Media 6 which turned out to be two completely different subjects is and has been difficult for me in all the ways I figured it would be. It’s all intensely group work oriented which means I absolutely have no other choice but to interact with other human beings and even now I get too anxious to go for classes ugh. We have one class where we have to organise and orchestrate a seminar with real industry professionals and another where we look into media futures and build a text to suit our chosen topic.
So I’ve ended up with the documentary seminar on which I was, along with two others, tasked with designing the poster for the event. The overarching theme for all the seminars was the “Epic Journey”. Our group came up with using Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing theme and just added a Documentary at the end instead of Las Vegas. I thought this was brilliant because it was a story about the journey to find the American dream so yeah it fit the theme pretty damn fine. I also happened to read the book a while back too so I was immediately inspired to make something in the style of Ralph Steadman
and this is the aftermath
For the media futures class I joined the group that wants to cover copyright laws which is something I have had a personal interest in for a while now. Being a media creator I find myself appropriating material through means which are technically illegal so how will it affect the way I respond when my work is used against my will? It’s something I talk about in a previous post more extensively but it’s no where near exhaustive as this is a topic that is still being debated, which is why I was interested in this idea. The only problem is I fear I’ll let my group down because I’m just not very effective at doing heavy research and writing on a high academic standard. They are things I’m still learning how to do, and I know they all have really high standards, so I just hope I can pull a rabbit out of my ass with this one. If I could work on it alone and in my own time they would probably get much better grades.
Also ‘steering committee’ is such a silly name, always makes me think of steer. Maybe they should change it to the overlords, might be more enticing to join as well.
So with Art of Persuasions documentary, Dom and myself basically split the work to a video each. We had to make one clip purely out of found footage and one out of stuff we filmed ourselves but with no interviews in either as a cool limitation to work with. I decided to make the found footage one cuz I dunno how to work a camera fo shit. But like I mentioned in my previous post we had the problem of trying to tackle a very large issue in a small frame of time (3minutes) which resulted in the overall idea changing two more times from the initial one.
My first attempt was simply too factual and wordy, which is precisely what I was trying to ebb away from, as I may or may not have mentioned in the past; explaining things to people isn’t how to convince them of anything. You need to somehow reach their inner feelings and desires. With this initial idea we wanted to put propaganda in a place where it [although sinister] served a higher and greater purpose to maintain a stable society – as the alternative was complete and utter chaos. I acquired a vast cornucopia of knowledgeable clips and snippets to demonstrate the actuality that humanity was incapable of itself and required the leash, however the deeper I dug the more I found this to be the case only because humanity has been under the leash for so long in the first place. This research helped solidify some of my own world views which was great, but like any good apocalypse – in the original Greek sense of the word – brought more questions than before. If anything, my objective was now further from sight.
Knowing I had a long way to go, I made a contingency video which heavily featured themes from The Matrix, particularly the scene where Morpheus offers Neo the red and blue pill as an analogy to choosing between accepting the propaganda and to believe the lie or to realize that you’re just a cog in a system who has no say whatsoever in the direction of your life. But it was just too much of the Matrix in the end and I hated it for being so gross and cheap.
In the end I decided to make something I thought about when I was younger – a documentary, where the narrator talks about human beings the same way he would talk about animals in wildlife.
“This is a wild human mother in her natural habitat” – and you just stalk mothers in malls or wherever it is mothers spend their time. (pardon my ignorance, I thought Dubai was in India, I’m not perfect)
Gahah it’d be brilliant.
Recently I even saw something extremely close to it. An Aussie show called Bogan Hunters, where the hosts are blatantly capitalising on getting people to self proclaim their Boganism with or without them realising they’ve basically turned into circus animals for the entertainment of people higher social class. Heck the Bogans probably even watch it themselves believing they’ve attained a greater place in life by acting a fool on TV. Sigh.
I didn’t really explain why I thought this was appropriate to the theme of propaganda. You see in my research I’ve found that people are so well under control that we’re basically being shuffled around and made to do things to the same extent that livestock are, all without realising whats going on. It’s the greatest damned illusion ever blanketed over humanity, and if it’s not, it’s definitely up there. You know how you hear about those farms where nobody really gives a shit about the animals and treats them like they weren’t living beings (I don’t wanna post vids but you can find em if you look really fast)? Yeah thats what the people in control of your lives are probably like <<assumption>but a pretty strong one>. You’re just the oil for the cog in their machine of money.
You’re born and raised through a factory process, where you’re sorted by age, and shuffled down two potential paths of life |ARTS| and |SCIENCES| or Sir Ken Robinson puts it –
Since the arts don’t generally produce much wealth you’re immediately considered second rate, but regardless of which line of work you end up in, it’ll always be for someone elses benefit. You’ll be squeezed for every last bit of potential you have like chicks in a macerator. I say ‘you’re’ because if anybody reading this is most likely not in that wondrous “1%”. This affects and has to do with basically everybody. We’re so content with this complacency which might be fine if the situation merited it, but as a species that has such an immense capacity to learn, we seem to be going more and more backwards with each day that passes. I mean.. seriously.. Bogan Hunters.. how is that a thing.. religious beheadings and killing of civilians.. how is that still a thing? Civil war and discontent.. how is any of this still a fucking thing?
It just doesn’t make sense, I don’t think it’s possible for people to be this horrible if there wasn’t something or some force that desired or even required this kind of pain and unrest. It’s almost like the only reason people are horrible to each other, is so that they remember to cherish the times and appreciate when they are good to each other. Like some kinda dualic Yin and Yang system we truly can’t seem to step out of. Does that mean we’re condemned to repeat mistakes? What’s the point of learning anything if you don’t adapt from the mistakes?
ANYWAY, I feel like I get so lost in these rants the point I try to make loses itself. THE POINT here is that I wanted to make a clip that would make people think for a moment that they are a part of a farm, not as farmer, but as farmed. What resulted, or rather was intended, is a clip, almost like an infomercial for the 1% to look into the lives of the 99% of their livestock. Three minutes, still isn’t enough, and I might like to expand further on this in bigger projects for greater reach, but I hope that at least I got some people in my own class to think about this. Even if only one person. Because the truth is, this is something nobody will want to accept or face. It’s like taking off the blindfold to see a meat cleaver, and I don’t have the solution, but I think it’s worth thinking and talking about, because “nothing strengthens authority so much as silence” – DaVinci.
EDIT: Here is the final vid I made. Hope you enjoy.
So I just finished watching a 4 Corners doco [EDIT: Link works but no video cause they want money for views so don’t bother] on how kids both utilize and are utilized by social media and how the world runs on ‘likes’
Big companies that own these platforms sell the data they collect on user behaviour and sell it to advertisers. As a user of social media I’ve personally done everything I possibly can to ensure I don’t get any ads at all or the least possible on anything I use because I grew up in the era of pop-ups and in your face advertising where you were bombarded with that shit the moment you turned on your computer. I also studied advertising for my diploma which really just made it so much worse, as a result I’ve shut it out from my life as much as I now only allow space for things I’m specifically interested in. Otherwise I actively seek out new things through my own channels – which is all fine and dandy – but I realise how this can be a folly on my part too as I may miss out on things that are of genuine interest to me because of my narrow channel of information.
The actual scary thing I suppose about data being collected is that they’re creating a profile of me that even I don’t really understand. It’s having people you don’t know knowing more about you than you do yourself, which is really just unnerving. It makes me feel like less than a person, like I’m defined by the data they collect. It takes away from my individuality. Is this a good thing? I’d say yes. If I was a machine. In the past privacy about any or all of these things was always paramount (at least that’s the way they made it out to be). There would always be a disclaimer stating that your information would never be given out under any circumstance. Very suddenly things quickly turned into “we’ll give every single piece of your information away to the highest bidders – oh and it doesn’t matter if you signed up years ago when our policy was different, we’ll take old data too anyway because fuck you that’s why”. It’s a problem because kids don’t understand this, and frankly neither do their parents, only a handful of people in the world who really pay attention or have been exploited by it know to be aware of their presence online.
As bleak as I make my position on this out to be I’m actually pretty uncertain of the role that this ‘generation of likes’ plays. I think it’s flipping awesome that people from all over the world can share and connect with each in the way that they do. But knowing that so much more than money is being made off of data about me and my behaviors and likes and aspirations without even an affirming pat on the back [no I don’t actually want a fucking pat on the back]. This data is simply invaluable and the way it was acquired and sold is comparable to slave trade, except that people don’t know they are the slaves and that makes it just perfect for the companies who own the data as no one will ever really complain. It just seems like the greatest violation or our era.
I’ve been turned into a product being sold to other products by larger products
But hey, maybe I’m wrong about all of this, maybe this is the perfect system of distribution of knowledge and wealth the world has ever known. It doesn’t matter if we don’t get paid with money, we get the experience that social media offers. A world catered to us individually based on our metadata. You pay with personal information to use a service they provide which in turn helps bring us closer to each other and to products and services that are in line with our interests and we can stay stuck in this never ending consumerist dream world. So in a way everyone wins. Except poor people. They always lose.
Sorry about the rant. This shit just irks me.
Also I newly noticed that this blog is under the Creative Commons label. Is it me or was that not there before?
“Never trust anything that can think for itself, if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.”― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
So the people at MIT have gone and done something ‘that can’t be done’ -as we humans normally do- with these little robots that can assemble themselves.
These things are pretty incredible, well maybe not so easily observed in their demonstration, but the potential they posses is… intimidating to say the least. I mean, being able to change shape according to the situation?
But on the other hand could it help bring us one step closer to realising the Nanosuit from Crysis?
Although it probably already exists, in some secret lab, somewhere, maybe beneath my house. There’s probably a guy in the suit watching me type this right noaawefjapgj
If you can read this, you are too close.