Week 15 & 16 // Final development and presentation.

While we as a whole group did not come to class for these two weeks, we heavily communicated online and shared our developments that way so we could constantly stay in touch with what needed to be done and when. We were also able to bounce knowledge off each other during this time, such as sharing of photoshop tutorials which were crucial in the ability to create content for the final work.

The projection and placement were the most nitty-gritty and time consuming parts which we discovered would be the case a few weeks ago when we first started experimenting with projection, though perfect placement was an issue we as a group were able to overcome. Our ‘advertisements’ were played in a loop, much like normal, digital-style advertisements would on a billboard, and we kept to our original imagery which was refined during these final few weeks to convey our statement on consumerism and feminism/anti feminism in advertising.

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Our final work.

The images were a strong representation of the media, and were inspired by artists Barbara Kruger – as mentioned in previous weeks – and the format of Natalie Nelson’s illustrations.

Artistic group work was something new for me, as I generally prefer to work individually as I like to have control. However, I enjoyed this project when it was in it’s final stages and things were coming together as it was interesting to collaborate our work into one and come up with something that was a strong statement of what we as a group felt passionately about.

Week 13 & 14 // further experimentation

We had a good understanding of our concept this week and how we wanted to present it, so we begun this class by working on how to build on these ideas without straying too far from the original plan – like we did in week 9. While discussing feminism and advertising, the thought of sexism and it’s prevalence in advertising came up. While there is still a fair amount of sexism in advertising in the media in 2017, there is also an ever-growing new ‘trend’ of female empowerment in advertising.

We decided we would focus on older advertising such as the 1920’s ‘vintage’ adverts which would have usually been found in newspapers or magazines. Our intention was to look back on how things were, and how things are now and make an obvious and ironic comparison between the two. We wanted to prompt people to ask questions such as, “Is that even a real advertisement?” When looking at the older ones, as they are rather comical how blatantly sexist they were allowed to be, this was something that was kept in mind when finding advertisements to place in the billboards. We also decided to use the old sexist advertisements with people who are affiliated with female empowerment of some sort, which can be seen below in one of the images I was working on using Beyonce.

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We are all actively engaged in this project, and we all would like a good and received outcome which is encouraging when we are creating this work. We do need to work on some of our knowledge, especially regarding skills such as photoshop, though we still have some time before we have to present this work to work on it. We decided to make the billboard-like screens into a ‘V’ shape as it wasn’t working adequately how we had imagined (the parallel, train tunnel-like look). Though this worked in our favour more than we imagined, as it was a constant loop of advertisements beside each other which still conveyed the constant overflow of advertising in the media and in society. It was true to the idea that we cannot possibly know what to believe, as there is so much out there and so much information to take in at once.

During week 14, we focused on perfecting our content and our photoshop skills for the final piece.

Week 11 & 12 // Jamming and reviewing ideas

We decided we liked the responses – both in the group and from other people viewing our work – of last week’s presentation and we decided to build upon the idea of political feminism commentary. As a group we decided we would like to work with basic imagery and bold, simple text statements that hold meaning with what we are trying to say. Especially considering we now understand what it is we would like to be making a statement about through our work.

We came up with a rather clear idea this week ( week 11 ), of how we would like to present our final work, this involved the use of billboards to mimic a cityscape-style train tunnel, plastered with in-your-face advertising. The idea was to use two boards, parallel to each other and have a constant flow of projected advertisements on each one, with another projection of a city at the end of this to show that it was a city and a train tunnel. This was to represent how easily advertising and feminism/anti-feminism can reach people’s attention.

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This weeks work ( week 11 )

Purple was used as a central colour in this week’s presentation work, as it represents the colour of equality and touches on our consistent underlying theme of irony, as what is shown in these images is definitely not a reference to positive equality.

During week 12, we again took reference from Barbara Kruger’s work and ideas. Themes strong in her work are consumerism and feminist statements, something we really wanted to make comment on. The themes in her work were important to us and what we wanted to say in our work, so we took a lot of inspiration from her.  We each provided images for the billboard-like advertisements so we could have a clear idea of what it would look like for the final presentation, and what we needed to work on. Below are a couple of the ‘advertisement-style’ pieces I created using photoshop.

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Excerpts of this week’s work

Week 10 // Barbara Kruger.

This was a good week for us, as we were left with people who had similar ideas in what we wanted to convey in the final project. Some of us wanted to focus on political views in reference to feminism and this was a focus that I easily adapted to, and began looking forward to ways in which we could present these strong ideas to our audience. We referred to Barbara Kruger’s works of political message in black and white, with red background-text in a newspaper style, which most importantly always held a strong message.

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Barbara Kruger works, image sources ( here ) and ( here

Barbara Kruger communicates with her audience on topics such as feminism and politics and sends her strong messages through her work with such simplistic words, however they so clearly convey the messages she is trying to send. This is what we wanted to do with our final work, we wanted to send a message in a simple way while making it obvious that there is so much more meaning behind what the work looks like.

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This weeks work, which was presented in a looping presentation.

We used controversial public figures such as Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull in this weeks presentation. Our intention was to be ironic, with the words in which these people are not – such as ‘ally’ for Tony Abbott, who is against same sex marriage and is definitely not a LGBTQ+ ally – plastered over their mouth. This was done with several figures, and the words we presented them with did not represent their famous views – apart from Trump. This was a positive week for us, as we wished to build further on statements such as these and working with new forms of typography and imagery.

Week 9 // Progression

This week was a week of frustration, which was to be expected given that this was a large group task and we all had many different ideas we wanted to execute and time was creeping up on us. A few of us were frustrated in how no clear content or concept was agreed upon thus far, and this resulted in a jumbled attempt to scramble together some sort of meaning for this presentation for the week.

Most of our work for this week was being worked on by one person while the rest of us were left unsure with what we should do – as the surfaces we intended to present our text onto weren’t working adequately so we searched for other ways – and other surfaces – to present onto. This resulted in a carpet or two being made into ‘mountains’ with sheets as snow coming off it, and a mannequin’s head with a projection of over her face along with Trump’s tweet from the first week regarding global warming. We did this with no clear meaning behind it, and ended up piling together objects hoping an idea would come to mind. What we decided on was, “The woman (mannequin head) has died due to global warming.”

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This week’s work.

We didn’t have a concept this week, and it was a step back in progress for us. We received mostly negative feedback which was to be understood, however it was discouraging and we weren’t sure where to go from there given our group was so large and we didn’t have any clear ideas that we all felt strongly toward.

Upon recommendation, our group split up slightly and two people decided to work individually, so were were left with people who had a similar idea as opposed to so many different ones trying to be executed at once. Hopefully next week we will be able to work on something we all enjoy doing, and it will show in the final presentation.

Week 8 // Pitching ideas

This week we focused on each of our ideas and brainstormed how we could incorporate them into the one bigger idea, while still individually adding to it with our own strengths and knowledge. We were encouraged to research last week into what we would like to present, for example, artworks and artists similar to what we wanted to do or say. Everyone in our group had many different ideas among their research, which proved difficult to make into one.

What was eventually created was a recreation, or attempted appropriation of Nota Bene’s, “In order to control.” This work is a digital experience, an interactive artwork and during this week we wanted to incorporate this interactivity in our presentation. Bene’s idea behind the work is to make comment on ethics and morality, which prompted our use of a copyright law in our recreation.


Project mapping was used to involve the audience to interact with the work, much like what was done by Nota Bene. Though we were all quite unfamiliar with projection mapping, so the work didn’t really reach our standards given the time frame we had to work with – there wasn’t enough time to research how to use projection mapping, so this is something we will have to work on outside of class. As opposed to last week, where we had a clear political statement, this week the use of copyright law and commentary on ownership was a different statement, we would again like to experiment with more surfaces.

Week 7 // Expressing digitality

This week was the first week of coming up with ideas for our group project, it mostly consisted of ideas being thrown around and nothing too solid forming, however by the end of this class we all had a vague idea of where we were going to head in terms of direction with our project. There were five categories in which we could choose to base our work on, these were:

  • expressing digitality ( textuality and expression )
  • variable materiality ( materials and immaterial process )
  • multi-sensory interaction ( light, shadows and displacement )
  • (re)configuring space and time ( storytelling through sound, image and interaction )
  • generativity, difference and repetition ( algorithm and reproductability )

We decided to focus on the category of expressing digitality, as we all wanted to work with text and expression.  When we first started to throw ideas around, the popular theme we mostly wanted to focus on was text and it’s relationship with society. Such as big statements and small words in public spaces with meaning like sculptural pieces done by Jenny Holzer, and she was the first artist we as a group took inspiration from. Analysing a few of her works – and the ideas and meaning she held behind a lot of them – helped us to build a somewhat scaffold of what we would like to say within our final work and how we would like to project these ideas.

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Jenny Holzer artwork ( source here )

I also mentioned Robert Montgomery’s artworks when we were throwing around ideas, as he is a modern conceptual artist who focuses on textual expression through more digital methods such as led lights, though this never really caught the attention of the other group members. Our question for what we wanted to present for this week was, “What are we trying to say? What words do we want to put out there for people to look at?”

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Robert Montgomery artwork ( source here )

We first looked at commentary on young people in societal institutions like university, such as quotes from 13 Reasons Why and then we started drifting toward commentary on more political issues, which prompted us to look at tweets from Donald Trump. This was the first part of our interaction with political irony within our work. We decided to use this tweet, and when we presented the tweet on the wall, we made the president’s title small as though to evoke curiousity in our audience. We wanted them to see the large tweet and move forward to see what the smaller text said, who would say something so ridiculous? We decided to write ‘The President of the United State’s of America” as opposed to Donald Trump, just to put emphasis on how ridiculous the whole thing is.

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This weeks presentation done by us.

We realised upon presenting this that people had better eyesight than we had imagined, and people could see the font perfectly from afar and it would have looked better much smaller. Next week, we would like to focus on working with different surfaces, as we presented over a wall. We would like to alter the text over more surfaces to see what looks best. We would also like to make a statement within our work, as it is focusing on expression, however we are still unsure of what we would like to say.

Wk 11 / My online persona is exactly the breakfast club.

My online presence is pretty dreadful in consistency, it pretty much looks like this photo below to the point where I’ve even used alias’ on platforms such as Tumblr. Why? I don’t have a clue. However that could be because the internet and the online persona we put out there for the world can be scary and sometimes we don’t personally want to be held accountable for how people perceive us, so we decide to alter that to make it look better.

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I’m going to look at Twitter and celebrities instead of myself as an example. Have you heard of Riverdale actress, Camila Mendes? If not, no she’s not a twitter fan account for Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello – as she has stated on a pinned post – already justifying her persona on her Twitter to her audience because yes, she is a celebrity and she is practicing that through Twitter.

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Celebrity ‘practitioners’ commonly use their Twitter accounts to create a somewhat intimate relationship with their followers by sharing ‘relatable’ things, tapping into pop culture references and interacting with fellow celebrities online or fans. This is a careful construction of their online persona and makes the audience feel as though they are part of something exclusive or behind the scenes and is often adjusted to be pleasing to others as opposed to their actual, raw self. This is something new, as is the term of celebrity practitioners and it demonstrates the shift in managing yourself – whether you’re a celebrity or not – your online presence may define who you are to somebody’s perceptive gaze.

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Additional reference:

Marwick, Alice, boyd, danah (2011) ‘To See and Be Seen: Celebrity Practice on Twitter.’ Convergence: The international Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 17(2) 139-158.

 

Wk 10 / Open shut them, open? shut them.

To put it simply, there are open and closed platforms for users and even if the terms aren’t common; you probably use on or the other or even both every single day. For example, Apple is a closed source as it limits the generatively in it’s users who are unable to involve themselves in the creativity of the technology as much as they would be with say, Android (a generative network) which allows it’s users to modify it’s applications and more ‘freedom’ in a broad sense as opposed to Apple which ‘controls’ and it’s users generally have to go through the app store for the functionality of the technology.

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The internet is a generative platform, one which was actually released in an incomplete form to audiences and users with the intention of figuring out the issue when it arose, and it mainly focuses on users and how they interact with it to determine it’s usability. It’s ‘open’ form is something unusual compared to technologies people would have been used to before the internet, such as cars. However it was adapted to rather quickly despite it’s user-led basis of understanding, is it because users felt they were much more free to do what they pleased with the unfinished product of the internet? If that were the case, then why is Apple still the most popular technology – even with it’s closed source?

 

Wk 9 / Reasons why transmedia is useful in viral marketing for television.

There is a strategic, cultural logic behind blockbusters, whether it be popular films or popular, binge-able Netflix shows like, “13 Reasons Why.” This strategy is transmedia storytelling or marketing and it’s essential in getting a point across to an audience and reaching all target markets through utilisation of different mediums. For example, 13 Reasons Why is a Netflix show that has reached insane levels of popularity due to it’s orchestrated narrative both before and after it’s initial release – this is done by creating a mystery around a passion project and makes the audience feel special by sending snippets of this story through different mediums.

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img source my own.

An important aspect of transmedia storytelling is the role of the audience in it’s success. Each medium this television show has been displayed on develops a different part of the story. Tumblr users are very much involved in the fandom and canon part of the story and are able to share their own experiences of the story i.e. fan fictions (fandom), edits/graphics of the story that has been shown already (canon) and general responses to the show which can create viral and word of mouth marketing. Why has 13 Reasons Why been so popular?

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It’s not as simple as it being a good show, it’s the viral marketing and experiences people have shared on several mediums and social media outlets that have prompted people to become an audience in this story – some also becoming an active audience by also sharing their subjective points of view on this same story. The spreadability of blockbuster television shows like this is essential and goes hand in hand with social media in order to penetrate the target audience; also known as ‘drivability’ in it’s ability to ‘drive’ it’s story into an audience’s subconscious through different media to the point where they can decide if they would like to become an active or passive audience.