CGI & VFX and Memes & Internet Culture.

1 Apr



The reason I chose my specific boards was that both are aspects of New Media culture that I feel are often overlooked. People watch movies/tv, browse the internet, and are subjected to this kind of digital stimuli nearly every day and rarely question its origin or purpose.

Memes and Internet Culture, I feel, is indicative of contemporary culture. Memes are clever visual metaphors that are meant to compress the general sentiments of the populace, in terms of social engagements, down to a picture or two. They are also subsequent products of the era of the Web, in which websites have become so dynamic, fluid, and engaging that its digital media content is beginning to cross over from the realm of cyberspace into physical  reality.

CGI and VFX use within films and television is becoming more standard. It’s rare to find a film in this day and age that doesn’t use CGI or VFX to accentuate their film. It’s only when the film industry becomes over saturated with CGI intensive movies that forsake narrative complexity for technical superiority. Increasingly, live action shots are being substituted and replaced with computer generated imagery, a dangerously slippery slope. If it becomes more financially viable to use CGI generated characters over traditional actors, how long until everything in films becomes digitally generated?

The goal behind my Memes & Internet Culture board was to shed light on increasingly complex internet subcultures that operate under subtle conventions of behavior and etiquette that greatly resembles contemporary society. Being an avid user of multiple image-hosting sites allowed me to access my own record of thoughts and interactions when participating amongst a variety of online based communities. I was able to recall specific instances in which memes and internet culture had transcended my computer and into real life application. I decided on my specific examples by determining the amount of influence or precedence the particular meme had on internet culture, otherwise most of my choices reflect the few fundamental natures from which almost all memes derive (i.e., dark humor, neutral humor, positive humor, etc). I feel that as our society becomes more inter-connected through the internet, the more that the internet becomes a scaled down version of society itself. The development of profession social networking identities reflects this very notion and being able to interact positively with various “society members” is a crucial part of modern society and may very well be true for the future “internet society” that will have interactions take place in cyberspace.

I approached the topic of CGI and VFX with a more inquisitive process. Being a supporter of traditional cinema as well as modern cinema, I can clearly see the shift that is occurring within today’s audiences and producers. I was hoping to find information that might be indicative of the path cinema is taking in order to satisfy an evolving consumer market. Cinema has changed widely over the it’s century or so of existence, from black and white 16mm film to 1080p 3-D IMAX. Although the methods vary, cinema remains a staple of American entertainment and while it may change and evolve, it will certainly never falter. I found content by dividing up films and shows by the degree to which they depended on CGI and VFX technologies. I did my best to include the most diverse examples of CGI and VFX use, in all its pros/cons, on the media industry thus far in order to try to predict the patterns of where it might be going. As a result, it’s apparent that as our CGI and VFX becomes more sophisticated, director’s being to rely on them more heavily, potentially hindering cinematic innovation and replacing human intuition and thought.

Pinterest is excellent at portraying images that are accompanied by concise descriptions. This allows for the rapid accumulation of visual data that pertains to the users central theme (i.e., board). It’s ergonomic and user-friendly design makes it a overwhelmingly simple to use the platform to its maximum potential. This is good until you want discuss complex topics or attach two images two one pin in an attempt to compare and contrast their qualities or create stark juxtapositions. There is also limited customizability, such as an overarching theme or personalized “pushpins” or any other nuances that would give the platform a more intimate interaction with its user. I would particularly enjoy being able to combine or blend photo elements so that their similarities, difference, and general associations with each other can be more apparent.

Prior to this assignment I never had anything more than a Facebook, however, the ease with which I was able to utilize Pinterest and it’s vast integration with a myriad of image hosting sites allows me understand how it could be the third most popular SNS behind Facebook and Twitter. It allows for the basic visual representation of a central theme, along with suggestions and updates on people who share these similar qualities. Pinterest promotes visual iconography and the representation of oneself through a collage of user-selected images. The structure of Pinterest is automatic enough that almost any image is available to added to your list of interest, with the potential to find more equally suitable ones. In short, Pinterest combines virtual collaging, user networking, and visual organization to create an alluring social media platform.


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