Possible questions for fieldwork

April 25, 2010

How long have you been busking?

How long have you been playing your instrument?

Have  you ever run into any trouble with police?

How would you say people respond to your playing?

Do you have a job aside from busking?

Do you communicate and/or coordinate in any way with fellow buskers?

How many times a week do you do this? For how long per day?

(If the performer is not performing for money) What drives you to do this?

Is there any animosity between performers?

Have you ever gotten any recognition beyond someone simply acknowledging you?


Theres a lot more I’d like to know, and I’ll continue to add to this list as time goes on.

Paper Tiger Television

April 12, 2010
Paper Tiger Television is a non-profit video collective. PTTV says, “through the production and distribution of our public access series, media literacy/video production workshops, community screenings and grassroots advocacy PTTV works to challenge and expose the corporate control of mainstream media.” By challenging and exposing, PTTV produces vlogs that, among other things, discuss the hypocrisy and bias of mainstream media.
The members of PTTV seem to be just a collection of people sharing like interests. There is no hierarchy as PTTV values itself on being a collective. PTTV seems to invite new members, encouraging them to attend an orientation, then join a project. As previously stated, there is no organizational hierarchy, no leaders, and all decisions are made collectively by the group. As the group is one that believes greatly in guerrilla media and pointing out the hypocrisy behind mainstream media, it is one that I would consider joining.

Signs of resistance

April 12, 2010

Concerning the “Signs of Resistance” article, what offfended me most was David’s reluctance to call graffiti “street art.” While a great number of graffiti artists would say they write just for the thrill of breaking the law, I know from experience that most graffiti artists write because of a common goal of artistic expression. To draw a distinction between legal street art and illegal street art by calling one a form of “resistance” greatly diminishes the artistic value of both forms.

visual exploration

April 7, 2010

The picture on the left is a picture I found online of a busker in a subway station, playing guitar, while the one on the right is of my guitar and bass guitar, leaning on a wall featuring posters of some of my favorite bands.¬† In the first picture, while this particular gentleman seems to be looking towards the camera, what I find most interesting about buskers is their lack of interest in their surroundings. Countless times I’ve seen buskers either in the subway or on the streets so absorbed in their craft that they’re seemingly oblivious to what’s happening around them. I remember in high school seeing a woman jump onto the train tracks to recover a dropped glove. Of course, a train came into view speeding in her direction. She was unaware, and everyone on the platform within view shouted to her to get off the tracks, a train was coming her way. There was a bit of panic as she struggled to get back on the platform as the train bore down on her, but she did make it safely, moments before the train braked into the station. In the midst of all this commotion and high drama, there sat an elderly Asian man playing a pipa, his eyes never diverted from his instrument, his attention never directed at anything but the beautiful sounds he was creating. I bet he didnt even know what was happening around him. By that same token, I’m sure most of the people on the platform didn’t notice he was there to begin with. Such is the life of a busker; playing music to a chaotic world, hoping someone will listen, but not bothered if no one does. That’s why I’m doing my final project on the history of busking.

The lady didn’t get her glove.

Getting to know your eyes

April 7, 2010

I am currently sitting in a hospital waiting room. To my left and right are mahogany-colored armchairs with blue cushions. On these cushions is a complex diamond pattern interwoven with a red floral pattern. Across from me is a potted tree, clearly fake, its perpetually lively green leaves an ironic juxtaposition to the perpetual illness and death permeating the hospital’s atmosphere. An almost unhealthily skinny nurse sits at a raised oak looking desk. The oak is probably fake too. I’ve yet to see her eyes as she’s yet to look up from her cellphone for the 20 minutes I’ve been sitting here. I’d take a picture if not for the bold “No cameras, cellphones, or audio devices please” sign. I suppose it doesn’t pertain to nurses.

Introducing myself

March 1, 2010

My name is Parker Leach, I’m 21 years old, and was born and raised in Queens. Music is my passion in life; I can’t see myself doing anything in the future but something music related. As such, I play six instruments, and play in two bands, the Village Kamp and the Darndest Things. I used to go to Ithaca College before transferring back home to York College. I now attend Queens College via the ePermit system, but my heart and soul is still in Ithaca. This picture is of a statue of Phil Lynott in Dublin, Ireland. Lynott was the bassist for the 70’s band Thin Lizzy, one of my favorite bands, and to this day the statue remains the only one of a black man in Ireland. What I would do for an ounce of Lynott’s charisma and talent…

not a clue

February 24, 2010

Apparently I’m supposed to be using this space to write my ideas for my final project. But alas, I haven’t the slightest idea what I’ll be doing, nor how, why, where, or with whom I’m doing it. My passion is music, but seeing as this is a visual sociology class, I don’t see my options.

I’ll figure it out at some point.

test post

February 17, 2010

test post

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