Lifestream, Tweets

As part of the course, we were asked to produce an online representation of the themes covered, using visual methods only. The course guide suggested that the artefact should be:

– of high quality in terms of analysis and creativity;

  • – scholarly and imaginatively presented.

I found it incredibly difficult to demonstrate critical engagement visually, and if it is possible, I will attempt to do so again when I have developed a better understanding of how to do so (before the end of the course). The difficulty was heightened by the number and complexity of themes that arose out of the cyberculture block.

I’m interested to hear more from others – either through explanation or through links to examples – about what it is that makes visual representation ‘scholarly’/about how to present analysis visually. Looking forward to the examples (and to seeing the work of my peers on the same task!).


Attempt 1 at a visual artefact for the cyberculture block

6 Replies to “Lifestream, Tweets”

  1. Really nice artefact Renée. It reminded me very much of George Méilé’s 1902 film ‘Le Voyage dans la Lune’. Was that intentional? I know that at the time, the film was well regarded for it’s innovative special effects (high-tech at the time) but also pirated by other studios wanting to re-capture some of the magic for their own gain. Are you alluding to intertextual nature of the online environment as well as the copyright infringements there? Or am I looking too hard for meaning? That’s the problem with ‘depth without words’.

    1. Thanks for your very astute comment, Chenée. Although I wasn’t aiming for a Méilé-eque look, I can see why you would think that, and indeed, it may have been unconscious as I was trying for something which showed the cyborg as ‘‘pataphysical’, and ‘Le Voyage dans la Lune’  is often cited as being within this tradition.

      In using a combination of collage, drawing and photographic print-outs I was attempting to make visible that which is hidden within the hyperreality of cyberculture – in this case, the plasticity of identity and form. I wanted to draw attention to the image as constructed, to reality as constructed, and the posthuman/materiality of the body as constructed. I thought that using collage might exaggerate the boundaries of the posthuman subject, which Hayles suggests ‘undergo continuous construction and reconstruction’ (1999, p. 3). Of course, I used a ‘cybernetic-being’ – but I hoped to convey that the same is true of identities which are constructed virtually; I wanted to cast doubt on erasure of embodiment, despite ‘virtual’ identity constructions.

      There’s also a dig at humanism, with the cyborg who has moved to the moon still questioning who he is, and, perhaps because he was so focused on himself rather than looking outwards, amid a dystopia which mirrors the capitalist world on earth that he sought to escape.

      I’d love to claim that I was also alluding to copyright infringement, but if I happened to, it was unintentional!

      Thanks for your feedback – I watched ‘Le Voyage dans la Lune’ again, and very much enjoyed it.


      Hayles, N. Katherine. (1999). Towards embodied virtuality from Hayles, N. Katherine,  How we became posthuman: virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics pp. 1-25, 293-297, Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press.


      1. Thanks for sharing this Renée. The depth of meaning in your explanation about your artefact certainly helps my understanding of what you were trying to express. I’m in awe of your thought process and how you ended up with this really interesting artefact.

  2. You’re very kind, Chenée. It seems to me that my intention kind of got ‘lost’ in the expression. Certainly, I’d like to improve my skills in communicating visually..

  3. Great conversation here, and a really super visual artefact!

    The Méliès connection is a really interesting one. I really liked the ‘non-digital’ look , and thought that might have been a comment on technology in some way, particularly given the theme of escape going on. There is perhaps a good connection to crafting and making there too – a critique of ‘using’ technology perhaps, and a comment on ‘taking control’? The reference to the big web corporations in the last image seemed to speak to that: resisting services given to us, and looking to localise creative responses.

    I also liked the comic strip layout, and thought this was perhaps a comment on older (visual) media.

    I guess for the me the moon also represented the ‘otherworldly’, which ties in with the cybercultures theme quite well. The desire to escape to some other domain, free from the influence of contemporary culture seems to mirror the counter culture origins of the web, maybe even the interest in virtual worlds.

    I also liked that this whole adventure begins with reading! We get our ideas from texts, and then we end up in another place entirely, sounds good to me! 🙂

    Great artefact Renée!

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