DEVELOPMENT

Pinning the concept down

1. What is the idea?

The Hash tag Life – Social Media meets Real World

A combination of interactive media artefacts, representing a conceptual study of social media usage, offering an insightful perspective on how it is impacting society

1. Glamourisation of lifestyle. The need to share everything, and the need to make like look better than it is.

2. Privacy – be careful what you share. Emotional attachment to social media profile, how audiences feel when they know someone is viewing their profile, selective viewing of our profiles – you wouldn’t say it in person so why say it online.

3. Online virtual reality in reality. What if we could see the conversations in real time in real life that people were having via technological devices?

2. Keywords

Social media audiences, story, reality, virtual reality, privacy, realism, visualisation, SM culture, art, digital art, technologies

3. What is innovative about my idea?

People do not tend to address the issues I wish to raise, and so with a fine art take on modern digital media, my project will exhibit the observations of social media audiences that will highlight just how connect we are becoming and the potential issues raised due to this.

4. Description of Audience

Heavy social media users, i.e. those with multiple social network accounts, regular up loaders, those interested in Internet usage and future technologies.

Bournemouth University Students at Talbot Campus – the visualisation will tell their story more specifically, however the overall concept will be applicable to general social media users.

5. Description of the cultural and industrial context and purpose of this project

Combining theory, knowledge and understanding of a given concept and audience, this project demonstrates my ability to observe a target audience, offer creative analysis, as well as interesting insight via stimulating content that will express imagination, innovation and exploration of a given media artefact that is social media culture.

There is continued debate about society’s increasing dependence on the internet as a whole and more specifically portable internet devices and social media networks. This project will demonstrate how the behaviour people have online is actually quite bizarre when contrasted within the real world space. This will highlight why having conversation with people in person and communicating via face to face communication systems still hold a high level of importance. It will accentuate that although we are all buried within our phones, tablets or laptops, participating in an online world and perhaps bypassing the real world – the real world is what we should appreciate and participate within. It will be eye opening in terms of audiences reflecting on their own usage and own time wasted/spent online. The idea of the “outside looking in” is relevant when imagine what I wish to portray and bringing about a physically visualisation of what actually goes on online and the emotional attachment that comes with this.

6. The technologies I will use are…

Portfolio Website – HTML5, PHP, CSS, JQUERY

Website content – Image, video, sound, developed using Photoshop, After Effects, information gathered via the Internet.

Exhibition – Projection of website content on larger scale, Installation, print materials

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Thinking Out Loud: THL #2

The Hash tag Life #2

Conceptual elements I am trying to show:

  • Social media meets real world – the layers of communication which create an online environment surrounding an offline world.
    • Are they enhancing the offline real world? Glorifying what the world actually is by allowing a space to show case it.
    • Is what people share really important? Do people really need to know what you had for breakfast – you wouldn’t run up to somebody in the street and yell “my breakfast was great this morning, I just love muesli!” but you would tell strangers online.
    • Physical attributes of a real life environment are represented online
      • People can feel just as isolated even when their profile may say that have 400 ‘friends’
      • Outside looking in.
        • An Online Lurker – somebody who watched social media from a far and create all these judgements and preconceived ideas about the real people they see online. They do not really participate themselves but have this picture created for them.
        • What if you could see everyone’s different viewpoints on one topic in one space?
        • What if you could hear tweets and Facebook posts and message all at the same time in a public space – imagine how loud that would be?! (See the scene from the film Bruce Almighty where he can hear peoples prayer’s)
        • Exhbition – a mini series of installations?
          • get people to listen to what the  world would look like if they could hear everything that was being posted online about it  – would just sound like noise with no meaning.
          • Cameras from all angles, where they stand in the middle of it and can see themselves from all angles – makes them feel uncomfortable? Underpressure?
          • Perhaps a table where peoples sit at a desk on a computer and their  social media gets projected up on a wall – exploring peoples discomfort when they are aware that someone is looking closely at their social media feeds. – almost feel like you are doing something wrond? Getting caught stalking someone – looking over somines shoulder.

 

Creating an interactive joiner image/installation…

Observe, record, review #bournemouthbeach or #bournemouth or perhaps even promote #theHashtaglife  a week before hand to get everybody adding the hashtag to whatever they post?

Gather as much visually stimulating content as possible – nothing inappropriate and only anything that is accessed publicly (no infringments of privacy made?)

Social Media and Life Glamourisation

gif

 

There has been a constant debate about how super models are photoshopped for magazines and photographs, giving an unrealistic and idealistic image of what people should look like. Essentially this is basically what social media has allowed everyone, not just super models or industry professionals, to do – to glamourise their own lives by posted about it online and using image filter options. The images above have been taken from different media resources, some socila media and some from traditionalistic news broadcasters and demonstrates the contrast between what is actually real life and what is depicted in online life. Obviously the images are just a demonstration, and were taken at different times etc so would appear different. But if a larger scale collection of media at one given time were to be collected, this could give a really interesting outlook in how social media is glamourising lifestyles.

Additionally, by recording this level of online activity around one given physical space, it will demonstrate how “conversation” online is happening all the time and a given space is no longer what it seems or used to be seen as. This links back to the idea of story and trans media story – the story is already being generated organically through social media and it is my task to collect it and demonstrate how is it effecting everyday life.

The demonstration clip has been creating using the video creating functionality on photoshop. This was simple and easy to use however I fear that with large quantities of images and information it will be very slow and glitchy to work with. I think using a more video based software such as Adobe After Effect or Final Cut Pro would be better.

 

Online meets Offline: What if we could hear tweets/posts?

There is an ongoing debate that social media is becoming more and more anti-social. With people glued to their smartphones and being contactable 24/7. People are so caught up in having a relationship with with their social media outlets, they are letting the real world bypass them.

These clips taken from Bruce Almighty (2003), directed by Tom Shadyc, distributed by Universal Pictures demonstrate feature Bruce, played by Jim Carey, struggling to cope with the amount of prayers he can hear. In the film, Bruce has been given the powers of being God, by the man himself, played by Morgan Freeman, which is why he can now hear peoples prayers within a 50 mile radius. Prayers are usually thoughts or private mutterings and meant for only god himself. This got me thinking, what if we could hear tweets, or posts or messages or emails. This is reflective of my tutor’s analogy of Twitter – that its just a bunch of people acting like seagulls standing on a rock and shouting and that the words don’t mean anything and they just end up getting blurred together for mass viewing but are not for communicative purposes.

(Clip taken from Finding Nemo (2003), directed by Andy Stanton, produced by Walt Disney Pictures)

…back to Bruce Almighty.

This clip demonstrates how social uncomfortable hearing the prayers is making Bruce. He cannot cope with the situation he is in and needs to take a break…this could be something we have all experienced where we have become to indulgent in our social media behaviour, particularly amongst procrastinating students who will often say “I am so bored of distracting myself on Facebook”.

This clip was perfect for demonstrating just how ridiculous the world would be if tweets or posts or whatever anyone shares online was actually a physical object in a physical space in an offline world. The sheer quantity is ridiculous. What I like about this however, is how it makes you question the importance of what people post… would people post online as much as they do if what they were posting was an actual object? For example, Bournemouth University, if they actually had a physical wall to represent a Facebook wall – how many people would actually write something on it for the rest of the study body to see? Again, this highlights how silly sharing online would actually seem to be if it were in the real world. For example, you would not walk down the street in the morning and shout to the nearest stranger “I HAD PORRIDGE THIS MORNING FOR BREAKFAST AND IT WAS FANTASTIC #readyfortheday “.

Going back to the idea of a joiner image building a physical picture of an environment whereby it was represented as how it was talked about online, instead of just the physical object that it is, is an exciting idea to be moving forward with.

Offline Environment Online

maps-breakdown

Seeing something from all angles. There is a whole hidden story behind the world in which we see in front of us.

Inspired by the works of David Hockney, the interactive joiner image of an offline and online world could be interesting to explore. I think the strong image shown by still joiner images really gets across how looking at the same object but from lots of different angles gives a totally different impression of such object. This offers further understanding as to what is meant when I discuss how people respond and react differently to what other individuals post online, i.e. preconceived ideas about traditional online protocols. For example, the selfie – people who take selfies are commonly described as vain or attention seeking but in reality they are not like that at all.

Some joiner image examples:

hockney-furstenberg-paris image2109 photo_joiner___my_room_by_wardy360

The Hashtag Life Reworking

The Hashtag Life #2

 

 

Further Idea Development:

  • Creating an interactive joiner image. A joiner image is where lots of photographs are taken of the same object from one viewpoint, giving a strong end result that offers a distorted and quirky final image.
  • Create a social joiner image of one location, made up of layers based on what is posted about that given environment.
  • Instead of trying to tell the story using social media channels (like the original Hashtag Life), this would let social media do the talking for itself, allowing for the audience to “be the story” without really realising.
  • This would represent how connected we have actually become – and how without the internet we might fail to position ourselves physically as well as socially.

 

Concept Development: Don’t panic. Just do not panic. *

Okay. So things are looking a little terrifying right now and my writers block is still firmly cemented in place.

My concerns from the very beginning of this project have really come to a head, in that:

1.) To successfully pull off an interlinked story with so many characters in the medium I want, there needs to be a script so detailed that it would blow peoples mind. I don’t have time for that, and if your going to do these things properly they have to be done right.

2.) Importantly, running something live will be exceptionally difficult to record and hand in for the assessment brief, and won’t really have much to say at the exhibition.

3.) Generating the content for a story once done would be great if we had participating actors and actresses… like most things in uni – everyone is eager and over enthusiastic at the start of the year… but bring on the looming deadlines and felling of impending doom with everybody buried in their own work – people aren’t quite so quick to volunteer their time. This is completely understandable and something I had accounted for but means a plan of action needs to happen and needs to happen ASAP!

Change of direction 

Since meeting with my production tutor Liam, I have decided that instead of trying to write a story that expresses and utilises social media about a group of characters… instead I shall look at conceptualising the whole process of audience consumption of social media itself combining all the ideas I wanted to portray but instead creating a conceptual study and artistic installation for the exhibition. My concerns are that it would not meet the brief, however Liam has clarified that it does, and will stand alone as its own unique piece.

Its at times like these I ask myself why I struggle to commit to an idea – I have had this idea bouncing around my head for so long and done so much research and reading but when it comes to putting pen to paper, I struggle. This is something I need to note for future project work – Just commit and face the fears. Tell the world is great, make them believe in it as much as you do.

Read the next post for the mind map of conceptualisation ideas…

(Email to Mik and Simon clarifying the idea change with Liam)

Character Development

goodquoteBack to the original concept of my character Sophe “The Online Lurker” , somebody who views social networks but doesn’t post herself, really got me thinking. So far my time constraints and audience engagement has put me off following through with this idea, however I feel like it could still be possible. This quote got nearly 7500 likes on Instagram so is obviously something a lot of people relate too. I think from now I really need to develop the character of Sophe and tell her story as somebody who feels a bit overlooked in terms of the social circle of life.

Content is Key

How am I going to single handed-ly create enough content for people to engage with?

With the project being live, and the need to strike whilst the iron is hot, the audience – once engaged with the story needs to be readily available in order to follow through with it , so they can enjoy the story at their own pace?! I’m so unsure about this now. I think a live story may have to change to be a package that can be altered and interacted with dependent of the user and how much they are willing to engage.