Tag Archives: netnarr

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.


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 Burning Question? {Fieldguide}

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Hey everyone! So, last week I had the idea of Catfishing, which is using photographs to form a fake identity (persona) for their personal gain, fame, money, identity theft, etc. I wanted to be more specific on a type of Catfishing, which is Blackfishing. Recently, women on who are not of color are posing as women of color on Instagram. Example: Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 8.23.18 AM

In my last post, I called it “Catfishin with race.” There are a few concerns that come to mind such as the general cultural appropriation, inappropriate, and extremely offensive. After having my one on one meeting about how to be more specific about this topic, I have to get past the shock factor when looking at these images and getting down to the “why” and “purpose” behind Blackfishing. The thoughts I have about identity online in 2019 comes down to how looking at images can cause various forms of identity concerns, misconceptions, and misguidedness. In my last post, I also talked about how you can’t switch off and on your skin color or facial features. Being born black is something deeper than skin color and big hips. Another concern I had about Blackfishing is when a young girl of color scrolls through their Instagram feed, what would they think or how would they feel when they discover that who they saw on Instagram is fake.

There is still a lot I have to think about for next week and to narrow down exactly what I want to say. (The internet in 2019, truth versus fake, identity and online, specific argumentation, problem and solution, the modern “Blackface” and how does that play a part, consequences of Blackfishing, racist myths, technology, come up with a specific question and concern, risks, what’s the endgame?, mainstreaming racist culture, etc.) So as you can see, I dipped into a deep pool with this topic, and I am hoping I did not get too ahead of myself.

I think what I need to do to find what my question, concern, and solution will be; I have to do my homework. By researching this topic and finding out more about what others have to say about it, then I’ll be able to focus on a more specific concern. I have a lot of articles to grab research from, and I’m hoping to find more on this topic. That is where I am going to start my research. As far as how I’m going to represent it as a conversation between my alchemist mentor and me but I will figure out that part too!

Previous Blog:

It’s Crunch Time! {Fieldguide}


Getting Closer to the Finale

Right off the bat, let me start by offering the link to the article because I’m sure that I’ll forget to do so before I publish this post (I often do). Here it is: http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2016/01/the-straw-man-of-digital-dualism/

It’s the link to the article that I mentioned in my previous blog post, which is titled The Straw Man of Digital Dualism and written by John Suler. I’m personally bringing it up because digital dualism is my chosen theme for our final project but I’d strongly suggest everyone to give it a read. It’s quite interesting.

The article starts by defining digital dualism as “the belief that online and offline are separate and distinct realms” and that people tend to have dual personalities as a result. In other words, the online personalities of people are considered quite different from the real ones. There is certainly some truth to it. The author mentions some other researchers who oppose that notion (apparently called anti-digital-dualists) and attempts to refute their position by asserting their ignorance of how virtual reality differs from our own reality. The analogy that follows, which is “difference between our minds when awake and when immersed in fantasy or dreams”, captures the viewpoint of the claim that people consciously (or unconsciously) create alternative personalities of themselves online; an idolized reflection that lives in ether. It could be either for escape or mere curiosity of the possibility. As the author suggests that the online world “allows people to express hidden and often unconscious aspects of identity in ways not easily afforded in the face-to-face world”.

There are so many questions that relates to this particular topic, such as “Who dictates the idolized form of a person?” or “Does the mob mentality play any role in shaping someone’s online personality?”, that I find intriguing. There is so much stuff to examine, but that’s my short analysis for the time being; it’s just a first step after all. I had not selected my particular theme before creating the fictional character or coming up with a story for the Field Guide project. However, when this concept of digital dualism was introduced during our last class, I knew that I had found the perfect theme for the project. I’ll definitely need to find a few more resources in upcoming weeks, but this given article was a great start to delve into it. I’d definitely give it a 9.5/10 usefulness score (if we’re still doing that).

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.


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.


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!


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)



Previous Blog!

Gotta Love the GIF



It’s Crunch Time! {Fieldguide}

Warning: You will see nothing but 80s and 90s Sitcom GIFS on my blogs for the rest of the semester, and I am not sorry.😊  Let’s get started!

I officially have a topic!

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During our last week’s brainstorming class, I was trying to figure out something that I wanted to look more into that applies to the Field Guide parameters, educational, and something that genuinely concerns me. At first, I started thinking about GIFS. The way GIFS are embedded in our culture and taking the internet by storm I think is innovative and creative. The main question I had was:

  1. Eventually, are GIFS going to dehumanize our senses and emotional reactions in the real world? (Laughing, crying, being happy or sad, etc.) or is it simple fun across the internet and among friends and people will know what fake and real reactions are?

Then I started to think about Catfishing, which is using photographs to form a fake identity (persona) for their own gain, fame, money, identity theft, etc. We had a Studio Visit with Alec Couros about the dangers of Catfishing in today’s society. Anyone can take a photo of you from Facebook and can create a fake identity. It’s the new wave of stealing credit cards. (Which still happens). But for the new generations and the current generation of using social media, they would rather steal identity for more followers on Instagram. So then I thought of this question:

2. I wonder how many people know about what’s happening on Instagram where women who are not of color are posing as women of color? For those who may not have heard because it’s been swept under the rug or you’re not familiar with Instagram, this is actually happening. If you’re not sure what I mean, here are a few examples:

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This is Catfishing with race, and it needs to be discussed. This cultural appropriation and extremely offensive. As a woman of color when I see these images, I am disturbed, but I also feel bad (a little) for them because these girls don’t understand that being a person of color goes beyond changing your looks. It’s something deeper and something you are born with that you can’t switch off and on whenever you want. Furthermore, when a young girl of color who scrolls through their Instagram feed, what would they think or how would they feel when they discover that who they saw on Instagram is fake. As far as my Digital Alchemist goes, she feels the same way. That’s why she decided to create a Twitter account to discuss important issues such as these.

I could go in-depth more on this blog post about this topic, but I will save it for next week!

See ya later!

Check out my previous post!

Going In Full Speed (GIFS) {Fieldguide}



Making that “Paper” by GIF Commercials

Since I had a long Field Guide post last week, I’d expect this one to be a lot shorter… for a good balance. In fact, why don’t I just wrap it up right here? Thank you everybody for reading, and have a good one!

Just kidding.

Our main topic of the week was GIFs. I was actually looking through Reddit (of all places on the internet) to find something related, and long behold… I managed to find a linked article titled “TV Is Finally Starting to Understand the Power of GIFs—For Better and Worse”.

Simply put, the VanityFair article, written by Whitney Friedlander, delves into the commercial potential of GIFs on social media. If something is popular on the internet, you can bet your… Eeyore plush… that somebody is going to turn it into profit. Why not? Who doesn’t like (more) money? So, the idea is that making GIFs out of the best moments in a TV show or any other commercial programming and sending them out to journalists, analyzers, or just the fans on social media is not only efficient but also cost-friendly —as in, it costs nothing; free commercial that takes a few minutes (at best) to put together. Can you hear that “cha ching” sound? I’m sure somebody does… Good for them! I must admit that it’s actually a genius move to spread “info” about your product and get attention. I wonder, though, can this approach be applicable to other products beside TV stuff? Say… a GIF of the General that attempts to sell insurance —is this already a thing that I don’t know about? I don’t tend to spend time on social media, so I wouldn’t really know. Even if it isn’t a thing just yet, you can expect the social media platforms to be filled with these GIF commercials pretty soon. Then again, EU just approved that Article 13 thing which is expected to go into implementation in 2021. How long before it spreads around the world and prevents this problem? Fighting evil with another evil… Yea, take that!

Anyways, I promised (myself) that I’d keep this post short, so… Good night, everybody! Don’t let any GIF to bite your plush. Oh, before I forget… The usefulness score for that article above would be 8/10, imho. I’m actually looking forward to that Field Guide project. Until next time!

Gotta Love the GIF


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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!

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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:



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I like gifs better than memes. Memes:


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The new “The Tea is Hot.”


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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:

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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.

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



Previous Blogs!

Scadoo Into Net Art!

*Clears Throat* Me Me Me Meemmeee!

Woo Hoo! Represent!

Going In Full Speed (GIFS) {Fieldguide}


A Brief History of the GIF, From Early Internet Innovation to Ubiquitous Relic: How an image format changed the way we communicate by Lorraine Boissoneault (2017)

Article Link

From the article by Lorraine Boissonneault

I think this article would be a great addition to the fieldguide because it shines a light on the more positive parts to the internet and GIFS. Not everyone knows what a GIF is. They may have seen them, but they don’t know the name of it. This article starts off with the history of how the GIF came to be. Learning new knowledge about something you are not familiar with can give you a different perspective of something. In this case, some people may think Memes and GIFS are “pointless” and they just “don’t get them.” However, the history that is broken down by Boissoneault gives great insight for others who are not used to this new form of digital art.

Not only does this article break down the history of the GIF, it evens tells us the correct pronunciation, which we even discussed in class. “For the record, Wilhite pronounces his creation with a soft G, using a play on the peanut butter ad as a demonstration: “Choosy developers choose GIF.” He reiterated the point when he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Webby Awards. But that has hardly settled the debate, as many others insist on the hard “g” as in the word “gift” but without the “t.” Even dictionaries like Oxford English have unhelpfully declared both pronunciations valid.” (Boissoneault)

I would rate this a ten on the light to darkness scale. I think it’s important for people to understand the GIF before forming their own opinions on it. It was a fascinating read!