6: Idea Pitch – Distortion

Previously I mentioned my idea of focusing on distortion after being inspired by the Out of Hand exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Applied Science. This is definitely a theme I want to work with, and because I’ve been looking into creative design and writing in the media, I want to make a pitch for the final project of a piece that visually represents distortion in the media.

After doing some research I found a really amazing piece by a Brazilian News Agency who collaborated with a team of artists to create a video on how published media can be distorted before it reaches the public. Here we can see an adaption of the game ‘Chinese Whispers’ where artists communicate a message using materials in their field, taking the previous work as inspiration and communicating it to the next artist visually, and so on and so forth. I found it very inspiring and there is a dramatic change and message worth taking a look at.

I’m not pitching any physical constructions on how I plan to present the piece. But so far merely the theme and possibly an idea of materials. Currently, I’m really enjoying a physical 3D piece where an audience can walk around and view it from all angles (however; probably not 360 degrees in my case). From the digital side of things, I’m thinking projection onto the 3D piece distorting what the physical figure is trying to represent. I know this sounds vague, but I’m trying to express my ideas without setting anything in stone.

When thinking about my idea a great way to visualize what I’m trying to pitch, especially when talking about distortion is this work by Fête des Lumières in 2010.

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I’m looking forward to hopefully see this pitch develop and I’m excited to explore more materials and combinations of creative digital formats.

5: Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital

Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital displayed at the Museum of Arts and Applied Science, was an eye opener for the potential of incorporating new technology and art. Most of the artworks that really intrigued me were the ones that included 3D printing – which was most of them. It is such an iconic modern technology that can be used in so many ways and this exhibition really explored that.

There were two pieces I found myself standing around for a substantial amount of time. The first was by Yung hee Jo called ‘About Looking – Venus’; “Yung hee Jo’s sculptures draw on longstanding painting tradition of anamorphic projection, where the true nature of a painted subject is revealed only from a particular angle or in a mirrored surface. Using a computer and 3D printer, he extends this tradition into sculpture.”

I think this was very absorbing not only because it’s recognisable as well as unique but the simple material fact that it was spinning. By placing the statue on a spinner you can see the reflection of the statue from all angles as well and the figure itself.

Statue 2

The second piece that struck me was by Louis Pratt called Future Events, “Future Events is a self-portrait; Louis Pratt scanned himself in many different attitudes and digitally meshed the data to create this piece, which is a commentary on the multiple selves required for contemporary life. It also references quantum computing and the simultaneous existence of multiple quantum states.”

The first thing that struck me about this piece was how uncanny it was, then after reading about how it was made and what it represented I began to like it even more. Pratt really buries himself into his passion and I think his ideas are really what makes the work so amazing. Pratt (2017) stated “The intersection of art and science is so mysterious and magnetic and it will always puzzle people and push them to look for clear explanation.”

tangled 3tangled 2Tangled1

I guess the theme across these two pieces that grabbed my attention is distortion, something I could look into using for my final assessment. In the case of materials, I really enjoyed the mirror, 3D printing isn’t exactly an option for me, but definitely an object that is 3D is. I like being able to walk around it and each angle is almost like looking at the piece for the first time. Out of Hand: Materialising the Digital was definitely worth the visit.

4: Climbing the Ladder

In order to get to where you want, every professional has to begin somewhere, even if it seems like the most unprofessional job to begin with. It’s very unrealistic for me to think that straight out of university I’m going fall into my dream job that will set me up for life. Everyone has to start at the bottom and work hard to get to the top. For me, that means, most likely unpaid working… internships. The benefit being connections, experience and learning.

Things, such as charity work or just doing little jobs for friends and family can be a great way just to gain a bit of experience. Then with a little bit of local experience the next step might to apply for a professional internship.

Websites such as Pedestrian, Gumtree, Seek, Indeed etc. are great ways to explore internship and job opportunities. For example; (disregarding the distance for now); Gumtree was displaying an ad for a content/copywriting internship this provides work in using websites (creating and maintaining), as well as writing blogs, producing flyers and working with social media. This type of position, unpaid for 3 months, 3-5 days a week sounds in all honesty very brutal. However; if successful in the role, it may open up a full time paid job in the same position, or provide real experience needed to apply for the next step in moving up in your career.

For example; this opportunity advertised on Pedestrian as a PR, Media and Communication Art Lover which requires 2 years’ minimum experience. A 3-month contract with the opportunity to go permanent in creating marketing plans across media platforms from PR, social media, partnerships, events, festivals and managing a team of writers and photographers. It is unstated whether or not this particular internship is paid or not, obviously it’s not the only one out there and there are personal requirements you need to meet as well.

Finally; with all this experience as well as a degree up your sleeve, you (meaning probably me/I) would probably be not only interested but qualified in applying for a full time job in a well renowned company I’ve been aiming for. Such as a position I found available on seek.com, for a digital producer/reporter for The Observer. At this point I should be confident not only in my work and experience, but also passionate enough to stand out from everyone else and prove myself worthy of the position.

So, there you have it. It’s all well and easy to write a plan, but I guess that’s just the first step. Executing it, post-graduation is the next

3: JESSICA WALSH

In all honesty I find it difficult for me to select a ‘hero’ or someone who represents what I’m striving to be. Although I have an idea of which career path I’d like to take post-graduation, I’m not certain of which direction I’ll choose to go. Personally, regarding my future working career, the biggest aim for me is to be good at what I do and to enjoy what I do. After researching 5 successful professionals in my field last week, one that I thought inspired me the most was Jessica Walsh.

Walsh is very accomplished in graphic design; what draws me to her is probably the fact that she is nothing like me. From a very young age (as young as 11) she developed a passion for creative digital design and has ever since pursued success in the field. While in school she taught herself how to create websites and graphics, this was only a hobby until she discovered that she could continue her hobby as a career and set out to do so. She began by studying at Rhode Island School of Design and after completing it with high grades she turned down a full-time job opportunity for Apple to work in an internship at Pentagram, New York.

What lures me to her as a professional is her confidence in knowing what she loves and wants to do and exactly how she would like to execute her talents.Jessica Walsh.png

“I would’ve been making a lot of money at Apple, and it would’ve been a safe bet for a career… I wanted variety and challenge, not safety.” (Walsh, J 2014).

Following her internship where she explored many projects through freelancing, Walsh landed a job at Print Magazine. Currently, following Print Magazine, she works partnered with Stefan Sagmeister at Sagmeister & Walsh where she gets to challenge herself creatively with every new project whether it be in branding or exhibitions.

When interviewed by Essmaker (T and R), Walsh confirmed that she indeed had mentors throughout her life. These included her early bosses and her current work partner Stefan Sagmeister. When asked to give advice to the young she said “Figure out what you’re really passionate about and what kind of work you want to do and do it. Work your ass off; be persistent; stay curious; challenge yourself; and most importantly, have a lot of fun.” Which is exactly why I like her so much, she knows what she wants and she works for it, it is my goal to reach that certainty about my field.

References:

Animals in the Media

“As pets, as performers, and as literary symbols, animals are forced to perform us – our fantasies and fears, our questions and quarrels, our hopes and horrors.” Una Chaudhuri 2003.

There are many ways animals are used to act out our concerns and desires; this changes our perception and interaction with them in real life as a consequence. As we look into animals represented in the media there are many examples on how our use of anthropomorphism creates this consequence, whether it’s television, social media/memes, magazines, books or images. Throughout this blog I want to focus on one piece of famous literature where the whole extract is a metaphorical representation of animals being human. Most of you I hope have read the book ‘Animal Farm’ by George Oswell.

Animal Farm

Historically the novel is an allegory of the 1917 Russian Revolution representing animals as historical figures and social classes. For example; pigs have the qualities of rulers being smart and devious, horses are represented as dedicated and committed hard workers, dogs as disciplined soldiers and sheep represent naïve uneducated civilians. Although this is an obvious metaphor for a historical event and the people involved, it does give a reputation and (might I add) sometimes false representation of these specific animals and how we see them naturally.

For example; pigs being smart animals… as smart as humans. Andy Wright (2014) explains (backing up the work of Candace Croney) that to compare the intelligence of a pig to another animal or human is as useless as comparing “apples to oranges” because each animal is tested on intellect and “specializations according to their surroundings”.

Horses, are an animal that is naturally roaming, wild and free running in packs for kilometres a day. Within this pack is a family history as described by Sussman, K (2009) “Every herd has its own culture, developed from living together over eons of time if they haven’t been gathered and removed and disrupted.” This is forgotten and misrepresented in media as is it common to associate horses as a working animal, whether it’s carriage horse, racing horse or farm horse. This type of use of anthropomorphism, where a horse is ‘working’ makes the natural animal vanish and as a result makes us observe these animals as domestic or with human qualities which aren’t habitual to the animal.

Something ironic in the novel is the final adaption of the commandments created on the animal farm and the most famous quote “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”. Here we can see the representation of political agenda where the pigs have made it a law to give themselves greater power and status. Ironically, in terms of animals represented in the media, I think it would be fair to say that humans live with this sort of conscience when associating ourselves to the animal kingdom. We place ourselves at the top of the food chain, and we treat different species with different amounts of ‘equality’. Take for example a house hold cat and a pig. Which would you associate to be treated more like an equal to a human?

A house hold cat commonly becomes a part of the family being completely cared for throughout its whole life, without the need to even catch its own food which it would do in the wild. Pigs however, are farmed for meat. Treated with extreme cruelty in contrast to a house hold cat being inevitably slaughtered for food which we then call bacon, ham or pork to make it more appealing for consumption.

It brings a question to light whether it’s possible to mediate/recognise animals without associating them to humans, and, on the other end of the spectrum, without associating them as a product. This way when we recognise an animal, we can recognise it for what it truly is, and that is not human, and not a product, but what it is like in the wild, in its natural state.

 

  • Sussman, K 2009, ‘Wild and Civilized’, South Dakota Magazine, 1 May, pp. 37 – 41
  • Wright, A 2014, ‘Pigheaded: How Smart are Swine?’, modern farmer, weblog post, 10 march, <http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/pigheaded-smart-swine/>
  • Hirschman, C 1994, ‘Consumers and Their Animal Companions’, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 20 Issue 4, pp. 616-632
  • Orwell, O 1945, ‘Animal Farm’, Modern Classic
  • Chaudhuri, U 2003, ‘The Stage Lives of Animals: Zooesis and Performance’, non-fiction

GRAPHIC MEDIA!

Influential shocking images vs. disrespectful appalling images, this controversial topic on how to mediate whether graphic photography should be published stirred my brain. Among the stirring, deep in the depths of my memory a popular 70’s Australian song resurfaced. Skyhooks – Horror Movie. That may sound strange but, I promise you it’s relevant. The song is about how chaotic the world has become, where

“The planes are a-crashin’

The cars are a-smashin’

The cops are a-bashin’, oh yeah”

And watching the 6:30 evening news is the equivalent to watching a horror movie. This is still a debatable occurrence today, with some published images receiving huge backlash from the public because of the horror and shock they dispense.

For example, take these 3 three images:

Syrian BoyStarving ChildBuring Buddist

These confrontational images were controversial in the decision to be published. They not only drew mass global attention to major and very real problems occurring in the world, but also to the photographer and the distributor of the photo stirring debate about whether taking and mediating these images are ethically justifiable.

“Shocking images are not deceptive, but are instead so accurate in their depiction of life’s horrors that they pose ethical concerns for every journalist involved in the publication decision” (Yung Soo, James D 2010).

To be frank, early in this blog, I regard the publication of confronting images positively as I believe that we should not be sheltered from the reality of current affairs. In almost all cases such as the examples shown above, the images represent merely a moment in which some people across the world experience almost every day of their lives. I find it alarming that children are drowning seeking safety, or are dying from starvation, or people are sacrificing their lives in protest for equality. Not only because the world is allowing this to happen, but also because many of the reactions of audiences are disgusted that they have to see the horrific images as a result of this. Yes, it is shocking to see, but it’s even more shocking that someone is experiencing this, and without documentation we are naïve and obstructive to any possible progress and change to help these circumstances. Of course, however, like most things, this isn’t a choice of black or white and it’s not like I believe everything should be shown no matter what, as there is also the question of context and respect.

When considering whether to publish a photo there are many things to consider such as respect to the family. Thiessen, K and Go, J (2006) mention that the first obligation of a journalist is to the public, however while keeping in mind the reopening of grief to families publishing photos of deceased are appropriate as long as it is broadening a cause and not merely for curiosity. For example, the first image in this blog of the drowned young boy washed up on the beach, brings global attention to the tragedies of the Syrian War and the refugees that result from it, not just a shocking image of a child to bring attention to an article.

Other considerations include the dignity of the person and the importance of adding it to the article. This could be associated towards using photographs that don’t include the faces of the figures associated in the image. All the images in this blog are associated with major issues that add awareness to an article, shocking an audience in ways that just wouldn’t be as effective without the photo.

The NPPA (National Press Photographers Association 2017) code of ethics, standard 4, suggests that photo journalists should “treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.”

As a conclusion, more often than not, if a global tragedy is occurring the public should know about it. Photographs bring a whole new element to an article making people realise the reality of the situation, and that’s exactly what it is, reality, its real and it’s happening. So if an image creates more than just shock but also brings attention to critical disasters then publishers should be allowed to circulate the material with the conscience that it is ethically justifiable. However, if the image isn’t signifying a mass issue and the relevance of publishing a shocking image does nothing but cause unnecessary harm then of course, ethically, there is no reason for it to be published.

 

 

2: Field Research – Digital Media

As early as July 1, 1980 a newspaper could be read online. Although it only lasted 2 years and wasn’t very accessible due to the extreme luxury of even owning a computer, it sparked the future and since then the rise of digital news has increased substantially.

“The news has to be presented in an accessible way, an attractive way. Readers have to be sold on the content by the general look and feel of the site rather than the news itself” Thiel (1998). When print turns to online media is also invites other forms of digital technology with the inclusion of website design and graphics, sound and video and advertising and marketing. These are the sort of fields I have been looking at and researching. Among these fields we have some successful professionals whose position and works are goals worth aiming towards.

Vanessa Lawrence

After graduating in a Bachelor of Journalism Vanessa began as a news editor at Grazia. From there she did some freelance writing abroad and came back to be a features writer and then editor at Elle magazine. Currently she holds the position of head of editorial at Pedestrian TV.  Pedestrian is a popular online platform (who created the first DVD magazine) for young adults to keep them informed on pop culture, news, as well as providing them with opportunities for jobs.

Jessica Walsh

A young successful woman in the graphics design industry is someone worth following and learning from. Straight out of design school she was offered a design job at Apple, however she turned down the “safe” career path for an internship in a design firm where there was more “variety and challenge”. As well as liking the style and aesthetics of her graphic designs, I admire her professional mannerism of pursuing the work she set out to do and loves.Graphic D faces.png

Alan Aldridge

Looking in successful graphic designers in history, one of my favorites is Alan Aldridge. He began his career in a path I’m interested in and that is creating and incorporating graphic design into media outlets e.g. magazines and books. Alan worked with well-known brands such as the Sunday Times and Penguin Books. From there he created designs for album covers for artists such as The Who and Elton John making himself a very influential artist of that era. He also went long along continuing to build his reputation and redesigning the iconic Hard Rock Café logo was just another one of his successes.

Marc Janks

After completing Communication and Media Studies which I am currently studying, Marc began his career in website and logo design, marketing and photo operations across a few companies. Currently, he has successfully achieved the role of Manager of Multimedia at the Huffington Post co-managing illustrators, animators and editorial designers.

John Tomanio

With a current position as Director of Graphics with National Geographic, John has the responsibility of organizing a group creating graphics, data visualization, animation, artwork and other forms of visual journalism. He began in Graphics after graduating in an Arts Degree with high honors, building his way to become a graphics editor and now a graphics director.

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These are just a few successful professionals in a range of linking fields I am currently interested in pursuing. Their work is inspiring and their development through the industry is worth researching and reflecting as I would like to see myself in a similar position in the future.