Below is a curation of what I believe to be my most engaging tweets and replies made over the course of the last 8 weeks. For the full body of my twitter contributions click here.
Ghost in the Shell
In the first week of the course, the screening was of the 1995 science-fiction anime ‘Ghost in the Shell’.
The key insight I wished to contribute during this preliminary screening, was that of the film’s beautiful illustration of duality of life, between artificial and natural. In addition to the mediums inherent duality of western and Japanese culture. Both of which I perceive as a metaphoric representation of Japan’s own duality of traditional Japanese culture mixing with post war Americanisation, creating a new wave of emergent, hybrid Japanese art. Which was represented by life emerging out of artificial confines.
The second week brought a discussion of Cybernetics and a screening of Michael Crichton’s magnum opus ‘Westworld’.
A notable aspect of Westworld was that of the elaborate practical effects which helped to realise the world of cybernetic killer robots.
A similar thread running through Westworld, Ghost in the Shell and Bladerunner, was that of the significance and fixation on eyes, and as I mentioned in this tweet, perhaps as a means of illustrating sentience, as eyes are the window to the soul.
This week in the context of Cyberpunks, we examined the 1995 sci-fi action film ‘Johnny Mnemonic’, which I saw as an illustration of how timeless themes can be undermined by dated execution.
Illustrating how timeless themes can be undermined by poor execution, Johnny Mnemonic explored concepts, like the future of consumerism in a digital space, visual realisations of the future of virtual reality as well as the fragile nature of self in the digital landscape as illustrated by Johnny giving up his own memories.
This week we considered the nature of technologically infused realities, explored via a screening of the 1999 documentary ‘The Matrix’.
This screening, following last weeks showing of Johnny Mnemonic, highlighted the importance of execution when exploring themes, as both films explored very similar concepts of existence in a digitally intertwined reality. The above tweet (my personal favourite from my body of tweets and replies), summarises curtly the ubiquity and cultural transcendence of The Matrix and the messages it contained within.
Robot & Frank
This week we further explored the nature of artificial intelligence and what life means in the digital age. We viewed the 2012 science fiction drama ‘Robot & Frank’.
This film explored a number of deep, digital themes. The most profound of which was what does it mean to be alive: memories, thought, relationships and emotion. I sought to address this films examination of the prerequisite requirements of thought and memory, with the below tweet.
The film also explored our relationship with IoT devices, particularly those that simulate human interaction. Accordingly I sought to include the following link, which explored that legal utility of IoT devices as used to acquit an individual facing murder charges.
Black Mirror: Hated by the Nation
This week we explored the concepts of technology and huntology, which was book marked with a viewing of the ‘Black Mirror’ episode ‘Hated by the Nation’. This episode explored a plethora of confronting, powerful contemporary issues, ranging from environmental degradation, attacks on journalism, lethality of IoT devices (drones especially) and above all, the fragility of privacy in the digital age.
I found this screen to be particular topical in light of the revelation that murdered journalist Marie Colvin was targeted by the Syrian state. This aligned with the murder of the fictional journalist Jo Powers.
Regarding the episodes analysis of the importance and fragility of privacy in the digital age, I posted the following two tweets examining the importance of privacy laws to protect against the government backed retention of our metadata information.
An insight I sought to communicate was that of the episode’s examination of the importance of freedom of speech, which is amplified in the age of social media.
Reflection – Generally
The task of actively tweeting and engaging with one another to develop an online conversation regarding the films we were viewing, I believe was overly successful. Not only did it push myself to engage in a space that I don’t normally interact in, it helped facilitate a better understanding of the themes and issues explored by the films and BCM325.