So, that was my visual artefact. I carried on with the notional ‘towns’ on the internet idea I’d been mulling over whilst blogging for the first few weeks and, to Harkin’s ‘Cyburbia‘ and Rushkoff’s ‘Cyberia‘, I added a third notional space: 4Chan’s ‘Deadwood’, a lawless, frontier madhouse where the rules of ‘netiquette’ just don’t apply; a place as fantastically productive as it is provocative .
So, what did I learn?
The short answer is, I don’t know yet. I’m still processing a lot of this, but one thing really did stand out for me: the fact that my ‘visual artefact’ was still quite dependent on a textual literacy to explain itself. A picture or image may carry greater possibility for communication than a purely textual exploration of a subject, but they are not yet so separated that purely visual literacies can be used to explore, represent or explain a subject. I can’t help that note in order for Kress to make the assertion about a move from textual, word-based representations to visual, image-based representations of meaning, he was obliged to use words to do so. Much like myself.
I had more than a few technical glitches whilst doing this. I like Google Maps. It’s a great wee tool, but dear God it can be flaky. Embed codes for about 70% of the videos I stuck in have dissapeared twice when I went into edit mode. It’s really quite maddedinng when you’ve spent several hours putting together something only to see the work inexplicably vanish! Also, I couldn’t get the map to plug straight into Wordpress and had to post it on my own blog. Word of warning for anyone thinking of Google Maps for project work – it can be quite moody.