amaze me that I can still remember
it after all these years . I had probably just
turned ten and that night I spent it alone in
my grandfather's brick home and cramped
studio. It had large wardrobes serving as
walls dividing the bedroom from the living
room and kitchen area. I remember laying
flat on my back as I reached overhead and
ran my tiny fingers through the mosquito
net canopy above me as I inhaled a deep
breath of Salvadoran air. A deep scent of
wet dirt and burnt trash lingered in the
atmosphere followed by a cool summer
breeze. I hated my bed, it was unbearably
uncomfortable to sleep on, however, it was
not what kept me up that night.

Avisley, por favor regress a la casa del
abuelo. says my mother,

with a very tired and frustrated expression
on her face.
My aunt sitting beside my mom on the
hammock appears almost lifeless as she
lays her head gentle on my mother
shoulder, with tears streaming from her
cheek. She does not acknowledge my
presence and continues to cry.

Pero no puedo dormir, ay mucho ruido
aqu afuera, ? que esta pasado? ?porque
llora mi ta, mami?

I stood there, in my the center of our
circular neighborhood for another 20
minutes before returning to bed. All the
adjacent houses lights were on, and there
was a constant flow of people moving from
one home to another. Aside from my aunts
gentle sobs , I could hear a group bitterly
weeping in the near distance. My great
grandmothers house was at the far end of
the neighborhood, it was her tiny home that
seemed to be the origin of all the
commotion. I didn't suspect my great
grandmother had died at first ,but it soon
became very clear to me someone had past

It was the first time in my life I can
recollect having to rationalize a situation on
my own. As a child , observing a crowd of
unfamiliar faces walk around frantically
looking for random objects, making calls,
many others
Courtesy of Weebly
standing stationary under a tree or leaning
on a post with there hands covering there
mouth, eyes and ears. Despite how
perplexing it all came across to me, I

Ay dios mio
No no, no voy a poder llegar a la casa,
aqu me necesitan
Si todos pueden salir del cuarto, les
queramos dar unos momentos a la familia

To this day I wonder how it was I
understood. What kind of associations had
I made in my brain concerning death that
enabled me to make an accurate
conclusion of what was taking place? And
what associations would they induce next?
The following days were a complete blur,
all remember was walking the streets of a
tiny village, and reciting ballads or singing
songs as what seemed to me a parade but
was really a funeral procession. I spent the
majority of the time reminiscing the few
moment I spent with my great
grandmother before she died,

It was June the 20
, a few days before she
past away and as usual the weather was far
too hot for my liking, nevertheless I spent
most of my time outside in the tree house
my cousin had built me and my siblings to
play in. The bag of chips Id snuck away
and bought that morning, kept me
occupied while my mother caught up with
her old friends from the area. I could hear
them chattering and occasion-ally
chuckling to something I didn't

?Te recuerdas vos de la Noemi?
Fijate que la mentada Noemi la acabaron
de encontrar con otro hombre la semana
I wasn't too invested in their conversation,
nonetheless, I could hear every word. The
treehouse was unstable and there was huge
gaps between the wooden frames that were
supposed to function as walls. I did not
have such a clear view from where I was
sitting, but strangely enough I could see
her. I could see her perched serenely on a
old, tattered hammock right across from
my tree house. I could see her singing a
quiet tune to herself as she stitched away
at what appeared to be a garment worn and
outdated as she. I could see the twinkle in
her eye as she glanced away from her
needle work and noticing me peering at
her from cranny in the tree house. She
motioned me to come to her and so I did.
We spent the rest of the afternoon together,
she let me help her wash dishes and feed
the chickens. Towards the end of the day,
she lead me into her home and had me sit
on her lap while she brushed the dirt and
tiny twigs I had accumulated over the
week in my hair.

?Mija, porque no te peina tu mama?
No me gusta, me hala el pelo y me duele
She utters the sweetest and the most
warmhearted laugh Ive ever heard.
Ay mi nina persioca

To this day I can not clearly make out
what I was thinking or feeling as she
stroke my hair gently with some shabby
comb from the 40s, but the one thing that
never managed to escape my memory was
the sights of the twilight approaching and
the sunlight slowly diminishing from her
home, the smell of the sweet coconut oil
she saturated my tiny locks in and the little
lantern she had given me to keep me from
fidgeting. She sent me home with the
lantern and a twenty-five cent candle
inside. That lantern hangs cheerfully from
my bed stand today.
For the last 8 years, at least once a week, I
wash my hair and drench it in coconut oil.

Ill sit silently on my bed, brushing the oil
through my hair and glance over to my
right, were the little lantern dangles. I cant
help but smile. Its become a routine, an
imperative procedure in my life; it is the
only consistency and uniformity I
genuinely enjoy.

That's the thing about the past- it doesn't
change. And when you keep an element
from your past, it is not only connected to
you emotionally but also mentally. See,
what I did not realize is that I can not
remember anything beyond those last few
day I spent with my great grandmother
because of that little lantern. Relics help
one in the present connect to the past.

In psychology there is what is called
classical conditioning; its essentially a
form of learning by association. There are
four features which are: the unconditioned
stimulus(UCS), the unconditioned
response(UCR), the conditioned
stimulus(CS), conditioned response(CR).
In the first stage the (UCS) yields an
(UCR), so in my case the act of combing
my hair with coconut oil (UCS) made me
feel delighted (UCR). Nothing was learned
because it was a natural response, but
when a neutral stimulus(NS) is added to
the mix, learning behavior takes place. A
neutral stimulus (NS) has no affect on an
individual until it is paired with the
unconditioned stimulus (UCS). In the
second stage the (NS) becomes associated
with the (UCS) at which point it now is
referred to as a conditioned stimulus(CS).
When I now sit down and comb hair with
coconut oil, and suddenly think of the
lantern or vice versa, I am experiencing a
conditioned stimulus.

Its interesting how often enough when
asked what is the first thing that comes to
mind when you think of this, or that?,
they can't explain to you why the first
thing that came to there mind. It is part of
everyday life to actively make association
and experience them as well- its so
mundane that if not attentively anticipating
you would just never know. Nonetheless,
the most interesting thing however, is how
associating places, actions, events, people,
memories, emotions, have the ability to
stick with us for the rest of our life. Once
you've made the association it never goes
away because you can't unlearn anything.

Courtesy of Weebly
Lantern Interview
By Avisely Solis

I have always had a fascination with the
relationship between temporary,
inexpensive objects that yet mean the
world to some people. I am here to share
my experience and voice the opinion of the
lantern in my story. Its a gloomy afternoon
at Northridge, California and I am sitting
here, in my cozy studio apartment, right
across the one and only- Lantern.

Lantern interview
Q: What was your original purpose?
A: Illuminate in the dark for
those having a hard time seeing; bring
light to the dark.

Q: Where did the concept of a lantern
come from?
A: They were a Chinese
innovation; they were popularly used in
special occasions such as weddings or
funerals. Lanterns have many various
meanings to the Chinese. There is not one
universal meaning for them in the culture.

Q: Where have you been, under whose
A: I was fabricated in a
factory then was purchased at a local
market by your Grandfather. He held on to
me for a good while, then offered me as a
gift to your Grandmother while they were

Q:What did you mean to my
A: I signified her cheerful
youth, I represented a memory of what life
was for her before it started taking things
away. Although I wasn't given too much
attention over the years by her, she always
made efforts to keep me protected from
breaking. She would only use me on nights
where she felt particularly lonely or
depressed. I symbolized a better time and
often had the power to transport her
emotionally to occasions which she
treasured the most.

Q: Who cared about you most?
A: Your grandmother worried
excessively about me, in view of the fact
that I was a very expensive gift back in her
days. Her deceased husband generously
went out of his way to labor for and allot
me to her. I was one of the very few items
she still possessed that at one point
belonged to him. Nonetheless, you care
about me most. You are aware that I am an
inexpensive object consuming space and
time in your life, however, in your eyes I
am priceless. You continually take great
pleasure in the thought and sight of me.

An rhetorical and metaphorical
interview with the lantern
discussed in the previous essay
Courtesy of Weebly
Q: What are you worth?
A: I am not worth any more
than 5 dollars, but I have sentimental value
to you and was valuable to your

Q: Why were you given to me?
A:Your Grandmother knew of
her coming death and was giving away her
possessions to close family members. She
felt that by allotting me to you, you would
carry a piece of her.

Q: What do I mean to you?
A: You mean the world to me,
although, I may be only the most
insignificant part of yours. Not all objects
are fortunate enough to be recognized as
more than just a decoration. I realize to
most people I am a plain knickknack you
pick up along your life journey but I am
more than that to you, so you are more
than just a freeholder to me. You're my
friend, my confidant, my buddy.

Q: How long were you kept for, and
A: I've been around for 31
years. For 13 of them I hung from a tiny
string suspended from the ceiling. I was
then put away in a drawer for 8 years and
finally came to be in your possession for
the last 8 years.

Q: Do you think I'll ever forget about you?
A: I hope you don't, but if for
whatever reason you do, I trust somewhere
along the way you remember me and do as
you Grandmother did. Pass me along to an
individual who will also associate me with
pleasurable memory.
By Avisely Solis
The True Meaning
Behind The Mineral
By Martin Vargas
Entering fortress like wooden
doors of the old train station I was
flabbergasted to find shops that
covered what once was a very
elaborate European style train station
both the first and second floors. As I
walked around I stumbled one shop on
the second floor, it was plastered with
all type of colorful souvenirs that in
some way represented some a famous
monument. As I walked toward the
table a basket caught my eye inside I
found some rocks. I grabbed a the
white chalk surfaced rock that was cut
in half but was held together by an old
black rubber band. As I held it in my
hand I asked the sales women for the
price, she quickly glanced over to the
mineral rock and said 10 pesos(the
equivalent to the American dollar). I
handed her the money and grabbed
two small rocks as I detached the
rubber band I was amazed to find
minerals inside like quartz and silver.

The city of Guanajuato was actually
created due to it vast amount of
minerals. The city was established in
1553 by the colonization of the
Spanish. (Mines of Guanajuato,
Mexico: GEOLOGY of the MINES)
Since the very beginning the Spanish
came in with the purpose to extract the

seven minerals them being platinum,
gold, iron, copper, lead and quartz. I
was able to find out that the two rocks
contained both quartz and platinum,
which in its natural state is black. Not
only did I find out what minerals were
found inside but from what mine it
came from. It turns out that it came
from one of the last mines that still
have been in action for 500 years the
La Valenciana. La Valenciana at one
point was the leading center for mining
silver in the entire world.

The mine La Valenciana was first
opened in 1553; it was discovered by
Spaniard Antonio Obregon y
Alcoce. Mines of Guanajuato, Mexico:
(GEOLOGY of the MINES). Antonio
Obregon y Alcoce would then become
the owner of the mine in which he
would enslave the local indigenous
population now as the Chichimecas.
They would then be exploded to mine
for the mineral in which they worked
in horrible conditions.

As it was written on paper the workers
were paid three Reales (Spanish
Currency) for a 12-hour workday. It
was stated in a 1913 Los
Angeles Times Article that it was
reported miners
Courtesy by: Martin Vargas
In this article I go over the
background story of rocks
that I bought in the market
place. Which I end up finding
the deeper meaning.
were paid 37 cents per day. (Mines of
Guanajuato, Mexico: GEOLOGY of the
MINES) When in truth they were paid in
food that was just rubbish and rags for
clothing. Their workday started at 5a.m
end ended at 5p.m, there only light inside
the mine were oil candles that barely
illuminated the mines so people could
work. The mine actually went down up to
1950 ft. at that depth there is very little
oxygen plus there was a huge lack of
ventilation. The idea of working in those
conditions is terrifying, just imagine
working 1950 ft. underground not true
ventilation, your already breathing hard
because the lack of oxygen and your only
light is a candle that is in the verge of
extinguishing due to the lack of oxygen.

Yet that is your only illumination. After
the mining the gold or silver the worker
would have to carry 143 pounds of what
they just dug up on there bare backs and
take a huge flight of stairs due to the fact
that at the time they didnt have carts to
push on tracks. The indigenous miners
would have to zigzag there way up the
flight of stairs this was a technic they used
to help them not fall back. Due to their
heavy loads and it was way to help them
breath with a little more ease.
When one of the workers did fall the
injuries would be fatal or severe. If some
how they managed to survive the fall
miners were told to finish them off. Their
mentality behind this was that they would
help the poor miner by taking him out of
his misery.

As I researched even deeper I found a
online video of a former indigenous mine
which is a tour guide and explain the life
expectancy of the miners. Many
indigenous boys were forced to mine as
early 15 to 16 years of age. The oldest
were around 25 to 26 years of age. The
reason behind this was because their life
expectancy was five to ten years, which
was the longest. This was due to all the
exposure to the deadly chemicals found in
the mines. By the time they were reaching
10 years most of them were coughing
blood, their lungs on the verge of

After those four hours of lecture from my
grandmother and my research I must say
that I was mind blown at how much these
rock symbolize to the city of Guanajuato
and the indigenous miners. As I would
later interview my grandmother I would
find out that I personally have the blood of
the oppressor and the oppressed. I have a
mixture of feelings, one side of me feels
anger and the other feels embarrassed for
the inhuman acts that my Spanish
ancestors did to extract these minerals.
Interviewing My
By Martin Vargas
I kept diving for more information of the
mineral rock I felt like I needed something
more. I wanted to find a person that had
actually went to the mine in person and tell
their personal experience. As I asked my
family member, I was able to find out that
my grandmother had personally visited the
mine just a year ago. As soon as I heard this I
quickly contacted her for a interview in
which she accepted. As the interview
proceeded I would learn that her ancestors
were originally from this area.

Q: I have these minerals rocks that I had
bought when you took to visit the city. Do
you were these mineral rocks might of come

A: Actually yes I do remember it was two
years ago. And those two mineral rocks that
you bought were extracted from this mine
called "La Valenciana". La Valenciana mine
that was in operation when we visited and its
the main one that has silver and quartz.

Q: What was your first reaction
before you entered the mine ? Do you
were these mineral rocks might of
come from?

A: When I first walked into the mine I
felt excited but curious to see what it
was like inside the mine. The
entrance of the mine had these
huge wooden doors that had these
antique design carved onto it. The
wall is just stone it liked more like a
temple that a mine entrance. The
wooden doors were twice my size I
was very much excited to see the
working conditions that these
indigenous people had to work.

Q: How was in the inside of the mine
when you entered?
Courtesy by: Martin Vargas
I interview my grandmother of
her experience while entering
the mine for the first time.
Here I finally receive vivid
details from a person that was
physically there.

A: When I entered with our tour guide he
told to be careful when entering the mine
because the stairs were steep and the
pathways was just pure rock that was
carved out the earth. I the beginning there
were LED lights to help see better. But the
deeper we entered the less light there was.

Q: Do you remember who was your guide?

A: Yes actually he was a former worker of
the mine that actually was from a
indigenous background. While we were
walking through the passage ways he
would explain how it felt to work inside
the mines.

Q: How deep do you enter the mine?
A: The deepest that they would let the
tourist into the mine for health reasons 60
meters. The depth of the mine is around
700 meters from what the tour guide told

Q: How did it feel to be at 60 meters
A:Well at that depth you start to realize
that it gets hard to breath and you start to
breath rather deeply due the fact that there
is a lack of ventilation.

Q: What type of minerals did you find
inside the mine?

A: I saw many types of minerals mostly
we say gold quartz, and silver. At one point
the guide actually stopped and turned on
his lighter and set below tis mineral which
was black. He then told us that it was
silver at its natural state.

Q: Why do you feel that this mine was so

That mine and the other found in that area
were the reason why the city of
Guanajuato was created. Even after it
being flooded the Spanish still rebuilt it
from the ground up do to the fact that there
was so much minerals found in that region.
It kind of like how when the Gold Rush
occurred in the United States people
started to move to California in search of
becoming wealthy.

Q: What was the deeper personal
reason for you to want to actually
visit this mine?

A: I don't think that I have ever told
this to you but my ancestors originate
from the city of Guanajuato. I learned
that my Spanish roots actually
originate from the capital city if
Guanajuato. I very much feel
ashamed of what my ancestors did to
my other side which is indigenous. I
felt that I needed to see this first hand
the reason for the exploration of the
original indigenous people.

Q:Before I finish my interview I have
one more question. Would you ever
go back and visit the mine?

A: Yes, I would there are still so many
questions that I need to be answered.
Now that I have been there once I feel
that I could understand more of my
history if I went again.. If you ever
come and visit, I would like to take
you to the mine so you could see it in


Art Ruined?
Entire Expression Staff

Walter Benjamins Famous 1936 essay, The
Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical
Reproduction (Influential
In the field of art history and
cultural studies) claims that, In principle a work
of art has always been reproducible. Benjamin,
a respected German philosopher, social and
literary critic, suggests, that the invention of the

camera ruined the primary meaning of art
through aesthetics, invention of the camera
ruined the primary meaning of art through
aesthetics, aura, means of reproduction and
perspective. Also, John Berger, a respected art
critic, wrote a similar analysis, called Ways of
Seeing (often used as university text) whose
ideas on art stem from Benjamin.

Courtesy of Weebly
This is a piece that all writers at expression
collaborated on, in attempt to represent what
the connection of art and reproduction
means to us.
While Mike Posters essay, The Aesthetics of
Distracting Media, provides a counter argument
against the claims above.
Aura is subject to change even more now that
access to the camera is so easily accessible.
Considering that aura is defined as a sort of distinctive
atmosphere around a person, place or thing or the
latter as the unique phenomenon of distance,
however close it may be (Walter Benjamin). How is it
that the same aura or one at all can be gained once it
is photographed? Cameras change the texture of art,
they show what the eye before couldnt see or
neglected to. Both Walter Benjamin and John Berger
seem to attest to this. For example, when,
reproduction as offered by picture magazines and
newsreels differs from the image seen by the unarmed
eye (Walter Benjamin). But this all depends on two
circumstances according to Benjamin. However,
Poster believes that Benjamin was wrong when he
failed to account for the different affects media can
have on art. Benjamin doesnt consider the fact that
the meaning of art is always ground of battle.

Now when you consider Benjamins correlates
with what was shown in the video Ways of Seeing.
Benjamin theories of art have over time been
distorted of their original meaning and replaced with
something else. Benjamin states that as the cameras
have been created is has become rather easy to
duplicate any art piece and mass-produce them to the
public. John Berger in the video explains that its a
completely different feeling when you are physically
standing in front of the original drawing. Now a person
may ask what is truly the difference? When you stand
there you not only see the drawing but you can see
the brush strokes that almost tell you the time and
effort that the artist put into it. Plus, given the
background story of a masterpiece you might learn
that an art piece conveys a period in history is
symbolic when war was raging. Mostly, when buys a
frame of what looks like a classical painting, people
dont truly usually know who created the drawing and
what its really trying to tell us. For example, Edward
Alexander Wadsworth who was a famous painter who
painted during World War I, paintings was called
Dazzle-ships in Drydock at Liverpool. When you look
at this painting you see an abstract drawing of what
seems like a ship in a shipyard, but if you have not
read the title you might have never guessed it was a
World War I painting. In the video, John Berger the
narrator shows how without any commentary or
complementary music, people can look at this piece
and view it in different ways. This is when paintings
lose their original value and are replaced with what
each person sees there perception. But once you add
commentary or complimentary music it guides the
viewer to see what the creator wanted them to see.

Perception, as defined by the Oxford dictionary
is the ability to see hear or become aware of
something through senses. In section three, Walter
Benjamin speaks directly to the relationship between
perception, contemporary masses and the
reproduction of art. He begins the section with
introducing to the reader to the concept of change in
perception due to nature and history he gives an
example then states that in view of change in
contemporary perception, aura is decayed. He goes on
to elaborate that aura is almost a distant notion that
contemporary masses have made closer through
reproduction. Everyday the urge grows stronger to
get hold of an object at very close range by way of it
likeness, its reproduction. Our perception to make
everything universal and equal through reproduction
and film, takes away from the art. In John Bergers
Ways of Seeing, it is explained that a camera now can
reproduce any image and make it available anywhere
to anyone. One of Berger's main points is that the
reproduction of art can lead to the manipulation of
them through music and movement. He also mentions
that the image also becomes a form of information for
the viewer and the image is manipulated and may no
longer have it original meaning therefore the aura is
destroyed. The perception of the contemporary mass
changes through the manipulation of reproduced
images. Our desire to have everything closer and
universal and equal pulls the piece of art out of its
context and positions it in a vulnerable state were it
no longer hold its original meaning it no longer evokes
its initial aura.

Poster contends that's Benjamin's view on art is
anarchistic. Poster points out that such movement is
inevitable and reproductions isn't entirely responsible.
However at the end of the day the meaning of art or
the aura of a pitting will always remain the same.
or not it is universally acknowledged the initial aura or
meaning remains the same and placing anything out of
its context will mean something completely different
to everyone.

According to Benjamin,
Mechanical Reproduction has
changed the overall experience and
value of an art piece in a negative
way. Camera and film are the
primary resources that enable the
reproduction of an artwork. He
states the angle of the lens captures
a piece of the original meaning of
the painting and the user has the
ability to manipulate the work by
changing size, color and image.
Instead of looking at an original
piece as authentic now pieces are
reproduced to allow overall
consumer enjoyment and
profitability. In addition, he thinks a
piece loses its meaning because
you dont get the full experience of
enjoying it in its original place and
time. Benjamin also states, the
reproduction of a piece of art will
never be as perfect as the original.
The original is independent from the
reproduction and will always have a
significant meaning behind it.
However, Mark Poster provides a
counterargument regarding the
reproduction of an art piece. He
suggests that mechanical
reproduction changes the audience
in multiple ways because it brings
the art to the audience instead of the
other way around. Usually, art is
displayed in its original space such
as in a museum or art gallery but
now you can enjoy it in the comfort
of your own home. Also, Poster
considers Benjamins theory of the
relationship between culture and
technology as mistakes. Poster
suggests current media makes art
accessible for readers and viewers,
capturing the attention of millions
around the globe at the same time.
He says that technology has
changed the culture of art. It
destroys the approach to culture
against the mind of the genius
creator who thought to create the
piece of art. Reproduction has
overall destroyed the meaning of art
and has eliminated originality when
it comes to creating works of art.

Has the invention of the
camera, really ruined the meaning
of art; is a question that will
continue to be fought over, just as
the meaning of art pieces
themselves are.

A Day In the Park
By Vartan Deranteriassian
My Ethnography Observation was a nostalgic visit to my favorite park
less than a mile away, Moonshine Canyon Park. Brought back childhood
memories and was a great way to show my dad how much I love and
respect him, by taking him to the park we both enjoyed visiting twelve
years ago.
I decided to visit my most favorite park,
hidden up in the hills of Porter Ranch,
Moonshine Canyon Park. Unfortunately, it
was a cloudy Sunday morning but
surprisingly the park was still packed with
families. My father and I pulled into the small
parking lot that accommodates only twenty or
so cars.

As I stepped out of the car to enter the park I
immediately felt a slight breeze of wind hit
my face. The breeze hit the leafy trees and
bushes softly making them swing back and
forth. You could hear the childrens laughter
and their small shoes scraping the dirty and
worn out cement as they ran from one jungle
gym to the other. Next to the jungle gym is a
childrens playground, which includes a
sandpit, swings, and roundabouts. Parents
must have organized a play date, they discuss
lunch plans all while watching their children
play on the jungle gym. The children are
dressed in thick jackets, making it hard to
play and run freely but I still hear my moms
sound in my ear, "Dont take off your jacket,
its too cold, youll get sick."

As I walk towards the north side of the park I
see a group of tall, hairy, sweaty men playing
a game of basketball. Theyre huffing and
puffing, running up and down the court to
make sure they get a good workout and play a
good game. Over at a far distance, I see dogs
running after yellow tennis balls and colorful
Frisbees with such speed and ease. However,
one golden retriever is misbehaving by
running curiously in circles around his owner.
Some children are excited to see dogs but
others are scared and take a step back as they
see the dogs cross their path.

Nearby a family is enjoying a small picnic. It
looks like theyre eating turkey sandwiches
with crunchy Doritos and Lays chips. The
wooden benches are occupied by couples in
what looks to be a serious conversation,
unsure if they wanted to enjoy the outdoors

As I walk across the park I finally get to my
favorite part of the park thats quiet and
peaceful. My father and I find an empty
wooden bench, we sit and glance around to
the park whispers, grasshoppers chirping at a
distance. My dad starts asking me questions
about my school and I give him the play by
play of what has been happening the last
week. We both feel the icy bench touch our
bodies and think we should walk around to
get warm. As my father and I leave the bench
and move onto the running path we see men
and women running around the park in
circles. After walking around for about 30
minutes we decide to go home because the
frigid weather was going to make us sick.
Courtesy of Vartan Deranteriassian
Bayramian Lawn
By Avisely Solis
There are very few places on campus where I
can be in one place yet be lost in 4 different
realms. To the north I have a bright view of
the, oh so dreaded, Bayramian Hall. To the east
there is the iconic and always beautiful Oviatt
Library, to the south I have Jerome Richfield
Hall and to the west, in the far distance sits
University Hall. The four buildings never fail
to captivate me in different ways, although, I
can't quite understand why. I like to think its
the fact that all four buildings serve different
purposes and therefore the sight of them evoke
different emotions.

I am not so sure if I have ever seen such large
tractor looking contraption whose only purpose
is to mow the lawn. It has only been 13
minutes since I arrived and already the loud
noise has begun to aggravate me. The man
working the tractor has a blank facial
expression and seems to be paying no attention
to me although I have been observing him for
five minutes now. He wears an ear-plug
apparatus to block out the noise and heavy
clothing. I wonder if bystanders are as annoyed
with the ear-piercing sound the tractor makes,
but by the looks of it, they seem as unmindful
of the sound as I seem to be to the guy driving
the tractor.

There is a squirrel. Well actually, there are
several squirrels but one in particular keeps
continuously going up and down the same tree.
As it slowly works its way down the tree then
peers to its right towards that direction with the
most movement, it shifts my attention to the
steep walkway between the Oviatt library lawn
and Bayramian Hall. Heads gracefully ascends
and descends at a constant motion. No one
seems to speed up or slow down. I continue to
observe bystanders heads slowly disappear
down the hill when my train of thought is
interrupted by a sudden and almost frightening
outburst from behind me. A male and a female
lay side by side facing the bright and blue sky
above them. The male teases the girl about
something and she giggles while he turns to
her and smiles. He begins to pull on her cheek
and fidgets with her hair meanwhile she talks.
There is a brief moment of silence as she gets
up and walks toward a bag sitting by a tree and
pulls out a phone then begins to make a phone
call. The male continues to watch her but does
not utter a word. The smile on his face is long
gone and now he lays flat on his back,
covering his face with a jacket.

For the next ten minutes I proceeded to watch
students, professors, children, parents, bikers,
skaters, make there way to their destination.
The majority had their phones out and seemed
to only be aware of whatever is going on in
there little world. They all seemed oblivious to
me, though I was sitting close enough to be
recognized, and yet not a single person even
gave me a glance. I've never before felt so
invisible and to be honest, I enjoyed it.

By Avisely solis
An ethnography of an area
within the California State
University, Northridge .
The Blue Room
By Martin Vargas
I am not so sure I have ever seen such a
large tractor looking contraptions whose
only purpose is to mow the lawn. It has
only been 13 minutes since I arrived and
already the loud noise has begun to
aggravate me. The man working the
tractor has a blank facial expression and
seems to be paying no attention to me
although I have been observing him for
five minutes now. He wears an ear-plug
apparatus to block out the noise and
heavy clothing. I wonder if bystanders
are as annoyed with the ear-piercing
sound the tractor makes, but by the looks
of it, they seem as unmindful of the
sound as I seem to be to the guy driving
the tractor.

There is a squirrel, well actually there are
several squirrels, but one in particular
that continuously goes up and down the
same tree. It slowly works its way down
the tree then peers to its right towards the
direction with the most movement, it
shifts my attention to the steep walk-way
between the Oviatt library lawn and the
Bayramian Hall. Heads gracefully ascend
and descend at a constant motion, no one
seems to speed up or slow down. I
continue to observe bystanders heads
slowly disappear down the hill when
my train of thought is interrupted by a
sudden and almost frightening outburst
from behind me. A male and a female

lay side by side facing the bright and
blue sky above them. The male would
tease the girl about something and she
would giggle while he turned to her and
smile. He began pulling on her check and
fidgeting with her hair meanwhile she
talked. There is a brief moment of
silence, as she gets up walks toward a
bag sitting by the tree and pulls out a
phone then begins to make a phone call.
The male continued to watch her but did
not utter a word, the smile on his face
was long gone and now he lay flat
covering his face with a jacket.

For the next ten minutes I proceeded to
watch students, professors, children,
parents, bikers, skater, make there way to
their destination. The majority had their
phones out and seems to only be aware
of whatever's going on in thei little
world. They all seemed oblivious to, I
was sitting close enough to recognize and
yet not a single person even gave me a
glance. I've never before felt so invisible,
and to be honest, I enjoyed it.
Here I try to describe a
place as vividly as
possible without actually
mentioning the naming
the place. I personally
chose my bedroom.
The Pride Center
By Adrianna Bennett
I walk into this bright, lively,
atmosphere. I sit on the bright blue
couch, while dropping my checkered
blue, black and teal backpack to the
floor. The room is filled with people.
The black television, hanging on the
wall roars with the laughter at Tosh.Os
audience at the Toshs nonsense. The
words, be free, lunge out of the art
hanging on the all opposite of the door.
Emily seems excited with her phone as
she lays propped up on the couch next to
me. Everyone seems so happy all, but
one. She sat, leaned against the wall as
her head drooped toward her lap, only
rising her head slightly ever so often in
the direction of the TV. Star, medium
tall in height, walks in, cheeks pushed as
far back toward his ears as seemingly
possible. As his eyes met her slumped
physic, the intensity of his smile
lessened. Her head rose further, the
closer star got to her. I had never seen
her before. I tried, and tried to place a
face but I couldnt. The room began to
fill with voices, some coupled, some
lonesome. The room then fell to an
awkward silence; no one any longer
rapidly moved or spoke. But just as fast
as the silence had fell, it was broken.
My eyes began to hit each of the low
rounded, cushioned seats set across the
room. They were either, light blue,
yellow, green, etc. People were siting
around, talking, walking, eating, doing
homework, day dreaming, even
sleeping. The room smells different in
every direction. I turn left and smell

subway, while on the right, the smell of
Panda Express makes my taste buds
yearn. After a while my nose begins to
burn, feeling overworked.

Rock, Paper, scissors, as I, paper,
triumphs over rock, gain the TV remote.
As I grip the black rectangular box, with
squishy gray squares with letters and
numbers printed on them, I began to
wonder what to watch. I immediately
think, Spongebob, and click the
numbers 4 and 5. The room became
silences as Spongebob began to laugh. I
cant help but feel my lips begin to curl.
Everyones eyes have focused on
Spongebob and Patricks stupidity,
leaving behind their conversations and
distractions for now; at least those who
aren't already passed out sleeping. Their
low snores are more easily heard now.

A rainbow didn't throw up on the walls,
it just left a few things behind. This isn't
just where you come to sit and pass by
time between classes, it can be a second
home. This is where you can go to find
an ear thats always willing to
listen, meet new people, and feel free.
Hey, theres that girl again, shes
smiling. I wouldn't have ever noticed
her twinkling green eyes, if she hadn't
been lent an ear.

The room begins to clear out, leaving
only a couple people spread out across
the room. The time is now 3:20pm. Its
quiet for a only a while, but hey its
the Pride Center.
Courtasy of Weebly
In this Ethnography I describe a
place I commonly go to relax, do
homework, even socialize
Analysis of Irises
By Vartan Deranteriassian
Last Sunday morning when I mentioned to
my mom I had to visit a museum for my
English class, she thought it would be a
great idea to visit the Getty as a family.
She said, You cant really compare the
feeling of seeing a piece of art in real life
to seeing it on a postcard or desktop
screensaver. Thats definitely what I felt
first hand when I visited the Getty
Museum. What I saw in front of me was
very different from the reproduced pieces I
see everyday. I saw some very large
paintings while others were small but each
one had its own concept and soul that was
visible through the colors and objects used
on canvas.

I discovered that each painting had its own
distinct aura that moved and captured
me. The visit took over three hours but I
found myself locked on one specific piece
of artwork. Not surprising, it has been
reproduced in various ways, I have seen it
in magazines and even on umbrellas.
Evidently, this painting is also the Gettys
most prized possessions; its the Irises by
Vincent van Gogh. The original title of the
painting was in French, Les Iris. It was
completed in 1889, sadly one year before
the great artist committed suicide but now
it resides at the upper floor of the North
building/ Vincent van Gogh described this
painting as a study because it was
executed without any prior drawings.

As I observed the painting I discovered the
surroundings in the room complimented
the painting so well. The proper room
light, beautiful paint colors and room
placement made the work of art very
unique. The painting spoke to me, not only
because it was remarkable and of great
value but because I really enjoyed looking
at the bright purple and deep green colors.
Seeing the painting in person offered so
much more than seeing the Irises
mechanically reproduced on different
mediums like dinner napkins and
decorative French pillowcases. I later
learned that this painting was one of the
most famous paintings at the Getty.
Indeed, the tourists were well aware of the
importance of the piece because they
surrounded the painting, you can feel the
forward steps, to get a closer glimpse of
the textures and brush strokes. The room
Courtesy of Vartan Deranteriassian
For my analysis of a work of art piece I decided to go to the
Los Angeles Getty Museum. I chose the Getty Museum
because its well known for its architecture, paintings and
amazing scenery. I chose to observe Irises by Vincent van
was chilly and in the background I could
hear the tourists and mom discussing the
beauty and the tragic death of its owner
with my younger sister. I still remember
the two security guards that were standing
on each side of the canvas, they were tired
and old, but their job was to protect the
artwork from theft and most importantly
ask the visitors to turn off their phone
flashes while taking pictures.

Looking at the canvas, it was hard to
believe how someone in so much pain was
able to produce a calm piece of artwork.
Van Gogh achieved his goal, it was simple
to connect to the painting and feel like
youre in a quiet, sunny and serene garden.
I understood what Walter Benjamin and
John Berger were trying to say in their
essays. Something is different about seeing
a painting in an art gallery, the image, the
way you see it, how youre feeling that day
touches you and remains with you. I was
touched because I got the total experience
of the painting. I examined every inch and
thought about where it was painted and
what else Van Gogh might of wanted to
say through the painting. I understood the
intensity of the canvas as I looked at the
petals of the flowers and examined the
strokes of the brushes, still visible on the
surface even after all these year. But when
I look at the beautiful landscape, I feel
especially sad to know the painting is
completed in the garden of an asylum in
Saint-Remy, France. The Dutch artist had
voluntarily admitted himself and
subsequently felt better as he expressed his
inner feelings through creating art. He
established his painting as the lightning
conductor for my illness because he felt
calmer when he painted it. Interestingly,
this painting sold for more than $50
million dollars to Alan Bond. However,
Bond didnt have enough money to pay for
it; therefore, it was sent to the Los Angeles
Getty Museum. Overall, this piece is one
of Vincent Van Goghs greatest paintings
and Im now one of its most captured

Courtesy of Weebly
Buried Memories
By Adrianna Bennett
The work of art I choose to visit was the art
piece on California State University,
Northridges campus. This art piece was
inspired by the devastation the university
campus to upon on January 17, 1994. I didnt
necessarily want to see the art piece, I just
happened upon it. I was walking a path I had
not before, while wondering where I should go
spend my break between classes. Back to my
dorm to nap, or just go and relax in the Pride
Center and probably fall asleep in there too.
Well the Pride Center was closer, then I looked
up and noticed all the green, lively trees around
me. I left my head bowed, as I walked, I
noticed how the morning dew stuck to the
leaves as if it were a professionally taken
photo; youd find in your already given
wallpapers of your cell phone. As I watched a
squirrel climb around these metal rods struck
into the ground, no doubt another art piece, my
eyes wondered to the left.

When I first saw the art piece: There it was
why the hell are there stairs coming out of the
ground, I remember asking myself. Before I
even walked up to the piece and read the
plaque, I already knew what it meant. Its
quiet, nothing, but a cool breeze in the
morning air and now murmured conversations
had in a distance. As I noticed the cracks and
missing pieces, my mind wondered. I visualized
what running down falling stairs would be like.
I stared for a while, I was stuck in a daze. My
phone buzzing while clasped in my right hand
drew me out of it. It felt as though I had been
taken from reality for the moment, the outside
world mattered not. Crazy, I didnt even realize
I was standing there that long.

However when I again saw the piece, however,
this time through a photo I flipped right past it.
I did not pause and think of what it might have
felt like to either be on those stairs when the
shaking began, or to see the once standing
stairs after. I did not wonder, how the hell do
you get to the next floor now. I just kept
moving forward. It seems that when a photo is
just plain outrageous or eye catching in some
way, more attention is paid, but this all
depends. I suppose John Berger was right, we
do not give an art piece the same attention,
have the same feelings, or even pay attention
to an art piece as well as we would when
standing in front of it face to face. This is all
due to ones perception. We already view
things differently because of past experiences,
and already gained knowledge. But when
something is taken out of its original place as
digital pictures virtually allows us to, its a
whole other story.

When I first stood in front of the stairs I felt
sadness and curiosity. It had a sort of drawing
effect, which was unapparent when looking in
a photo of them. Stairs that before would
seem so strong beneath my feet as I walked up
them were so easily brushed away like dust.

This piece was created to represent what took
place on January 17, 1994. A day for some that
they became homeless, or financially strained.
I myself can only imagine and view past
images of the ordeal, considering I was born a
day shy of a year later. In fact that is why
Photo courtesy of Adrianna Bennett
For my analysis of a work of art
piece I wrote on one I
discovered on California State
University, Northridges
I first remembered the date when I first
heard of the earthquake in grade school.
This just goes to show that we all may see
something different when passing these
unique stairs. Some may see a failed
construction project, jokingly or in all
seriousness. Without knowing any
background information of what had
happened 20 years ago in this Southern
California city known as Northridge, this
isnt unlikely to be the case. Dont be
afraid to get up close with art and let it
help you escape reality for a while. The
aura and feeling one can get from an art
piece tends to be better felt and
appreciated close up and personal.

photos courtesy of Adrianna Bennett
Early California
By Martin Vargas
"Early California" is a mural that can
be found inside my hometown post
office. The mural cover the four walls
inside the lobby you can clearly see
that the sealing is about 10 feet tall.
Now some may ask, "why did you
choose this mural in particular?" Well
in the beginning I wanted to go to the
museum of tolerance and cover a art
piece of the holocaust. Yet, something
made me think other wise, as a child I
would walk into the post office and
look at the mural while my mother
would stand in line and mail some
letters for Christmas time. I always
wanted to know who had been the
person who painted this amazing
mural. After I completed all my
research I was not disappointed not
only did I learn about who drew the
mural ,but it would also correlate with
one of my favorite times in history,
World War 2.

Standing in the lobby I feel excited
because I would finally know who was
the person behind the mural. I tried to
find information yet hit a dead end in a
matter of seconds by only finding the
name of the piece, a artist name "James
Redmond", and a year 1936. I stood
there in awe like a little kid looking
through the window of a candy store. I
then walked out the old post office
walked down the street to the city hall,
then walked into the clerks office were
I was told I could get information of
historical site in the city. To my
surprise there was no information. They
then directed to the local public library,
there I obtained more elaborate
information behind James Redmond.

Courtesy of: Charles Swaney
In this article I wrote about an art piece whos true meaning I
wanted to evaluate. One of the main reasons I chose this
specific mural was because t's located in my hometown and I
wanted to finally learn it's background story. Overall it would
be a great first hand experience to see if Walter Benjamin's
theory of aura stood when tested.

It really did surprise me how in my
city there was so little interest in our
cities history. It is so sad to find out
that not even city hall new about the
painting next door. This is what really
fueled me to go after this challenge.
Standing there first hand you really do
see that Benjamin really had a point;
of having a whole different
experience looking at the mural in a
picture than being there flesh and
bone. I twirled around looking at the
mural explaining how the indigenous
people lived before and after the
introduction of European. Although
what Benjamin was incorrect was the
fact that since this mural was never
really duplicated in a photo its history
and true meaning has been lost.
The preservation of its meaning has
been lost in time and it also has its
artist, I am so glad to have chosen this
piece, I will never look at the mural
again in the same way.

Courtesy by: Charles Swaney
The Point
By Avisely Solis
I was fortunate enough to spend my
spring break back home in northern
California with my family. I had often
been told by friends and family members
about this art structure located 2.3 miles
from my home. I figured this assignment
would be the perfect opportunity for me to
finally stop by the interesting looking
structure. I had visited the Baylands
Nature Preserve various times before but I
had never done very much exploring of the
area in which the art piece was positioned.
It is situated on a far end of the nature
preserve in East Palo Alto. I arrived a little
after six in the afternoon so the sun was
beginning to set and it was just at the right
angle for me to snap a few photographs.
And now thinking about it, it really did
add to the initial aura I experienced when
first observing the design.

I remember slowly approaching the
structure, I crossed the parking spaces and
at arriving in the back of the structure, I
instantaneously felt an uneasy breeze
sweep all my hair into my periphery. The
smell of bay water and the sound of noisy
seagulls filled the atmosphere. Large
shrubs seemed to be obstructing my vision

of the piece of art from a distance but the
closer and closer I got, the larger and more
complex the art piece revealed itself to be.
I stood nearly four feet away from the
structure for about five minutes. Surveying
my surroundings, I noticed the place
appeared to have been completely desolate
for a long period of time. It struck me as
being very unkempt, then I realized how
large the preserve was and had the desire
to continue exploring the rest of Baylands.

I took a few pictures from a distance then
slowly and cautiously worked my way
closer while I simultaneously documented
the experience and my initial reaction with
a video recording. The first thing I
mentioned in the video was how the
arrangement of the concrete blocks
reminded me of war, destruction and the
demolition of a strong and solid building. I
thought I was looking at the ruins of a
building and the art piece served as a
memorial of all those whose lives were
lost due to some tragic event concerning
the destruction of the structure placed
before me. I had come to the conclusion
that, in view of the troubling and upsetting
By Avisely Solis

The analysis of experiencing a
piece of art for the first time.
A discussion of the
implications of visual art on
the viewer.
emotions built up within me evoked only
by piece of art itself; it had to be regarding
unfortunate events. But to my surprise, it
was not. After doing some research on the
art piece it was established that: the
structure was called The Point, It was
brought about by Richard F. Shirley and
John M. Kennedy, it was dedicated in
1980 "to the beauty and poetry of the

Relating back to the point brought up in
Ways of Seeing, the difference between
experiencing a piece of art in person as
opposed to through a photograph is very
different in more ways than it is similar.
However, having a clear memory of what
it was like standing before the piece of art
and then later looking at the pictures of the
piece of art is more similar than it is
different. Looking at the picture before me
I can still distinctively describe the sound,
the smell, the feel of being there in person

The piece of art still means the same thing
to me as it did when I first stood before it.
The image of the structure still brings me
to imagine the event of a natural disaster
or war that demolished every structure in
sight. Although everything lies in ruins,
there still remains hope for the future, for a
tomorrow, when the sun will rise again and
life will go on for everything it reaches.

I do not think this concept of the
relationship between the before and after
thoughts, feelings, experiences of a piece
of art when you've viewed it in person and
later in a picture is mentioned by John
Berger in Ways of Seeing. Nonetheless it
does highlight an interesting notion of art.
In my experience, the reproduction of art
serve as reminder of the initial aura.

By Avisely Solis
War In Visual Art
By Avisely Solis
I enjoyed the poetic element in Walter
Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of
Mechanical Reproduction and John Bergers
film Ways of Seeing regarding war and art.
It has been argued before that war is
beautiful, however, its not commonly
presented in regards to visual art. There are a
few examples of visual art such as Robert
Zemeckis film Forrest Gump. I have
thoroughly enjoyed Zemeckis film and it is
by far my favorite film of all times. It is such
a heartwarming film. It has all the elements
that make a good film and more. What the
film is essentially about is Forrest Gump- the
protagonists fascinating life. The main
character kindly shares with strangers at a
bus stop how he was born with a walking
disability yet came to be an all-American
football player and how he ran across entire
states just because he felt like it. Along with
starting his own shrimp business and a few
other things he initiated, Forrest Gump also
served in the army during the Vietnamese
war. The film only dedicates a short portion
of Forrests time in the war, it does present
several elements of war. Although Walter
Benjamins work, John Bergers film, and
the film Forrest Gump are not directly
relevant to each other, all share a relationship
within visual art, war, reproduction and

Walter Benjamin brought up the notion of
war in The Work of Art in the Age of
Mechanical Reproduction at the end where
he elaborates on the relationship between war
and art. He essentially argues that war is
beautiful because it carries with it the essence
of revolution - of social movement.
Imperialistic war is a rebellion of
technology which collects, in the form of
human material, the claims to which society
has denied its natural material. Benjamin
argues that art looses when it is mass
produced. He wants to make clear to the
reader that all forms of art are being
imperialistically regulated through
The relationship between war and modern day visual
art is analyzed through the lenses of mechanical
reproduction as introduced by Benjamin Walter
It is through the means of reproduction
that visual art has lost its original value
and meaning.
As explained by John Berger in Ways of
Seeing, we live in this new reality where
visual art is seen as it never was before in
view of reproduction. We can experience it
where we want, when we want, and how
we want as opposed to people in previous
decades. Individuals had to compromise
more of his or her time and effort to
experience a piece of art. John Berger
mentions how visual art was confirmed
and consolidated by everything that
surrounded it and uses the example of
graphics on church walls. In a church, an
image meant more than it does now as an
ad next to your Facebook status. Berger
reasons for how original works of visual
art have become vulnerable because of
technology and mass reproduction.
When attempting to make sense of the
films interpretation of war and Benjamin's
stance on war in The Work of Art in the
Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and
John Bergers take on visual art and the
way we see it now in Ways of Seeing, I
came to the conclusion that war within a
film, such as Forrest Gump, the images
and meaning and the relationship between
what took place in reality and what is
presented in the reproduction of that
reality is evidently not the same. I
followed that train of thought and it
brought me to conceptualize war within art
as the reproduction shapes the viewer's
understanding of what war is or what war
in art means today.

When watching the film analytically, I
understood that the scene involving
Gumps service in war were not entirely
true. However, certain events such as
running from bombs or shooters, going
back into a dangerous war zone for a
group of friends, getting shot in the butt or
watching your good friend die in your
arms are occurrences that surely did take
place at some point in someones life
during war. The unfortunate reality is that
certain events can never be recreated
exactly the same way even if the editors
wanted to. The war scenes were true
occurrences that were taken out of their
context and recreated to fit in a storyline
for a movie. It was then and there when I
began to feel the inauthenticity of the
piece of art.

The entering of reproduction and the
integration of technology in terms of the
loss of authenticity transpired almost in a
form of bio magnification. Only that in
place of it increasing it is decreasing in
authenticity. Putting aside the fact that the
events in the film weren't entirely real,
you'd think that the film would be the only
one of its kind, so in a sense it was
original. At one point there was only one
copy of the film until it had to be
reproduced so people all over the world
could see it at movie theaters, but then it
had to be mass produced so everyone
could have a copy they could watch at
home. The process does not end there, in
todays day and age everyone can have a
copy of the film on their phone or laptop.
So now that people have the piece of art as
close as they would want it, they could do
whatever they want with it. People make
memes, parodies, and gifs off of the film

This is then the problem Walter had with
mechanical reproduction. When the movie
was complete and released at movie
theaters, people everywhere had to go and
watch the film there. The same goes for
paintings only they are more prestige in
view of the fact that there is only one
where as a film has to be replicated in order
to be viewed at movie theaters everywhere.
After original works of visual art are mass
produced, the piece of art is almost
nothing. The public may take it for granted,
or manipulate, at the end of the day it has
lost a portion of its original value. But the
question still remains, what then does this
show about war? If the piece of art is not
important enough to keep authentic or
original, why should anything within that
particular piece of art be also?

For someone who has never been to war
but has access to the media, pictures,
paintings, books and movies on war, that
individuals interpretation of war begins to
be shaped by such factors. No one
questions the accuracy of the piece of art
because its art. Art is almost like an
opinion, its the creators point of view, and
it doesn't matter if it is accurate because it
is just an opinion. The problem however is
when an individual bases his or her
understanding of war and art off of
opinions. Concepts such as war should be
for the most part be objective but by mass
producing pieces of art containing elements
of war makes it not only accessible to
everyone but also puts it in a vulnerable
state to where everyone can add or take
away from the piece of art. Berger
elaborates on this circumstance by stating
that often paintings much like movies can
be used to make arguments which may be
different from their original meaning.

In America there is freedom of speech and
expression, in many situations it is done
through visual art. There are a couple of
scenes in the film Forrest Gump, where the
setting is during the Vietnamese war, which
are a representation of the editors and
directors point of view of war. John Berger
states in his video how images can be used
as a language, and its through these couple
of scene in which they make a statement
about what they think it is like to lose a
close friend, or what it means to serve in
the army through the main character's point
of view. It is important to keep in mind that
the events in the film did happen; there
really was a Vietnamese war where people
did die. But the representation of wars
reality is not quite present in the film. For
example, the film portrays the main
character as naive and almost ignorant at
times, and yet he being how he is, survives
the war and does perfectly fine as opposed
to his friend Bubba or Lieutenant Dan.
I am not saying its not possible, however it
is extremely unrealistic. Visual art
frequently will present a concept in an
unrealistic manner and when this art
becomes mass produced due to
reproduction or widely obtainable because
of technology, society almost in a sense
begins to believe the concept represented as
reality and true.

There is so much to be expected from war
in visual art. Certain features of war that
can be highlighted through art, old or new
pieces of art. War seems to be timeless and
there are many arguments to be made
through visual art. Walter Benjamin's The
Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical
Reproduction could be considered a piece
of art emphasizing the beauty factor of war
to the attention of the masses.

There is yet one last impression I am left
with after reading Benjamin's work and
watching Johns video and that is: no
matter how reproducible and accessible art
becomes, it will always reveal something to
the viewer. Images, much like films, will be
interpreted and will most likely be
understood differently according to each
individual's experience.
I enjoyed how although Forrest Gump has
been reproduced and perhaps has lost its
original aura, it did not obstruct my ability
to directly decipher what is taking place in
the couple of scenes concerning war based
off of my own experiences. At the end of
the day it doesn't really matter what the
reality of war in visual art or war itself is
because it will be interpreted differently
based off of each individual's experiences
of the matter. While I do not resonate with
war as it is presented in the film, it does
not me everybody else will too. The
reproduction of original works of visual art
and its relationship with todays
technology has skewed my apprehension
of war seeing that it is present everywhere,
being used as a language to persuade me or
impress me concerning something that has
little to nothing to do with the original
meaning of the visual piece of art.

Courtesy of IWM/Getty Images
The Guitar Solo That Represented
A New America
By Martin Vargas
Jimi Hendrix guitar solo during the
Woodstock Festival of 1969,would give a
eye opening view of how America was
changing in the late 20th century. It was as
if guitar strings were screaming social
change. Walter Benjamin stated that any sort
of reproduction loses it value and its aura.
The actually drawing can never be
reproduced as the original, in this case the
concert can never be experienced like if you
actually physically there at the time. I will
analyze the short video of Jimi Hendrix
playing, "The Star Spangle
Banner" compare it Benjamin's text and see
it Benjamin's theory is credible when put
into action. I believe that first experiences
can never be reproduced you can only create
new ones as to come back expose yourself
again to that art piece, song, movie, etc.

Jimi Hendrix was a famous African
American Guitarist that was well known in
the 1960's until he died in 1970. He was a
very well known music artist he was very
influential in the rock community. He would
end up performing for the Woodstock
concert. Woodstock was a festival which
lasted for three whole days was a place were
people gathered together to listen to all the
popular bands of the time. It was held in
Bethel, New York on August 18 of 1969.
There modo was peace and music. Many of
people that came to the event were
advocates of Anti-War movements, and civil
rights. A month before this event in Vietnam
the Tet Offensive had just occurred. It had
been a offensive attack from Northern
Vietnamese troops, it would be a huge
demoralizer to America. Jimi Hendrix had
openly expressed his thought towards
conflicts like the Vietnam one great example
would be his song "Machine Gun". This
particular song expressed negativity towards
the war. Yet still respected the soldiers who
served mostly due to the fact that he also
served in the military. So this is why Jimi
Hendrix was a perfect candidate to perform
in Woodstock Festival.

Now when comparing Jimi Hendrix
performance with Walter Benjamins
famous essay, Work of Art in the Ages of
Mechanical Reproduction, he advocates
that aura can only happen once; it that
first reaction to a new experience. Well on
that summer of 1969 in Bethel, New York as
Jimi Hendrix played the national anthem
with his electrical guitar, that can never be
Courtesy of Weebly
Here I chose a musical piece and examined if
Walter Benjamins Theory is actually of true. I will
look at the how when experiencing the musical piece
in different locations and at different times.
new experience. Well on that summer of
1969 in Bethel, New York as Jimi Hendrix
played the national anthem with his
electrical guitar, that can never be
recreated. It occurred in a time when
America was in the break of drastic
changed and it could clearly be seen as
Jimi Hendrix played each chord. America
was have not only a external fight with the
world for example the Vietnam War, but
also internally. American's were
advocating equal rights at the time when
the south was raging with violence a
protests because blacks were fight
oppression from whites. In the West you
had the gay rights movements and also the
feminist movements. Here was a black
man playing the electrical guitar which
symbolized radicalism and to top it off he
is playing the "Star Spangle Banner". It
seems to send a message to not only
America but the whole world that this is a
new rebirth of a new America. One that
promote equality peace, and change. There
must of been a certain nostalgia in air as
the festival occurred it was probably very
much unique, only the people that were
physically there can explain it, its not the
same as watching it on a video. These
elements just make it more unique and
makes it a great example for aura, a
experience that can never be replicated.

My personal first experience with this
piece was music took place in my Music
105 class. My professor had showed is the
video of Jimi Hendrix, I was fascinated, I
had never seen some one play the
electrical to the Star Spangle Banner. I
felts as the surround sound system
exploded the songs of the electrical guitar
into the room and sink into the ears of ever
student sitting in the classroom. I felts my
raise up as he flicked the strings with his
fingers and screech out of the speakers.
That first it really did hit me but not to the
point that I would move my head the
rhythm maybe because I was in the
classroom with other students.

After the piece finished my professor was
quick to explained to us the background
story of the piece and the significance that
it had during its time period. Due to the
fact that there were certain important
events going on. After knowing the facts of
the time period that this piece was
performed I then heard song the privacy of
room with earphones on. As I heard the
guitar start play and the occasional drums
in the backgrounds I started to ponder how
it must of felt if I had been there. I didn't
relive the aura of my first experience but
rather experienced a new one. Then I
realized that when you learn more
information about something you get a
whole complete new experience or aura.

Yes it is true you are never able to recreate
aura, but you can create new experiences.
You can't recreate the past but you can
shape the future. Looking at the video for
the first time was completely different than
the first time. But the second time was a
new experience in itself. The reason for
this was because I gained new knowledge
that I hadn't obtained in the first time. It
seems that Benjamin's theory actually
stands the test time at least for his theory
of aura.
1 Day and 1 Year Later
By Adrianna Bennett
People have been spouting theory after theory
about art and the way it is reproduced, but not
many has done so to the extent of John
Berger or Walter Benjamin. Walter Benjamin a
respected German philosopher, social and
literary critic, wrote Work of Art in the Age of
Mechanical Reproduction, which helped
inspired John Bergers theories on reproduction.
The art piece in question is called, Fallen
Stairs. This piece was created by the earth and
one of her tantrums, the January 17 1994
Northridge Earthquake to be a little more
specific. I will be taking a closer look at, Fallen
Stairs and interpreting the piece through
Bergers theory of reproduction. I propose that
reproduction can be both a good and bad thing,
when it comes to the viewers perception of the

When I first saw the piece I thought: Why the
hell are there stairs coming out of the ground, I
remember asking myself. Before I even walked
up to the piece and read the plaque, I already
knew what it meant. Its quiet, nothing, but a
cool breeze in the morning air and now
murmured conversations had in a distance. As I
noticed the cracks and missing pieces, my mind
wondered. I visualized what running down
falling stairs would be like.

Now Walter Benjamin had a variety of theories
on art and its modes of reproduction, but one to
me stood out from the rest: One might subsume
the eliminated element in the term aura and go
on to say: that which withers in the age of
mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work
of art. Aura means a distinctive but intangible
quality that seems to surround a person or thing;
atmosphere. He means simply by this that it
seems once an art piece has been reproduced,
mainly mechanically, the piece then loses its
meaning; he feeling that can be gained while
viewing, or analyzing it.

This particular art piece isnt as mass produced
and others. However, if it were to be it would
mainly be done through photography, video,
even perhaps a painting. This type of production
can be good because what of those who cannot
make their way to California State University,
Northridge? By using photography, a person that
cannot make it to California, let alone
Northridge. Although, it can be a bad thing
because you cannot actually be con campus to
see it in in person, to see it surroundings. They
would not have been able to notice all the green,
lively trees around it. It looks as if you have
entered a miniature forest.
For my theory of reproduction piece I decided
to continue my analysis of the art piece,
Fallen Stairs; attempting to covey my
theory as to whether or not art is indeed
ruined by ruined by reproduction and why.

Or able to leave your head bowed, as you
walk so you can notice how the morning
dew stuck to the leaves as if it were a
professionally taken photo; youd find in
the already given wallpapers of your cell
phone. Then paused in stride. As you
watch a plump squirrel climb around these
metal rods struck into the ground, no doubt
another art piece, my eyes wondered to the

Now when you consider the possible
feelings you loose out on getting, when
you are seeing the fallen stairs through a
photo versus in person, does it not seem
more meaningful to see these sort of things
in person? You will not be able to see the
vast additions made to the school unless
you were to do research. In this case to
receive the full effect of this art piece it is
best to actually be on the CSUN campus.
Also consider, the effect who you are with
and the environment you are at that
moment in time can have. If you are for
instance with others who do not allow you
to focus, then how can you give the art
piece in question your full attention; to be
able to fully take in what the artist is trying
to say. Though, the artists in the case is the
Earth, I suppose the message here could
be, no matter how strong something seems,
if it is attacked at its weakest spot, in this
case its foundation it will fall. You could
apply the very same thing to people, if you
think about it. Like I said earlier,
interpretation of what is going on or what
something represents, changes from person
to person. Due to perception being effected
by so many other factors than what is
currently going on in that moment in time.
Factors such as, education, experiences,
and life style.

When I again saw the piece, however, this
time through a photo, I flipped right past it.
I did not pause and think of what it might
have felt like to either be on those stairs
when the shaking began, or to see the once
standing stairs right after. I did not wonder,
how the hell do you get to the next floor
now? I just kept moving forward. It seems
that when a photo is just plain outrageous
or eye catching in some way, more
attention is paid when viewing through
technology, but this all depends. For
example, someone can be view a plain
picture of someone simply smiling and be
mesmerized by the persons looks, or be
thinking that the persons smile is just a
mask for deceit and lies; as they think of
all the ones they were told by them. We do
not give an art piece the same attention,
have the same feelings, or even pay
attention to an art piece as well as we
would when standing in front of it face to
face. An art pieces meaning and how it is
viewed changes based on the audience
member, location, time of day, even
surrounding people. Making it in this day
and age, almost impossible to accurately
interpret what an artist is trying to convey;
without already having a prepared
statement as to what they were trying to
say. This is all due to ones perception. We
already view things differently because of
past experiences, and already gained
knowledge. But when something is taken
out of its original place as digital pictures
virtually allows us to, its a whole other
story. When I first stood in front of the
stairs I felt sadness and curiosity.

The piece had a sort of drawing effect,
which was unapparent when looking in a
photo of them. The picture no longer had
an aura of the same meaning to me. Stairs
that before would of seemed so strong
beneath my feet as I walked up them were
so easily brushed away like dust and I did
not question it. Technology has helped for
any advances, but it can be both positive
and negative, when it comes to the spread
or circulation of art. It can be good when it
allows a person who otherwise, would not
be able to see the piece. However,
technology can be bad when because of
constant reproduction of a specific art
piece, a person becomes desensitized
toward it; before they ever learned the true
message or lesson the artist was trying to

This piece was created to represent what
took place on January 17, 1994. A day for
some that they became homeless, or
financially strained. I myself can only
imagine and view past images of the
ordeal, considering I was born a day shy of
a year later. In fact that is why I first
remembered the date when I first heard of
the earthquake in grade school. This just
goes to show that we all may see
something different when passing these
unique stairs. Some may see a failed
construction project, jokingly or in all
seriousness. Without knowing any
background information of what had
happened 20 years ago in this Southern
California city known as Northridge, this
isnt unlikely to be the case. Dont be
afraid to get up close with art and let it
help you escape reality for a while. The
aura and feeling one can get from an art
piece tends to be better felt and
appreciated close up and personal.

Courtesy of Weebly
Musical Reproduction
By Vartan Deranteriassian
Since the early 1970s mechanically
reproduction, sampling, of music has
been one of the most prominent types of
artistic reproduction. In the essay,
Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical
Reproduction," Walter Benjamin,
examines how a reproduced piece of art
work affects society. He states that as
you reproduce a work of art it loses its
aura, originality, authenticity and
individuality. This concept does not
relate to the thousands of songs
mechanically reproduced and sampled
every day for commercial profit. As
musicians mechanically reproduce an
old song, listeners of the original piece
travel back in time, recalls a feeling or a
memory, and the first time listener finds
a whole new experience. The music
industry has set standards of copyright
laws, the process can be complex, and
some even question if its ethical, if it
damages the original songwriters
reputation and original song. However,
today artists constantly enter into
agreements and give permission for
their previously published song to be

included in new recordings. In this
essay I will analyze, Fab 5 Freddys hit
"Changed The Beat" and Macklemore
and Ryan Lewiss Grammy Award
winning song "Thrift Shop" and develop
a theory validating music sampling;
consequently, I posit that mechanically
reproducing music is beneficial as it
makes it last longer through the

Sampling is defined as the act of taking
a portion, or sample, of one sound
recording and reusing it as an
instrument or a sound recording in a
different song. In todays world
sampling music primarily occurs in the
hip-hop and R&B genres because those
types of artists dont have complex
beats or rhythms. Nevertheless,
sampling first started in the mid-1970
when the hip-hop scene was first
emerging. It blew up in the early 1980s
when hip-hop artists started to take
advantage of the sampling space. They
quickly learned that if you sample songs
you would automatically earn
Courtesy of Weebly
For my theory of reproduction piece I decided to go with a
subject thats very close to my heart, musical reproduction. My
father is a nominated music engineer; therefore, I wanted to
learn about the music of today. I chose to analyze Fab 5
Freddys hit "Changed The Beat" and Macklemore and Ryan
Lewiss Grammy Award winning song "Thrift Shop.
worldwide fame and immediate
wealth. Today this is the mainstream,
with most song heard on the radio
station a copy of a song that was
digitally formatted and advanced so
that its pleasant for current listeners
ears. Its regularly argued that
sampling will lack the creativity and
innovation of the original
work. However, some producers in
the industry think transferring music
over generations is revolutionary; it
changes music and melds generations
by connecting them. For example.
Andreena Mill, a rock artist who has
worked with multiple famous artists
like Drake, said, Its cool when an
artist can bring something back and
flip it in a way that is different from
the original. Modern digital
technology has definitely enabled,
eased and increased the game of
mechanically reproducing music with
great results.

Im the son of a music engineer and
my dad is among those who believe
that technology forced the industry to
new highs and lows. Its the same
technology that made the industry go
forward and take several steps back,
music is made with a lot less money,
no need for big studios and big boards
and majority of the songs are tracked
in homes. Therefore, anything that
helps create jobs should be embraced,
including the power of sampling
records because the possible versions
are endless. Some of the biggest hits
have been mechanically reproduced
and became a one hit wonder. My
father states that as you are sampling
music it isn't harmful, but it will even
make people remember the past as
they hear the beat or lyrics. Music
was hit hard because of technology
and no one knows the future of the
industry. Recreating music is meant to
spread love and express the artists
creativity through melodies and
harmonies. Sampling songs shows
that music has the power to live
through generations. Digital
technologies such as Pro Tools or
Sound cloud can now technically
advance anyone to be a producer or a
musician. Music lovers can just run
down to Best Buy, purchase a
keyboard, and become songwriters in
their own bedrooms. We all hear a
song and might want to pump it up by
developing some loud and fast beats.
Today, technology has allowed
millions of people to sample a song,
post it on a social network site and
even become an overnight star.

According to the BBC website, the
most sampled song of all time is
Changed The Beat" by Fab 5 Freddy.
This particular song has been featured
in nearly 1,300 new compositions,
including last years Grammy award
winning song for Best Rap Song,
Thrift Shop by Macklemore and
Ryan Lewis. Many mainstream artists
and performers today like
Macklemore have had great
commercial success by sampling.
Thrift Shop proves that when
sampled correctly, music makers can
mechanically reproduce a song and
make it a huge success. Macklemore
was unknown before Thrift Shop,
but became world famous after using
Fab 5 Freddys rhythm. Some argue
that Fab 5 Freddy basically gave
Macklemore the beat and rhythm and
gave him the power to become a
world famous artist and a millionaire.
We can understand that opinion, but
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were
geniuses because they recreated a
song that their fans loved. The new
music isnt about big orchestra band but
simple music that has a catchy rhythm and
beat. Also, since Changed The Beat has
been sampled over 1,300 times it shows
that Macklemore is just one of the long list
of artists in history that have benefited
from reproducing this song. Interestingly,
sampling this particular song has changed
the lives of many well-known artists today,
across a mix of genres from Justin Bieber
to Herbie Hancock to Eminem. Lastly,
listening to Change the Beat can truly
bring back a music lovers past experience
by focusing on their memory and
emotional connectivity to a song rather
than the popularity and politics behind it.
This way music never really expires, it can
run endlessly with new generations
changing words, mixing sounds and
attracting audiences of different ages.

For some, mechanically reproducing,
sampling, songs is too easy and wrong.
There are complicated side effects when
you copy the beat and sample the song for
your own use. First, an artist or producer
like Macklemore, isnt making the original
song, hes just trying to make a hit by
reassessing sound to match current sounds.
As you mechanically reproduce a song you
are basically stealing the original artists
creativity and thought process. According
to the Complex website, "Sampling is
cheap, easy, and essentially just stealing
someone elses music." Also, sampling can
consider an artist to be very lazy because
they dont want to put the time and effort
to learn how to create music and learn how
to play an instrument. In todays society
idea to create music is to revive an older
song by taking a piece of it and changing it
to fit in the current environment.
Nevertheless, the primary argument
against mechanically reproducing music is
that it destroys the purpose of the original
song. The original song gets its due credit
but no fame, the artist uses the rhythm and
beat, and when a hit gets all the fame. As a
result, the artist that is mechanically
reproducing the original song destroys the
context and turns the song into something
totally different. Some people think this is
similar to xeroxing, a cut and past
technique. Its about having a trained ear to
hear a loop or sound inside a song, cut the
little part, paste it into your song and
change the tempo, and there you have it, a
nice piece of music.

Putting together a mechanically
reproduced music will always destroy the
purpose of the original piece. Benjamin
claims that the, sphere of authenticity is
outside the technical, which means that
the original song will create something
unique but the sampler is more or less
taking from the source and changing its
context. We all agree that an original song
will always be independent and artistic but
we also have to recognize sampling as
another form of creativity. In todays world
sampling songs is the main art form in
the hip-hop culture. People need to
recognize mechanically reproducing a
song is really challenging. Yes, new artists
will sometimes even use several pieces
from original songs, to make up just a
small bar in a new piece of music. Its the
modern music; listen to the radio, theres
no musicianship, and its exactly how we
like our music today. Everything around
us promotes self-service, and amazingly
that goes for music too. We can sample our
own records, record our sounds, and we
can become huge artists. Its important we
look at sampling as part of the new form of
music. Its a now form of art and its the
way that works for us now. Mechanically
reproducing new music allows us to go
back and forth, take a piece of music from
an old lacquer disk or concert hall and put
it into fun radio music. Sampling music is
a great way to interact between two worlds
and its absolutely a huge part of the
BBC News. BBC, 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 12 May 2014.

"The Founding Spirit of the Maison Cartier." - Maison Cartier. Cartier, n.d. Web. 12
May 2014.

Gale, Alex. "Sampling Is Cheap, Easy, and Essentially Just Stealing Someone Else's
Music." Complex.com. Complex, 24 July 2013. Web. 12 May 2014.

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