Wk 9-11 studios

The remaining three studios are to be used to develop the individual video works (Project 4) and begin drafting the group (Report). These two projects will be worked on concurrently over this time.

It is crucial that individuals and groups bring in work for review in these studios and make the most of working with their teacher and the studio group on feedback and review. This includes presenting informally and formally ongoing developments that are made with the video work to the studio cohort, along with running a draft of the written report past your tutor as it takes shape.

Project 4 – focus

After seeing the Project 3 presentations here are some notes to consider to move forward. The main issues with the iterations of the mobile video works at this point are as follows:

From the sketches the mobile video works become much more focused and refined. The affordance and how it has been adapted to guide the work is the pivot for all decisions. For instance, one group had the affordance of ‘realism’. This affordance was taken in different directions by each group member (‘hyper-realism’, ‘magic realism’ and ‘imperfections’). Therefore, all aspects of the work, like for instance: sound, transitions, edits, the rhythm of the edits or the work as a whole, the tone of the images etc…is guided by the idea of ‘hyper-realism’.

From one iteration to the next you are working on getting all the elements to work seamlessly to convey the concept that is informing the work.

The works that were struggling would in most cases be trying to include aspects from too many places…they were not focused enough in regards to what they aim to convey to the audience – i.e ‘hyper-realism’. Every decision is informed by the concept of ‘hyper-realism’ and what you are aiming to communicate about that concept in the work.

This is why a title (what the work is called) often helps establish a focus. The audience use this title from the beginning for context and judge how they are expected to read the work.

Critical reflection on practice

This video is useful for thinking about the critical reflection in regards to writing and structuring the report. Key quote from the video:

“New interpretations of experience to inform practice…”

Notes from the video that can be used to structure a response to the prompt:

Context – local and global (the parts of the prompt ‘social media’, interactive documentary’, theory and practice examples)
Rationale framing the reflection on practice/the report (this refers to the prompt in some way).

How was the evidence collected? – through a process of engaging in practice and documenting the processes – the event and protoytpe aspects of the project (details of what? and how?)
Journey – timeline/narrative

Critical reflection
Analysis of main features of what took place
Strengths, successes, limitations
Outcomes – probable/possible

“Draw out implications for practice – how is it significant for you and others…?” i.e in this case media practice.
“reflect on the reflection…” “do the implications for practice arrived at make sense?”

Still provide evidence for your claims like a formal essay – i.e references
Do not speculate wildly without some evidence to back up your claims

Tangerine mobile movie

Verge article:

How one of the best films at Sundance was shot using an iPhone 5S

Plenty of amateur films have been shot using iPhones, but by all reports, this is the first movie at the Sundance Film Festival to be shot almost entirely on an Apple device. It was a decision that indie writer and director Sean Baker made to accommodate the film’s small budget. But you’d never guess the camera, to look at it: Tangerine was shot in a widescreen, 2:35:1 aspect ratio, and its camera zooms through the streets of LA with a fluidity you’d never expect from a handheld device. And yet despite his camera of choice, Baker says the iPhone made for a good partner. “It was surprisingly easy,” Baker says. “We never lost any footage.”

NY Time article

Sean Baker Talks ‘Tangerine,’ and Making a Movie With an iPhone

He studied the video site Vimeo and a specific channel that focused on iPhone short films. “I was so impressed by what I saw,” he said. “I thought, ‘This holds up.’ ”

He combined the adapters with Filmic Pro, an inexpensive app with several useful tools.

“The separate ability to control white balance, focus and exposure were key fundamentals that enabled them to get good focus points in every shot,” said Neill Barham, the founder and chief executive of Filmic Pro, explaining how his app helped the “Tangerine” crew.

The filmmakers bought three iPhone 5s for the shoot, but used only two at a time, with Mr. Baker and his co-cinematographer, Radium Cheung, recording at different angles. They used a Steadicam hand-held support called the Smoothee for stabilized shots. To achieve some sweeping shots that may have required a dolly if used with a traditional camera, Mr. Baker rode his bicycle, one hand on the iPhone and the other on the handlebars. “It literally felt like I was 12 years old, shooting my VHS movies in New Jersey,” he said.

Waiting for Immediacy (catalogue – notes)

A flip lecture that is taken from two readings. Please read these two articles beforehand then refer to these notes in the blog entry below. Write a blog entry that responds to the questions in these notes below. Write a second blog entry that reflects on the readings in relation to the affordance you are exploring this semester in your group.

Hjorth, L. 2007, Waiting for immediacy catalogue , Yonsei University: Seoul.

A useful reference provided by Richardson:
Personal Portable Pedestrian: Lessons from Japanese Mobile Phone Use , By Mizuko ITO

Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, Edited by Mizuko Ito, Misa Matsuda and Daisuke Okabe, MIT Press, Cambridge

— in regards to the outcomes of this course and the qualities identified in the case studies and preliminary sketches.

Mobile Screens and Portable Worlds – Ingrid Richardson pp. 10-12

In regards to the notion of mobility Richardson draws attention to ‘physical mobility’ (p.10) which raises the idea of thinking about mobility from different perspectives. ‘Physical mobility’ – the mobile phone in relation to the body. What other perspectives can be made on the concept of mobility in this context?

This evaluation goes on to examine how mobile phones are ‘…held and touched…an object always at hand to being almost always in the hand and close to the body’ cited from Larsen 2004, Richardson 2007, p.11)

‘the mobile phone is customarily accepted almost as a body-part or appendage…'(Richardson 2007, p.11)

Body extension/ weapon – Motorola RAZR Tv Ad – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkE_-Cp4_q8

‘a pocket microworld container’ (Richardson 2007, p.12)

‘Containment’ concept (Richardson 2007, p.12)

Motorola Razr V3 Silver Commercial – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsRxJaa4ZpM

One-handed use of phone
Two-handed use of phone
Leaving a phone on while it is not in use
The mobile phone as a body part
A created microworld recorded on a mobile phone for screening on a mobile phone – i.e. a fabricated miniature world using toy figures or created sets
Recording people using mobile phones in different locations and situations

A useful reference provided by Richardson:
Personal Portable Pedestrian: Lessons from Japanese Mobile Phone Use , By Mizuko ITO

Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, Edited by Mizuko Ito, Misa Matsuda and Daisuke Okabe, MIT Press, Cambridge


Personalisation of mobile phones – the personalisation of media to the individual from the masses or large and small groups. The personal characteristics of a mobile phone – with smartphones each one is set up differently – people do not touch unless for instance they are family members answering incoming calls or look at what appears on a screen, like for example an SMS message. Mobile phones are sacred

They provide sole connection to an individual and contain that persons’ world. This access to the individual sets up intimate or personal communication between couples and close friends. A means for intimate communication. ‘Tele-nesting’ practices.

The personalisation crosses into individual selections of covers and adornments, call tones etc – that are added to smartphones.

Documentation of mobile phone personalisation using photography.
Audiovisual documentation of mobile phone call tones.
Intimate exchange between two people i.e documents SMS messages
Other documentation of the personal nature of mobile phones – a video recording of an an unanswered call etc.


quotes from online pdf – Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, Edited by Mizuko Ito, Misa Matsuda and Daisuke Okabe, MIT Press, Cambridge

‘keitai, might roughly translated as “a portable,” or “something you carry with you.”’

‘…lightweight, and mundane presence in everyday life.’ ‘…include digital cameras for still and moving images (that can be emailed to other and the web)’

‘It is less about the ability to communicate “on the go” and more the fact that social relations are always close at hand.’

‘…mobile phone communication was done with a small circle of close friends and family, generally 2-5 others, rarely more than 10.’

‘…we are finding an emergent social norm around frequent text messagers that they will signal their unavailability from the shared online space’

‘Many of the messages that our research subjects recorded for us in their communication diaries were simple messages sharing their location, status, or emotional state, and did not necessitate a response.’

‘These lightweight messages can be sent and quickly viewed while engaged in other activities such as in classroom settings, as one is in transit, or even while engaged in a social situation.’

‘Portables colonize the in between spaces of everyday life…’

What does ‘video email’ look like? – how could it be documented/represented using video?
In regards to ‘small circle’ intimate communication – surreal poetry produced with small groups – echo poetry and automatism techniques
In relation to the concept of ‘unavailability’ what type of video recording could be produced to represent these non accessible periods? The user is ‘off air’ not available for contact as part of ongoing social contact.
In reference to indicating ‘location, status, or emotional state’ – how can this be represented using video?
An interesting concept to explore the ‘in between spaces of everyday life- – what do these look like?


‘…a street level presence that melds with pedestrian urban ecologies.’ – both in relation to perspectives experienced on the street and banal, everyday aspects of those engagements.

‘“nagara mobilism”…Nagara, which could be translated as “while doing something else” is a term used to describe young people’s tendency to multi-task, to read while watching TV, to eat while walking, or, in the case of nagara mobilism, to use the mobile phone while walking or biking.’

‘…pictures taken by the camera phone have a more pedestrian quality to them than those taken by the traditional camera (Okabe and Ito 2003). While users prefer to use a film camera or a higher quality digital camera for special occasion and archival photos, pictures taken by mobile phones are often of the more fleeting and mundane moments of everyday life—a cake that looked good at a café, an interesting but everyday scene or viewpoint, or a sudden moment of cute kid or pet activity. Often these pictures are enjoyed for a few days and then forgotten, soon to be erased from the limited memory of the camera phone.’

What does pedestrian video look like? What type of activities and imagery, sounds?
How do you represent a ‘street level’, ‘pedestrian’ existence with video?

Recording video while engaged in other activities – multi-tasking’ – i.e. recording video while having a banal conversation with someone else where that conversation has no connection with what is recorded.
Recording while moving through locations via different modes of travel – on foot, on two wheels and using other modes.

In reference to ‘fleeting and mundane moments of everyday life’ and the notion of these potentially being small self-contained throwaway moments (vignettes) – recording vignettes as individual separate actions then editing them together into a longer duration work.

Back to the ‘Waiting for immediacy catalogue:

Interstitial moments – Scott McQuire

McQuire examines ‘stance’ – how the body is used to capture/record/document. – What happens if the body is used as a tripod/stedicam? In reverse recording someone as a extension of a camera as a tripod/stedicam.

In relation to the photographer Henri Cartier Bresson, McQuire discusses the photographic camera (an extension of Bresson’s body/eye). What would the ‘videographic camera’ look like? if similar processes are applied to video?

The mobile phone and the video camera on it, are always available – they are carried continuously by the user.

MCQuire discusses the use of cameras to understand things that are unfamiliar or new experiences in regards to tourism. They provide an intermediary level between the person and what is being experienced. (quote) – ‘a means of coping with the unfamiliar situations’.) – How is a smartphone used to deal with the new both at new locations and changes that occur in familiar locations? How is it used to document things/activities that are new or being worked through? What would these video moments look like?

The mobile (camera) phone reconstructs ways of seeing.

(quote) Interstitial moments; in between times and places whose meaning and significance is highly localised and extremely mobile.’ (McQuire p.21)

Meaning – interstice (Online Merriam Webster)

Interstitial Art

There is a connection with the earlier ‘the in between spaces of everyday life’ and “nagara mobilism” (Personal Portable Pedestrian, M. Ito)

Camera Phones Reconstruct Our Ways of Seeing – Dong-Hee Lee

(quote) “picture thinking” allow us to record the dialogical relations with the world experienced on the move, and thus provide the conditions for individual practices of seeing that can evade the ways of seeing defined by the mass media industries.’ (Lee p.24)

Dialogic – wikipedia

What is ‘moving-imagery thinking’?

Kodak Moment – wikitionary

Thinking in Pictures, Chapter 1: Autism and Visual Thought, Dr. Temple Grandin

Personal everyday visualisation of experiences. ‘Everyday lives, unfolding before our eyes…’ (p.24)

‘Self-camera’ – People capturing themselves in a variation of ‘spatial’ and ‘temporal’ situations. – The ‘video selfie’ (short-form) video like with Vine. What would an exploration of self-recorded moments look like/ An extreme take on the selfie using video.

Lee refers to these moments as an ‘individuals’ micronarratives’ (p.24)

Key reference:

Hjorth, L. ed. 2007, Waiting for immediacy catalogue, Yonsei University: Seoul.

Affordances as a relationship

Understanding the concept of ‘affordances’ is complex due to the different uses of the term in varying contexts.

The wikipedia overview although not necessarily an authoritative reference point provides an insight into the way Norman uses the concept differently in relation to the field of interaction and user experience design.

Gibson’s use of the concept within the field of cognitive psychology and focuses on potential actions. From wikipedia:

He defined affordances as all “action possibilities” latent in the environment, objectively measurable and independent of the individual’s ability to recognize them, but always in relation to agents and therefore dependent on their capabilities. For instance, a set of steps which rises four feet high does not afford the act of climbing if the actor is a crawling infant.

While Norman takes this another step in relation to interaction and user experience design. In Normans use of affordances the person brings to an object prior knowledge and has particular goals. In connection with the notion of design it is about the relationship that the user can have with the object, which is referred to by Norman as ‘perceived affordances’. From wikipedia:

It makes the concept dependent not only on the physical capabilities of an actor, but also the actor’s goals, plans, values, beliefs, and past experiences. If an actor steps into a room with an armchair and a softball, Gibson’s original definition of affordances allows that the actor may throw the chair and sit on the ball, because this is objectively possible. Norman’s definition of (perceived) affordances captures the likelihood that the actor will sit on the armchair and throw the softball. Effectively, Norman’s affordances “suggest” how an object may be interacted with. For example, the size and shape of a softball obviously fit nicely in the average human hand, and its density and texture make it perfect for throwing. The user may also bring past experiences to bear with similar objects (baseballs, perhaps) when evaluating a new affordance.

In our experiments we focus on the mobile phone as a type of video camera and explore what that camera phone enables us to do with it in relation to ‘mobile filmmaking’ or videographic practice. We bring to that exploration preconceived ideas about how video should be used to create fiction and nonfiction video works. What we are exploring through both the evaluation of theory and a practice-led investigation (working with video sketches) is how the smartphone as a type of video camera can be used in terms of making the most of what it has to offer this type of practice. In addition to this we are making new discoveries in relation to how the affordances of that device – video, computers and the network may alter a videographic practice.

Included in that exploration is this device being connected to the network (Internet,WWW) and potentially a desktop computer being used or not used to create video works. For instance, having a video camera connected to the network alters how it may be used in comparison to other video cameras that do not have that functionality. Also in a similar manner to a computer this video camera in the form of a smartphone with an operating system functioning as a type of mobile computer that utilises software (like mobile apps for example) to record and edit video material. Therefore the video camera is integrated into a type of mini-computer.

Bill Gaver in the article ‘Technological Affordances’ in the design field makes a useful point in regards to working with different technologies. Gaver suggests that affordances are examined (quote) “as a way of focussing on the strengths and weaknesses of technologies with respect to the possibilities they offer the people that might use them.” (p.79). This argument can be used within the context of ‘post-industrial media’ and consequently media practice in regards to media production. How can we use a camera phone for media production (or videographic practice specifically) in regards to the strengths and weaknesses that this device, video, computers and the network have to offer?

Ultimately we are interested in what we can do with this technology (what is possible>), through an experimental approach towards video practice.


Norman, D 1998, The design of everyday things, Basic Book, New York.

Norman, D 1999, Affordance, conventions and design (Part 2), Nielsen Norman
Group, viewed April 2012, .

Gaver B 1991, ‘Technology Affordances’, Proceeding CHI ’91 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp 79-84.

Additional text available in the Library:

Gibson, J 1979 The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

Affordances and Constraints

In regards to Norman’s (1988) concept of ‘affordances’ and ‘constraints’ in this chapter Ritchie refers to affordances and constraints in relation to what are described as ‘interactive narratives’.


Affordances and constraints: An affordance is both the perceived and actual properties of a system or object that determine how it may possibly be used. Conversely a constraint is the actual and perceived attributes of an object or system that limits its possible uses. There are four types of constraints: physical, semantic, cultural and logical.


Ritchie, J. ‘The Affordances and Constraints of Mobile Locative Media’ In Hjorth, L., J. Burgess and I. Richardson (eds) Studying Mobile Media: Cultural Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone, New York: Routledge. pp. 53-67.

Post-industrial media

Post-industrial Media

This course within the Masters program focuses on the concept of post-industrial media by focusing on mobile videography as a networked media practice.

What is post-industrial media?

The concept of post-industrial is taken from Daniel Bell. Wikipedia provides a summary that is informed from the reading ‘Welcome to Post-Industrial Society’.

He argued that post-industrialism would be information-led and service-oriented. Bell also argued that the post-industrial society would replace the industrial society as the dominant system. There are three components to a post-industrial society, according to Bell:

  • a shift from manufacturing to services
  • the centrality of the new science-based industries
  • the rise of new technical elites and the advent of a new principle of stratification.
  • Bell also conceptually differentiates between three aspects of the post-industrial society: data, or information describing the empirical world, information, or the organization of that data into meaningful systems and patterns such as statistical analysis, and knowledge, which Bell conceptualizes as the use of information to make judgments

    The new media theorist and practitioner Adrian Miles uses this post-industrial concept to draw attention to changes that have occurred in media practice, in regards to a shift from a industrial model to a post-industrial model. From the reading ‘PIMP 01: Post-industrial Media: Education’ an edited collection of speculative writing on the concept of post-industrial media education. This quote by Miles the editor is taken from the ‘the proposition’ opening statement:

    However, with the near zero cost of making and distributing media via digitisation and the internet, the industrial ‘rationale’ that informed, defined, and legitimated media is now dissolving. In addition, value is increasingly shifting from the ‘product’ or media institution and situated within practice, community, consumption, and service. Here (and now) media making, distribution, and use is about relations between people, technologies, protocols and things, rather than audiences and programming. Today’s emerging media giants reflect this, to the extent where they can be conceived of as simply sites that enable practice to occur (YouTube, Flickr, blogging more broadly). In this scenario content may be secondary to experience and the social. This shift, from the capital intensive, one way broadcast model of industrial media to what remains, at best, a series of emergent institutions, practices, and forms, is to be investigated through the heuristic of the ‘post-industrial’. The aim is less about evaluating the relevance or applicability of Bell’s argument than its use as a schema from which to begin, build, and critique a praxis of post industrial media.

    Course Design – Part A

    Converting this concept of media practice into a course within this program involves extending the skills you have covered in your previous networked media course. Another requirement is providing support to the non-fiction project course, which works on cross-media articulation and dissemination.

    Networked Practices

    What came out of the forum on post-industrial media in relation to practice from Miles’ contribution, is that students work on developing ‘networked digital media practices’. What are those? How do they differ from industrial media practices? Miles provided this summary as a starting point:

    “…here to know deeply is to know horizontally from managing software systems, updates, new platforms, codecs and standards through to recording sound and image, editing on a variety of systems, compression for different platforms and publishing online through the use of a variety of social and technical systems.”

    So, what does this mean in an applied sense? This quote points towards developing the skills and knowledge needed to articulate and disseminate media in the network? What is the network? Is it computers, the Internet as the architecture and the web that runs on that architecture? How is it different to develop skills to work in this environment compared to for heritage/legacy media like traditional television and radio? How do the affordances of the this platform differ from television? What is the difference between social media services and a program broadcast on television?

    A point was made about a shift to collaborating on the creation of services and working with communities, fans, audiences on the co-creation of content. What type of knowledge is required to make this shift?