Final Signal & Specific to Site Reflection

The final project brief for specific to site was exhibited at ‘Signal’. This creative arts studio aimed to provide a space for young artists of all mediums. With the assistance of classmates, our tutor, and the employees at Signal we were able to put on an exhibition for 3 nights in the heart of the city on the Yarra. Our team worked hard and cooperatively in particular groups to prepare, promote and run the show. The different groups included the tech team, the installation team, PR, project managers and the documentation team. I was a member of the public relations team, and through being appointed this job I had a variety of responsibilities to ensure the success of the promotion of the exhibition. One of my main tasks consisted of constructing and the distributing of visual promotions. These included assisting in the construction of the website, placing of posters, and cutting and dispersing of the flyers.

Our team had a group conversation via the social media platform, Facebook, to keep in contact to keep on top of activities and to brainstorm and collaborate ideas. It was here we voted on placing posters in spaces in which are often densely populated and thus would have a higher chance of being identified. This included the library, building 80, the student lounge, RMIT connect, and the media and communications building 9. (See blog post here). However, when I asked the librarian’s permission to put up the posters, they declined kindly and informed me that we are supposed to seek permission from RUSU on where to dispense posters. After speaking with RUSU, we had permission to place posters in RMIT connect, the pillars of building 8 and we had to seek permission from individual buildings for the other places, and therefore we also placed them in building 9. Another job of mine was working with Rose on developing the website, providing potential viewers the opportunity with a link to each individual student’s Media Factory blog, blurbs for their work and a portrait of themselves. (See website here).

Overall, this semester has been far greater than semester 1, the ‘Specific to Site’ studio has taught me a lot on methods of exhibiting, editing skills and collaboration. I enjoyed being able to work and produce all forms of mediums for media, such as photography, audio and film. As the semester progressed I have a made a lot of new friends, as well learnt a lot of valuable skills such as editing for film. We were provided workshops on particular programs such as Premiere Pro, and that plus the help of classmates and my tutor I was able to learn a completely new program and work with arranging multiple footage on one screen, cropping, sizing and edits of reversing and slow-motion. The signal exhibition, the backpack projection night and Project Brief 3 for Testing Grounds really extended my skills on collaboration and allowed myself to experience working in the media industry professionally, working with real artists, and real employees of the studio art world was very valuable and a great insight to the media environment. It also allowed myself to immerse in the struggles with communication, and hardships of putting an exhibition together, especially if there is not a mutual understanding on collaboration and effort.

Furthermore, through this studio my conceptual process of creating films has expanded immensely. Robbie has expressed to me a new understanding of place, and the relevance of set, scene, and studio galleries. I was able to challenge the idea of place and non-place and match it amongst the art world. From this, I believe that any sort of space could be made into a place, depends on one’s interpretation, project brief 2 really helped me to explore this. (See blog post here). I had such a small understanding of curatoring and studios, however after being exposed to Testing Grounds and the Signal studio, I have developed a deeper understanding for galleries and exhibitions.

Moving away from conventional exhibition spaces whether it is a gallery or exhibition space, we have focused to explore more alternative spaces that would compliment our work. Although traditional exhibition spaces may offer “perfect” lighting or an ideal colour scheme, alternative spaces such as outdoors or projections from a building offer a sense of ambience or atmosphere that other spaces could simply not offer. While observing works in the outdoors, each viewer has a unique experience, while being offered the opportunity to be influenced from external factors. Making art seem fun to the public, rather than mysterious, incomprehensible and solitary, has led a growing list of artists and municipalities around the country to create open studio events (Grant, 2010). Therefore, with the influence of readings, Robbie and the Project Briefs, I have deferred from the idea of traditional projects of artwork and been exposed to more non-traditional places, redefining the “place” of artwork, and becoming more specific to the environments of production of artwork as well as the display of art.



  1. Grant, D 2010, Selling Art Without Galleries: Towards Making a Living from Your Art, Allworth Press, United States.

Project Brief 4 Reflection

Obsession is defined as an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person’s mind. The over-arching theme for our Project Brief 4 linked all the students’ work together, as well as allowing us to branch off and explore this particular theme through our own interpretation. Initially it was challenging to think of an individual theme to branch off ‘obsession’, as there were so many different paths to go down. Beginning with the idea of balance, with further brainstorming, I finalised my theme to “Gravity”. With this, I wanted to breakdown the perception of gravity, creating illusions with movement, exploring the freedom that flight and slow motion provide, with use of film and digital effects. Vladimir Frieder’s journal article, “Overcoming Gravity: Pushkin on Freedom and Art” had an interesting perspective on comparing gravity to life as he states “the kind of freedom and ease enjoyed by Pushkin do not come easily; they are the result of overcoming the gravity of earthly life, its injustices.” He relates gravity has a sense of stabilisation in one’s life, and I found that very intriguing, as without gravity, everything on Earth would be crazy, and therefore, challenging gravity would create a form of chaos.

Nake Frieder mentions in his journal article, ‘Spectacular Bodies’ (2002) that “the human body has… been a prominent subject of art through almost all its eras and styles” and to execute the idea of gravity, I incorporated the human body as my main subject and worked with a high level tumbler performing gymnastics skills on a sprung floor and trampoline. I utilised this to enhance the idea of movement especially with flight and rotational actions involved with majority of the skills he would perform as the freedom of movement and expression of the dance and art activities allowed [establishment] of homeostasis between self and world. (Rebecca Burrill, 2010). I filmed landscape shots to portray the flight, and some close up shots and mid-shots to highlight the movements of the body, however majority of the work was done using iMovie and Premiere.

Utilising these programs I was able to manipulate the speed, the angles, and the cropping of the footage. By employing slow motion to certain parts of the footage, it allowed the viewer to distinctly observe the multitude of movements occurring, however, I only utilised this editing skill on some parts of the film to maintain the viewer’s attention. To really accentuate the questioning of gravity, some of the film was reversed, played back to front, and I also placed some of the footage upside down and mirrored it against the other screens, as I had 4 small screens within the “Crossbar template” playing at the same time, as that is not able to occur in real life, all movement is in the same time, and whatever comes up, must come down.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 10.35.42 pm

The main issue was the lighting and colouring of the set. However, I was limited to the choices of places to film, as I required certain equipment for the Project Brief to be produced. Therefore, I placed the gymnast in all white clothes to stand out from the accumulation of colours surrounding him, as well as the colour represents light, and purity, adding a sense of freedom of flight to my work. The colours came across dull through my lens and thus, to enhance the idea of freedom and elevation, I manipulated the colours in iMovie to become more saturated and vibrant. The array of colours also worked well into falling into the theme of challenging the perception gravity, as it enhances an abstract, pop culture aesthetic, to make it look a little unreal, as these particular movements do not occur in reality.

Creating the audio was the most challenging part of this Project. There was already so much occurring in the film that I did not want the sound to distract the viewer from the footage and therefore, I manipulated the same spring sound on repeat. However, utilising the program Garageband, I placed the same three audios over the top, and altered one of them to keep a consistent beat through the entire piece and then I manipulated the flex range in order to create an unusual, abstract edit to the audio to enhance the idea of distorted reality in terms of the perception of gravity.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 3.42.29 pm

There were a few disappointments in the screening of my work at Signal, the footage was grainy, one of them was over-exposed, and one did not match up perfectly on the windows. However, overall, I was content with the finishing work for Project Brief 4, as I believe I conveyed my theme across the four pieces of footage and thirty-second audio. The film worked well with representing my theme, portraying the ideas of gravity, freedom and flight, through abstract colours, being obsessed with movement and the distortion of time and speed within my work.

signal exhib



1. Burrill, R 2010, ‘The Primacy of Movement in Art Making’. Teaching Artists Journal, vol. 8, no.4, pp. 216-228
2. Frieder, N 2002, ‘Spectacular Bodies’, Leonardo To Now, vol. 35, no.4, pp. 455-457
3. Kantor, V 2000, ‘Overcoming Gravity: Pushkin on Freedom and Art’, Russian Studies in Literature, vol.36, no.1, pp. 50-61

Blog Post #3 – Overall Reflections

Television to me is a reward, as my favourite thing to do when I get home is to get into bed and have thousands of choices of programs to watch at the tip of my fingers. My television habits mainly consisted of me using Netflix and watching other shows via online systems, however, as the semester has come about, I have become exposed to a multitude of genres and programs and more frequently I sit down and flick through the channels on the TV, rather then pre-selecting what I wish to view. For example, I have begun watching Mad Men. I have also exposed myself to more current affairs and morning television programs, which I would usually never allow myself to do, as I would consider them boring and irrelevant. I utilise television more than just for entertainment, however as source of information, especially when it comes to news-related programs.

This semester of popular culture studies has expanded my knowledge and thinking process when it comes to understanding television cultures. I do not view television but I understand it, analyse it, and I can’t help myself. The most obvious analysis that I undergo is the flow and scheduling concepts within prime time television. Whilst watching The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette, I had begun to notice the type of audience that advertisements were appealing to. During 6:30pm and 8:30pm, usually families are viewing broadcast television and therefore advertisements such as automobile and phone companies formed televised the ads that appealed to family values, such as Optus’ family home deal plan. Furthermore, once prime time had ended, advertisements led more to a modernistic appeal, as majority of the viewers were over the age of 16, media agencies can appeal to a more specific audience.

Now watching television, it’s almost as if the “glass has shattered” (How I Met Your Mother reference) behind all the tricks and tools that TV producers employ. Behaviours and actions seem to make more sense, for example, my sister couldn’t understand why Sam from The Bachelorette, wouldn’t eliminate the dorky contestant in which she clearly did not share a connection with. It was very obvious to me that the producers of this program had included quirky contestants such as Will purely for entertainment purposes to increase higher ratings and viewers. In response to this my sister asked me how I knew that, and to me, it was the most logical explanation, television success is rated on the response from viewers and humour and empathy of the underdog is the easiest way to draw a connection through reality TV.

My favourite genre of television would have of been comedy and supernatural teen dramas, however, I feel as though my interest in specific genres has expanded throughout this semester, especially after my group assignment. Studying Keeping up with the Kardashian’s has sparked an interest in Reality TV, more specifically competition-type shows such as The Bachelor. Usually I avoided reality TV, as I preferred to rely on screenwriters who have determined particular problems, resolutions and twists to keep myself ‘hooked’ on the show. However, with this program utilising second screens, with viewers allowed to present their opinion via the show on the television screen, it fell right into the lap of popular culture, and once viewing it on a screening in a lecture, as well as studying Reality TV, I gave in, and gave it a chance. To this date, I have not regretted it, as I really drew a relatable connection to the content, especially Sam.

Overall, television cultures has been one of my favourite subjects this semester, I have learnt a great deal, and enjoyed studying, analysing and understanding the concepts, issues and genres of television. I’m very doubtful I’ll watch television the same again.

Blog Post #2 – The Transnational Concept

The television program industry has expanded immensely, and with the transnational concept they have been able to use similar methods and still conquer the TV world with an increase of revenue with minimal effort. Transnational is considered as recreating a program and relating it to a different culture. This description of the creative act as the impulse to recreate that which has already been experienced in some way, whilst, at the same time, the desire to speak to those things through their invocation, bears renewed significance when considered in relation to the recycling and repurposing of drama formats in the context of the contemporary TV industry (Christopher Hogg, 2013). Amongst all of these, Hogg (2013) has stated that there are considered “three key genres of the format trade”, reality, factual entertainment and talent competitions with only the alteration of ‘flesh’ of the program, not the ‘skeleton’. As, utilising these formats allows other nations to adapt successfully to their own cultural influence and context.

Hogg also suggests that a successful format consists of an organised narrative, that avoids scripted entertainment however produces the “highs and lows, tensions and conflicts, twist and conventions of drama”. For example, the narrative arc for talent shows, such as ‘X-Factor’ is based on the connection of viewers, the contestant’s journey, and their involvement in the show, as popular culture creates an alliance with audiences as advocates for everyday people, against the abuse of power found among the elites (Enli, 2009). Nonetheless, each program is specified to draw a strong connection by appealing to a person’s emotions. Observing the transformation of an average person to stardom of who someone is favoured by any nation. However, the breakdown of the show into different nations creates a more intimate connection. Overall, programs such as ‘Got Talent’, ‘Big Brother, and ‘Survivor’ possess “an international format [which] is geared up to hit specific points throughout the narrative.” (Jean Chalaby, 2011). Furthermore, reality TV employs trigger moments such as unanticipated change in storylines or evictions to maintain the audience’s interaction, however, it is applicable to be redeveloped into another nation’s version of the program. That’s the idea of the international format, as the programs produce similar narratives, they rely on the contestant’s culture and behaviour to present a different reaction.

TV producers and directors are employing the television concept, transnational, more frequently now than ever, as it has skyrocketed profits with less creative direction. In 2012, the top 100 formats generated US$2.7 billion for 84 channels across 16 European territories, with Money Drop alone generating US$213million. In addition, such shows not only become returning brands for channels, but become part of their identity and help them to build their profile (Chalaby, 2015). This global success has prompted other producers to develop more content, capable of potential transnational, as during this century, programmes have been adapted into more nations than ever before, generating a higher amount of revenue for broadcasters. “A recognized entertainment format will raise a company’s profile and, as it develops international scale, will boost the company’s profit margins” (Chalaby, 2015). Since the 2000s, reality TV, more specifically, competition type shows, have become a common popular culture artefact internationally. ‘Masterchef’, ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ as a few examples. They are relatable to viewers as majority are ordinary people, just like them, searching for a life-changing journey and or experience. By analysing content and making it applicable to expand across different cultures, the TV format becomes a successful transnational trading system, in which creates a strong brand, and higher profit intake, without the stress of wondering if it’ll be a success amongst viewers.


  1. Chalaby, JK 2011 “The making of an entertainment revolution: How the TV format trade became a global industry”, European Journal of Communication, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 293-309
  1. Chalaby, JK 2015 “The advent of the transnational TV format trading system: a global commodity chain analysis”, Media, Culture& Society, vol. 37, no.3, pp. 460-478
  1. Enli, G.S. 2009, ‘Mass Communication Tapping into Participatory Culture’, European Journal of Communication, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 481-493.
  1. Hogg, C 2013, “Cracking the USA? Interpreting UK-to-US TV Drama Translations”, new Review of Film and Television Studies, vol. 11, no.2, pp. 111-132

Blog Post #1 – ‘Mad Men’ and Gender Roles

Program creator, Matthew Weiner, formed the adult fiction drama, Mad Men, in 2007. The period drama television series embodies the 1960s American culture, exposes the life of employees of the Sterling Cooper advertising agency in New York City, with the focal point being set on Don Draper, and the personal and professional people surrounded in his life. This series falls into the popular culture and television stream as the program catches the audience’s attention by sharing the intimate details of the character’s lives, public and private lifestyle choices and all, as they continue to watch to discover how their life unfolds. Although this was filmed in the 21st century, the program does an excellent job of setting the scene in the 1960s “combining imagery taken from glamorous cinema and glossy magazines with literary naturalism” (Pollen, 2015) and utilising conservative costumes for most characters as well as lighting, colour and the employment of grain to create the overall 20th century aesthetic.

However, what caught my attention the most in this series, from episode 1, was the constant degrading of women, and the many uproars of gender politics that would not be considered acceptable in today’s society. In the last 50 years, there has been a large adaptation amongst societal values and social norms in regards to gender roles, and the large dominance of men in the business world was confrontational. “The New York advertising world of the early 1960s and its suburban backdrop are etched in caricature; false self functioning dominates the scene. Men go to work, drink too much, seduce their secretaries; women stay home with their children or abandon femininity by trying to break into the male-dominated business world.” (Slochower, 2011). Majority of the female characters come across as weak and inferior, as male characters come across as strong and powerful as Mad Men displays the societal expectations amongst men and women in the 1960s era.

Women are perceived to have the goal of becoming the “homemaker”, the “housewife”, “a mother”, whereas men are the hardworking businessmen, the “breadwinner”, and the “boss”. If women do not follow the path of marriage and motherhood, they are automatically categorised as available to any man wanting to call an offer. Women are undermined for the career capabilities at Sterling Copper Advertising Agency, all the secretaries are female, and all the executives and directors are men. However, this is considered an acceptable environment upon both halves during this era. On Peggy’s first day, she was told by another woman to “evaluate where [her] strengths and weakness are”, referring to her body, as most men are not looking for a secretary but “in the middle of a waitress and a mother”.

Therefore, the women who attempt to fight free from these stereotypes are struggling to expand further than the barriers men and society have created for them. When Don Draper is introduced to a new business client, he automatically assumes that they are a man, until he is corrected that “she” is waiting in the meeting room. He also does not favour that she challenges his suggestions, in result to this he becomes aggressive, and leaves the meeting as he demands that he would never “let a woman talk to” him like that. However, although I am shocked to be viewing these situations, I can’t help but continue to watch and enjoy the show. “Mad Men is routinely prefigured in popular media discourse for articulating nostalgia for an imagined period beginning in early 1960s America, a period of widespread societal change and turbulence, but also the twilight for 1950s attitudes and behaviours prior to the Civil Rights and feminist movements.” (Glen Donnar, 2015). The complex narrative may present viewers with a range of challenges amongst the gender politics of the 1960s, however, it displays hope as some female characters fight against conforming to the idealistic standards of a woman of that time.


  1. Donnar, Glen 2015, “A Less Than Nostalgic Reflection on 9/11: Mad Men’s Re-imagining of the Mediated Experience of the Kennedy Assassination”
  1. Mad Men 2007, television program, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, AMC, America, July 19


  1. Pollen, A 2015 ‘Mad men, mad world: sex, politics, style and the 1960s’, Visual Studies, vol. 30, no.1, pp.114-115
  1. Slochower, J 2011, ‘Gender, Splitting and Non-Recognition in Mad Men’, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, vol. 71, no.4, pp. 381-386.

Test Run at Signal

One more night before the opening of the exhibition!!!!!!

Tonight we met at Signal and we discussed where all our teams were at, and if there were any final jobs to attend to before the big night tomorrow. Everybody was on board with everything and therefore we all got to view our work for the first time through the windows of the Signal building. I was very impressed with a lot of the work my classmates had produced, one that stood out the most for me, was the one where the subjects were knocking on the window and had their hand on the window, it was very creative and looked excellent on the building. Overall, I was content with how my work was projected, however there were a few disappointments with over exposure one of them, and the footage came across very grainy. Another one was that I only heard my sound once (I think, it could have been none) on the overall audio, however I didn’t notice until much after. Nonetheless I am very excited for tomorrow’s opening night, it’s nice to see everything been put together after we have all put in a lot of work to make it happen.

signal test run

Team PR – Signal

Today Marissa, Elaine and I met up in the city and placed posters around RMIT University city campus to promote our final project’s exhibition at Signal. We met at building 80, discussed ideas of places to place them, they were given building 80, I was given building 8 and student study spaces, and Rose would place more in building 9 the next day. When I went to the library to distribute posters, I asked the librarians permission first, and lucky I did because I discovered that I had to seek permission from RUSU on where I could post our flyers. I went to building 12 and spoke with a RUSU official, and she suggested the only areas that are available were RMIT connect, and the pillars of building 8, otherwise we would have to seek permission from the school of the particular building. Therefore, I placed my posters in building 8 and RMIT connect, and Elaine and Marissa placed their posters in the media and communications building. After this I was given the flyers, designed by Rose and I took them home to cut up, ready to be handed out at the opening night at Signal.

signal posters signal posters:flyers

Project Brief 4 – updated

After listening to Robbie’s feedback about my video, I decided to redo my first and second sequence to create more of an abstract aesthetic, in which questions the perception of gravity. I also was not happy with my audio, and Robbie told me to work with the spring sound i originally had. I attempted to mix it in with the old audio, and make a new one but I wasn’t having much success, with the assistance of Robbie and Jordan however, we decided on placing the same piece of audio three times, and altering the sound by enabling the flex range in garageband. The sound that was produced from this matched up well with the theme I was going for, it was abstract and unnatural, which supports my theme of questioning gravity/movement. Here are the two new videos and audio sounds:

Media Studio | Wk. 12

Today is our last lesson for the year and I presented my Project Brief 4 to the class. Robbie’s feedback was very beneficial, he liked the idea of questioning gravity, and preferred the last 3 films, and to work on the second and first to match the others, to make it more abstract. Originally I thought the sound of the spring of the trampoline wasn’t good enough to use in the audio of the overall piece, however, Robbie really liked it and therefore, I’m going to go back and work on my audio again.

Project Brief 4

Finally, here is my last assignment for media this year, completed. I struggled to create this, with minimal footage and audio tracks, I think I’m happy with what I have made from it. My theme is Movement/gravity, identifying the point of flight and the feeling of freedom when amongst it.

Here are my four 8 second videos, and 30 second audio track: