Integrated Media – Lecture 1

Not much to say about today really, aside from the fact that this subject looks a whole lot more interesting and inspiring than last years Networked Media. This is not to say that I didn’t learn anything valuable in the networked media unit. Rather, I’m looking forward to expanding upon the techniques, ideas and concepts from last year, while breaking new ground in previously unexplored territory. I am excited about the interactive video task. I never considered interactive video as a possibility, a) because I had no idea how to go about doing such a thing and b) because I have always been more focused on more traditional forms of media, i.e. linear video. I already have a few ideas as to what sort of interactive video I would like to create. The most interesting so far is to have a multitude of videos capturing individual instruments or rhythmic visuals to combine, at the users liberty, into a ‘original’ piece of music. This interactive video based around Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”, while quite different from my idea, demonstrates the way in which music can create continuity despite the variety of video footage presented (never mind the fact the actors are mouthing the lyrics). Considering I haven’t used the Korsakow software I don’t know if this is possible, however, I look forward to experimenting and discovering for myself what is really possible within the constraints of the program.

Here are some video’s that roughly illustrate my idea…

Unlecture 6 – Books vs. E-Books

Probably the most interesting question discussed in this weeks unlecture was “do you think the digitalisation of literary texts and the use of the E-reader will eventually replace the physical book completely? will the physical book become redundant”. I found this part of the lecture particularly interesting because I am rather sceptical about the future of digital publishing. While mediums like the e-reader largely simulate the physical manifestation of a published work, things like hypertext narrative make me wonder if this kind of story telling is in fact our future. It would be naive of me to say that hypertext or “choose your own narrative” kind of storytelling will never work, as i’m sure that they will become refined and embraced in the not so distant future. I am sceptical because from what I have encountered so far, alternatives to traditional fixed narratives are generally cluttered and confusing. The exception to the rule that I encounter more often than not is choice based video games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, but this point is irrelevant when discussing the future of books.

It is my opinion, like a some of the lecturers, that while e-books may become more predominant than tangible books, the physical book maintains a nostalgic and almost romantic aesthetic, much like vinyl records in contrast to CD’s. The book in itself has a lot of cultural baggage attached. For example, we build large exquisite libraries to house these artefacts, and the book since its conception has commonly been seen as a symbol of knowledge and learning. This glorification of the book will not disappear, it may fade but it will never be lost, at least not for the next century.

I agree with adrian, however, when he said that while the physical book will retain its popularity for a very long time, it has outlived its practicality; for example, in regard to text books, data logs and so forth. Digital publishing has revolutionised the way we can store and share knowledge. Traditional literature will always preference the physical book however, because, as the name suggests, the format itself is traditional.

I hope, while digitised publications serve a convenient and practical purpose, that the publishers continue to distribute physical copies of their publications. If only so that I can look at and touch them. There is something deeply satisfying about a full bookshelf…

pictured: my bookshelf

Unlecture #2

From what I could tell from today, the “unlecture” format works. The things that i was a little unsure of were answered and I now feel confident with what a can/cannot and should/should not put in this blog. For instance, while I was aware that we have an exceptional amount of freedom in what we choose to publish, I was still quite intimidated by that freedom, I was “without a paddle” as it were. Simply by elaborating and giving examples with where we could go with this freedom, I got renewed confidence that I would not get too hindered by the limitless choices I could make.

However, I am still unsure of what the rest of the unit will be like, especially the lectures. While today everyone had similar questions in mind, i can only speculate what we will learn in future weeks, and what questions we will be inspired to ask. Considering the directed learning is largely dictated through the readings, I can see only a small amount of time being used to address questions that relate directly to the course. What then do we discuss in the rest of the time? When we start work on the Wiki then perhaps the questions will be more focused, interesting and relevant to everyone, but as it stands at this early stage, I find it hard to anticipate how the “unlecture” will evolve.

“unlecture” week 1

I had a fair idea that this subject would be relatively unconventional in it’s approach. The lecture conducted by Adrian confirmed my suspicions. The general theme of the lecture was an emphasis of self directed learning. Adrian made his point by highlighting the significant progress technology has made and the affordances we as students gain through the integration of the readily available technologies.

Adrian made the claim that when he was studying at university, what drove people to undertaking tertiary education was scarcity of facilities and tools one would require in a specific field. For example, Adrian stated that when he was studying cinema, the video camera was a bulky and expensive piece of equipment while the editing suit was essentially a large desk used to cut and splice reel to reel tape. In contrast, today our smart phones provide better video and editing software than what was previously available, and as such, we are no longer driven by scarcity.

This made me ponder why I decided to undertake tertiary study. I suppose the main reason would be to obtain a piece of paper that states a have a qualification in my field of study. Beyond this though, what drives me is a desire to refine and expand my ideas, skills and confidence through the funnel which is a structured degree.

This is why I am simultaneously scared and excited about Network Media. The lack of direction is relatively daunting and I can see myself floundering about trying to update this blog with interesting and relevant content. However, being forced to supply content of my own choosing forces me to take risks on my own initiative.

The concept behind the course seems to be a very organic method of teaching and learning and I look forward to seeing what I have produced an how I have improved by the end of the unit.