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BCM112

Algorithmic control III: Privacy, Surveillance, and the Price of Content

Have you ever thought about whose watching you? The first thing I did after viewing this week’s lecture was google my name. The amount that came up surprised me; instagram pictures, pint rest tags and even twitter pictures from 10 years ago appeared. This made me think. What does this say about the privacy and surveillance of online users today? 

One of my favourite shows at the moment is ‘Black Mirror’. This dystopian show displays different scenarios, somewhat exaggerated but relevant, regarding our society and where it is leaing. Specifically, the episode ‘NoseDive’ resonates well with this topic.  Basically the episode exaggerates the notion of social media. Everyone has a social rating and if it gets too low, citizens are locked out of things like basic public transport services, the upper end of real-estate and the latest versions of cars.

For further chat on surveillance and control of the media, check out my remediation for the week below! My remediation actually links in with our task of creating a digital artefact. Check out my original creation and see how this is displayed on different platforms, accessible to the public.

Now compare this with what i’ve found on the internet!

This ties in really well with Tfekci’s idea that “the Internet offers expansive possibilities for horizontal communication among citizens, while drastically lowering the costs of organizing and access to information”.(2013)

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BCM112

Algorithmic control II: Hardware Platforms, Access Permissions and Ideologies of Control

This week, we discussed the ideology of hardware platforms, convergence and the connection of devices e.g. smartphones as a default device for surfing the web.

Let’s discuss a new idea, introduced by Jonathan Zittrain. This is the difference between as PC and an information appliance. The fundamental difference between a PC and an information appliance is that “the PC can run code from anywhere while the information appliance remains tethered to its maker’s desires, offering a more consistent and focused user experience” (Zittrain, 2008). Miles into the future when Steve Jobs released the iPhone, it’s selling point was the blending of the iPod, a phone, and a computer all in one (Zittrain 2008). These ‘pocket computers’ are so accessible and very available to the public. 

Apple vs Android is also a valuable debate to be considered. What Apple vs Android suggests is open and close technology. Henry Jenkins discusses convergence as the flow of content across media platforms. This sees mutations such as the ‘@’ and ‘#’ sign as Twitter and Facebook evolved based on audiences iterations. Well in Androids case this is a mirror image as android is a generative appliance in which anyone can write script, relating back to Zittrain’s ideologies. There is an open garden of apps in which any independent market can upload to. In a polarising effect, Apple tries to control the convergent nature of the internet to control mutations. The walled apps restricts creators to wait for approval, with cases of denied applications (Mitew 2019).

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BCM112

[Week 9] Algorithmic control I: Intellectual Property and the Content Control Industry

This week we focused on the way content producing industries package digital information as property, and on the role of copyright regimes in controlling user interaction with content. SO what is copyright in particular? 

In Australia, Copyright is defined as “a bunch of rights in certain creative works” (SmartCopy). These rights are granted exclusively to the copyright owner, who can prevent others from reproducing their work without their permission.  In a world where new internet platforms are constantly arising such as FaceBook and TikTok, problems arising stolen content and the works of others also arise alongside with it. 

Let’s specifically look at Disney. I know, weird, but bear with me. Lessig linked this example really well to our topic and I found it incredibly easy to base my remediation off this idea. Creators like Walt Disney were able to remediate the gore and morbid stories from the Brother’s Grimm to rebirth them in a new age (Lessig, 2005) . An example of this is displayed in my remediation, Cinderella originally having to cut her feet to fit into the slipper. Disney ripped culture from the landscape of literature around him, creating many defining films. As Lessig states, “quite often, Disney’s great genius, his spark of creativity, was built upon the work of others” (2004, p 21).

More recently, copyright has a amor role, especially in the platform ‘TikTok’. Users cannot interact through the use of certain songs as there are copyright restrictions. Does this limit our freedom as creators? Why do we even keep creating in this user-controlled social world? 

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BCM112

Internet paradigm IV: Hyperreality, Simulation, Spectacle

Hyperreality, is a term coined by Jean Baudrillard, defined as “the meticulous reduplication of the real, preferably through another, reproductive medium, such as photography”. This idea basically revolves around the fact that reality is mediated by images, which I decided to explore through my remediation of ‘Deep Fakes’. This means that the real is perceived by audiences as a string of images – a form of spectacle and media images “slowly but surely start forming a reality of their own, independent from any underlying reality” (Mitew, 2020). The 4 phases are defined as 

1 Reflection: represents a basic reality [a copy]

2 Mask: covers up a basic reality [perverted copy]

3 Illusion: substitutes the absence of a basic reality [pretending to be a copy]

4 Simulacrum: bears no relation to any reality 

I’d like to home in on the idea of a ‘mask’. This means that there is an absence or cover up of basic reality, which is where deep fakes come in. Deep fakes are synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness (Sample, 2020). You can see how this easily links in to our topic of hyperreality. Deep fakes can be used to mediate the way we see media, especially if its used in a dangerous way. E.g. using Donald Trumps head to start wars or conflicts in other countries. 

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BCM112

Internet paradigm III: Framing and the Construction of Perception

With a constant flow of information being stored in our minds it’s truly vital to investigate what ways we perceive and respond to the media. My remediation this week focuses on perception and the framing of information to view a certain way.

Is it the interactions that we have to those similar to us or is it the explanations we see from the selections from the mass media that shape these perceptions? We can explore this further within the quote by Edward Bernays “We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of”. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized” (Organising Chaos, 1928, p1).

This practice of creating circumstances and of creating pictures in the minds of millions of persons is very influential and “no important undertaking is now carried on without it” (Mitew, 2020) The effect on the public could be seen as propoganda but the important thing is that it is “universal and continuous”.

References

Bernays, E, 1928 ‘Organising Chaos, Chapter 1’, p1, viewed 3 May 2020

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BCM112

Internet Paradigm I: Networked Participation and Collective Intelligence

This week we discussed the way the internet paradigm alters the role of audiences in their interaction with digital media platforms and content. I didn’t realise how much I participated in networked participation and collective intelligence every single day. You probably do too! One part of this topic that I really resonated with was the ideology of ‘Produsage’, found within Dr Axel Bruns text ‘Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation’ (2007) This concept revolves around the fact that there has been a shift and rise in the way we use social media. Facebook, Youtube and Instagram are all platforms in which user-led content creation is prominent. 

An example of produsage in action is TikTok. Tik Tok is an ever-evolving platform in which users can re-use and remix “existing content into new artworks which are then able to be further reworked by subsequent generations of users” (Bruns, 2007). My remediation revolves around this idea of using exisiting media, reworking and resubmitting it on my on platform. 

We are all capable of infiltrating this notion of produsage and interacting with media platforms as creators and now, given all of the access in this era of Web 2.0 (Mitew, 2020), we are more capable than ever. 

References

Bruns, A, 2007, ‘Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation’, p 3-4

Mitew, T, 2020 ‘Internet Paradigm I: Networked Participation and Collective Intelligence, Lecture, BCM112, University of Wollongong

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BCM112

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE II: THE LOGIC OF DIGITAL PRODUCTION AND THE NETWORK ECONOMY

My remediation inspired by the Vaporwave aesthetic! Created using PhotoMosh

Here we go again! This crazy concept (that I’ll hopefully get right this time) ‘The Medium is the Message’ has come back to haunt us all. It’s for a good reason though, it’s what sparked my fabulous remediation above!

I started this week in a very creative mindset. Before watching the lectures and trying to confuse myself, I just educated myself on what the Vaporwave aesthetic was and had some fun in the creation of it. Basically, the Vaporwave phenomenon is an internet trend that also links into this ideology of digitisation dissolving the boundaries between production and conception. Vaporwave is a genre of music that evolved from internet culture in early 2011. It has a retro feel. So how do we relate this funky aesthetic back to our topic?

The first element that we need to look at is the Emergent Media Economic Model. Unlike the Legacy Media Model, production in Emergent Media is low-cost and has no filter for content or quality. This shifts the rules of the game because now anyone can make content. This is shown in the Vaporwave style where iteration of appropriated material from the 80’s and 90’s music styles have been shifted with surrounding subculture, often with nostalgic sentiments to create a whole new piece of aesthetic which relies on it’s filters. 

If we are looking at this in a practical sense, we can see that the emergent media model is low-cost, can be curated rapidly and has the ability to be customisable. The Vaporwave style demonstrates this through it’s ability to be created anywhere at anytime and it’s layered digital material (sound, image, colouring and texture). The message here is that by incorporating these ideologies of little to no cost and easy curation for anyone, styles like vapourware can be adapted and shift into what meme culture is all about. Katie Bunnell states “A direct relationship with tools enables the maker to engage intimately with materials and process to create finished objects with a high degree of autonomy and control over quality”. We can truly see this relationship develop amongst the Vaporwave style due to our nature of ease and ever-growing control over what we create.

References-

Bunnell, K, 2004 ‘Craft and digital technology‘, World Crafts Council 40thAnniversary Conference, Greece

Image filtered using VSCO preset C1

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BCM112

The Medium is the Message!

Marshall McLuhan’s Ideology ‘The Medium is the Message’ is quite an obscure and different idea to what I’m used to but after this week’s lecture and readings, I feel quite confident in explaining what this message relates to. So what does it really mean? When we’re talking about mediums, the content is what we usually focus on rather than the actually form of the medium itself. McLuhan is trying to reiterate that while the message may be important, it is the medium that makes the message in the end… Let’s try to break it down a bit further.

When we look at my original remediation (clever, isn’t it), we can see many different elements that all relate back to this one concept of ‘The Medium is the Message’. We can see elements such as old-school telephones and Netflix to display the shift of medium’s overtime. We can see this concept of a ‘global village’, our medium’s extending out into the world and interconnecting us all. The technology that the message is transferred through is said to shift us as individuals and societies. It is the technology that holds the power. When discussing this concept, it is also valuable to state that “the medium is an extensions of ourselves” (McLuhan 1964). In a nutshell, I believe this concept to mean that our technology and communication can create a “global village” (McLuhan 1964) and the medium that we communicate through holds more meaning than the message itself. 

If you’re still confused (i must admit I think myself into confusion) In the words of the master himself, he uses “the right hemisphere, they use the left” (McLuhan, 1964).

References:

McLuhan M 1964, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, p 1-3, England

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BCM112

The Eggplant Emoji is here!

When I was thinking about what I wanted to create for my BCM112 Pitch I knew I wanted it to be something meaningful towards women in the media whilst also contributing to my portfolio and encouraging my writing passions. This is how the idea for the ‘Eggplant Emoji’ came about. The concept is to create a WordPress blog for women, encouraging their voices and discussing all things literature and women in the media. This blog will have weekly posts regarding female authors of the moment and their thoughts on the current state of literature. When creating my blog, I had to think about my audience and why they would want to look at my blog in particular over the thousands of other mediums out there. I specifically targeted 18-25-year-olds and surveyed them through interviews, receiving 100% positive responses. The most popular answer to my question “would you read a blog designed for women in the media” was “yes” and when asked why Ally* stated, “because it would inspire me and make me feel more confident”. Taking this fast, inexpensive, simple and tiny method, I turned this into an easy and no-cost WordPress blog in order to reach a larger audience and engage specifically with university girls with simple, engaging posts.

This is my survey and the results I received.

Reflecting on our lectures, I took on the concept of:
Fail
Early
Fail
Often

After my BCM114 DA, The Femme Edition, I recognized that I didn’t promote my posts enough and didn’t take the feedback I received on board. Changing this, I took what responses I have already received for my blog and intend to focus and really draw in on what girls want to talk about, why women aren’t represented enough in the media and what we can do to change this. As shown in this quote by the Harvard Business Review “women are far less likely than men to be seen in the media with women making up a mere 19% of experts in news stories” (Rattan 2019) so let’s make a change!

Harvard Business Review 2019, Tackling the Underrepresentation of Women in the Media , Rattan A, viewed 18th March 2020

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BCM112

Let’s Get Lit!!!

Hi everyone!

So after a MASSIVE day of planning, thinking, stressing, planning and thinking some more ya girl has finally come up with an idea for my Digital Artefact! Firstly, I went right back to basics and literally just put pen to paper to jot down some ideas that I had. I asked myself ‘what do I love?’ and you’d think I could fill up a page but shockingly it was super hard. I struggled to come up with ten things I felt true passionate about so I asked myself another question, ‘why am I studying my degree and what do I want to do with it?’. That drew me towards literature and the publishing industry! (how could I forget after months of trying to find internships and stress-crying over not being able to!!!). So how can I talk about books everyday while still actively contributing to my online prescence and portfolio for the future? Easy! A book blog.

So a book blog seems easy enough but how can I narrow this down and challenge myself just that little bit further… theres a few ways.

I could…

  1. Make this a feminine fiction blog, specifically talking about womens fiction and the promotion of ladies in the media

Sidenote: I started brainstorming but stopped because I actually really liked my first idea, let’s stick with that for now 🙂

Ciao!