Identity and experiences

What I like about Meryl Pataky’s work is her personal involvment in the work and how it captures her identity. As she claims that her work relies heavily on personal narative, Pataky’s sculptures suggest that our identity is shaped by our experiences in life and through our own experiences, we are all a “different material…a different mold”. Thus, her use of materials comes to symbolise identity shaped by experiences. Pataky herself asserts,
“these experiences are what I relate to most intimately and, in turn, allow me to confidently make the appropriate decisions about my work, its concepts and materials. We are all molds that are filled with different substanes. These are delicate blend of our paths, experiences, beliefs and interactions that form our being. As a result, we are all different casts – we are all made of different material.”

Challenging initial perceptions-core concept of site

Beyond the beautiful graphics and interactive narrative of the site, I find the core concept of the site the most intriguing. While the site simply opens to a simple, albeit simple layout with a single beautiful image, when the user pulls a scroll on the top left of the screen, the image zooms out into another world…challenging our initial perception of the site. This is what I want to achieve through my site as I want to challenge the user’s initial perception that the site is the same facebook they use on a daily basis.

are we limited by facebook’s profile template?

Today I thought about facebook profile templates. Facebook is focused on connecting people by presenting profiles of who they are. However, can our identity be presented effectively when it is limited to facebook’s set features?

Facebook gives us the opportunity to present ourselves through the following features:

  • profile pictures
  • profile information
  • wall
  • friends
  • mutual friends
  • photos you’ve been tagged in
  • videos you’ve been tagged in
  • notes
  • posts
  • facebook groups
  • questions (polls)
Are  these features effective in presenting identities? Or does it limit the user and suppress individual expression? This is something else that I want to question through my satirical simulation of facebook – perhaps I can subtly add a new absurd feature to this list of facebook functions – or perhaps I could simply swap these features around and use the individual’s ‘profile pictures’ for the ‘friends’ list and confuse the user and question whether someone’s list of facebook friends is an expression of who they are.

how effective is online communication?

I enjoyed this video as it questions the effective the internet as a tool for connecting people. The human interface becomes a symbol for human interaction through the computer. While he is communicating with people through email, he is essentially constrained by the 4 walls of the box. While the human interface portrays human interaction and communication, the box that serves as the ‘computer screen’ simultaneously symbolises the decreasing face-to-face interaction that results from online communication – it’s quite a powerful irony!

The internet allows us to connect with people more frequently ie. facebook posts and emails… but how effective is this medium of communication and human interaction? This is an idea I wish to explore in my final website, as I question the effectiveness of facebook as an online medium of communication.

Exploring Shinto beliefs that all objects and organisms have spirits, Sayaka Ganz’s work compels us to question our initial perception of everyday objects. Through the uniformity of the colours used for each horse , the responder initially identifies the work as a cantering horse. However, upon closer inspection, we realise that these horses are made up of everyday objects. Thus we are forced to perceive the work differently and appreciate the work on a different level.

It is this multi-faceted nature of Ganz’s work, that I find interesting.  When the user comes across my website, I want them to intially think that the page is facebook’s log-in page as they know it. Yet, as they are led through to the following pages with different elements re-positioned on the page, I want their initial bewilderement and confusion to be replaced by an realisation that this site is, in fact, a satirical simulation of facebook, questioning its effectiveness in portraying identitites.

Deconstructing a well-known website

Today I came across a web work that initially simulates and subsequently subverts Google called ‘Google Gravity’. From what I have learnt this semester in Web Art and Design, I think that it uses Adobe Flash very effectively. At first, this site simply appears to be Google, but after moving your mouse and dragging the items around, the Google page we all know so well crashes and ‘gravity’ takes its toll. What I think makes this page so powerful is the fact that they chose to deconstruct Google of all websites. Google and Facebook are two internet giants known for their efficiency and reliability as websites – they barely face any problems or issues, making them so popular on the net by users.

My final website explores a similar concept to ‘Google Gravity’ as it deconstructs a website we all know so well and use so often. Like Google Gravity, my website will initially appear to be facebook, but after the user clicks log in, elements of the site will change, surprising and confusing the user.

interactive graphics

While this website feature does not connect with me on a conceptual level, I like this site purely for its creative use of Adobe Flash.

Ever since learning about the possibilities of Adobe Flash, I look at websites with a new appreciation. I really enjoyed this simple and effective site feature. The view of the dandelion is controlled with the movement of the mouse along the page and the dandelion seeds fly as the user clicks on the dandelion. It’s quite a good stress reliever!