the line (assignment 5): revisions

Following the tutor feedback and final revision discussion, this is the final version of the line: presented as a three-page tumblr website, holding 35 video clips plus a menu which has a short instruction plus five menu items (two statements; a methodology collection of video clips, and a reference list, and the standard archive tab).

Assignment 5 is only marginally altered: one clip is shortened, four clips reprocessed and uploaded through tumblr and not Vimeo. Here, the tutor feedback seemed to want to remove one of the key concepts (besides the digital/analog moving of gossip, anecdote) of desires, movement, transgression and their darker undercurrents; and I chose to hold onto the abundance and overwhelm that marks this concept.

https://the———————–line.tumblr.com/

 

Der Grund (Assignment 2), final version

This project took a few rounds of revisions. Notably: an old photo album wasn’t working (too cliched), the plan to produce a purpose-made concertina 6×4 album did not feel right either (too large, too common).

In the process, I also kept resequencing the work until I had a version, with ‘chapter breaks’ that worked. The dummy of 5x6cm images (printed on a single A4 sheet) revealed an unexpected degree of perfection in the small-scale, hand-held format. I proceeded to test two giclee papers (photo mat and Hahnemuehle Rag), both about 300gsm weight, the latter an open-structured paper. Producing the folds on the latter is just possible, it creates breaks and an open structure that fit with the theme, the size remained perfect.

I tested a variety of covers, and settled on a reverse inkjet print on a thin vintage (1950s) tracing paper, pasted on, which means the writing sits ’embedded’ in the paper structure, the closing mechanism is a simple elastic:

IMG_2915

A video of the final sequence is here:

Revision of Critical Essay

I revised the critical essay and the final version for assessment is attached.

[the original is in this post]

My key revisions were

(a) adding a reference to Berger & Sontag (1983) To tell a story to elucidate one underpinning concept of the relational dynamic between author-subject/object-viewer

(b) to write through the previously bullet-pointed section that outlines the key changes of the above in the context of the networked image.

(c) to add a further closing sentence to draw back to the role of performativity and the shifting construction of boundaries between public and private in the context of the networked digital image.

I have highlighted the changed sections in a dark red in this new document, here.

 

 

Assignment Six: pre-assessment review

On 7 Sep 2017, at 12:56, Gesa Helms <g.helms@posteo.net> wrote:

Dear Jesse,

— this email outlines and points to the relevant blog posts concerning the revisions for the previous assignments and thus concludes the module.
I am cc’ing OCA Enquiries (as per your suggestions) into this as confirmation of having concluded the module within the timeframe.

The main changes to discuss in our tutorial concern A1 – Office at Night and A2 – Der Grund.

For A3, the essay I will present a version reworked on the basis of our discussion, notably writing through the final section which is currently only presented in bullet point form (due to the word limit).

For A4/5, please see the discussion on the previous tutorial as to technical and presentational revisions (mainly: moving to a dedicated site which allows fuller control over uploaded videos; but also considering to edit the selections of videos down.).

For A1 I have written (and now updated) a blog post which details a further iteration of the original participatory methodology of the project and now includes a repositioning of the initial prints in the participants workspace (i.e. a take on the manual collage). Please see post here: https://digitalimageandculturegh.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/office-at-night-2-material-and-possibly-outcomes-a1-office-at-night-revisions/

For A2 I took a series of additional photographs, following our tutorial and have re-edited the set of images and intend to realise it as an actual print album (as family album) rather than an online format. Please see post here: https://digitalimageandculturegh.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/der-grund-2-revisions-to-assignment-2/

For our final Skype tutorial, Wednesday 27 or Thursday 28 are good for me (I will be in Germany), please pick a date and time that is best for you? I look forward to the final tutorial and many thanks for all your support during this course!

All best,
Gesa

Conclusions

Dear Jesse,

— this email outlines and points to the relevant blog posts concerning the revisions for the previous assignments and thus concludes the module.
I am cc’ing OCA Enquiries (as per your suggestions) into this as confirmation of having concluded the module within the timeframe.

The main changes to discuss in our tutorial concern A1 – Office at Night and A2 – Der Grund.

For A3, the essay I will present a version reworked on the basis of our discussion, notably writing through the final section which is currently only presented in bullet point form (due to the word limit).

For A4/5, please see the discussion on the previous tutorial as to technical and presentational revisions (mainly: moving to a dedicated site which allows fuller control over uploaded videos; but also considering to edit the selections of videos down.).

For A1 I have written (and now updated) a blog post which details a further iteration of the original participatory methodology of the project and now includes a repositioning of the initial prints in the participants workspace (i.e. a take on the manual collage). Please see post here: https://digitalimageandculturegh.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/office-at-night-2-material-and-possibly-outcomes-a1-office-at-night-revisions/

For A2 I took a series of additional photographs, following our tutorial and have re-edited the set of images and intend to realise it as an actual print album (as family album) rather than an online format. Please see post here: https://digitalimageandculturegh.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/der-grund-2-revisions-to-assignment-2/

 

All best,
Gesa

Der Grund (2) : revisions to Assignment 2

I had taken a series of additional photographs for this assignment back in Spring, mainly following the tutor advice on including other people, different locations; so, much of the revision then focused on different grounds, perspectives but also doing a series of photographs with me and my father (my father being the son of the photographer of the initial set of photographs that inspired this project).

There are two main proposed changes:

  1. the photographs and their sequencing
  2. the material outcome

 

The photographs and their sequencing

The initial project was realised as an online flipbook, here.

Early on I marked the following as changes: if in book form as it:

  • remove: spread 12-13, 14-15, 26-27.
  • retake: 25 (colour cast can’t be post-processed); also on bed!
    >> don’t want to retake it; reducing saturation (-30) works quite well.

<< this responds to the tutor advice of it being too repetitive and laboured in its current form.

Looking through the sequence again, I am even tempted to remove than the initially marked spreads.

The photographs I chose to take in addition are the following:

… I will need to print these and then work on the sequencing with the earlier photographs (both archival and those that I took)

The material outcome

Initially I was keen on having a luminous, back-lit outcome for this, hence the online flipbook. But looking back at it, that preference was mainly my own rather than one grounded in this actual project. For the final resolution of the project I have settled on an actual album, either just a small 6×4 album, or, more likely a slightly larger album which allows for utilising the negative space on the page to reposition some of the historical images with current ones.

I am currently experimenting with a simple shop-bought album for this (which in its ordinariness seems fitting, rather than a handbound one).

 

 

exercise 4_3: a meme

 

exercise: Taking inspiration from an image or idea you’ve researched, create your own photographic response to an internet meme. This may be something original, or your own interpretation of an existing meme. It might be funny or profound, but it should make people want to look at it and share it.

 

Having used Facebook rather extensively as interface for my final assignments, I over time sought out various meme pages and explored some of the forms in which memes are generated, repeated, altered, and circulated.

— What follows is a fairly narrow selection of the memes that interest me and the sites that post them. In that, many of them are political, are at points offensive, and at other points targeting a rather particular audience (like Freud Quotes, Shit Academics Say or Zlazloj.zizek, which is Slavoj Zizek extensive experiments in social media form). The other type of memes I was interested in are those that are ironic takes on both memes and the wider context of YOLO (you only live ones), these are the inspirobot.me and Vapid Daily.

Politics, narcissism and social media practice

Zlazloj.zizek, Zizek’s page (and numerous other pages like I would prefer not to, Disturbing Books, Freud Quotes seem all fairly closely interconnected, often reposting each others posts, so for many of the memes, there is a iteration and redundancy in my feed, which reinforces, repeats, reminds).

Zizek in particular explores the edges of taste, the futility of love (which I take to be an attack on current strands of feminist politics around care, self-care and a renewed focus on social reproduction) and above all the scope for narcissism in social media form. These two are examples of this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both reference popular films (It and Fifty Shades of Grey), depict key stills from these and insert Zizek as protagonist: as monstrous clown Pennywise (who is very much to be feared) and as the subject of Christian Grey’s unconventional desire. In both these scenes, the meme works because it requires an audience’s familiarity with the plot development, the actuality of appropriate fear vis-a-vis Pennywise and that Grey’s desires are of sexual domination (and having a female submissive partner). The first, Pennywise, meme, subverts the plotline by altering the text (in written, not spoken form), the second one does so by inserting a new still, of Zizek in bed, sitting proud in front of a picture of Stalin.

The joke? The dangers of communism as spectre and Zizek as controversial character.

Bottom Leftist Memes does something rather different. It is one of the few pages on FB that I have encountered that explicitly discusses (gay and submissive) sex and desire within a left anarchist political context. Its content features often the page admin’s own graphic drawings, besides some reposting, some other memes and some political commentary. The posts for some time feature a text description of the images which is thoughtful, hilarious and a tech commentary on the inability of FB to provide appropriate text captioning for its image (i.e. there is a commentary about accessibility contained in these.

I use an example which isn’t sexually explicit, for others, go and visit the page.

The post reads:

CW discussion of violence; poorly drawn Nazi symbolism]
What are you getting so worked up about
.
.
.
[ Image description: Drawings of a person wearing a red swastika armband and heiling; a person with a 1488 forehead tattoo; a sharply-dressed guy with a suit and tie and a Pepe the Frog pin; a person wearing a KKK hood; somebody waving a Kekistan flag; some kid wearing a Pepe mask and holding an anime girl body pillow; and a guy wearing a red baseball cap that I was too lazy to write MAGA on but you know that’s what it’s supposed to be. Text reads: “Hahaha don’t you feel silly? 6 out of these 7 “quote-unquote” “”””NAZIS”””” are only joking, and only one of them would actually beat you to death with a baseball bat in real life. Have fun guessing which one! ]

 

 

 

 

Vapid inspirations and artificial intelligence

Vapid Daily is a page that composes and circulates vapid inspirational quotes (not) on a daily basis.

I only see these occasionally in my feed, their overblown visuals and the trashy font type generally make me smile, the text often is painfully accurate. They are clearly carefully constructed as such.

Late June I came across a bot that is designed to provide inspirational quotes, inspirobot.me . I came across it as there as a fair bit of media coverage as to the nonsensical, often offensive nature of its inspirational quotes, of getting it wrong how a meme, an inspiration works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I generated a few quotes here and there, and over the past fortnight started to do so more systematically, with a friend setting a shared facebook album to collect (via screenshot a few of these). The album is called bat rum (once), a word play on bot romance, as the aspect of romance, desire and social interaction was one that initially interested me most. With some of the memes being so offensive and rude, I soon set up a second, more private album called bot romance (the m files), m standing for misogyny, morals and mother (?). My friend and I would generally share our finds via messenger, I would often upload them to be shared with her and my friends. A comment a few days ago pointed to the narcissist, individualised, neoliberal logic of many of the quotes, but also that our posting was needing a trigger warning: you are about to be hit on the head with some neoliberal inspirational sledgehammer. This exchange led me to the following as GIF (though the format is strictly an MP4, a video, but it consists of two images, one a myriad of inspirobot images, too small to be read, yet relentless, the other one a simple phone drawing about the need to be inspired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ironically, while each of the inspirobot memes gets some likes, noone has liked my meme so far 😮 — or: perhaps not ironically but fairly fittingly.