Week 9: The Visual, the Body and the Social Body

Images regarding global warming all tend to circulate in media. It’s always the iconic polar bear hanging off the last bit of ice photograph. The image of the polar bear and global warming have almost become synonyms that for some people they could become desensitised to the notion of global warming.

In regards to the polar bear photograph, it almost double up as a graph. The large body of water represents the affects from global warming we have caused and the natural resources we have consumed. The thin plinth of ice the polar bear is clinging onto represents the remaining resources we have left to sustain humanity and the animal kingdom. The image quickly becomes an “accidental” data visualisation which is probably why the image is so affective. 




The images are graphically giving the readers the stripped back truth about truth about the state of the earth regarding environmental issues. Although, most ads are dramatised, it still undeniably displays the truth and this is inevitable in images orientating around polar bears and the polar ice caps because they are photographs. they are real documentations. 

Images like these, that tackle current social issues evoke emotion, reactions and responses in people when viewed. this is the general social body and individual bodily interaction with the media. Even if the image does not evoke a physical reaction, that in itself is a response to the image that has ben decided from one’s personal, social and cultural background once again tapping into the notion of social/individual boily interaction with the media. 

One of the most engaging and fascinating visualisation in response to global warming and it’s affects would have to be the wwf ad campaigns and how it engages with the audience graphically in an aesthetically wonderous way but at the same time confronting us with issues rising from global warming and the preservation of planet earth. 

It almost brings in a guilt factor which seems to be a prominent emotion evoked from campaign images circulating around global warming.


Week 8: Visualisation

Visualisation is a crucial in today’s publishing. Not only does a picture say a thousand words but it’s also the easiest bait to grab people’s attention and give the readers/audience the required/wanted information in limited words. 

When thinking of visualisation, a Ted Talk by Aaron Koblin instantly came to my mind. This particular talk discusses (to my knowledge) the true essence of ‘visualisation’. 

Visualisation of international plane movements during a period of time.

Visualisation on international connection - how New York connects with the rest of the world during a period of time.

Visualisation on the texts sent during a period of time in Amsterdam.

My favourite thing about this Ted Talk was the relationship between mapping data and aesthetics. It was fascinating to see the visualisation in action, showing the trends of the certain data and the changing patterns from the changing data. Both elements are equally crucial in visualisation.

The dashed line in use was a simple yet informative article that gave us an insight on the usefulness of dashed lines in diagrams. The idea of drawing in the elements that aren’t completely visible and expressing "something three- or four-dimensional in two dimensions" has to be one of the most helpful and useful things today. I mean, lets think about it for a second, not only does this make scientific diagrams a whole lot easier to visualise but can you imagine the complexity of an ikea package without the dashed lines? Evidently, the dashed lines have become an important element in anything that’s d.i.y or connected to “how to” books. 


Week 7: Making The Invisible Visible.

Studying the readings on Facebook and the social experiment they conducted on emotion contagion made me think about the real ethical issues behind this study.

It can easily be argued and Facebook using anything we post on the social media site to be an invasion of privacy, however exactly how logical is this concept?

The studies on emotion contagion seen on the Facebook feed was merely a harmless social experiment which was conducted with archived content that we provide freely.It is folly to believe anything posted online is going to be even close to being private. Anyone and everyone who uses Facebook as a social media platform have signed up out of their own free will and therefore we’re all using Facebook at our own risk. The study was conducted over the period of a week. All data was collected by a computer to disable the researchers into seeing the post themselves, leaving the content of the post to be private. Researchers solved the logistics of the experiment by setting up a pre-selected group of keywords which indicated a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ emotional tone in a facebook post and then had a software compile the results into statistic data. Due to the way facebook handled the research, it does not bridge the terms of privacy. "Facebook doesn’t control what you write. it controls what you see." [1] stated on theconversation.com and at the end of the day this doesn’t hugely affect our lifestyle as it’s not like we sit by our phones refreshing the page every minute to ensure we were reading each and every status posted by our peers. It was only a short term, temporary study and nothing negative came out of it. 

From the experiment it was seen shown that when positive expression on people’s newsfeed were reduced, people produced less positive posts and more negative ones and when negative expression were reduced, the opposite results were found. From the experiment "These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that in, contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others’ positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.".[2] I think it’s important to acknowledge the academic results from the social experiment as emotional contagion through an online platform because interactions on social media sites are something we’ve evidently immersed ourselves in and now at least we know what we’re getting ourselves into.

1) http://theconversation.com/facebook-emotions-can-be-viral-but-arent-very-contagious-27437?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+3+June+2014&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+3+June+2014+CID_ebd527bbe64561faa74d146f87cd4f8e&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Facebook+emotions+can+be+viral+but+arent+very+contagious

2) http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full

Week 6: The Commons: Collection and (re)Distribution/Assembling Attention

The readings for this week especially the ones orientating around the idea of our attention span really got my attention and to be honest was extremely shocked by how low my attention span was. 

The irony of reading articles reflecting on the lack of attention span seen today was finding myself flicking through tabs on my browser, checking facebook then feeling guilty and returning to reading the article, but wait did I hear my phone go off?!?

It made me think- do we as society suffer from low attention spans or are we just 21st century human beings with paranoia thinking we’re constantly missing out on something?

Think of viewing this idea through the analogy of a panopticon. The whole concept of a panopticon was derived from Michael Foucault and the philosophy of the design was for a perfect prison but also a way to organise society. The architectural elements of the design consists of a security tower in the centre surrounded by a wall of prison cells. The prisoners can not see the security guards through the 1m thick glass and there start to internalise the idea of being watched and therefore behave orderly all the time even if the guards were not looking in order not to get caught. 

I’ve started to think what if we’re all afraid that there is some unexplained higher power (or maybe just our peers) that judge us or think poorly of us for not being up to date. Even in the comfort of your own bedroom, with no one else around the paranoia still exists. Or maybe it the paranoia of being included in the contemporary issues that becomes the higher power overlooking us.

For a while now I’ve been thinking of a publication purely based around the idea of “ONE”. One page and One editorial every month. It explores the concept of attention in a contemporary context or better yet, the lack of. It came to my realisation that whether I was reading The Herald over breakfast or a tabloid magazine in line at Woolworths, I was constantly scanning the pages looking for striking article I wanted to read. So that got me thinking, why not create a publication where it gets rid of all of that and filter it onto just one paged editorial? Think about it.

N.B. no one can steal my idea now that I’ve published the initial concept #nanopublishing #hashtagsareactuallyaformofarchive 

Sudden Train of Thought…

The Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leaks made me wonder about archive fever. How out of control is archiving and exactly what are we unintentionally archiving in today’s society?

The nudes were allegedly deleted off her phone long before the 4Chan hackers cracked the cloud system to retrieve it, so exactly how much of our personal life is being documented and archived without us knowing?

Week 5: Archive Fever

Thinking about archive fever got me excited because It’s something I unconsciously actively participate. Like every other teen living in the 21st century I have an active email account, a Facebook, a Twitter, an Instragram, two separate tumblrs, looking at news stories, looking for articles I read a few weeks ago etc - and that’s just my online presence. These are online platforms I interact with on a daily basis and the time spent of there is distributed to two factors. 

1) interacting with people
whether that is writing on someone’s wall, retweeting a tweet or liking someone’s image on instagram.

2) analyse the spectrum of information a certain person (or yourself) have decided to share with the public.
The stream of conscious or the day to day life one wants to share with friends or the public - the archive of it all is fascinating.

I think I’m extremely interested with the online archive fever that is seen in a contemporary, social networking context because to me social networking sites are merely a facade. Everything you post online you yourself have decided for yourself to share it. You filter out what you don’t want people to know about you. You like certain movies/music/pages and allow certain photos to be tagged of yourself on facebook because you want to be perceived that way. So how authentic are these archives? I dont know - I guess it’s a very complex thought. I guess an online archive is authentic in a sense that the things people put online is their decision.

I read an article the other day that there is now a robot that can predict the future by analysing online archives - tweets and news stories. If this is what the future has come to its inevitable to acknowledge how important archives are. Especially if the prediction of the future is at stake!

Week 4: Assembling Publishing-Publics/Archive Fever

I was a little confused reading the texts on Actor-Network Theory and the ideas it was trying to portray. 

I understand that the theory explores a concept where humans and the machine are in the equation in order to explore the concept of the internet culture in depth. 

With the little understanding I have of Actor-Network Theory the movie ‘Her’ released last year came into mind.  Where the IOS system is essentially a growing organism that grows intellectually by the day resulting in a computer to have an artificial mind like a human, however more intellectual as it has the ability to access the entire internet in millisecond (if we’re going by the movie anyway). So is it that the Actor-Network Theory is theory briefly based on IOS systems? Are IOS systems a personification of the Actor-Network Theory?…

Week 3: Genre, Processes, Tools and Techniques of Publishing

I really engaged with the three online journal articles on paywall. It’s a contemporary issue that isn’t bought up in the mainstream context. The Times article “The New York Times is Now Supported by Readers, Not Advertisers” really got my attention. I started to contemplate how relevant this topic is regarding publications I read today. It’s inevitable to think some if not most publications still solely run on advertisements - such as the daily MX or the sydney take on Vice Magazine, Sneaky Magazine. These publications are free to the public and each issues are packed with advertisements.

In regards to Sneaky Mag the dynamic of their publication is a lot more niche compared to the Times regarding the amount of people who contribute to each issue and the target market and this is a huge factor to the finances of the publication. In specifics of advertisement being their main source of funds, It would be easier for the magazine to get enough advertisements in each issue because the magazine has established a specific aesthetics. A specific aesthetic the readers agree to, making the magazine a perfect platform for specific brands with similar aesthetics to advertise their label.

With the digital transition, I understand that businesses have different platforms to advertise eliminating the more traditional forms of advertisements - e.g. print but as long as there are still printed publications, prints are still very relevant and should not be ruled out. 

With the extensive consumer culture we actively participate in today, It’s inevitable to believe paywall to be a logical conclusion to the issue. It’s the cycle of ‘people want this therefore they will pay for it”, even if there is a online platform to obtain it illegally, things like magazines and editorials are unobtainable online or do not have the same quality online and therefore people will purchase them. 

Week 2: History of Tools and Techniques

Through this week’s readings I got a brief insight into the complicated mechanism of publishing. I particularly found nano-publishing fascinating merely because it was something very applicable in our contemporary, everyday life. Nano-publishing is mainly used by scientists to share their knowledge/theories with other scientists in the same field, but it was interesting to consider a mundane tweet containing 140 characters or less was considered nano-publishing.

Nano-publishing is a very niche concept compared to the spectrum of publishing; but even the wide perspective of publishing and it’s history was something that seemed very mundane yet surprisingly interesting. The Elizabeth Eisenstein ‘Defining the initial shift: some features of printing culture’ gave me an insight into the history of printing. Although some of the information seemed quite self explanatory it was nevertheless very insightful especially in the aspect of standardisation and the power books gave the public to educate themselves.