THE OFFICIAL Volume 2, Number 1, 2017

Mira Thurner: Anonymous Communities: Uploading/Downloading Community arts

Keywords: Community arts, digital uploading, digital downloading

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‘Community Arts’ is a broad and interconnected field. From the local to the global it has created opportunity for countless artists, arts organisations, community groups and individuals. The digital has become a space for community and though often complex and contested, it has taken on a ubiquity and a primary social context on a mass scale. The following paper examines platforms where these two areas overlap and diverge. How successfully can an online platform fulfil the requirements of an artistic community given the constraints of web based interaction? Can community arts sit comfortably in location where time and space are both elastic and hard-coded? What levels of engagement or tools are available for community arts practitioners online? In looking at examples such as the Australia Council's site 'The Platform' of 2013 and the sizeable web entity, deviantArt the research attempts to find a starting point for where more traditional forms of artistic expression and promotion are heading. Many such sites exist and the choice, though not arbitrary, is certainly not definitive of what is possible. Both sites, however, attempt to draw together those who create and those who appreciate art, with possibility for growth and reinvention as technology develops.

Joel Zika: Dark Rides: The Dawn of Virtual Reality

Key words: Dark rides, virtual reality, digital media

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Since the early days of the American amusement park, the ‘Dark Ride’ has been a constant feature.  Whether in the form of indoor scenic railway, spook house or walkthrough haunt, it is a universal experience.  Taking early advantage of electricity, the dark ride became the earliest example of a fully programmed multimedia experience.  It featured elements like triggered sound, lighting and a moving point of view that would not be seen in cinema until years later.  With the growing ubiquity of cinema in the 20th century this once revolutionary entertainment became relegated to a position of nostalgic oddity.  To this day, the dark ride is the most all-encompassing 360- degree immersive experience available to entertainment audiences.  At the turn of the 20th century, the amusement park offered experiences (including the dark ride) that gave access to technological experiences like never before. The sense of embodiment is the common conceptual thread between the user experience of the dark ride and virtual reality.  This paper introduces the importance of the dark ride and amusement park as a technical and conceptual influence on virtual reality. It defines five criteria for virtual immersive experiences and the driving concepts that have been evident since the first electric concessions of the 1900s. The examination defines the dark ride format, its relationship to virtual reality and what this format can teach us about building immersive spaces today.

Shaun Wilson: Towards the Simulation of Sensor Networks [Authenticity and Untruthful Practice]

Key words: Authenticity, fake papers, digital media

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This paper will explore the rise of AI generated fake essays and papers created with browser-based software and probe this phenomenon through questionable peer review processes from online journals. It will take the philosophical perspectives of authenticity and truth into a definition from Correspondence Theory derived at a consideration of atomic positive and negative facts. The paper will examine several instances of how this subject is being exploited through commercial applications and also how satire has become a tool for ridicule in both highlighting untruthful authorship but also a mechanism for validating journal and conference peer review processes. 

THE OFFICIAL Volume 1, Number 1, 2016

Damian Schofield: Waiting for a Robot Godot: theoretical musing on cyborg theatre

Keywords: Cyborg, cyborg theatre, Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett

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Recent years have seen an explosion in cinema technology, with the introduction of computer-generated characters becoming commonplace in film. On stage, when we move away from screens and ’filmic’ characters (such as the on-screen narrator played by Laurence Olivier in the 1986 West End production of the musical Time), it is natural to see that ‘physical’ robots are a potential theatrical equivalent of the computer generated film actor. This paper extensively discusses the theoretical implications of cyborg thespians and the way the audience perceives this potential innovation. A follow up paper in this journal briefly describes the technical process involved to produce a well-known play using robots and provides a brief comparative analysis and interpretation of the performance. The initial play chosen for this robot experimentation was a relatively recent example of tragicomedy, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

Damian Schofield: Waiting for a Robot Godot: a cyborg theatre case study

Keywords: Cyborg, cyborg theatre, Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett

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There exists a long and rich history of technology being integrated with theatre, dating back to the ancient Greeks. These have ranged from tools used in the mechanics of theatre (winches and revolves for example), the integration of complex props into performances, the use of realistic mannequins and puppets, to the use of technological themes within the narratives themselves. Historically, following Aristotle’s elements of drama; theatrical forms that rely on technological effects are named as a ‘spectacle’, and are often considered as entertainment rather than serious drama (Lauren, 2013). This paper discusses the use of ‘physical’ robots as a natural next stage of theatre, and describes a case study of a cyborg theatre performance.

Tom Penney: Digital Face-ism and Micro-Fascism

Key words: Fascism, micro-fascism, digital media, online dating, affection images

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The exchange of digital images depicting partial bodies is an iconic feature of online dating and contemporary sexuality. I build on previous writing and concepts explored by Deleuze and Guattari in regards to how such images function as “affection-images” (Deleuze, 1986). I then articulate how employing an affective structure of “faciality” (Deleuze and Guattari, 1988) that not only orients our tendencies towards certain faces, but also bodies and body parts, is of political concern in an era of digital capitalism. The reading of faces and bodies that become “facialised”, that is, communicate degrees of affection through digital interfaces, contributes to an algorithmic averaging-out of desire. The key to this critique is that the digital exacerbates pre-existing “micro-fascisms”. These rules of acceptance or rejection that exist on a personal level in all individuals, in collaboration with the rapid availability and processing of faces and bodies online, allows such averaging-out to occur. The writing also makes significant reference to Sarah Ahmed (2006) and Judith Butler (1988).

Alexander D'Aloia: On the Review of Film

Keywords: Film, cinema, film review, audience

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This paper explores the relationship between the reviewer and their review of feature films, with emphasis on the processes involved in how they go about reviewing. Currently there exists no such formal framework, or format, for reviewers to follow, yet formal reviewers and reviews exist, and endure, both professionally and popularly, as critics. Despite a lack of standardisation of their reviewing methods and techniques, where and when they have been implemented, this article then documents their cause and effect, and the impact they have on a review, its reviewer, the films reviewed in question, and their consumers as audience
members, of said films.

Shaun Wilson: What is Post Neo Modernism?: Absolute, Multiplicity, Post-Truth, Disruption

Key words: Post Neomodernism, multiplicity, new relativism

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This paper is the first of two that seek to propose the establishment of a new singularity for the arts defined as a Post-neomodernism by examining the first five points of the ​Post Neomodernist Manifesto (2015). As the micro movements of Post-postmodernism, Neomodernism, and Metamodernism have established their own positions in an after Postmodernist context, therein lies an absence of a greater contextualisation to which a Post-neomodernism can establish and by this, approach a singularity in more holistic terms. Discussion will examine the context of a new absolute, the role of multiplicity in new relativism, the rise of post truth and the disruption of such instances through digital media.

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