This was an interesting article to read and discover different ways of using various research methods. Fanfiction is a term that I have learned through the media as well. I have my own YouTube page and I am constantly on YouTube and following other YouTubers. Fanfiction was a concept that I could not understand or something that I was not into. However, after reading this article, I realized that Fanfiction goes beyond creating fictional stories. It is actual a way to bring people from all around the world together. There is a larger concept to online Fanfiction that Rebecca W. Black discusses and tells how research methods proves that.
My senior year of my undergraduate studies, I took a Global Issues course in order for me to graduate. We learned that globalization is how people today connect by mostly technology. Black defines globalization as, “the accelerated movement of people, ideas, information, media, commodities, and capital across national and regional borders” (pg 397). Globalization began in the 1980s and has rapidly increased to the 21st century. From the on, this generation has progressed faster than any other generation. Technology has played a huge part of globalization as far as connecting through social media and various ways of communications. Fanfiction was something that I did not think of being apart of the globalization phenomenon. Black also continues to describes globalization by stating, “-has given rise to many significant questions about the nature and impact of online communication and socialization across time and space” (pg 397).
The definition of Fanfiction according to Black is, “a unique form of writing in which fans base their stories on the characters and plot lines of existing media and popular culture” (pg 398). Maybe one of the keys to connecting with the rest of the world is as simple as using our imaginations. There are other ways to connect with people around the world besides things such as education and politics. Using our imaginations and being creative are uniques opportunities to bring people from around the world together. There were more than one research method that went into collecting data for this topic. One of the methods we discussed in class in the beginning of the semester. “Using qualitative methods, I collected data from multiple sources over a three-year period” (Black, pg 403). Within the different research methods, the use of other communication techniques such as media were used as well. However, there was a downfall conducting this research, which was the lack of face-to-face contact. The research had to be solely based on their web identities, which could cause a disconnect between the person who is conducting the research and their subjects. I would like to see Fanfiction writing and other forms of creative ideas be used by people around the world in order to continue the cycle of globalization.
Tbh, I’m going to miss our discussions on digital art~
The Gif that Just Keeps on Giving
Before I get into my reflection on digital art, I want to talk about our last hurrah for the Make Bank.
This week, we used what we learned from last week’s experimentation with Giphy to make two different kinds of gifs which I pronounce with a soft g like in graphic image format fight me.
The first make asked us to gif a process. Of course, I chose to make a gif illustrating one of the many metalworking processes familiar to me. (For anyone who’s come to know me, I doubt that’s shocking~)
Anyway, here’s my gif-take on soldering:
***Please do not attempt at home or in any other place not properly ventilated***
So, soldering is the process by which pieces/sheets of metal can be joined. In order to solder, you must first have *drum roll* solder (of which there are 3 kinds–hard, medium, & soft). Typically, start with hard solder and work your way down (the designations don’t refer to the composition or sturdiness of the solder but the temperature at which it melts, hard solder taking the longest to melt and soft the least; so, you want to start with hard solder and work your way down because you don’t want your solder to re-melt and flow every time you attach a new piece of metal to your project–it’d be constantly falling apart, yeah?) Anyway, my gif starts with me placing my chips of hard solder down (technically I should have sweat soldered this but tbh I couldn’t be bothered~)
From there, I torch the piece (soldering temperature is around 850 degrees Fahrenheit). Then, once you see the solder flow and melt, you have to quick quench the piece in water and then in the Pickle–which is a cleaning solution. Metal gets very dirty once heated–it’s a chemical reaction. After letting your piece sit in the Pickle for a few minutes, you can take it out–with copper (absolutely no steel in the Pickle) tongs!!! Don’t touch a piece of metal with Pickle on it!! It can cause your skin to peel–and run it under some water and clean it with a brass-bristled brush.
Ta-dah~ My last image shows a (relatively) cleaned and soldered piece.
I found this activity to be rather fun and engaging, kind of like the Most Fascinating Subject in The World make. Perhaps that’s because both projects ask us to remix and create digital work (memes and gifs) of subject matter from our own lives. To me, projects like these illustrate how memes and gifs, while ubiquitous and rather universal, start off in the personal and individual. It takes one person to notice something or tilt their perspective just so to create them. More, these projects provide opportunities for participation in remix culture in ways we can relate to on a personal level. I mean, we’re remixing parts of our lives, right? Adjusting the lights and the angles and making magic~
I’ve noticed that a lot of our discussion in class and in our blog posts has revolved around whether or not digital art is “Art.” Pointless conversation to tbh but I digress~ So, I made a gif to represent my feelings on the matter–Art is what you make of it. It’s what I make of it. It’s what we make of it. Just the ideal that real art has to be on a pedestal and labelled probably has every artist from Van Gogh to Duchamp to Rauschenberg to Roth and then some rolling in their graves.
Honestly, get out of here with that elitist nonsense. Art is what you make of it but it’s also historically been about challenging preconceived notion and the status quo and about calling bullsh*t on bullsh*t. If selfies, memes, and, of course, gifs aren’t doing at least one of those things, then idk what is???
In my first post exploring digital art, I compared it to a kind of neo-Dadaism, calling it Degenerate Art 2.0. In the rise of this new medium, I see traces of a desire to respond to the growing absurdity of the world and the action’s of world leaders >.> with absurdity and nonsense which is something Dada itself sought to do. In many ways, Dada the 1st was a response to the absurdity of WWI, to all of these countries typically regarded as pinnacles of culture and of society fighting over 50 feet of mud. How do you create art after that? Dada showed us how.
From there, I explored the place of the selfie in digital art. In my post breaking down the history of the selfie, I talk about whether or not the selfie even constitutes as work of art. Survey said: not only yes, but that it constitutes a whole new genre of art. For the first time in a long while, new digital media has lowered the boundary for entry into the art sphere as well as created a whole new genre for it. The selfie is the art of the people, created for us by us. More, it has created a whole new kind of communication between us as well as a new way to be introspective. For those of you who have reservations about that claim, I highly suggest you check out my post on the matter as well as check out the Selfie section of the Digital Art Referencium~
If you still have doubts, I suggest you explore the #SelfieUnselfie make. To me, this is one of the most meaningful projects I’ve participated in. I explain why in more detail in my post reflecting specifically on the project but, in short, I think this project captures the essence of what selfies could be while also emphasizing their limitations. If there’s one thing our segment on Digital Life revealed, it’s that’s it is very easy to get caught up in the innovation and the glitz and the glamour of new online spaces and forget that we’re all still people behind our screens with insecurities and agendas and flaws and faults and so many other aspects of ourselves that would look damning under a microscope. More, there are parts of ourselves to appreciate and that can be appreciated without the easy outside validation digital platforms can so easily provide. The internet allows us to be so much more than ourselves but that doesn’t mean who we are offline matters any less.
After discussing the seflie, came good ol’ memes and gifs or, as I like to refer to them, the sprinkles of the internet~
I discuss my thoughts more in depth about memes in this post and about gifs in this post but ultimately I believe that gifs and memes truly embody that neo-Dada essence I mentioned earlier. They tap into that seemingly universal acknowledgement that the world is a pretty absurd place and turn it into art. And though many corporations are beginning to use memes and gifs for advertising purposes (as mentioned by Amy whose style I love and Michael in our studio visit this week), they are fairly democratic medium, another form of art that is made by the people for the people. A culture of remix and reciprocity has really risen up around these mediums as well, memeing the meme a fun make but also popular practice these days.
Tide Pods, anyone??? Stranger things, huh??
Overall, I find digital art to be an emergent and exploratory new medium for creation and reimagining and remixing. There has been and will continue to be a lot of trial and error but I think it is coming into it’s own. I mean, look at how many gif artists there are now? You or I could be the next big thing~
*For those who don’t know, I also write poetry. This semester, I’m actually taking a course on poetry. In this image, you can see some of the poems I’m working on for my collection. For me, every poem is both a beginning and an ending–I live my poem, yes, but it’s also where my feelings end up. More than that, though, poetry is what life sounds like, yeah?
*So… dis my cat~ Her name’s Dove and she’s kind of dopey and likes to chew on plastic. #imhallingherout #sorrynotsorry (On a serious note, what’s Felix got against cats????!! Lol for real this time, I took a photo of Dove with my phone, uploaded it to my computer, and then edited it in Paint, of all things. It wasn’t very difficult at all. The shapes are pre-made and the text is easy to overlay. 10/10 would recommend~)
*I made a thing! For anyone who doesn’t know, the open participants of NetNarr have started a project we are all welcome to participate in as well. It’s a great opportunity to practice some digital alchemy~ I remixed an old story of dark, ravenous magic. Hope you enjoy ^.^
*CrashCourse on Youtube (an educational channel run in large part by John and Hank Green) has just started a new course on Media Literacy. I think it’s pretty relevant to our course and worth a watch. Maybe an episode or two will be good to watch for class?
*Artsy Gifs is really cool to follow on Twitter. They share art-inspired gifs that I think are beautiful editions to any feed~
*I’ve almost finished reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to read. I highly recommend you check out this book. It’s so relevant to the reality of racism and police brutality in America right now and it’s told through the lens of a 16-year-old, Black girl. These kinds of books that explore this kind of subject matter areso important.
The official class site for Dr. Mia Zamora’s Fall 2018 Electronic Literature course.