Tag Archives: weeklies

“Well, If I Don’t See You…” {Self-Assessment Narrative}

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Reflecting and Observing. So long, for now, Alchemist World! It’s been a pleasure! (Photo: Kandid Shots Productions)

As I look back over the semester, I am proud of myself. Back in January, I walked into a class that I had no knowledge of and frankly, had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was like I listening to another language. In the beginning, I didn’t think I would live up to the expectations I put on myself since I chose an A grade contract. There was a lot at stake. Towards the middle of February, I thought I was going to have to change my grade to a B. There was no way I could keep up with the class. But, I kept pushing through and trying my best. I was worried that my knowledge of online art and life would be lost with the other people in the class who seemed like experts at Digital Alchemy. What I did appreciate is the amount of information I learned from this class. Surveillance, GIFs origins, Meme Art, Digital Art, Algorithms, and much more. Although I did learn a lot, I was looking for more of a balance by looking at “darkness” and “lightness” on the internet. For a long time, we looked at mostly “darkness,” which is educational and something that we all should be aware of. However, it would’ve been great if half of the semester we did “darkness” and the other half, “lightness.” Although those are my opinions, I must admit that my perspective has changed when it comes to life on the internet in 2019. I’m more careful of cookies and what I put out there on the internet. For example, should my nieces and nephews be posted online? Even if I put my safety locks on the posts, is there someone still watching?

Actually, I’ll share what I really took away from this class is how much online life has taken over my real life. Growing up, I didn’t have social media. I grew up having to memorize my friends and cousins’ telephone numbers, no television allowed during the week, and a flip phone that I could call my parents and my cousin. I didn’t have a smartphone until my junior year of high school. I didn’t have any social media until Facebook in my sophomore year of high school. Of course, like the rest of the world, we fell into the life of smartphones and social media without being able to stop. We didn’t know the effects it would have on us in the future. My 14-year-old self was self-conscious as all teenagers are. But I didn’t have social media to add on to it. I talked on the phone more. I was more present mentally with my family. Post-college, I realized that something has changed. I scroll through my phone without an agenda. I pick up my phone and open it even when I don’t receive a notification. My family could be around me, but I’m scrolling on Instagram.

Over the past couple of months, I started to think, “What did I do with my life before social media?” This class made me realize that I read more, listened to music, talked on the phone, I was more creative with my writing and so many other things. I realized that life was escaping me in a way that I didn’t expect. Am I addicted to social media? Yes but we all are. We can’t go long without it. This includes YouTube and Netflix; Not just Facebook and Instagram. At 24 years old, I have decided to delete my personal social media accounts. I am head of social media for other things so I will be keeping those accounts for business use only, but something needs to be done. Little by little I have been deactivating my accounts. Just not deleting the apps. So far, I no longer have my personal Twitter account or my Snapchat. Next will be Instagram and lastly, Facebook. I want to start carrying books with me again instead of scrolling on my phone or maybe some colored pencils and a sketchbook.

Now, this isn’t to guilt trip anyone or to look down upon people who do use social media. I am sharing a personal revelation that social media is kinda sorta, but really literally, consuming my life. Having the pressures of not posting someone on social media for their birthday even though you called them already. Why someone would leave a comment on someone else’s photo and not mine. Working out and eating right but I still don’t look like girl number 3,445 that I saw on my newsfeed instead of being happy with my own results. Seeing something on social media you wish you didn’t see. Finding out information you should’ve found out from that person instead of them posting it for everyone to see. The list goes on. I receive almost 150 notifications a day. I pick up my phone nearly 80 times a day. That time and mental use could be put towards so much other stuff. Like I said, business use, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. But for me, I realized I have a habit that I did not use to have, and I want to change it. I communicate with my family and friends a lot through social media, which is the beautiful part. However, I say all of that to say that this class has opened my eyes to realize that there is more than the online life.

Telling my story here for my self-assessment narrative shows that this class can truly teach you and show you things about the 2019 Internet. There is “good” and “bad” on the internet, but if anything, I loved that this class gives the logical and explainable parts to the unknown online life. I have already been sharing with my family the things I’ve learned. Jumping to my Fieldguide topic, I was not expecting this class to allow me to produce something of an article about something that I’m passionate about. I didn’t know that something like Blackfishing would be considered to be part of this course because it wasn’t anything “academic” per se. It was definitely a critical issue. But I didn’t think I was going to have the opportunity to discuss it at such great length and depth.

I believe students in the future who take this course will see that they will finally have a place to talk about an essential online issue, about anything, and it’s considered a series part of the online life. I don’t really have to explain, but the Fieldguide project was my favorite part of the class. I produced something beyond what I thought the capacity I thought I could do. Also, I loved being part of an international online space. An example will be connecting with the students from Cario. I wish we were able to have more response and reactions from them but being part of something much greater beyond our class is really special.

For future classes, I would love to see more workshop classes that will help students with their Fieldguide projects. I think by having a more step-by-step process leading up the final project, there will be better productivity from the students who seem to have a difficult time grasping it. It can be overwhelming if you are someone who is not used to using platforms like Twitter. Also, if they are not used to using social media or the computer as a whole, a project as big as the Fieldguide can become a lot. When that happens, I don’t think the students produce their best work.

  • Link to Blog and Syndicated Posts: I think by looking at these two links, I see a theme for sure. I notice that I am interested in what’s beyond the self that is shown online. What’s underneath the Instagram self or the Twitter self? Who are we really without our social media platforms? I think what started that theme up is the Selfie-Unselfie Project that we looked at and became apart of. I wish we actually did more of that because I thought it was so refreshing!
  • Twitter: Being part of the Twitter online world and learning about the “darkness” that’s out there was a rollercoaster ride. (In a good way!). Being able to connect with scholars and my fellow classmates made the class different than other “traditional” classes. Unfortunately, my Twitter visualization does not match the work and effort I put into my Twitter activity throughout the semester. I think by looking at my Twitter gives a good sense of my contributions. Also, the Twitter of my Digital Alchemist plays a significant contribution as well.
  • Hypothes.is: Most of my contributions to Hypothesi.is was because of my Fieldguide project. However, other articles have my voice in it that I have annotated throughout the semester. By looking at this, it really shows the work that I have put into this semester. Adding my blog and Twitter activity into it, an outside person would be able to see a well-rounded (official) alchemist who succeeded this course! (Sidebar: My Digital Alchemist did an excellent job with her annotations in Hypothesi.is!)

All in all, I am so happy with the knowledge I gained from this class and I really believe it’s going to carry with me for years to come! I’m excited to use my new knowledge and connections to dive deeper into Digital Alchemy. With that being said, excluding the “checklist” of my grade contract, I believe I did a job well-done in the course despite my lack of knowledge at the beginning of the semester.

With that being said, see you later Alchemy World. (For now 😉).

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A Reflection in “the Eye of the Tiger”

Well, here we are. This is going to be my final main (Weeklies) blog post for the class. I’ll probably be posting one last Field Guide after this, as a wrap up for the final project, but for the time being… would it be appropriate to act (overly) dramatic? I think I’m getting choked up right now. Ok, maybe not —but you can’t see it, so why not pretend for bonus points? I suppose that this particular post would be reserved for one final reflection on the class as a whole but honestly I really do not know what to write about. Not because there isn’t anything worthy to write about but rather there is just so much that I do not know where to even begin. It’s ironic to think that I didn’t get a chance to write a final blog post in our E-Lit class last semester, and that made it feel somewhat incomplete. Yet, here I am, given that chance, and I’m simply stumped.

For the past couple of weeks, I was simply reflecting on my progress on the final project. Although it’s moving a lot slower than I had anticipated, it was still refreshing to see those tiny little steps toward something interesting (fingers crossed). I guess, since the idea here is reflection, writing about the Research Day visit would probably be a good idea. It could also help me collect some of my thoughts “scattered on the floor”. I’m still trying to put the pieces in my head as a way to describe what the presentation was and what I managed to learn from it, but I could say with confidence that it was truly inspiring. Prior to the visit, I was able to look through the website and get some ideas as to what to expect from the presentation a little. Degenerates’ Gallery —a title that I absolutely love— was the final thesis project by our very own Kelli Hayes. Before I go any further, I guess it’d appropriate to congratulate her on getting to “the finish line”. I can’t imagine the hardship and pressure (and perhaps privation?) that this project probably had caused. Well, I sort of can but I don’t believe it’d be accurate at all. I’d felt the weight of many final projects before, but to think of a thesis… Just, wow.

Anyways, getting back to the project itself… Simply put (without doing it justice), it was about the complexities of self-representation in our new “digitized society, one that is always ‘plugged in’ and that is in interminable conversation with itself”. As stated by Kelli that “convergences of socialization, of self, and of technology have led to an emergence of new forms of self-representation as well as of forms of aesthetic presentation”, which is something that can be observed easily online. It was really compelling to see a metal installation at the presentation that truly captured that notion. I knew that there was going to be a metal installation at the presentation —the website kind of spoiled it— but I didn’t expect what kind of installation it’d really be. It was an engaging one, that’s for sure. We were asked to customize a small card, representing our perspective on those newly emerged “digital spaces”, and then attach it on the metal installation that resembled a human head. It was a very clever way to represent the notion of “digital identity” in real life. The transition into the analog reality, if you will. And, it was a lot of fun.

I should probably also mention my little project/contribution to the presentation, which was wearing a tiger mask. Yes, a tiger mask. I confess that I’m really curious about the reaction that ignites without the proper context. You see, the overall theme of the presentation was about self-representation of an individual as indicated above. I figured that I could create and wear a mask of my Twitter account persona, which is a tiger, and pretend to be “it” in real life. It might sound silly —which it was— but I figured that it could capture the theme that Kelli was going for with her thesis. You can see the before-and-after of the mask’s progress below.

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Not too shabby, I hope? It’s funny that seeing someone actually succeed in something truly inspires others to “take up arms” and strive for something. I remember seeing the flyer for Degenerates’ Gallery on the wall, inside Vaughn-Eames Hall, as I was making my way to the class, and stopped for a second to think that… wow, this is special; someone from English and Writing Studies, the program that I’m enrolled in, putting together a gallery for everyone on campus to see. Can we say “yelling from the top of Mount Everest”? It’s really motivational. I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be able to reach that “peak” with the same success when I get to it… Here’s hoping.

Looking back, the entire experience felt like a culmination of everything that we’ve learned in our class of Network Narratives, from the algorithms, online identity, taking selfies, sharing memes, to GIF making. As we engaged with the installation, shared images (including memes and GIFs) on Twitter, and discussed the implications presented by Degenerates’ Gallery among ourselves (the classmates) on Research Day, I feel like we’ve come to solid closure in understanding what the class was all about. Hence, the reason why reflecting on that presentation was the perfect choice for this final blog post. The final objective remaining now is putting all of that knowledge into the Field Guide project as “a nice little bow” to wrap everything up —and we’re almost there.

I’ve had a lot of fun and I really believe that I’ve learned a lot. So overall, I’d dare say that this class… was a roaring success! (The pun is fully intended…) Now, please allow me to place the following reference:

Hayes, K. (2019). Degenerates’ Gallery: Exploring Self-Representation & Aesthetic Presentation in New Digital Media As A Resurgence Of Dada Idealism. Retrieved from https://degeneratesgallery.wordpress.com/

The Friends that We Make on the Way

Is that “a GIF” or “a Meme” in “the digital sea”? Huh… So, it’s not that bad after all.

As I continue to work on my final project, my overall view on certain things begin to shift. If anyone were to go back and simply examine my first four or five blog posts, they could clearly see that I held a negative outlook on the internet as a whole. Is it truly a place where “the darkness” prevails as we’re led to believe? Or, I should probably say as I’ve led myself to believe. The truth is… no, I do not believe the internet is a place of eternal darkness. There might be shades of ugliness, but it wouldn’t be fair to overlook the good things about it. That image up there is meant to show that people can find amusement/contentment even in trivial things such as a funny meme or an awesome looking GIF that they encounter online as they surf through. The analogy of “sea” perfectly fits this notion that despite being dangerous, the vast “sea” is also beautiful.

I guess, I should provide an update on the project as well. I’ve finally began to annotate articles by using my Field Guide character’s new hypothes.is account. In our last class, I’d mentioned that I was beginning to see the merit of criticism against digital-dualism. So, I thought that I would start with Nathan Jurgenson’s article on Cyborgology in which he claims that “digital dualism is a fallacy”. Now, I should make it clear that I do not necessarily have a firm stance on the issue. I merely believe that there are certain cases for both the digital dualism and the augmented reality that could be considered intriguing.

Jurgenson’s article, Digital Dualism versus Augmented Reality, starts with his claim that digital dualism is an “outdated perspective”. That made me think of the in-class conversation I had about alternative perspectives on the “issue” that included one perspective that supported digital dualism, another perspective that claimed there was no such thing (possible Jurgenson’s intended stance), and lastly the perspective that advocates digital dualism is a concept that once existed but no longer relevant as the two realities are becoming one. So, by saying “outdated perspective”, Jugenson might’ve revealed here that he used to be “a believer” but that is no longer the case. Regardless, he asserts (and strongly) criticizes the notion of “first self” in real world and “second self” in digital reality. According to him, what people (media users) do offline is simply influenced by their online activities. Moreover, their online activities tend to reflect their offline identities. Hence, the augmented reality is the one reality where the focus should be at. Do I agree with what Jurgenson is claiming here? I’d probably say: “Yes and no.”

I still see the concept (?) of augmented reality as a limited way of looking at things. The underlining assumption is that people tend to behave the same regardless they’re interacting online or in the real world. Jugenson makes the case by giving Facebook as an example, but what about the other social media platforms that allow, and perhaps even (unintentionally?) encourage, their users to remain anonymous, such as Twitter, YouTube, or Reddit? I do not believe that it’s reasonable to make the same generalization when this particular factor is at play here. Perhaps I should reverse each position before asking the same question. If anonymity was a possibility in real world, would people behave the same? Would they follow the rules and the etiquette of society in the same manner? Maybe, or maybe not. It is important to note, however, that conditions aren’t necessarily the same; different “settings”, different conditions, and thus different expectations of behavior.

As a follow-up, I decided to go over and annotate the article, How To Kill Digital Dualism Without Erasing Differences, by Giorgio Fontana who attempts to refute (to a degree) what Jurgenson claims in his article. Fontana starts his response by asking the point of view which Jurgenson had based his on, whether it‘s “an ontological point of view or a sociological one”. He places his emphasis on clear definitions of the terms used in the argument to avoid any sort of confusion, which is a great approach. He talks about digital/analog dichotomy and states that the real world and the digital reality do not necessarily fall into opposing positions. This misplaced juxtaposition could be one of the key reasons why the ongoing argument isn’t nearing a unanimous end. It is also quite difficult to define reality itself as everyone tends to perceive it in a different way. Fontana also states that although “in the future it will harder to distinguish analog origin from digital augmentation”, it “is not a good reason to think that all things are already digital”.

So… yes. There are so many interesting things to extract from these two articles for the Field Guide project and analyze them. I’ll be using this notion and argument of augmented reality as a driving force in “the story” that I’m conducting. The line at which “the digital sea” and “the land” meets, my character called it on Twitter during our “conversation”. The things are becoming more clear as I find time to work on it. We shall see how the rest of it goes.

 

References:

Jurgenson, N. (2011). Digital Dualism versus Augmented Reality. Cyborgology. Retrieved from https://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2011/02/24/digital-dualism-versus-augmented-reality/

Fontana, G. (2012). How To Kill Digital Dualism Without Erasing Differences. Cyborgology. Retrieved from https://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2012/09/16/how-to-kill-digital-dualism-without-erasing-differences/

“Work Work Work Work”

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When I look at my work and realize I’m almost done! (Movie Gif from Coming to America)

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. Mine was filled with laughs, fun at church, reflection, and a lot of food! Now that my Easter weekend is officially over, I am ready to get back in the swing of things. So we are in the final stages of the semester, which means it’s crunch time! I am happy to say that I have been writing nonstop over the past week about my topic. What I decided to do is write out all my thoughts, opinions along with the research and notes that I collected from various sources. Now that I have multiple viewpoints and ideas, I am ready to write out the dialogue between myself and Xnirran. I originally had 18 pages of notes but I decided to comb through them and only keep the most important pieces of information. Now I am down to eight pages! (Definitely easier to work with.)

Since my topic is deep and complex, sometimes I found myself drifting off into other subtopics of Blackfishing. For me to stay organized, I put my topic into four categories, that way I can stay on track.

  1. What is Blackfishing? (Minstrel shows, blackface, Halloween controversies turning into online blackface, internet blackfishing, and social media pressures)
  2. What’s the problem? (Two sides of the spectrum: One is for fun. One is wrong) Hurtful or harmless?
  3. Culture Appropriation vs. Culture Appreciation
  4. Beyond Skin Color: Why do it? Benefits? Gain?

I’ll wrap up final thoughts and ideas on part five. Also, acknowledgments and other last words. After last week’s meeting, I felt more confident to tackle this issue. I was worried that because this is not only a new issue that is surfacing but it’s something that I really don’t have a solution to it. However, I was given the task to more allow people to become aware of this “phenomenon” instead of trying to find a solution to the problem. I have a lot of great content, ideas, and information that I will use in my presentation. Here is the link to my notes that I made from various articles. Unforantely, my hypothes.is was not working so I was only able to make comments on one or two of them.

In the final stretch! Until next time!

✌🏾

The Train Has Left the Station… It’s on the Way, Just Wait

Chugging right along! What?

Well, sometimes life gets busy and you find yourself unable to spend as much time as you’d like on a specific project. Has that ever happened to you? Taking on four graduate courses all at the same time is proving difficult… at least time-wise. I like a good challenge, but I’ve never been good at time management. I’m just not a punctual person. Still, I’m confident that I’ll be successfully able to complete this project and (fingers crossed) on time.

Just to recap what I’ve done in our last class, I was able to come up with the six “distinct” themes below for the final project as I searched for references. I say distinct but in actuality they all overlap with each other. We’ve gone over them in class with Dr. Zamora. So, they’re “full-proof”.

* “Relationship between identity and truth” – This is probably the biggest theme of the whole project. The good thing is that I’ve already explored the concept of truth previously. I’ve also talked about identity online in couple of my blog posts, so I already have a head start. All I need now is finding the bridge between the two concepts and explore how that bridge is actually constructed.

* “The digital/analog dichotomy” – One of the first concepts that I extracted from my resources. This distinction is pretty important in establishing the idea of digital-dualism. The important thing to pay attention here is defining each term clearly before analyzing the contrast. Come to think of it, this might actually be a bigger theme than the one above? Well, maybe the potential longest, I’d assume.

* “Online/offline distinction – which one is ‘the dreamworld’?” – We can simply look at this as the combination of the previous two themes. The concept that needs to be emphasized here is “what is real?” and how it is defined in subjective matter by the individual, rather than the general/scientific definition. The individual perspective is the key.

* “Augmented reality” – This one is more of a refuting point. A couple of the articles that I’ve found mention this particular notion that the two realities (digital and analog) become one and create augmented reality; a place of existence, if you will, where the digital-self of a person lives on. This concept is often introduced by those who support anti-dualism. So, I’ll probably be going over it in order to oppose the idea —and I’m not the only one who does (check references).

* “Hyper-connection – distraction from reality” – Something that was mentioned in one of the articles. It was somewhat brief, which means I need to do more research on it. One or two of the new resources that I’ll be searching for, later on, could end up being focused on that very concept. You never know.

* “Materiality of thoughts” – This one was a bit confusing to elaborate. It made total sense to me while I was reading the article but then I wasn’t able to describe it to Dr. Zamora when asked. I guess, I’m missing some details in there, somewhere. So, it’s another theme that needs further researching before finalization.

I happened to find three solid resources for the project so far —one was already given…but still. I usually prefer to discover these resources as I write the paper, but this time around I figured that laying down some sort of foundation was the right approach. I’ll be going more in-depth with one of those articles on my following blog post for the Field Guide. Based on the analysis, I’ll be writing a dialogue for me and the Alchemist character on Twitter.

Just to include a drawing, and show there is a least some sort of progress, here’s some doodling that I did on my notebook.

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Besides the negative sea creature metaphors that I mentioned in my previous posts, I thought that I could also include some positive ones (the bottom three). The internet is not full of just bad people, after all. We have to keep that “lightness” going.

As of writing this post, I have not yet annotated any of the references… but I will, as soon as I can. It still feels odd to be interacting with… well, myself. I recall my mother telling me to stop talking with my imaginary friend when I was a little kid. Yet, here I am, in a graduate class, in which I’m assigned to talk with my imaginary friend. I mean, what do parents know, am I right? (Please don’t lower my grade!)

References (even though I didn’t quote anything from them yet):

[1] Fontana, G. (2012). How To Kill Digital Dualism Without Erasing Differences. Cyborgology. Retrieved from https://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2012/09/16/how-to-kill-digital-dualism-without-erasing-differences/
[2] Sacasas, L. M. (2014). Waiting for Socrates… So We Can Kill Him Again and Post the Video on Youtube. Technology, Culture, and Ethics. Retrieved from https://thefrailestthing.com/tag/digital-dualism/
[3] Suler, C. (2016). The Straw Man of Digital Dualism. Fifteeneightyfour. Retrieved from http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2016/01/the-straw-man-of-digital-dualism/

What’s Next? Oh Right…My Project!🥴

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A Different World

Just like Whitley, I need to “Relax, Relate, Release!”. It’s harder than it seems for sure. I was feeling “all over the place” after last week’s class. Honestly, I felt more lost when it came to my topic for my final project instead of moving in the right direction. So far, my topic is “Blackfishing,” which is the modern day “Blackface” in an online setting (specifically Instagram) where women who are not of color manipulate their physical features to appear to be a person of color. As compelling and disturbing this topic is, it’s still too broad. I need to be specific and figure out why a person would do this, what’s the purpose of it, and is there a solution to it? There are a lot of questions to weave through before I get to the root of the problem. (Or the heart of the matter). On the positive side, I do, have a strict plan for structuring the final project. Which is this:

  1. April 9: Gather articles and resources for a basis for finding information about Blackfishing.
  2. By the following week (April 16): Have a collection of notes and information from the articles and resources I have gathered. Also, figure out my specific question and concern about Blackfishing.
  3. April 23: Begin structuring how I’m going to present my final project.
  4. April 30th: Presentation and Showcase Day!

I don’t have much time before April 30th, but I am a hard worker! So I am signing off, and I will see you all next week!

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A Different World 

Check out my DDAs!

#DDA316: Say it With Dissected Font 

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#DDA312: Running on Empty

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Previous Blogs!

A Month of Making!

 

The Alchemist and the Ones Submerged

Yes! We’ve finally gotten to the good stuff. Although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing analysis-type pieces for the blog, I was yearning for a more creative/experimental type of activity in the class. That was one of the promises that I was missing since the class was originally pitched as a follow-up (of sorts) to the Electronic Literature. If I had known that the Field Guide project was going to fall right into that experimental type of activity, I would’ve shown a lot more enthusiasm whenever I mentioned it in my previous blog posts; there is the “I’m looking forward to it…”, and then there is the “I cannot wait for it!”.

The Field Guide project apparently consists of creating a fictional character with a Twitter account that helps me solve/analyze a specific topic related to the social media —a (pretend) mentor, if you will. The part that got me excited the most is obviously the character creation. Last week, when everyone else was working on the GIF activity in the class, I was fortunate enough to work on that character creation thing instead… because my computer had died —basically ran out of battery because of the streaming. You can see some sketches that I did on my notebook below.

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The idea of using a seal as the character came from one of my earlier blog posts in which I used the figurative way of describing the internet as a “digital sea”. I figured that I could take that metaphorical approach a step further and possibly use various sea-creatures as representation of certain personalities on the internet, particularly the type of social media users (e.g., the trolls in comment sections as piranhas in “digital sea”). Below is the final form of the main character.

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So, the story that I’m planning on is about that character, currently named Porter Phoca, closing up his Alchemist Laboratory in order to go on a journey to examine those sea-creatures I’ve mentioned above. He’ll keep in touch with me, as an ongoing story of sorts, and attempt to analyze their “behaviors”. The theme of the story is digital dualism, which is described as “the belief that online and offline are separate and distinct realms” in the article titled The Straw Man of Digital Dualism by John Suler. I’ll probably go more in-depth in my upcoming Field Guide post about that theme but you can probably imagine where I’m actually going with this; people becoming “sea-creatures” inside that “digital sea”. Are they the alternative personalities, or merely the same ones that believe otherwise? It’ll be interesting to study/play with potential answers —I personally do not have one as of now. I have to say that I’m really excited to be working on this project. I even have an interesting sort of ending in mind for this WIP “story”. Though, I prefer not to spoil it for the time being. Hopefully, the result will end up as interesting as it sounds… or looks in my head, I guess.

It’s time to go on a journey!

FGCharSeal2

A Month of Making!

Hello once again! Another week, another blog!

It’s safe to say that after last class I had some major anxiety once I saw what the rest of the semester will look like. Last class started the “beginning” point of creating our own Alchemist, what to do with the Field Guide, and trying to figure out what to for the final project. A lot is going on, but I had to take a step back and just:

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A Different World 

With that being said, let’s get started! Xnirran S. has become my beautifully created Digital Alchemist. As per my previous, she is, “Very happy-go-lucky person and always seeing the positive side to everything. Not into social media except Pinterest where she shares images with me here and there. That is how we communicate.” However, she has informed me that she would like to join the Twitter community so she could share more than DIY and workout schedules but to share ideas, thoughts, memes, gifs, images, and more! So with the use of Twitter and Pinterest, we have agreed that that is how we will communicate. (Also, here is my Response to the Make Assignment). She also finished her first Hypothes.is assignment with the article Intentional Cognitive Friction by Mariana.

We looked at a YouTube video called “This Panda is Dancing-Time Well Spent.” I’ll be honest, I felt guilty watching this video because I saw my “bad” habits all throughout the video. I put bad in quotation marks because I feel like most people in today’s society has the same habits. Whether you are on social media or not, you still may spend a lot of time on Netflix and YouTube when you really should be sleeping. (Not judging because I do it too). While watching this video, I thought to myself, wow. 80% of my time has gone to things like scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and not writing as much or listening to music. What happened? When something is put in front of you that’s going to soak up your attention, it’s not your fault. There is certainly an ongoing challenge of what to do with our time. We have the same amount of time that our parents did, but I feel like we have less time when it comes to the simple living because of things like social media and the never-ending Netflix episodes. I do make sure that when I am out with my family that I use my phone as little as possible. (Except when it comes to silly Snapchat filters with my nieces and nephew).

Reflecting on these thoughts, I think this video showed that it’s okay to use your phone in moderation. I think we have to come to a conclusion and reality that these issues of lack of attention or the “attention economy” will grow instead of diminishing. At the end of the video, it said, “Imagine where technology is built on our values and not our screen time.” I don’t want my screen time to determine who I am or what I do with my life. Definitely an eye-opener and a great video to watch! (Spoil alert: His potential wife walked right by him while he was swiping for his wife on a match dating app and it made me scream in my head saying LOOK UP FROM YOUR PHONE! But you’ll see what I’m talking about in the video, which you watch below!

Field Guide…How do ya feel? 

We brainstormed in groups about potential topics for our Field Guide final project. That was a great way to really unfold everything we’ve been looking at in class. After narrowing down my topics I decided to pick: Women who are not of color posing as women of color on Instagram. An example would be a Caucasian woman posing as an African American woman by changing her outer appearance. (Hair, facial features, skin tone, etc.) I feel as if not many people are aware that this is going on. This was recent as well so it’s very relevant. I call this Catfishing with race. I am excited to get started.

For next week, be on the lookout for more about Xnirran S.!

Until next time! ✌🏾

But before you go, don’t forget to check out my DDAS! (One of which were mine! 307)

#DDA305

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Previous Blog!

Gotta Love the GIF

 

 

Gotta Love the GIF

 

Image result for a different world gif
Me when I successfully inserted the GIF into my blog. Thanks, Kelli! 

Learning about GIFS, sharing, making, I can’t get enough! This was probably my favorite topic so far in the semester. For those who may not know, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. So the looping video clip you see above, that is an example of a GIF. Just a few seconds of a video repeating over and over has taken the world by storm. Two weeks ago, we discussed Memes. (Which you can read more by Clicking Here).

We started off the class a little different than usual by having our fifth Studio Visit with Brian Lamb! We had a great conversation and good laughs concerning GIFS, the internet, and how technology is growing. The “dark” part of the conversation began with Lamb talking about how the scariest part of the internet for him are bots and even AI. (Artifical Intelligence). During the conversation, I thought, Everything (almost or mostly) starts off being for something good and then eventually turns into something else. Something that goes into the “darkness” on the internet. What I appreciated about Lamb is that he was realistic. He understood the “darkness” side of the internet and the world we live in but admits to using sources like Google Maps. Yes, there is “darkness,” but we all still use Google applications, Waze, social media, and other things that could be considered “darkness” or something we should be staying clear of.

I thoroughly enjoyed Brian Lamb, along with the rest of the class. My favorite part was when Lamb was telling us how Google is collecting our data and then all of a sudden, his camera goes out, and we lose signal with him. I said, “Welp, Google got him.” (Of course as a joke and then we got him back). But it was a nice comic relief from all the talk about “darkness.” It was a great Studio Visit so be sure to check it out!

Related image
Yes, I do create GIFS myself. Thank you for asking! 

During the second half of class, we had to tweet out our favorite GIFS and also make a few of our own! These were a few of mine:

 

 

Image result for joey gifs
I like gifs better than memes. Memes:

 

Image result for eating popcorn gif
The new “The Tea is Hot.”

 

Image result for issa rae gif
April is really next week??? ALREADY??

Conjure Your Digital Alchemist Mentor

Name: Xnirran S.

Representative Image: Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 3.29.00 PM

Attributes: Very happy-go-lucky person and always seeing the positive side to everything. Not into social media except Pinterest where she shares images with me here and there. That is how we communicate.

I love the name that the generator made me for me. Having a name that starts with the letter “X” is awesome enough! I wanted her to have a different personality than me. She knows more about Digital Alchemy and the internet than I do. That’s why she’s not really on social media. But I did want her to have the representation of a person of color. I thought that was very important. I can’t wait to start using Xnirran S.! (Also, I added the S. just because the name looked even cooler with it. Hope that’s okay!)

GIF a Scene in the Digital Alchemists Coffee Shop

This was another fun activity we had to finish but unfortunately, my GIFS are not only not downloading, but they are also not uploading as a GIF into my blog. Only this gif worked:

Related image

Instead, I will write out the concept I had for the coffee shop story. I had Marty Mcfly writing a letter to Doc in 1955 saying that he needed to go to the back to the future to 2015 to save his son from becoming the laughing stock of the internet from his “friend” Biff, sharing an embarrassing meme of Marty’s son to the entire world! I had the GIFS made and everything. Hopefully, the description is clear of what I was trying to accomplish until I’m able to upload the GIFS into the blog.

To wrap up this blog, I will simply have a GIF do it for me.

Image result for the truman show gif

 

 

 

DDA Time!  You know what to do! Click Away! 

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Previous Blogs!

Scadoo Into Net Art!

*Clears Throat* Me Me Me Meemmeee!

Woo Hoo! Represent!

Your Fortune Reads: Don’t Touch Other People’s Stuff!

“Hello, can you hear me?”

That was an “interesting” class we’ve had this week; from the topic to its execution. Unfortunately, our professor, Dr. Zamora, was absent (speed recovery!). Therefore, we’ve had an online-based sort of… lesson? Presentation? I don’t really know what to call it. It felt like an online-class that was conducted in an actual class; the best of both worlds, I guess. Our class consultant, and second-in-command instructor, Mr. Levine (too formal?), carried out the entire lesson for us.

The topic of the lesson was… GIFs! A great follow-up to Memes, if I must say. It’s actually surprising to observe the possibility of conducting an entire lesson based on these stuff. I guess, when you examine the hidden meaning behind creating a GIF, it’s possible to discover some subtle complexities that could fill up a whole lesson. Our studio visitor for the week, Brian Lamb, briefly talked about what GIFs represented online; a culmination of feelings/expressions conveyed through an (often humorous) animation. In other words, they contain certain messages underneath their visual appeal that could prove difficult to transfer otherwise. Also, they’re very small in terms of file size and easier to share with other users in comparison to videos.

I was originally planing on talking about the recent developments that occurred in relation to sharing materials, specifically visual ones such as GIFs or Memes. However, I did not wish to write another “dark” blog post, especially now that we attempt to move into a much lighter aspect of the NetNarr course. So, I figured that it might be interesting to go a little experimental with this one. The expectation is probably for me to fill it up with GIFs but I prefer to be little different. Thus, I’ll be presenting a dialogue-based (short?) story instead, that hopefully captures my thoughts on the issue at hand. What issue? I’m sure that you’ll find out once you read it. Each segment contains different set of anonymous characters, save for the first and the last one. If you were wondering about that picture of fortune cookies, well, it’s related to the story below. It’s a subtle story… but hopefully not too subtle. Enjoy!

***

[T minus 734 days]

“So… Have you made your decision, yet?”

“Not really. I’m still playing around with some ideas.”

“Have you ever heard of ‘time is of the essence’? You are not alone in this world… Others might come up with the same ideas as you do if you wait too long.”

“Perhaps… I have confidence in my fortune though.”

“Speaking of… Why don’t you check to see what is in your fortune cookie?”

“It’s probably some ‘lucky’ number for the lottery.”

“You never know…”

“All right, let me see… It’s…”

“What is it?”

“A date, I think…”

“A date?”

“It just says 2031.”

“Hey, maybe that’s the year that you finally get to publish your book.”

“Very funny. Anyways… I need to take off.”

“Got tired of me already?”

“I need to get something for my father’s birthday. It’s tomorrow.”

“Tell him happy birthday for me.”

“Sure thing.”

“What have you got in mind for the gift?”

“I don’t know… I’ll probably get him a Johnny Cash CD. He loves his music.”

“CD? Are they still making those?”

“It’s the closest thing that my dad would know how to operate.”

“You might be underestimating him…”

“Maybe… Anyways, I’m off.”

“Take good care!”

[T minus 22995 days]

“Honey…”

“Yes, dear?”

“Have you seen this?…”

“What is it?”

“On the newspaper… It claims that Cash might’ve copied his song from Jenkins.”

“What? Which song?”

“Apparently, Folsom Prison Blues…”

“Isn’t that your new favorite one?”

“Yea…”

“I’m certain it’s only a misunderstanding, dear.”

“I sure hope so…”

[T minus 20075 days]

“… the Congress has approved the new Copyright Act, which is expected to become effective as of January 1st, 1978. The new Act is claimed to be a substantial improvement over 1909…”

“Can you please shut that off? I’m getting a headache just by listening to it.”

“Fine…”

[T minus 7300 days]

“Man, these Hope poster clones are everywhere. Check this one out…”

“What is… Oh, it’s the Mona Lisa. Very funny.”

“Maybe I should create one of my own… How about Alf?”

“No, thank you grandpa.”

“What? I’m sure people would recognize him.”

“Very doubtful… By the way, have you heard about the lawsuit?”

“What lawsuit?”

“Well, it turns out the template for that Hope poster is plagiarized.”

“Seriously?”

“Yep. Some guy named Mannie Garcia was apparently the one who created it first. Then, Fairey stole it. He claims it’s fair use…”

“Wait, didn’t he make money out of it?”

“Oh, yea…”

“Wow.”

“I’m curious to see how everything turns out.”

[T minus 4745 days]

“What are you watching?”

“What do you think? My favorite YouTuber, of course…”

“You know, you spend way too much time on that website.”

“It’s called YouTube.”

“What?”

“Never mind… She says that she’s got another strike.”

“Strike?”

“It’s a copyright claim… It’s been a big problem on the website for a while.”

“I thought it was called YouTube…”

“…”

“I’m just messing around… So, what happens when you get a strike?”

“I think you lose ad revenue. And, if you get three strikes, your channel shuts down… I don’t want her channel to shut down!”

“Wow. They’re really upping the restriction-game, aren’t they?”

“It’s too much! What happened to the fair-use?”

“Fair-use of what? The content?”

“Yea…”

“The big cooperations obviously do not wish to pass up on potential profit.”

“There is even an attempt to kill the net neutrality now, which she was talking about in her previous video…”

“What is that?”

“You’ve never heard of it?”

“Nope.”

“Well, I could explain it but… Oh, s**t!”

“What happened?”

“Restoring Internet Freedom bill…”

“Huh?”

“It’s passed…”

“So… what is that mean exactly?”

“…”

[T minus 4380 days]

“Memes and GIFs are copyrighted in EU now? What is this world coming to?”

“Tell me about it…”

“Article 13? What a name. Good thing we’re safe over here.”

“At least for now. I’m quite certain that it’ll have a ripple effect around the world… It’s only a matter of time.”

“Whatever. Do you know when is it actually going to be implemented?”

“Last I heard, it was 2021. The funny thing is… Some meme-based subreddits already started to ban people from Europe.”

“It sucks to be them, I guess.”

[T minus Zero]

“…and so, your book, which is titled ‘An Essay of Animated Emotions Online’, exhibits images of copyrighted materials. As you have failed to prove official permits for these specific images, you are indebted to minimum $500,000 in ‘damages’, and further production of the book is going to be delayed indefinitely. Do you have any questions at this time?”

“Yea… Uhh… Do you know if there is a good noodle shop around here?”

“…”

“I might as well spend my last buck on some good food… that I can afford.”

[The End]

***

Well? Although I am tempted to explain every single thing in it, I’d like to leave “the meaning” of the story to the reader. Some might think that it’s a bit pretentious but… a little subtlety goes a long way. Before I end this post, I wish to bring up the “say cheese” prediction that I had previously. It turns out, not a single person has used that phrase in their blog posts from last week—come on people, be more s̶i̶l̶l̶y̶ creative! I suppose that it’s a good thing I didn’t choose to become an oracle, or a predictor of some sort professionally. It reminded me though… Are we ever going to examine online challenges in this class? That famous, and very “sophisticated”, cheese challenge really took off… for some reason. Worth a look?

Also, I have to post at least one GIF, so…

5cfff3935dde280fa72a01a1e47af4bd

(Something that I found on Pinterest… Don’t sue me!)