Archive for the ‘Final Reflection’ Category

End Year Reflection

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

I did not know what ds106 when I was signing up for the class (which was an adventurous enough ordeal). I needed a performance art requirement in order to graduate and I remember friends of mine taking this class in the past. I had no idea there was an entire community of ds106ers proclaiming this idea of cyberinfrastructure. Which I think is just an uber-technical word for an online community sharing creative ideas and commons. But the idea behind the class was digital storytelling, which could be anything. A story really has no bounds or limits to what it can actually be. It could be read, seen, heard. It can be an 100 hours long or 5 seconds short. The basic idea of a story, though, is to convey an idea and communicate it creatively. I knew the internet was a creative place, but I did not know that there was such passion running and encouraging the juices to flow behind-the-scenes.

There were several assignments that allowed us students to interact with the ds106 world. A big one, at least at the beginning of the class, was daily creates. As the name implies, daily creates forced allowed students to create something daily, through various means whether through photography, video, or audio. it did get tedious and we eventually dropped it off. But i have to admit daily creates were entertaining. They got you thinking creatively, seeing the world as a place where there’s more than utility, but as a place that can be manipulated to share an impulse or idea with others. The one beauty behind the daily creates was that we were able to create with the everyday objects, sounds and colors around us.

I think the biggest thing I gained from taking this class was a greater appreciation for creative remix. Remix was something I was always aware of. Being sort of a music, film . . . everything snob, I cannot listen to music or watch a film without seeing a quote of another tune or film. Sometimes, for example in film, the director or producer is glorifying a piece of work, usually an early classic, and giving it new life. They do this by borrowing and transplanting scenes into a film from another film. Quentin Tarantino is famous for this and utilizing his incredible mental film library that ranges from Spaghetti Westerns to Japanese martial arts films. He is also famous for his use of music which transforms a scene entirely giving it genre appeal that it otherwise would not have. All of this I was aware of, but the question of what is and is not creative on the internet is extremely interesting. There is no real rule in the digital age of what is and what is not allowed in terms of sharing and creative use. The internet is too loose a milieu of options for there to be an enforced law regulating proper usage of public art. I think if someone uses any of my art (as scene in my blog) and changes for their purpose would be fine. I think that is what the internet is for. Otherwise, there’s not reason to share.

To future students I would strongly recommend this class. I would encourage students to think of the class not in terms of assignments and work, but in terms of an idea and philosophy. Ds106 is truly a movement exercising, maybe to the fullest, the internet’s potential to share and distribute creative ideas. Students in the class become, for however long they allow the class to last, part of an ever growing community. I think that is a great opportunity. If anything is to be the hallmark of our generation I think it is the internet and its ever-changing uses. Try and realize the interconnectedness of internet users and try to keep this free use and sharing free and without overbearing regulation. Even if we just use the internet for practical reasons (google, wiki, etc.), the internet has a profound impact on how information moves across our social and cultural fabric. Keep it yours to control!

But enough philosophical banter. I suggest that the course continue its course. Although, do offer less work. Maybe instead communicate the internet and its subjectivity to the classroom and have students interact with the possibilities of the internet. I think students will never look at ‘.com’ the same way again. And make daily creates easier and less tedious . . .