MEDA301 Week 6 – proposed project

I don’t have a succinct idea of exactly what I would like to do with this project, however I do have several small ideas in my mind that could be further worked on to come up with something rich in theme and something that is pleasing for the eyes. I have ideas that relate to digitalising the material – so the most predominant challenge is figuring out how to materialise the digital – while still making it interesting. It’s difficult to capture audience’s attentions and this has to be something intriguing.

My idea makes reference to the artworks and art forms of Lawrence Weiner, Robert Montgomery & Jenny Holzer who have all made artworks using typographic sculpture’s to create a vehicle and drive their views through these to an audience – some obvious and some not so obvious – leaving it up to the audience to interpret. The work I would like to create is somewhat similar, though not so three-dimensional as the works they create, as it will be presented in a gallery and space constraints means that I need to narrow my idea down so it fits around everything else. For example, I can’t create huge billboards so a more logical way to present my idea would be through sketching images and text on walls, hand-drawing and use of textures such as vinyl and masking tape to create thought-provoking words and sentences for my audience to interact with.

I would like the theme of my work to be something that makes people think, something small that proposes big ideas such as a singular word made up of several different things. Robert Montgomery uses his own poetry to make comment on issues he is passionate about, however I have done my own research through old family libraries and found poetry books with beautiful quotes that I could manipulate and turn into new words, ones that may make comment on modern society. Namely the lack of attention span in today’s society, and the use of one word is meant to encourage people to speak – to crowd together and stop to look in a way that may be ironic as it’s words that get people together. Much like the Internet, but because people are so consumed by technology nobody stops to look. This is what I would like to make comment on through these sculptural-text works while still making it something that is pleasing to look at – something that makes an audience want to look closer.

MEDA301 week 5 – researching.

 

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Robert Montgomery (source)

I hadn’t done a lot of researching into what I wanted to do for my next media arts project, however I did think back toward other people’s project that had intrigued me. When I say ‘other people,’ I’m referring to popular artists whose works I have come across on Pinterest and Tumblr – sites that are some of the most difficult to find sources and artist names on. Eventually I found wall texts and typographic sculptures, mostly with led lights to form words of poetry in the instance of Robert Montgomery’s work, or more simplistic in the forms of black text on a wall – more two dimensional than 3D – in the forms of Lawrence Weiner’s work. Interestingly enough I found that these two artists relate to Jenny Holzer’s artworks too, an artist who uses provocative phrases to make a political message through her works.

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Lawrence Weiner (source)

She also incorporates the bold mediums Robert Montgomery has inspired from her and the simple, to the point but still-somehow-complex works of Weiner. Weiner uses different manipulation of font to send his message and themes to readers, the vehicle for his thoughts sometimes in shapes and whimsical or sentences regarding actions – other times just monotonous colours and short words. Weiner’s work is intended to provoke an audience to use their imagination, his works are generally not physically complex, thought the meanings of them can be physically interpreted and twisted to how a viewer looks at it.

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Jenny Holzer (source)

While Robert Montgomery does reference Lawrence Weiner’s use of black and white vinyl on gallery walls in some of his artworks, his primary and most popular art form is the use of billboards where advertisements are usually found. This is a smart commentary without him having to say too much, however the poetry that is usually found in these letters is something that makes it’s own social commentary and that is exactly his intention. I would like to do something similar to these ideas and uses of materials for my upcoming project, and hopefully build off the values and ideas buried in these works and come up with my own ideas and themes from them regarding other things.

 

 

REFERENCES:

Tate.org.uk. (n.d.). ARTIST ROOMS: Theme: Language. [online] Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/artist-rooms/collection/themes/artist-rooms-theme-language 

Pilot, J. (n.d.). Robert Montgomery Was Here. [online] Theaesthete.com. Available at: http://www.theaesthete.com/art/robert-montgomery-was-here 

Raley, R. (n.d.). Literary Art in Digital Performance : Case Studies in New Media Art and Criticism.. [online] http://raley.english.ucsb.edu/. Available at: http://raley.english.ucsb.edu/wp-content/LPost.pdf 

 

 

MEDA301 week 4 – Opportunities.

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I first became interested in not only this field of study, but this field as a career path because I worked with my cousin for a short period of time in Brisbane where she was working for Made4Media. She’s not at a much higher position in a multi-national media company – and while I wouldn’t call her my hero I would call her my mentor. Many of the things that I learned about the media industry and advertising before I started university were when I was working for this company on work experience which involved movie premieres, sampling of movie soundtracks and social media managing. I feel as though if it were ever necessary, this could help me get a foot in the door – even though I would like to try on my own first, just like she did. I’m consciously aware that there are more media advertising jobs in Melbourne than there are in Sydney, just like there are more potential jobs for me in Sydney than there are Wollongong – this would mean I would have to do some relocation or commuting if I truly am dedicated to what I want to do. I feel as though I definitely am, and if it means I have to start at the bottom as a receptionist for a media company, I will do that too.

I have opportunities in a few fields as I have a certificate in Information Technology, high knowledge of html coding and arts. I have also done work helping my mum with receptionist duties at her work, so I’m aware of those responsibilities too and would be willing to incorporate any of these skills into potential opportunities such as working for a technology company such as Apple at a lower level and working my way up with use of my Information technology skills. It’s a fair amount different than film advertising – though still something that I am interested in. The field in which I want to work in has marketing managers, social media managers, executive producers, producers, creators, PR managers and so much more – I would be willing to do any of these roles if it meant I was working for film advertising in the film industry as it’s something I am incredibly interested in.

While I haven’t been given jobs directly based upon my experience working with my cousin in a media company – I have had people from higher levels than I am in this field express interest in what I did there and how I could potentially use that in my future studies and job application. My cousin got where she is exactly how I did, however I made an effort to study two majors – Digital Media & Marketing and Advertising – just so I have an extra advantage in case I don’t find jobs in one field. However if that were ever the case, I would work my way up so that the two can correlate in a profession for myself.

REFERENCES:

http://www.made4media.tv/

 

 

 

 

Killer whale, what did you expect?

Before I even considered writing up my blog post for this week, I was contemplating veganism. I took it as a joke – that was supposed to be an interesting lead in line to this post, but I wrote it and rewarded myself by watching a video and said I was researching. I watched Earthlings, animals and our relationship with them, so because of this I had a different approach to this week’s topic and how I look at animals.

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“A mesmerising psychological thriller,” the tagline even suggests that this isn’t an animals ‘life’ – even the film showing what happens after you treat an animal as entertainment – is being used as entertainment. A ‘thrill.’ Image source. 

I hadn’t even watched the trailer for Blackfish, however I already knew I would disagree with a lot of the things the documentary covered. I was always taught from a young age that aquariums weren’t the best, because they exploited aquatic life and kept them locked up in a cage as opposed to keeping them out in the wild where they should be, where their home is. I wasn’t surprised when I first heard about Tilikum the whale taking the life of one of his trainers, because who wouldn’t get annoyed being basically kidnapped, and kept in a tank your whole life alone and for the purpose of entertainment. The film Blackfish proposes this documentary of this whale and the situation that unfolded after it’s aggravation including unfortunate loss of life – however – it comes from an obvious place of bias, that the whale was in the wrong despite the fact that it was indeed captured and the history of whales should have been considered.

This is much the opposite with the documentary Earthlings, which points to the audience as being wrong – even if you’ve eaten nothing but chickpeas all week – the narration is monotonous and almost guilt’s the viewer to believe that what humans do to animals is wrong. What we, those who watch this program is wrong and it’s supposed to open our eyes to the hidden parts of the meat and animal farming industry. There are documentary style videos to persuade an audience to believe that a certain the animal is dangerous (like Blackfish and fiction films like Jaws and The Shallows), as well as films that depict the audience as wrong – that people who consume animals are horrendous. Due to these opposing black and white views, it’s hard to find the grey area or how we should feel as an audience when films like these pull us one way and then another.

I don’t think captivity of animals or consumption of animals is fair at all – on the animal – though there are varied opinions of this all over the world, so we have to make our own minds up and not a lot is going to change unfortunately. I find it quite interesting that I was already set on my opinion on animal rights after watching Earthlings – before I watched Blackfish – I decided I would try my best to become a Vegan to support animal rights. Watching Blackfish, despite the negative stance toward Tilikum only furthered my stance that animal captivity and cruelty is wrong. We as an audience watching films about animals are probed to put ourselves or our domestic pets in that position – what if it were us/them? How would we feel? This is anthropomorphism – a way in which people can feel empathy and human feeling for an animal to better understand how they feel.

These films are a way for us as an audience to determine our stance toward particular animals – however films telling stories of what an animal has done in a negative light only pushes them further down the line of ‘they don’t matter, they are a dangerous animal and they don’t have human purpose.’ Unfortunately, this is exactly what has happened with sharks after Jaws, and movie producers still haven’t learned the negative light that they shine on Sharks in the ocean is harmful to them. Films like The Shallows are still being produced to mass audiences, showing that sharks are ‘bad, dangerous, ferocious.’ We need to change our view on animals – and the media and film industry is still deciding which light they want to paint animals in – though it’s mostly still negative.

 

REFERENCES:

Aguilera, P. (2014). VEG-GENDERED: A CULTURAL STUDY OF GENDERED ONSCREEN REPRESENTATIONS OF FOOD AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR VEGANISM. Florida. Available at: https://fau.digital.flvc.org/islandora/object/fau%3A13647/datastream/OBJ/view/Veg-gendered__a_cultural_study_of_gendered_onscreen_representations_of_food_and_their_implications_for_veganism.pdf

Curmi, A. (2005). Taking a Bite Out of Fiction-Media Effects and Social Fears. A Case Study on ‘Jaws’. [online] sharkmansworld. Available at: http://sharkmans-world.eu/research/lexi_thesis.pdf [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

Gill, C. (2017). 1st ed. [ebook] Available at: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/192/1/Caitlin%20Gill%20Proximity%20to%20Animals%20Thesis%20Document%20May%209th%20final.pdf 

Halaj, S. (2013). A Decent Proposal: How Animal Welfare Organizations Have Utilized Shareholder Proposals to Achieve Greater Protection for Animals. [online] Repository.jmls.edu. Available at: http://repository.jmls.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1951&context=lawreview

Lunden, E. (2012). 1st ed. [ebook] Stockholm University. Available at: https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:617342/FULLTEXT01.pdf 

otca. (2017). otca. [online] Available at: http://www.openthecages.org/vlp 

Griffin, E., Miller, K.L., Freitas, B. and Hirshfield, M. J. Predators as Prey. (2008). 1st ed. [ebook] Washington, DC. Available at: http://oceana.org/sites/default/files/reports/Predators_as_Prey_FINAL_FINAL1.pdf [Accessed 31 Mar. 2017].

The boulevard of broken memes

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Glitchy art makes me nervous, it always has – and I’m pretty sure that’s because I’m a ‘perfectionist’ – I need to understand everything that’s going on at all times. Which is why I find it pretty ironic that I decided to study digital media, because the Internet is about the same wavelength of being entirely figured out as the afterlife is. It’s confusing, a concept that nobody is going to be able to understand because we are constantly being thrown new mediums and new meanings to things through different platforms.

Glitch art for an example is to use the concept that has long been there even before technology – artists like Picasso and Klimt using aesthetically pleasing distortions in their paintings to evoke feeling in their audiences. In the case of broken or glitchy artwork, it is a feeling of nostalgia; though that’s not always clear. It’s a deciphered opinion on what the message of glitchy art is, just like this blog post is a deciphered post on what the lecture was trying to show us.

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created using uglitch.com

Albert Borgmann has mentioned through his theories that, “Technological wizardry such as the internet renders reality invisible.” Which is quite true, when it comes to the Internet and it’s broadness and accepted brokenness it’s difficult to consider what we are seeing through a medium, what we are being told and what the message is inside of it. He also believes technology should be used to serve us, not as a craft. I’m not sure I agree, even if glitch art makes me uncomfortable. A glitch and the internet is something you can’t understand – like a secret within technology and that’s probably why people are so drawn to it.

Here’s a glitch art video meme to lighten the mood, shall we?

Kratos Shooting Star Meme from Art’cane on Vimeo.

REFERENCES:

Bunnell, K. (2004). Craft and digital technology. [online] autonomatic. Available at: http://www.autonomatic.org.uk/archive/team/kb/craft%20and%20digital%20technology.pdf [Accessed 21 Mar. 2017].

Editorial, A. (2015). What Makes a Picasso Painting Worth $140 Million?. [online] Artsy. Available at: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-what-makes-a-picasso-painting-worth-140-million [Accessed 21 Mar. 2017].

Klimtgallery.org. (2017). Gustav Klimt – The complete works. [online] Available at: http://www.klimtgallery.org/ [Accessed 21 Mar. 2017].

Is it still poverty if it’s pretty?

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Is it still poverty if it’s pretty? image source: my own. 

The topic of poverty, lack of food and living in a ‘bad’ neighbourhood is something that hits close to home for myself and many other people. The topic of ‘poverty porn’ and people willing to flaunt this lack of money, food and stability however is something I’m not familiar with – the idea that people would willingly be open about their misfortune for whatever reason. Poverty isn’t typically beautiful, not unless it is exploited to the point where it is entertainment – disassociated with real life situations that real life people go through. Poverty porn is exploiting those who have no better reason to say no, people who have nothing left to lose.

‘Hunger Hurts,’ written by Jack Monroe is a situation people would be familiar with, a real-time take on what it is like to live of ‘snack dinners’ for the third night in a row because a parent is simply too tired from working more than one job to keep food in the cupboard – or because there is no food in the cupboard or in the pocket for a real meal. (Monroe, 2012)

Truthfully, you can’t know who is struggling beside you because it’s not always obvious. Clothes and technology can only signify wealth to a certain extent, you can’t know if they are planning on selling that fancy Macbook for a meal the next day. You won’t know unless you are told that someone if suffering, or that someone doesn’t have the money to make ends meet. This is what brings me to question why anybody would show their suffering so candidly to a national audience, like on ‘Struggle Street.’ (Threadgold, 2015) Things get difficult, people work many jobs, lose jobs, healthcare and benefits are cut and a lot of people don’t see how real that can also be to people who aren’t on drugs or “in commission housing because of laziness” (a common stigma) unless they have experienced it or it is shown to them. (Chambers, 2013)

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image source: here 

It’s likely that the basis and rationale behind Jack Monroe’s post is to help people realise – and to help people – period. Television shows in documentary form like Struggle Street are shown for entertainment, missing the mark of it’s proposition to show suffering candidly to an audience and instead making a mockery of a bad situation that people go through daily, it’s sad to watch. The most interesting line in Monroe’s post is, “you can’t plead poverty with an omega on your wrist,” (Monroe, 2012) as some people don’t believe you have no money unless it looks like you have no money. You should always look visibly poor to incite sympathy from others, but most of the time all you will get is pity. You shouldn’t indulge if you have no money. Poverty isn’t quite understood in Australia, but how could you possibly know who is suffering? (Alcorn, 2016)

Students often have Centrelink to keep them balanced, to keep food on the table but that doesn’t mean that the thought of having spaghetti on toast for dinner every night can’t and won’t be a reality for me again because anything could happen. That was a reality for a homeless man who studied at Harvard to become a lawyer – an article that has received thousands of views – why? It’s relatable, the demographic of viewers a younger, studying population. Poverty can happen to anyone, and if it’s presented to us in a way that is relatable sympathy is likely to be given. (Debruge, 2015)

There are varying levels of poverty, so when does it become ‘porn?’ Is it when these people are presented as below us? When they are on drugs or drinking and it’s their fault that they are in that situation – or when we are swayed to believe it is why they are in that position. Where is the line between pity and familiarity when it comes to having no money? Where we can comfortably watch something like Struggle Street and say, “I don’t know what that’s like and I never will.” Is poverty porn ethical when it places the blame on those who are truly suffering? (Schaffer, Schaffer and Jim, 2017) What kind of response do we give as viewers, is it meant to be relatable or enjoyable?

If you haven’t suffered, you can’t truly relate. However you can watch – make a judgement without realising, which may vary from pity to uncomfortableness. Is it fair to have a patronising narrator to influence the response you will have upon viewing, whether it’s with good intentions or not? No, because good intentions can sometime make things worse, even in the best of situations – and poverty is most definitely not ‘the best of situations.’ (Debruge, 2015)

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image source: pinterest

All poverty porn in documentary style is dig a deeper hole and disconnect from the rest of society, from the ‘privileged’ as it is seen as entertainment, and gives them a bad view of the poor. It begs the question, “Is all coverage good coverage?” People tend to look at poverty as a choice, that these people must have done something wrong to get like that. Does presenting these dire situations on programs like Struggle Street really help anything, or just make it worse? (Savchuk, 2016) Is poverty porn only ‘porn’ if it’s not relatable? If we as viewers are being forced into a position of higher stance than what we are being shown, are we subconsciously putting ourselves above these people to the point where it is entertaining? I believe so. (Debruge, 2015)

 

REFERENCES:

Alcorn, G. (2016). Struggle Street is only poverty porn if we enjoy watching, then turn away. The Guardian, [online] pp.1-3. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/15/struggle-street-is-only-poverty-porn-if-we-enjoy-watching-then-turn-away %5BAccessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Chambers, K. (2013). The Truth about Poverty. [online] Anglicare.asn.au. Available at: http://www.anglicare.asn.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/the-truth-about-poverty-_-the-punch.pdf?sfvrsn=4 [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Debruge, P. (2015). Film Review: Poverty Inc. [online] Variety.com. Available at: http://variety.com/2015/film/reviews/poverty-inc-film-review-1201649597/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Mccoy, T. (2015). The homeless man who went to Harvard Law with John Roberts. [online] Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/the-homeless-man-who-graduated-from-harvard-law-school-with-chief-justice-john-roberts/2015/07/13/63257b5c-20ca-11e5-bf41-c23f5d3face1_story.html?utm_term=.8bbddc1600ad [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Muslimah Media Watch. (2010). MMW Roundtable on Time Magazine’s Aisha Cover. [online] Available at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mmw/2010/08/mmw-roundtable-on-time-magazines-aisha-cover/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Monroe, J. (2012). Hunger Hurts. [Blog] Cooking on a bootstrap. Available at: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2012/07/30/hunger-hurts/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Savchuk, K. (2016). Poor Journalism: Is Media Coverage of the Poor Getting Better or Worse?. [online] Cal Alumni Association. Available at: https://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/just-in/2016-04-06/poor-journalism-media-coverage-poor-getting-better-or-worse [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Schaffer, J., Schaffer, J. and Jim, M. (2017). Poverty Porn: Do the Means Justify the Ends? – Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly. [online] Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly. Available at: https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/06/10/poverty-porn-do-the-means-justify-the-ends/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Threadgold, S. (2015). Struggle Street is poverty porn with an extra dose of class racism. [online] The Conversation. Available at: http://theconversation.com/struggle-street-is-poverty-porn-with-an-extra-dose-of-class-racism-41346 [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Selfie-obsessed or selfie-aware?

A selfie is something, which is constantly parodied, used as a form of entertainment on one hand; on the other hand can be used to empower people within themselves. It’s not simply black and white, though. There are grey areas, many different meanings that people have behind a selfie – which is quite literally a photo of oneself – and why people may take them such as narcissism and self-esteem issues, and sometimes even to extremes or mentioning psychosis. In parodies and light humour regarding selfies such as the song ‘First let me take a selfie,’ or Kim Kardashian’s infamous book quite literally titled, “Selfie.”

So what is with the negative social stigma of selfies, if it can also be so light-hearted and a way to empower yourself, with people mocking those who use selfie sticks in public. Why is it that I feel as though I am being vain or should be cowering in shame if someone sees me taking a selfie, or editing a blemish out of one in public before I upload it online? There is no right way to judge selfie-takers intentions, but when it comes to some research you are in the wrong no matter what. You’re either narcissistic or mentally disordered – a far stretch for someone just wanting a nice photo of themselves.(Senft and Baym, 2015)

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I have my Instagram feed posted to the right on my blog, for no particular reason other than to let readers know that I do have fun! I’m marketing myself to my audience with no other intention. Of course It won’t be seen like that by everyone, but marketing companies have long used phone photography and selfies as a way to market to young people. “Buy this phone, take a selfie! You will have fun!”(Gupta, 2017) I don’t see anything wrong with that, just like I see nothing wrong with the somewhat political view on selfies some celebrities have taken and how they can even influence election results through a selfie. 

Maybe celebrities posting a selfie to Instagram on Election Day to say that ‘I voted!’ is empowerment in some way, but I definitely don’t take that to be narcissistic nor mentally unhinged as the intention there is clear; to raise awareness and encourage people to vote.(Saltz, 2014) I can’t precisely pinpoint the exact moment in my social-media life span where I decided, “I’m going to take a selfie.” Though I knew they were all the rage when I made my Myspace account, I knew I had to take one because everybody else was.

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image source: here

That’s the way I see selfies, people do what everyone else is doing whether it is consciously or not. If a celebrity like Kim Kardashian is showing resilience and ‘freeing the nipple,’ online other people will likely follow suit. This is where the hope that if other people have ‘voted!’ and posted about it online, once again; other people will too.(Croffey, 2017) Selfies can be a way to market anything, which is proven further by evidence that ‘Instafamous’ models are earning thousands a week by promoting a brand through their selfies to large followings.

Instagram and selfies go hand in hand to create a brand for someone, a self-marketing tool to the point where, if you ‘make it’ you are able to go on paid holidays, get free clothes and makeup and much more just by simply taking a selfie. People are marketing themselves online with hopes that people will want them to market for them. So do selfies really influence narcissism, maybe. Do only narcissistic people only take selfies? No, they can be taken by anyone for any purpose. Other social campaigns such as men taking a selfie with their fingers curled to say ‘it’s okay’ from the #itsokaytotalk campaign wasn’t used to empower, nor was it used for vain purposes but to raise awareness for a cause.

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image source: here 

Mental illness, something that is accused as being one of the driving forces behind one taking a selfie – though this time being used to raise awareness for mental illness – ironic, no? There is indeed a moral panic when it comes to selfie taking, why though? How does selfie taking have to correlate with the negative moral panic of why a black man was president and a woman was prime minister, as though selfies are the cause of everything.  (Senft and Baym, 2015) There are many good intentions within the means of taking a photograph of yourself – so why is there such a bad social stigma behind shaping yourself online and self-awareness, sometimes even promoting who you are and what you stand for through a selfie? (Wesch, 2009)

 

REFERENCES:


Aufderheide, P. (1997). Electronic resources access log-in | University of Wollongong Library. [online] Web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au. Available at: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=7514d233-ab41-4cde-96c7 3d44fad922b6%40sessionmgr120&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=9708311013&db=a9h [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Croffey, A. (2017). US election 2016: Celebrities who can’t vote without picture proof. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/us-election-2016-celebrities-who-cant-vote-without-picture-proof-20161108-gskzqr.html [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Gupta, D. (2017). Holding A Mirror. 1st ed. [ebook] pp.1-3. Available at: http://www.afaqs.com/all/news/misc/40720_Holding_a_Mirror.pdf [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Saltz, J. (2014). Art at Arm’s Length: A History of the Selfie. [online] Vulture.com. Available at: http://www.vulture.com/2014/01/history-of-the-selfie.html [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Selfies are more than a form of vanity, research finds (2016, October 7) retrieved 20 March 2017 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-selfies-vanity.html [ Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Senft, T. and Baym, N. (2015). What does the selfie say? Investigating a global phenomenon. 1st ed. [ebook] New york: IJoC, pp.1-19. Available at: https://com250spring2016ncsu.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/senftbaym_selfie.pdf [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Tifentale, A. (2014). The Selfie: Making sense of the “Masturbation of Self-Image” and the “Virtual Mini-Me”. 1st ed. [ebook] pp.3-18. Available at: https://d25rsf93iwlmgu.cloudfront.net/downloads/Tifentale_Alise_Selfiecity.pdf [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

Wesch, M. (2009). YouTube and You: Experiences of Self-awareness in the Context Collapse of the Recording Webcam. [online] Krex.k-state.edu. Available at: http://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/handle/2097/6302 [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].

MEDA301 week 3 – researching your hero

When I think of the most creative and viral marketing campaign to date, it would be the Blair Witch Project (1999). The film producers staged a campaign before the film was set to release, and used online media tools to make it look as though it were a real film and what the audience were seeing was real. This is something that has been listed countless times on the best marketing campaigns lists, no matter which way you phrase it to Google; The Blair Witch Project always comes up in the top of the best film advertising and marketing. This is because it truly scared the audience, made them feel as though they were witnessing true horror. The filmmakers – especially executive producer Kevin Foxe – were dedicated in this project to such an extent that they even created websites, folklore for the Blair Witch Project to back up the ideas presented In the film as well as flooding forums and boards about the actors – where were they? Viral marketing is almost free or earned advertising, and one of the most creative ways to gain traction toward a movie that you are trying to sell.

With online advances, this is easily accessible however; only few filmmakers manage to utilize this marketing tool to their advantage. The tactic of listing the actors as dead on imdb is one that was done well by the Blair Witch Project – and many copycats have also tried this tool afterwards, such as Paranormal Activity. The best part for me, and the most interesting that I found along my research on this film and it’s marketing strategies – was that it was made by students studying filmmaking like myself – Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick. With this realization in mind, it’s quite simple to make a film successful – all you need is the right film advertising.

Producer Kevin Foxe stated that the best part of all of it was that he wouldn’t let anyone see the film before it was out, no critics or anything until it was released at sundance. The mock website created enough hype that people were literally craving this film. These producers also knew that they would need a strong film advertising strategy to make up for their lack of budget – and it has still been recognized that this goal has gone above and beyond. Producer Myrick also compared the film to the classic franchise Star Wars in the way that they had created a mythology surrounding the film or a different universe for viewers to find themselves in. This was their objective, to make the viewers question whether what they were seeing was real – because how could it not be? There was so much backed up on what they were seeing on screen – though the hard part was the audience deciphering whether it was a documentary or a film.

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Eduardo Sanchez & Daniel Myrick. image source

There was potential for failure for these filmmakers, there was a low budget and unknown actors – though they found the strength in their advertising. The producers of The Blair Witch Project because influential and still to this day is one of the most researched marketing campaigns, with the use of websites and popular media of that time – it was a film made believable to the audience and that is something that people are still trying to emulate.

Who screams for memes? We all scream for memes.

What is a meme? Is it a parody, a construct to make people laugh – or is it something so much more than that – most of the time a message made easier, more compact for easier societal reception. Mediums used to send messages to passive or active audiences are dependant on how much attention these audiences want to pay, and most of the time we are looking at messages and interpreting them without even realising. What about the goal? For example, when historical art is appropriated or recreated in the form of a meme or a parody, how much of the original content and message follows with it, and is that what the goal is? Artist Edvard Munch actively sent messages to his audiences through his artworks. ‘The Scream’, a painting created in a time of expressionism to show his emotions was described by this creator as being an embodiment of “air turned to blood.”

However, when this same work is recreated as a meme with the purpose of a different conveyed idea, how much of the original message is still there and what is the purpose? Audiences will still take something from a meme recreation of an artwork – especially an active audience who in this instance is likely to be someone who takes understanding of the original artwork and how they interpreted that, and then apply it to the recreation to interpret the new meaning and the message. Even if the message conveyed through paradoxical images and memes isn’t visible it will always be interpreted by the medium. In the form of a meme based on an artwork it can often be perceived as a joke or an ‘ironic’ way of sending ideas and intentions with some reference to the original artwork and it’s meaning and therefore, the medium is the message.

REFERENCES

Cohen, J. (2015). The Art of Parody: Imitation With a Twist | The Artifice. [online] The-artifice.com. Available at: http://the-artifice.com/the-art-of-parody/ [Accessed 17 Mar. 2017].

Edvardmunch.org. (2011). Art Analysis: Meaning of The Scream by Edvard Munch. [online] Available at: http://www.edvardmunch.org/link.jsp [Accessed 17 Mar. 2017].

MEDA301 week 2 – researching your field

I’ve never really researched into the field of what I want to do – apart from general job searches every now and then to make sure that the field I want to be a part of is still there, and still offering jobs. In terms of practitioners I look up to and the history of what I want to do, I’ve been slacking. This task was one I found interesting albeit difficult – because film advertising is a broad field – however film advertising on the internet and through the media is one I would like to pursue the most – and this started around the same time as social media I would presume.

Movie campaigns are something I find intriguing and I always search for them when a movie comes out as it gives you a perception as an audience of what a movie will look like. Aesthetically pleasing, informs you of who will be the cast – or at least the general, top-billed cast – and provides a somewhat palette of what the movie is about. According to Adweek.com, technology has given films the tool of star power – the ability to reach people much easier than a poster on a billboard, which were the older ways of advertising a film. A movie trailer can now show up on your Facebook newsfeed, and entice a viewer who would have previously never sought out that advertisement or even be aware of the film. I find this prospect fascinating – something that I would like to research more into and become more familiar with because I would like to be a part of a movement in the field of film advertising that reaches broader audiences and attracts viewers who would have previously not been interested – this is the theory of film advertising on social media especially.

The basis and history of the field I want to pursue is that film advertising was once a concept or a theory. Theory that if someone were to entice an audience with a snippet of something that contains much more – like a film – they would increase revenue on the final film. This has been done with posters on the street and flyers, advertising theatre productions way before video photography was even a thing. Since this time, it has advanced onto social media platforms and allowed creative practitioners in this field to become more advanced and adventurous in how they reach their audiences.

Film campaigns such as The Conjuring 2 have utilized new forms of technology – such as virtual reality campaigns – to ‘scare’ viewers and give audiences an insight into what the film is about in a more entertaining way than a flyer. While films like Inception utilized posters – a nod to how movies were once predominantly advertised with a imagery twist of optical illusion or trompe l’oeil where we as viewers are led to believe there is water gushing from the poster. This is fitting for the film, and upon looking at this advertisement a viewer is able to interpret what the film may entail and make a decision based upon it. This it the theory behind film advertising, entice an audience and let them decide whether they want to see this film based on the advertising you offer.