i, robot


This film could not be more relevant to technology and just how quickly advances in technology can have a massive impact on – well everything. “i, robot’ which was released in 2004 was absolutely spot on, especially with the new creation of the most advanced humanoid to be created by Japanese professor and scientist, Hiroshi Ishiguro.

Just over the past year robots seem to be a prime presents in Japan: a hotel was almost completely staffed by robots, ‘Earth to Kirobo’ who is a companion robot who went to the International Space Station returned being the first android to hold a conversation with a human in space and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group started to employ androids to deal with customer enquiry. And to top it all of (and this is really freaky) Nomura Research Institute said in a report that they predict that half of all jobs in Japan could be performed by robots in 20135 which is date “i, robot” is set.

This movie focuses on not only the ethical issues surrounding robots but also the way in which they cannot communicate with emotions as arguably they cannot be programmed to have a soul because that part of a human isn’t part of any code – it’s just there. That is what separates us from them – real human emotion.

This robot revolution is actually something that is quite scary – as is everything put into the “unknown” category, but I am unsure of how this is going to effect society if robots start being made on a mass scale. In terms of technology they are a huge and victorious leap into the future, but I’m not so sure on how this topic will necessarily conclude as we have no knowledge of just how fast they can progress in terms of the technology they could contain, which could render humans obsolete.

Technology is always changing, constantly evolving into seemingly bigger and better things – but its there a point where it will go just a step too far?




Minority Report

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Typically, a Speilberg film is a WOW film but ‘Minority Report’ is a movie that really flew under the radar. It’s so strange to me, the different takes of technology advances there are and where people’s minds instantly go when they think of these advances in our world. Here, ‘Minority Report’ focuses on a future where crime has been eradicated in the state of Washington. This is thanks to an organization called ‘Precrime’ (lead by Cruise’s character John Anderton) whereby three humans named ‘precogs’ have the ability to have premonitions of murder before they been committed then the ‘precrime’ team use the images they get from the ‘precogs’ in order to arrest the murderer before they have a chance to carry out the offense.

But when Anderton’s name appears as the next person to kill he seeks out to find out who has set him up. He sets out to find his ‘minority report’ – a different future that makes him innocent. In a world where security cameras actually scan your retinas at checkpoints, it becomes impossible for Anderton to evade the ‘precrime’ team, forcing him to get an eye transplant essentially. This was a very disturbing part of the movie but played a huge part in the way the story played out which came to be quite exhilarating.

The advances in technology at this stage, being that this is set in the year 2054, are quite advanced from where we sit now but are also quite similar to some presented in “i, robot” especially with the way in which cars and driving is presented. The use of a touch screen sort of mode but stepped up a notch with the use of special gloves that are compatible with the transparent screen used by the ‘precrime’ team when searching for the ‘crime scene’, is definitely something that is a very technologically advanced element that was used in the film (as the first touch screen was only invented ten years prior to the film’s release).




Spike Jonze is a genius! His ability to create this world with characters that we, as an audience end up truly caring about – even the virtual ones is just mesmerizing to me. It is a truly beautiful and transcendent love story that is pure, real and definitely realistic.

The story is just so raw and speaks volume about how advanced technology really is because as you can glean from the movie, this isn’t set too far into the future and there are many parallels to be drawn to things that already exist today like the relationship between the iPhone’s “Siri” and the operating system Samantha who our main character Theodore falls in love with.

The way in which Jonze projects a world in which where everything is done through computers, machines, and how we can communicate with these machines by saying simple, basic, monosyllabic commands. It makes someone talking to themselves seem completely and utterly normal (so I would fit right in). The thing I found most interesting was how it comments on communication and how our communication with each other verbally will soon become eradicated and we will just be talking to ourselves, and our machines.

The emotional level of this film juxtaposes that of the theme of technology itself as we often link technology and machines to something cold, hard, emotionless but that couldn’t be far enough from what’s presented to us in ‘Her’. It’s a relationship that you love, something that you feel is real and honest which is why the ending is so unbelievable heartbreaking but I loved it because it really made you feel something as apposed to these “Nicholas Sparks” bullshit films that Hollywood just keep spitting out with a typically sad plot that deep down doesn’t really have much substance and only makes us sad because it tells us that it is. Her breaks the mold and provides us with a different way of viewing love.


Lumiere Lights – Litre of Light

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Attending the Lumiere Light festival in London was something that I had been so excited about leading up to the event and I was eager to see what the participants had created. With the event attracting so much attention and therefore people, I was only able to see on light presentation. ‘Litre of Light’ was held at Central Saint Martins in Kings Cross and it focused on how light is a luxury that we take for granted. This installation itself, with all of those beautiful blasts of colour, constantly changing as you progress through it reminded me of the move ‘Spring Breakers’ – the technicolour aspect of it was something that i personally really loved and think that the message behind it only made it that much more of a powerful installation.


Champagne Life – Saatchi Gallery

Being able to experience the ‘Champagne Life’ exhibition at the Saatchi gallery in London was absolutely incredible. Having an entire exhibition solely compiled up of female artists was something that I had never seen before and it was really something special.

The artists that partook in exhibition are: Mequitta Ahuja, Marie Angeletti, Julia Dault, Sigrid Holmwood, Maha Mulluh, Seung Ah Paik, Soheila Sokhanvari, Alice Anderson, Jelena Bulajic, Mia Feuer, Virgile Ittah, Suzanne McClelland, Stephanie Quayie and Julia Wachtel.

It is one of Julia Wachtel’s pieces that is the reason for the title of the exhibition as it also the title of the piece, ‘Champagne Life’. From paintings to sculptures and the use of so many different processes used to produce these pieces, this exhibition didn’t fail to deliver a spectacular atmosphere where all female artists are being celebrated and this was truly inspiring.


Julia Wachtel


This piece entitled ‘Champagne Life’ by Watchel allows us to witness the immense juxtaposition between a poorly, pathetically constructed sculpture of Minnie Mouse and the antithesis of the social media queen, Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West. Kardashian and West are very big in the public eye and have a major influence over… well everything it seems. The title of the piece derives from a song by R&B artist Ne-Yo who talks about merging dreams with reality and how they are one in the same. This piece signifies the drive that so many have to achieve a ‘celebrity’ status and how that ‘champagne life’ may in fact be the emptiest to lead and you may never be truly fulfilled.



Wachtel’s screen printing pieces are truly amazing things to witness and I love how each panel is constructed so well to achieve the most incredible compositions. The colours combined with the images and mix of media really speaks about contemporary pop culture in a strong way.


Julia Dault

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These pieces are so intriguing and I love how they completely depend on the artist’s hand and body to be molded and shaped. The element of that they are ready to spring to life at any moment (when released from their trappings) introduces a very unpredictable element to the work which makes it very exciting.


Sigrid Holmwood

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These three pieces ‘Mother and Child’, ‘The Last Peasant-Painters Peeling Potatoes (Old Woman Mill)’ and ‘Church Boats’ by Holmwood were very captivating in the exhibition. This was primarily due to the media that was used in this collection. The use of fluorescent egg tempera set an immediate contrast and I love that he chose to focus on such an historic subject and express these images with this media. The suggestion of heritage and passing on of knowledge (seen particularly in the first two pieces) work to strengthen the piece as it creates great depth. The powerful sense of nostalgia introduced by the third piece is what draws you in and I really love how the artist has pulled two elements (fluorescent paint and the theme of the 19th century) and tied together in such an interesting and stimulating way.


Suzanne McClelland

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‘Phil ‘The Gift’ and Jay ‘Citus’ (Ideal Proportions), ‘Domestic Terrorist Kerkow’ and ‘ Ideal Proportions: Squeeze – A Winning Hand’ are the three pieces of McClelland’s work I found the most interesting in her collection. Her work focuses on the fact that code, made up of complex algorithms runs absolutely everything in the world and are responsible, even something that seems completely simplistic and mundane. She uses the canvas in a very unique way in terms of the information she chooses to supply the viewer with, which makes the way she presents her work and her message very powerful and sometimes quite intense. The way in which her text appears, combined with the erratic strokes seen in the piece ‘ Ideal Proportions: Squeeze – A Winning Hand’ evoke a sense of frustration as this text represents the data sets to both body builders; Jay ‘Cuts’, Phil ‘The Gift’ and Frank ‘The Chemist’, and domestic terrorists in the US; Burt, Dibee, and Kerkow which presents a very interesting juxtaposition.


Alice Anderson

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Both of these pieces by Anderson, ‘Bound’ and ‘ 181 Kilometers’ were absolutely amazing to see at this exhibition. Their scale wasn’t the only thing that had me hooked but the deep and complex comments on society that lie within them. ‘Bound’ physically appears to be a bobbin made of wool and copper thread but the copper thread represents the technological age we are now immersed in and the passing of information and energy. It made me think: how do we weave our memories together, both digitally and mentally? And also which state does it hold the most importance in the long run?


Maha Malluh


The sculpture ‘Food for Thought “Almuallaqat 4”’ was great! It was spread out along an entire wall in its own gallery room and it was just so captivating from the moment you laid eyes on it. It was fascinating to discover that Maluuh’s work focuses on globalisation and consumer culture within her home of Saudi Arabia and how the objects, being found in junk stores and markets, link to the culture she is referring to.


Zines – Inpsiration

spare rib

Spare Rib is a feminist zine that was was first published in June 1972 by twenty-one-year-old, Rosie Boycott and her twenty-eight-year-old co-editor, Marsha Rowe. It was highly popular and went on to be published for twenty years.

Their creative covers include a variety of different mediums from photographs of icons such as Angela Davis and Jane Fonda to artistic illustrations of naked women to explore the importance of body image. SO many important issues that is still very relevant in today’s society, which touches on the reason why the topic of feminism is still a dominant force in the zine world.

From women’s rights in the workplace and contraception to self-defence and provocation, Spare Rib highlighted key issues and targeted them in a humorous way in order to communicate a message to their readers. Obviously the response they received from their content was amazing or else they wouldn’t have been able to keep publishing for two decades, which speaks volumes about how much passion there is for equality. The fact that we can still have some access to this information and there have been many other zines and publications that have been inspired to create work in a similar way is very telling in how strong this theme is felt in this particular field of expression.


Pamflet is one of the contemporary e-zines (and zines) taking on the issues of feminism much like Spare Rib. The introduction of e-zines, as well as original printed versions, allows the makers and publishers to keep followers more up-to-date by posting as often as they like as well as give them the option to purchase a hard copy, which definitely boosts the profile of the zine. Producing a zine in both formats also allows the viewer to see what kind of content will appear in the zine but the zine itself always offers a more artistic and creative edge that I think overpowers an e-zine.

Pamflet not only comments on issues of feminism but also takes on topics such as ‘Style, Books, Music, Arts’ etc. all with a feminist edge of course but this shows how broad a zine can be as you can choose to comment on essentially whatever you feel passionate about or have an opinion on. I feel that zines are a very powerful outlet for anyone who wants to raise an issue or convey a message about something they disagree with in the world like the government and their hatred for David Cameron or simply an interest they may have in something like the rise of female punk rock bands.

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The feminist hardcore punk movement known as “Riot Grrrl” started in the 1990s and focused on ‘punk music, radical politics and a DIY aesthetic’ that has gone on to inspire and shape so many zines seen since. Bands associated with this movement include ‘Bikini Kill’, ‘Bratmobile’, ‘Huggy Bear’, ‘Skinned Teen’, ‘Calamity Jane’, ‘Emily’s Sassy Lime’ and many more. The movement allowed women to create music that would make political statements about the issues in society and could speak out about the double standards against women, rape, domestic violence, sexuality and female empowerment.

Kurt Cobain, lead singer of notorious rock band Nirvana (1987-1994) said:

“The future of rock belongs to women.”

Joan Jett, a member of the first ever all girl rock band, ‘The Runaways’ (1975-79) has been noted by many members of “Riot Grrrl” as major inspiration and role model for the movement.

Female musicians and bands that want to voice their opinions about the roles of women not only in their industry but also in society created some of these zines. Tobi Vail, an independent musician and feminist, was a central figure in the riot grrrl movement and was responsible for coining the spelling of “grrl” started the zine ‘Jigsaw’.


Since the punk movement was revolutionised in the 70s, punk progressed further. In the 1980s, faster and more aggressive styles such as hardcore bands such as Black Flag and Oi! bands like Cock Sparrer were the primary style of punk music. The post-punk and the alternative rock movement also resulted from musicians being highly influenced by the original punk movement in the 70s.

Punk zines became a staple way of communicating the opposition to “The Man” in the 70s as the movement really gained immense following. Punk symbolised a revolution that rebelled conformity and the government and used not only music to express this message but a new style was also developed in terms of the clothes they wore and their physical appearance. The people involved and supported the punk movement were heavily passionate and dedicated to their cause which is what makes it so interesting to research.

I love how even though all of these zines demonstrate the following of the same theme, display such diversity in their artistic, DIY aesthetic. I think that’s the most interesting factor of a zine versus a blog or a magazine as it allows you to be completely free with your creativity, especially with artistic illustrations, which I think is the predominant element that makes a zine so strong.




Hello – Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu has been releasing music for decades and after taking a hiatus in 2010 for four years she released the album ‘But You Caint Use My Phone’ that contained the song ‘Hello’ which is the song I have chosen to research and analyse.

The song (and the entire album) hones in on just how much technology has become a never-ending evolution in the 21st century and how in today’s society we are so dependent on it. The way in which a phone is not just a phone – its an essential part of life and to be without it would cause some people to feel empty and lost which talks volumes about just how much the form of communication has changed.

The track was recorded as a duet with husband André 3000 and talks of a relationship that seems to have found peace. It draws attention to the paranoia and the things that people might think when trying to communicate to someone they’re in a relationship with and how it makes you act. In a way the ‘game of telephone’, ironically, is conveyed here as it relates to the frustrating feeling of not being able to get into contact with someone and also how technology and the constant use of it has tainted physically talking to somebody and how things can often be miscommunicated and misconstrued with technology’s new advances.