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Getting Down and Arty: The Cybermeme – my visual artefact

I have uploaded my visual artefact to authorstream and fed it through to twitter.  I first uploaded it to slideshare, however the embedded sound/sound effects disappeared. I then tried to upload it to my blog and media collection, however the file was too large. Authorstream seems to accomodate it well.

I am hoping to learn from your ‘vision’ of it before I share my visuality, as Rose (2007) aptly describes it :-)

You can access it via the links below and it is best viewed whilst in full screen mode with sound enabled.

Rose, Gillian (2007) Researching visual materials: towards a critical visual methodology, chapter 1 of Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials. London: Sage. pp.1-27

~ by Alison Johnson on . Tagged: , , ,

10 Responses to “Getting Down and Arty: The Cybermeme – my visual artefact”

  1. Fascinating presentation Alison – the use of the voice-over particularly struck me and reminded me of what I read last year in IDEL, when Lombard and Ditton (1997) said

    “..the greater the number of human senses for which a medium provides stimulation (i.e., media sensory outputs), the greater the capability of the medium to produce a sense of presence [(Anderson & Casey, 1997; Barfield & Weghorst, 1993; Kim, 1996; Short, Willliams, & Christie, 1976; Steuer, 1995)].”

    Your exploration of error messages reminded me of another point they make in the same article where they discuss how important it is that nothing disturb our sense of reality and immersion

    “Glitches or malfunctions in the operation of the medium (e.g., computer malfunctions, projection problems in a movie theater) make the mediated nature of the experience obvious and interfere with presence.”

    However, your voice and the direct address to the audience keep us in the experience with you, even if the experience is a discussion of the medium we are using!

  2. Hi Ali,
    I enjoyed going on your journey into the cyberworld!
    While the internet is amazing and can connect people via a variety of networking applications I also liked the point that you raised about the internet being isolating.
    Technically with all said applications you never need leave the house again, you can meet friends, do the shopping, take part and present at conferences all while sitting at your dining room table in your dressing gown…is that a good thing? It makes the world accessible to everyone, but only in the virtual realm!!
    There were many other wonderful points I can take away from your artefact, this is just the one that struck a chord with me!

  3. Ali, I thoroughly enjoyed this artefact, really creative use of the technology. The voice-over is genius! It reminded me, particularly the initial part, of how radio communications are used in cinema all the time, ‘Is there anybody out there!’. It is like we always send our voices into the unknown. This set the tone for your piece perfectly, and I read it to be an expedition into the uncharted.

    I think error messages are a really fascinating area of exploration. The ‘Matrix’ explanations probably make more sense than the ones that actually try to explain the problem. Great indicators of cultural understanding. The Twitter and ‘Goat’ error messages are interesting in that they offer an alternative route. Perhaps error messages will become more elaborate in the future, offering services and interactivity themselves.

  4. Hi Noreen, great connections and links with IDEL – this is so far away for me now (this is module 5 for me and IDEL was only 20 credits when i did it) that I cant recall this – perhaps it is even a new addition to the extended course – either way you have picked out two very relevant quotes. I did hope to create a sort of 3d experience so your sense of presence is great. When I look back at it now I think i have unconsciously teased out a presence both within and outwith cyberspace (several attempts to gain entry, possibility of being locked out or even locked in). I did consciously try to ’steer’ those travelling with me to question what sort of ‘reality’, cyberspace represents for them – a fantasy or a functional, systems based reality; a connective, isolating or distorted reality etc.

    The error message was all about showing how simple everyday error messages (there is always a technical hitch through out the day) perpetuate the myth of cyberspace through the illusions they align themselves with but they also make the mediated nature of the experience explicit or obvious as you say and so further exposes or excavates additional representations of cyberspace – as a mediated reality rather than virtual.

    I wasnt sure if the voice would be off putting, a distraction so thanks for that too.

  5. Hi Liz yes you are right about being sat at home in your dressing gown on the computer connected yet alone perhaps not always being a good thing. I ended with the image of a lone person at the computer because I also wanted to highlight that cyberspace for some is also a fantasy or illusion – an imaginary space – a vision in itself.

    Thanks for your comments

  6. Hi Jeremy, yes regarding the expedition into the unchartered – this even represents my technology dabbling and visuality for my digital artefact too!

    I love the point about sending our voices out into the unknown as thats what it felt like when I imitated the cb radio at the very beginning. I even had to do a google search for CB terminology as I couldnt remember any. I particularly like the ‘whats your twenty good buddy’ (translates to whats your location) as it was relevant to the whole piece too – so this was a lucky find. Also nice observation of how radio communications are depicted in the cinema, I hadn’t thought about that, although I had considered trying to find a keyboard so I could do the close encounters of a third kind tune :-)


  7. Nothing but praise to add to the comments above – I think this artefact really works, and couldn’t agree with Jeremy more – the voiceover is genius. I like your happy collision of pop culture, digital and physical spaces as a way of exploring what and where cyberspace is, and what it does. The audio ties it all together.

  8. Ali hats off for your imagination and patience…
    This reminds me of physical metaphors- “bureaucracies and unknown flight plans,crashes,can block traffic” ( Salvation or destruction: Rebecca Johnston).Feel that physical experience of isolation and frustration from your voice…

  9. Superb Ali, You’ve really captured the online experience, warts and all. Loved the voice-over it gave a real ‘in outer space’ feel to it. Fantastic.
    Living here in Dubai, I would have to add the messages that I get when websites are banned – an element of state power and control – which takes away my free choice of where to float in cyberspace.

  10. Hi Sue and Sindhu, great points I had not thought about – Sue you are right my artefact is predominantly western! Highlighting the power balance associated with error messages and blocked access is an area I neglected so fab addition

    Similiarly the bureaucracy point you make Sindhu has me thinking along the same lines.

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