Digital Literacies A3 Exegesis


The images created over the process of a few weeks were intended to portray themes relating to the two ideas given beforehand. ‘Selfie vs Portrait’ and ‘Old vs New Technology’ The final products as seen below are edits of pictures previously taken by me to evoke these themes. The task at hand required multiple interpretations and edits of the works, in order to trial and error and see what works and what doesn’t when creating a visual image to express a given notion. Among these multiple edits created peer feedback was given in order to help guide the way in what works and doesn’t and give a general consensus of are you pulling off what you intended too. Giving feedback was also required so as to be able to balance out getting the feedback but it also helped to let yourself look at what you are doing and see if any advice you just gave could be applied to yourself and help you be self-critical of your own work. The works I created focus on two separate visual effects with a line of text to beg a question and make the person seeing it think on it and understand the concept I am trying to achieve. The process was all very important to learn skills in revisiting works and understanding what affects are being evoked and how to manipulate the project at hand for the desired outcome. The final images can be seen below.

‘Selfie vs Portrait’


‘Old vs New Technology’


Theoretical Concepts

In the ‘Selfie vs Portrait’ image I tried to use the question asked ‘I have a frame – does that make me an artwork?’ in order to provoke my main idea between what separates the boundaries between a photo and a painting and hence force the difference between a selfie and a portrait. I wanted to explore the concept of art being how one perceives it as it is subjective in nature and tried to explore it with a variety of selfie shots deciding upon an old instant camera photograph as the best choice as it adds its own artistic appeal. I chose to explore this theory because of the ambiguity between a photo and a painting my own personal intrigue into where the boundaries in a subjective topic such as art lies.

For the photo set for ‘Old vs New Technology’ I tried to create an image to display the evolution of information technology in order to show the progress of technology over time, how it has become so different and whilst becoming bigger in information, it has become smaller in size. I tried to first explore different ways to display this concept through various mash up photos of different pieces of technology but decided upon a style of imagery like the ‘evolution of man’ style posters and grasped my concept of the evolution of technology amongst that. I decided to explore this concept as it was one being learned about each week through the topics of digital literacies and brought natural interest to me as a person eager to see new and evolving technology in many ways, whilst information technology became the focus as it was the most readily accessible to the everyday person including myself.

Creative and Technical expression

To create the ‘Selfie vs Portrait’ photograph I started by experimenting with selfies with my instant camera wanting to use the natural borders of the photograph as a connecting line between that of a photograph and a painting. Using Pixlr I made numerous edits with a filter to figure out the right style I wanted until I landed on the art poster style filter. The selfie taken itself was overexposed on purpose and under this filter it accentuated the shadows giving it an artistic feel. Deciding upon the tag line to question ‘I have borders – does that make me an artwork?’ I chose a red coloured text with a running writing style font for it to pop against the image and also look as though the photo had been written on. After it was a process of cleaning the photo which I used the blur tool to hide the poor picture quality and an erase tool to get rid of some of the excess blue created by the filter.

For ‘Old vs New Technology’ I placed the photographs together and once again experimented with filters in order to see if I could evoke a better emotion with it. I added the text ‘The Evolution of Information’ in order to give it a feel like the evolution of man style posters. Taking in feedback after drafting I tried a grey-scale style filter and found it more fitting as it solved a previous distressing problem I had of the book in the second image not being visible, I chose not to use an arrow to point the direction as I found the way each image is facing naturally does this and used further feedback to change the font to a style similar to that of a type writer in order to add another layer feeling to the idea of technology being the focus of the image.

Ethical Considerations of Production

I was fortunate enough for the image of ‘Selfie vs Portrait’ to raise no ethical considerations for myself as the photo was of myself in my own home and here is no branding upon the instant camera film in order to relate it to a company. However, in using a tablet and iPhone for the ‘Old vs New Technology photo’ there could be issue with using conflicting companies branded products in the same photo especially if someone were to try and imply it meant to indicate that apple products are an evolutionary step above Microsoft products. The book itself does not cause ethical concern though as the title is obscured and the quality of the picture makes it impossible to determine the words and so no claims of distributing copyright material would be viable.

Peer feedback comments

The concepts you have are very good and the image you have is a nice base of where you want to take the concept. I agree that using a young child as your model will help with the message of a new generation growing up with something different but also have to ask where you found the child and that it was alright for them to be photographed for the assignment. It’s hard to leave many positives or negatives at this early stage but it’s looking like it’s going in the right direction.


There is definitely the sense of isolation brought on by the picture here from the visual imagery of the texts not sending in a rural area. However use of partial black seems to work better if only very little is coloured. Instead of the road and hands maybe just the green message icons to make it more distinguishable however you’ll have to test to make sure it doesn’t take away from the rural background. Bluring the rest of the picture to force the phone’s messages to be the central focus was very effective.


For the image separation anxiety the Text style and colour used are both great and eye catching however I feel like the screens the children hold as too small and not as easy to see which makes it harder to connect the text and concept you have behind the image. For image two the tag line is great and the bordering of the power cord is very strong however the blurring of the background has warped the image a little perhaps cropping the image so it shows the women from waist up would let you keep the image clear and move the border and text so they are still visible and noticeable without a lot of empty warped space in between.




Final edits for A3

My final edits for the assignment the top image to display the evolution of technology through the theme of old and new technology and the bottom picture to display the theme of selfie vs portrait. For the first image i took in feedback and used a grey-scale filter to five it flair whilst keeping all of the important imagery visible. Also allowing me to change the font colour from a bright gleaming red to something more complimentary, as well as using other filters to give it less detail in the background to draw focus to the foreground. The second image i fixed the spelling and decide upon using the art poster filter for  a minimalist effect. Blurring the photo to erase the grainy details and erasing some of the colour on the bottom allowed me to position the text down below where one would write on an instant photograph. The questioning remaining a primary focus is used to ask the question between photographs and portraits to contemplate where the difference really lies.


3rd photo set for A3

I decided to try and create the theme of selfie vs portrait using an instant photograph selfie due to the feature of a frame like border being attached to it and use it as the bridging point between the two, asking the question of what separates a selfie and a portrait with the line “I have a frame – does that mean i’m an artwork” Unfortunatley for me i made a typo and some other minor mistakes but these are all drafts for the final image and i do not intend to keep the word “arwork” in my phrasing. For now i experimented with different filters and visual detail. The selfie itself was overexposed which i wanted to use as a feeling of minimalism and disconnection to the subject itself to draw attention to the question it poses.


2nd Photoset for A3

Exploring the theme of old and new technology i created a series of images of myself along an evolution line of information technology from word of mouth to smartphones so show how technology far we have come. Using Pixlr i made several edits in similar fashion for a more artistic style but found a problem in the book becoming less visible in the second photo of the progression. I also thought that maybe i should incorporate some kind of arrow of indication but later thought a more minimal approach of the way the pictures face may be better but i am still deciding. Before finalising i decided to also use a kaleidoscope feature to create a spiral of the photos and then lightened and darkened the boarders to make it cleaner.

1st edit
Black and white
3 colour style
Kaleidoscope 1
Kaleidoscope 2

1st photo set for A3

This series of photographs is something i hope to develop into pieces of media that help demonstrate the prompts of old/new technology and selfie/portrait. Hoping to use old technology such as an instant camera in contrast with other things and the use of an instant camera photograph selfie as the main points of focus. I hope to develop and drastically change these over time in which maybe more examples of technology will be used to demonstrate where we’ve come from and to use the instant photo selfie to provoke the idea of what is a portrait to a selfie using the borders of the photo as a common feature to link them. All photographs were taken of myself and my property in my house, however the brand Instax is shown on the camera and could cause some concern as to how the brand is being perceived as a side product of my future editing of these picturesphoto_2016-10-07_12-29-08photo_2016-10-07_12-29-03


Pixlr test run

Creating this image was quite the journey in many ways. The first being what kind of image do i want to create to symbolise the message that we as a society have become more and more reliant on our mobile phones as technology we hold in our very hands. A thought about how our lives can sometimes feel as if they depend on them sparked inspiration to create an image as if our phones were connected to our bodies in some significant manner helping to keep us alive an functioning. After the though was down the picture was taken and edited in Pixlr. That’s when the technical journey began, amongst experimenting with layers, filters, text and images the image changed and was drastically manipulated. Using pinch tools and paint i helped create the aesthetic of the headphone cord being a vein and after trying some filters and hues ended with the dark an gritty in your face style message here to spread the message as a kind of fearful shock to the person as to how much we depend on our phones.img_2993

Week 4

Affects are used and felt constantly day to day by everyone for various reason but not many people know what you mean by affect. To define it simply and affect is the emotional response you feel towards something being witness, be it through sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell and emotional response is given off by all sorts of stimuli. But not only that the emotional response is then often tied to your actions and cognitive thinking process after you experience the stimuli. If you were to witness a beggar asking for change, first you might feel disheartened and then it causes your cognitive thinking to make you decide to give your pocket change to this person. So why are affects worth noting in society? For the most part, industries take advantage of affects to sell you things through advertising and marketing, but there are also jobs which have a level of emotional labour attached to them also known as immaterial labour. Immaterial labour is embedded in the service industry (Hardt 1999) from waiting to hotel management it is there because it provides them with something more than the actual service, “…its products are intangible: a feeling of ease, wellbeing, satisfaction, excitement, passion” (Hardt 1999 p 96) the affects from immaterial labour are the reason why the service industry exists still. Society has progressively become more advanced in technology to the point where all jobs in food service, hospitality and retail can be done online or with machines and essentially robots. But they do not provide the same affects as the reassurance of another person providing you the service. For the affects are different depending on which is received. In this way the cost of this immaterial labour can come into question when speaking on certain jobs that involve it. It is widely considered that nurses are underpaid and for good reason. Despite having extensive knowledge of medical practises and how to conduct them they must also care for the patient and make them feel calm and comfort them. This is an emotional labour that cannot be trained but merely picked up by instinct. So the question comes into play. In workplaces and industries that require immaterial labour should employees be compensated for it and how much so? Of course this is a difficult question to answer because it’s hard to quantify the human experience as a value of currency. However, it does still attest to why affects are worth noting and studying still. Emotions are overlooked by everyone for different reasons but to study them would help understand people, industries and society much more to the point where change or sometimes in the case of the service industry, lack thereof can occur.

  1. Hardt, 1999, ‘AffectiveLabor’, Boundary 2, vol .26, no .2, pp. 89-100

Week 3

As Australia becomes more and more technologically advanced so have its people. Smart phones, Tablets, laptops seem to be everywhere and they all connect us to the internet to use a source of endless knowledge, entertainment and the ability to communicate with each other across the globe. 90% of Australian’s say the internet is very important to them as 88% of Australians in metropolitan areas and 85% of Australian’s in regional areas use the internet daily, according to the Swineburn university 2014 survey. But what about the 10% who say the internet isn’t important to them, or the 12% and 15% in metropolitan and regional Australia that don’t use it on a daily basis. One of the main groups that fall under these smaller percentages are indigenous Australian’s that live in remote areas. For indigenous Australians a cultural issue can be raised about why they don’t get connected like everyone else, but it also raises the question of should they if they don’t want to be connected? Outstations are remote indigenous populations that don’t conform to modern urbanized society. They are extremely difficult to define as they are all unique to their own communities but they can be considered communities of mobile indigenous Australian’s who are quite self-contained. In 2005 the senate made suggestion that outstation communities may have to migrate to larger townships to get the services they require. However, in the following year Mal Brough, the new Minister of Indigenous affairs called most of these townships to be “living hell holes” (Altman 2006, p .13) Government approaches to this issue of connecting outstations have been inconsiderate of the cultural views of the people to be affected by any change to their community. Forcibly urbanizing these communities is clearly not the answer, especially if the townships cannot be maintained to a suitable standard of living, but should these communities consent, government resources could be used to give these communities a means to connect to larger townships and the education in how to do so, should they require to. Furthermore, research has been conducted that suggests that outstations can actually be more beneficial for the country for landscaping and species management of the country in its ever-changing climate with each year showing the country becoming hotter and dryer in some areas and colder and wetter in others. (Altman 2006). Whether it is so important to connect the rest of Australia so we are 100% online is a tricky argument to make when cultural wishes of indigenous citizens have to be taken into account. One thing that is clear though is the government is too out of touch with these communities and cultures to make a decision that would have a clear cut positive outcome, and needs to have indigenous consolation before we can progress as a country into a completely digitally literate state. But even after consultation and agreements are made comes the process of educating, and installing the methods of digital connection which is a problem all of its own.

Altman, J. 2006, In Search of an Outstations Policy for Indigenous Australians, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Canberra

Week 2

This week we discussed interactive narratives in digital literacy. An interactive narrative being one that you yourself can partake in, choose or drive the story of it. But why? In the advancement of digital technologies and literacies entertainment itself is evolving and interactive narratives are not a new form. Board games and roleplaying games, choose your own adventure books and stories all existed before their digital counterparts of video games and e-books. More specifically we delved into areas of interactive narrative and asked what it was they provided and how they themselves affected the narrative in its own way. Whilst you yourself are the driver of the story, there are other aspects and elements uncontrollable to you and need their own ways to become compatible to the story. Music was the primary focus of this area of questioning. How does it combine and interact with a story. An article on Halo 2 music (Abraham 2011) asks the same question when analysing the music in Halo 2. The point of asking what is music? Is brought up and to its routes in ancient Greece with the Apollonian definition arguing music is a creation of emotion, whilst the Dionysian definition argues music is a product of properties of the material world. This would argue that music used in an interactive story is either to evoke emotional responses to the story itself and therefore be tell a linear story itself, or that music used for interactive story is the outcome of what happens in the story. Predetermined or spontaneous? Story driven or driving the story? Martin O’Donell the musician behind the music to Halo 2 creates a combination of both in order to evoke emotion and realism from the medium of a video game as a digital literacy. By fixing the beginning and endings of a scene music ca be predetermined and composed in order to give emotion behind the story, whilst during the middle of it sound effects and general ques bring realism. Every round fired, tire skid, scope in and scope out and sound made by the alien characters is a form of music itself. It tells micro stories of, the grenade has exploded, the vehicle has blown up, the gun is reloaded. Despite ourselves being in the comforts of our own home and far from an alien battlefield we are immersed in realism during the interactive moments of the narrative in which we play the game (Abraham 2011). Using a McLachlan tetrad of media analysis we see that smaller sound affects enhance the interactive experience in this digital literacy medium. They enhance the gameplay experience. They Retrieve the sense of realism to the game by not being devoid of sounds we would expect to hear. If pushed it could develop a whole new digital literacy medium of virtual reality synaesthesia. But most importantly it rendered the need to actually be in a battle zone like this to gain a sense of its experience obsolete, along with the dangers it would bring just to tell a story.

Abraham, B. 2011, ‘Halo and Music in Cuddy, L. (ed) Halo and Philosophy, Open Court, Chicago and La Salle, pp.61-70.