In this post I will be talking about the first part of Digital Adventures, which is a mini project of sorts within the Visual Essay module. We were asked to get lost in the depths of the internet and retrieve 6 objects which sparked an interest in us that we would later use to complete this project by creating a mini publication in which we would feature 10 pieces of work that would comment on our findings.
Here are the six I came across and chose ot talk about:
Disclaimer: the doubts I have included in these paragraphs do not mean I don’t want to go with that finding, I simply wanted to put my thinking process up for display and develop a sort of pros/cons system within paragraphs for each point of interest.
Rosie the Shark – I stumbled upon this whilst researching for my Critical Perspectives module. For whatever reason, it reminded me of the work I need to do for the Vissual Essay module so I chose this as a starting point for my Digital Adventures and went from there. Rosie is the name of a shark which was found by accident while exploring an abandoned wildlife park in Australia. Rosie had reportedly been left behind because it would be too much of an effort to transfer her to a new location or even release back into the wild. The original footage/screencaps are very disturbing and can easily make anyone feel uneasy. I think the history, coupled with the essence makes this finding an interesting candidate for Part B, however, I think me doing something about sharks for 2 projects which are ongoing at the same time simply would not be good enough, therefore I have decided to cross this out of the options list, even though I chose to comment on it.
Mothman ★ – From the previous entry, I took some keywords from articles/videos on the topic of Rosie the shark, put them into google search, scrolled around until I stumbled upon an image that had more of a distinct or unique representation of said keywords as opposed to being a general idea of ambience and sinisterness. The image depicts the presence of a creature named mothman, which is an urban legend from West Virginia. Mothman is one of the better documented urban legends, with various renditions of the origin story/other stories that have connections to it existing in the form of books, films, even comics as well as other genres of media. This finding is definitely high up, if not at the very top of what I would like to talk about in part B. That is.. it was.. until I found out that a fellow coursemate was doing their digital adventure part B on a cryptid as well, it’s a different cryptid, but a cryptid nonetheless.
Art of Manliness – This finding was very much a result of complete randomness, which, I guess is good as it does fit the brief of the workshop! I couldn’t think of where to go after mothman, I really did not want to go deeper down into the rabbit hole of conspiracy, therefore I took the more unpredictable route and decided to look into “men” and what actually “makes” a man and alas, I stumbled upon this “gem” of a website. After reading some of the arcticles published on the website I figured it would be interesting if I, as a person who doesn’t fully identify with the “male” binary talked about it. The website pushes a lot of concerning and toxic “many” standards as well as some things that literally just… do not make any sort of sense..? It would most definitely be an interesting choice to make but I don’t know if I want to sacrifice any more brain cells by indulging in this questionable content.. not that I have all that many left, but still.
Cooking for Engineers ☆ – This entry is sort of the polar opposite of the last point of interest – actually intellectual, non-gender-descriptive and I personally found it very entertaining. The website is filled with bizarre descriptions of food-making processes and includes a plethora of over-complicated recipes, thus the title of it. I have to say though, reading some of the submissions/posts after exploring the last entry made me feel like a complete utter idiot. But with that said, I think that makes for an interesting narrative that holds potential in having a fun connection between the workshop projects. The only setback I suppose is that I don’t really understand how and what are we supposed to be visually commentating and if this finding can be taken further than what is given at face value. However, I think I should do my best to pull through with this as my point of interest as it would make this module’s work a lot more manageable.
Samuel Barsky – S. Barsky is an artist whose main gimmick is creating “ugly” sweaters of places that he has or is visiting, I found this to be an extremely entertaining finding. I admittedly have spent at least a couple of hours since discovering him looking at his creations and appreciating this very straight-forward and unique approach to documenting your journeys. Samuel has reportedly created more than 120 sweaters and persists on selling them as they not only hold sentimental value, but also, does not want to subject his art to be a victim of capitalism or in other words – a product. I find that very admirable and would honestly love to do something of a similar nature, but, knowing how fast time runs by, I simply would not be able to and the concern from the previous entry is very relevant here too – is there enough to report on to make a 10 illustration narrative?
White Torture – This by far is the most random one I came across. I have no idea how it went from cute dad sweaters based on travels to a means of torture of political criminals. I think this has the smallest amount of probablity of me picking it up and taking it further, but I found it interesting enough to place it in my list of 6 findings, plus, it provides variety for options, even thought now I realize that it may not be as viable as the other 5. The method of torture is used to deprive the person who this technique is being used on of all and any sense of identity and make them feel insane and isolated. I have found videos and articles which document the process and the results of this form of torture. It’s interesting to see the deterioration of a human’s psyche when the tool used is a void, a negative space of sorts.