Assignment 1- 151mc – Digital Natives


Due to the Snow I was unable to make it into the Lecture, so many thanks to Becky Woodhall for allowing me to use her notes 🙂

Digital Natives:

‘Becoming aware of the water we swim in and how it leads us to the future of photography’

  • What is this ‘digital age’

Follows agrarian/agricultural age (variations of farming) and the industrial age (mass production/standardisation)

The digital age is defined by information

  • Information is never physical it is always code, maybe binary and maybe another form, it’ll all about how the machine reads the information
  • Ability to easily share, search, find and make information in the digital age
  • Role of the photographer has changed, you complete and construct the whole process including editing and making moving images
  • The digital age is an age in which we can easily find, share and consume information via linked digital devices
  • The problem with this information age is the validity of the information, how do you go about deciding which is the correct information
  • Who inhabits the digital age? Digital natives, “born after 1980, when social digital technology such as UseNet and bulletin board systems, came online. They all have access to networked digital technologies. And they all have the skills to use those technologies.”- have to have access to them and know how to use them to be a digital native, not all people born in this age can be included in this term
  • The digital information is almost a barrier, you are not communicating with you, just their chosen digital passage
  • Anna Malagrida ‘Christina’ 2000, photographs of people being absorbed by tv screens (which may be transitioning into computer screens as the age evolves’- same sort of style as Caravaggio, gives a dramatic drop off of light, a real physicality within the image
  • Gabriela Herman, series of bloggers- portrays the dependency between digital natives and their technologies
  • Digital Settlers- people born before 1980 but who have embraced the digital age and have chosen to live a digital life, however they have had to adapt to the digital age as they have not been exposed to it all their life but they have seen the technology evolving
  • MySpace into videos, (instead of Facebook profile pictures and information), playlist put together by video artist Guthrie Lonergan
  •  Digital immigrants- born before the existence of digital, these people have adapted to some aspects of a digital life, either through choice or necessity
  • Helps us understand our audience, the ease at which people will be able to find and interact with our work, if our work is entirely digital would the digital immigrants be able to access it or see it?
  • “One thing about which fish know exactly nothing in water since they have no anti-environment which would enable them to perceive the element they live in” Marshall McLuhan
  • Problems in a digital age, mass of information trying to find the right one, changing the face of the workplace, privacy, audiences and definitions, identity, issues of literacy

Digital Issues:

  • Identity- comparing the real world with the digital world, talking about the digital environment as if it is real, is Facebook and Twitter a digital representation of your life, or is it your life?  Jaron Lanier ‘You are not a gadget’ explores the way that the internet degrades the way in which each of us exists as an individual
  • Privacy and Publicity- they shouldn’t come as an expense of the other but often they do, does your public life conflict with your private life, separate accounts for your work and home? How much control do we have over our appearance and identity, with the privacy settings, can anyone see our digital life. Geo tags? Location? They all invade on privacy, especially the car break ins with Bluetooth- the series ‘Geolocation’ you have a complete disregard of your natural environment or the place you are to interact and engage with the virtual life
  • The other 5 billion- who aren’t digital natives, maybe no access or skills to any digital devices, may not have the money or fortune to acquire this sort of technology, ‘give and hour; campaign was to try and teach the digital immigrants to be able to use technology effectively in relation to their daily lives
  • “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us”, Marshall McLuhan, ‘Understanding Media’, 1964- Alexander Graham Bell shaped the telephone, these tools are physically shaped/invented and made by us- have we become slaves to technology?
  • We can make digital pictures for free, a limitless amount, we can communicate with a global audience, all these things- but should we? Can we abuse technology
  • We have to be informed about all our choices as professional photographers, nothing should be an immediate reaction, consider what’s best for your work, you should never just follow the crowd because of convenience, sometimes work doesn’t translate to the digital work but if it is right for your work you should do it, you can’t define the work by the fact if it is online or not
  • Generative experiences, things that couldn’t be replicated digitally, music can be replicated digitally but the generative experience is seeing the artist live. Different places in putting value, choosing to spend money on the digital tracks or experiencing the act live
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