Category Archives: ASSIGNMENT 5

Assignment 5: Digital Identities 2.

Brief:  Use your tutor’s feedback on Assignment Four to help you develop your digital identities project to the point of resolution. … Include a 500 word essay that contextualises your project and provides a self-evaluation.

The format of this assignment is explained fully in the conclusion.

                    75,287,520 + 1

Essay:

“Una realtá non ci fu data e non c’è, ma dobbiamo farcela noi se vogliamo essere: e non sará mai una per tutti, una per sempre, ma di continuo e infinitamente mutabile.  La realtá d’oggi è destinata a scoprirsi illusione domani. ”  From the novella by Luigi Pirandello entitled “Uno, nessuno e centomila = One, no one , one hundred thousand” 1926

“We weren’t  given one reality  and it isn’t there, but we have to make our own if we want to be: and it won’t ever be one reality for everyone, for ever, but one which is continuously and infinitely changeable.  Today’s reality will be seen as an illusion tomorrow.” (My translation)

This statement, written almost a century ago, is still relevant because, in my opinion, human nature has not changed in that time.  Like Pirandello, I search continually for the authentic me which I glimpse momentarily from time to time but it is always superseded by another me, another ephemeral reality.  When I see other people, I never see the same person twice.    The title of Pirandello’s work ‘One, no one and a hundred thousand’ reflects this impossibility to see.  This 1926 sentiment of Pirandello is reflected in the reaction of  film maker Wim Wenders when he saw a portrait of his photographer wife Donata taken by photographer Peter Lindbergh in 2012: ” Wim was surprised that the woman he loves and has known for such a long time could reveal to someone else, an unknown side of herself.”(Pirelli)

This exercise is interactive:  each viewer chooses  5 images  which s/he sees as a best fit me – the author of this assignment.  They can be any five images and may all be from one of the categories or one from each or any other combination.   If you are taking part in this game, please enter your combination in the Contact us section on the website or in the Comments section of this blog.    There is no wrong answer but the interest factor for me is immense!  This idea mimics those quizzes and games on social media which, by way of having fun, purport to tell you about yourself – your personality, your strengths, your cognitive ability ….  You invariably end up with the same outcome as that of several of your friends and, invariably, you can’t see how those other people share your personality traits or your strengths … you are, after all, unique in this world!  There are  100 images from which to choose ( and one video) echoing  the avalanche which Erik Kessels constructed in his “Photos in 24 hours” installation of the 2013 exhibition in Arles.

The scroll-over pop-up presentation of my images in one of the categories ( My House) is a new idea for me for which I had to learn new technical skills but is based on an idea presented by Fred Ritchin. Ritchin wants to find ways of getting round the idea that you can’t trust digital photographs any more to tell the full story in any given situation.   His idea was for a photographer to present his/her image and then invite others who were present at the event s/he is depicting and asking them to present their version of the image.  These ‘other realities’ then appear as a viewer scrolls over the top image.  This technology appears here too: my original image appears as the cover version then under it are hidden 15 underlays which are QR codes, as well as images of sketches / drawings by the designers and architects.    The QR codes all refer to URLs relating to websites of the relevant architects or designers.

The six elements  constitute a subjective selection of probable representations of me.

  1. 31 10 20 16 : 25

Kate A.pngUsing Facebook was always my first aim, following on from my Assignment 2, but how I used it changed as different opportunities presented themselves.  I also wanted to use Google Earth because it is a big part of my photographic exploration on the ground as my photographic practice takes me everywhere with my projects.

I have chosen to present the 25 hour day from the Facebook contributions as a book so that each image is given a more prominent space than it had in assignment 4.    I asked my FB friends to take a snapshot of what they did in the extra hour they had when the clocks went back on October 30th, 2016.  I collected 25 images representing the 25 hours that the people had had on that Sunday.  The connection is that, as friends, we must have parts of who we are in common, even if it is just a sliver of an nth part of ourselves.

2.    1950 + 66

Anthropocene Torquay red  .png
Anthropocene Torquay

The second aspect of my digital self is how I use or abuse my environment.  An abiding hobby of mine is looking at geological structures locally to see what they can tell us of activities through the ages.  This is particularly relevant in Devon as it is noted for its complex geological structures and has a geologic period, the Devonian period which spanned 60 million years from about 400 million years ago, named after it.    Following my reading of the work of David Thomas Smith,  I decided to look at  Devon on Google Earth through an Anthropocene lens and produced work which I had started experimenting with four years ago and gave up.   I was very grateful for having received permission from Google Earth to use their work with which to experiment.  Two of the images have a hole in the centre which reference a line of a poem by W B Yeats, now out of copyright:  “The Second Coming”: ‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold’.  Because the Anthropocene , said to have started in about 1950 which coincides with my year of birth, references the changes man makes to his environment to allow him to live the way he wants, there are many who feel that these practices are causing catastrophic climate changes which will lead to the destruction of our planet.  The second coming Yeats writes about anticipates the apocalypse caused by man’s abuse of the environment.

Climatologist at UCL,  Chris Rapley states: “The Anthropocene marks a new period in which our collective activities dominate the planetary machinery.  Since the planet is our life support system – we are essentially the crew of a largish spaceship – interference with its functioning at this level and on this scale is highly significant.” (See the guardian url below).  Ironically, in his explanatory notes  on his poem, Yeats writes: “The end of an age, which always receives the revelation of the character of the next age, is represented by the coming of one gyre to its place of greatest expansion and of the other to its place of greatest contraction… The revelation [that] approaches will… take its character from the contrary movement of the interior gyre…” (Spark notes) The Anthropocene marks the end of one age and the start of another, and the tension felt in Yeats’ poem is that which I feel when I see how much we have altered our environment.

3.    231,513,114

Anthony Wood.png
Woman by Anthony Wood (with his kind permission)

On Flick’r, I searched the term ‘woman’ and picked some images, asked for permission to use them in this assignment and received that permission for these images.  This represents my recently sparked interest in how  women are represented on one social medium reputed to be used by photographers who take their work more seriously than those on Facebook, for example.  In the 2017 Pirelli calendar, Peter Lindbergh has introduced some changes in how women are represented in a type of publication seen on garage walls and intended mainly for the male gaze.  I am looking forward to exploring that avenue next.

4.    150×150+cht=ar+chl=”+B2

Zaha Hadid 21st C art museum 38.png
Zaha Hadid

My house reflects part of me too.  Here I have presented, on the website only, a roll-over pop-up experiment which has my favourite  architects, dead or alive, and designers.  The idea is that my house needs to be renovated so I have, in my imagination, selected these architects to work their magic and, as can be seen, they  have started doodling their versions of what it should look like in terms of architecture and artefacts.  This project is open ended so it may take many years, but we can, in the meantime, dream on!

I also wrote a poem called “Change” which can be seen on the website and in the book.

5.     10 + 1

Cover .png

Following the 2009 work of Penelope Umbrico, ‘Many Leonards not Natman’, I  contacted people on FB who had my names: Anna Goodchild and Anna Toscano (my maiden name).    Umbrico searched in vain for details of Leonard Natman whose portrait in oils hangs in a reception room off BAM’s grand lobby.  He had worked at BAM as house manager, had developed a youth education programme during his years there, and had died of AIDS in 1986.  Umbrico could find very little on Natman so decided to collect 100 Leonards and made a book with them. ” ‘Leonards For Leonard’ is a conversation between the digital Leonards and the oil painting Leonard – the many Leonards keeping Leonard company.”(Umbrico).  I had forgotten about this work until I read the work of fellow OCA student Kate Aston on her student’s blog about a similar project she did for one of her assignments.  My work contains only 10, 5 of each name, as that is as many as I could find at the time.

6.           10 : 66

7.  80.png
The staff at Newcastle High School.

My journey, not yet ended, is depicted here by a video with 10 images taken from my family archives.   John Berger observes  that men are portrayed “according to the promise of power they  embody “(p39) and women ” so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman.”(P 40)  I started this essay with a quote from a man who does not distinguish between men or women in their futile attempt to portray themselves to others or to  themselves.  This observation is put into question, in my opinion,  in John Berger’s statements because he implies that women are aware that they are seen as well as seeing how they are seen, and that people see men by the power they promise in their embodiment.   My contention is that neither men nor women know how their projected images are received by other men or other women.  My video with stills is a fragment of the image I think I portray both to myself and to others of how I see and how I’m seen.

Conclusion:

Because any person is a complex amalgam of many types of experiences, not all physical,  this assignment is presented in  different ways.  The modes of presentation cannot be all inclusive but they can give an idea that a life cannot be expressed purely in images or text. There are aspects which cannot be seen, most of which lie below the surface, and what you see depends how you try to tap into them: you can, for example, gloss over the surface or just tap into sources of information.

a.  On this blog is the written aspect to give some rationale and background information on the project.

b.  In hard copy form is a Blurb book  showing that some aspects can exist in a physical form.

c.  On my website is the whole project minus the written contextualisation, with the inter-active roll-over pop-up experience presenting one part which cannot be presented any other way.   There is also an AV component,  presented as a video with stills on Youtube,  which also cannot exist in any other form of presentation other than on a website / blog.

What went well:

  •  The response form my Facebook friends – I thought I would get a maximum of 10 images and I was sent 25.
  • The Anthropocene experiment turned out to be easier than I had imagined as did the speed of permission to use Google Earth.
  • The out of date copyright element of WB Yeats and Popeye made things much easier.
  • The timely publishing of the interview with Peter Lindbergh with Wim Wenders relevant quote and the rationale for the 2017 Pirelli calendar was timely and very exciting for me.
  • The quick permissions granted for the use of the Flick’r images.
  • The roll-over pop ups went well after a terrifying start when I thought I could never get through the technical jargon.
  • Finding a website which would calculate the combinations I needed.
  • I learned such a lot about complex technical aspects of video making, web site building, particularly page linking, and roll-over pop-ups which are such a lot of fun to build.  In this assignment, they are particularly complex because there are four layers to the pop-ups: the surface image, click & you see the architects’ and designers’ drawings and sketches; hover over the top image and you see the QR codes; use your smart phone to read the QR codes and they will take you to the respective architect or designers’ web sites.   I never realised you could get such complexities in a web site!

What could have gone better:

  •  I had to get help from my husband who is a computer wiz to get the roll-over pop ups to work.  I could not penetrate the on-line tutorials on it & the more I tried to sort them out, the more difficult I found the process.
  • I would have liked to have received responses from more of the FB people who shared my surnames.
  • I could not use some of my favourite Flick’r images because their authors did not respond after many weeks.
  • I should have given the Facebook respondents an idea of what size photograph to send of their extra hour activities because I had to resize all but 2 of the images.

References

de Saint-Exupéry,A.: 1958.  Le Petit Prince. Heinemann

Pirandello, L. 1926: Uno, nessuno e centomila. BUR Rizzoli

Berger, J. 1972.  Ways of seeing. Penguin.

http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/yeats/section5/page/2/

http://www.pirelli.com/world

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4017251/Popeyes-copyright-to-expire-in-January.html

https://www.mathsisfun.com/combinatorics/combinations-permutations-calculator.html

http://penelopeumbrico.net/index.php/books/many-leonards-not-natman/

http://david-thomas-smith.com/ANTHROPOCENE

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/devonian/devonian.php

http://2010dmsresearch.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/after-photography-by-fred-ritchin.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/29/declare-anthropocene-epoch-experts-urge-geological-congress-human-impact-earth

http://tech.fanpage.it/facebook-rilascia-la-feature-l-anno-in-breve-ecco-come-creare-un-riassunto-del-2015/

Appendices:

  1.  W.B.Yeats poetry out of copyright:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/wikipedia/6916596/WB-Yeats-and-Sigmund-Freud-works-posted-on-Wikipedia-as-copyright-expires.html

2.  Google permissions:

Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 12.00.46.png

Tutor feedback on Assignment 5:

Overall Comments

A very appropriate culmination to the module which demonstrates the sophistication of your thinking and the diversity of your creativity. Well done!

Feedback on assignment

I think the diversity properly reflects the fragmented nature of people’s digital selves. Even on the simplistic level of having something of themselves on Facebook, some on Twitter, some not shared and kept on a single machine and some indeed remaining as paper archive; fragmentary like a cracked mirror.

Although the structure is a perfect metaphor those coming to it anew, assessors for example, need to be given a bit of a guiding hand to lead them into the work. I must say I found it confusing having the essay up front and only discovering a URL for the actual work much further into it.

This is very much putting the cart before the horse, it’s the actual work that’s the thing, the ‘essay’ isn’t intended to be a formal essay but an explanatory piece to come after the work.

The blog entry could practically be just the URL to your website that contains the work.

http://www.lightrider.biz/

Going to the website the first thing one notices is the Comic Sans typeface.

This is a definite no no http://designforhackers.com/blog/comic-sans-hate/

Comic Sans is perfect for one thing, the use it was designed for, speech bubbles in a cartoon strip.

Try some other sans styles instead.

Begin with a short artist statement, distilled from what you’ve written as part of the ‘essay’; just enough to give a flavour of your intent and the quality of your references rather than ‘The written part of this assignment can be seen at http://www.mylandscape2016.wordpress.com’

Everything needs to be on this site for the convenience and understanding of the assessors. Your written expansion can come after the work, once they understand exactly what you’re talking about in respect of the actual work, the visuals.

Also on the home page it would be good if the images in the opening slide show were a little bigger particularly “Woman” on Flickr.

I’ve investigated and it can be enlarged by 50% without the loss of sharpness becoming objectionable.

jbnauta
Woman by JB Nauta

It would also be good if clicking on a particular image in that slide show took one to its section. Not worth spending a lot of time on but a worthwhile refinement if it was straight forward to implement.

Also the viewer needs to know that they can control all the slide shows with the scroll wheel. I’d been through the whole site a couple of times before I discovered that.

When you mouseover a menu item on the left it disappears, probably the rollover is set to white text, this is rather disconcerting, having it go Bold or change to a lighter grey would be better.

31 10 20 16 : 25

 This works well on the website and especially as a book too. I wouldn’t put Part 1 and Part 2 on the title pages of each section. It doesn’t add anything and it’s rather unsettling because when you read the text ‘part 1’ you’re immediately thinking what part 2 might be about when you should be concentrating on the idea and the images of part 1 and then when you get to part 2 it’s obvious that something different is happening.

1950 + 66

 It works on the website and the book but the co-ordinates are mostly on the edge of legibility. Ideally they should be big enough to be consistently legible or dispensed with.

10 + 1

 I do not understand how this is presented unless I’m missing something; it’s laid out like a small book with images so tiny one can hardly make out what they are.

The idea is good; the material is good, even if there’s not a great amount. The images need to be bigger and the graphic suggestion of a double page spread removed. I don’t think it’s adding anything and you could make a lot more from what you have.

150×150+cht=ar+chl=”+B2

 This is working well and as a technique has the scope for you to do more with. I’m not sure if the slightly different displacements in the tiles adds to the overall impression or not.

231,513,114

 Similarly for this, make them single images and larger.

10:66

Excellent; simple, and all the better for it, yet very evocative and resonant.

Good typography on the opening titles, perhaps you could use that font on the site but don’t label the video Assignment 5 in the titles. You just want it viewed as a piece of work in its own right.

Now the essay should start here.

The content is fine but the text feels a bit slabby. It needs to be broken up into more paragraphs to make it more digestible so it can be speed read, as it will be.

Overall I think it’s appropriate, effective, intelligent, progressive work. It’s just the formatting and presentation that needs polishing to match the quality of the ideas and the thinking.

Coursework

 Fine

Research

Fine

Learning Log

Fine

Suggested reading/viewing

We’re done, other than anything you care to add as you’re polishing before your final submission.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

You’ve delighted me with the progress you’ve made over the module and the quality of the work that you’ve done and it all seems to have absolutely flown past.

I think you’re well on the way to doing extremely well at Level 3. The creativity and the intelligence are certainly there, it’s only the presentational skills that need buffing up but that comes with time and practice, also it can be tutored much more easily than creativity and intelligent thinking.

I can’t remember if I’ve covered this or not but submission prints should be on unmounted and unsleeved heavyweight matt or semi matt, i.e. not gloss, A3 paper with generous, a minimum of 3.5cm, white borders for handling. The borders should be included in the digital file for accuracy of crop and positioning of the image on the paper and the prints should be presented in a clam shell portfolio box such as this…

http://shop.silverprint.co.uk/Silverprint-Archival-Portfolio-Box-A3/product/28984/AQ1203/

The larger half, like a box of expensive chocolates, is the lid. I point this out because surprisingly more than one student inexplicably considered it to be the bottom.

It’s a good idea to consider supplying a selection of prints. There was talk of making prints compulsory for all submission at all Levels in 2017 but I’ve not heard anything said about that for a while.

Tutor name Clive White
Date 15/12/16
Next assignment due Finished

Reflections on the tutor report:

A very encouraging report with lots of constructive criticism, which is what I like.

To improve on the assignment:

  1.  On the blog (this one) just put the URL of the website hosting my work.   Although it seems to be putting the cart before the horse by having the essay and then the URL,  the essay explains how I got to the work so I assumed that readers/viewers would like to know what the work is all about before they see it.  On other websites, the authors have the basis for the work under ‘About’ so you can see it whenever you want to.
  2. Change the font – anything except Comic Sans!  I watched the video Clive suggested & had a good laugh.  Message received – I am a mother after all!  I suppose the ‘Comic’ in Comic Sans should have told me as to what it was used for, but I liked the informality of it, yet I accept that for formal assessment, this should be a formal presentation.  Helvetica was available at a price but it is, to my uneducated eye, very close to Ariel so that’s what I chose. Done.
  3. The artist statement idea makes sense.  It’s when you have been with the material for so long that you don’t realise that newcomers to it will not necessarily have had all the background to it.  Done.
  4. Everything is now on the website.
  5. The images on the Home page are now bigger, and the arrows on both sides indicate that viewers can control the sliders.  The links are now there to go straight to the section indicated by the image.
  6. The mouseover on the side menu now brings up the menu item in bold rather than having it disappear.
  7. All the ‘Part’ elements in the book are no longer there & I agree with the thinking behind it, & it’s just the titles which indicate where the readers are.
  8. The co-ordinates on the 1950 + 66 are now separate from the images & easily legible.
  9. On 10 + 1 the images are opposite one another because the Anna Goodchild & Anna Toscano are communicating, hopefully.  They were very small, almost fly droppings on the page before.  They had been small because I was not sure that I wanted them big in the book so, in the interests of uniformity, I had made them small on the website too.
  10. The tiles on the roll-over pop-ups section are being resized = takes an eternity.
  11. The ‘Woman on Flick’r’ images have their own page and are much larger.  I had done them smaller because that was the size they were in the book.  But that’s the beauty of diversity – you can make the presentation different without breaking the cohesion in delivering the message.
  12. The AV title has now been changed and a new version up on Youtube.  I tried to get the same font but I could not justify the cost when Ariel is very close to it.
  13. The essay is now on 2 pages on the website.  It has been broken down, slimmed down (if only all slimming was this easy!) and only the essence of the contents is there on page 26 with my reflections on the assignment on page 27.  I apologise for all the indigestion this has caused to date!
  14. The next assignment will probably consist of this reflection in preparation for final assessment.

Reworked blog page:

Assignment 5: Digital identities 2.

The contents of this assignment are all on my website:

www.lightrider.biz

There are some elements in a Blurb book because they worked well in that format.

The work on the website also has an AV component , titled 10 : 66, made with iMovie and posted to Youtube.

Reflection:

What went well:

 •  The response form my Facebook friends – I thought I would get a maximum of 10 images and I was sent a serendipitous 25.

 • The Anthropocene experiment turned out to be easier than I had imagined as did the speed of permission from Google Earth.

 • The out of date copyright element of WB Yeats made things easier.

 • The timely publishing of the interview with Peter Lindbergh with Wim Wenders’ relevant quote and the rationale for the 2017 Pirelli calendar was timely and very exciting for me.

 • The quick permissions granted for the use of the Flick’r images.

 • The roll-over pop ups went well after a terrifying start when I thought I could never get through the technical jargon.

 • Finding a website which would calculate the combinations I needed.

 • I learned such a lot about complex technical aspects of video making, web site building, particularly page linking, and roll-over pop-ups which are such a lot of fun to build.  In this assignment, they are particularly complex because there are four layers to the pop-ups: the surface image, click & you see the architects’ and designers’ drawings and sketches; hover over the top image and you see the QR codes; use your smart phone to read the QR codes and they will take you to the respective architect or designers’ web sites.   I never realised you could get such complexities in a web site!

What could have gone better:

 •  I had to get a lot of help from my husband who is a computer wiz to get the roll-over pop ups to work.  I could not penetrate the on-line tutorials on it & the more I tried to sort them out, the more difficult I found the process.

 • I would have liked to have received responses from more of the FB people who shared my surnames.

*  I should have given the Facebook respondents an idea of what size photograph to send of their extra hour activities because I had to resize most of the images.