DISSECTING A NEWS PACKAGE

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I will always shed a tear on Remembrance Day. 

Before……

I’d start my day by waking up in my fathers house. I would call for my grandfather (he lives there also) and if he was already downstairs, I’d head straight down. He would be there, sat in the kitchen with his cup of tea and his two steamy slices of marmalade on toast. “Good morning Dadcu.” I would say. ‘Dadcu’ stands for grandfather in Welsh, and I have called him that for as long as I can remember! I would know that next to his plate would be mine. A cup of tea and two malted milk biscuits. I miss those. I’d say my favourite part of the morning was spending time with him, but now I’m thinking about what he knew I really loved…his egg and soldiers. Wow.

Today……

I start my day waking up in my university house. I can’t call for my grandfather. I can’t speak to him until around midday. I go downstairs, make myself that famous cup of tea (I usually have coffee in the morning), and think about my grandfather. I’m pretty good at making egg and soldiers now, but mine will never compare to his.

BBC News, 11:00hrs, Wednesday 11/11/15

I turn on BBC. Before the clock strikes 11, I prepare myself for the minute silence..

“You join us as we prepare to observe a two minutes silence this armistice day. In memory of all those who fought and died for Britain in conflict, since the start of the First World War.”

The V/O works with the visual 

As Big Ben strikes 11, I am silent. Watching people stood in Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Brecon Beacons, Belfast, Glasgow, Northumberland College, The Cenotaph, sympathy fills me up to my eyeballs.

The presenter remains silent. This creating the emphasis on the lack of noise during the time in which we reflect on the “human cost of conflict”.

Devastating.

Big Ben is the main metonymic sign, representing London and the start of the heartfelt silence. This truly fits in to news package in terms of where the BBC are based, and where they show the silence to start. Trafalgar Square.

The V/O returns on the fourth minute after the start of the news package. We are in Liverpool.

“So images from Liverpool, as we end the two minute silence to mark armistice day. Veterans joining serving armed forces personnel at The Cenotaph in London and of course services being held at military bases, schools, town halls, and churches across the country. The Royal British Legion saying today that this two-minute silence is a rare moment for the nation to stand together, and reflect on the human cost of conflict.”

The V/O and visuals show very close proxemics here, as the introductory sentence of the V/O is expressed whilst a veteran stood in Liverpool graces the screen.

With this close yet perfect relation, the professional V/O not only remains on the level of describing what the visuals show, (“so images from Liverpool”), but it also adds a layer of explanation to the visuals-

“Services being held at military bases, schools, town halls, and churches across the country.”

I find this news package an accurately beautiful representation of the unity of a nation whilst they mark armistice day. The switching of locations truly connotes how much we stand together, to remember those who fought for us.

I am proud to say that my grandfather stood on the front line during WW2. I am even more proud that he is still here today at the age of 92. He shares his memories, as well as his medals with me.

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THE PROJECT PROPOSAL

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The title of this terms project was ‘disrupting the everyday’. Vejby & Wittkower argue social media has now become a big part of the everyday (Vejby, R., & Wittkower, D. 2010:121) and we plan to disrupt this via a reconstruction of the Facebook website. Using Dreamweaver we plan to toy with the conventions of Facebook. By disrupting the layout and navigation system we plan to disrupt the everyday of the typical Facebook user.

Altering things such as hyperlinks and images and making specific elements of the page disappear, it is our intention to change the stereotypical layout so that an individual viewing our website will notice and become confused, as they would be used to the Facebook homepage and layout. When our website changes, it will disrupt the everyday experience of using Facebook as it does not make its hyperlinks and images change or disappear on a daily basis.

The pictures we want to alter have already been posted to Facebook and are from a typical album where holiday pictures, group photos would be found. Using Photoshop we will edit the images, which we will make unrealistic so that they also disrupt the memory that is associated with the original photo.

Enjoy our website here: uwemedia.net/brl/

IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO DO IT AGAIN

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  1. Spend more independent time learning the tools on DreamWeaver 

Doing this would have encouraged me to learn more skills when using the software, which if I had before doing the project would have been useful because I would have been able to apply them to the project. This would mean that I could have added more elements with the possibility to link them to more theoretical ideas throughout the production process.

2.  Focus more on outside readings/references

I feel like if I did this more constructively that I would have given myself the chance to link the proposed idea more to outside readings. Since I only read one of those, as I thought the topic of re-enactments tied well with the project, there could be texts that I haven’t explored that I could have mentioned in my evaluation to show that I understand the theoretical context of the project more than I do now.

3. Make sure that all group participation is equal

I felt like the specific tasks we had to do to ensure that we ended up with a website we were happy with were not divided between the group equally. Instead of the majority of the project being leveraged on to one half of the group, it would have been more time effective of us to have done different things simultaneously. Even though things were not done this way, we still had time to look over the website to see what we needed to do in order to make each page link to the right one etc.. The reason for this is because we wanted to finish it a few days earlier than the deadline so we had time to fix whatever went wrong. I still would have fathered more time. Regardless, we all developed the same understanding of the context and why we have made the website in the way that we have, since we understood our proposed idea.

What I wouldn’t change

I love how we used DreamWeaver. I wouldn’t change our decision to use this software instead of making our website on Wix or Weebly, since I have now learnt the basics of the software which will be handy in the future in terms of web design. The other reason I’m happy about this choice we made is because I don’t think we would have been able to depict our proposed idea as well as we have tried to if we used anything else.

  • I liked our time management
  • The group members
  • The group discussions because we were helping each other
  • How our project is a reconstruction of Facebook, as we are all familiar with the website

What’s done is done!

WHAT I FIND SHOCKING

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I have realised lately that when mentioning smartphones and/or other types of technology around my friends that they regularly say something about how very young members of their family are starting to use, know how to use or even own an iPhone or an iPad or a similar sort of device!

I think this just shows how technology and communicating over technology has become part of the everyday for almost every member of society.

If children are already starting to use iPhones, which would mean that they know how to use them, how much will technology progress in years to come?

It’s worrying.

I’ve heard about 10 year olds with iPhones, smartphones which cost between £400-£600. What does this mean for other forms of communication?! Like actually going out to see your friends like you should, what about

  • actual participation
  • actual activity
  • actual interaction?!?!?!

Technology becoming more advanced and involved in our lives might be stripping away the actuality of the majority of things we do in our day-to-day lives.

What do we do about young people’s adoption and consumption of a society that is heavily influenced by mass media????!!!!!!!!!!!

PROJECT UPDATE

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My group went in this morning to do the final touches to the pages we made to make up our website (I think we had 18 in total!!!) because like I said, we knew that if we could put it up today that if something went wrong we would have until Tuesday to fix things. 

We realised that we needed to change the links we made between certain pages to make the website make more sense and match our proposal. Since that is what we did, we are now happy!

We had a slight problem with uploading at first, as we didn’t properly link one of our pages to the page we wanted to go to. So after sorting that out, we quickly decided on our URL and sat in front of the computer to see what our website looks like.

We had someone else in the class go through it to see how someone would react to using it, which helped since we are used to the website ourselves so it was nice to see someone who has no idea about what hyperlinks we have changed use the website themselves. It was also funny to see him confused! Which was our intention throughout the production process.

After doing everything for a few hours we struggled to believe that it was up and running and looked how we want it to!

It’s online!!!! Wooooooo

“A composited shot represents something that never took place in reality.”

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Reference:

Manovich, Lev. (2001). Principles of New Media. In: The Language of New Media. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. pp138-160.

Today I re-read this text. What had me saying , “You learn something new everyday” to myself, out loud, (I know, out loud, embarrassing. Nobody was there to hear me anyway. No worries.) Was the idea of digital composition, which I learnt by reading part of the text which mentions Jurassic Park.

Call me childish. Because 50% of the reason I was so interested by this was probably due to the fact I love the Jurassic Park movies because I feel like I grew up with them, (Don’t worry nothing will replace Harry Potter). The other 50% was because this text is intriguing anyway, and very relevant to our project production.

On to the important stuff..

The text speaks how in Jurassic Park, a “composited shot represents something that never took place in reality.” Which is true, because dinosaurs do not exist and the same goes for the scenarios and/or settings that are included in each film.

What makes this all very relevant to the project we are currently in the process of, is how the images myself and my group are using are “composited” shots that represent “Something that never took place in reality.” WHY?

Because every single image we are using on our website has been edited on photoshop, in order of the least deceiving to the most deceiving, to disrupt the everyday, as these “events” or “photographs” never took place in reality. And that reality counts as the everyday, right?

PROJECT PROGRESS

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Work is going better than I expected it to, WOOOOOOOOOO, which either means that I am lucky after the problems me and my previous group had to experience last term with the video, (the majority of that probably being our fault), or that something is going to go wrong last minute.

WHICH IS WHY…

We will be trying to submit the website by our workshop on Friday, so that we can give it time for something to go wrong. Because the more time we have to spend waiting for something to mess up, the more time we have to get it right.

1 WEEK UNTIL THE WEBSITE HAS TO BE SUBMITTED

I’m scared. But I’m excited. I feel like making it all on Dreamweaver has given us more freedom. Instead of working around something to turn it into what we want, we are able to make something into what we want.

My group seem motivated and even though we are taking our time with the project because we need to, we are getting things done quickly.

Everything is going great. For now.

😉

work-in-progress

I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT FACEBOOK

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While discussing ideas for our website, we came up with the idea of the re-creation of certain pages on Facebook, as a way to present our 8 photographs. We’ll be using a template of the homepage and using it to our advantage. We’re also using a ‘photo-page’ where the viewer of the website can click on each photograph to enlarge/observe them.

SO……

It got me thinking about Facebook!

Even though I have read through Vejby, R., & Wittkower, D. (2010). Spectacle 2.0. Facebook and Philosophy, other things have since sprung to mind.

We often find ourselves ‘creeping’ on people we are friends with on Facebook, as well as the regular stranger. There are always those people who you know of, but don’t actually know, you come across their Facebook and you are like “Oooo shall I add them? I can’t because they’ll be like “WTF”” and you don’t end up adding them, but you stalk them to the point where it is no longer possible, to get as much information about them as you can (this info is restricted when you’re not friends with someone on Facebook) which makes the process THAT much more frustrating. I am writing this and currently laughing because the amount of times I have heard my friends say “Oh I can’t add them” or something like that, is unbelievable. I’ve of course said it to myself too, as well as to them. Cringe.

What I’m trying to say is, Facebook is basically for stalking.

What other purpose does it have? Of course we can communicate with each other, messages, writing on ‘walls’, and everything else. Group chats are even mischievous. The topics of conversations you can have on there with your friends. Well.

You’re basically letting everyone access information about yourself, your age, where you live, go to uni, how you look, what you do. It’s kind of like a diary. Like this WordPress? Only WordPress is better and safer. I feel like I can be a bit mysterious on here, since nobody on here knows where I live, my date of birth, and I haven’t upload any images of myself.

On to a better thought….. (even though all my quotes are quite shit) I’m so sorry about the language, I couldn’t think of a word more accurate. Probably could have.

How challenging and interesting would it be to deceive people through the use of Facebook? Only in terms of work of course, otherwise it would just be another episode of Catfish. We don’t want that.

By slightly editing some images we are going to use on our website, and heavily editing others, we can deceive viewers as well as making them think, “These are not photographs that would be used as profile pictures, especially not on a serious note anyway.”

More importantly, for the regular users of Facebook, which hopefully every person to use the website would at least be able to recognise the layout and know where all hyperlinks are on the site, we can deceive those too.

How are people going to react when they click back on to what they think is the homepage, and the About hyperlink has disappeared?

What if they click back and images have changed?

What if all of the links disappear?

What if things have only changed so slightly that they are unable to tell whether it is the website changing or maybe they just need to go to Specsavers?

This will be very interesting.

ORGANISING WITHOUT ORGANISATIONS

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Core text:

Reference: Shirky, Clay. (2008). Sharing Anchors Community. In: Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. New York: Penguin Books. Pp 25-54.

What I love the most about ‘the power of organising without organisations’ is how easy it is to relate to. Shirky’s idea of how arranging to “go out to a movie” is hard, as “the group’s preferences are less likely to overlap neatly” perfectly epitomises the majority of friendship groups. Using my own friendship group as an example, I realised how true this is. There are 11 of us. We have a Whatsapp group and the only way I can explain us when we are trying to arrange something is this; By0UFHJCIAAvyJD Shirky says that groups are ‘hard to form and hard to sustain’, which is true. He also thinks that, ‘it becomes impossible for everyone to interact directly with everyone else’ as groups grow, which is also true. Because how can a football player directly interact with every single teammate during a match? They can’t. The ball is passed from one player to the other through direct interaction.

“People take pictures, people share pictures, you see pictures.”

Reading this has made me realise how successful Instagram has become, due to taking pictures and sharing them, adding what Shirky describes as, “a social dimension to the simple act of viewing.” Through tags and hashtags, which you can use on Instagram, photos are “automatically linked”, which makes them easier to access at once, where the majority (if not all) of the photographs presented have similar content. With this, I believe Shirky’s theory of how communications networks “are a platform for group-forming”. Without the internet and mobile phones, myself and my friends would be unable to communicate within a group, since these devices are what we use in order to interact with each other.

“Groups of people are complex, in ways the make those groups hard to form and hard to sustain, much of the shape of traditional institutions is a response in those difficulties. New social tools relieve some of those burdens, allowing for new kinds of group-forming, like using simple sharing to anchor the creation of new groups.”

REGARDING THE PAIN OF OTHERS

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Things tend to grow on us overtime, you could even use people as an example for that, since I could even say that hearing my friend say, “he and/or she has grown on me”. It happens quite a lot.

Is this the same for materialistic things? Places we visit? Most likely! It is often the measure of time that enables things to ‘grow’ on us. So you could say we tend to like a stimulus the more we are exposed to it? But then when can tire of a stimulus the more we are exposed to it. And things. And people. And places.

Sometimes what aren’t “the finer things in life” can grow on us. In relation to this, I think of my university room and how when I’m here over a long period of time (day in day out), I want to be outside, or a different environment, I want to go home. But then I find that when I’m home, I’ll miss my flat, my flatmates and my room here in Bristol.

‘Better the devil you know’.

Sontag believes, “An image is drained of its force by the way it is used, where and how often it is seen.” I’m in agreement with this, definitely with how an image can be drained of its force according to how often it is seen. It reminds me of this image of that blue/black or white/gold dress that bombarded social networking sites a few weeks ago.

The_Dress_(viral_phenomenon)

SO MUCH SO, that there is even a Wikipedia page on it! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dress_(viral_phenomenon)

I’ll admit that reading celebrities Tweet about what colours they found the dress to be was quite interesting at first, but then it got boring. So did seeing people bicker over what colour they think the dress is and how someone is wrong thinking it’s white and gold and how someone is right thinking it is blue and black, and vice versa. The dress now bores me entirely. Sorry not sorry.

Sontag also saying, “Images shown on television are by definition of images of which, sooner or later, one tires.” Of course they do!

When I concentrate on the Ebola crisis and how it was 24 hour news for however long, I just picture the people in white suits and the infected Africans who were constantly shown on television. As vitally important as the disease is, for someone to say they weren’t tired of seeing the same images on different television channels, might be a lie.

I find this text very impressive. And it scares me that I’m already on 418 words because I’d love to mention so many things I’ve read within it.

I find Sontag’s idea of modern media and how it hasn’t changed very true to life, as it’s made clear that when we make criticisms, we talk from a privilege position. Even if people think that’s just being in a university lecture with the newest version of the iPhone. I myself, can criticise from a privileged position.

What I do find scary though, is the presence of desensitisation and whether we are starting to become immune to it or not. I’m probably also mentioning this because it reminds me of Big Brother and (shamed to admit it), the show did entertain me. The first ever series was tame, especially compared to now, where transexuals, the introducing of ‘tasks’, and the amount of deviousness continues to make each series even more spectacular than the one before, in order to keep the attention of each spectator.

Social desensitisation is what minimises the horror of crime, war, and everything else terrifying and heartbreaking we are starting to see frequently, especially on television.

Victims being interested in “the representation of their own sufferings”, and wanting “the suffering to be seen as unique” is a rather upsetting thing to read, actually. It represents that these victims feel like the amount of recognition the suffering gets, depends on the originality of it.

A very strong message I received at the near end of this text was how we have the ability to view other people who are suffering, without suffering ourselves and that just seeing it will never be the same as experiencing that suffering ourselves.

Reference:

Sontag, Susan. (2003). Chapter 7. In: Regarding the Pain of Others. New York: Picador. pp104-113.

PLAYING WITH PHOTOSHOP

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As we were given a ‘tour’ of Photoshop with Phil last Friday, I thought I’d get it on my Mac to see what I could do. I realised that it wasn’t much. Haha.

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Sooooo, I took this plainer than plain photograph I snapped when I was in New York, messed around with a few tools (not really because I spent hours squinting my eyes and experimenting with everything) and ended up with something I’m not too proud of, in all honesty, but for my first try, it’ll do.

statueofliberty

It shouldn’t be B & W because it’s ruined it! *CRIES*

And I am ashamed to admit that I can’t really elaborate on what this edit is. Apologies. But I do thank Phil for taking the time to teach us where things are and what things do in Photoshop, as I can see the software playing a crucial part in our project.

NETWORKS MEDIA AND IMMEDIACY

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  • A computer network or data network is a telecommunications network which allows computers to exchange data. In computer networks, networked computing devices pass data to each other along data connections (network links). Data is transferred in the form of packets.

We were asked to look at non-computer networks

Buses are a form of transport which enables people to travel from place to place without the use of technology.

Campaigns put up throughout the university campus in the form of posters are also ways of communicating, without having to use technology.

FACEBOOK AND PHILOSOPHY

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“The mass media symbolise the spectacle. “

I honestly struggle to believe how interesting I find the text I just read. I also feel like the theory of it is so relevant, especially to the 21st century. I’m going to just let my inner nerd speak and admit that I love learning new things everyday and when it is university related, it is even better, because it can work in my favour. In relation to the quote above, I actually smirked to myself when I read, “Compare the number of people currently walking around wearing football jerseys to the number of people actually playing football.” It just made me think about how many people who don’t go to the gym walk around wearing the gym trainers, which made me laugh. It also makes how Guy Debord says that in modern societies “everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation” (p. 1) even more accurate.

Another thing I find spellbinding is the idea that individuals are using “new media”, like Facebook to “replace actual activity, actual participation, and actual belonging.” Since Facebook solely relies on its users to interact with each other, as that is its basis of creation, it “could not exist without user interaction.” Which seems scary, when I think about how the social network is used worldwide and has become a part of everyday life, for the majority of individuals. This analysis also made me realise that without Facebook, and other forms of mass media, society would have no choice but to actually get out and interact with each other, as there would be no virtual activity that enables us the “experience of being with others” when we are actually alone, behind “our respective screens.”

As technology now plays a vital role in everyday life, I think it could be said that it is disrupting the everyday, since “All this activity is virtual. How much of a difference does that make?” A colossal difference maybe? If virtual activity and interaction is accessible almost anywhere, haven’t we given it the power to strip away face-to-face social interaction?

Reference:

Vejby, R., Wittkower, D. (2010). Spectacle 2.0. Facebook and Philosophy, edited by DE Wittkower. Chicago and La Salle: Open Court. pp97-108

PARTICIPATION, REMEDIATION, BRICOLAGE

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“First is the realization that all aspects of everyday life in highly industrialized modern societies are to some extent influenced by, and implicated in, computerization.”

  • Internet improves interaction
  • Internet also discourages interaction

Why? We, as humans of the 21st century, are using technology as our way to communicate more than we have hot dinners. What does this mean? Well, it could mean that we are becoming less interested in interacting with others face to face, as we know how easy it can be to communicate through technology. Is there still a relationship/distinction between ‘producer’ and ‘consumer’? Well, we could say that they have the same status, and do the same thing. I could say that I am a producer. I upload images and videos on to social networking sites, specifically Instagram, and could produce music if I wanted to. These elements of technology are also things I consume. So could I call myself a ‘producer’ as well as a ‘consumer?’ I suppose I could. Furthermore, if I can produce the things I consume and vice versa, is the distinction between human and computer becoming more difficult to observe? I personally think so. Deuze says,

“humans and machines are implicated in one another”

I feel that this is becoming a more frequent thing. And if so, what does that mean for the ownership of content? Well, you could say that the worth of ownership is decreasing, couldn’t you? The battle for intellectual property gets stronger due to the reactions “new media” would provoke from digital establishments who could bluntly say, “we have it, you pay for it.” Apple could be used as an example, since they’d be in agreement with the banishment of illegal music websites, as they have iTunes and want everybody to fork out for the music. What Deuze argues:

  • We adopt, modify, manipulate and reform a consensual way of understanding reality
    • An example of manipulating the context

Ever wondered what The Shining would be like if it was a rom-com? Neither had I, until today. Watching the film trailer just made me feel scared an uneasy, I know, I’m an 18 year old who even gets scared at horror trailers. Forgive me. So when I seen this, I knew it was the version I’d much rather watch;

My reason for mentioning this is to show that the context of something can easily be manipulated. The transitions of this romantic version of ‘The Shining’ have even been altered, since it is choppy in the actual film trailer, in order to conform to the connotations of a horror movie. And all that was changed was the order, the audio to match a stereotypical rom-com, the transitions and a voice order was added. Deuze also says argues that we;

  • Meaning-make and become participants or active agents of digital culture, through making accounts

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The creation of my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts show that creating accounts, uploading to them and tweets, images, and statuses going viral are important because they’re all part of digital culture. Social networking accounts also epitomise individualisation.

  • Reflexively assemble our own particular versions of such reality (we are bricoleurs)

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This page itself shows that I can assemble my own particular version of reality and be a bricoleur, since my WordPress is my own opportunity to produce my own outlook on such reality and have others read it and even participate in it, if they wanted. My reflection of this text has opened my curious eyes to the fact that we are living in an infinite “new media revolution”.

Reference:

Deuze, M. (2006). Participation, Remediation, Bricolage: Considering Principal Components of a Digital Culture. In: The Information Society, 22, London: Routledge. pp63-75

TIME LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY

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I think time lapse photography would be a great addition to the project. The first time lapse image I seen when researching reminded me of Peter Funch’s Babel Tales, since this is photograph of many planes taken over a period a time has manipulated so that it can pose as one image.

6-time-lapse-photography-airport

It has made me realise that time lapse photography can be used in more than one way. Since I have done a fair bit of exploring, I came to the realisation that there the way in which Peter Funch edits his photographs, and then there is the type of time lapse that can be related to the ‘photographs in 36 slices’ that I mentioned before. I came across a new one as it goes;

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Not 36 slices I know! But even though this image of the Golden Gate bridge is just four images that have been produced to form as one, you are immediately able to tell that each ‘slice’ was captured at a different time of day. So it proves that it does not technically matter how many images you put together to make one, you can still represent that the images were taken at different times and make it look exciting.

The structure hierarchy

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In terms of linear and non-liner structures and how they’re connected, a book or a mobile phone has a linear structure and a website has more of a non-linear structure.

Linear structures

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Non-liner/Database structures

Unknown-1 Unknown

Unknown

There is a historical index to the structure and it is important to remember that they have a historical meaning. There is also a different need, there are accessing issues. A definition of linear media. (Linear structure)

When reading a book

  • If you are on page 5, the only way you can get back to page 1 is to go back until you are there.

When using a website

  • When you are on page 5, you can also see page 1, and go straight there through navigation.

INDIVIDUAL PROJECT PROPOSAL

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The inspiring Mitchell, W.J., (1994) text has given me the idea to create a project that I suppose you could bluntly refer to as ‘spot the difference’, or in Mitchell’s words, “play a sophisticated game of “What’s wrong with this picture?” Up to 12 photographs would be taken of different settings and the duplicate of each photograph would be subtly manipulated, in order to deceive the person looking at them. They would, hopefully, be unable to distinguish between the original and the unoriginal. Mitchell, W.J., (1994) says,

“Photographic manipulators do not necessarily need to do a very good job in order to fool us, at least initially.”

So the edited photographs would only need to be manipulated slightly but intelligently enough to be able to deceive whoever views them. In relation to deceiving people by subtly changing elements of each image, I took these questions from Intention and Artifice into consideration:

“Do some objects seem surprisingly light or dark in relation to their surroundings?”

“Do unexpected discontinuities in the background suggest that objects must have been deleted from the foreground?”

“Do indicators of time, such as clocks and shadows, seem consistent with each other?”

These specific questions Mitchell asks in the text are one thing I would experiment with for and throughout the project, to successfully produce deceiving images that would disrupt the everyday.

Taking everyday scenarios and photographing them captures the reality but the manipulation of the images afterwards is what interuppts the everyday. I want to take away the ability some people have, which is the realisation that the regular photographs that would be used for the project, have been manipulated in more ways than one. I find that since we are sometimes hypnotised into thinking that these images are real, that discovering they are to some extent, ‘unreal’, would disrupt the everyday.

In terms of the display of the images on the website we will produce, I was thinking that every time the person viewing the website went to go back to the image, it would change very slightly, thus making the person confused and wonder what has changed about the photograph. I think this would make it more interesting, since it would interrupt the everyday by deceiving the person and making them contemplate whether the photograph has changed or not, which it would have.

The images that I would use for the project would be an example/representation of what Mitchell describes as “fabrications produced to deceive the gullible.”

Reference:

Mitchell, W.J., (1994) Intention and Artifice. In: The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth In The Post-Photographic Era. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press, pp22-57

INTENTION AND ARTIFICE and WHAT’S ON MY MIND

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“A photograph passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing happened.” 

Mitchell, W.J., (1994)

And that it does. ‘Photographic evidence’ would also cease to exist.

Although, “a clever deceiver can take advantage of such ignorance.” – That being of the gullible individuals viewing images they perceive to be as truthful. Like when “an Italian cement factory was passed off to American television networks as being footage of the damage reactor” at Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the explosion in 1986.

Without seeing photographs that are assumed to be of the power plant, I wouldn’t have imagined it to have looked like this. Would you?

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“Since few people had any idea of what a Soviet nuclear reactor might look like”, how was anybody supposed to know the ‘proof’ of this was actual proof? Especially if “photographic manipulators do not necessarily have to do a very good job in order to fool us.”

“Photographs furnish evidence. Something we hear about, but doubt, seems proven when we’re shown a photograph of it.”

Sontag, S. (2010) Susan Sontag On Photography. Available from: http://www.susansontag.com/SusanSontag/books/onPhotographyExerpt.shtml [Accessed 25 February 2015]

Why do some people doubt that man actually landed on the moon?

A person being anywhere bar Earth would sound pretty suspicious in the first place. BUT, it all changed when exclusive photographs of Neil Armstrong, first ever man on the moon surfaced. Something we heard about but kind of doubted was, for some people, proven.

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Some may be aware of the disbelief that was thrown at the fact a man had actually landed on the moon. I’ve read more articles than I should have on reasons as to why this could all be one big stunt. The most recent one is this: http://listverse.com/2012/12/28/10-reasons-the-moon-landings-could-be-a-hoax/ 

I feel that this is when this quote becomes relevant;

“If we cannot find grounds to conclude that a given image is a true record of a real scene or event, we can take the opposite tack and attempt to demonstrate that it could be a true record.”

Why? If others who are like myself, find themselves unsure of what to believe even though this isn’t the type of thing that keeps you up at night, we always have the ability to “take the opposite tack”. News articles, papers, magazines, books, websites and footage are all in favour that Neil Armstrong did actually land on the moon. But almost anything has the power to manipulate individuals. So, instead of letting whether it is real or not eat at my conscience, I suppose I’ll let everything I’ve seen, heard and read “demonstrate that it could be a true record.” For now.

Reference:

Mitchell, W.J., (1994) Intention and Artifice. In: The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth In The Post-Photographic Era. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press, pp22-57

MEMORIES ASSOCIATED WITH MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHS

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This is a school photo from 2000. Random I know. I was 3 in this photograph so as you can imagine, my memory is rather faded when looking at it. I don’t remember the day, I don’t remember being dressed but all I can remember is that I was in school and that it was in the gymnasium in a Photo Booth and I was sat on a school. Now when I look at this photo, I think of it in a frame at my father’s house. I mention this because when I think about pictures after focusing intensely on photography, I am aware that as soon as they’re taken, they immediately become old. This photo is already 15 years old.

“Photographs, which fiddle with the scale of the world, themselves get reduced, blown up, cropped, retouched, doctored, tricked out. They age, plagued by the usual ills of paper objects; they disappear; they become valuable, and get bought and sold; they are reproduced.”

Sontag, S. (2010) Susan Sontag On Photography. Available from:  http://www.susansontag.com/SusanSontag/books/onPhotographyExerpt.shtml [Accessed 25 February 2015]

SURREALIST PHOTOGRAPHY MANIPULATING REALITY

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While doing research on photography combined with reality I completely forgot about surrealist photography. It made me remember that this is the type of stuff I could look at and learn about for 1000 days.

I came across surrealist photographer Erik Johansson. He is said to ‘bend reality without photoshop’, even though he uses photoshop to manipulate and finish off his images afterwards. In terms of bending reality without photoshop, me, being curious as I always am, I don’t know whether that’s good or bad since curiosity did kill the cat. But I’m not a cat so.

Anyway, I watched this video which is meant to be behind the scenes of this photograph here:

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Since after looking at this image I thought, now this man must be a superhero if he has the ability to produce images that look like this.

This captivating video is here:

Truth be told, it is one of the most outstanding videos I have seen related to photography, surrealism and photo manipulation. I honestly could not believe this human beings capability to create such amazing photographs by taking his own, making the props and manipulating the majority of things afterwards.

The thing about Erik Johansson’s images is that they actually relate to the interruption of the everyday. He makes them look as realistic as possible! But we know they’re not, because can you imagine seeing this gigantic guitar in the middle of nowhere? Well, it depends where you go and how weird the place is. Just kidding.

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http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/en_uk/blog/surrealist-photographer-erik-johansson-bends-reality-without-photoshop

People could look at these images and think wow, because I did. About this image, Erik Johansson said; “I have this work where you see high-voltage cables that run into a guitar. That idea came simply by looking at it and thinking: Hey, those could be guitar strings.”

And I think that’s pretty fantastic myself.

Images in 36 slices

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I came across these photographs again, on Twitter, and couldn’t seem to find the photographer when researching online!

I love them

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I love how beautiful they look and how the only way you are able to distinguish between whether this is 1 image or 36 is because of the contrast in colour between the first image on the left and the last image on the right.

I also considered how the reality of these images can be questioned. For example, the one of London, the fact that it was taken in London, makes it an accurate photograph. I feel that this contrasts with how 36 images of the same scenario have been manipulated together to create one that represents the same setting over a specific time period.

I feel that this disrupts the everyday because the images don’t instantly seem like they have been manipulated. The only way you can tell that they are not just one photograph is through how the time of day is different in each ‘slice’. It only seems confusing because I can’t describe it properly! Ahhh! But I like how it works. It’s challenging.

IMAGES CREATING MEMORIES

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What have I learnt?

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With the 9/11 attacks, the individuals with an accurate memory and experience of the terror are the ones who either witnessed it or who were in the city at the time. These individuals are the ones who wouldn’t have to create a memory of the attacks, since they’d remember what happened at the time and would memorise it through actual experience.

For people elsewhere, like myself, we are the ones who have created a memory of 9/11, through what we were doing at the time. The only thing I remember is seeing the news coverage of it on television. Since this is what I was doing at the time, it is this image that has created the memory of 9/11 for me.

Diana

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With Princess Diana, the idea of who she was has created memories for those who did not know her and only knew her through the professional relationship she had with the public. The images of her have created memory and experience for individuals. Through empathy and sympathy, we are remembering something we don’t even remember. I was only 1 years old when Princess Diana passed so the only memory I have of her are the images of her, herself.

Do you remember where you were when this happened?

Rememberance Sunday

Rememberance Sunday could be seen as the epitome of remembering something we don’t even remember. The memory I have of something I didn’t even experience is being stood in secondary school on the 11/11/11 at 11:11am having a moment of silence to remember the people who died in WW2, who we don’t even know.

People who experience events and people who see the narrative in the context of something else effects memories.

What I didn’t realise is that different narratives can be constructed around an image.

The JKF Assassination 

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“Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you,”

 “No, you certainly can’t.”

I did not experience or witness the assassination of the then President of the United States. It was 52 years ago.

But, what memory do I have? This.

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Parkland (2013)

I watched this movie online two years ago because it was actually my best friend who mentioned JFK’s assassination to me. She is obsessed with conspiracy theories and how they are still being related to the death of JFK! After listening to her fascination with how good-looking he was, how his wife must have reacted and felt at the time of his assassination, and her shock over how he actually got assassinated, I decided I needed to form my own opinion on this. Watching Parkland probably wasn’t the first thing I should have done. Although, this was technically brand new when me, her and my other friends sat in one of their houses drinking tea and speaking about the conspiracy theories.

It’s all about the events that took place at Dallas Parkland Hospital on the day the president was assassinated.

So, I could say that the first memory I had of his assassination is the memory I created from the information my best friend had fed me. But obviously, that wasn’t enough. I needed my own memory.

Watching Parkland might have replaced the memory of JFK and his assassination I had, the memory that was linked to the event and the conspiracies based around his death (which is a conversation you can have with your friends for 27 hours, trust me).

I remember Katie saying in the seminar that the memory she has of the assassination is Zapruder’s famous film. A good way to remember the assassination, since Zapruder’s true footage evokes the event most accurately. But I have created my own memory of JFK’s death, watching ‘Parkland’.

Sorry for blabbing. I’m terrible.

I’m just so interested. I adore how memories that are based on major events, such as 9/11 can be created and influenced. But, September 11, Diana’s death and the assassination of JFK, can be replayed over and over by ourselves and with other people (like my friends when speaking about JFK for too long) and this repetition can have the ability to change the memories we have or even create new ones. Freaky.

http://boomowls.weebly.com/

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BOOM I’M AN OWL

Just got back from the seminar and I luuuurrvvedd it. I chose to use Weebly instead of Wix even though I hadn’t used either of the websites before today. Making my own was so much fun because I’m now used to the website and know how to add background images, create new pages, insert links (I used one from YouTube), insert titles, images and create a page with an idea/design in mind.

This has prepared me for the future, especially with what we will be doing when experiment and making our own website for the upcoming project. Very, very useful.

Encountering images that disrupt the everyday

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I was just browsing on Twitter and came across an account named @therealbanksy. The user of this account tweets pictures that provoke people to question them and think deeply about what they are and what they mean. Some just make you spend minutes attempting to analyse them. I scrolled down the Twitter’s pictures for about an hour because I was that fascinated! I found it incredible that just one small image can make you gain so much insight, since the images are representations of issues that are social, ethical and so on.

I looked at these for quite a while

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I genuinely thought this image was real until it hit me. If it wasn’t for the thumb holding up the shard of glass which mirrors the reflection behind them, I would’ve been fooled!

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I found this one shocking but equally as scary. Even though it’s taking advantage of the term ‘Facebook’, it kind of can be seen as a reality check? It definitely disrupts the everyday by how people don’t see Facebook this way, but it technically is what the image represents, since your face is what enables people to recognise your identity and more and more people are starting to share their identity with Facebook.

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I like this! I think it’s because I feel it’s interrupting the everyday through stripping individuals of their capability to communicate with others through their phones so it would force us to work with the environment around us, which can be much better and much more sociable! The 21st century is so technology based that there would be people who choose to not actually go into this place because of the fact that there’s no wifi. It also disrupts the everyday because due to the heavy reliance on computers and smartphones, this would halt a persons’  ‘everyday’, dependant on what element of their everyday they use their technology for. Cafes like this would be nice once in a while.

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I find this one an eye-opener! The disruption it causes just by the simplistic representation of how smoking is like throwing away money. Is that true?

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This one hit me the hardest. How real it looks is absolutely terrifying but what’s worse is how real it actually is and that people are perceived as ignorant towards the issue, since it isn’t happening here. I think this advert is so powerful! And in the way it camouflages into the scenario of the bus stop makes it even more of a reality, which disrupts the everyday because at a first glance I failed to see that this was actually a poster. It also made me question how differently an individual would react to actually seeing this happen compared to just seeing the advert.

I go on to @therealbanksy almost every night before bed now, haha. The excitement of seeing a new image that I haven’t seen before that will make me take things I don’t consider into question is wonderful.

IMAGES THAT ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM

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He’s not really hovering above the pavement

This one might be my favourite, it’s so deceiving

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I LOVE THIS ONE which looks like someone is holding up a photograph

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This one makes me laugh, personally

He’s not wearing a wedding dress

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I’ve actually realised how easy it is to stumble across images that are not all they seem. I think it’s because they do a good job at making people laugh.

http://stinkingdreams.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/top-20-most-weird-and-funny-pictures.html#.VNfeDynaNFI This website with some images on I got from a Facebook share!

These photographs have made me realise that images that lie can either be deceiving in themselves or they can be manipulated so that they are not what they seem.

THE EFFECTS PHOTOMANIPULATION CAN HAVE ON PHOTOGRAPHY

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Viewing Andreas Gurksys’ paintings in our workshop on Friday left me curious. Analysing his work took more than a few minutes, well for me it did. I thought I had a headache from all that colour, this image being the main culprit; andreas-gursky-supermercado Who knew boosting saturation up 3839084902384920 levels could have such an effect on the brain. I have never seen a photographer experiment with precision and colour as much as Andreas Gursky! The depth of field, point of view, detail, scale and activity in his images seem so convincing that it takes a long, long time to even be able to tell that they have been manipulated in many ways. I feel that this is the crucial element within his photography that interrupts the everyday, since we are hypnotised into thinking that these images are real. These are examples of “fabrications produced to deceive the gullible.” – Mitchell, W.J., (1994) Intention and Artifice. In: The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth In The Post-Photographic Era. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press, pp22-57

largeI reaaaallllyyy like this one.

As much as his photo selection makes my eyes squint, I love how different I feel his photography is, due to his long shots and ability to manipulate his images to make put them on even more of a dizzying scale. The details on these pictures are immaculate, and I bet it took time too. I love seeing what photo manipulation is capable of and how learning of photographers like Gurksy can inspire me to make my ideas into something more clever and disruptive, that cannot entirely convince people. – WHICH BRINGS ME ON TO

MY favourite Gregory Crewdson and his not entirely convincing photographs;

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What inspires me about his work is how he takes suburban America and constructs it into something unbelievable. The cinematic approach he has towards his photograph, especially with the huge productions he uses in order to make them look successful is admirable and makes me realise what you can do to a photograph in a casual setting. I love his approach and how it allows him to maximise the dramatic effects in his the images and I’d find it soooo intriguing to do this to images I capture myself!

I made a post on these two inspirational characters so that I can remind myself of how I can compose, reconstruct and manipulate photographs to make them look the way I want them to be perceived in terms of stylisation.

Just a premature idea

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I love how Peter Funch experiments with documentary photography and manipulated photography. I find depicting a specific moment in time a very effective technique. Also, the ability to manipulate a photograph well enough to make reality seem fictional seems intelligent, since just by including other people or objects in the photograph can be made to seem realistic, but we know that in that moment in time it certainly would be unrealistic. I feel like this is the aspect of Peter Funchs’ work that interrupts the everyday, since it makes the people viewing the photograph question the believability of the image itself.

In relation to Babel Tales – my early idea would take Peter Funchs’ idea of documentary and manipulation within images, except instead of placing people who are doing the same thing like in this photograph;

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It would be great to capture an image in a certain setting which already has one or more individuals in, capturing the everyday and a certain moment in time, and manipulate in images of others. These people would ‘fit in’ to certain stereotypes that society has created. Babel Tales and my idea came from a photo by a photographer I came across called Joel Parés. He has placed a real person in front of the camera. The one on the left represents an individual who might be perceived in a “most stereotypical and narrow-minded way.” The one on the right is who they truly are.

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http://www.joelpares.com/judging-america-1/

I feel that the photograph on the right has the power to shatter the stereotypical and narrow-minded views society have been conditioned with and that it would be a good element to add to a photograph.

So, the photographs I would use in my own project would show an individual who society would categorise into their ‘expected’ stereotype, but I’d make who they truly are or could be visible to the people viewing the photograph by using photo manipulation.

AN IMAGE THAT LIES

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If we cannot find grounds to conclude that a given image is a true record of a real scene or event, we can take the opposite tack and at tempt to demonstrate that it could not be a true record. (William J. Mitchell) Chapter Three of The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1994: 23-57)

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Given 3 quarters of an hour to capture an image which disrupts the everyday was a challenge I was glad to be given. This is probably a humorous photo at a first glance. Nevertheless, I do kinda like how it has taken an everyday, realistic setting and experimented with the actuality and truthfulness of the photograph just by using the photo of an airplane on a runway and merging it with the image I captured a few minutes earlier.

The edited picture does not manage to deceive the gullible, since it is an airplane and the setting is not an airport. It’s a university campus. Although, the airplane being placed in the real photograph is questionable, since they exist. It would be completely different if it were to say, a dinosaur.

Images are constant and photoshopped.

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Adnan Hajjs’ photo manipulation caused controversy was expected, since it still got released to public domain when it had obviously been doctored. I think this image is the epitome of William J. Mitchell’s interpretation of how “Sometimes the visual evidence presented by an image supports alternative assertions, and we must decide which is the more plausible. Where the propaganda value of an image is at stake, the issue may become hotly contested.” 

Hajj’s photograph also makes me question and analyse who the biggest photomanipulation controversies are about. CELEBRITIES. The amount of magazines that have been slandered for their excessive use of photo manipulation for magazine covers is bewildering. But after seeing these photographs, can you blame people for having the odd word?

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Individuals would agree and say that these women are perfectly beautiful without the help of photoshop. For people who don’t know otherwise, these photographs actually have the power to deceive the gullible. But for those who can spot the magic of photoshop quicker than you can say bingo, these images fail at interpreting reality, although they do try and regularly succeed in doing so. Still, these images lie. Just like the magnificence of The Cottingley Fairies and how Elsie Wright and Frances Griffith represent what photographic truth stands for. The fairies even look like they’re playing with Frances Griffith! This disrupts the everyday, as we are seduced to believe and take it to be real.

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Stereotyping in relation to ‘disrupting the everyday’

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Esther Honig sending a photograph of herself to over 25 different countries in the request that they “make her beautiful”, made me realize that every newly-edited photograph she received embodied the idealistic stereotype for beauty in every country she sent a photograph of herself to.

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But it’s the way myself and the people in class received the photographs which got me super-glued to them in the first place. It’s about how we take in the photographs we are shown and how we as individuals stereotype others, whether it be in the same community or a completely different country. It also made me realize that while we stereotype others, in this case just by appearance, we can also stereotype ourselves at the same time and it can happen just by what we say or what we think. This aspect of stereotyping reminds me of and relates to Goffman’s idea of stereotypes, ‘fronts’, and ‘fronting’.

HOW THE EVERYDAY CAN BE DISRUPTED

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After spending time engrossing myself with material which shows individuals disrupting the everyday, I’ve found myself wanting to reflect on the different reactions the disruption of everyday life can provoke. Watching the what we, as a British society perceive as a harmless video of six Iranians dancing to a popular pop song made me realize that the strong reaction this video received juxtaposes with the ‘No Pants Subway Ride’.

The reception this video received from Iran is strikingly different in comparison to a video of similar content that was made here in the UK:

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It is upsetting to see that something that can be perceived to be so positive resulted in something so negative. The reality of the expectations to conform to society and to religion is relevant here, since they seem to be the main reasons as to why it was insulting to people of Iran, for them to see females dance with males and females without their headscarves. The video makes me question and realise ideas of places in society and the expected behaviour of the people within that society, which can be easily and occasionally disrupted.

Disrupting and Interrupting The Everyday

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Today’s seminar got me thinking about the position the everyday has in our daily lives, but more importantly how individuals sometimes choose to disrupt that position.

This example of ‘disrupting the everyday’ definitely got me questioning, thinking and sort of laughing:

I think this video is much more than a great idea. Halfway through watching it for the 2nd time and for the 3rd time literally a second ago, I came to the realization which I’m surprised I didn’t come to before..THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO DISRUPT THE EVERYDAY! I instantly thought of this video I came across a few weeks ago that magically and ironically relates to all of this, a video where ‘jeans’ are painted on to a lady, before she is taken out into the public wearing only her underwear and the ‘jeans’.

The amount of individuals you see staring and doing double takes is expected, since the woman not wearing trousers brings in the idea of conforming to the expectations of society, as society would expect the woman to be wearing trousers.

I really like this video. I see it as an experiment on what society think about seeing what they wouldn’t usually see. I also enjoy how most people react similarly when they see an individual interrupting the everyday.

problems we faced whilst recording our video

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As our finished production isn’t based on the first idea we proposed, it of course meant starting fresh, with a new proposal, production idea etc.

The problems that arose were:

  •  Recording the sound. At first, the audio we got from the zoom mic sounded too ambient and we felt disappointed to use it because it didn’t fit the video when we attempted to apply it to the visual on premiere.
  •  Applying sound. When we eventually came to a conclusion on what to do with the audio, we managed to record the sounds we needed from the areas we had filmed in, but on our phone.
  •  The knock. At the middle of our video sequence, the character knocks on a door and attempting to match the sound of the knock we had recorded to the video proved difficult. At first it was funny but then it became annoying. We were so determined that after sticking it out on a late Monday afternoon, we finally managed to complete it. Hopefully it matches as much as we think it does.
  •  Rendering the video to make it not jumpy. We of course wanted our video to run smoothly and everything to go perfectly, except we weren’t fortunate enough to have good luck the past few weeks. (I laugh about it now). I rendered the group’s video and it started to run smoothly, but as soon as that was done we realized it was still staggering. There was nothing we could really do to make the video’s aesthetics more pleasing, since the fact that we had edited to speed duration of each sequence meant that it would be jumpy anyway because it isn’t playing at the speed we originally recorded it at.
  •  The editing. Everything was running smoothly, until we lost footage 34785345785738938 times. The fault of this falls on the group and myself, since we only learnt the importance of saving everything to one folder before we lost our footage for the last time. Now we know, we’ve said that we’ll 100% be applying this to our upcoming projects.
  •  Completing the video. It was in our best interest to finish the footage and upload it as soon a we could. Since we lost what we had filmed and edited on Premiere, including the sound which we had even edited on Adobe Audition, we said to each other that we are putting the video together one last time with the sound checking it, exporting it and then uploading it to YouTube so that it is impossible for us to lose it one more time. Thank heavens we did this on that long Monday night.
  •  Group proxemics/communication/participation. There’s not too much I can say about this, bar the fact that I think more weight was pulled between others and there was hardly any participation or effort coming from a section of the group. This upset me, as I knew the potential the people in my group had if we had met up regularly and had answers to messages that were sent. Lesson learnt. Although, I am more than grateful for the members of the group that tried so hard to make our production run smoothly.

After the troubles we went through, which I’m sure all groups doing the project probably went through too, we have learnt valuable lessons and are more educated now on all the aspects that are included in the project. I look forward to applying them to my future work.

THE WORDS WE HAVE USED IN THE VOICEOVER AND WHY

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Our video is silent throughout, until the blackout screen at the end which is ‘audio without visual’. Since we wanted to make sure it was related to our chosen proposal, and the overall theme of ‘questioning the everyday’, we came up with the words we thought and hope, are the most relevant to the project.

Having taken inspiration from Herzog’s ‘Grizzly Man’, we loved the idea of “presence of absence” and how the idea gave us the opportunity to overwhelm our audience with the sound we choose to create and then use.

I feel that the end of our footage evokes Herzog’s theory of “presence of absence” as the thoughts heard by the audience at the end of our video can be perceived as rather disturbing and/or relevant. They can also be perceived as words/thoughts that help sum up the video, and fill in the gaps our audience weren’t able to fill in beforehand. Which I hope is not the case.

All in all, I just want it to absolutely link to the idea we have proposed and what we are trying to represent. Which is ‘Questioning The Everyday’ life, the conscious and unconscious mind and/or thoughts and ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’.

The Panopticon prison and relating it to our project/new proposal

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Remembering and reflecting on our lecture that was on ‘Agency, Role Play and Normalisation, Who Is The Real You?’

Made me think about how much ‘Questioning The Everyday’, and ‘The Presentation of Self’, as well as true-self, false-self can relate to this idea of the Panopticon

It’s already relevant to our proposed idea and has been taken into consideration with our filming, but I thought I could sum it up on here, in order to include it in my evaluation

The inmates not being able to tell whether or not they are being watched by the watchmen, makes them assume that they are being surveyed by them all of the time. This industrialised system of viewing reflects Goffman’s theory we have been elaborating on throughout our production process, and it even relates to our footage. It can be perceived as proof an individual putting on a “performance” as part of their everyday life, as the prisoners change their “performance”, due to the structure of the prison.

The Individual Project Proposal – The one the group has chosen to do

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One of the things Highmore explores in his text ‘Questioning the everyday life’ is the conscious and unconscious, and this is what my project is solely going to be based on.
How scared would you be if you looked in the mirror and saw not a reflection of your face, as expected, but instead a reflection of your character? I’m guessing very…


I want the mirror to reveal a persons true nature. The reflection needs to be different to what everybody else can see with their eyes. We need to be shown the persons true form, the form they try and hide away from society in order to “fit in” or be “accepted”.


The mirrors main job within my project is not to show a persons physical appearance, but instead to show the aspects of a persons personality. For example, the person we see looking into the mirror could be pretty from the outside but the mirror reflects back an ugly person thus revealing their ugly/nasty nature.

This is Beth’s proposal. I wanted to give her and the group a round of applause when we chose to take on her proposal instead of mine, because of how much I feel like it relates to the Highmore text and what direction we wanted our project to go in the first place.

It not only relates to an ‘issue’ that is seen and/or dealt with everyday, but the idea can also make an audience question it. We feel like this representation of ‘Questioning The Everyday’ can be perceived as challenging, but an aspect of everyday life that is becoming more and more believable.

Having already discussed our idea on the project, it was decided that we want the action codes of our video to resemble exactly what Beth has said in her proposal.

Considering ‘Questioning the everyday life’, the conscious and unconscious and with my own take on Goffman’s text, ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’, we will be questioning what limits a person will go to in order to be “accepted” by society. In the case of our project, we can simply/define it as an individual having a false self. A false-self that has purely been created in order to hide their true self. 

Our practical production shows an individual who is presenting their false-self whilst at university, whenever they are carrying out their ‘everyday’ routine. This personality is shown whenever they have ‘observers. Meaning that it is only when they are alone, that they’re true-self is shown. In the case of our video, this true-self is ugly, evoking the fact that they have an ugly personality that is hidden around people, proving that they live in fear of not being accepted. Nobody sees or has seen this true-self, as during the ‘everyday’, the individual in our production disguises it.

JUST SEEN CAME ACROSS THIS VIDEO WHICH BACKS UP ‘THE PRESENTATION OF SELF’

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The opening line says, “No matter where you are, you always “put a mask”, to get where you want and to be part of something!”

It seems this video is in agreement with Goffman and how he elaborates on how the “front” individuals put on. The clip uses his theory but present it with masks, rather than obvious behaviour/speech/thoughts through subtitles. They’re using the masks as props and representing that individuals aren’t always themselves, and metaphorically wear masks whilst around others. This is something we see everyday. Isn’t it?

The notion of authenticity-reality, truth-in identity is very complex.

New and improved and based on Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life – My Individual Project Proposal

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Summary

Goffman expresses that every individual has a ‘Front’, and says he has been using the term “performance” to “refer to all the activity of an individual which occurs during a period marked by his continuous presence before a particular set of observers”. He says this is part of “the individual’s performance which regularly functions in a general and fixed fashion to define the situation for those who observe the performance.” Reading the text, I came to the realisation that can be perceived as absolutely true, and that most individuals will actually agree with this point Goffman makes. Some, if not everyone, has a ‘front’ they put on or a ‘performance’ they give. I also realised that there are many reasons for this, one being to conform to the expectations of reality and/or society, another being to ‘fit in’ and in extreme cases, impress other individuals. It seems to me that most of these fall under the same category.

Objective

To produce footage that includes an individual putting on a “front” or “performance” in order to conform to the expectations of reality and/or society or to impress other individuals, specifically in relation to ‘Questioning The Everyday’.

Where it all went wrong!

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So since discussing sound in the workshop session we had on Friday, and our project in relation to ‘Questioning The Everyday’, it got me thinking.

I felt like the project we had planned hadn’t exactly met the expectations of the brief. The part where we are meant to create a piece of footage that actually questions the everyday, and gives some people answers as to what actually goes on, for some people, most people and in some cases, for every person.

I know that we had the right intentions and followed the brief but after reading my first proposal a million trillion times I wanted to slap myself for not realising how much it didn’t relate to the brief, but I thought of a better idea.

Why not discuss with the group a new proposal, one where we would relate it to a more relevant text from the reader. I had my eye on the Goffman text, ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.’ Why? Because it sort of matches what we have done already, I loosely say “sort of”, as our current footage does involve an individual and their opinion on their appearance, thanks to alcohol.

I think that we could have done a better job, and instead of carrying on with the project and feeling regret after handing it in knowing we could’ve related it to ‘Questioning The Everyday’ better, I thought why not try our absolute hardest to start again? And feel happier with what we are trying to achieve.

Pointer on how the expectations vs. reality idea (500 Days of Summer) relates to the everyday

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“Everyday life is not simply the name that is given to a reality readily available for scrutiny; it is also the name for aspects of life that lie hidden.” Says Ben Highmore in the introduction to ‘Questioning The Everyday’.

Does that mean reality is readily available for scrutiny?

So, where the project involves a student getting drunk, there are going to be people who don’t scrutinise it (likely to be other students), people who do and people who scrutinise it heavily.

For the aspects of life that lie hidden, this could involve thoughts or behaviour that a person contains around people, and ‘reveals’ whilst alone.

The Wolf Of Wall Street in relation to ‘Questioning The Everyday’ but more specifically to this project

The conscious and subconscious mind/thoughts. How different they are, especially when under the influence of alcohol.

The everyday and my take on it

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Do traumas and bad experiences in the past change the way we approach life? Forcing us to challenge life in a new approach in order to move forward. Changing our opinions on how we perceive our lives after these events. Welllllllll….Ben Highmore says:

‘In its negotiation of difference and commonality it might potentially find new commonalities and breathe new life into difference.’

We are forced to let go of the usual conventions in which we live through whilst working towards this change.

Everyday life revolves around the mundane. Usual routines, emotions, time waiting and pleasure. This all seems soooo repetitive.

HOWEVER…

Erythematic/embarrassing/challenging situations in our lives reflect on the social conditions we experience. And the difference in our lives compared to others. So does everybody live the same everyday? *thinks* They can’t possibly!

There are too/so many opinions and views of the everyday.

Can it be defined? I don’t know. I don’t necessarily think it can be.

Yes, the majority of humans do wake up in the morning and brush their teeth, the same before they go to sleep. (Hopefully). But every individual acts differently, thinks differently, does things differently..so there can’t possibly be two people in this whole wide world who have the same routine.

Ben Highmore and his text have 100% been helpful in establishing ideas for our project.

How the project production/process is going!

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The first round of filming took place this week. The camera was in my control the whole time! Aggghh

What did I find tedious?

  • Deciding what angles to shoot each scene from
  • Attempting to make each reality/expectation scene look exactly the same by the angles. (Was only tedious because both couldn’t obviously be shot at the same time) or am I stupid? Most likely

Beth who, to everyone’s appreciation nominated herself to be the star of the video, was happy with what we shot.

We have once since given it another go, to get footage that’s to a higher standard than it was the first time. And have booked to take equipment out again next week to film more. We figured the more we have to edit, the merrier.

THE PROJECT’S STORYBOARD & MY OPINION ON IT

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I thought I’d make quick work to do the storyboard. I find them essential, feeling like they’re just an extra step in the process of making a video.

The best way to share my vision too – we all imagine scenarios differently so I love doing storyboards and showing others what images go through my mind when explaining a/the video.

I’ve drawn up what will happen every 15 seconds, keeping each snippet of the video short sharp and eventful. Hopefully a solid shot list will make the creation process go more smoothly.

Not incredibly detailed and I’m not as good at drawing as Pablo Picasso is. But, did I find it time consuming? No. And do we now know exactly what order to shoot the short scenes in? Yes. I’m happy.

The best thing about it is how it will save us so much time in the long run.

ANOTHER IDEA TO APPLY TO THE PROJECT

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This scene is taken from the film The Wolf of Wall Street and shows the ‘delusion of drunk driving’ after the main protagonist’s drug and alcohol abuse.

Since the conscious mind and subconscious mind cannot be separated, it can be perceived that if they do not work together, the results can be harmful.

This clip represents a way your mind can work when you are under the influence of drugs/alcohol. What shocked me and my friends when we were watching this film was how off track he was when he thought about how his drive went, and how it actually went. It’s my favourite scene in the movie because it’s hilarious. It’s also absolutely terrible, for obvious reasons. How could someone think that they’ve been completely safe when extremely high/drunk?! Drugs and alcohol of course.

This idea will be applied to the project, since it ties in with the idea of expectations vs. reality. Protagonist ‘Jordan Belfort’ expects that he has driven in a way that’s perfectly safe, but in reality he’s knocked everything in sight and is arrested for it afterwards.

WHAT WE LEARNT ON SOUND DURING OUR SEMINAR

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During our ‘sound seminar’, we reflected on David T Johnson’s text, “You Must Never Listen To This” : Lessons on Sound, Cinema, Mortality from…”

The text is based on Herzog’s ‘Grizzly Man’ and it’s “presence of…absence”. The Grizzly Man tells the story of confident animal-lover Timothy Treadwell, who romanticises bears. In the end, he and his partner are actually attacked by one. As the bear enters the tent they’re in, Timothy switches his camera on to record, but has no time to remove to lens cap. Because of this, the attack is only audible rather than “visible”.

The recording of the deaths is never made available to viewers of ‘The Grizzly Man’, and is only listened to by Herzog. After digesting what we gather is an incomprehensible noise, Herzog tells the friend of Timothy and girlfriend Amy to never listen to the audio and to destroy it, as it will forever be “the white elephant in the room.”

David T Johnson asks, “If we could hear this sound, what would it tell us? Probably only how undeniably gruesome the deaths were. And that is how “presence of absence” is absolutely fantastic.

Towards the end of the seminar we were given the chance to explore Johnson’s theory to a greater extent. We were presented with 3 scenes, each from a different movie and asked to write down what we could hear. It gets better…

We were told to close our eyes so we could not see the on-screen visual counterparts, making it harder for us to guess what was happening, just by listening to the audio. The films were ‘The Birds’, ‘Elephant’ and ‘The Conversation’. After comparing my pretty off-course notes to the visual, I realised how sound can be perceived much differently when it is only heard, not seen.

Expectations vs. Reality (everyday life) idea. Individual Project Proposal

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Summary
I think it would be fantastic to film 2 minutes of a clip that’s rupturing the illusion that the screen’s frame is a seamless view of reality, similar to that of the human eye. The same as this scene in 500 Days of Summer. I’d like to apply this theme of expectations vs. reality to the project.

Objective
To over-exaggerate the expectations and the reality, rather than keeping the differences small seems very interesting. I think I’d rather represent the reality in a bad way but also in a way which makes it believable. (Drunk student thinking they’re less intoxicated than they actually are) Whereas, it was apparent to me that the expectations don’t need to be as realistic, since the expectations are imagined and would be much less believable anyway (given the situation the individual is in).
Method/Material
In terms of the clip’s scenario, I came up with the idea of a student becoming a paralytic drunk. They’re expecting their behaviour to be completely normal, when in reality it’s the exact opposite. If necessary, Ben Highmore’s ‘conscious and the unconscious’ from the e-reader would be applied. The individual’s conscious is telling them that they’re not as drunk as they are in reality. To capture footage that works well with the split screen is what is in my best interest, especially since both scenes need to be identical to make the idea of expectations vs reality work. I also find the clip’s action codes important, seeming vital if myself and the group want to make the video look good and work well. The action codes in the reality scene will of course be changed, in order for us to represent an over-exaggerated and intoxicated student, who expects to be far less drunk than what they seem to be in reality.

One way this idea relates to ‘Questioning The Everyday’
Ben Highmore says, “Everyday life is a vague and problematic phrase”. Which is true. Due to the fact that everybody has a different view of the everyday and a different routine. Not only does this clip show the reality of one individual, which would in fact be different from another individual’s everyday, but the expectations are also different. The expectations would be a disappointment to the individual, and could possibly be to others, which will be the same case in my group’s project, if we take on this idea. So it made me think…the situation the protagonist expects, is this what he expects of the everyday? Or just that current situation?

Reflection and thoughts on the aquarium

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Taking photographs in-between filming helped in ways more than one. They were relevant to our thought processes whilst we were there and we knew they’d help afterwards by reminding us of the names of the fish we wanted to include in our video.

Looking at them afterwards seemed relaxing and made me realise how privileged we were to have been able to go to the aquarium to film for our project. I’m glad that me and my partner came up with the idea because it felt like as soon as we thought of it, we applied it to our project.

The lighting inside the aquarium complimented the images more than I thought it would and I love how the pictures have turned out, since I took them on my iPhone and edited them afterwards.