Week 10 Update: PB4 Begins

This update provided by Adrian Lapiz.

It’s that time of the year again. The time where find ourselves extremely overwhelmed by the amount of work we’re given and the lack of time we have to complete it. The time where we lock ourselves in our rooms, telling everyone we’re going to study, but really, we’re just going to cry. The time where we begin to question why we even chose this career path. That’s right, it’s the end of semester. With only a few weeks left to go, we were tasked with one final assignment; to “embark on an exploration of the theoretical, practical, industrial or creative possibilities that lie at the intersection of old and new media”.

Now, since this assignment is about applying all of our research that we’ve done over the past semester into practice, we don’t really have any more content to discuss in class. That means no more interesting class discussions, no more fun little tasks and activities, it’s literally just time to work on our assignments (which makes weekly updates a little more difficult).

With such an open-ended topic, it’s good to see a variety of creative ideas among the students.

So, I asked a few students (and a tutor) about what they are planning for their assignment. Here’s what they said:

“I am creating a playlist and seeing how it translates over three different formats. So, I’m doing a cassette tape, a compact disc, and a Spotify playlist, all of which are accompanied with variant different album artworks and seeing the different associated meanings between forms”

  • Anniemae Goldring

“I’m embroidering ‘F*ck You’ into a pillow. I’m going to put the F, U, C, and K, into sequential order, and then embroider little pretty flowers around it. Embroidery’s an old thing, it’s a pretty old gig. It’s about authenticity, I’d say, and then combining that with the quite modern, contemporary expression, ‘F*ck You’. Many people wouldn’t say ‘F*ck You’, back when embroidery was a big gig. New and old”

  • Shannon Griffiths

“I’m Cody, and I’m in a group, and I’m with Adrian in the group, and Jeremy, but we call him Bryan, and we’re doing 80s. We are doing a video for the 80s. Funky music, themes, and stylisations, and nostalgia, and materiality. 80s history, originality, process, research (it will take a lot of research into 80s things), and then we’ll be satisfied”

  • Cody Nelson

“I am doing many things for my assignment. I’m trying to collate some materials on authenticity, and materiality. I’m trying to make sure that I read the project brief carefully, and that I submit everything on time”

  • Dan Binns gives advice on how to be a good media student

Super Gr8 // Week (super) 8

This week’s update brought to you by Jasmijn van Houten & Cody Nelson.

What a week it’s been!

We hope everyone finished up their holidays safely and comfortably, but the time has come where we once again put sanity and well-being aside in our wondrous pursuit of financial stability knowledge.

Bell & Howell Standard 8mm projector

Opening our week with ANZAC day may have come in the way of other classes, and rightly so (Lest we forget), but fret not, Dan, we return perfectly in time for you to grace our presence. Although we do thank you for not assigning and readings for this week, it’s made this reflection a heck of a lot easier, so cheers. Our Wednesday class was a well-needed one to say the least. Presenting our work thus far to Brian Morris and Andrea Rassell was invaluable, allowing us to take on a new perspective on our works and shape what is yet to come in our current Project Brief, as well as (if we hopefully remember) influencing future works too. It’s always good to get feedback and food for thought, especially with Project Brief 3’s due date looming over us.

Moving onto Thursday’s class – we were given quite a peculiar and eye-opening class, in that we were given the challenge of creating a Super 8 film without a Super 8 camera, or Super 8 film for that matter.  The cameras we used were ‘sabotaged’ in the classic techie style (with gaffer tape) and we were limited to 10 shots, which had to be edited in camera. We were shown some of Paul Richard and Dan’s low-key hilarious film school antics as inspiration, and thus sabotaged cameras in hand and equipped with a keyword for inspiration we were off to our task of awakening our inner Steven Spielberg.


This exercise, besides being a fantastic source for amusement, like short film exercises always are, gave great insight to the meticulous design and execution required in the creation of Super 8 films. Seeing what all the groups came up with in next week’s screening will no doubt be super cool.

All in all, it was another stellar week with the Old’s Cool krew.

Presentation Feedback

General feedback from Brian M:

-The wide and open selection of practices/crafts by everyone reminded me that media *can* be defined very broadly (as media academic David Gauntlett does in Making Media Studies: The Creativity Turn (2014) – as he puts it, adapting Brian Eno!, anything that generates an experience). But what is your chosen craft/object communicating in the broadest sense?

-Forms of [media] making that engage the body in ways other to digital existence (i.e. as a screen interaction) seem really important in lots of the examples chosen

-More context about training – ways of passing on the knowledge about the craft – would be illumination … how are ways of learning old school and new school?

I liked the repeated theme of not thinking of old/new media as binary – but rather feeding and/or providing spaces and opportunities for each other

 -What is particular about the economic / work organisation situation where the craft develops

niche marketing vs craft – not the opposition? Business first craft second?

cf handcrafts (e.g. pottery, shoemaking) – making material process visible (not hiding it – the object as fetish hiding conditions of production and labour relations)

Actual workspaces where creativity happens are really interesting – e.g. private workshops versus public performance. What sort of difference might this make to understanding of craft/practice?

technical things (for future)

– don’t forget to light your subject as much, if not more, than the surrounds.

–  mic your subject (clip-ons to camera or separate zoom) please!

Relationship between enterprise and craft is interesting in some of these cases – what comes first – desire to find a niche market then the passion for the craft or …? Entanglement of romantic and pragmatic understandings of craft, skill and passion.

General feedback on presentations

Andrea R (more on Andrea and her work here):

  • Interesting range of projects
  • Hybrid practices — anti-digital, vs slightly integrated digtal practices
  • There is no clean delineation between old and new
  • Haptic and tactile media — digital and tactile
  • haptic stylus — re-enable gestural, tactile connection to technology
  • Cave system — VR capabilities — active design
  • go deeper in terms of the hybridity between digital and the tactile/analogue
  • Limitation = rather than being restrictive, they enable creativity
  • Your mode of operation in relationship to your subject .. think about audience/practice/ethics .. are they promotional?
  • Making statements that are defensive/protective .. vested interest in being protective .. complicity in protecting/defending that craft
  • Who am I in relationship to this person? .. friend/interrogator/lover

Brian M:

  • Social/cultural functions of the turn to forms of craft that are tactile/material/practical
  • Digitalisation is haptic in its own way; screen-restrictive
  • Modes of engagement; uses of body/hands; embodied experience
  • Performative mode/craft takes place in the hidden workshop; public vs private; process vs product
  • How much subjects talk about the process of learning — archive, building knowledge, mentoring, apprenticing, clubs/societies
  • Relationship between old and new ways of learning craft

Dan B:

  • The craft itself is important to establish, but you need to go deeper: what are the themes/principles behind the craft
  • A number of presentations lacked a sense of where you’re going with ideas/themes — consider this in the written work
  • [With the complete understanding that these were teaser videos/drafts:] Some edits needed tightening up, issues with lighting/grading, issues with audio — fix up before submission!