About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Friday, April 5, 2013
Blog posting written by Shawn Steiner, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '13, FLEFF Intern, Elkridge, MD
And once again we are back in Park 220 for FLEFF Lab Friday. Kelly Matheson from WITNESS is here and Dr. Patricia Zimmermann is moderating this hour. Come on by!
Kelly begins with the well-known video of Rodney King. It was the catalyst for witness and proved that video could enact social action and change. So, they got together and got video cameras all over to record stories all around. And for 20 years, after working through many issues, they are working to create many international videos and tell compelling stories.
QUESTION: Who is Oscar Grant?
How do you get your video seen when there is an absurd saturation of digital media out there? That is an issue that Kelly and others like her deal with constantly.
Informed consent is the current topic of Kelly's. She is screening clips from a huge variety of projects. Including a short from her TRUST series about youths fighting climate change.
An new take is how to take perpetrator shot video and turn it back onto the perpetrators, as opposed to the humiliation to the victim intended by the original video.
Verification is another thing that needs to be analyzed. Kelly cites the website storyful.com as a source for validation of video for news. Here is the fireball example that Kelly cites.
"Technology is always a double-edged sword."
QUESTION: What do you do when your documentary or video risks the well-being of your subject?
The question of reconciliation is a major talking point during the discussion. And it may bery well be added to Kelly's list of major things to think about when dealing with video. We need to determine how citizen-shot footage will allow usage in things like court cases and how they can be verified.
What does it mean when that image is recorded, circulates, or as evidence?
The ethics behind the usage of a video as evidence requires it to have a much more intense method of verification.
"Give the archive love. They are the unsung heroes."
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Blog post written by Shawn Steiner, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '13, FLEFF Intern, Elkridge, MD
FLEFF is in full swing! And right now Evan Meaney, assistant professor of transmedia design at the University of Tenessee, and Elizabeth Miller, are setting up in Park Center Business School room 111 for their Transmedia Workshop.
Everyone is looking good and just this second something has poppe up on the projector. Stay tuned for updates!
TRANSMEDIA WORKSHOP: EVAN MEANEY
"If you are a hammer than every problem starts looking like a nail."
What happened was people started dabbling "beyond and through" different medias in order to solve different problems in different ways.
Mainly, the key is that if you are one person, but secretly another person, you can be both!
And after "the brief history of Evan Meaney" we are delving into the meat of the workshop.
QUESTION: What is your definition of transmedia?
"In the pursuit of being pure, I think about voids."
Pure is not in the ordinary sense, but in being clear. A void.
What are voids? They are null_sets.
Which leads into his project "Null_Sets" where he and a partner worked to produce software that converts data into jpeg images. Converting this data into an image removes the context from the information.
It is basically like making anything a "jpeg sandwich." Anything from Moby Dick to tweets to the entire human genome.
"It is really ordered chaos."
Data vs. Information
Data is made up of all the core items that make up something. What that something is displayed as is an interpretation of data as information.
For example, if you buy groceries, turnips, onions, etc... That is the data. When you make the soup later on, the soup is the interpretation of the data as information. But, what kind of soup you make from those ingredient can change drastically depending on how you desire your food. The data can be interpreted in many ways to create innumerable interpretations.
"I'm a terrible artist. Science is where it is at."
Think about it, scientists came up with a way to display images from nothing. Meaney says that this is incredible. They are the "Olympic-level geniuses."
And right now, Null_Sets source code and tool kit has been posted to the website and is available to all because "[t]hings are better when they are free."
This is a project that includes high-level coding, gallery presentations, and a participatory website. It requires you to learn a plethora of disciplines in order to ask questions that are revolutionary.
QUESTION: What are you studying? And what else are you interested in? Show your many disciplines.
"Never turn down learning stuff."
Monday, April 1, 2013
Blog posting written by Shawn Steiner, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '13, FLEFF Blogger, Elkridge, MD
Welcome to FLEFF's opening day and the first of many live blogs of the week.
We have concluded our discussion, but at 10:00AM-10:50AM in Park 220 Ulises Mejias will lead a discussion about Augmented Reality Games
ULISES MEJIAS: OFF THE NETWORK
"Networks increase participation, but also increase inequality."
"It's not if we shape our tools or if our tools shape us, but how."
Mejias' agenda includes "thinking the network" and then how we are to then "unthinking the network" to get us to move beyond network logic through many strategies, like intensification.
First, what is a network?
1. Nodes (each one of us)
2. Links (similar interests)
The problem with this type of "nodocentrism" is that a node cannot connect to anything except other nodes. Take your friend who refuses to make a Facebook page, you may realize the trouble they have getting party and event invitations since people only invite people currently on Facebook. This is an issue with social networking.
And, while those with few connections still grow (the poor), those with large networks (the rich) will rapidly gain more connections. This is a preferential system where Mejias says "the rich get richer."
"[Networks] are shaping the way we think about friends."
A network in Facebook or media terms is something very specific. It is a template created that is altering the way we think about things like friends and likes. It is software and programming that is reprogramming our mind based on algorithms.
It has moved from a network as a metaphor to a network as a template.
Mejias also explains the change from old media as a "one-to-many" monopoly to a new media "many-to-many" perfect competition.
However, monopsony is the economics of new media, it is a "many-to-one" approach.
DISCUSSION QUESTION: Can these metrics help us catch terrorists? How?
"The sacrifices in privacy may not be worth the gains."
Inequality through participation takes many forms. This includes surveillance, filtering, blocking, psyops, spambots, and the loss of freedom of speech.
This is done by organizations and companies that run social media networks. Using fake accounts to spread propaganda, deleting so-called "problematic" accounts, and simply shutting off the network are all possibilities that can limit the people utilizing the network.
QUESTION: What are the power dynamics between activists, hackers, and the media?
SHORT SCREENING: Virtual Revolution, a BBC documentary.
"Dissent will only become possible in the spaces outside of the social networks."
We need to look into the spaces between the nodes. We must see the paranodes are the resisters, the rejecters, the expelled, and the excluded.
Paranodality: the outside of the network is not empty but inhabited by multitudes that do not conform to the organizing logic of the network.
And once we reach these paranodes and maintain a MOBILITY between being in a network to being outside of it we can find power (intensification).
QUESTION: Is it easier to express dissent inside or outside the network?