Want fries with that?

CRAFT & DIGITAL CULTURE


Now we have ‘Glitch Art’

What is Glitch Art? It’s deliberately creating purposeful mistakes by either corrupting digital data or physically manipulating to create something that embodies authenticity.

It looks like this.

giphy

This new art form not only embraces but celebrates the notion of risk in craftsmanship.  It’s an example of how we are moving away from the production line towards a digital culture that is shaped by the medium of the internet.

As said by Marshall McLuhan

“The medium is the message”

 

 

 

 

Fakebook and other mediums

There were many things about last year’s US Presidential Election that were unprecedented or at least very interesting.

Source

Besides Trumps affinity for Batman references, one of the most interesting developments was the way in which the Trump administration used Facebook as a key part of their election campaign. Yet founder, Mark Zuckerberg still argues that saying Facebook had an influence on the election results is a “crazy idea“.

So why do we not understand the true impact of Facebook?

“The Medium is the Message” – Marshall McLuhan


WHAT CAME FIRST

It’s a purposefully confusing statement.  According to McLuhan the “medium” is really another word for anything that is an extension of ourselves. So a knife is an extension of an arm, a Justin Beiber t-shirt is an extension of our sense of social identity (or bad taste).

While the “message” is defined as “the change of scale or pace or pattern” that is caused as a result of a new medium. This refers to the changes a medium brings to our social context. So the message of a Game of Thrones episode is not the endless amounts of blood and sex that is shown on TV, but perhaps the change in your understanding of whether a person can only be good or evil.

So when McLuhan states that “The medium is the message”, what he’s really trying to say is that the very nature of anything we create can cause unnoticed changes in both our personal experience and the world around us.


Back to Facebook

Untitled design

Facebook is a perfect example of how a change in mediums can change the way we interact with each other. Although originally intended as a Harvard social-networking website  this platform is now quickly becoming for many people the preferred method of keeping up to date with news.

Although an unexpected consequence this has become a concern for many – as seen during the previous US Election. As said by Mark Federman, “noticing change in our societal or cultural ground conditions indicates the presence of a new message, that is, the effects of a new medium.”

Thinking Cap Time

1l4uai

Pictured: me

In case that there are people reading this blog post that are not taking, have not taken or will never take the BCM112 subject know that there’s a reason why I’ve been spending the past week staring blankly at my screen.

Part of my BCM112 course work involves creating a Digital Artefact (DA). Similar to a major project.

What’s different is I have a lot of options so long as my project:

  •  is publicly available on the open internet;
  • has clearly defined social utility
  • be an application of the concept ‘The medium is the message’.

So that limits my potential project to nearly anything… It’s a bit different to just writing an essay.

So you can probably understand why I’ve been staring aimlessly at the screen hoping that some sort of idea will slip its way into my brain.

But then the seemingly impossible happened.

1l4upn

Actually two ideas. Let me explain.

Idea number #1

Create a blog that focuses on sharing my experiences learning how to make different forms of animation. I do admit that I have no practice skills in this,but it is something that I’ve wanted to learn.

I’ve noticed that although there is information available online for people learning how to make animations, it’s all over the place. What’s more, many beginner tutorials/sites tend to assume that you have at least a basic understanding of animation.

So my project could fill a gap.

Idea number #2

A youtube series of some sort of mash-up of Disney Princesses and reality TV shows such as Married at First Sight or The Bachelorette.

This could be a lot of fun but this idea would mean that I would have to find “willing” participants to act in the videos. Its would also involve me relying my friends busy schedules.


I’m not sure yet, which idea I’ll go with. I like both. But it’s somewhere to start.

Hello again!

I’m feeling nostalgic. The above picture is a snap of Stuttgart, Germany where I was lucky to stay for a few nights over the Christmas break. I truly recommend. But for me (and for many of you as well) the holidays are well and truly over. So it’s back to uni for my 3rd year of study.

Studying part-time means that not only will I never leave this university but I’m still doing first year subjects while the rest of my friends are busy graduating.

It’s ok, I’ve got the whole exciting mess of BCM112 to look forward to. Not every student can claim they watch youtube clips in their lectures.

It could be worse. Before I transferred to Communications and Media I was an Arts student. There’s no competition between history textbooks and memes.

Anyway, I know that for some of you this year is you’re first and I’d like to offer you some advice. Feel free to take it or leave it, I don’t mind.

  1. Never do today what you can tomorrow, unless it’s due tomorrow.
  2. You may think you can get a car park at the uni at 9:15am. You won’t.
  3. Don’t feed the ducks.

Everything else I’m sure you’ll figure out for yourself. Did you go anywhere spectacular over Christmas? Leave a comment or picture below. I’d love to hear from you.

Till next time!

 

166,816,572 views and counting

social-media-803649_960_720

The term ‘convergence’ is a little tricky to define. As explained by Jenkins (2006), people who use the word ‘convergence’ often use it to describe different things depending on who uses it and what the speaker thinks they are talking about.  I think that this is part of the reason why’convergence’ is so difficult to define.

What does ‘convergence’ mean?

To make things simpler I’m going to explain the three different  things the term ‘convergence’ acts as a blanket-term for.

     1. Convergence as media industries

The transformation of legacy media through cooperation between multiple media industries that allows new forms of content to flow easily across the supply chain in ways that increase revenue, broadens the existing markets and encourages audience commitment.

      2. Convergence as media content

According to Jenkins (2006) convergence describes the “…flow of media content across multiple media platforms…”

So convergence in media content is (according to mwah), the flow of media content across multiple media platforms through the behaviour of an active audience.

      3. Convergence as media audiences

The transition of an audience from a passive roll to an active roll in the production and distribution of media. This is the behaviour of an audience that not only wants to have access to the entertainment they want, but can (via the internet) search and go elsewhere for what they want when they want it.

      Altogether now...

Convergence is the flow if content across media platforms caused by the behaviours of media audiences, the cooperation of media industries to form media empires and the transition of an audiences to an active participant  in the production and distribution of media. Done.

Give me an example!

This is the Harry Potter Puppet Pals.

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Giphy – Neil Cicierega

If you don’t know what I’m talking about check out the Harry Potter wiki page.

In this case the media audience (harry potter fans) produced a short youtube series using home-made puppets directed by  Neil Cicierega. Originally, a flash animation on Newgrounds (2003), the idea was brought back in the form of a series of live action puppet shows released onto YouTube. The most successful episode, ‘The Mysterious Ticking Noise‘, currently has over 166,816,572 views (as of 2 April 2016).

Advantages: Fans of the Harry potter franchise (and other fandoms) can and have created their own sources of entertainment. We are no longer limited to what is produced for us by media industries. The days of a passive audience, dictated to what we could or couldn’t view are over.

Disadvantages: Copy-right issues and where do the boundaries lie? It wasn’t until recently that Australian copyright legislation was reviewed and changed to prevent parodies like Potter Puppet Pals from infringing the copyright laws. New forms of content and media platforms are being created faster than the legislation can catch up.


References

Jenkins, H 2006, Welcome to Convergence Culture, Confessions of an Aca-fan, The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, 19 June, viewed 1 April 2016, <http://henryjenkins.org/2006/06/welcome_to_convergence_culture.html&gt;

Netlingo 2016, Legacy Media, Netlingo, viewed 1 April 2016, <http://www.netlingo.com/word/legacy-media.php&gt;

Australian Government 2012, Media Convergence and the Transformed Media Environment, Australian Government, viewed 1 April 2016, <http://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/3-media-convergence-and-transformed-media-environment/media-convergence-and-transform-0&gt;

Wikia, Potter Puppet Pals, Wikia, viewed 1 Aprl 2016, <http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Potter_Puppet_Pals&gt;

Wikia, Neil Cicierega, Wikia, viewed 1 April 2016, <http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Neil_Cicierega&gt;

Legal Topic Area 2015, The Parody and Satire defence – what do we make of it so far?, Arts Law Centre of Australia, viewed 1 April 2016, <http://www.artslaw.com.au/articles/entry/the-parody-and-satire-defence-what-do-we-make-of-it-so-far/&gt;

Cicierega, N 22007, Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise, online video, 23 March, youtube, viewed 2 April 2016, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx1XIm6q4r4&gt;.

“Who watches the watcher?”

We often picture the media as some sort of public watchdog that is supposed to bark ferociously at any political, economic or corporate wrongdoing. It is the job of journalists and in turn the media to represent the interests of the people, us. This responsibility is often referred to as the Forth Estate.

But as Roman poet Juvenal once said,“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

Who watches the watcher?

At the moment the Australian media is under the control of a select few people and/or companies. This means that for those (like me) who occasionally glance at the Illawarra Mercury, the news we read is produced by a select few (in this case Fairfax Ltd).

media-interest-snapshot-1.jpg

Media Interests Snapshot – ACMA

Which leads us to the controversial question, “Does it matter who controls the media?” 

And the answer really that depends on two things: the function of the media and whether the media has influence on its audience.

So what exactly is the function of the media then?

According to the Australian Press Council the media has a responsibility to ensure community has access to information of public interest, and the freedom of expression within the media. Having a free media is a part of our democratic right to free speech. It protects our right to communicate with each other and  our government regardless of race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, age or any other determining factor.

This means that in order for the media to successfully achieve this purpose it needs to adhere to Impartiality. This is the practice of the media presenting all views or a wide selection of opinions on a particular circumstance or idea. If only a few people control majority of the media, impartiality is not truly achieved. Instead of a watchdog, the media starts to look like a squeaky Chihuahua.

Does the media have influence over its audience and if so then what is it?

The media often plays an important role in shaping the way we think. One of the pioneers in early radio studies, Herta Herzog demonstrated the level of influence a media (in this case radio “soap opera’s” drama) on an audience. She discovered that the media presents “… a model of reality by which one is to be taught how to think and how to act.” (Herzog, 2004, pg 157). Put simply, the media is a tool that can change a societies ideologies.

Perhaps one of the most famous examples of this in practice was the extensive use of Nazi propaganda used to spread fear and hatred towards minorities during WWII. Minister for Public Enlightenment, Joseph Goebbels used the media to maintain control over the people.

So we come back to the BIG question…

If we value democracy and freedom of speech as important aspects of a society (which in Australia we do) and know that the media has a direct influence over the way we think does it matter who controls the media?

Yes, it does.

 


References:

Right to know: the ‘nation’, the ‘people’ and the Fourth Estate 2013, The Conversation, viewed 29 March, <http://theconversation.com/right-to-know-the-nation-the-people-and-the-fourth-estate-21253&gt;.

About Us, Illawarra Mercury, viewed 28 March, <http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/about-us/)>.

Australian Press Council, viewed 28 March, <http://www.presscouncil.org.au/&gt;.

Brewer, D 2016, Impartiality in Journalism, Media Helping Media, viewed 29 March, <http://www.mediahelpingmedia.org/training-resources/editorial-ethics/238-impartiality-in-journalism&gt;.

Herzog, H 2004, ‘On Borrowed Experience An Analysis of Listening to Daytime Sketches From Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 1941’, in (ed.), Mass Communication and American Social Thought: Key Texts, 1919 – 1968, Rowman & Littlefield, USA, pp. 139 – 157.

Biography.com Editors 2016, Joseph Goebbels Biography, The Biography, viewed 28 March, <http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/joseph-goebbels&gt;.

McCutcheon, M & Pusey, M 2011, ‘From The Media Moguls To The Money Men? Media Concentration In Australia’, Media International Australia, no. 140, pp. 22-34.

Media Interests Snapshots, ACMA, viewed 28 March, <http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/media-interests-snapshot&gt;.

 

More Than Just Sweaters

the-controversial-benetton-ad-depicting-david-kirby-and-his-family

David Kirby on his death bed – By Therese Frare

It sure is a striking image.

At a glance the image denotes a young man clearly suffering from a debilitating illness. He is looking away into the distance with a vacant expression. His (presumed) grieving family are gathered around his hospital bed. The seriousness of the image is contrasted by the colour which was deliberately added to the original, black and white photo. The colour gives the image an almost cartoon (fake)  appearance.

In 1990, this image was captured during the last few moments of David Kirby life as he lay surrounded by his close family as they said  goodbye. A gay rights and AIDS activist, David’s body had become wasted following his 3 year battle with AIDS.

It may have been hard to imagine at the time but this photo, taken by journalism student Therese Frare quickly became the poster image of the time for aids. Today the photo is estimated to have been viewed by over one billion people.

Originally published in black an white, this poignant image won an World Press Photo Award but quickly gained in popularity after it was picked to be used by the United Colors of Benetton in the companies advertising campaign.

It was used to sell brightly coloured knitwear.

This wasn’t the first nor would it be the last time that the well-known corporation used shock  advertising to create and gain public interest.

Like any text, this stunning photograph was met by mixed reactions from its audience. One of the dominant readings of the text was outrage. Roman Catholics criticised the picture as they felt it mocked the classic image of Mary cradling Jesus following his crucifixion. AIDS activists saw the image as an example of a corporate exploiting a serious issue and the death of a man to see their products. The photo was also considered to be a negative portrayal of the disease.  At the same time prominent magazines of the time refused to use the advertisement.

At the same time the image was also considered by some to be a poignant symbol of AIDS activism and achieved its true ‘purpose’. To humanise AIDS and raise awareness of the disease.

Both of these opposing views are derived from the individual connotations that each viewer or audience undertakes as they attempt to decode or understand the meaning of the text.

Through my own research I was interested in learning how different perspectives of a single text could be. Although we all gaze at the same text we don’t necessarily take away the same meaning.

 

 


 

References