252 MC – Future Digital – Future Semantic

The future of digital is looking like it is going to be a very immersive experience. We will begin to see immersive retail experiences this is when retailers will start to use digital technology to send adverts and suggestions on what to buy or where to go based on previous searches and your shopping and internet history.
There are a variety of technologies that will be used to target people in different ways so they receive the right advertising for them as an individual rather than experiencing blanket advertising that is targeted for everyone. One example of this is the Estimote. Here is a video explaining what it is and what it does. 
Soon many of us will be using wearable tech weather thats for general life, sports, hobbys or work. Examples of this are google glass and the fitbit bracelet.
The Semantic Web 
The World wide web is only around 25 years old. This is a constant flow of information that is fed in to our homes if we want it to be and we can access most of it free of charge. We can choose if we want to be involved in these digital devices and if we want to link up to the internet. The semantic web is about publishing pages that are designed to be understood by computers so they can perform more work involved in finding, sharing, and combining information based on the web by reading these connections that are in place.
The Future of the Web
These databases and networks are all accessed by computers, mobiles, laptops and servers and what we’re getting out of all these connections, it is one global machine that can be accessed and altered by everyone who wants to be involved.
The machine that is the internet has run uninterrupted since it began so it is very reliable. We were told some of the dimensions of this machine, they are as follows.
  • There are 120 billion clicks per day.
  • 65 trillion links between all the different Web pages of the world.
  • 2.5 million emails sent and received per second
  • 170 quadrillion transistors involved
  • 246 exabyte storage space
  • 10 terabytes per second of total traffic (the Library of Congress is about 20 terabytes. So every second, half the Library of Congress is swooshing around the world)
  • It uses five percent of the global electricity of the whole planet
We then were told that by the year 2040, the total processing power of this machine will exceed the total processing power of the whole of humanity. There is the possibility that one day it will even take over from human kind.
As professionals all of this means to us that we need to get ourselves out there and to use all the technology that is available for us to link to other professionals and to people that might want to connect to us and work with us or buy our products. We also can use these devices to make connections but in the future it might be that we can use devices to make networks and connections for us, for example by knowing who we are talking to and putting their contacts in to our phones or linked digital devices.
There are certain things that we have to do to be able to make it as artists/photographers/professionals that communicate in the digital world and that use linked digital devices. 
Network: Use all your connections to create a community
Relevance: Know your audience/customers/readers/users.
Profile: Always be professional and make sure your digital brand is the best it can be.
USP: Even if you’re doing what other people do find the thing you do best and bang on about it.
Exploit: All the tech you can to make sure you are ahead of the competition and have a joined up online persona/brand.
Learn: About each new marketing/networking development.
At the end of this lecture we watched this video about how to order pizza in the future. This video was interesting as it looked at the ideas we had spoken about during the lecture and how maybe one day the  technology will know all about us and will run our lives for us.

252 MC – The Power of the Network

Networks are used every day and we are all affected by them and are a part of different networks and systems. Even our bodies are made up of networks and systems that make us function in different ways.
Here are some examples of different networks and systems digital and natural.
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There are two main types of network in the digital world these are the random network and the scale free network. Random networks are less common and more unstable and scale free networks are more common and spread more quickly than the random networks.
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Power law distribution and clustering coefficient distribution are used to characterise scale free networks. Scale free networks can also be called small world networks as they reflect the larger world they are part of. 
Is it a coincidence that the computer systems/networks are similar to natural systems/networks?
Technology is advancing more and more to make the digital networks more similar to the natural networks, for example the brain. Are these interactive technologies just one step away from having arm and legs and being life like in more ways than just the networks being like human brains. Due to the internet becoming so advanced does this make us want to be involved and enticed in to it even more than if it is less advanced. 
At the end of this lecture we were told to look at this video that explores networks further. This was particularly helpful as it enabled me to understand networks and the idea of how they work further.

252 MC – Here Comes Everybody

We were told that the title of this lecture came from the title of a book by Clay Shirky. In this book the main point he was making was that now is the time when everyone can have their say because of the  internet and various interactive digital media platforms that exist in the modern day world we live in. He also notes that although great changes have taken place up till this point they happen more regularly now than they ever have before. After discussing this we then went on to look at Michael Wesch, he is a digital anthropologist who works at Kansas State University. His work is based on his concern with how the internet has bought media participation up and allowed it to become dominant. This links in to the idea of how the digital world has changed us and has made us more prone to interact via media platforms rather than with each other face to face, for example sitting round the table and playing a game. People think about this and think its a bad thing and that it should change but then never make the effort to change it and carry on living the same way.

There are many things that everyone gets involved in and that trend at different times. Some examples of this are the ice-bucket challenge and neck nomination. In some of these charity is added but others are just about participating and being part of something bigger than you and the world you are in.

We were presented with positives and negatives that are in the age of participatory digital media. Here they are

Participatory digital media – positive

  1. the internet/social media allows you to communicate directly with peers
  2. ideas can be shared/developed
  3. you can create a professional profile and brand your practice so that creating connections with communities of practice around the world is a click (or two) away
  4. you can receive feedback on your work even if you don’t have an established ‘name’
  5. creating and maintaining a profile is feasible and simple using dedicated sites
  6. you can create your own social networks using tools such as Ning

Participatory digital media – negative

  1. your ideas can be appropriated
  2. everyone can get online and ‘present’ themselves as professional
  3. Here comes everybody!

Companies are using and embracing new marketing techniques and opportunities that use interactive digital media devices. These companies are now advertising on the internet rather than on TV. One example of this is a recent Ikea advert.

Another example of this is the Old Spice adverts. This advert made sales increase by 168% after it was shown. This video was then recreated by people which in turn started to increase the brands identity even more. This was a failing brand but due to these adverts it has risen back up and become popular again. 

We also looked at crowd sourcing this is when you gain work, ideas and content for projects from a group of people that you may not know already. Normally this takes place online. These are ways for people to participate in projects in a different way than face to face and with different people to normal. One example of this is Eric Whiteacre’s virtual choir, where he sent out sheet music for the participants to sing and then chose the voices he wanted and linked them all together. 

Another example is the Johnny Cash Project which allows people to colour in and draw frames for a video of ‘Ain’t No Grave’. 

From this lecture I have thought about the ideas of everyone being involved through the use of interactive digital media and how it is constantly changing not only for us as artist but for everyone who wishes to be involved. This lecture has made me question what it is going to mean in future to everyone and whether we will have a choice to be included or whether we will be forced to be involved.

252 MC – Virtually Real, Really Virtual

During this lecture we discussed virtual reality and how and why it has been used. We discussed how the idea of virtual changes based on the time the person lives in for example some people thought this short motion picture by the Lumiéré brothers called Arrival of a Train made people leave the cinema because they thought that the train was going to come out of the screen and in to the audience. Whereas now this sounds ridiculous to us because we live in a world that virtual reality is a natural occurrence. 

Here are some examples of different artists that use virtual reality now.

This is a photographer called Liu Bolin and this work is from a series called The Invisible Man. For this work he paints himself to blend in with the environment he is in so it is difficult to see where he is in the photograph. This is like virtual reality but in the real world.

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Another example is Julian Beever who draws with chalk on pavements. This is an example of 3D art that makes the viewer question if it is real or fake and can confuse them until they look closer. This is similar to Liu Bolin but these are more obviously fake and more fun.

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This lecture made us all think more about what we wanted to do with our work and if we wanted to insert a virtual reality aspect in to it.

252MC – Mash It Up: Let the Dataset Change the Mindset & Research Group

During this lecture we discussed mashups and what they are. A mashup can be done in anything for example music, art and even flavours. These are created to make something sound, look or taste a certain way which will appeal more to the audience. Here are some examples.

These are by Ulric Collette and they are family mashups. So these show two members of a family put next to each other and blurred in the middle. this shows the resemblance’s and differences between the two family members.

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These are by Shawn Clover and are called historical mashups. These show what places looked like then and now merging the past with the present.

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In the internet world mashups are different to this. They use the API (Application Programming Interface) of different programs or pages. This then enables people to reach things in different ways where they can see what they want rather than just what they have to see. This interest me as it can be changing the data in an image or file to make it appear how we want it to and in the way that we as an audience enjoy more.


Research Group Sessions

As part of this we were asked to find photographers or artists that use manipulation of the data or images to create new work.

Our group found a photographer called Aaron Hobson who manipulates google street view to put two places in to one frame. Here are some examples.

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252 MC – Knowledge is Power lecture & Research Group Internet Hoax Task

During this lecture we discussed various points all about the internet and how there are always people who are twisting the truth and our knowledge of it to make us believe things that may not be real or that only show a fraction of the truth. There are regular hoaxes, trickery and illusion displayed in the media all the time but does it trick us? or are we now desensitised and used to it?

We then discussed the ways in which we know what is true or real and what isn’t?
In this time we can become confused so easily and be led to believe that things are real even when they aren’t real at all. This then leads to the question of can we really establish what is the truth and recognise the differences between real and fake? If there is news we will believe it and we generally won’t check that it is real and if it is against what we believe then we will try to disprove it as much as possible.
Research Group Sessions
As part of this lecture we were told to complete the task of finding an internet hoax in our research groups. Our hoax is about actress Betty White. This is a play on words in the heading or the article with the word Dyes and dies. Here is the print screen from the website.
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252 MC – Introduction To Digital Media #cudigme

Today we had the introduction to the 252 MC module here is the assignment brief. I am looking forward to this module as I will learn skills like coding and designing my own web page that will be transferable to other areas of my degree and my future life. I am also looking forward to learning to work in a slightly different way to normal especially through task two with the reflective writing also working in a small group again as I have enjoyed this previously and I am hoping to work creatively with some people that I haven’t worked with in small groups for any other module. Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 16.46.28

Research Groups Sessions

During this introductory session we were asked to find three photography websites in our group and decide why we go back to them and how we feel about these sites. We were asked to think about this in regards to the accessibility, findability and usability of the sites that we had found. Here are what my group decided on. The first is Fstoppers this is a photography website that gives advice, workshops and teaches techniques to photographers at every level. My group decided that we go back there regularly because of the aforementioned qualities and because it is simple to use and it is very easy to find what you want on the website including how to pages, featured photographers, techniques, workshops and an on lie shop. These features make it a good website for a photographer at any level to use because it means there are skills and information for everyone. This website is very easily accessible and is linked from many other website when referencing techniques or how to pages.

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The second photographers website was that of photographer Daido Moriyama. We decided that this was a good website that we go back to because it is updated and current it also has options for different languages so it is accessible to all. The layout of this site is simple to view, use and navigate this makes it easily accessible and it is very user friendly making it have good usability factors.

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The third site we looked at was also a photographers page this time Daniel Shea. We chose this website again based on usability and ease of access. The work is also current, updated regularly and it links to many different aspects of photography and creative working through different styles of work. This site is simple to use and the layout is simple to use. It also includes lots of different information about the photographer that is updated to show commissioned work and personal work both past and present.

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This was an interesting task to do as it made us all think about why we go to that website and it allowed us to decide what we wanted our work to be like and how we wanted it to be viewed online through our own personal websites.