Weekly Presentations

September 26, 2013

Jodie Quach: Social Media

Her presentation of social media, as well as the discussion that followed really opened my eyes to how vast social media is today. There are so many of us invested in social media every day. The fact that it’s growth is on an exponential curve upwards raises the question, where will it lead to tomorrow? With that Prometheus media video, it’s really scary as to where social media will head next. Without being able to tell the difference between virtual words and the real world. Interacting between humans used to be a physical experience where we would have to be in the same room as another. However, with technology advancing faster than we are, being social is as easy as clicking on a “like” button on Facebook, or YouTube. I use social media every day (I can assume we all do at this point). We seem to be hypnotized by its spell, where using their sites will make you more popular as a person, but who really is that person? Whenever I see someone online, I picture them as a different person than who they are in real life. For example, when someone will text me, I picture they differently when they text me “hey” to when they actually say “hey” to my face. That thought troubles me because I have friends back home whom I can only communicate to via text, so which personality should I believe in, the one I remember in person, or the one I am texting?

October 3, 2013

Lucas: Mobility

The world today, is mobile. Lucas began his presentation explaining how the cultures coming together forms an entirely new culture, the mobile culture. Which is such a simple term, yet mobility has changed the world drastically. The discussion which sparked from the presentation was fascinating, how powerful mobility is when it comes to communication and speed. It was scary to think that almost all sorts of technologies are bound to become mobile. Such as Lucas’ example of the heart monitor. The strength of a network, I feel can never be as secure as a physical wire. However, knowing New Media as it is, I figure that I will most likely by stumped by a new network which will emerge that is superior to wires in every way. I find it difficult to predict the future, because it is expanding faster than we are. Who knows when technology with develop past our own intellect. And seeing as the majority of us have our faces glued to the screens, that time is not far off.

October 10, 2013

Stanley Tsai: Virtual World

This presentation has given me a lot of insight towards the topic of virtual worlds. I had no idea that this concept began with theatre. It makes perfect sense too, where the actors would incorporate the audience into their own ‘world’ that is the play. It’s just amazing how far we have come. When Stanley brought up the more specific topic of virtual world for gaming, this sparked a major discussion on Second Life. Where we were shown a video of a couple who makes their living renting our virtual condos on an island. This just blows my mind. I would have never imagined a world where people are making money and supporting themselves using a virtual space. Where that space can be taken away at the press of a button. I guess it takes great faith and dedication to make something work, as does this couple. Also, Stanley furthered this by saying that in China, there are actual federal laws which place property rights upon virtual items which users own in the game. This just had me thinking, how far can these laws go? If property is expanding to virtual space, who knows where it will end up next…

October 24, 2013

Kelly Nicole: Remix Culture

“Everything is a remix” pretty much sums up art today. When I think of the word “remix”, I initially think of a remix of a song. But it so much more than that. Remix is reusing anything which already exists (and that is most likely remixed from something else), from sound, images, video, etc…┬áComing from my art history course, artists would develop their own style using techniques from their mentors. For example, Michelangelo was taught by Masaccio who was taught by Giotto. Each artist learned and created their own art style which was based on their┬ápredecessors. Such is the case with today’s remix culture. Reusing and recreating art in any medium seems to be of the norm. Kelly made a good point saying how the remix culture really ignited with web 2.0 and the participation of prosumers ignited. However, the question arises of “what is legitimate art” with the method of remixing being so common. To me, art has no beginning, and no end, it will always evolve with us. I am confident to say that all of my art is a remix of something no matter what shape or form. This makes me somewhat unhappy because I grew up with the notion of being original is key to success. Thankfully, as I grew older, my idea of success has developed and improved (I hope) realistically. Art is just as adaptable as we are, where the case for it that art is made by us.

October 31, 2013

Dmitry: Hacker Culture

Playfulness? Now that is one word I have never associated with hacking before. When Dmitry presented hackers as individuals who are playful when it comes to programming and coding, it struck me by surprise. Also, when the history of hacking came up, big names such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were mentioned. Also, hacking is very much threaded with the notion of open-source programming and software. Now, this had me thinking, it was strange to notice that both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (known for their hacking in the good ol’ days) both developed huge companies that did not encourage open-source. Microsoft and Apple are both very much against using software and programs for free. It makes me wonder if open-source was created in response to these huge companies. I would be difficult for myself to choose a side whether I would operate open-source or not. I guess I am not enough of a hacker for this question to strain over. It was also fascinating to learn that major companies would hire hackers after they have paid their debt to society to hack towards their own systems. Where they would hack their own system in search for any weaknesses in security, then fix the problem. I guess it’s like they say “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”…

November 7, 2013

Mandy: D.I.Y. Culture

This presentation really did address the issue of how today’s culture is really do-it-yourself. I always though DIYs were simply looking online for instructions or tutorials. However, Mandy pointed out that we use DIY techniques every day. From recipes to checking out at Walmart. Also, DIY projects have many benefits, whether they be obvious or hidden. The hidden benefits would be that of self-accomplishment, which I agree with. I would say that mobile culture is a tremendous influence on the DIY culture of today. Because information, either from the internet or a friend, you can connect to anything from anywhere. I would say that I use DIY methods for any sort of project, which may or may not be a good thing. If I ever need to know something, I would simply Google it. Perhaps we rely on Google too much for simple tasks…

November 14, 2013

Kendra: Artificial Life

Life has a beginning and end. Which is profound to ponder on when it comes to artificial life. I mean, life cannot last forever, yet science is progressing into preserving life for as long as possible. But life will never be forever. Just thinking on this subject makes one’s head spin. How long will humans last? I remember watching a science show explaining how 99.99% of all living species that have lived on Earth had become extinct at one point in time (apart from the species living currently). When will humans become extinct? Will they ever become extinct? If science down the road allows us to mould man’s conscious with machine, will that be preserving the life of humanity? Or will this theoretically result in the extinction of humans and the birth of a new species? We have so many questions whether artificial life will provide a beneficial future, but for now, we should simply use our real lives to live the short life we have on this spinning rock.

November 21, 2013

Kaylee – Generative Art

Art is such a strange topic to approach. It is impossible to define art as a single entity. I remember the first lecture of Art History this term, my professor stated something along the lines that art is human. Our perception of beauty and experiencing emotions from art makes us humans. From the cave paintings in France, to the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo, art is human’s luxury. Now, if art today is being generated by autonomous robots, where does that leave us? Yes, this does not limit it to robots using algorithms, but shouldn’t art come from us? I guess art that is generated from anything can evoke emotion, which is art by definition. I also guess that I am old-school when I feel that art is the skill. To either sculpt a perfect statue, or paint the perfect sunset. Abstract and art that simply confuses me does not speak as a luxury, but merely created to earn money to put bread on the table.