Are we living to work, or working to live?

Riddled with moral debates and exerts of ethically compromising conditions, this chapter provides a balanced exploration into the precarious nature of digital creative labor. Exploitation in the media and creative industries is complex yet increasingly prominent, as not only are exploitive standards dependent on personal perspectives on working standards but also on economic and political geography. Referencing the downfall of photography giant Kodak, this chapter highlights the two-sided nature of the digital revolution. Whilst many major contributors to the media industry have become immersed in the ‘phenomenon of disappearing jobs’, this chapter proposes that the issue often lies within the perspective of the observer, suggesting that dispersal is all too often mistaken for substitution.

Whilst identifying both the moral and economical issues surrounding the rise of the content creation industry, a balanced perspective is maintained as the writer highlights the ‘much more precarious future’ threatening other areas of the national workforce such as the automotive and agricultural industries. Analyzing the rapidly changing field of digital technology and the newly found grey areas that border formal media enterprises and informal employment, the content creation industry is critiqued for becoming too detached from formal employment practice. Discussing issues such as employee exploitation, the devaluing of journalism and the economic burden of entrepreneurial cultures, the conflict between the traditional and emerging modes of employment practices are foregrounded as critical issues.

As a media student progressing into the media industry myself, this reading provides relative insight into the competitive environment that awaits. Questioning how one can ‘distinguish work from pleasure, and pleasure from self-exploitation’, the ever-growing conflict between ambition and self-assertion is triggered.

Collage, Lines of Narrative Progression and Plot

Collage…the piecing together of different matter, perhaps of different forms in such a manner that they become linked and related in some way. Within the reading that interested me the most this week, Shields discusses the concept of collage throughout his work whilst in a paralleled thread of discussion also questions the role and necessity of ‘plot’. In a bold and somewhat audacious manner, shields declares ‘plots are for dead people’, arguing that it is now the art of collage that is the dominating literature of today. What interested me so much about this reading was the way in which I both heavily disagreed and agreed with the ideas being presented.

Firstly, i disagree that plots are no longer needed and I believe that that are also something that are unavoidable. As plots are the series of events within a story that make up some sort of pattern, they are something that arise out of any form of writing, even within the form of collage. In relating this concept to the structure of the internet as shields does himself, I agree that the network like system of the internet is undeniably like that of a collage as ‘The very nature of collage demands fragmented materials, or at least materials yanked out of context’ of which occurs when using the internet through hypertext. However, I believe that when using the internet you could argue that the presence of a plot is both recognisable and valid. You start off on google, search the organisation the ‘The Cancer Council’, you then search their web page, then continue onto their Facebook page, their twitter page, youtube channel, wikipedia page then end your journey by downloading their app. Is this not a series of events that are related through a pattern?

However, I also then do agree with Shields’s further questioning of his initial overconfidence in the form of collage as he poses the questions, ‘How long do you not need a story?’ and with the constant weaving ways of the web ‘how long will the reader stay engaged?’  Perhaps we need both plot based narratives and collage influenced literature. Do we really need to move away and almost eradicate everything that is traditional just to give ourselves confirmation of advancement? Maybe we’re all just shooting ourselves in the foot here…

Twitter Trolls Need to be Axed

The introduction of social media has undeniably changed our lives for good. It has enabled fast and easy contact with friends and family and has provided a new platform for meeting new people. Social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram now enable online communication like never before through tags and hyperlinks of which now interlink with one another through one endless networked system. This system however is being stained with insults, offensive language and inflammatory messages all with the deliberate intent to provoke a negative, emotional response in a specific individual and subsequent readers. With this now being such a prominent issue in online communities, especially Twitter, these users have been termed ‘Trolls’ and now even defined on some online dictionaries.

It thoroughly disappoints me to see, that even in the wake of Robin Williams death earlier this week, grieving daughter Zelda Williams has been forced to leave social media as result of being directed links of pictures of what were claimed to be her father’s body while others blamed her for her father’s death.

Linking back to what has been discussed in our previous two symposiums about online language use and defamatory behaviour, it still shocks me to see just how many people fail to comprehend even the simplest online etiquette. Yet what makes me shudder in pure anger is the cowardly behaviour of these ‘trolls’ as I have no doubt that these people would express themselves in such a insensitive manner in the real world, outside of their online facade and away from their rectangular glass shield.

Click Here for the full article on Zelda William’s departure from social media

Merge the lines of reality, blur the lines of photography

Just a recently a friend of mine has got me onto this website called 9Gag. I’d heard of it before and had seen links to it throughout my Facebook newsfeed every now and then but I never really took much notice of it. That was until I started this blog, which through the need for interesting weekly posts, has really helped motivate me to take notice of all the quirky websites that are out there yet I have previously ignored on a daily basis! Full of interesting facts, comedic political cartoons, memes and a load of unique photography from around the world, this website has a little bit of something for everyone.

For me however, it’s the amazing photography that intrigues me the most. With photography being a big passion of mine and hobby that I unfortunately rarely have the time to enjoy, I absorb as much as I can from cool photos that I find flicking through 9Gag along with other students blogs, and tumblr pages.

The link below is of the work of a photographer who has completely taken advantage of, whilst perhaps also subtly mocking the convenience of the iPhone camera. Throughout these images, this photographer has taken a very unique and quirky approach to ‘iPhone photography’ by perfectly blending the images of TV and film characters with images in real life. Is what I really admire about these photos is that despite being quite a simple idea, the product is extremely effective by being both humorous yet artistic and has very possibly been able to do so on a very affordable budget!

With the newest iPhones now containing an 8MP camera, equipped with flash, true tone capture, image stabilisation and many more tools and modes that were once only available on regular digital cameras, the images they capture aren’t too far behind your average DSLR. And of course with one of these snazzy iPhones in hand, every man and his dog claim to be a photographer. Maybe its just me, but the steady hand, the perfect symmetry and the widely loved tv characters, this photographer is also having a crack at everyone out there who has an iPhone and is apparently the next Terry Richardson, Ansel Adams or Dorothea Lange.


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