/ Last week it was time for studying digital art and the movements of art that occurred during the 1900´s, and in the lab group last Monday we made memes! During the winter season, on a grey Monday (At least in Bergen..) it was fun to do something different in class. I´ve learned how to make a meme (It´s my first time making one), a tiny bit about the computer history etc. So… I tried to come up with something funny, but this is what I came up with! (#dda= Daily Digital Alchemy)

meme blogg.jpg
This we´re going to make a GIF about #netnarr (as I explained in the previous post), this have become a kind of calling card of Internet culture. We´ve all seen them. They populate the Internet on blogs and social media and are part of what makes news and entertainment sites popular. GIFs are often used for an entertainment and as statements, maybe also replies in online conversations. I feel that they are often used to illustrate concepts in a funny way. You can also look at it as art in some way. A GIF is basically an image file format that is animated by combining several other images or frames into a single file. This is displayed in succession to create an animated clip or short movie. But enough about explaining what a GIF is, because I think you all know what it is. 😂 I will make a GIF this week, and it will be up on the blog by Sunday! ✏


Synthetic realism

What did I learn this week?

I’ve seen episode two of “do not track” and the theme was cookies. Watching the documentary is a revelation and its very interesting. In the series, the viewer can engage by typing websites in a search bar, for example, a typical website one are browsing everyday. I typed the online newspaper VG.no as I visit daily and got told that it appears eight traces in this one search. This was actually a little scary. I started thinking, and those who track me almost know more about me than I do myself. Haha. Whatever I do on the internet, everything gets tracked and all the advertisements I’m exposed to are specifically targeted to me based on my interests, past searches and the information they have about me. In terms of cookies, I actually never get a choice about selecting “no”, its always only one option and its “ok” or “yes I understand.” I also learned that there is something called zombie cookies, which is a recreation of a cookie after you delete information. Zoombie cookies are recreated from backups stored inside the web browsers dedicated cookie storage. This makes them very difficult to remove. But as they mentioned in the series, this may be the result of the Internet takes no payment. What do you think? I’m beginning to wonder if I would pay a monthly sum to avoid all this tracking and that everyone has information about me. And I think I actually would.

Well, over to something else. I have been to lectures this week as well, and this week’s theme was digital art and digital art history as scope for production/consumption. I haven’t really reflected over this topic before this week. How art history has evolved into digitization and what changes it has caused. During the lecture, I was both fascinated and a little scared of some of the art that was shown. Also, I was drawn to how the relationship with an original and a copy has evolved. After the lecture I asked myself, what is digital art really? Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process.

My thoughts about digital art and digital art history

A digital artist in today’s society has countless possibilities compared to traditional artists. They can spread their artwork on the Internet and be discovered by the right people, but at the same time anyone can save the art to their computer and so on and misuse it. Traditional art, such as a painting, I experience as more exclusive in the days when it was less accessible. Then they were found only in museums, public rooms or in peoples the living room etc, but now everyone can get copies and watch it online. With collages, people can mess with the art and make collages to offend the artist. Things like this may be expected when everything is digital. But, it can also be used by artists to show off many of their works in one piece of art. I think there are both pros and cons in terms of art’s development and technology.

Digital technology and digital media have influenced art such as painting, sculpture and photography, as well as new digital art forms such as software art, web art and virtual reality. One thing that is different to the digital art compared with the traditional is that audio and interactivity are often part of the art. This is exciting for the consumer. For example, if I watch digital art with sound and the opportunity to interact with the artist, I get a sense of closeness and to have a voice about the art. Digital technology has changed the way one can produce and experience art. The digital Age has revolutionized economy, society and our private lives. Art history is at the brink of new ways of accessing its material and gaining unprecedented insights. What I think is interesting when I think of the digital age is the possibility that occurs when the art is made digitally.

Patricia Piccinini

I want to highlight one artist who caught my interest in the subject of digital art. This artist is Patricia Piccinini with here Synthetic realism. This art is fantasy, but also not fantasy because it is so real! I thought this art was really fascinating; it immediately caught my interest in the lecture. The art is kind of funny, creepy, grotesque, nice, deep and loving. It can express many emotions.

Uten navn

Art: Patricia Piccinini

This is one example I have chosen from her art. I think this piece of art is kind of cute, but also a little bit grotesque because of the fascinating experience of reality.

Skjermbilde 2018-01-31 kl. 14.01.11

Have a great week!

Norwegians love talking about Norway in English

Taking a bachelor’s in computer science has naturally led me to meet quite a lot of international people. Couple that with working on international community events and you’ll have a ton of experience with explaining your culture and home country to random drunk people. This exchange of knowledge about our cultures has always seemed natural to me as learning about how people do things incorrectly in other countries is fascinating and teaching them how they should be doing things correctly makes me look like a twat learned/cool person.

I’m currently reading the excellent science fiction book Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson and a certain conversation sparked the inspiration for this post. Two characters are discussing which side of a debate they are on. Character A tells B that she thinks that D put forth some good points. B turns and tells her something like this:

“D could have said anything, what they are saying to support their statement has no real meaning on whether you think C or D is correct. You know roughly what they stand for and after that the only thing that matters are who they are. You like D, so you will naturally see their side as correct”

  • I’m listening to the audiobook at no one else thought the passage worth quoting so this is poor paraphrasing from memory.

This simplified idea that the person saying something is more is more important than what they are saying is something that I agree with. It’s an easy idea to agree too, as it’s trivial to support it with anecdotal evidence. I’ve caught myself enjoying dumb movies more because people I like enjoyed them and managed to say that before I managed to air my complaints. It’s also why I’m reluctant to be the first to voice my opinion on a piece of art if it didn’t connect with me. Opinions are contagious and we all know that it’s easier to spread viruses and bacteria to people we really like, looking at you Trude.

So how is this idea of contagion relevant to the Norwegian pastime of talking about Norway? Well as mentioned I’ve met quite a bunch of internationals and they always seem to have some very weird notions about Norwegian culture. One guy I met was shocked that we had tea at the conference centre, When I asked him why this would surprise him he explained:

“I was told that Norwegians only drink coffee and cocoa. Coffee for work days and cocoa for your weekend ski trips”

While it’s true that Norway and coffee has a special relationship we do still drink tea. (https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-what-the-world-drinks) This friendly guy had however heard this from a Norwegian friend, maybe as a quip or maybe because the community his friend was from really does not drink tea. However it may be, the fact remains that this friendly international had a skewed view of Norway from the statement.

Again, this is nothing special to either explaining cultures or a Norwegian thing, but I know Norwegians love reading about Norwegians explaining Norway to international people, so I went with that gimmick. You find these hard-held beliefs everywhere from art style to what coding language you should use. But it fascinates me how easy it is to take these cultural titbits as facts and not as a person’s subjective view. And these subjective views are usually merged with universally agreed stereotypes to really sell it home.

If you’ve ever taken the bus in Norway, you will find that no one sits next to one another. To simulate any bus ride just put a bunch of magnets in a box and make the same charge side face one another. This is an easily observable social construct which is why it crops up everywhere. The interesting part comes when some Norwegian tries to explain why we are like this. Some might blame our socialist government where we are all cogs in a machine. Some supports the idea of personal space being holy. We all have our theories and the problem arrives when we present our idea as a nationally accepted fact. The reason this is a problem is that it inhibits international visitors. Of course, you’re trying to fit in. You want to learn and act like us when living here, but if you’ve been given tips that stops you from meeting more people. You might end up having no friends after living for three years in a strange country, https://freak.no/forum/showthread.php?t=294562. (Tried to find an example of the rude Norwegian stereotype and have been battling to keep the whole text into becoming a rant about how flawed this logic is).

So anyways… I advise trying to see how many of these near truths you’ve told someone lately. Maybe you’ve based your behaviour on some well-meaning advice which might be correct for the one who told you that truth, but not for the whole society? This is the sort of thing that easily ends up an obsession for me. I constantly find myself spouting the same subjective truths and catching others in doing so, but I figure that in trying to moderate myself I’m doing something right at least.

If you ever travel to this very long and cold country, just try your best and ignore any universal truths about behaviour not thought up on your own. You’ll learn them fast enough. The only thing you really need is this video explaining everything.

PS: yes, I see the irony of the post title, no I’m not sorry.

The impact of the digitized image…

Our Connectivity

Our third week of #NetNarr has been another dynamic week packed with a variety of conversations in both lecture classes and in our active backchannel on Twitter, etc.  This week we can also see a burst in our connectivity which is best represented in our #NetNarr visualization (TAGS):

As I mentioned in class, I am impressed with your creative contributions to our daily digital alchemy (#dda) as well as the meme making burst resulting from lab last week.  I am also proud to see some really smart blogging, and I encourage all of you to continue with your thoughtful reflective writing of both the content and context of this course.

Theme for the Week

Our theme in my lecture this week has been the image in the context of the digital revolution.  Taking up early questions from Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936), we have considered the effect and implications of photography on art (…and later on – the digitization of the image, and what that means for art production).  We have tracked new forms of image art (from the composite to the collage), and we have glimpsed the artistic response to digitization (from the hyperreal and synthetic realism, to digital art that has transcended naturalism).    If you are interested in thinking more about the digital revolution and artistic production, check out this documentary called PressPausePlay:

We had a special lecture on Wednesday from colleague Dr. Leonardo Flores who articulated a thoughtful map for understanding Electronic Literature in generational waves.  His talk entitled Third Generation Electronic Literature pointed to participatory culture and easier entry points for production that are also the hallmarks for the overall #NetNarr experience.  The implications of Dr. Flores’ observations about this “3rd generation moment” for electronic literature are clearly tied to our collective sense of each other as digital alchemists (producing art, not just consuming art).

Making GIFs

Regarding that spirit of digital making and composition, this week we will continue making our #NetNarr memes.  This time, let’s make some animated GIFs.  In lieu of meeting in person for this week, we will make GIFs this Friday & Monday (no meeting in lab, just make your GIF from home).  Please be sure to post your GIF to our #NetNarr stream!

GIFs have become a kind of calling card of Internet culture.  GIFs are often used for bite-sized entertainment and as statements, replies or comments in online conversations. They are also commonly used online to convey reactions, illustrate or explain concepts or products in a fun, creative and succinct way, and also to make GIF art.

A GIF  is basically an image file format that is animated. The multiple images within a single GIF file are displayed in succession to create an animated clip or a short movie. This single file is encoded as graphics interchange format (better known as GIF).

How to make a GIF? It is as easy as 1,2,3.  Click here or here to get started.

Make-for-the-week:  Make a GIF about #NetNarr!  Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with…

For next week

We will take a closer look at more digital art trends in the coming week…

See you on Tuesday.  Enjoy the weekend!