The Future

Reading: Howard Gardner, 2007, ‘Minds Viewed Globally: A Personal Introduction’ in Five Minds For the Future, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, ch.1.

Howard Gardner developed the concept of multiple intelligences, suggesting the mind can be essentially be “divided into eight or nine separate faculties”. (Harvard Business Review 2010) More recently he created the concept of the five-minds.

Gardner suggests that there are certain types of minds we need to have if we are going to succeed in the coming ages. He proposes five minds that cover the spectrum of human cognition and interpersonal skills sets. The disciplined mind as able to master a skill, the synthesizing mind as able to bring different information together in a way that is accessible to others, the creating mind as able to conjure new ideas and strategies, the respectful mind as seeking to understand and integrate human differences and the ethical mind as creating methods of seeing the way our work can assist not just ourselves but the world at large.

Gardner also talks about rethinking our idea of education, as the current methods are not effective. The world is changing, and the types of skills that are most valuable are changing with it. If we want to create an effective education system we must first be clear about the values we want and how they can translate into outcomes. Gardner suggests that we must fashion young minds to be able to function highly in these five ways and that those who succeed will be leaders of the future. Nossal High School in Victoria is an example of an institution that has based their curriculum around Gardner’s five-mind theory, suggesting that it encourages their students to be highly analytical without inhibiting their learning. (Nossal High School 2012).


Harvard Business Review. 2010. Five Minds For The Future. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 August 2016].

Nossal High School. 2012. The Five Minds For The Future. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 August 2016].

Finding the Time

Reading: Judy Wajcman, 2015, ‘Finding Time in a Digital Age’ in Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ch.7.

Adam suggests that with the advancement of technologies, has come a growing sense of “temporal impoverishment”. Rather than new technologies making our lives more leisurely, we have began to believe that time is just a metric unit that we must not waste, and that to do better we must go faster. This idea that faster is better is linked into a lot of our modern media technologies, shorter news articles, hyper consumption, 1 minute meals, time management apps. Adam’s however doesn’t believe in the idea of a “digital detox” as a way of combating this and bringing humanity back to a slower paced lifestyle. I often think of it as an easy fix; logging out, switching off, heading to the country side and living modestly or something romantic like that. But I think trying to escape technology in such a rigid way, is oversimplifying the way that time and technology interact.

Adam suggests that to make more of time we must shift “the emphasis away from how digital devices colonize our time to a more political orientation based on how time is allocated an how it is valued.” I think this is a really powerful way of looking at time, not as solely a unit of measurement but as something we assign meaning to. Adam’s comment on what constitutes quality time and how by its very meaning it can’t be accelerated is crucial to this debate. The idea of a parent spending time with their child, as a type of time that cannot be hastened is a good example for the flaws in the faster is better ideology and the way a gender bias operates within it. Maximizing efficiency does not always maximize affectivity. Speed does not always correlate to progress. I think in this age we are quick to define our value and ourselves as a whole, by our output or productivity, but it is important to remember that we do not need to be moving to exist.

“So Good They Can’t Ignore You”

Cal Newport, 2012, ‘The Clarity of the Craftsman’ in So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work, NY Business Plus, ch.4.

Newport divides the way we approach building a career into the craftsperson mindset and the passion mindset, with the former focusing on what you can offer the world and seeks satisfaction from your output, the latter focuses on what the world can offer you and seeks gratification from your work. Newport suggests that by focusing your energy on practicing and mastering your craft, a confidence and fulfillment will ensue. Alternatively, focusing your energy on what you gain from or feel towards your craft, will lead to challenging questions and ultimately dissatisfaction. The passion mindset, Newport believes, sets us up for perpetual unhappiness.

I interpret this as the craftsperson mindset embodying a focus on the tangible present and the passion mindset focusing on the future or a more abstract idea of the present. Newport would suggest that passion does not exist unlocked somewhere, waiting for us to stumble upon it, but rather is born through practice and dedication. I think this a helpful way of looking at our search for happiness in general and the construction of happiness as a separate commodity or an end goal, as opposed to a part of a process or cycle. This idea of happiness exists as part of the capitalist framework and is never really able to be attained or held onto and thus we are perpetually searching and chasing.

The Exploited Artist

Lobato, R. and Thomas, J., 2015, ‘Work’ in The Informal Media Economy, Polity Press, Cambridge UK, ch.3.

I romanticize the idea of the underpaid and overworked artist, grasping at a coffee and looking disheveled and wired. Living off canned beans but being okay with it because they to some degree existed outside of the system, ran by their own rules and were creating something they cared about. Or at least believed they were on the way too. Speaking for myself I saw a sense of pride in the lifestyle as well as an environment conducive to self-exploitation. I wonder where it came from, the self-exploitation, are we inclined to this somewhat innately as artists or does the system groom us to behave like this.

Glamorizing this sporadic and exploitative work is a result of my own privilege, growing up white and middle class and going on to study at University. I want to make it as an artist, but know that if don’t I can go back to study or get another type of job with relative ease. It’s not the money at stake for me, just the desire to be able to be passionate about my job, a luxury not everyone is afforded. Intersections of class, gender and race contribute to our ability to get secure work. As mentioned in the article, precarity is not a new concept for women in the work force. It is important to remember when idolizing “the tortured artist” who is allowed to be one and why.

Content farms or “digital sweatshops” as they are referred to in the reading are paying artists little to nothing for their contributions. Artists are often eager for an offer of work and something to ad to their resume and thus are agreeing to very poor work conditions. Content farms can be important platforms for artists to showcase their work and get noticed. If volunteer run these online spaces can be really liberating, but when run by people hoping to capitalize on the artists position they can be really problematic.

I have just accepted that I will work for free for many years after completing my degree and thus have to maintain my job in retail or hospitality. Strangely I feel no resentment about this. I wonder what has led me to be happy to give away my labor for free. I’m not sure if it is an overpowering desire to make it in the industry at whatever cost, a lack of confidence in my ability or the quality of my work. Or if I have just romanticized the lifestyle as desirable or become accustomed to thinking that this is just the way it goes.

The question is raised in the reading and I’m not sure what to make of it, if the creative labor system became more regulated and stabilized would it in turn loose it’s edge and originality. Is the uncertainty and “bulimic work patterns” actually conducive to to the creative process?

Diversity in Australian Film (Annotated Bibliography)

Dunks, G. After Priscilla: The queer screen twenty-one years on [online]. Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine, No. 186, 2015: 26-31.

Ellis, K, 2008. Disabling Diversity: The Social Construction of Disability in 1990s Australian National Cinema . 1st ed. Melbourne: VDM Verlag

When talking about diversity disability is often overlooked. Through looking at on screen representations of characters with disabilities it is evident there is a lot of social unease around disability. In the 1990s limited representation of disability in Australian film was not approached as a diversity issue. Quote: “Disability was often presented as a personal tragedy.”

Representation and discussion of disability is often centred on a medical framework rather than a social one. Construction of characters with disabilities often plays on the trope of them wanting to “overcome” or detach themselves from their disability to “fit in” and thus enforces the idea of disability as a “problem” rather than a social construction. (It would be interesting to research varying opinions of the word disability itself.)

Disability is constructed as “other” to ability, a framework also used with race, gender and sexuality. Ellis suggests that disability became politicized in the 1990’s with the 1992 Disability Discrimination Act. The disability rights movement of the time sparked the phrase “see the ability not the disability” which further enforced a hierarchical dichotomy.

Disabled bodies on screen are portrayed as isolated through choices made in cinematography and editing. Characters with disabilities are often tokenised and reduced to metaphors. Films often use characters with disabilities as social commentary aimed to empower other minority or disadvantaged groups, while doing nothing to empower or offer diverse representations of disability.

It is essential that we do not overlook the representation of disability when discussing diversity. It is important to discuss diversity holistically and be clear of the intersections of all types of privilege.

French, L, 2015. Does gender matter?. Lumina, 14, 157 – 165.

In 2012 women only made up 16% of film directors, 29% of producers and 20% of writers in Australia feature films. Female participation is higher in documentary and television. (It would be interesting to research why this is so.) French suggests however that the great success of a few female directors has created the illusion that female directors are not still a minority.

There were no female directed films in Australia between 1933 and 1979. The women’s movement of the 1970’s and the equal opportunity policy born out of this, aided the revival. The Women’s Film Fund was established in 1976. The number of film directors decreased again in the 1990s. French suggests that the assumption that the Australian film industry is more gender diverse than the American one is incorrect. She suggests that this assumption may have made it appear as though a push towards equality wasn’t paramount.

Lack of diversity is caused when people in power to make decisions come from a limited portion of society and thus “draw on a narrow range of experiences.” When this is translated to the screen in turn there will be a limited audience who will relate to these experiences. Therefore French suggests that by having more women in key creative roles there will be more representations of women on screen. French suggests that Australian television audiences are highly supportive of female characters and will become disenchanted if diversity is not increased.

French suggests that female film makers often have specific traits such as an interest in the characters psychology, marginalisation, emotional content and the family and personal realms. I think if we are to discuss this it is vital that we see these traits as not innate but rather a product of the way a women is socialised. French makes note of this.

I disagree with French’s concluding statement that gender no longer matters in the Australian film and television industry. While I understand her sentiment, I think that phrases like that are dangerous, and will be until our patriarchal, cis-centric society is completely overthrown.

Note: Weakness of this article include erasure of non-binary gender identities.

Krausz, P, 2003. Screening Indigenous Australia – An Overview of Indigenous Australia on Film. Australian Screen Education Online, No. 32, Spring 2013, 90 – 95.

Verhoeven, D., 2016. Three ways screen Australia can actually improve diversity in the industry [online] The Conversation Accessed 02/08/2016

Local Produce

Reading: Lederer, C. & Brownlow, M., ‘’A World of Differences’: Special Report: Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2016-2020’. Price Waterhouse Cooper

I do believe there has been a shift from needing great content to be successful to needing great marketing and a space with great access to internet traffic. With a plethora of content out there, what seems to really matter is the visibility.

Whether Bill Gates’ essay “Content is King” has become outdated or not, I find it interesting to look at media platforms as a way of driving future change as opposed to the material within them alone. The type and structure of platform is important; who can access it, who can produce or consume content and how can these individuals interact.

Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, has said that locally produced content is the future. This can be due to the familiarity of characteristics with local audience and media regulations that ensure a certain amount of screen time is dedicated to local audiences.

Different audiences are more supportive of some types of locally produced content than others. For example it seems that Australia is more support of Australian television than Australian film, with Australian television shows filling the top 10 ranks each year, yet Australian films only making up 3% of the domestic box office in 2014. Why is this? It might come down to an uninformed stereotype of what is to be expected in an Australian film, or it may just come down to limited release and lack of funding which does not allow them to compete with Hollywood blockbusters.

The more options we have as consumers the more room we have to curate our own media diet, and thus can consume a diverse range of things across a variety of platforms.

“Truth is That Which Works”

Network Literacy: The New Path To Knowledge
“Network literacy means recognizing that there are no longer canonical sources and having the skills to find what it is you think you want, being able to judge it, and then of being able to incorporate this, in turn into your knowledge flows.” (Miles 2007 p. 24 – 30)

Network literacy refers to the skill set required to participate in a networked society, such as the Internet. To be network literate is to understand the framework for the production and consumption of content and be able to engage in these systems, while actively seeking and interpreting information. (Miles 2007) The internet is not separate to reality but a part of it. As a media producer in this age I need to become network literate. I need to understand how my audience reads and interprets media texts as well as the technologies that define this. I must understand the way the internet is changing audience perception of reality and driving them to seek their own truths. To understand this one must not only observe but participate in the system.

The advancement of the Internet has allowed a breeding ground for interactive media; completely reconstructing the way we interrelate with information and changing the relationship between producer and consumer. Traditionally producers had almost total power of what was produced, while the consumer remained passive with very little means for feedback and assessment. (Bruns 2008) A quote from the Ford Motor Company illustrates this point, “you can have any colour you like, as long as it’s black.” Applied to mass media this suggests that the media producer, for example a newspaper, would print the information and the media consumer, a person reading the newspaper, would read this information and take it to be of truth. As Nietzsche quotes “There are no facts, only interpretations.” There is no longer a holy book, a holy doctrine or a single truth speaking body.

With the introduction of the Internet and its increasing availability to more and more people this distribution of power and control was greatly upheaved. A new model was formed, illustrating interconnecting nodes, rather then a production line. The concept of a central authority began to dissolve. (Bruns 2008)This structure is mimicked in the comparison of traditional text and hypertext. Holm Nelson (1981) defines hypertext as a “non-sequential piece of writing”, in contrast to the traditional text, which is perceived as linear. The sheer function of hypertext allows readers to follow their own line of thought rather than one created for them, imposing less restriction of the reader to engage with the text in the specific way. (Holm Nelson 1981) As the nature of text changes, so does the society that engages with it. Is it that the non-lineal nature of hypertext encourages non-lineal thinking? Or is it that lineal thinking is in fact not instinctual to humans but rather a product of language and grammar and thus degenerating the human mind? Streitz (1990) suggests that hypertext more closely mimics the human thought patterns than traditional linear texts while Manovich suggests that a culture is mimicking the logic of computers. (2007)

Shields writes, “Plots are for dead people … when we read traditional novels, we get to pretend that life is still coherent.” (Shields 2010) This quote captures the rebellion against being spoon-fed not only information, but also a framework to read and understand the information within. Life isn’t a line stretched out before us at all. Things have no meaning, but the meaning that we assign them. We pay little attention to the artefact itself, rather to the context in which we perceive it. This is what is interesting. To employ this understanding, I must conjure ways of rejecting the traditional cause and effect narrative structure as a way to regulate audience engagement and emotion. I am dealing with an audience familiar with a world of hypermedia, able to make their own choices and unresponsive to being told in what manner to think.

“If you want to write serious books, you must be ready to break the forms; it’s a commonplace that every book needs to find its own form, but how many really do?” (Shields 2010)

“Imagine a new liberation literature with alternative explanations so anyone can choose the pathway or approach that best suits him or her; with ideas accessible and interesting to everyone, so that a new richness and freedom can come to the human experience; imagine a rebirth of literacy.” – Holm Nelson, Literary Machines (1981)

Hypertext is often related to the concept of montage. Meaning is derived from relationship between the parts rather than the parts themselves. By letting your audience make choices, by giving them some control of how they interpret what is presented to them, engagement is maximised. This aligns with the age-old “show, don’t tell” comment on how to construct a character or setting. “The question isn’t what do you look at? But what do you see?” (Shields 2011) Understanding this in relation to montage, and framing is of particular interest to me because of my love of film and photography. It is important for me to be conscious of the varied meanings my work can take on and that although you may produce a media text to mean one thing, your audience may read it completely differently. It is about understanding that this is not a problem but an advantage and that and “incorrect” reading of your work does not demean it, but rather consolidates and enriches it.

The platform through which I launch my work is of as much relevance as the work itself. Manovich (2007) suggests that “the new media object consists of one or more interfaces to a database of multimedia material. If only one interface is constructed, the result will be similar to a traditional art object.” We no longer hang our photos alone in a gallery building with one controlled point of entry, but rather the audience comes across the images though a number of different “doors”, each altering the way they approach the work. I may be linked to a photo from a close friends personal blog, from the Facebook page of my photography class, from a catalogue of work by the artist.

I have used he following two images to explore what I understand about context in relation hypertext, montage and interfacing.



By placing these two images together I am inviting the audience to draw links between the two. For example is the girl underwater symbolically/literally stuck inside the glowing canister? Is that an oxygen tank, if so do both images combine to represent an inability to breath/entrapment? How might we perceive the image of the girl if a different image such as a sunset had been placed adjacent to it? We instinctively seek correlation between side-by-side images and derive meaning from this relationship.

The internet challenged prior production and distribution because it provided access to information on a information pull basis rather than a production push basis. (Bruns 2008) Instead of opening the newspaper or turning on the television I type into Google what if of interest to me at a specific time. I am likely to read numerous articles online, including reading the comments section, follow related links and hash tags. Control has switched from producer to consumer, over when, where and how an audience receives information. Allowing the audience greater control over the context of their information and exactly what information they were exposed to. I believe that we seek the answers that we want. Thus I am marketing to an audience with prior interest in my media product. With the internet we have the capacity to find a source that aligns with our views and if we can not find one we can create it ourselves. “Take a source, extract what appeals, discard the rest. Such an act of editorship is bound to reflect something of the individual doing the editing …” (Shields 2011) Information is no longer static or isolated, but rather flows as part of a greater whole.

As an aspiring media producer I must no longer accept truth in one presentation of information and rather rely on my own collection and reassessment of multiple sources of. Furthermore, I must allow revision of my own interpretations and thus, the cycle to continues. We no longer take what is handed to us; we seek it out for ourselves from a plethora of sources. We compare, we take, we alter and we give back. We operate as produsers, not as consumers. We are actively shaping the truth we receive.


Bruns, A. (2008) Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond, ‘The Key Characteristics of Produsage’, Chapter 2

Holm Nelson, T. (1981) Literary Machines

Manovich, L. (2007) “Database as Symbolic Form”. Database Aesthetics: Art in the Age of Information Overflow. Vesna, Victoria, ed. Minneapolis: University Of Minnesota Press, Print. 39-60

Sheilds, D. (2010) Long Live the Anti-Novel, Built from Scraps

Shields, D. (2011) Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. New York: Vintage

Streitz, N.A. (1990) A cognitive approach for the design of authoring tools in hypertext environments. In D.H. Jonassen and H. Mandl (eds.) Designing Hypermedia for Learning. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

Guns Don’t Kill People

I was particularly intrigued by this expert from Murphy, Andrew and John Pott’s, Culture and Technology (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Print.)

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 2.33.42 am

I’ve been thinking about this in relation to a question that was discussed in the symposium about blogging and narcissism. I’ve often heard people suggest that the younger generations are become increasingly more self-involved/egotistical, always “uploading attention seeking images” or “posting attention seeking statues” to sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, personal blogs etc. It is interesting to question whether these technologies are mimicking the desires of an audience with increasing egos or whether the nature of the social networking sites themselves demands a narcissistic use.

There appears to be much research into whether or not Facebook and the likes encourage narcissism. Narcissism is defined as excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance. Or in more psychological terms extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. This article, by Lisa Firestone, discusses possible reasons for the spike in narcissism in up and coming generations, stating that “there is a significant amount of psychological research that shows that one’s personality is fairly well-established by age 7,” given that Facebook’s policy doesn’t allow users to register until age 13 “the personality traits of typical users are fairly well-ingrained by the time they get on a social network.”” This article and others I have read suggest that the narcissism spike is more to do with new forms of parenting and child education that focus heavily on constructing positive “self-esteem”. It is this emphasis of nurturing a child’s perception of themselves that encourages the praising of children even when they have not properly completed or accomplished a task. Firestone argues that “empty praise causes children to feel entitled while lacking the true confidence necessary to feel good about themselves. Our society’s shift towards instant gratification appears to be having a negative effect on our kids.”

While I do agree with Firestone on this, and understand that the use of Facebook and other social media sites can not cause someone to become a Narcissist per say, I do believe that our use of social media technologies is forcing us to constantly critique ourselves;, whether that be physical appearance, wit, prose or the number of countries we have visited. I can only speak for myself when I say that I know this use of media technologies causes me to think often about how others perceive me, and what I need to do to be received positively. Having grown up in a world of social networking, from having a Piczo at age 14, I am not sure if this self-reflection is actually just inherent, and most people experience the same social anxieties in the absence of social media.


Symp. #5: Bathing In Electromagnetic Data


I left the theatre last week with vivid imagery of electromagnetic data flowing through my body and filling rooms with blinding light. I’m not sure what these waves of data where supposed to look or feel like but immediately my skin was crawling the way it might if I thought insects were running up and down my arms but when I looked there was nothing there. I’d heard before that I wasn’t meant to leave my mobile near my head or my ovaries but that’s about as far as the thoughts had spread.

Talking about the Internet Adrian suggested that we service it, it doesn’t service us. There was a worker ant analogy thrown in there and I’ve been thinking a lot about that. The way we offer up our personal information to sites like Facebook, or to any site in fact that asks for it. Boxes come up, ‘name’, ‘D.O.B.’, ‘address’ and tap tap tap I type it in and click ‘I agree to terms and conditions”. I sometimes pause, my finger above the ‘agree’ button, but any cautiousness is blown off by a overwhelming surge of “fuck it” and I go about my day.

Me friend showed me this really interesting Ted Talk the other day. This was one of my first exposures to metadata. As far as I’m aware metadata is “data about data” but I’m not exactly sure what that means. There’s been a lot of debate in the Australian media recently about metadata and privacy. The Abbot Government supports data retention, allowing internet and phone providers to store users metadata for up to two years with out warrant. After some research I’ve learnt that metadata is more quantitative than qualitative, for example it is the duration, location and reception of my calls, rather than what was discussed within the call itself. Previously I wouldn’t have understood the extent of personal information this would relay about me, but after watching the Ted Talk I can see how simple graphs and figures about internet and phone usage can actually provide a lot of personal information.

My friend wrote an article about these proposed data retention laws and the petition that has arisen to demolish the regime called Citizens Not Suspects. According to Citizens Not Suspects proposals include:

• mandatory retention for two years of data relating to the internet and telecommunications activity of all Australians. This data could include records of your phone calls and texts, your location (if you use a mobile phone) and who you send emails to and who you receive them from. As Sir Tim Berners-Lee said when he was down under last year, retention of data on this scale “is so dangerous, you have to think of it as dynamite”.
• giving ASIO the power to ‘disrupt’ computers by adding, modifying or deleting files.
• giving ASIO the power to spy on a number of computers – including a whole computer network – under a single computer-access warrant.
• giving ASIS (Australia’s foreign intelligence agency) the power to collect intelligence on Australian citizens overseas.
• creating a new criminal offence, with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for revealing information about ‘special intelligence operations’. This comes with no exceptions and would apply to journalists, even if they were unaware that they were revealing information about such an operation.

It’s crazy how much information we offer up unknowing about ourselves on the Internet, and who is able to access it. Websites tell me what other articles I might also be interested in, Facebook lines my pages with Ads it thinks meet my needs/desires, iTunes recommends new bands to me and you know what, I usually like them. While this all seems relatively harmless it’s got me thinking about how much data I put out there, the form it then takes and the way it can be thrown back at me. It’s easy to see it all as beneficial, technology catering to my own personal needs, but I guess that’s how it reels me in. And I’m not exactly sure who or what I mean when I say it but I better stop short of personifying the Internet as whole and claiming it’s out to get me.