Category Archives: ARTS3091 – Advanced Media Issues

media, media, media

ImageSo, this is my final blog for Advanced Media Issues, and I thought it would be a good idea to wrap it up, with a summary of the course. In particular, what I liked about the course, and some aspects of it that i really found interesting.

First of all, I have to admit when I first started the course, I did not know how much I was going to like it, to be completely honest, most of the core media subjects tend to be very repetitive within a 12 week time frame, and quite frankly you don’t learn a lot about media in general. What I liked about this course is that it was very diverse. I can honestly say, that over 12 weeks, I was able to look at a range of issues, and it was in this way that I realised that media well and truly is absolutely everywhere. Media is found in the stereotypical platforms, such as tv, radio, newspapers and so forth, but did you know that media is also found in fashion? it’s also found in exciting new video installation projects, artwork, and in order to create new sounds through utilising a person’s brain.

This course made me really think, what is media, what can be it’s true definition when it well and truly is present in absolutely everything? I mean how do you define a term that is so ambiguous and unique as media? After a lot of careful consideration I believe that media is pretty much, ‘anything entailing creativity.’ Seems really broad ay? It’s probably cause media is, but when you think about it the hidden theme in all aspects of media is creativity, and how to in a way bring about new life to an old process. Such as with fashion, and installing hangers to stream how many ‘likes’ a piece of clothing got.

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So I would like to finish this blog by saying thank you to my tutor Pablo, and Andrew Murphie for putting together a course that really is exciting as it allowed me to experience current media issues, and develop a deeper understanding of the term media. Oh also thank you so much for introducing me to diigo.com, I am addicted!

the human body, a generative muse for innovative art

I’ve always been interested in art. To me, a great artwork can evoke emotions, and this I believe is important in a world where people are too busy to appreciate anything. Abstract and innovative art however takes my interest in art to a whole new dimension. I’m always interested to see how artists transform things to create a truly unique experience. So you can imagine how excited I was for this week’s explorations.

Beauty of Tida DomeFor starters, I especially loved the work of Marik Miori in Tida Dome. I’ve always loved water, so aesthetically I honestly just fell in love with this work. When I read more about the work, I found that the dome changed colours with the tide, meaning it was literally personifying the human breath. The work is generating the link that nature in a sense helps people get in touch with their bodies.

Speaking of bodies, another interesting piece, that actually comes from Australia is intimate transactions. This video installation project, which took four years to complete creates a virtual world where two people are able to interact with each other, BUT these people are not in the same room. It’s an interesting piece that shows how the use of the human body allows a person to effectively communicate with other people, despite their location. If you want to know more about this work, click here.

Lastly, and definitely not least, Luciana Hail has taken advantage of electroencephalography (ECG) to take brain scans, and then uses these scans to make musical melodies of the human brain. Hail, who has a background in interactive art says that, ‘the left and right side of the brain can independantly control eight tracks.’ It is just amazing to think, that something like scans can be transformed to create an innovative artwork piece.

What all these artworks have shown, is that through the use of technology, artists have been able to take their work to a whole new level. In particular, they are able to utilise the human body as a generative muse for their art. This is because, it is noticeable that each artwork is based on the human body, and one can argue that this is what distinguishes ones artwork.

the future, it’s a rather scary topic, what does it do to the past?

Think about the internet. Now, sum it up in one word, and one word only. It’s hard ay?

That’s because when you think about it, the internet is not based on a particular topic, it has pictures, articles, hyperlinks, information and just about anything else your dear heart will desire on just about any topic. So for now, I guess a better term to describe what is the world wide web is aninternet of things.

Consider the explorations for this week, they are all about a wide range of topics, metaphorically and physically showing the dynamics of the internet. They all however make us think about the future of the internet or better yet about the future of media in itself.

My personal favourite was the google glass article, titled ‘could this photograph change the future?’. For those of you who do not know what this is, its ‘basically a particular pair of smart glasses that can give you a virtual overlay of the real world, sort of like you’re wearing your android device in  your eyeballs.’ This handy new gadget takes pictures like the one on the right. See how cool it is? It captures photographs from a point of view stance and not to mention takes unique photos. But, what does this mean for the future of photographers or film makers? Better yet what will happen to the older technologies will they become eradicated?

On a completely different topic, I found Jane McGonigal to be a interesting woman. She’s a gaming designer and effectively shows how gaming is not a complete waste of time, as in fact when we are engaged with a game, we are very productive. I have to agree with this woman, as when I play games, I know I am very productive, doing everything I can to get to the next level. So what does this say about gaming? Can Mcgonigal create a game that increases productivity? What does this mean for the future of gaming?

Now as  you can see, just through exploring two of the examples from this week you can see how the internet of things not only provides us access with a variety of information, however it also exposes us to many questions regarding the past, present and future of not only media, but also different industries.

sharing is most definitely caring.

The readings for this week had me a little confused to be honest. I was going through each one and thought, wow why is everything relating to science? I’m pretty sure I am studying media…

Needless to say, it appeared that the more I looked into it, the more I realised, media has become so powerful that is is now impacting every single industry, literally. I know this sounds like a big claim, but it really is true.

Consider the scientific industry for example. Previously, it was an industry that was focused on ‘data hoarding’ as to publish a scienitifical article cost money, and scientists had to be right in as little words as possible for this reason. In addition, research papers were set to private, however now this is all changing. As John Willibanks simply puts it, ‘new business models are emerging to challenge the industry.’ This means that scientists are now starting to publicize their results, and they are doing this through taking full advantage over the many different media platforms available. In a way, I guess you can say they are now moving towards, open science.

Some scientists may look at this process and freak out, however as Elizabeth Pisani states, this change is not a bad thing, in fact it really is quite the opposite (a comforting thought considering most people tend to assume that most relationships with the media tend to have a negative impact). Pisani states that now what we will coin open science, scientists will be able to make ‘faster progress, leading to better quality data.’ With this improvement in data, Pisani continues to make a big claim, stating that the sharing of information can be very powerful, as it will in a sense, ‘fasten the pace of discovery and cures.’

Let’s hope with this faster pace, that a cure for cancer finally comes out.

so, how would you organise your time?

Organise, it’s a term that when first considered, shares connotations with successful and methodical. Organise, can be directly and indirectly related to numerous topics and for this reason it is no surprise that it has been the undercover meaning in al of the readings for this week.

For instance, in ‘Against Transparency’ by Lawrence Lessig, the issue at hand is, how to organise an organisation, in particular, should transparency into the official work lives of each of the members of congress be available to the public? Most of us, would instantly scream ‘yes!’ when thinking about transparency in politics, however as Lessig quite logically puts forward, ‘we are not thinking critically enough about where and when transparency works, and where or when it may lead to confusion, or worse’. You see, to me I read this as if to say, there is a reason why everything is organised in a certain way, and I guess there is a reason as to why politics do not have complete transparency.

In addition, with respect to the article, ‘Sleepless in canberra’ by Bob Ellis, he compares Kevin Rudd’s political life, to that of jet-lag. Interesting? Well I sure think so. At the heart of this article, Ellis discusses that politicians just like Rudd are now unable to do something that most people should be entitled to, sleep, and this, he argues is because of the media, and the way in which they organise time. He discusses in a paragraph, that is exhausting to read, let alone live, that from 6am, the life of a politician starts, and it doesn’t finish until 2:30 am the following morning. He then completes his article with powerful words, ‘The larger question though of sleepless politicians, and therefore burnt-out politicians and policy incompetence and the current ruinous way of doing things, needs a whole change of culture i fear.’ – stating that the way in which we organise the time of politicans needs to be changed, however this fear can leave some of us uneasy.

So, what do you think? Is there always an underlining issue as to why and how we wall organise our time?

new technologies, new truths, how do we know what is real?

Monkeys testing out new technologies for quadriplegics, aeroplanes flying themselves. No, this is not events from the latest block bluster film, it is simply reality for scientists and humans everywhere. You see what really got me thinking in this week’s readings was, wow these events really happen? How can this be true? I mean traditionally, it was humans who had to complete these activities, and now we are giving the responsibility of caring for a flight load of humans to an aeroplane alone, an aeroplane that requires no human contact? You see from the article by W.J. Hennigan in LA Times titled ‘New drone has no pilot anywhere, so who’s accountable?’ you can really see the probing issues with placing such a high emphasis of responsibility on technology alone. Questions are asked such as, should we hold the manufacturer responsible? What is even more interesting here is that assumptions are made that these flights are going to be put to commercial use, however in the article it doesn’t mention anywhere that a commercial airliner wants to take one of these onboard. Instead, they are used mainly for the army. This is another interesting point stemming from the article, if the army starts using what can only be described as ‘robots’ to fight their battles, although yes it will result in less casualties, the ‘battles’ will essentially be between robots and not humans. Does this mean that we are going to have to start glorifying robots in the same way that we do soldiers? Or does it mean that we have acknowledged that war and battle is wrong, and therefore instead of announcing world peace we are happy to clear our conscience of murdering people and pass it onto machinery?

All this pretty much challenges us to think, what is reality? Is it what each individual person believes? Or is it something that needs to be proven by fact? Is it dreams as some people believe they foreshadow the future? Reality really is a tricky term to define, so I employed the help of this video to help understand it more.

NB: An interesting thought to consider is, a lot of the aeroplane crashes in the past have been as a direct result of malfunctions, (that’s right due to the machine itself) so why would we want to employ this idea of a aeroplane that has no human interaction?

Few extra references: 

– Found this to show how monkeys relate more to humans, so does this mean that it is a reality that monkeys could be our ancestors?

– Consider this, aeroplane ‘spy planes’ sounds all too exciting to be real!

References: 

– http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/26/business/la-fi-auto-drone-20120126

– http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111005131648.htm

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Ecologies, unearthing secrets ?!?!

Media ecologies. So, when I first saw this term, I don’t know if it was because I had done some biology in year 12 or what, but I immediately thought of ecosystems and got a little bit confused on how this could relate to media. Sounds silly I know, but it turns out that I really wasn’t as far off as I had thought I was.

You see the term ‘media ecologies‘ shares its roots with the belief that technology, whether intended to or not, puts profound influences on a society, while the technology remains in control over virtual walks of life, quite simply it is a study of how media and communication affect perception and understanding.’

When I read this definition I was a bit freaked out, thinking, technology controlling us, really? But I guess whether I like it or not, it is true, I mean I don’t even wear a watch (older technology) anymore, I just check the time on my phone. Similarly, if I can’t find someone, I call them instead of walking around to see if I can bump into them. If we focus on this aspect though, we

are ignoring the ‘media’ side, about how it creates a system, that in reality breaks down traditional hierarchy. For instance,

through the work of Paul Levinson in ‘The First Digital Medium’ there is talks about how in the past, ancient Pharaoh’s and Christian Priest’s would limit the knowledge shared to people so that they could ensure that they had continued control over them. In modern society however, technology in a way helps us to share this knowledge, and in a way creates a society that is

better informed. Thus power is given back to the people instead of remaining with authorities. Consider the Wikileaks example, now I am not about to sit here and debate whether it was right or wrong, however this example demonstrates that through

technology, Julian Assange was able to create a ‘major shift in the way we are ruled and the information we are entitled to expect about how decisions about our future are made”. 

                                                                                                   

References: 

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_ecology

-http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11410&page=1

– http://agreatbecoming.com/2011/02/03/games-as-a-happening-as-a-service-notes-from-my-talk-at-goldsmiths/

– Paul Levinson, ‘The First Digital Medium’ (In Course Reader)

Pictures Available at:

–  http://www.pcmagme.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/wikileaks.jpg 

– http://technorati.com/technology/article/julian-assange-lashes-out-at-silicon/

Technology, to transform media… really?

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The topic on everyones lips, or better yet everyone’s research papers appears to be media, more particularly its evolution. You see it is evident that a vast amount of scholars appear to be extremely concerned with the changes of technology and its impact on the mode and content of media.

All works it appears, feel as if media has unintentionally transformed society’s views on caring more about the medium as opposed to the content of the media. Such is apparent within the view of technological determinism, which in its simplest form refers to the belief that technology is the agent of social change. Furthermore it appears that scholars, such as Marshall Mcluhan have gone as far as to say that ‘the medium is the message’, re-affirming this belief that people today are more intrigued with the mode (whether it be through an ipad, online etc) rather than the content that the mode produces.

You see what baffles me is that everyone appears to be complaining about the changes in mediums, however no one has stopped to ask and think why have these mediums been so successful? You see it appears that historical interventions such as the printing press and clock, were initially invented in China, however society elite produced no support for these inventions and thus they died down in China. However, we put the same technology in England, and it became an industry that blossomed.

Thus what I want to leave with everyone is, before you begin to criticise new mediums, ask yourself, if you don’t like them so much then why engage with them? The most prominent example i can think of at the moment is facebook, everyone complains about it, but you still see regular check ins, constant likes, and people love to post on each others walls (or timelines).

Photo available at: http://firm-marketing.com/social-media-marketing/facebook-changes-and-the-social-media-impact-part-2-of-2/

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