Category Archives: Digital Culture

Year 3 Exhibition

The year 3 final exhibition was brilliant. I am so glad I went. I never realized the level and variety of work you would be expected to complete by end of year 3. All the work looked extremely professional. I spoke to quite a few students. It was a bit noisy for me so sometimes it was hard to understand what they were saying but what I could work out was they all said get ready for a very busy year 2 and 3. It gets harder but more interesting. I know it will be hard next semester but I am looking forward to learn loads more stuff with all the software. I really liked the Cinema 4d projects.

Here are images that I took:

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Has technology changed communication?

Technology has changed communication in society. Communication is a basic human need. Technology has become faster, cheaper and easier to use. Consequently it could be said society has transformed dramatically in the way we now make contact with one another locally and globally, shrinking our world beyond imagination.

The concurrent development of science, media and capital under the aegis of digital technology produces a kind of fast forward effect in which everything appears to take place at an accelerated rate and to produce dramatic change in a very short time (Gere, 2002, p.10).

The smartphone has changed society and changed the language used to communicate. The telephone, originally a simple tool to make voice calls has become a small computer in the pocket connecting to everyone in various ways. Positive or negative we are letting a small device rule our lives. Etiquette has disappeared as it has become socially acceptable to use our phones on any occasion without social consequences. This is the new way of life. The mobile has become an extension of our body, ‘the most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it’ (Weiser, M. 1991).

Additionally messaging, social media and emails let shy and lonely people engage in social communications. Socially awkward people have found a new voice joining chat rooms. Deaf people have become confident to engage in social activities as this technology allows them to be heard without the use of speech or sign language. On the other hand there are dangers of bullying, false identity, grooming and isolation (Sayrs, E. 2013).

Sherry Turkle believes humans have forgotten how to converse becoming reliant on texting, thus making face to face conversations almost a thing of the past (Ted 2012). Barry Wellman, on the other hand, believes that social media and instant messaging has enhanced our personal relationships. Wellman contends that the integration of technology into people’s lifestyles is kindling, more fulfilling, richer and creates more diverse relationships. (Masket, S. 2014). Either way, they both agree that technology has transformed communication and relationships and dramatically transformed social structures.

Communication is not restricted to daylight hours or within a geographic space. The invention of the internet and consequently the smartphone has ensured that, often irrelevant of your location, it is now possible to communicate around the globe across all time zones. We are all available anytime and anywhere.

The post-information age will remove the limitations of geography. Digital living will include less and less dependence upon being in a specific place at a specific time, and the transmission of place itself will start to become possible. (Negroponte, 1995, p.165)

Speech has fallen out of favour. Ofcom found that messaging has overtaken speaking on a mobile phone and face-to-face contact as the most used method of daily communication between friends and family. More than half (58%) of UK adults use text messages at least once a day (Ofcom 2014). Globally the results are similar. Messaging can be free and is available 24/7. People talk less as they feel conversations cannot be controlled, cleaned or deleted as text messages or email can be. All generations have taken to this addiction. ‘I would rather text than talk,’ people tell Sherry Turkle. (Ted 2012). Messaging allows communication without boundaries. Social media platforms e.g. Facebook make the whole experience richer and more rewarding. Conversations via messaging never end. These short bursts of messages are the conversations of today. Traditionalists may feel we have lost the art of talking but in reality more conversations are happening today. (Bright hub 2012).

The spoken word may have been sacrificed but a new form of language, txt speak has developed and is evolving continuously. We now have emoticons and acronyms to enrich messaging. These acronyms have entered the Oxford English dictionary (Martin, J. 2011). They have taken place of the body language used to convey emotions in communication. The younger generation has taken to this new language very quickly. This has led to other issues. Baroness Greenfield, the neuroscientist, worries sending text messages cause young people to have shorter attention spans (Mail Online, 2009). Texting is writing and reading, but not in the traditional way. Many teachers feel literacy levels have declined as students become obsessed with the short hand language for messaging (British Academy 2010). Again others believe that messaging enhances literacy skills. (Wiley Online Library 2010)

Communication technology has become immersed in the digital art world. Aram Bartholl, Golan Levin, Antonio Muntadas and Annina Rust are digital artists who explore the link between the digital and physical worlds creating interactive installations. Paul Notzold, a New York digital artist, has exhibited around the world. He uses public buildings as backgrounds for speech bubbles where people text in conversations to a phone number which allows the messages to appear automatically (Fig 1). This creates community through the conversations. By using buildings as backdrops for displaying the messages the artist wants us to think about the spaces we live in, and share with each other. It also shows what conversations would happen if our private thoughts were shared. There does not have to be any meaning to these messages. It does not matter, as this is just another form of conversation using our mobiles. The conversations are one of a kind, never to be repeated wherever they are displayed and are unpredictable, funny or sad, and sometimes not really saying anything at all. It is also a good example of how modern day technology and art have connected together (Designboom 2012).

A survey was taken. Respondents were 18-60 years. More than 74% said they could not live without their phone. 70% said they prefer to message rather than talk. More than 68% used acronyms and 88% used emoticons. 87% spent many hours a day using the phone. (Survey Monkey 2015)

To summarize, the explosion of smart phones has completely changed the way we communicate. We have become available 24/7. Text speak has become integrated with traditional language and the boundaries are blurring beyond recognition. The rise of social media and messaging has trained us to have short bursts of conversation and it is difficult to see how the next generation will have the confidence and ability to communicate as nature intended. There are those who believe that this enhances human relationships (Barry Wellman) and then those who believe we are becoming more isolated from one another (Sherry Turkle). We will not lose the ability to talk but technology has changed the way we converse and communicate today (Ofcom 2012).


Colson, R (1995) Being Digital. USA: Vintage Books

Gere, C (2002) Digital Culture. London: Reaktion Books Ltd

Naughton, J (2012) What You Really Need To Know About the Internet. England: Quercus

Paul, C (2008) Digital Art. Revised and expanded edition. United Kingdom: Thames and Hudson.

Turkle, S (2011) Alone Together. USA: Basic Books

Wood, C. (2009) ‘Exploring the relationship between children’s knowledge of text message abbreviations and school literacy outcomes’ British Journal of Developmental Physchocolgy 27 (1), pp.145-161.

Weiser, M.(1991)The Computer for the 21st Century. Available at: (Accessed: 11 March 2015)

Sayrs, E. (2013) The Effect of Smartphone Use on Cognitive and Social Functions. Available at: (Accessed 14 March 2015)

Ted (2012) Connected, but alone? Available at: (Accessed: 11 March 2015).

Masket, S (2014) Changing the way we communicate forever. Available at: (Accessed: 12 March 2015)

(2014) The Communications Market/Ofcom. Available at: (Accessed: 16 March 2015)

Martin, J. (2011) Why did LOL infiltrate the language? Available at: (Accessed: 13 March 2015)

Derbyshire, D. (2009) Social websites harm children’s brains: chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist. Available at: (Accessed: 13 March 2015) (Accessed: 13 March 2015)

(Accessed: 5 May 2015)

(Accessed: 14 March 2015)

Designboom (2012) Available at: (Accessed: 15 March 2015)

Ofcom (2012) UK is now texting more than talking. Available at: (Accessed: 13 March 2015)

(Accessed: 8 May 2015) (Accessed: 12 March 2015) (Accessed: 10 March 2015)

Survey Monkey. Available at: (Accessed: 17 April 2015)



Figure 1

Paul Notzold

Txtual Healing, 2013, Brooklyn

Image courtesy dumbo arts centre.


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Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

This book was written in 1932. It is set in the future with the dates starting from when Henry Ford first made the Ford car. This timezone was chosen because it was seen that mass production was stability and good economically for world order. Things were done on a conveyor belt system with workers knowing their own jobs. This is basically what the author has taken for his storyline but everything including human babies are manufactured in factories with each person created to have their own specialized place in life with different intelligence.

These people call themselves civilized but live their lives taking drugs and being entertained. It is normal to have many partners as one night stands but no relationships are formed. The world has all the futuristic transport and facilities.

Outside of this world is the ‘savage reservation.’ A world very different from the other. This place is more like the world that existed hundreds of years ago where illiteracy is normal, tribal traditions happen and marriages, births and deaths happen like we know them.

This is the setting for the story. Along the way we are told about different characters from both worlds and how eventually the two worlds clash. A savage enters the civilized world and he is treated like something from a circus. He is a wonder to these people and is used as entertainment. The savage can not understand this modern world and is unable to fit in. He tries to form a relationship with a woman who has fallen in love with him but even this is not possible because their lives are so different. Eventually he sets up home by himself but he is still treated as a circus animal and ends up taking his own life.

This book is very descriptive and makes you think how different worlds can be and what happens when different societies try to come together. It is still relevant today where people do not understand each others cultures and traditions and how people do try to integrate with each other. The author was maybe to forward thinking when he wrote this book in the 1930s and imagined how the future would be. There is a lot of description and you really have to use your imagination to try and immerse yourself in the book.


Lecture Posts

Wednesday 18th February 2015

Visited the Lisson Gallery

25th February 2015

We were given a variety of topics which we discussed in groups and then gave a small presentation. These topics turned out to be different ideas for a 1000 word essay that we would have to do this semester.

I chose ‘How technology has changed communication’

4th March 2015

This lesson discussed more ideas on our essays. We were also told that we would have to create a animated infograaphic linked to our essay. This is when I realized I would have to write an essay that could be interpreted easily using images.

11th March 2015

We had to find images relating to our essay topic. We also began planning our infographic

18th March 2015

This lecture was lots of information about the pioneers of computer history. I have written individual blog posts about them.

25th March 2015

This lecture discussed how art and science have combined to become one. It was also about how technology can control our behaviour. For example how mobile phones have changed the way we interact with our friends. The lecture continued about how human civilization was like utopia (perfect/fantasy world). Various books and authors were mentioned:

  • Utopia-Thomas Moore
  • News from Nowhere-William Morris

The lecture continued about ‘information society’ and how knowledge is available everywhere. The lecture was also about photography being recognized as art, productivity and how anything can be duplicated. Images are also more powerful than text.

 15th April 2015

This lecture was about how our identities are exposed in the digital age.

22nd April 2015

This lecture continued with the amount of surveillance that exists in the digital world and also the advantages and disadvantages.




Plan for Essay

Has technology changed communication? 

We were given a choice of essay topics. I chose the above topic because I really feel that the way we communicate has changed dramatically with the invention of the phone. I wanted to see how far this change had taken place and if it was here to stay. Communication is a basic human need and therefore needed further investigation and research.

Paragraph 1 

Introduction to what communication is and how it is changing.

Paragraph 2

A short introduction to smartphones and how they are small computers in your pocket. Also talking about how our lives are ruled by these phones and whether or not it is a good or bad thing.

Paragraph 3

Give some views from specialists about their views on the role of smartphones in our lives.

Paragraph 4

A short point about being available anytime and anywhere.

Paragraph 5

Write about how messaging has overtaken speech using the phones.

Paragraph 6

Write about how abbreviations and images are used for messaging. Include what this is doing to society.

Paragraph 7

Choose a digital artist connected to this essay.

Paragraph 8

Monkey Survey results


Paragraph 9



Digital Cultural Rituals

Technology is ever changing. Nothing stands still and where the digital world is concerned new technology upon new technology is being released. Also there are always improvements and additions to whatever is already out there. For example, the competition between mobile phone companies is so big that there is forever a parade of phones coming on the market. The fanfare that comes with the launch of technology from the bigger companies is what can be a digital culture ritual.

Apple, Samsung etc launch their products around the world at special arranged ceremonies. People queue up for hours in advance to buy the latest Apple, Samsung etc product. The same goes for the latest Playstation, Xbox game whereby people queue up from midnight to get their hands on the newest game or product to improve their gaming experience.

These launch ceremonies and consequently the forever queuing up to buy the product is the modern day ritual in immersing yourself in the digital cultural world. Everyone wants the next big thing and the latest technology and that’s why there will always be a demand for this.

The Machine Stops – E.M Forster (1909)


This is set in the future. It is a very descriptive story about people living in a machine under the earth in a very highly technological manner. The earth above is poisoned and humans have been banned by ‘the machine’ to go above ground.

‘The machine’ has been created by intelligent men but somehow it has taken on ‘God’ like personality. All the people live in individual cell like rooms and there lives are controlled by this ‘machine.’ It supplies them with food, medicine, clothes and even communication with the other people is done through ‘the machine’ and never face to face.

This story revolves around a mother (Vashanti) and her son (Kuno) who live in the northern and southern hemispheres. Kuno wants his mother to travel in the airship to him so he can discuss how he will be killed by ‘the machine’ because he travelled to the earths surface without permission. She travels to him and her journey is described. She warns her son not to go against ‘the machine’. He on the other hand, is disillusioned by ‘the machine.’ She travels back home where ‘the machine’ has started to self destruct killing those who live within it.

This is a story that details what life would be like if we became to dependant on technology. We would not have human contact but would let machines rule our lives. We would worship them like we do ‘God.’ In reality it sometimes feels as if technology has begun to take over our lives. We communicate through our phones and computers more than face to face. Even the person on the other end of a phone is often a computer. We spend more time than ever in front of screens for entertainment. Where ever we go we are surrounded by various technologies which have become part of our every day lives. For example, whilst travelling eg oyster cards, online banking, self service checkouts, even self service check ins at airports. Even sports are relying on technology e.g. cricket with hawk eye or football with goal line technology.


Infographic Animation

I have created an infographic animation using the details of the essay that we had to write, therefore ‘How  technology has changed communication.’ I have made my own iphone, mobile phone, earth and social media. I have created these using Photoshop and Cinema 4D and then uploaded into After Effects.


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I found this easy enough as it was a simple shape.

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iphone  (red)

I changed the colour as I wanted to test which image would look better in my animation.

Mobile Phones

I devised different types of mobile phones in photoshop. I wanted a variety of phones as my idea was to have the different styles raining down. This was to show how quickly and how far mobile phones have come in the last 10-20 years.

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phone (blue)


Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 13.09.06Phone (green) Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 13.10.37Phone (light blue) Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 13.10.40
Phone (orange)


Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 14.41.02 telephone break parts

After searching the internet I felt this style of phone is iconic of the older types of phone. I wanted a design that was very different from the smartphones we are so used to now.


Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 14.48.15 Earth

I designed the earth in photoshop. I thought it should be like the real thing but the more I look at it, it might be that this image will not match the rest of my animation. Might need to rework this idea…..

 Social media

I created these social media apps in photoshop. It would have been easier to copy one of the thousands of images on the internet but I persevered and got there. Getting the shade correct was quite hard but I felt it was important to ensure these images worked because they are an important part of my animation.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 14.53.42facebook icon Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 14.53.50  tiwwiter



The clock was easy but I may have to change the style and colours to fit in with the animation.

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The emoticons were easy. I enjoyed creating the different emotions.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.25.55 Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.26.07 Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.26.14 Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.26.21 Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.26.29 cry emoticons emarresed emoticons happy emoticons heart emoticons laugh emoticons



These were easy to design. I have used a variety of speech bubbles as the background and will decide which one to go for when I start the animation.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.31.53OMG Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.31.57LOL Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.32.00LMAO Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.32.03BTW Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 18.32.07 BFF    


I was confused as to whether I should have a 3D figure or 2D. As I wanted the figure in my animation to be front view and side view I thought it should be 3D. Still confused because as the animation will be 2D I may have to create a 2D person. This I will work on as the animation get going….

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The idea behind the cogwheels was to have all the images from my animation within the centre of each wheel and then linking them together to emphasize the flow of the essay and animation. This was also to help conclude the animation. They were not very difficult to create after watching a tutorial.

Red Cogwheel

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Text Red Cogwheel


Green Cogwheel

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 19.14.19 Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 19.14.36Green Clogwheel Earth Green cogwheel

Yellow CogwheelScreen Shot 2015-05-04 at 19.16.32Yellow ClogwheelScreen Shot 2015-05-04 at 19.17.11


emotntive yellow Blue Cogwheel   iphone Blue Cogwheel Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 19.16.42Blue Cogwheel Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 19.17.08iphone Blue Cogwheel


I wanted an instrument that is associated with loudness as the animation was going to show how irritating the constant beeping and sounds from mobile phones can be. Megaphones can be used positively and negatively but they are usually used when a point needs to be got across.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 19.30.47 Megaphone

2D Infographic Poster


First Poster

This isn’t really a poster but more a jumble of images from my essay that I put together. I wanted to put the images together to get an idea visually as to how they would work together. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me to try and untangle my essay to create an animated infographic with some kind of logic behind it. Funnily enough this time I found the essay a little easier than the images because I realised that I would have to create each visual and then animate it in a sequence that others would understand. The more images that I added the colour combinations started looking messy and weird to the eye. Even though these are the colours for each individual object, together they did not work.

Infograph Poster 2

Second Poster

This is my second poster. There has been a lot of improvement from the first one. I have created all the images on this poster in photoshop. They are all used in my animated infographic. I think this poster works better as it has a narrative explained visually. The colours are more complimentary and the images clear and easy to recognise. I think that this poster links to my essay and animation quite effectively.