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Week 12 – “But is it Art?” – the new dynamism of art

During the Shanghai World Expo last year in 2010, a thousand-year-old art masterpiece, “Along the River During the Qingming Festival “ by Song Dynasty artist Zhang Zeduan (1085–1145) was remade into an animated version as one of the major exhibitions of the China Pavilion. This re-made version is 130 meters long and 6.3 meters high,  which is the 30 times of its original. Designed by modern  media technology, the animated version of the old painting varies with change of lights and movements of figures.

One section of the original "Along the River During the Qingming Festival"

I can’t say this artwork is a masterpiece. Yet, by its impressive combination of new media technology and traditional artwork, I reckon this remade version is probably one of the best showcases of New Media Art. However, you may wonder, what is New Media Art?

New Media Art can be described as a “catchall phrase” that refers to an area of artwork that includes new media technologies like video, the web, sound and, on occasion, film and photography as well. Over the past two decades, as digital technology became more mature and affordable, the production of new media art is considered by many artists as more creative, innovative and economically viable.Yet, some people may criticize that, new media art is a kind of like a loose categorization of media as it doesn’t have a clear definition or position like some ‘traditional’ media, such as painting and sculpture.

In my own point of view, the remade of “Along the River During the Qingming Festival “, is not only a  new media artwork, but also a cultural revival of China’s. Over the past two decades, the Western culture has spread out in China because of the contraflow of media from the Western countries, like the United States. Some people may even reckon, the western culture, based on individualism and mediated primarily thought, is undermining their traditional values, as well as their culture. However, by a minglement of new media technology with traditional media art, China has successfully shown the world its real culture during the World Expo 2010. I believe that, more people will be interested to investigate, explore and appreciate the Chinese culture again when this new media artwork displays at different parts of the world in the future.

A video of the animated version of “Along the River During the Qingming Festival” when it is displaying  in Hong Kong after the Expo:

References

Frost, A (2004), New Media Art, Metro; Spring2004, Issue 142, p154-157, 4p

Along the River During the Qingming Festival, Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Along_the_River_During_the_Qingming_Festival>

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Week 11 – The Future, again – Can we still call say “Media” or Communications” and mean what we used to mean?

Have you ever dreamed of what how the world will be shaped in the following 5-10 years? As a media student, the biggest concern of mine about the future will probably be the future of media development. Apparently, the nature of media technologies, media atmosphere, as well as the media ecologies have all transformed quite alot over the past decade. Convergence has been enhanced with the introduction of smart phone (especially iphone or phone using the Google’s Android system)  and the digitial network. The rise of social media has also allowed us to form online communities, or even enabled us to participate in political issues.

Recently, I have read an online article called “Does The Media Have a Future?” and I found it inspiring to me. author believes that, the way of how we consume media will become complicated, since the older notion of ‘the media’ was in part sustained by the practical convergence of habits of media consumption. People’s trajectories across the media landscape will become so varied that neither audiences nor industry can assume a pattern any more. Hence, In the future, it will be tough task for media and advertising agencies to target their audiences. However, the author believes that some of the traditional media industry like television will not died. According to some  recent researches done in  US and UK, there are more people using TV to multitask while online, than the other way round. So, in the future television may still remain the primary medium for most people, even if television content is for some audience sectors more often delivered via computers than television sets.

10 years ago, I always dreamed of owning a cool tablet device like the one in the big hit science fiction movie Minority Report. Now, the launch of ipod 2 years ago has told me that my dream has come true. A decade ago, when all people were communicating online with ICQ, no one could foresee that a website called Facebook will help us to connect with each other and become an essential part of our lives. Media technology is evolving so rapidly hence we could hardly predict how the world will be in 5-10 years. So, we’d better not to judge anything in advance. We should just wait and see.

Last, I am attaching a nice video that talks about how digital technology is dissolving media silos and how will the future of media impact consumers, brands and the marketing industry. Hope you enjoy it!

References

Couldry, N (2009), Does ‘the media’ Have a Future? European Journal of Communication 2009 24: 437

Week 10 – The Generosity of New Media—Science, Technology and Innovation

As a media student who takes Psychology as minor, I always have a doubt in my mind – since media technologies are developing at such a fast pace nowadays, is scientific development influenced, or even benefited by that? Two of the readings from this week, which both of them are from a website http://seedmagazine.com have given me the answer.

Everytime when I work on my psychology papers, what I have to do is to access heaps of psychology in order to explore and examine an experiment’s result, procedure and the background knowledge behind it. The article “On Science Publishing” has delivered some clear concepts of how scientific publishing are influencing by media technologies in the distribution aspect.

For long, the print technology has turned science knowledge into an economic transaction, as well as allowing the peer to review it. We’ve long be connected the idea of “knowledge” to the reality of “words printed on paper.” Yet, due to the high cost of printing, scientific journals are now chosen to distribute in the online platform.  Hence, the old style “Paper-based knowledge-compression systems” can yield to this brand new rule where some previous limitations of the ““Paper-based knowledge-compression systems” can be eliminated. Apparently, data, side points, protocols, “failed” approaches, and software can be easily published. Moreover, narrative text is no longer constrained by page lengths and research materials can be linked in-text for easier ordering. Distribution of science has evaluated from paper-based to digital-based. Yet in contrary, many people has found more difficult to access scientific papers online as they used to be protected by password and stuff set up by the distributers.

References

Wilbanks, John (2011) ‘On Science Publishing’, Seed, <http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/on_science_publishing>

Seed (2011) ‘On Science Transfer’, Seed <http://seedmagazine.com/content/print/on_science_transfer>

Week 9 – Micropolitics, Networks, Designing for and Living in New Communities

Over the past few years when I surf the net (especially social media network like Facebook and twitter) I always notice a growing trend that heaps people forming  groups (or so-called online communities), trying their best dealing with political and expressing their own point of view in regards to that. Not until now after I get in touch with the week9 materials of my uni course Arts3091, I finally realised that this kind of trend could be described as Micropolitics.

During this week’s tutorial of the course, we came to investigate the nature of micropolitics and of course, a few key terms that explain the concepts behind the trend.

The key term that was introduced was “Swarm Politics”.   When individual knowingly or unknowingly acted on mass, as a “swarm”,  they could hence start a countercultural revolution (nowadays mostly kickstart online) that could possibly transform our society.  This countercultual revolution was described  as the “rhizomatic meshwork of loosely affiliate struggle”. When struggle were aligned they could have the ability to shatter the “guo” (government use only).

Micropolitcs is always about the “Power of Small”. No matter the scale of the micropolitics is small, or whether it is located on the “right” or “left” of the political spectrum, it always processes in a transversal way, as well as activating the “affective potential of the interval between feeling and doing”.

Yet, in contrary sometimes the revolutions started by “Swarm Politics” were restricted or hindered by the big organisations. The article by Rushkoff  mentions nowadays internet doesn’t fully allow people to express their own point of view due to the restriction and laws that were carried out by some governments. Many of us may always dream of start some revolutions that could restore peer-to-peer commerce, culture, and government. Yet the truth is that the current internet system is basically built on a fundamentally hierarchical architecture, in which bigger corporations are used to be the one who control and dominate it. The corporate-government banishment of Wikileaks, as well as the shutting off its networks to stave off revolution in Egypt may be the best examples to explain the cruel facts.

A similar case is happening in my country China. It is no doubt that, with the increased internet usage in China, the country is indeed enjoying some tremendous benefits in social, economic and many other aspects. Yet, we could often hear from news reports that the Chinese government is still maintaining a tight control over the telecommunications industry and the public Internet use by its internet censorship system. The most latest big news regarding the China’s internet censorship issue was obviously the closing down of Google China in early 2010. I always wonder, will the increased internet use provide possibilities for China to become a truly democratic country, or will it the contrary sustain a nationalist supported authoritarianism that may hinder its people to fully get in touch with the global information forever?

I can say I am lucky. As a Hong Kong resident I can still enjoy a certain level of freedom of speech under the “One country, Two Systems” (A system that ensure HK can retain its established system under a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after reunification to China in 1997). Yet this unique system will be going to its end 36 years later. What will happen? Is Hong Kong going to be a place without democratic at that time? No one knows. But hopefully China will carefully think about it in the coming 30 years. May God bless my homeland.

References

Terranova, T (2004) ‘From Organisms to Multitudes’ In Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age, London: Pluto: 101-106

Manning, E (2009) ‘From Biopolitics to the Biogram, or How Leni Riefenstahl Moves through Fascism’ in Relationscapes

Week 7 – Framing versus “Transversality” – music, journalism and other ecologies of practice

Are different aspects in our world such as music, journalism and education still be framed when more and more high media have launched nowadays? This week’s reading by our lecturer Andrew Murphie perhaps has given us the answer of that. The idea mentioned in the reading by Gary Genosko states that, the media nowadays has helped us eliminating the blurs between each aspect, connecting them to each other and hence, bringing out transversality. With the increase of the quantity of transversality, things are believed to work out in a more ideal and harmonious way. Moreover, transversality helps to transform the format of elements in those fields when they join together.

Yet many people may reckon, when transversality is happening in fields like music and journalism, it doesn’t cause the industries working in a harmonious way but instead, it is gradually killing them. When I flipped through the websites listed in the course reader, I found an interview of Herbert Gans, a professor emeritus in Sociology at Columbia University about his own point of view of multiperspectival journalism very encouraging to read as it provides me some entire new bullet ideas of the issue of new journalism. What Gans thinks about is, though today the new technologies have indeed brought us various journalistic formats and ideas (e.g. enable us to turn to both general and targeted media, let amateurs to share news in facebook, twitter etc.), traditional type of journalism still won’t be dying. Professional journalists are still more educated and professionally better trained. Gans reckons, amateurs who attache news photos, videos and stories in web and social media are just an evolution of the our habit of sharing news and opinion to each other face to face and in small groups. Ordinary people may not be able to have the same kind of attention to news as journalists and media researchers do.

But what about the music industry? We could all see that, the peer-to-peer sharing of music, mp3 and piracy issue of music is forcing the music industry to a dead-end. Yet I quite agree with what Andrew said in today’s lecture that music itself seems to be more alive as we can now have the opportunity to get in touch with a  diversity of music via the new media platform. We, as the audiences and listeners,  are actually more linked to the music producer.

Last, I am attaching a video produced by for a media Ethics class at SUNY, New Paltznalyzes. This video analyses the journalistic ethics of using social networking sites as news sources, as well as the quality of news content. Although the quality of this video is not that good, it is very well put together.

References

Usher, N (2011), “News media are targeted but audiences are not”: Herbert Gans on multiperspectival journalism, <http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/03/news-media-are-targeted-but-audiences-are-not-herbert-gans-on-multiperspectival-journalism/#>

Murphie, A (2006), ‘Editorial’, <http://nine.fibreculturejournal.org/>

Arts 3091 Week 5 Post – Reality

To me, for long I have been thinking that virtual means unreal. However this week’s readings and lectures have proven me that virtual can be real. The contemporary media technologies have provided us platforms to create and participate differently in the virtual world, for instance people who are playing World of Worldcraft are maintain a virtual world and also participating in it. The Wikipedia reading has stated out the most obvious example of how real can the virtual be. The wiki post describes about the term Virtual Reality, which it basically simulates the physical presence in places of the real world and the imaginary worlds by applying to computer-simulated environments. The most common virtual reality experience is more on visual’s aspect, yet some simulations also include additional sensory information like audio via speakers or headphones.

Another reading from the course outline raises a discussion of whether the virtual is real. It states that there are two sides of reality – virtual ad actual (Murphie, 2011). Virtual basically reverse or past in the present while actual is the movement of how virtual actualises. How can virtual links to ideas? When we think of an idea, we used to recall them from our short/long term memory, or even from third party memory (e.g. internet) (Murphie, 2011). However, when we recall ideas in a particular way, it actually keeps changing according to that way (Murphie, 2011).  New ideas may comes out when we recall an idea, thus a rich interaction between them may produces (Murphie, 2011). Also, when differentiation of ideas is produced, ideas seem to contain a particular energy of the differences (Murphie, 2011). Our ideas are virtual, yet it has a potential to be actualized. For instance, when we are having discussion in our tutorial,  we are actually actualising our ideas when we express our ideas by speaking up.

Last, the reading states that virtual is not just having the potential to be actualised, but also be de-actualised (Murphie, 2011). We could observe the de-actualised easily when nowadays people tend to work on office work with their phones, computer etc. We couldn’t estimate how much computer power they have used and where they exactly are in the virtual world (Murphie, 2011).

After doing the reading, I now reckon that virtual can be real and actual. Yet many people still doubt that whether it is real as the technologies nowadays still haven’t got the ability to make the virtual fully real. However I believe that the virtual could have the potential to be entirely real in the future when the technologies are well developed.

Refernces

Murphie, A (2011), Advanced Media Issues: New Media, Cultural and Social Change Study Kit, Sydney: UNSW

Arts 3091 Week 4 Post – Global Mnemotechnics

Before attending the lecture on Monday, I was quite confused about this week’s  topic “Global Mnemotechnics” as I really couldn’t think of the relationship between media, thinking and acting. Yet, one of the youtube videos “The Extended Mind Revisited” presented by David Chalmes (2009)has provided me some fundamental idea of the relationships. In his talk, Chalmes first mentioned that part of the environments can actually become part of our mind if they are coupled with our cognitive system (Chalmes, 2009). He gave an example of the iphone, describing that nowadays part of the world (especially the convergent media device) has turned into our extended mind. We used to rely on our convergent media device/tools to remember telephone, making notes etc. and the device/tools has extended and taken the role of our cognitive process (Chalmes, 2009). Yet, the same belief-desire explanatory structure can be applied to both actions that require biological thinking and actions that rely on our extended mind (Chalmes, 2009).

The other reading “Anamnesis and Hypomnesis” by Bernard Stiegler (n.d) has kind of extended the theory and provided me a clearer mind of the concepts. The development of mnemotechnology/cognitive technologies nowadays has not just turned into our extended mind, which support our objective memory and hence form the knowledge, but can also engender a loss of knowledge if we rely too much on them (Stiegler). If we rely too much on the apparatuses and services of our contemporary society for small tasks, we would become vain, as well as losing not only our “know-how” but our “know-how-to-live-well” (Stiegler).  The only thing remaining may only be consume blindly, a kind of impotence (Stiegler). For instance, if we always delegate the GPS to guide us automatically, we will easily loss our sensor-motor schema.

References

Chalmers, David (2009) ‘The Extended Mind Revisited [1/5], at Hong Kong, 2009’, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S149IVHhmc&gt;

Stiegler, Bernard (n.d.) ‘Anamnesis and Hypomnesis: Plato as the first thinker of the proletarianisation’ <http:// arindustrialis.org/anamnesis-and-hypomnesis>

 

ARTS 3091 Week 3 Post – Media Ecologies/Other “Ecologies”

When I first spotted this week’s topic “media ecology” in the course outline, I couldn’t imagine what this is really about, yet this topic still interested me to go through the readings to explore more about it.  The wiki site of “media ecology” briefly gave me some fundamental information of what it is. According to the site, there are basically two versions of media ecology’s definitions within North America and European content. For the North America content, the website of Media Ecology Association clearly indicates that media ecology indicates the era of change in the 20th century from civilization to post-civilization. It is the study of our complex media system nowadays as media environments (Media Ecology Association). It also tries to make our media environment more explicit with the idea that technology and techniques, modes of information and codes of communication interact more with our human affairs such as feeling, thought, value, and behaviour (Media Ecology Association). Another reading by Milissa Deitz also support this concept. She says that the recent Wikileaks incident has indicates the shift of the way of how the public get involved in the contemporary media. The old styled media, with standardised frameworks which always isolate the truth and events, will be eliminating whereas the new media ecology, which is more transparent and with more human’s collaboration on studying culture, politics and society, will rise (Deitz, 2010).

For the Europe content, the French philosopher Felix Guarttari has proposed the concept of “three ecologies”, which are, three interconnected networks existing at the scales of mind, society and environment (Anon, 2008). What he thought was that, the media systems was a complex dynamic ecosophical syste with understanding of connectivity, balanced systems, network topography and complexity theory (Anon, 2008). He thought thinking “transversally” is needed to comprehend the interactions between ecosystems, the mecanosphere and the social and individual Universes of reference (Anon, 2008).  Also, Guarittari stated that the social ecology will transfer the media era to post-media age, in which everyone of us could be capable to get involved in the media to direct the media’s resingularization (Anon, 2008).

References

Anon. (2008) ‘The Three Ecologies – Felix Guattari’, Media Ecologies and Digital Activism: thoughts about change for a changing world <http://mediaecologies.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/the-three-ecologies-felix-guattari/&gt;

Deitz, Milissa (2010) ‘The New Media Ecology’, On Line Opinion: Australia’s e-journal of social and poilitical debate<http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11410&page=1&gt;

Media Ecology Association What is Media Ecology’ <http:// http://www.media-ecology.org/media_ecology/&gt;

Week 4 post: The Doubling of Place – The Internet, Mobile and Television

Moores, Shaun. “The Doubling of Place: Electronic Media, Time-Space Arrangements and Social Relationships” In Couldry, Nick. And McCarthey Anna., Eds. MediaSpace: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age. Loundon: Routledge, 2004, 21-37

In this reading, Moores focuses out the concept of media’s ability of pluralizing places and interaction, rather than weaken our sense of being. He solidifies this idea by referencing views from few other writers, especially his agreements with the Scannell’s. In this contemporary late modern period, we are experiencing closer relationships and communications with each other through the use of high technologies. The limitation of physical location between people, time as well as distances has been reduced through the use of mobiles and internet.

In the beginning of his article, he suggests that public events in this late modern period are always occurring in two different places which one is the place of the event and the other is the place where people watch and hear the event. Base on the Scannell’s idea of “doubling the place”, we are experiencing our sense of being in both the event and our home through the media.

Media has changed the space when where events are usually presented. Like the funeral of Princess Dianna mentioned in the text, which millions of people were focusing on the tv for the whole day and were feeling great pain. As what Turnock asked, why we crying for a person we have never met before? This can be explained by how electronic media and broadcasting creating celebrities like Prince Dianna, who present in the feelings of “dailiness”. Furthermore, base on the concept of “doubling of place”, the media is offering a real sense of access, which generates the effect of being and involving in the event to the absent audiences.

Moores then focus on the Turkle’s notion of online relations. According to Turkle, the internet is letting “muddlers” to create and exist in different roles and various virtual worlds at the same time. I strongly agree with this. Everyday I am existing in different roles while using the internet. When I am finding information for assignments, I am acting as a student of UNSW; when I am browsing websites like facebook, I am a friend of my friends. My roles keep changing while I get in different websites. Moreover, the use of internet also double the place as we are existing in both the virtual and physical place while we are surfing the net.

Moores last tells a story about a young woman in train using her mobile to chat with her boyfriend then the conversation was invaded by a stranger. Like the internet, while we are chatting with others on the phone, we are like having a face-to-face contact though we are distances apart physically. Thus, our sense of being in a place is doubled.

Horace Li (z3232900)