Happy Potter Strikes Again

Happy Potter.png

Find where I posted it on Imgur

Robert Entman suggests that “to frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text.” That means, to choose key parts of something’s identity and piece them together to create a story which highlights those particular desired aspects. This process enables audiences to make sense of the media they consume based on their own prior understandings.

In this way, the perceived identity/reality of something can be changed if the framing is altered—if different parts are chosen to be highlighted.

We all know Harry Potter to differing degrees. I’ve chosen to re-frame it based around this meme, and the idea that Harry Potter is too ‘dark’ for children. The elements I have changed and introduced (made salient), when compared to the original, portray a new identity. The movie is the same and yet, if my poster was attached to it, Harry Potter would likely be preconceived as another crappy kids movie from the mid-2000s with bland characters and a boring plot line. This is largely due to the audience’s existing schemas of kids/low budget/early 2000s/magic movies.

How would you have felt about the Harry Potter movie franchise if it was originally branded in my style? Let me know in the comments!

When the Cathedral meets the Bazaar

When applying it to the field of communications and media, we like to think of Eric S. Raymond’s concept of the cathedral and of the bazaar as two binary poles. That we can only have one at the exclusion of the other.

It is easy to think this way. The cathedral is symbolic for walled garden media generation. One where everything—contribution, user access points, production processes and feedback loops—is controlled by and visible to a select number of people. The bazaar, however, is a symbol of open garden, open source media production. One where every aspect of creation can be accessed and contributed to, by anyone at any time.

My video demonstrates how these two aspects can be complementary. It shows how my high school Major Design Project was made successful through the incorporation of products resultant from bazaar processes into a cathedral system. This being my combination of the Arduino with codes from GitHub and designs from the Fusion 360 gallery—all of which are open source—with my own iterative design process—which was tightly controlled by myself.

The video itself was inspired by many process videos which came before it.

A New Reality

TWD.gif

Find my .gif on Giphy

Academics like Henry Jenkins tend to highlight the logistical elements of transmedia narratives. Generally, this includes things like “creating different points of entry for different audience segments” and the creation of “complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories”. Admittedly, many popular franchises come to mind when I think of this, but the one that stays with me is The Walking Dead. Made up of an unending series of comics, two television series, multiple ‘Tell Tale’ video games, and some more unorthodox media formats, Robert Kirkman’s world of the undead has become a great success.

In considering all these elements, the one thing that strikes me most about transmedia storytelling is its propensity to submerge its audiences into a new reality. By propagating many stories from the one world across multiple channels, a filter bubble is created in which what we perceive to be real is altered. In my remediation I wanted to capture this unnerving side of transmedia narratives whilst enmeshed with the typical aspects I mentioned earlier. I wanted to help people realise how chilling it is to truly see and think about the world in a way that is altered by the unreal.

Thats not to say transmedia narratives are bad, I just think we need to consider how they truly affect us.

You Wouldn’t Steal a Hedwig

Copyright aims to control the spread of memes because the industry wants to control content and ideas. My remediation this week is an example of how this model of highly restrictive copyright is incompatible with the internet.

The internet is open source, no matter how much big businesses try to create control and scarcity. Produsers, such as myself, will always find a way to take someone else’s content and remix it into their own new creation. The internet is optimised for this. There are thousands of online tools available which facilitate the ripping, mixing and mashing of online content. In the battle between prosumers and industry, participatory culture and monopolised material, open and closed formats, the algorithmic measures taken by sites such as YouTube and Soundcloud are insufficient. This week I was told that copyright aims to protect creators but the internet undermines this. Anyone can take an iconic theme song and use an online mashup tool to mix it with a warning video about piracy to create the world’s most ironic banger.

World of Internet Warcraft

The rise of digital and social media has led to a change in how messages, ideas and ideologies are propagated. Anyone with these technologies can produce, aggregate and curate content, without being a professional communicator, and I was inspired this week to do just that.

The information people want to portray can be easily packaged as memes and presented to the consumer, relentlessly injecting that message into the minds of many, thus regimenting the public’s mindset. This process can be used as a more perverted and pervasive form of psychological warfare due to its open-access, and far-reaching attributes—known as meme warfare. Meme warfare can have real and serious consequences without the consumer ever knowing they are being influenced, which only enhances how dangerous this digital weapon can be.

My video is, in itself, an example of how easy it is for an amateur to create what they want for their own agenda and share it with an audience, and influence how people think. I also hope to raise people’s awareness of this topic because in the age of the internet, gullibility will be the death of reason.

We Are the New Media

Wk6 Meme Final
59:25 “… anyone can just jump in there, fix it up and change it. If people want to change the background, they can… Anyone can pick it up and do whatever they want with it.” — Travis Wall

Find where I posted it on Imgur

The post-industrial digital-age has enabled citizen-journalists and media makers to be considered respectable, or at least view-worthy, authorities because they are unique in their production style. Audiences appreciate the unpackaged, unfiltered style of citizen media as it affords the proliferation of both a diversity of perspectives and of content unsuitable for legacy media. I felt inspired to create a media object that fits this description when some of my lecturers spoke about how anyone can do anything to media on the internet. I literally took the media where they said this and made it completely my own. I knew that this would get a response from the part of my audience that exists in my class.

The fact that I, a student from Wollongong who is part of this group of ‘people formerly known as the audience’ (aka everyone), can reach and be listened to by so many people, is why journalism is a profession in crisis. We have demystified the art of giving facts and creating content, lowering the pedestals of authority upon which journalists once sat, until they become level with us. They have become part of our distributed network, they are like us now.

The Internet: Connective, Collective

Crisis Averted

In 2018, the internet dominates over legacy media. Its network configuration affords dialogic conversation from many people to many other people. Media can now be consumed, produced and remixed by anyone, due to its inherent ubiquitous connectivity (i.e. it is cheap, participatory and immediate). Social networks allow for a new mode of participation where we can coordinate and mobilise in response to real world issues and events.

This idea of ubiquitous connectivity has implications which are evident in real life circumstances. Clay Shirky discusses how the internet enabled citizen journalism in China’s 2009 earthquakes, which prompted me to make this gif as a summation of the general process of empowered network participation. In short, people were reporting on what was happening as it happened by posting videos and images of the devastation in China. Not long after, it was discovered that the reason why so many schools collapsed was because of shady government dealings. Through the internet, citizens were able to coordinate and mobilise protests both online and in real life; they were able to share their personal stories and collaborate on solutions to their problems. All this was done instantly and free of charge, having massive and severe consequences across the nation.

Shirky’s TED Talk examines these implications in much more depth and is a really interesting watch. Leave a comment on what you found most interesting about his talk.

Technicolour DreamGIF

A E S T H E T I C

Lets point out the obvious. The GIF I made is reflective of both the ‘aesthetics of remediation’ and ‘object animation’ tropes. It embodies the convergence of the hyper-kawaii / glitch aesthetic whilst also referencing the word ‘aesthetic’ used in its new form as an adjective (recommended viewing: ‘What is ~A E S T H E T I C~ Experience? | PBS Digital Studios’), and it references object animation by incorporating Hatsune Miku (a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesiser). It is a symbol of media convergence; of combining two completely different things, without knowing what the outcome will be, then celebrating the messy end product.

What I found most interesting about this GIF however, is not the GIF itself, but the process through which I was able to make it. Due to the nature of post-industrial culture, I was able to rapidly prototype my technicolour creation and deploy it in minimal time and at a low cost, without having had any prior experience with the ‘GIPHY Create’ platform. It also enabled me to conceptualise as I designed and produced. At the beginning of the process I had no idea what I wanted to make, and yet I still arrived at a finished product that fulfilled everything I wanted it to achieve.

The final stage is deploying it online—in this blog post—and getting feedback from you, my audience.

Kardashian is the Message

The concept—the medium is the message—is best understood not through its literal meaning, but through the visible impacts it has on society.

Take the ‘Kardashian effect’ for example. The use of reality television and social media (medium) to portray the luxurious lives of the Kardashians, has had the effect of audiences wanting to be like the Kardashians, consequently changing their actions and attitude in an attempt to achieve their newly desired lifestyle (message).

This is a repetitive process. Due to the increasingly wide-scale response to the Kardashians, they are able to use more mediums (websites, online stores) to produce more messages for their audience, who reciprocate by creating their own related content, all of which flows across platforms in slightly differing copies of each other.

This process evolves over time in alignment with the concept of ‘trajectories of media convergence’. Where previously, audiences consumed media as a product, later they then were able to use media as a conversation; now however, we have moved beyond being just an ‘active media audience’; we as responders are able to produce, aggregate and curate content.


This post was inspired by a quote from Mark Federman: “”The medium is the message” tells us that noticing change in our societal ground conditions indicates the presence of a new message, that is, the effects of a new medium.”

Federman, M. (2004, July 23). ‘What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message?’

All video content has been referenced via a list of links in the YouTube description box of the ‘Kardashian is the Message’ video.

Digital Artefact Ideas

Stumbling bleary eyed into my BCM112 lecture this morning, I had no idea what I could possibly do for my digital artefact this semester.

I wanted it to be cool, unique, edgy and just overall AMAZING.

Just…

200w

Yet, I was stuck on a few basic, lacklustre ideas, all of which made me feel inadequate, and that maybe I should have just taken a different subject.

That is, until Ted arrived. Ted’s brutal honesty and scribbly graphs helped me realise that the digital artefact process would be both iterative and non-linear. His talk allowed me to grasp the full implications of our subject philosophy, ‘fail early, fail often’ (FEFO) and inspired me to be a bit more optimistic about my digital artefact.

The lecture concluded with a brief exhibition of previous student works. It was interesting to see how each student embraced their own interests across platforms, using their existing strengths to their advantage.

Coming away from this lecture I have a few new DA ideas brewing…

  1. The Young Dreamer Instagram page

My blog is all about passion and inspiration. I figured Instagram would be a great place to not only embody these ideals, but also to reach out and find other like-minded people, and welcome them into the community. If I don’t end up doing this as a part of my digital artefact then I will still probably do it for my own personal interest, though maybe a bit later down the track once I’ve adjusted to all the new social media in my life.

  1. Makerspace social media ambassador

I’m not sure if I’m being too hopeful here but this idea REALLY appeals to me. In our BCM112 lecture, a guy (not sure what his name was, sorry!) showed us that for his previous digital artefact, he created 360 degree footage of the Makerspace. He then uploaded it to the Makerspace’s official social media platforms where it reached a ready and willing audience. As someone who has had previous experience with similar machines, I understand how important it is that the utility of this space is made known to a wider audience. I already have a few original ideas of my own which I hope to be able to contribute and I’m really excited to explore this idea further.

  1. Hot chip connoisseur Instagram page

Call them hot chips or fries, I don’t care (what is in a name after all?) I LOVE THEM. And so do most other people. I figured Instagram would be a great way to share this love as I hunt down for the best hot chip fix in the St George/Illawarra region. Before you judge, just remember that this may also help YOU choose where you wan’t to go for lunch, saving you time, money, and from the disheartening experience of under seasoned potato-ey blandness.

Now none of these ideas may get me a Bloggie at the end of semester, but I do think that through the FEFO philosophy I may be able to at least create something that is successful, and something that I can be proud of.