DA Annotated Bibliography

Digital Artefact: VoxPops – interviewing students in regards to their thoughts and opinions on current news issues.

Sources:

  • JRNL101 Tutorial

A journalism tutorial which consisted of doing VoxPops sparked an idea when needing something to do for my digital artefact. When thinking about it I had no idea what kind of VoxPops I would do, until we started doing weekly news quizzes in class. By doing VoxPops I knew that I could get other people, including UOW students, involved in my artefact idea – it also helped that I love to talk and was willing to utilise that quirky personality trait.

In my first BCM112 lecture we watched a few videos from some students who had recently done the subject and had done some VoxPops as a part of their digital artefact. This got me thinking about including UOW students in my digital artefact. I liked the idea of having an open range of things to talk to the students of UOW about. When watching the videos I thought “Hey, this could be interesting. They could literally talk about anything!” It then got me thinking about what other ideas/topics could be discussed with students and what would really trigger a reaction with them.

Once I had a few friends on board with the idea of news based VoxPops, we formed a group and I started researching some topics for us to focus on. When looking for ideas for discussions I thought what better place to look then on social media/media in general. I looked through these Facebook pages/sites and was overloaded with ideas – but then I started thinking about what kind of audience we were targeting and what their interests/concerns would revolve around, and decided to focus on topics that applied to university students. Being a first year student it proved to be a little difficult at first, but then my 18-year-old self kicked in.

After deciding on doing VoxPops as my digital artefact, and deciding I would play a role in the interviewing, I then started looking further into the interviewing process. I looked up what I could do to keep people talking as well as how I could approach someone and get them interested enough to do an interview with us. When we first started we weren’t so lucky with luring people in – I got quite a few rejections! But after following the ‘How to Interview’ tutorials I was able to approach people and get them interested in our weekly topics enough to do an interview.

When doing some research on discussions for the videos, these topics stood out to me. When thinking of university students the idea of the age limit on alcohol consumption being changed, early lock out laws in clubs/pubs, and receiving a fine for texting while walking, screamed controversy to me. I was interested to find that the younger the people I approached, the more of a negative opinion I received when talking about the first few topics about alcohol and texting; whereas when I approached older students I was either turned away or received comments about changes in laws being a positive.

 

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The manipulation of music

When hearing a remix of a song it is usually upbeat and almost always makes you want to get up and dance. Basically anybody is able to manipulate sounds and alter parts of a musical item in order to create something different. Remixes are made using all genres of music, not just pop music. Remixed music is often used in clubs in order to encourage dancing, as youths are the main audience for this style of music.

Is remixing still a form of creativity? Personally, I believe it is. Using aesthetics, different forms of music/sounds are recycled, manipulated and remixed together in order to create a new form of music – thus creating something different. But how did the manipulation of music begin? After becoming interested in this particular topic, I thought I’d look further into the origin of remixed music and was intrigued to find that it started with the manipulation of vinyl tracks in the 60s and 70s.
The manipulation of music and sounds definitely brings something different and unique to the world in my opinion!

 

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Remixes:

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman (remix)

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman (original)

Ghost – Halsey (remix)

Ghost – Halsey (original)

 

The progression of ‘Maze Runner’

The progression of ‘Maze Runner’ over multiple platforms happened quickly after the release of the book. Things such as comics, games, movies, and the film’s soundtrack were quickly circulated. But why? Why was this book scattered over many channels? To gain the interest and engagement of a broader audience! By spreading the text across further platforms, it became viral – receiving a greater fan base. With the distribution of images, memes, parody videos, etc., the Maze Runner community grew, and is still continuing to grow. Creating a connection with the audience led to a community based engagement. A larger fan based community leads to a greater revenue for those involved with the making of the book and film.

 

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The perfection of a glitch

When researching glitch art I came across a quote by glitch artist Ben Baker-Smith, which I felt thoroughly explained glitch art: “The Internet itself is both a medium and a platform for media—a very accessible and flexible one… So in one sense it functions like other mediums, providing a range of documented and undocumented material potentials that can be manipulated to artistic ends.”

The idea of a glitch being anything other than an annoying error on forms of media, never seems to cross many people’s minds. But what about glitch art? Personally, I agree with Gene Hirsch when he says “We are entering the Age of Integration! The digital artist is the vehicle to that kind of cultural change. We are the first generation of this new breed and we will most surely be remembered…for we bring a quake of expression and technique that makes the art world very uncomfortable and that is as it should be.”
What defines art? Why can’t a glitch be considered art? Although a glitch is often considered to be a ‘malfunction’, it can also create something far beyond spectacular! Taking an ordinary image and creating something so unexpected.

(Image: Tony Hughes)

(Image created on: https://snorpey.github.io/jpg-glitch/)

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Consumer to prosumer

Social media plays a large role in our society and is highly utilized. With the mobilization of Facebook, coordination of Twitter and dissemination of YouTube, we, the consumers, are able to become the producers of media/content. With the internet being dialogic by design, it leaves room for anyone to broadcast. Whilst there can be many complications when publishing, social media’s gatekeepers may tend to be weak, if not non-existent in comparison to others, thus allowing for content to be uploaded by consumers (in-ubiquitous connectivity) – therefore making them prosumers. With consumers posting vigorously, it leads to an increase in media use; resulting in the internet becoming a main source for news – so rather than having one person publish something and many others reading/watching it, we have multiple people sharing one sources publication – this then going from ‘one to many’ to ‘many-to-many’, as the publication is being altered as it is being re-posted.

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The Top Dogs

I’m sure that just like myself, media plays a large role in a lot of other people’s lives – especially social media! But when we fire up our phones and click on that ‘Facebook’ app do we ever stop to think of what exactly we’re agreeing to, or where our information is flying off to, or who is running the application? I know that I don’t; but maybe we should. We come across media everywhere we go and throughout almost all of our daily tasks; but who is in charge of the media which is being almost thrown in our face? What most of us are unaware of is that most media companies are actually owned by the same person. Whilst Mark Zuckerberg’s huge success story is focused on his creation of the social media site ‘Facebook’ he also owns/runs WordPress, the very site in which I am blogging on. Another thing we are completely unaware of is the privacy of our information on media sites. I mean sure it’s great to share your location with all your fellow Facebook fiends, but where else do you think that information is going? And where exactly is it being stored? This brings up the question of whether the media is there to be utilized by consumers or whether it is purely there to serve the interests of those in power.

Something else many are aware of is media’s use of Facial Recognition. The word facial recognition sounds pretty cool right? Well it’s not! It’s actually kind of creepy and invasive. The fact that media sites know what we look like and can recognize us just from one uploaded picture is terrifying. It also makes me wonder what/who else is receiving my facial recognition and what is being done with this information. With the use of propaganda by owners of media sites, many people are being thrown into the media pool and using media more and more often; whether it be social media or even just a TV broadcast. Even though there is a decline in diversity of media ownership, the power that the owners of media companies have is astounding and a little worrying as we are putting so much of our information and our personal lives into their hands and not knowing what they are doing with it, or where it is going. In a way we are just blindly giving permission for our information to be aired.

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Relevant video: “5 Ways Facebook Abuses Your Privacy”

Semiotics

When first coming across this image with my tutorial group I started questioning what its purpose was. I wondered whether or not its focus was air pollution, deforestation, or the effects smoking has on the human body as well as the environment – but then I thought, “Why can’t its focus be all of the above?” With closer inspection I began to realise that the ‘signified’ is completely open for interpretation as there are many different mental concepts in which could be had.
When staring at this advertisement I was actually really intrigued as to how this one image (the signifier) can have a different impact on many different people, as well as how this one image can mean (the signified) so many different things to others. I could easily type an entire post on how this image is completely about deforestation and its impacts on all living organisms, which was my first connotation – but would this statement be correct? Would my idea of the concept being conveyed be the same for others? No, it wouldn’t; because the signifier can have many different concepts than just the one indicated by myself.
When looking at this image I found it quite difficult to decipher the denotation of the image yet found myself overflowing with connotations – but I now realise that the image denotes the consequences that come hand in hand with deforestation.
I struggled to favour one idea over the others, which just goes to prove that all these different ideas and concepts can still be conflicted within even just one person, and that not one idea is more right than the others. The great thing I found with similar images is that there is never just one idea behind an image or text and that they are largely open for interpretation.
After many hours of internal conflict I’d decided that my connotation of the image is the consequences had on all living things, humans and animals in particular, when deforestation is put in place; but as I said before, the fantastic thing about semiotics is that everything is open for interpretation.
I guess what I took from the lecture/tutorial is that not everything has one correct idea/meaning behind it, and everyone’s ideas will be different.

When looking further into the ‘signifier’ and ‘signified’ I came across a few great sites on the different ideas of ‘signs’ (semiotics)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sign_%28semiotics%29
http://changingminds.org/explanations/critical_theory/concepts/signifier_signified.htm

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Image from: http://persuasion-and-influence.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/the-earths-lungs.html

Is Media To Blame?

Media – when hearing this word we think of television shows, video games, news broadcasts, social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., but do we ever stop to think of the positive and negative effects in which it has on its audience? Media has been said to be both detrimental and beneficial. As the years have progressed as has the media around us; video games and social media applications progressing the most. But are these media progressions a good or bad thing? Younger ages are playing ‘R’ rated video games with sex and violence scenes, and teens are posting unclad photos on social media sites. According to George Gerbner violence on screens cultivate violence in society; so in other words any young child/uneducated person/youth (the “victims), playing violent video games or watching horror films are going to repeat these acts of violence and acts of sexuality. But this can’t always be the case! Whilst I agree that the advance in media can have quite an effect on the violence some people act out, I don’t believe it possesses that power over all people – leaving us to question people and their actions rather than media. Cyber bullying is a good example of a media tool being used for bad rather than being used for good. A good example of this is an application such as Facebook, which acts to serve as a communication implement, being used to bully and harass; again leaving us to question whether the person utilizing the media should be at fault rather than the media itself.

Media can also prove to be a tool and a stimulant for people – especially young children and youths. Certain TV programs and computer applications for example, are used to educate whilst entertaining at the same time. These programs can assist with literacy skills, social skills, numeracy skills, creativity, etc.
Social media can also be used conveniently without negative impacts. Social media assists people on a daily basis, whether that be with communication, news updates, or just a social vibe. Media can be a good thing if the people behind it/utilizing it are good too!

Before looking further into the aspects of media and everything that media contains, I too questioned its positive outcomes – but now I realize that we shouldn’t just blame media for all the negative impacts it has, but we should look further in to the people behind it.

 

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Image: http://yourekavach.com/blog/parenting/6-signs-your-child-is-a-victim-of-cyberbullying/

Relevant website: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/may-june-13/social-anxiety-in-the-age-of-social-networks.html