Digital Media: Rest – Ideas

The lecture for ‘Here Comes Everybody’ really inspired me to create an image set based around the ideas of participatory culture. The lecture analysed the internet as a network for people to share their responses to content. This brought with it appropriation, about:

  1. your ideas can be appropriated
  2. everyone can get online and ‘present’ themselves as professional
  3. Here comes everybody

Previously I would have seen appropriation and online sharing as a common and basic form of art / participation; it is, its quick and effective (in some cases more than others, ‘Numma Numma’, ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’, etc), but bringing content together in projects like ‘Life In A Day’, and Star Wars Uncut ( creates a participation that utilises online networks for projects that share knowledge and creativity to inspire us to share our stories. Even though it is quick and effective, it uses modern platforms to artfully interpret and share to mass audiences.

Some people might say that taking peoples work and curating a project of that work is a lazy form of art because you aren’t recording the content yourself. Therefore, I hope to create a crowd sourced project under the category of rest.

I wanted to do a project based around crowd sourcing. Inspired by the Kevin MacDonald’s film ‘Life in a Day’, I wanted to create a crowd sourced project. I was also inspired by Michael Wesch’s video ‘An anthropological introduction to YouTube'( where he discusses the idea of YouTube community. Specifically when the song ‘Numma Numma’ it formed an interactive marketing strategy which was created by the fans. It spread because of people dancing to the song on their webcam and sharing it on YouTube. Digital media has given people the platform to produce amateur content and get extreme recognition for it if the video goes viral.


Clay Shirky talks about the shock of inclusion; he talks about the quality of content reducing because anyone has a say on the internet.

‘The mere fact of being able to publish to a global audience is the new literacy, formerly valuable, now so widely available that you can’t make any money with the basic capability any more.’

Shirky, C, The Shock Of Inclusion

As discussed on the Play blog post, the key to making sense of all this information. We need metaphotographers who sort through the data, contextualise it and make something of it.

The film ‘Life In A Day’ made sense of all the footage people sent from their days. It contextualised the footage and created a profound film that made something of unscripted material. ‘One Day on Earth’ (2012) also took advantage of crowdsourcing and took footage of 24hours from every country in the world, making it incredibly similar to the Goliath to its David, ‘Life In A Day’. The documentary film Senna takes archival footage from the time of Aryton Senna and uses them in conjunction with the audio to tell the story of arguable the most talented formula 1 driver of all time. Also showing collaberation.


Facebook is an example of another crowd sourcing project. The more people share, the more others join, the more facebook grows. This is the same formula with any online network

Topic - Facebook

John Maloof curated the work of Vivian Maier. He sourced her images and created books and films based on her mystery. Sourcing her images and her story to create a bigger story.

Finding Vivian Maier, 2014

blog-vivian-maier-maloof 06HEIR-articleLarge


Borrowing and using other peoples work has been an artistic medium for many years. Lev Manovich talks about the remix as being definitive to the 2000’s; specifically Manovich talks about the mashing of different media, ie cgi, video, music genres etc, but the shift in thinking in the entertainment and art industry allows for the remix’s to be formed by appropriation.

‘It is a truism that we live in a “remix culture.” Today, many cultural and lifestyle arenas—
music, fashion, design, art, web applications, user-created media, food—are governed by
remixes, fusions, collages, or mash-ups.’

Lev Manovich, Understanding Hybid Media

Appropriation has been used in media and art to act on other pieces of art, to add something to it and contextualise it. Richard Tuschman took the ideas from the paintings of Edward Hopper and reworked them by photographing doll houses and lighting them to look like on of Hopper’s paintings; then compositing in a figure to resemble those portrayed in the paintings.

Image05_From_the_series_Hopper_Meditations_Woman_and_Man_on_a_Bed_20_x_29_in Image01_From_the_series_Hopper_Meditations_Hotel_By_Railway_20_x_30_in

Furthermore, Mishka Henner selected images from google street view in his project ‘No Mans Land’, showing how common it is to see prostitutes on the side of the road in Italy, using a found medium that helps add more meaning to his images.

no02 Cascine-Risaia-e-Barraccone-Piedmont-Italy-e1373627035744

‘By reappropriating existing works, artists are able to place the work within a different context and in doing so, open up new dialogues surrounding the piece.’

Helen Stead – Appropriating images – Death of the Photographer?

Stead presents an interesting argument which challenges authorship and creation. Highlighting (Like Barthes) that it is not the work, but the ideas that people appropriate, but authorship is ‘an obsolete and misguided concept’.

In the text, she analysis’s Henner’s use of appropriation in another of his projects ‘Levelland Oil Field and Feedlots’,

Mishka-Henner-Levelland-O-009 Levelland-2-detail_900

‘Henner describes the Internet as an ‘untapped resource’ for collecting data and information which can ‘unearth details about the society and culture we live in’.’

Helen Stead – Appropriating images – Death of the Photographer?

This is the whole idea of appropriation. The artist takes ideas so they can gain a better understanding of it. They set it in a new context that would add another meaning to it.

I think it would be interesting to use appropriation for this task. I want to take video footage from YouTube and rework it to make a big body of work.

It would work to the idea of rest because appropriation is seen as a lazy type of art, so it is playing on the idea that the creation of this work is based around the concept of a lazy artist.

Furthermore, I believe that most of my work from this module reacts to the conversation on appropriation and uses it as a tool to understand the internet and photography. It is important that it is used in a way that isn’t unlawful and reacts to work, instead of becoming it.


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