BCM240 Reflection

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Over the course of nine weeks, I have progressed through the practice of weekly blogging, exploring the realm of Media, Audience & Place. The purpose of this task was to convey an understanding of the course material, express my concerns and perspectives toward each topic and to go about it in a way which not only engaged audiences but also addressed matters that also intrigued myself as the writer. Before entering university and being introduced to this notion of the blog space, I was unsure how it would aid me as a growing individual and more importantly, a liable employee.

I was quick off the mark and soon learned how this space could be widely useful, exerting nearly all forms of my work through this digital portal. Self-expression is a component where through blog posts shines, not only in the content I produce but also in the way I produce it, giving the audience a more personal and slightly informal interaction through my writing. ‘Collaborate Good Time, C’Mon!’ was the title of the work in which was submitted for the first assessment task, delving into the world of Collaborative Ethnography, my research, experiences and understanding of the concept.

 The feedback regarding Design and Blog Spot Impression read:

 “You’ve depicted your site beautifully. It’s pleasant to navigate and to explore the extra content that you have linked and integrated. Excellent”

Being already familiar with the notion of regular blogging, I knew the basics of keeping up to date with my site and its content. Every semester called for a website update regarding my personal information, subject categories and menu sorting. I take great pride in in the visual aspects of anything I generate and with this I spent quite a bit of my own time own time in establishing an aesthetically pleasing site. Not only would a visual skin be enhanced but also a space where clear navigation would be a top priority. I feel that if a goal is to attract readers and viewers, it is important to cater to all demographics in terms of simplicity, making the space an easy directing platform. My site has a diverse assortment of content ranging from my social media presence (Twitter, YouTube, etc) and content regarding the majority of my subjects and interest within digital media arts, where you can find further embedded links and projects I have conducted and shared. I like to believe I have adopted Marshall McLuhan’s approach of “The Medium Is the Message”, aiding in the creation of my blogosphere. The avenues of content I have created and provided would be meaningless without the convergence and abilities of this platform, WordPress, to which I have used as an extension of my mind, my senses and ultimately myself, within a digital environment.

 This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.” (Mark Federman, 1964)

This leads to the second section of feedback I received, regarding the ideas that were discussed in my blog:

 Your writing is thoughtful and I can see that you are engaging with the lectures and ideas put forward in this subject. You draw upon a range of references to add weight to what you are saying. The area that you could consider improving is to keep working on refining language and to think of how you might keep the posts content rich but not as dense to read.”

The criticism I received for this piece was very helpful, I was able to gauge where I needed to focus on and implement ways aid the issue. I believe because I was focused on the end result of the marks in the first assessment, it detracted from the content in which I usually would and find more enjoyable to produce. I was more concerned on complicating my writing style and the thoughts of the responder, when I should have been more attentive to my own considerations towards the topics. For example, since my first assessment (which I did find a little messy), I now aim to document and explore notions that interest me, that branch off the main hub of each week. I was able to utilise my own skills such as video making, which can be found through my ‘Attention & Multitasking Experiment’, coming up with an idea, capturing and developing it into something entertaining and explanatory. This enabled me to capture first hand the impact technology has on our attention span and how it has shaped us as contemporary audiences, as most of the student in my course have grown up in this digital age I wanted to produce something that many could relate to. The subject provided great reasons to experience a childhood past time within the cinema, where I documented my trip to the theatre while at the same time addressing Hagerstrand’s restrictions; broadening my perception of time and space both in the past and present. I was able to address my passion for photography and delve into the ethics of photojournalism and then create some of my own that I would abide by in another post. Rather than an advanced retelling of the topics, I feel as if my more recent posts have been a more of a creative and personal remediation that feels a lot more satisfying when posting publicly.

Throughout this experience much development in terms of engagements with information and responders can be recognized. In my strategies to develop a good resource for my viewers, I provided extra sources regarding each week’s topic in the form of hyperlinks (which were sometimes to other students’ blogs to whom I reflected upon) or bibliography references. In hopes to allow audiences to leave with more than they arrived with in term of knowledge and/or perspective. I have aimed to maximize the exposure of my site and also encourage others to interact with my produced content. Commenting has assisted me in assessing and engrossing myself in the views and work of others. This notion is seen to increase website traffic on one’s space and establish a relationship with other online personas (Agrawal, 2016), it gives me the ability to commend and provide helpful sources to my colleagues where I too stimulated them to do the same to my site. Operating social media has also helped immensely, the use of Twitter and the subject code in the form of a hashtag (#BCM240) has allowed for a wider collective of people to be reached, those who I may not have physically met during my time in the subject. Every week I could share my weekly remediation and receive validation on multiple platforms.

 

The blogging experience within BCM240 for me was one that developed me as a writer, creator and observer in many fields that I had yet to explore and some that I thoroughly enjoy. I emphasised my position as a part of media audience where a crossover of traditional media and new media is unfolding, transforming a passive audience into an active one where spaces, such as WordPress, allows everyone to be a node of production. I was able to provoke questions and thoughts about topics that would potentially affect the way I occupied intangible and physical spaces inside university and also the career path I may decide in the future

 

REFERENCES:

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Media Regulation & Digital Space

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Today, a great number of people engage heavily and rely on media, to remain updated, connected and expressed. With the advancements of technology and the development of an immense public sphere, this form of consumption is now more accessible than ever.

With this, it leads to the involvement of media regulations, to put it simply it is a term regarded as “a law, rule, prescribed by authority, especially to regulate conduct”(Dictionary.com, 2016). The media therefore has a central role to play in the freedom of information and freedom of expression; Governments are often recognised to dislike influential alternatives to content use or critical voices outside traditional standards. The presence of media regulation too, could be vital and key in protecting audiences from harmful information that may negatively influence them. For instance in China, a nationwide online restriction system exists (The Great Firewall Of China). It is the main instrument to achieve Internet censorship. These CPC regulations include criminalizing certain online speech and activities, blocking from view selected websites, and filtering key words out of searches initiated from computers located in Mainland China.

 

Continue reading “Media Regulation & Digital Space”

Attention, Presence & Place

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Before you log onto Facebook or Twitter, scroll through your Instagram feed or open that Snapchat, try to harness all of your attention in reading this blog post. It seems simple enough, but in practice, such focus may be actually harder to achieve than you might think. Though the eroding affects on attention may be aroused by many factors, in today’s technological era, the use of social networks and mobile devices seems to take the bigger slice of the cake. A report conducted by Microsoft Canada depicts that the average human attention span has fallen drastically from 12 seconds in the year 2000, to 8 seconds only a mere three years later in 2013. The phrase “you have the memory of a goldfish” can now be seen as a compliment, as the simple creature has now a one second advantage over us.

 How does social networking usage correlate with a tendency to multitask? The ways in which past research has been directed, a negative stigmatisation of social networking sites on our attention spans (especially those of younger generations) has been conveyed to audiences. Social media these days converge elements that occur simultaneously throughout their use; newsfeeds lives chats, personal pages, notifications, the list goes on! We now operate differently in a digital environment, stimulated by various components that follow through in how we now function in physical space. It is important to handle this topic with an open mind and consider the potential in the new way we consume media and focus on what’s around us.

 The study, by technology giant Microsoft, did however find that the ability of humans to multitask has improved:

 “While digital lifestyles decrease sustained attention overall, it’s only true in the long-term. Early adopters and heavy social media users front load their attention and have more intermittent bursts of high attention… They’re better at identifying what they want/don’t want to engage with and need less to process and commit things to memory.”

The term ‘media multitasking’ can be recognised, This is “a person’s consumption of more than one item or stream of content at the same time” (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner 2009, p. 3). Today, this concept is prevalent due to the advancements in technology giving us the ability to contribute to the public sphere with the touch of a button. We are now in a constant cycle of a ‘Presence Bleed’, which is defined by our occupation of multiple places at one, we are ever present in physical environments but our existence also bleeds in intangible ones. I decided to highlight the ways in which we participate in this, the notion of accessibility to numerous spaces and conducted a short experiment that included a subject. This task aimed to document the amount of times in which the participant engaged in two or more forms of media consumption or distraction, which would therefore alters the attentive interaction with the intended medium that I chose to showcase. I recorded this short video of the interaction between multiple technologies and my responder’s attention span (who had no knowledge of the experiment being conducted), I put on an 8 minute VICE documentary and these were the results.

[The party involved agreed and gave her consent to to be depicted on my blog site and apart of my research]

Throughout the short experiment the participant subjected herself to her mobile device numerous times, displaying an affected attention span and the ability of multitasking in the media space. Social networking and technology have a clear impact on how attentive we are in terms of consuming and using mediums, on one side it can be seen as detrimental to our minds and on the other side it encourages different modes of usage. These technological models raise and challenge many important questions about the age and generation one or many are brought up in, and will instigate ways to change or adapt to the relationship between humans and diverse forms of media.

 

References:

  • Ophir, E. Nass, C., & Wagner, A. (2009). Cognitive control in media multitaskers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(37)

1..2..3 Say Cheese!

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‘Street photography’ is a type of photography that features subjects within situations, candid or not, within public places. Street photographs are mirror images of society, displaying “unmanipulated” scenes, with usually unaware subjects. With this form of expression and art, it arouses the principles and ethics that revolve around specific media practices, the guidelines and code of privacy that it encompasses. While in public, photography of random people is legal, and that includes children.

Ethics are therefore integral when involving unaware people and subjects in this form of work and art. Privacy, legal and moral concerns are stimulated when producing content that could be exposing someone in a particular way, shape or form. Capturing of moments inside a public space does not require a specific system of consent as it does within a private. For example, through legal precautions you have to gain permission to document someone’s image within a concert hall, though not in a local public park. Ethically, this function may not be smooth sailing to which the views and beliefs of people vary and will differ to the artist and their doings. And I do have some sympathy for this viewpoint, but I believe this is a highly subjective issue for which there is no clear and concise answer.

Garry Winogrand adopted this approach in photography where no filter of consent was acknowledged when conducting the fieldwork. He was recognised within the industry where his work resonated through “the idea that you can do whatever you want with your camera in a public space.”(Colberg, 2013). In today’s contemporary world this notion of street photography shines through the workings of the ‘Paparazzi’, which can be seen as a branch that correlates with those in public spaces. Ethics that are applied to the paparazzi are their obligation to the SPJ (Society of Professional Journalism). Journalists in this society are responsible for following the four main principles outlined in their code of ethics;

  1. Seek Truth & Report It
  2. Minimise Harm
  3. Act Independently
  4. Be Accountable

This form of photography in the public domains has produced evidence of breaching these ethics and has impacted many peoples lives through the course of this profession. Exploitation of children can is a major issue that is instigated which impacts and disregards core values such as privacy, safety (physical and emotional) and respect.

In my approach to photography the public space, I wanted to address the ethics that are attached as best I could. There were a variation of strategies I was aiming to implement in my fieldwork in capturing a person using their media devices in public:

  • Be Compliant:
    Objection may arise if a subject is uncomfortable to be involved in the work you are conducting, I aimed to comply to all factors that may have deem my doings as problematic. I may have legal rights in taking images of people but the negative confrontation  with reinforce and fuel the undesirable stigma that seems to be attached to Street Photography.
  • The Use of Common Sense:
    Use your sense of appropriation, presentation and judgement to gauge whether situations and those within those environments are in the right state to be documented. For example, be alert and aware in a beach setting of people and locations which could have backlash if photographed.
  • Mindfulness:
    Be mindful not to exploit one’s condition, lifestyle and way of function through what seems to be an interesting photograph. This links with common sense to which you can express the public environments and people without damaging and altering it’s integrity.
  • Be Open:
    Be open and honest in all aspects of your work, art and research. Because entering a public space with intentions such as photography does not make the space belong more to you than anybody else present. Address why you captured a particular moment where you have to the chance to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

I was pleased with the environment and subject that was captured in my photograph, I addressed all of the important components to successful street photography in my beliefs. Due to this blurred line between this form of art and human interaction, through my research and engagement I was able to delve further into art, our mobile devices and the differences between observation and intrusion.

Cinema Space & Hagerstand’s Restrictions

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With the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and the abundance of those online, film rental companies such as Blockbuster have certainly been busted. Netflix has the ability to target both legacy and niche markets that appeal to a larger audience, create convenience and to not be bound by physical space. By the end of 2015, 2,728,000 Australians 14+ (13.9%) had Netflix, with over a million homes subscribed”. This emphasises the company’s drastic effect on nation’s population and ultimately the cinema space that is being shadowed, within its first year of existence Continue reading “Cinema Space & Hagerstand’s Restrictions”

Collaborate Good Times, C’mon!

Methodologies in research vary in order to greater the results of its subject, its meaning and the way it is understood. This arouses the concept of ‘Ethnography’, which can be simply defined as “the study and systematic recording of human cultures”. The fundamental aim of ethnography is to deliver rich, holistic insights into the vision and actions of people. Along with this, the characteristics of the location they inhabit are explored through the collection of detailed approaches such as observation and interviews. Hoey states, Ethnography should be acknowledged as a mutual product born of the intertwining of the lives of the ethnographer and his or her subjects”.  Continue reading “Collaborate Good Times, C’mon!”

“Back in my day!”

Cara Jones grew up in a suburb situated in Western Sydney called Orchard Hills. Growing up in a rural area with her mother, father, grandmother and five siblings, the television experience in their household was one where many memories were shared and created. Television has transformed immensely since then, and with the advancements in technology, it has altered the black and white screen that Ms. Jones was so familiar and fond of.

Cara described the television set evident in her household to be chunky, displaying black and white picture, where it had its own four legs rather than a television unit where most sat on top of or within. The antenna for the device was located outside; she also recalled that many of her friends had those that were located on top of the television. The memories of someone, most often her father, having to twist the aerial outside and herself and her siblings having to yell “STOP” once the reception became clear and legible. Before it’s introduction, radio was the family’s way of consuming media and communicative information. The excitement of a television within the household is one that brought recollection of her childhood where enjoyment was greatly present.

There are several clues that this television is outdated. This most obvious would have to be it's shape. The tv is rectangular like television sets today but it has four legs connected to it. Also the screen is very small and put on to the top right hand corner. It is also dated by the nobs on the bottom instead of having buttons. It is also dated by its brown color. Also it is much wider then the flat screen television sets of today. It is primarily outdated in it's form.: (Described television present in Cara’s household: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/156711262011079092/ )

Continue reading ““Back in my day!””