Monday, November 23, 2015

For my final project, I wanted to relate Marshall McLuhan's idea of the "global village" to the world of online gaming. In a way, online games could be considered a visual manifestation of the global village, as games can connect you to thousands of people across the globe at once while emulating and replacing real life interaction using a digital medium. When composing my photos, I particularly focused on the limited tools given to gamers with which they may communicate with other gamers while online. I was interested in how human interaction is defined by game creators and how it is categorized and enacted in different online gaming contexts.

This was the first project where I created everything entirely on the computer using found images and manipulating them in photoshop. It was extremely difficult arranging everything at first because I didn't compose the original images and I lack experience with photoshop. After a while however, I was able to pretty successfully achieve the effects I wanted with most of my final images.
This was one of my favorite pieces to come out of this project. 
Link to images:

Some of the images reference interaction within games while others, such as "Message Not Received" and "Appear Offline" refer to online interactions outside of the games themselves. For those unfamiliar with the symbols and concepts I used, here is a breakdown of what some of them mean:

Emotes: Commands that make the player's avatar express specified actions or emotions (e.g. /dance will make the player's avatar dance)

*symbols are from the game FFXIV: ARR and are not universal

Player Not Found
Player is Busy
Player is AFK(away from keyboard) 
Blacklisted Players

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Preparing for the gallery was both a fun and educational experience. I had never had my work on display in a gallery before, so I was not really sure what to expect from the process. The most challenging task for me was not in the actual setting up of the gallery, but in the preparation and selection of the images. We all had chosen around five images that we felt were the most successful and had to narrow them down to only two images to be displayed in the show. I was struggling to choose between six images that I felt best showcased my concept. Everyone I asked for opinions on which images I should choose all chose different pairings, which only made my task more difficult.

Ultimately this forced me to look at my images in a new light. Instead of simply choosing the two I liked the most aesthetically, I examined the composition of each image and how it related to my other images. What shapes and colors did they create, and how did they play off of each other? What ideas or themes do these images convey and how do they interrelate? Asking myself these questions helped me finally decide which images I wanted to put in the gallery.
The secret 7th contender for the gallery. Ultimately I decided it was
too different to use with my other images.
All of the fussing over which images to use was worth while after the gallery opening. It was a very rewarding experience to watch visitors not only look at my work but tell me that they appreciated and enjoyed it. As a Studio Art major, I appreciate having this experience and feel more prepared to participate in other galleries in the future.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tim Wetherell's Clockwork Universe sculpture
 at Questacon, Canberra, Australia (2009)
For my presentation, I had the task of discussing Isaac Newton in the context in which he was referenced in Marshall McLuhan’s book The Medium is the Massage. Near the end of the book, McLuhan references the “Newtonian” God and universe, which refers to an analogy attributed to Newton of the clockwork universe. McLuhan states that “The Newtonian God — the God who made a clock-like universe, wound it, and withdrew — died a long time ago.” Astrophysicist Paul Davies in God and the New Physics (1983) aptly explains the analogy:

                “…the universe is like a giant clockwork, unwinding along a rigid, predetermined pathway towards an unalterable final state. The course of every atom is presumed to be legislated and decided in advance, laid down since the beginning of time.”

I believe McLuhan’s intended message in this passage is this: what was previously dubbed as “metaphysical” or “mystical” or “the work of God” can now be observed, explained, and understood due to the development of modern technology. That which was mysterious has now been demystified now that we have the tools to do so. Newton’s views of the universe no longer apply to our modern society as they are based on ideas from the past, from before our modern world existed. No matter how hard we may try to revive his ideas, we cannot. Our ideas are different and our methods of doing have changed from those of the past.