It is the night before I fly out to Edinburgh, Scotland on what should prove to be the adventure of a lifetime. I should be packing or sleeping, but instead I am envisioning castles, rolling hills, and dense fog. As funny as it may sound, most of my thoughts keep bringing me back to James Bond. I’ve always fancied James Bond. What guy doesn’t want to be a debonair spy? The car chases, beautiful women, gadgets, and gun flights transport you to a world of possibilities, of an adventure that realistically will never happen. 

Tomorrow… ummm… later today, that adventure will happen.

I do not entertain the fantasy that I will be dubbed the next 007 (Alas, Your Majesty, my loyalty is pledged to another). I would never be mistaken for Daniel Craig, and most definitely could not impose the fear of Liam Neeson in Taken, but tomorrow I will begin a journey which I intend to let take me wherever the wind blows. 

Throughout the course of this blog you will hear the stories, the legends, and the adventure. Along the way you’ll probably learn a thing or two about me you didn’t know. While I wish all of you could actually accompany me, it is my hope that my writings are entertaining enough to bring you along every twist, turn, and car chase? 

Goodnight United States, when I rise, I fly for Scotland. 

http://matthewmorris2508.wix.com/matthew-morris-1826

 

Our in class discussion reminded me of this video clip…

 

 

As a political science major, the concept raised by Virilio of “iconopolitics” is particularly interesting to me.

 

 

220px-Barack_Obama_Hope_poster

 

 

The 2008 Presidential campaign was a campaign unprecedented in American history. The historical bid by President Barack Obama used an image based campaign, the famous “HOPE” poster at the heart of it all. It was a campaign rooted in technological media: with the creation of apps, web based ad campaigns, and an almost instantaneous commmunication with legions of supporters.

Open Sky was written by the native French Paul Virilio, the particular copy which I read was translated by Julie Rose.  Earlier in this blog I talked about how different cultures think differently, and different languages construct themselves in different ways. That is a consideration to keep in mind when designing websites.

After reading the first chapter of this book, I must confess I believe I am hopelessly lost in a world of time, space, light, and speed.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

awayVirilio uses scientific evidence to support his philosophy of future communication. As one whose mind is not wired for science, his validations and arguments very much seemed non-sequitur to me, but I suppose he knows more than me.

Some of the fundamental concepts I was able to glean out were related to the urbanization of mankind. The following is a description of the citizen terminal:

“The catastrophic figure of an individual who has lost the capacity for immediate intervention along with natural motricity and who abandons himself, for want of anything better, to the capabilities of captors, sensors and other remote scanners that turn him into being controlled by the machine with which they say, he talks.”

Why didn’t we just watch Wall-E?

 

I also understood the basic concept of telepresence; not where you are physically located, but rather where you project yourself. Virilio distinguished between the difference in time as we once new it, and the new time created by technology. Time was once connected to duration and the physical world, now time is only constrained to the speed of light. Instant communication breaks down our understanding of the present.

Space was also another topic matter. Space will no longer be defined by duration or distance. As humanity has progressed, the journey has been eliminated. It is all about the destination.  Even beyond that, Virilio hints at a time where there is no difference between departure and arrival.

 

There are many different techniques used to create a piece of art. Hatching is a personal favorite technique I like to use when sketching. The key to any technique is applying it consistently. A unique style will eventually appear with the application of an artist’s favorite techniques. The same can be said for a web page.

Brian Carroll gives a techniques to evaluating the quality of web pages in “Getting it Right: Online Editing, Designing, and Publishing.” Every web page or site should naturally have a certain style that defines the site. A part of this style is understanding the audience and purpose of the web page, and defining the structure of the page to fit that style. To ensure that style and content remain consistent, it is important that a web page developer (artist) constantly reviews and edits the page.

Special features of the internet such as hyperlinking add important depth to content, but the editor must make sure that all links on the page are active. This is important because nothing is worse than seeing this pop up on your screen;

The bane of any savvy internet users existence

Carroll references the growing importance of editing to modern day journalists. In a day and age when speed is the name of the game, every wasted second by the reader attributed to a simple mistake by a publisher is a slip in credibility.

When recounting historical events, there is always a different side to every story. Story telling is a staple here in South Carolina, but until recently there was only ever one side of the story.  School books in South Carolina for the better part of the 20th Century only gave the account of a very Anglo-Saxon point of view on history in South Carolina. The past decade has seen a more space dedicated to the importance of the influence of the African-American culture on South Carolina tradition. The way South Carolina history is presented takes a very different picture depending on the voice/experience of the narrator.

In “The Art of Technique” John Douglas and Glenn Harnden write on the differences in Point of View  There are many different points of view to consider. The the perspective of the character, the storyteller, and the audience are all an integral part of conveying a story and its themes.

 

The movie Stranger Than Fiction provided a humorous look at various perspectives. The movie simultaneously presents the actions of the main character Harold Crick through the voice of a third person omniscient narrator and Harold Crick himself. The difference in this movie however, is that the main character is aware of a voice narrating him. To further twist the concept of point of view  the storyteller is also a character in the movie, and eventually the storyteller and the main character meet each other… but I won’t spoil the end of the movie.

This movie illustrates the incredible amount of depth and diversity of perspective which can be instilled within a piece. This freedom is at the heart of the creation of literature and film. As Douglas and Harnden wrote, “A narrative does not even have to be confined to a single storyteller or point of veiw. The narrative can be told and interpreted to us second, or even third hand, through the perspectives of intervening narrators. Storytellers can tell stories of storytellers telling stories” (pg. 36).

The article “Experience Design” helps define how to design an experience. The idea is a relatively new field  but it’s importance is easily appreciated. The topic matter of this blog, South Carolina then and now, is a testament to the experience I have had in this state. Understanding how to create an experience is key to drawing support and interest from other people into something which you might be passionate about.

Like most things in life, when designing an “experience” there must be a beginning, middle. The beginning serves to attract the attention of the audience. The middles engages the audience. The conclusion offers a resolution, or, in some cases, enough unanswered questions to create room for a follow up experience. Random data should be organized in order to properly convey a particular message. This organization can be through category, location, time, or any number of items.

There is a progression of experience between producers and consumers. Producers discover/put together data. Once this data has been organized and put into context it becomes information. Consumers then add this information to their conversations and use it within their everyday lives.  Over time this knowledge is shared between consumers. With each person the knowledge is evaluated, interpreted and contemplated. This process ends with the knowledge becoming wisdom. The article ends by touching on the importance of authenticity when presenting wisdom or information.

 

This historical image from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. reflects the history of racial tension in the South and serves as an example of an index vector

I always have fun attempting to tie together my theme for this blog (South Carolina: Then and Now) with what we learned in our assigned readings for this Digital Communications course. The above picture serves as a historical reference to the racial tension in the Civil Rights South. While this scene took place in Memphis Tennessee, there are many stories of incidents in South Carolina including the infamous 1968 Orangeburg Massacre. This particular image, also serves as an example of one of the field forces  known as an index vector.

The article “The Two-Dimension Field: Forces Within the Screen” details six “field forces” related to the operational spacial field. The article defined what feelings humans inherently connect to how an image is articulated. Horizontal lines connote “calmness, tranquility, and rest,” while vertical lines are more “dynamic, powerful, and exciting.”

The powerful presence of this church can be partially attributed to the used of vertical structures.

 

Other force fields include the natural attraction our eyes have to the frame of a picture. If the subject is slightly off center then the eye will move from that subject towards the nearest side/corner of the frame. Another elemental force is known as the figure/ground principle. The principle asserts that humans separate images into a ground and a figure. People cannot recognize both parts of the image at the same time, they separate the two and analyze them individually.

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