Week 5: Media + Meaning on the Web

Welcome back from Easter/Passover/excessive chocolate consumption time.

First up, a recap of some recent class posts/comments:

  • Hugh has been thinking about an audio remix project and has had a stab at an acoustic version of Blah Blah Blah Ke$ha – not easy?!
  • Vic introduces us to the ‘Vicniverse’ and is still considering plans for world domination
  • Carmine is musing on beauty or ‘aesthetically pleasing locations with beautiful acoustic character’
  • Yama is thinking about film as a major influence as well as the Fairlight video synthesizer

Copyright and intellectual property

We will cover this area more extensively in Week 7 but for now, as you start to build in more links to your blogs and websites, make sure you are referencing your sources as it’s crucial to give credit where credit is due. If you’re unsure of when/how to reference and how to write a bibliography, here are a couple of resources to check out/familiarise yourselves with in your own time:

Media and Meaning on the Web

This week we will delve into what is possible on the web. I created a Powerpoint which I uploaded to Slideshare.net. We’ll look at this and discuss before looking at specific examples and working on some in-class exercises.

Active versus Passive

Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values. He teaches media studies at the New School University, serves as technology columnist for The Daily Beast, and lectures around the world (from http://rushkoff.com).

Recently, at SXSW 2010, Rushkoff gave a lecture on the topic ‘Program or be Programmed: 10 Commands for the Digital Age‘. The 10 Commands are summarised by students of the Advanced Online Media course at Texas State University. Let’s watch and discuss part of his talk:

Sydney lecturer Dan Mackinley (on the UTS Netcultures blog) asks us where public space fits into the web equation in his post on the Web as a Contested Landscape


Journalist Paul Bradshaw (on the Online Journalism Blog) writes about 3 key principles for bloggers and reporters in a ‘networked era’:

  • To verify and contextualise what’s online
  • To digitise what’s not online and make it accessible/findable/searchable
  • To empower communities and users and make connections between people

Bradshaw also writes about adaptability and its central place in online journalism.

Storytelling and editing principles

Lev Kuleshov was a Soviet filmmaker and film theorist who was a leader in Soviet montage theory and developed what is know known as the Kuleshov Experiment, an editing principle whereby:

a + b = c

Let’s have a look at the Master of Suspense, Hitchcock as he illustrates how the Kuleshov Experiment works:

Can you think of some examples (music videos, websites, films) which use this technique effectively?

Closely related to Kuleshov’s experiment and editing techniques is Juxtaposition, another important principle which can be applied both to visual and sonic design. Juxtaposition is an act or instance of placing two things close together or side by side. This is often done in order to compare/contrast the two, to show similarities or differences, etc (from http://www.artandpopularculture.com/Juxtaposition).

Let’s have a look at this video of an installation by the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat

Digital Storytelling

Class Exercise: Make notes about these examples. How can we understand the web through them? What techniques, elements and ideas do they contain?

Text + audio +image

Let’s look at some interesting examples of sound and moving image before we move onto a couple of class exercises.


Class exercise: Film and Sound Task (from Sean’s blog)

Class exercise: Comics and HTML task (from Sean’s blog)

When doing the comics exercise, refer to the Scott McCloud images in Sean’s PDF here: week5_music_AV

Other Important Course Notes :

First assignment is due during class next week (ie. attendance is necessary to get a mark ). ( See course guide for more information. )

Final assignment is now due Friday June 4th by 5pm.


~ by eugerino on April 12, 2010.

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