“Oh don’t actually do it, just use the simulator!”

The physical just isn’t good enough anymore 😦  As technology has progressed, so has the way in which we interact with the objects around us.  “Oh you felt like ploughing a field this morning?  No no, don’t you even get out of bed, there’s a farming simulator on your PC for that!”

Our modern society has evolved to a place where the physical entity simply isn’t sufficient, and we need a digitalised element.  Kids no longer just play with just their toys, they use figurines like Skylanders or Disney Infinity in conjunction with a digital element (in this case Television), allowing a deeper experience with the activity.  Although I would argue that toys like that would take away from the imagination/ creative intelligence aspect of playing.

But this transformation from material to digital can create new messages and engage audience on another level.  A terrific example is Claymation, think of your Wallace and Gromits, and your Chicken Runs.  These stop motion films convert what would otherwise be just some lumps of plasticine into beautiful digitalised works which convey a meaning the material itself couldn’t.

It’s funny though, because you can go and buy a physical incarnation of your favourite animated character, and the material to digital concept comes full circle.

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape… Dumbledore!

Now I guess it is probably a clichéd example, but in terms of story franchises that I grew up with the wizarding world took my generation by storm.  Harry Potter was, is and will continue to be an absolute phenomenon, and a large part of that is because of the transmedia style adopted by the content producers and fans alike.

I would hope the majority of people would know that Mr. Potter started his journey as but a humble paperback, though I’m sure many more would know him from the massively popular film franchise.  But that’s not where it stops, oh no not at all, Potter-mania has taken the world hostage on all levels.  There are toys, magazines, fanfiction, websites (1, 2, 3), blogs, games, and a hell of a lot more.  Honestly, if you can think it, someone has already created a Harry Potter version of it (if you know what I mean *wink*).

But that’s what makes Harry Potter so great, there’s a certain drive for fans to bring the story of the boy from the cupboard into as many different directions as they choose.  There are all these different things created by fans that have taken certain aspects of the film and expanded them into a diverse range of content.  The ability to expand the original story outside of the books or movies has engaged the audience on a whole other level.  There’s no limit to what mediums to which the content can flow, and this ‘multi-pronged’ approach allows audiences to be immersed more deeply into the stories.

Filfury and Remix Culture

https://prezi.com/t0ftkpbcb8sr/remix-culture-filfury/

So this is just a little Prezi showcasing some of the ‘remix’ work by the British artist Filfury (Phil Robson), and explaining a little bit about what remixing, and remix culture is.  Hope you enjoy!

If you wish to see more of Filfury’s artworks, or even purchase so products here are some links;

Instagram https://instagram.com/filfury/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/filfury?fref=ts

Twitter https://twitter.com/filfury

Website http://filfury.com/

The A̶r̶t̶i̶s̶t̶ ‘People’ Formally Known As P̶r̶i̶n̶c̶e̶ ‘The Audience’

Never have we had so much power.  No longer are the days where the media elite, the gatekeepers, have full and total control of what is disseminated to the masses.  Few spoke very loudly, while the rest listened, isolated from each other.  But no more.

Media was very much a one way street.  You read the paper with articles selected for you to read, and you watched the television with programs selected for you to watch.  If you wanted to share an opinion on a matter you needed to own a printing press, or control the airwaves.  There was no back and forth; no discussion, our media was monologic.

But then came along the saviour for every troll and social justice warrior alike.  The internet, arguably the greatest thing since sliced bread.  We were no longer just an audience; consuming turned into prosuming.  This dialogic means of communication meant that the individuals could actively participate in discussions about information about content.  There were ‘comment’ boxes, ‘like’ buttons, ‘upvote’ widgets.  ‘The people formally known as the audience’, as Rosen put it, now have many a medium for their messages.

We are still very happy with consuming big media, but it is no longer on their watch.  It is now up to us, the public, when, where, how and why we engage in their goods.

Open, Closed, Open, Closed, Open, Closed…

iOS vs Android, a debate that starts the minute anyone talks about a mobile phone.  People will always have their own reasons for choosing either side, whether it is the ease of use or the personal choice in customisation.  I for one swear by my iPhone as one of my greatest investments, it has everything that I could need in a phone, and if I really wanted to I could just jailbreak it and customise it however I pleased.  I find the arguments about the two platforms pretty dull and rather ridiculous.  Although it is annoying to have to download and constantly update a service such as iTunes, the closed platform works to my needs perfectly.

Meme created by Myself, with a little help from memegenerator.org

Copyright Laws, and Content Protection

The above image is the album cover for New Order’s 1983 ‘Power, Corruption & Lies’, which was designed by Peter Saville.  But it is a reproduction of the painting “A Basket of Roses” by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour.  More recently the image has been used by legendary New York skate brand Supreme, on their PCL pullover and shorts combo for FW14.  Due to the copyright laws in France, the image is now outside of its copyright period and people have free use of the image.

 

 

When I first thought about what to write regarding copyright laws and the protection of content creators, I considered just taking large chunks of other peoples blog posts on the matter, and sticking them into mine as a sort of ‘method acting-esque’ copyright breach.  But I don’t suppose it would have been looked on too kindly.

On the matter of content, I strongly believe the ‘original’ creators and artists who publish their work should have adequate protection (and be adequately compensated when their work is stolen).  But I also believe there should some amount of freedom for the remixing and re-using of this content.

I can imagine that there is only so far we can go before it is close to impossible to create works that are wholly original and not in some way breaching copyright laws.

The biggest thing we should take from this ties is with the famous idiom that you should “give credit where credit is due.”  If I knew who first coined the phrase, I would have given them credit, but alas it was not to be.

The Medium is the Message

The content we consume is important, but does the way in which it’s delivered hold just as much value?  That’s the main idea behind McLuhan’s concept that “The medium is the message”.

Before the invention of the internet, messages were received in a quite linear.  Jason Gross used the example of a film in that you watch a film and experience the same pre-set series of events (beginning, middle and end).  You view the characters develop, and the story works towards a conclusion, but regardless of the message the structure will always be the same because it is determined by the medium.

Although, if you were to take the same message and move it to a non-linear form such as a website, the experience is changed.  All facets of the movies story can be broken up into many webpages, in this way characters and plot points can be viewed in any order.  The audience can now define how the content is received, and now has an active role in the medium rather than the passive role that is presented with a film.

While I understand McLuhan’s view that the medium requires attention, I don’t feel that it should over shadow the actual message.  The fact that a painting was done using oil on canvas rather than pencil on paper, isn’t as important as what the actual artwork portrays.