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GIFs

phonedown---white-background tech-and-movies---white-background hopper-kardashian no-signal---white-background

These gifs were so incredibly fun to create and I am really happy with the results! Learning this skills is something that I have wondered about and have been wanting to acquire for a long time so I was very excited that it appeared in this brief. Although it proved to be a rather time consuming task, I love how they turned out and think that they mirror my zine incredibly and compliment each other very well.

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TED Talks

Ray Kurzwell – The Accelerating Power of Technology

Seeing how technology is evolving from more of a scientific aspect is as equally shocking and advanced as that of technology in the media and internet. This is introduction of nano-technology proves that in both of the ‘main’ areas where technology is really expanding (science and mobile and the internet) will have evolved so drastically, with the help of these nano-bots, to the point where we will be able to produce anything we may need. His ideology that by “202 computers will disappear” and that they’ll be “so small they’ll be embedded in our clothing, in our environment” is actually quite scary as that prediction only has six years to prevail which seems hard to achieve but when I think about how the revolution of technology has progressed from its inception is unbelievable so it doesn’t seem all that hard to imagine in today’s society.

Suzanne Lee – Grow Your Own Clothes

The process in which Lee makes these clothes is actually quite contradictory to how you would expect them to be built, as this is an example of the growth in technology. There are no machines that aid the process, its all produced organically and naturally with the help of natural resources like the sun, the technological side is all down to the biology behind the technique which is so interesting and the results are absolutely outstanding. With a bit more progress in terms of making the material water resistant will come with time and experimentation with the process but with the progress it has made already in the fashion industry leads me to believe that it will be a rapid discovery and soon we will be able to create whatever we want in the most natural ways.

Clay Shirky – How Social Media Can Make History

The fact that Shirky shines a light on how the Chinese government repress their citizens in terms of social media and filtering their posts is something that I had never been exposed to before which means that their government was doing a very good job. This speaks further about what I have previously mentioned about the idea of privacy in technology and how we have made all of these advances but should we actually depend on it as much as we do as it gives the government direct access to absolutely everything we may produce on a technological device. Social media is very much a dominant force in today’s society and with the introduction of so many apps and ways of communicating I really wander about where it’s going to go next as its already creating a sense of hyper reality.

Keren Elazari – Hackers: the Internet’s Immune System 

This is a topic that I think is vital when talking about technology as its not just about inventions and discoveries in science and the media but about how people have the skills and the talent to be able to force people to make changes and better the world we live in. The mention of the hacker group, “Anonymous” is key to what I wish to explore in my zine, especially with the very well known visual of the ‘Guy Fawkes’ mask as their identifier, as they are responsible for the release of information that shows us what we are shielded from from the government, as we are conditioned to see what they want us to see. When I would watch movies I always thought that the hacker was the ‘coolest’ and always aspired to be like them but what I have learnt from doing research on these groups etc. is that it is hard and they don’t just want to break into things, they want to find the problems in the world so they can force solutions.

 

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Kim Kardashian – Queen of Mobile

Many were outraged when word got out that Kim Kardashian of all people would be interviewed about her success in technology. But the more I think about it the more it makes sense: she is the queen of social media. If you think about it there is no one better to talk to about social media than Kim Kardashian, you would be stupid if you didn’t. After all you can hate her and her family all you like but they are a very successful brand and family for whatever reason and have maintained their level of success for many years which means they must have brains too. Seeing Kardashian in a much more formal setting than her typical ‘E! News’ interviews on the red carpet at various A-list events proved to be very interesting and eye-opening as shockingly she actually knows what she’s on about – making her a person that shouldn’t be underestimated.

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Grace Hopper ‘The Queen of Code’

grace hopper

‘The Queen of Code’ is a short documentary directed by actress Gillian Jacobs focusing on the tech legend, a pioneer in the field of computer programming, that is Grace Hopper. Hopper’s legacy is something that inspired thousands of women to get into the tech industry, as we all know that we view the tech industry as one dominated by men. At a time where women stepped up to do ‘male’ jobs, Hopper proved that she was one of, if not, the best in her field. COBOL is the programming language that Hopper helped design and develop, and Hopper’s belief that programs should be written in a language that resembled closely to English was captured in the new business language, and COBOL went on to be the most ubiquitous business language to date. ‘Women in tech’ is something that I definitely want to explore further and see how this ‘pink-collar’ profession is actually incredibly difficult and women do not get enough recognition for their accomplishments in this field.

 

The documentary by Jacobs can be found on vimeo but unfortunately due to the video’s privacy settings the video couldn’t be uploaded here.

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Analogue Photography

Contact Sheet

contact sheet

Because the negatives were fairly dark I had to expose the print for quite a long time and even then it is still quite hard to see the images. This made me think that it would be quite difficult to be able to develop the prints but that didn’t turn out to be the case…

Test Strip

pic 1 test

Final Prints

pic 1 pic 2 pic 3 pic 4 pic 5

After doing a test strip for the first image and finding that a time of around 15 seconds for a good starting point for exposure, it became much easier to judge the timings that would be most effective for the rest of the images after seeing how dark the initial negatives were and judging that against the first image I printed. I actually really like how these prints have come out and how the tonal range isn’t that strong as I think that it really makes you look at the detail that lies within the photographs which gives them great depth.

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Mastheads, Straplines & Lock-Ups

Zine Title Mind Map

zine title mind map

I chose to use the title ‘phonedown’ for my zine on technology – focusing on the over-use of mobile phones in particular and how they present a hyper-reality which prohibits people from actually living and just living vicariously through what they see on a screen.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 12.39.46 2 1 3 4

Using the pen tool on Illustrator is a tool that I have had a bit of trouble with on this software, but I am now much more comfortable with using it after doing the workshop. The lock-up seen above was done using the pen tool to draw my sketched lock-up with using my chosen masthead and strapline for my zine. Creating the ‘Bezier Curves’ is quite difficult but I feel that after using Illustrator more regularly my work will be much cleaner in that respect. On the adjacent page, the first lock-up was created using the ‘Image Trace’ button in the horizontal tool bar at the top of ‘Workspace’ after rasterizing the image. This tool makes Illustrator create the lines for you and from there you can ‘Expand’ the image for further manipulation using the ‘Direct Selection Tool’ which is a really helpful tool to be able to use, and easy too. The remaining two lock-ups were created simply using the ‘Type Tool’, taking a font, which I then layered, changing the background colour in order to create a silhouetted effect that makes it incredibly striking.

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Typography

alignment alignment 2 contrast contrast 2 hierarchy 2 repetition repetition 2 hierarchy balance balance 2

Learning the rules of typography proved to be very effective when doing this exercise of linking 20 words to the 5 rules of typography and then creating a ‘font’ that represented 3 of the 20 words I thought of.

This will be very helpful when I come to thinking of the title for my zine and the overall look of my zine as all of these aspects will come up at some point in the process of making my zine and getting each aspect correct will be vital.

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Selfie

Interview magazine – Facetime Covers by Mert & Marcus

facetime interview

Interview magazine’s September 2015 covers featured the work of the phenomenal photography duo Mert & Marcus, whereby the cover stars photographs weren’t taken with high-tech digital cameras with amazing professional lighting but as selfies over FaceTime. This is the first time that this has ever been done which I think speaks volume about how the new wave of technology is definitely a dominant force in today’s society and how people have become so dependent on it that a phone has almost become an extension of a person instead of just a simple device. It’s also the celebrity power that drives the ‘selfie’ to its heights and influences so many followers and admirers to ‘comment’ on it or ‘like’ it on social media, which in turn creates a domino effect. The ‘selfie’ supplies us with the ability to be much more vain that one usually would be – I often wonder if the makers of technology often think they have created a monster.

selfie

Famous Selfies

famous selfies

On November 19 2013, Oxford Dictionary announced to the world the word of the year: selfie. Oxford dictionaries editors revealed that the frequency of the word itself in the English language had increased by 17, 000% since the same time in 2012. Since the neologism ‘selfie’ took off it has been used my millions of people – isn’t it crazy how the creation of one word can become a technological phenomenon overnight? And also slightly scary.

These four selfies depict some of the most famous selfies to ever have been taken. Of course the first is the infamous Oscar selfie of 2014, which broke the internet, gaining a jaw dropping 3.3 million, retweets and 2.1 million likes. It’s a picture that is still talked about to this day and known for being the ‘seflie to beat’ as it included so many A-list celebrities – it was the selfie of all selfies. The second image displays a political selfie with the President of the United States, Barack Obama and two scientists Neil deGrasse Tyson and NIll Nye. I find it so weird that this kind of stuff happens in the White House of all places. The third image of course shows all of our favourite people (lol), the Kardashians. With everyday being a ‘selfie day’ in that family and with their insane amount of followers on INstagram being insanely high (over 20 million) it isn’t hard to believe that they’re posts get almost 1 million likes every time which is just crazy. But even back in 2008 Kim was very much in the ‘selfie-mode’ (there just wasn’t another word for it other than vain), as when Khloe Kardashian got arrested for a DUI, as her family were on the way to the jail Kim Kardashian was taking photographs of herself in the car when her mum says something that has become quite a well-known Kardashian quote: “Kim will you stop taking pictures of yourself, you’re sister’s going to jail”. The final selfie shows something very shocking and disturbing. The survivor of a plane crash took a selfie in the water, in a life jacket, with the crashed plane behind him in the background. Taking a selfie after experiencing something like that would definitely be the last thing on my mind. This goes to show just how much technology and the new waves that come with it effect society.

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Literature

1984 – George Orwell

1984-by-george-orwell

Looking at George Orwell’s amazing dystopian novel ‘1984’ which speculates on how a ‘Big Brother’ sets to control and rule us and what happens to those who challenge and attempt to revolt the system was so interesting and really comments on technology’s evolution.

The use of these ‘telescreens’ in order to communicate with the public and how everyone must watch every broadcast and their own personal screens pick up every sound and movement they make speaks volumes on how privacy is arguably a trivial subject. The way in which we are conditioned to believe certain things because of the way they are presented to us is very unnerving to me and makes me feel very uneasy in the sense that we have no way of sourcing this type of high profile information for ourselves (e.g. the situation with Syria) so the only thing we rely on is the coverage we get by organisations and companies run by the government.

The truth is a completely distorted factor when its fed to you by the government, especially with David Cameron in power, but its so important that we push ourselves to remember that what we are being told might not be 100% the truth and we must question everything the government tells us because the amount of power they have over us is just insane.

This presence of “thoughtcrime” suppresses individuality and the feeling of the freedom to have independent thinking and the fact that this technology that is set in place by the government is so omnipresent links to that of how technology is also in today’s society (particularly phones). That linked with perpetual war and public manipulation its not often that one has a ‘impure’ thought and evades ‘the system’.

 

The Infinte Jest – David Foster Wallace

Infinite_jest_cover

This 1996 dystopia novel, ‘The Infinite Jest’ by the incredible author David Foster Wallace is absolutely ingenious. In the excerpt I studied from his 1000+ pages encyclopedic novel focuses on the rise and fall of the videophone. So basically David Foster Wallace predicted FaceTime and Skype – how crazy is that?

The lengthy, complex, and almost newly coined words and phrases paired with the humorous narrative of the way in the which the videophone was introduced into society and the effect it had on people was absolutely incredible and it was just so engaging, I’m very excited to read the rest of the book however I feel I will have to wait a while to start as I have already stated the length of this novel.

Although the ideas are incredibly well thought out and there have been new disorders and phobias introduced and all the idea itself its quite simple, only making the piece that much more powerful. The connection this has to my work is that I want to hone in on the fact that technology is taking over our lives – that in the form of our mobile phones and how they, in effect, are such a dominating force and control our lives in a sense.

This excerpt really forces you to think about just how much technology’s advances and constant evolution is effecting how you perceive yourself and how it makes you alter things about yourself – something in your subconscious tells you ‘this picture of me looks nice, I’ll get a few likes for that’ or ‘ this filter will make that blemish disappear’. Not only that but it focuses on its ability to completely change the way in which we communicate as with this advance in technology it isn’t even really required to talk to someone face-to-face which is something that I value so much when wanting to communicate with someone – I always prefer to physically speak to someone than have a conversation over the phone as it’s so much more personal and normal than having a digital device speak for you.

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Brazil

brazil

Weird. That is the single word I would use to describe ‘Brazil’. Retrospectively, I still am not completely 100% clear on what my thoughts are on the film. Yes the world that they’ve created, in reality, dream and delusion, as it was made apparent in the final scene, were spectacular visually and really stepped it up a gear in terms of cinematography and the extravagant style of director Terry Gilliam but there was just something that I’m not sure I can put my finger on as to why I’m not saying how much I enjoyed it.

The storyline itself was very interesting to me, especially when researching the theme of technology and I love how this plot focused on the fight against bureaucracy in a future megalopolis and the way in which the government is constantly watching us and their ability to control us without us even realising the deep impact it has on our mundane lives. However, I found myself not very engaged in the story within the story which was this ‘love story’ whereby the main character dreams of the woman of his dreams and then finds her in reality. I just didn’t think that idea was very original, but in a way when your making imagery the way Gilliam does you can’t really have much of a complex storyline because that would just be complete chaos.

Control is one of the most important things to have and the ability to feel completely in control of yourself and not someone’s puppet is something that I feel is getting further and further away in today’s society as subconsciously we are the government’s puppets. I believe that we as the public are completely conditioned to be told whatever they want us see, hear and the way in which they plant ideas and opinions into our heads is something that is a seamless inception. The fact that they also have so much control over what we do on technology is scary – they can probably see what I’m writing right now as I type and are assessing whether or not I’m a threat by my “buzzword” usage.