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Engaging with Media

As a Communications and Media student, it is imperative that we take part in learning through hands on means. Although this has taken a variety of forms over the past four years, I have to admit I have enjoyed this semesters variation the most.

In this post, I’m going to take a moment to share some of the highlights. Over the past 5 weeks, we have been ‘Live Tweeting’ commentary while simultaneously watching movies as a class. Our commentary ranges from personal thoughts to academic analysis, all for the purpose of unpacking ‘Future Cultures’ within various media. You can check out all my tweets, and join in with me every Thursday, at my Twitter: @BoswellSbrain. Here are a few examples;

2001: A space odyssey.

This film is unique in so many ways. It’s gripping story, unique filming and scripting, and portrayal of the future as seen in 1968 all contribute to a beautiful piece of media. My most prominent tweet, piggy backs of Chris Moore’s musical tweet that references a ‘past future’. This concept fascinated me throughout this viewing and initiated a brief conversation between us on the conceptualisation of the future.

These tweets opened me up to the new experience of ‘Live Tweeting’. Although I was still getting the hang of it, I really enjoyed the ability to throw ideas back and forth between peers and to see their thoughts evolve as we experienced this film together. In particular, it was enlightening to see how Science Fiction imagined the world in 1968.

Some other highlights included; the films suggestion of evolution, ordinary-everyday-miracles, AI in Media, and the use of colour theory.

West World

Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to live tweet this film with my peers due to illness.

I am yet to get a chance to watch this film and tweet my thoughts on it. I endeavour to do so and to explore ‘Alternate Histories’ and how we see our trajectories if History was different.

Blade Runner (1982)

During the ‘Live Tweeting’ of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner Final Cut, I started to feel as if I was getting more into the groove. I expect that this could be attributed already knowing this excellent film, allowing me to draw out and comment on this film from a perspective that isn’t also trying o comprehend it.

For this film, we were particularly interested in themes around ‘Multiple Futures’ and ‘Anthropocene’. In other words, the relationship between the future and our impact now.

We also discussed other themes within the film, such as; othering and dehumanisation, repeated imagery, technology developments (or lack thereof), and empathy.

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell is a 1995 Japanese futuristic cyberpunk film that comments on what makes a human and what makes a society.

For this film we were particularly considering its portrayal of ‘operational research’. Operational research is ‘thought-based-on-data’, often employed in a military environment. In Ghost in the Shell, we were looking at the meta systems displayed and the portrayal of society’s structure.

We also discussed themes of; what makes someone human, souls, technological advance and social decline, AI and sentience, and Biblical references (2).

The Matrix

My favourite screening so far; The Matrix, was a great opportunity to practice more commenting on other peoples posts.

With so many layers to it, The Matrix touches on a large variety of themes and ideas. To me, it feels like the accumulation of all the films we have looked at recently. In particular, I was trying to pull out systems and feedback loops.

The Matrix was a great film for discussing how systems with goals require feedback to function in their environment. As seen in the film, the first Matrix failed because of how the system rejected itself. In creating a Matrix that balanced its goal and working harmoniously with the limitations of its feedback, the Matrix was able to flourish.

Some of the other stand out mentions include: spiritual themes, Biblical references, gender-fluidity, simulations and systems, reliance on systems and connection to the internet, reality vs illusion, control, enlightenment, and Knowledge is power.

And, as I conclude all my live tweeting sessions…

Thank you all, Thus ends my letters to #BCM325.

– Boswell

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