Welcome to my visual artifact

Whilst I agree that a picture is worth a thousand words, I am yet to be convinced by Kress’s arguement that text is vague and image is direct and meaningful. Therefore I am not going to tell you anything about my visual artifact, and I am curious to see how easy it is to interpret. If you all get it spot on then either Kress is correct – or I have simply created a very expressive piece of Photoshop art!Visual Artifact


13 Responses to “Welcome to my visual artifact”

  1. Tony McNeill says:

    Sarah, another one that’s raised the bar. I bow before your superior Photoshop skills! Ok, actually quite tricky to interpret: in the foreground it’s a young woman – representing the contemporary consumer of digital culture? – ‘zapping’ two screens. One screen has the logos of some of the big players in digital culture – Apple, Google etc. – the other a mixed montage of images of (difficult to discern) of child poverty, third-world sweatshops but also a circuit board and some sci-fi images (not sure of latter as not my thing). The energy rays exiting the woman’s fingers are blue (positive, cool?) on the left and red (danger, risk?) I’m thinking: this image represents utopian and dystopian discourses around technology. Mobile, empowering, social etc. on the left and negative (dystopian sci-fi and the cheap labour of third-world and developing countries that supply cheap digital consumer goodies to the developed world) on the right?

    I’m not sure about the posture of the woman: is she rushing into the digital or trying to push it back?

  2. tracy says:

    Connected to the world through social media? Or are you zapping it all with your WoW Mage (level 80) skillz? And I will guess the red/blue is Matrix colour coded reality/matrix reference. Probably. Either way, v thought provoking – love it.

  3. Andy Murray says:

    Your body pose could be (a) pushing digital culture away or (b) your diving into it. Either way, you are physically connected to technology. The two screens appear to separate reality and fantasy – but both screens are connected via you.

    Regardless of the accuracy of my interpretation – great piece of work.

  4. Sibylle Ratz says:

    I’m also really impressed with this. The image of a witch (sorry) comes to mind. Bewitched and bewitching? Master of the world – or not?

  5. billb says:

    Two separate worlds, both presented through technological means but with different vibes/energies. Does this mean you get a positive vibe out of the Social Web but hate contemporary TV?

  6. jen says:

    Okay, the red and blue pill idea works for me, which, coupled with Tony’s and Andy’s readings of the surface (shiny web 2.0 apps) vs the reality (sweatshops) means (I think) that the figure in the image (Sarah herself?) is summoning/destroying/connected to both worlds simultaneously… (popping the purple pills…?)

    In which case, nice references to the Matrix and to the Bell and Hand readings, dystopias and perhaps also ‘being human’. :-)

  7. sian says:

    Isn’t there a Minority Report reference in here somewhere too? It’s Sarah’s life-bricolage – she’s re-positioning and re-aligning the multiple elements on the screens in an attempt to make sense of her digital existence? : )

  8. silvanad says:

    Fantastic image, Sarah. You’ve managed to capture in one picture the utopian/dystopian discussion we have been having via the readings, film festival and twitter. But will the figure in the middle (yourself?) find a third way?

  9. Sarah Payne says:

    Great comments folks – I will reply to them all in my blog at the weekend with what I actually meant it to say!

    And yes it is me – possibly from my best side :)

  10. I think the interpretation has already been excellently done by others so I’ll just nod along basically:

    I also thought that it was you in the centre mediating the good and valuefull (for you) of the web with the risky and more unreal aspects of digital culture. I like the red/blue pill comments others have made and certainly see some fantasy/reality divides there so that makes sense to me.

    The image it brought to mind for me was that of the “she’s alive!” moment of Bride of Frankenstein (or Weird Science if you like the more comedy version of the same scene) and a sense that the digital helps enliven or awaken your world (whether for good or ill).

  11. Sarah Payne says:

    I have posted my comments about my artifact on my blog – thanks for all of your comments!

  12. Mas says:

    You are trying to balance the two culture – being digital (blue electric light) and also analogue (red electric light) or you as a person to join/connect the two ‘world’ together? Btw – very good!!!

  13. lesleyf says:

    my feelings exactly! different strokes for different folks but which suits our needs that is the million dollar question.

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